Pet Yorkies, Parrots, Ferrets and Rodents(??)

Back Seat Driver
by Rachel Baum -

Of all the distractions inherent in driving a car – phone calls, text messages, road rage, bicyclists, the burrito on your lap, smudged mascara, screaming children - there is your dog.

She is not a happy camper.

Its not really an issue when the car is in motion. But should you need to stop, say, at an intersection, or slow down, as in turning left, let the yipping, huffing, and ear-piercing barking begin.

This particular dog is a Havanese named Miss Eliza. Every time Miss E is in the car and the brakes are applied, she mistakes that sensory experience as an indication of a potential stop. Stopping to her implies a brisk walk, a bit of social networking, and a tasty biscuit. So as the car slows, as it inevitably must, she has frequent opportunities to get all worked up in anticipation of this imaginary interlude. Her anxiety/excitement builds until she is frantically howling and pacing from window to window. This, at a mere traffic light. Understandably, Miss E’s behavior makes city driving a tad nerve-racking.

Shane, a Beagle mix, is a different story. He is a perfect gentleman in the car, that is, until he spies another dog, one that has dared to appear in his line of vision.

Never mind that Shane and his owner are whizzing past in their Honda Fit, and the dog is in its own damn yard. Shane is incensed. He continues to seethe and snort long after said fiendish dog is a mere blip on Shane’s radar screen. Often Shane’s owner drives out of his way to avoid known dog sightings.

Then there is Guiness, a Golden Retriever, who lolls in the car during the ride, yawns through stoplights, and snores past other dogs. Guiness’ owner, however must not, under any condition, get OUT of the car.

If Guiness is left in the car alone for even a second, he becomes frantic. His cries are so piteous and heartfelt that bystanders stomp resolutely into the Stewart’s shop to inform Guiness’ owner that they are about to call the police and have a warrant issued on the charge of animal cruelty.

When Guiness spies his owner coming through the door of the store, the noise miraculously and instanteously ceases, his tail wags, and he wears his ”Who, me?” expression.

What to do?

Teach your dog that the manners you expect in the house apply in the car, too.

1. Pick a warm day - the January thaw for example – and take your Academy Award hopeful out to the car. Hop in, sit for a while, serve a wholesome treat or two, provide honest praise for a solid Sit and blissful Quiet. Go back inside the house.

2. Repeat as above, but this time, turn the car on, let it run for a bit, don’t go anywhere, then turn it off. Did that go well? If so, give a silent cheer and do it again just to test the waters.

3. Expand on the notion of Car Sit and Car Quiet with a brisk turn around the block. If all goes well, progress to Stewart’s. If your dog has issues with that - back to square one – the driveway.

4. Consider seating arrangements, too. Options include the floor of the back seat area, a portable crate, or a seatbelt/harness. Changing things up can sometimes change a bad backseat driver habit into a good one.

Can A Cat Lover
Date A Dog Guy?
by Melissa Noble -

How his pet preference affects his personality

Psychologists, mothers and everyone in between have been making all sorts of crude assumptions for as long as we can remember about what makes for a dog or a cat person. Dog Training Techniques That Apply To Men

Cat people, the wisdom of yesteryear goes, are sleek, independent and elusive. Not too unlike their standoffish feline friends. On the flip side, dog people are sloppy and friendly... a cheerful golden retriever on two legs. And, lest we forget, there is the ever-present, tiresome "men are dogs and women are cats" theory. If we have to roll our eyes through one more well-meaning (but annoying) diatribe by a guy who claims that women remind him of cats, we'll have to draw the shades and spiral into a cat lady-type of isolation. Don't make that happen. Catfight: Kristin Cavallari Vs Audrina Patridge

As luck would have it, we ran across a study called the Gosling-Potter Internet Personality Project on CNN today that polled 4,500 participants and analyzed their personality traits in relation to their pets. The researchers looked at five traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.
The results? More of what you've already heard, but they still may give you some inner intelligence into what secret quirks your latest dating prospect is hiding.

