How to Organize and Store Your Cats (Photos)

5 Great Tips On Building A Dog House

Over 50% of the population allows their dog to stay indoors and sleep on the couch or in their owner’s bed. For those of you who are interested in building a dog house for your beloved pet here are some simple rules to follow when considering what type of shelter you want to provide.

1. You should begin your dog house building process by making sure the house is big enough to accommodate your animal’s potential adult size. Humans enjoy having about 2feet of air above us in a room in order to live without feeling claustrophobic.

Your dog will probably also enjoy having that much room. The comfort zone for both humans and dogs is about 1/3 of their standing height. To figure out how much room the dog will need get out a tape measure and measure your dog. Measure him standing straight up, sitting on his haunches and above all measure the full dimension of the dog when he is the most comfortable, relaxed and stretched out position he can get into. Your dog should be able to look out the front entrance while both standing up and sitting. So the dog will not have to significantly lover his front shoulders or scrape his belly make sure that entrance is high enough. Stand over the dog and measure the width of the widest point of the animal’s shoulders.

2. Remember to raise the dog house several inches from the ground to allow air and water to flow underneath. To dissuade pests from invading the dog house and taking your dogs health into consideration remember how important ventilation is. Put in a few nickel-sized holes in the walls under the eaves. Install a wind block inside the house so the dog can use the heat of its own body to warm up the area if it is really cold or windy outside. Consider adding a partial wall which will allow your dog to escape the bad weather. Your animal can choose to just sleep in the entry room or go around the inner archway maze wall into the inner sanctum. Your beloved pet would probably love having a pillow or some sort of bedding to sleep on.

3. To avoid rain coming into the dog house make the floor just a bit slanted toward the doorway and build the roof a little bit slanted, as well. Make sure the house is well insulated but you should not paint the inside.

4. In the United States most storms come from the south and west so make sure the dog house faces a different direction. Most dog house plans suggest that the dog house door faces east. The cold air will not be able to whip through the entryway then.

5. It is suggested that you put hinges on the roof of the dog house. This makes it easier for you to clean out your dog’s home. You should clean the dog’s house as often as you give your dog a bath.

If your dog lives outside then he deserves to have a comfortable place to sleep and get out of harsh weather. Hopefully these easy tips on building a dog house will help you get started.

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Clicker Training Dogs:
Five Free Tips
By JV Bear -

Clicker training is a fairly new approach to training dogs. It's used to train show dogs to do special tricks, but it can also be used to train your family Labrador retriever to sit and lie down. Clicker training works on the assumption that dogs want to learn to do what their humans want.

1. Do get the kids -- and whole family -- involved in the training. You don't have to be strong enough to handle a leash with clicker training, because you don't use a leash. All you use are clicker, treats, and time. Small children may need supervision and help, especially with big dogs, but the clicker training will get the whole family on the same page with regard to expectations, words and rewards.

They enjoy training. They enjoy interacting with people. The only problem is that they don't understand exactly what we want. The clicker tells the dog, "What you did THERE was great!" and rewards the behavior. The dog says, "Hey that was fun! What did I do?" and tries to get the human to repeat the click and reward behavior. So we end up training each other.

With clicker training, you bring up dogs with all positive reinforcement. They're happy and cheerful and never afraid of you. Here are five tips for clicker training your dog.

2. When you're starting out, click anything that approaches what you want. The idea is that the dog learns what behavior you want and then learns the word for it. So if you're teaching your puppy to sit, then you click and reward any time its rear end gets close to the floor. As time goes by, you'll get pickier with your clicks.

3. Spend as much time as possible playing clicker with your dog. Pick a behavior to concentrate on, and click and reward anything that approaches that behavior. It's easy to forget that dogs don't speak our language and really don't have a concept of language at all. So the word "sit" doesn't mean anything to them until we teach them to connect it to the action of putting their rear end on the floor.

4. Once the dog understands that "butt on floor" means click and treat and associates that behavior with the sound "sit," then you can refine the behavior. You can use the clicker to say that a good sit gets a reward and a sloppy sit gets a "try again" (not punishment, just no reward). It's a natural progression and ends with no need for the clicker at all, unless you're trying to teach something new.

5. Make the training fun for you and the dog. Dogs are simple-hearted creatures who really enjoy being with their people and interacting with them. If you've got a cheery voice and a pleasant manner with them, they will return your joy multifold and try to do anything that you want them to.