If he's a dog person, it's likely he's off the charts in terms of conscientiousness, agreeableness and extraversion. Sunny outlook? Probably. Will he call back in a timely manner? Absolutely. Wants to go snowboarding on a whim? Sure! Dog people scored significantly lower than cat people on openness, however. Openness, by these psychologists' standards, is a willingness to be less traditional and more experimental and creative, which certainly could do a body good in bed. Sex Does A Body Good

Along with openness, cat people scored high on neuroticism. Neat freak? Mood swings? A weekly appointment with a therapist? All of these are likely, but you don't have to let them be deal breakers. Hey, at least your cat-loving partner will talk to you about all of the aforementioned quirks. Try that with your tight-lipped, Frisbee-chasing dog lover...

As with astrology, one can easily get lost putting people in restrictive little boxes. But, as with astrology, don't say we didn't warn you if these test on the true side.

Bringing Pets in from the Cold?
Share Your Warmth & Love
but Not Your Food

Pet owners hear plenty of advice about food you should never feed a dog. Most of us have been warned that you should never feed a dog onions or chocolate. Why are these unsafe foods for dogs? What other unhealthy foods are forbidden for dogs?

Humans have an endearing phrase that proposes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. While the occasional treat may not be harmful to a human's health, dogs are well, another species. Even the smallest amounts of some forbidden foods can be fatal for dogs. Follow these ABCs and DEFGs to keep your dog safe and healthy.

A is for Always Keep Away: Avocadoes & Alcohol

Avocados and dishes such as guacamole are unhealthy for dogs. Avocados contain persin, which is harmless to non-allergic humans but toxic for dogs. A small amount of avocado will induce vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Alcohol is very unsafe for dogs. It can cause not only intoxication but also coma or death. Dogs generally weigh a fraction of an adult human weight so it doesn't take a lot for dogs to get alcohol poisoning.

B is for Barricade These Unsafe Foods: Baby Foods, Baking Goods & Bones

Baby food seems harmless enough but baby food is not only nutritionally inadequate for dogs, but is dangerous because it commonly contains onion powder. Onions in any form are unsafe foods for dogs. They can destroy a dog's red blood cells and cause anemia. Symptoms of onion poisoning are vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite and trouble breathing.

Baking goods including baking soda, baking powder and nutmeg are highly toxic foods for dogs.

Bones seem like a natural treat for dogs but bones can cause obstructions or lacerations in the digestive system as well as putting your pooch at risk for choking.

C is for Canines Can't Eat: Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine & Cat Food

For humans a box of chocolates may say I love you but chocolate is unloving and unsafe for dogs. The toxic ingredient, theobromine, is in all kinds of chocolates. Even a small amount of chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea and excessive thirst in dogs. It can also lead to abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and even death. Just say no to cocoa for dogs.

Caffeine in high quantities can be fatal for dogs. Caffeine is in coffee, tea, soda and chocolate but can also be found in cold medicines and painkillers. Be careful of coffee grounds in the trash, compost pile or garden too. Caffeine poisoning in dogs can cause restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors and even internal bleeding.

Cat food isn't fatal for dogs of course but cat food is usually too high in protein and fats, which puts cat food on the unhealthy foods for dogs list.

D is Don't Feed a Dog: Dairy Products and Drugs

Dairy products and milk are unsafe foods for dogs. Adult dogs and cats often don't have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase to break down the lactose in milk. Dairy products can cause severe diarrhea in dogs, which can leave them dehydrated.

Your prescription or over the counter drugs are dangerous for dogs. They are the number cause of poison cases in dogs. Pet proofing is just as important as baby proofing.

E is for Don't Ever Let Your Dogs Eat: Raw Eggs

It may seem helpful at the time to let your pooch clean up the raw egg that just dropped on the floor but raw eggs put canines at risk for bacterial infections.

F is for Faithfully Keeping Away from Dogs: Fat, Fish & some Fruits

The fat you trim for your meat may look like a nice treat for your dog but fat can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

Raw fish can contain a parasite that causes "fish disease" in dogs, which untreated can be fatal in less than two weeks. Signs of fish disease include vomiting, fever and enlarged lymph nodes. Avoid giving dogs raw fish or meats of any kind.

Some fruits are unsafe foods for dogs as well. The seeds of persimmons, peaches, and plums can cause inflammation and obstruction in dogs. Additionally, peach and plum pits contain cyanide that is poisonous for both dogs and humans. Grapes, as well as raisins, contain a toxin that can cause kidney damage in dogs.

Unfortunately dogs don't know what foods are unsafe and since they explore with their mouths, it is easy for dogs to ingest unsafe foods. To protect your dog, always keep the phone number to your vet, a nearby emergency clinic and Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) handy at home. Also keep these numbers in your car and wallet for when you're traveling or out with your dog.

Sources: -

Click on banner to visit The Pet Warehouse

Training A Yorkie Tips
– How To Train Your
Yorkshire Terrier FAST
Posted by: Pet Blogger

Yorkie’s, by their nature are an awesome dog breed. They are full of energy, are smart, and quickly learn right from wrong. I am going to share with you three tips to help you training a yorkie.

Because your dog is full of energy, you need to be careful with how you interact with your dog. If your dog is a puppy, this can be especially difficult and frustrating. Please read this information carefully.

Tip #1: Positive rewards. Your dog simply wants to make you happy. Care must be taken to encourage positive actions. If you are an encourager to them, they will reward you with great behavior. Simple actions such as petting, and brushing their backs can do the trick. Dog treats also come in handy.

Tip#2: Stay focused. It is easy to have a lapse in your training. Yorkie’s thrive on constant companionship. During those moments together, stay focused on your task at hand, which is to help your dog be the best that it can be. We oftentimes become very consumed in our own on-goings, that we forget dogs need constant reinforcement of the positive actions we want them to take.

Tip#3: Terrier’s make great guard dogs. Encourage that aspect, but ensure they are not abusing their rights by helping them to make correct decisions as to when they should bark. Dog barking training is an absolute must.

Also, a couple more tips on: how to train a yorkshire terrier

Training a Yorkshire terrier, as with all dogs, takes persistence and a willingness from the owner to lead your dog in the right direction, and not get led by the dog.

This article is going to review 3 quick tips to make sure you are maintaining control of your dog training.

Tip#1: Maintain your position that you are the Alpha dog. This is fairly easy to do, being that your Yorkie is only a few pounds. They already have a sense of being inferior, but sometimes, their attitude is much larger than their physical being.

Tip#2: Do not overly praise the dog. I know this sounds contradictory to the praise your dog and love them theory, and to an extent, that is true. However, Yorkie’s have a tendency to wrap their owners around their little paws and manipulate them to “take it easy” on them, so to speak. Please, reward your dog, but know when to stop.

Tip#3: Make sure your family is all following the same dog training guidelines. If you do not have any, you better learn some. Otherwise, what typically happens is the dog is so confused over what is right or wrong, or how it should learn a patterned behavior that it doesn’t know exactly what you want it to do.

In summary, knowing your dog takes time. Proper training doesn’t normally happen overnight, but you can definitely do some things to quickly come up to speed. My first recommendation would be to not reinvent the wheel. Try to learn from somebody who has trained dogs before and get you up to speed quickly.

Find out vital things to know about the topic of house train dog – please make sure to study this site. The time has come when concise information is truly within your reach, use this opportunity.

BRIAN J. LOWNEY: Experts Share Tips
for Well-Mannered Cats

Does your cat have good manners?

If Tabby delights in jumping on the dinner table and stealing a morsel or two from the nearest plate, or finds great joy in shredding the furniture, it's time for some training.

Whether your cat is a young kitten or an older feline, noted author and pet columnist Amy Shojai says it's never too late to change negative behaviors.

Shojai, a certified animal behavior consultant, is the author of 23 best-selling books including "The First-Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats" and "Petiquette," which instructs owners how to train cats and dogs to become well behaved members of society and treasured family members.

The Texas-based writer and frequent television guest reveals that she grew up with dogs, but admits that she's learned a great deal about felines from Seren — short for serendipity — a stray Siamese-mix that she adopted 12 years ago.

During a recent telephone interview, Shojai offered some practical tips to solve common problems faced by many cat owners.

Using my own cat Mickey as an example, I asked about cats that like to sample from their owner's dinner plate.

"If you don't want him pestering, put him in another room," the respected consultant advises, adding that when a feline that has been sequestered in the bedroom or living room during mealtime starts to fuss, the worst thing an owner can do is to submit to the animal's pleas for attention and allow the creature to return to the kitchen. This reinforces negative behavior by sending the animal the message that by meowing incessantly, it will get its own way.

"You want to extinguish that behavior and present a better alternative," Shojai says. For example, she suggests covering the table with a knobbed plastic runner that the cat won't like, and creating a comfortable perch in another room where the feline can rest.