Clicker training is a great way to raise a dog to expect good things from people. They are friendlier and more loving than a fearful dog, and they love to learn to do what you want from them.

JV Bear trained her first dog when she was 8 years old by the "demonstration method," which she made up (and recommends only if you're 8 and spend hours a day with nothing to do but hang out with the dog). She has owned at least one dog, usually two, throughout her adult life and recommends clicker training from her own experience.

Click here for more information about clicker training.

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3 Tips in Finding the Right Pet ID Tag
By Mikaela Ceniza -

Having your Pet ID tag is just like having a brand new insurance. You may never know when you would actually need it. It may seem very expensive, but the "possible cost" of not having it would be more expensive than the cost of Pet ID tag itself.

It would be best to take 5 minute of your time, thinking what type of pet identification you would need than buying instantly without any consideration because this can be very risky in the long run.

Below are the 3 things to be considered in buying a pet ID tag:

1. How risky is it for your pets?

Losing your pet is one common problem pet owners usually encounter and accidents usually happen to our beloved dog. Pets that are likely to get loose are the one who are very active and full of energy. They love running around, escaping the fence and following a scent they like.

Stolen pets are another problem pet owners experience; someone might try snatching your pet and in some cases, ask for ransom. Some stolen dogs are used in rituals or in dog fights.

We should also consider the old age problem. Once we got old, someone must take care of our doggie and at some point where we might get sick, we are unable to take care of our furry friend. Hence, before that time comes, secure the welfare of your dog and make sure that the new owner knows what your dog likes and dislikes.

2. What kind of risk are you comfortable?

Sometimes owner treat their pets as someone that is very precious to them and should be entitled with entirely the best thing in life that money can afford, even an expensive Pet ID Tag.

Owners can easily evaluate the financial value of their pets. Dogs are categorized into two kinds: the rare purebred dog and the functional dogs or guide/herding dogs.

Emotional attachment to their pets is another way pet owners consider in determining the value of their pets. Owners who are very attached to their pets consider them a part of their family and give them unconditional love that are usually given to a family member or a friend.

3. After carefully thinking your answers for the first two questions, consider now what kind of Pet ID tag do you really need?

There's a variety of size, shape and colors to choose from regarding Pet ID tag. Some may contain valuable information about the pets and the pet owner. Usually pet ID tags are found hanging on the collar of your pet dog having some logos or artistic works.

Pet ID tag contains pet owner's information like Name, address, and contact number. It may also include the pet's name, birth date, and breed. There are two traditional ID tags types commonly used by pet owners: the plastic tags which are light weight but easily chewed by our pets and the stainless steel tags which are very durable. Both are available in some local pet store or veterinarian clinic.

Fortunately, more and more are being introduced in the market as new pet tags, some are micro chipping, tattooing, pet registry web site, digital display tags and voice recorded pet ID tags.

And the newest product in the market that is being introduced as pet ID tags is the high-tech USB drive that hangs from the collar of your pets with a memory capacity of 64 MB. It is encased in a sturdy plastic case where it can be plugged to your computer. Some additional information can also be added like complete and medical information of your pet.

For pet lovers out there, always remember that no matter what kind of Pet ID tags you buy, the important thing is your pet should have one for identification and this will bring you peace of mind.

Mikaela has been writing articles online for nearly 2 years now. Not only does this author specialize in dog care, you can also check out her latest website on dog arthritis treatment which provides information about dog arthritis medicine

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How to Organize and Store Your Cats
Thanks to Bonnie in BHC, AZ

All Cats Deserve Owner's Attention
Gina Spadafori - Gleaner

Q: I wholeheartedly agree with your stand against "outside dogs" and hope that people take your advice not to get a dog if it is not going to be part of the family. How sad it is to think of all the lonely dogs outside alone year after year, especially in the coldest parts of the country. What's the matter with people, anyway?

Could you mention one more reason not to abandon a dog to the outdoors?

In addition to all the points you made, these dogs are probably denied prompt and proper medical care because their owners do not notice their ailments.

- K.H., via email

A: Happily for the dogs of the world, there are lots of pet owners who agree that dogs are not happy living their lives completely alone outside.

Their numbers are bolstered by people who agree for a different reason - they live near outdoor dogs and have to listen to the barking of these neglected pets day and night.

Humane societies, behaviourists and other experts have long agreed that making a dog part of the family makes them not only happier, but also less likely to be a nuisance or a danger.

This is especially true if the dog is maintained outside on a chain.

And yes, I've neglected in the past to mention your point that dogs who live completely outdoor lives may not get the attention they need when it comes to medical care.

That's because it can be difficult to spot the sometimes subtle early signs of serious illness in an animal who isn't living underfoot.

Out of sight, out of mind applies to other pets, too: For example, cats who roam freely and just "check in" for meals may not get the attention they need to spot health problems early.

Inside or out, cats can be difficult to read, which is one reason why their medical problems are so often overlooked.

All pets deserve good care from loving owners. Make sure yours get what they need to thrive, in thanks for the love and companionship they provide us.

- Gina Spadafori

Do you have a pet question? Send it to

Clean and Chic for Spot

This product image released by CSN Stores shows the Moderno dog bed. (AP Photo/CSN Stores,Moderno)

(AP) - 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 menagerie of 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' independent streak makes them 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 during the day _ 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."

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

William Wegman, the photographer best known for Weimaraner portraits, has designed a fun line of illustrated fabrics for pet beds. The Crypton material is resistant to stains and odor.

Crypton carpeting is in the works, too.

TempurPedic makes a great bed for older, arthritic dogs. Put a Throver over the top to protect the cover; it's a stain-repellent, two-sided blanket that doubles as a furniture cover.

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

Want your pet's bed to blend into your decor? 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 a contemporary, upholstered chair that looks like a miniature Corbusier. Max Comfort's Gustavo pet sofa is a stylish lounger complete with memory foam mattress.

Cats, privacy seekers always, might love one of the chic, spacey looking "pods" from Hepper Home. And Merry Products' "Atmosphere" is a groovy bamboo sphere cradling a polyester cushion.

Szabo says floor maintenance is another priority. Elevate your pets' food dishes if you can, for easier eating and less mess. has a number of contemporary and classic dish styles. They also stock rubber mats in different styles and sizes.

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 _ stick to light-toned woods to hide scratches. Carpet is necessary if you live in an apartment where the clicking of claws may disturb neighbors. Try Flor's carpet tiles: They're easy to vacuum, lift up to wash or replace, and won't damage the floor. Choose vinyl flooring that doesn't off-gas VOCs; some pets, and people, are chemical sensitive.

Indeed, it's best to stay away from highly perfumed pet products altogether.

Remember that animals have keen smell receptors. Clean pet areas with green products that have little or no scent (such as Sun & Earth or Earth Friendly Products), and for fabrics, try Get Serious, a stain and odor extractor that many pet owners swear by.

Get creative about where you store the treats and gear. Look for clear jars (so you can track contents) with locking lids; attractive baskets; and washable storage totes that coordinate with room decor.

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. She also likes the PetFinder, from FinderProducts: "It's a high-tech ID tag system that could help reunite you with Spot if s/he ever becomes lost."

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Ask Dog Lady:
Dog Lights Up Laid-Off Worker’s Life
By Monica Collins -

Dear Dog Lady,

I’ve been downsized from my high-tech job and have been out of work for six months. To make ends meet, I’ve had to move in with a roommate who is another laid-off worker. She rents half of a house. I also have to live with her dog, a large poodle named Jim (by the way, I’ve always thought it odd when people give their dogs real human names). She lets Jim wander freely around the house, and the other day when I was out, I came back to find Jim lounging on my bed.

I shooed him away. But I realized I liked having the dog around. I’ve begun to leave my door open for Jim and am disappointed when he doesn’t come in for a visit. I never much cared for dogs before. What’s happening to me?


Royce, when you feel the most deflated, there are unexpected beacons to light your way. Dog Lady imagines your humiliation with no job and no home of your own. Yet Jim has somehow shown you a glimmer of possibilities in his own unprejudiced dog-like way. Even though the canine has a human name it is somehow symbolic.

Continue to leave your door open for Jim. You might want to keep a stash of small treats (freeze-dried liver chunks are manna to dogs) in your room so he learns you’re not going to shoo him away but reward him for his incursions. Enjoy the attention as you get back on your feet. Happy New Year.

Dear Dog Lady,

What do you suggest for my two Lhasa Apso puppies who won't eat? We have tried several different dog foods with no results. When we first got them, they ate the Pedigree Puppy Chicken and Rice wet food with a scoop of Puppy Chow twice a day but got sick of it. We have tried doing different combinations of each of the above brands but to no avail. We have heard from the veterinarian that sometimes they just don't want to eat. Should we try yet another dog food and risk wasting money if they don't eat? Should we feed them once a day?


Tiffany, your Lhasa Apsos will never go hungry -- not when they have Tiffany burning up the pet food aisles. Choose one food and stick with it. Make sure the ingredient list always starts with a meat, such as chicken, beef or lamb. Always feed less than the bag advises because you want your dogs on the lean and hungry side rather than overstuffed and picky. Feed them twice a day at the same time. Take up the bowls if they choose not to chow down at the appointed hour – even if they leave some bits behind.

Measure the kibble. For your small dogs, never feed more than a quarter cup to each in the morning and at night -- a total of one-half-cup per dog per day. Festoon the dry food with a teaspoon of canned or boiled meat.

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

You Can Take My Pets
When You Pry the Leash From ...
You Know the Rest
By Bob Silbernagel -

Did you or your family get a puppy for Christmas? Perhaps you adopted an older dog, a very responsible thing to do. Or maybe you already have a dog or two, and you included them in your Christmas celebration, buying gifts for them because you consider them members of your family.

Good for you. Dogs are wonderful pets. They’re smart and loyal, playful and great listeners. They can join you in outdoor sports, help with livestock if you’re a rancher, provide assistance if you have physical impairments or simply offer much-needed companionship. You are to be congratulated for having dogs in your life.

Now get rid of them.

Your pets are helping to destroy the planet.

At least that’s the conclusion of New Zealand authors Brenda and Robert Vale. Their book, “Time to Eat the Dog? The Real Guide to Sustainable Living,” says that the carbon footprint of having a dog is more than double that of driving a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle.

The reason is what they eat.

The Vales analyzed popular brands of dog food, based on the assumption that a medium-sized dog eats roughly 360 pounds of meat and 200 pounds of cereal each year. They computed the energy required for raising that food, as well as the land needed to produce it. When you add in things like dog feces, and the destruction dogs can do to wildlife, they concluded that dog ownership is having a devastating effect on our planet.

Cats are only marginally better, with the average cat having the carbon footprint of a small sedan, according to an Agence France Presse article about the Vales’ book that I found on the Internet last week.

I haven’t read the book. In fact, I couldn’t even find it in my preliminary search on I had to go to Amazon’s United Kingdom version to find it. There I learned that the book is not just about the impact of dogs. It has all sorts of helpful hints for sustainable living. For instance, if you’re thinking of a divorce, don’t go through with it until you’ve found a new partner. That way you will save the environment from the cost of running two households.

Saving the environment, of course, is at the forefront of everyone’s minds when a divorce is pending.

Just so you know, I am not going to follow the advice I offered above. Judy and I are definitely not going to get rid of our hounds, Lila and Zen. In fact, this holiday weekend, we are playing host to several guest dogs — those belonging to our children, Derek and Kara, who made the trip over from Denver.

In fact, I suspect few people will seriously consider giving up their pets in the name of the environment. Some of the most environmentally conscious people I know are every bit as attached to their dogs as we are.

It’s not just an American extravagance. When we were in Prague a few years ago, we were amazed at the number of people walking their dogs at all hours of the day and night on downtown streets. It was apparently also appropriate to take a leashed and muzzled dog on the city’s electric trolley cars.

Other Western countries are equally enamored with their dogs. The Agence France article I mentioned also quoted a French animal-rights advocate who was appalled at the suggestion of humans giving up dogs. “Pets are anti-depressants, they help us cope with stress, they are good for the elderly,” said Reha Huttin.

The goal of science is not to confirm for us that our comfortable lives are just what this planet needs, of course. People like the Vales can perform a real service by examining what is, in fact, a big part of many people’s lives and alert us to the impact it has. But they should stop with “the sky is falling!” rhetoric.

Already, we have been told we must give up our SUVs, alter our eating habits, change our light bulbs, curtail our air travel and limit the size of our families, all in the name of reducing our carbon footprints. Now someone says we should give up our pets, as well?

Meanwhile, we hear the incessant news stories about the dire effects of global warming — some true, some highly exaggerated. We watch world leaders do nothing but pontificate in Copenhagen, while flying into the conference on large jets and cruising around in limos. And we learn that several of the world’s leading climate-change scientists manipulated data to strengthen their research and tried to quash dissenting opinion.

Is it any wonder that more and more people seem to be tuning out the climate-change concerns? According to a variety of polls, global warming is now far down the list of most Americans’ concerns.

I had thought I might try to purchase a copy of “Time to Eat the Dog,” if only to get my blood pressure up as I read it. But then I read some of the customer reviews on the Amazon-UK site. They were not exactly positive, to put it kindly. At least one raised questions about the authors’ knowledge of statistics. Nearly all of the others, including from people who seemed to agree with the concept, said it was ponderous, heavy reading. One called it “dangerously dull.”

So, I won’t be waiting for a copy of the book. Instead, I think Lila the Labrador monster and I will take a hike this weekend, blissfully destroying the planet as we go.

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Learn To Breed Betta Fish –
A Complete Guide

With their flowing fins unique personalities beautiful colors, it’s not hard to see how breeding betas fish has become so popular. Accomplishing this really isn’t that difficult, provided you have direction. Unfortunately, there is a lot of unsound information out there and it’s not hard to get confused. As someone who has successfully bred Betta fish for over a year now, and even created a profitable business out of it, this article should provide some tips that will point you in the right direction when breeding your Betta fish.

As a Betta owner, you are lucky because it’s easy to tell the two genders apart, males are generally larger, more flowing fins. While females usually have shorter, more plain fins. When choosing one of each, you want to make sure that both fish are healthy. Their colors should be vibrant, and each should be active.

Once you have your fish, you have arrived at one of the most important steps of all: the preparation. This stage is important because it’s so often overlooked. To give your betta fish the best chance of a successful courtship, you want them to be in optimal condition. In the two weeks leading up to mating, you will want to buy live food to feed both of your fish. While still being careful not to overfeed, you’ll want to give them extra food portions during this time. Don’t forget, Betta fish aren’t very good at monitoring their own sleep patterns. For this reason, it is important to turn lights off early and give your fish lots of rest leading up to the mating.

Also, during this stage you want to be doing preparations. First and foremost, this should mean a thorough cleaning with hot water. Be sure to clean off rocks, plants, and any other accessories you may have added. You don’t want to use soap as even small traces of residue can be quite harmful.

So what else? Furthermore, although not necessary, is to cut a Styrofoam cup in half and place it on top of the water. In doing this, you will have created a small covered area that your male Betta will likely feel safe creating his bubble nest under.

Last, but certainly not least, make sure when breeding Betta fish that you are male and female are introduced gradually. Use a split, or side-by-side, tank setup for a week prior to mating. This helps to ensure a positive experience when the fish are in the same tank.

Best Discus Fish Tank Setup

Constructing and getting the Best discus fish Tank Setup can be quite a difficult task because we need to ensure that every little requirement is fulfilled for your fish to live happily. Sometimes even small little mistakes can be costly and thus one must gather as much information as possible and based on actual experiences with trial and error to come up with the best aquarium setup.

There are quite a number of different aspects which we will need to look into and therefore it’s best to breakdown each individual topic so that more thorough study can be done. First, let’s look determine the best aquarium size to house your discus fish. As a fan who would do anything to ensure that my pet gets the best living condition, I will ensure that I have the largest aquarium size which can fit to my budget. A 100-gallon fish tank should be a benchmark for your aquarium needs because with larger space you can house 5 or more young fish in the same tank.

The trick to ensure fast and healthy growth for your discus is by ensuring there is plenty of foods and with sizable number of discus housed together competition will exist among them. When they are competing with each other trying to grab the food, soon enough the rest will follow suit and this is something like a chain reaction to get all the fish to eat more. Since you need to house about 5 in a group, it is imperative that you should have at least 100-gallon tank as the minimum requirement and don’t forget that a well-grown mature male female discus can be as large as 1 feet in length and thus this should be the best setup.

Placement of the discus tank is also important because this is also one of the main criteria towards healthy tank management. As you know, the species is generally shy and slow-moving, thus a well placed setup should be somewhere quiet, with not too much sunlight with less cold condition. Apart from what is mentioned here, ensure also that there should not be outside distraction that will scare your fish such as shining light coming from tv. All these maybe small little things but they do add up to be important if you want your pet to be happy and healthy.

Tank Decoration is also among one of your list of items to watch for. Having plants and substrate will actually add up to more time that need to spend for tank maintenance but however, if you can juggle your task properly, that would be fine. However, most aquarist including myself prefers a barren setup so that you can almost control everything in your fingertips. If you really need the fish tank to look nice, what I would suggest is getting driftwood with established live plants which can be bought in any pet stores and arrange it well for your discus. They will definitely love having the new items around.


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