To avoid the problem of a hefty feline running off with a slice of turkey or some other delectable treat stolen from a dinner plate, cats should never be fed on the table, especially while humans are eating. Tidbits should always be offered in the cat's food dish.

When a feline bites or attempts to bite a human, for whatever reason, Shojai recommends that the victim take immediate action to teach the animal that this behavior is not acceptable.

"Squeal in a high-pitched voice and dump him off your lap," she suggests.

"Do a cat hiss," Shojai continues, adding that the feline perpetrator will eventually associate the human's negative reaction with its own poor behavior and stop the misdeeds.

The prolific author tells owners introducing a new feline into a multi-cat household to initially separate the animals and to be patient.

"Cats take a long time to accept each other," she says, recommending that the animals be kept apart for seven to 10 days.

"Keep the new cat in a room by himself and set up a proper introduction," she advises. Shojai says it's important to place the new pet's food and water dishes, as well a litter box if it's an indoor cat, in the isolated room, and to allow the resident cats to have full access to other parts of the home.

"Introduce the cats through a closed door," she urges. "Reduce the amount of stimulation; take away one of the senses, such as sight. This can be very helpful."

After a week or longer, owners should feed the cats at the same time on different sides of the closed door, then allow them to comingle under supervision.

"Hissing, in cat language, means 'back off,'" Shojai discloses. "Hissing is a perfectly acceptable cat communication."

She warns owners that when hisses turn into growls, a potential fight may develop and steps must be taken to prevent further negative behavior.

All cats love to scratch — it's instinctual — and felines with intact claws can sometimes get into trouble when the creatures shred upholstery, carpeting or a favorite garment.

"That's a normal cat behavior," she discloses, telling owners to purchase a scratching post or cat tree to prevent lots of headaches.

"With cats, it's location, location, location," Shojai emphasizes, suggesting that the best place to place a scratching post is right in front of the chair or near the spot on the carpet where the cat likes to scratch.

"Cats are not human," Shojai concludes. "Learn to think from their viewpoint."

View Photos of Singles -
Click the banner to visit

All Kinds of Tips for Pet Owners
Written by Barry Wolfe - Alameda Sun

Pet owners love their animals and want to do the best for them, sometimes to the point of babying them and anthropomorphizing human characteristics onto them. Most of this doting and pampering is harmless...

Pet owners love their animals and want to do the best for them, sometimes to the point of babying them and anthropomorphizing human characteristics onto them.

Most of this doting and pampering is harmless, like dressing them up for Halloween or including them in family portraits. The latter is fine, because they are a beloved part of the family. The kind of unhealthy pampering that concerns pet experts is feeding pets foods that are unhealthy, makes them fat, diabetic or ill with other chronic diseases that plague our pet population. A little over a year ago, I reviewed an important book here written by feline expert, Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM, called "Your Cat."

In it, she outlined the research that she had done to help her diabetic cat. After extensive investigation into what non-domestic cats feed on, she found that they lived on high protein diets of strictly meat. They're carnivores from birth to old age. When she examined dry cat foods, she found that they were all formulated with a high percentage of corn and wheat. If you've been paying attention to recent obesity studies in humans, high-fructose corn syrup has found it's way into much of our foods and beverages, especially those aimed at children, because it's an inexpensive sweetener. Corn, in itself is not as bad as HFCS, but it is a high-glycemic grain, converting to sucrose when consumed, and, when allowed to be grazed on 24 hours a day in a food bowl, will cause obesity in both dogs and cats.

Many pet owners say their pets don't like canned food, but the fact is, they're addicted to the sweeter dry foods. It's like leaving potato chips or candy out for your family to eat all the time. It's junk food. Dry food is less expensive because it's produced with inexpensive grains and canned costs more because they are produced with more expensive protein sources. Good protein is expensive, one of the leading problems in poorer regions of the world, affordable protein. Dr. Hogkins has concluded in her research that cats fed an all meat diet, could live to be 20 to 30 years old. A high carbohydrate diet only leads to obesity, diabetes and renal failure after years of consumption.

One drawback to serving canned pet foods or cooking your own from scratch, is what to leave for your pet when you're gone all day or overnight. Wet food will get nasty if too much is left out, and dry food would be convenient for those instances. I recently discovered two dry foods that are high protein, contain no corn or wheat, plus have the added bonus of added probiotics.

For cats, I recommend all natural CORE by Wellness. It's turkey, chicken and fish proteins, salmon oil Omega 3, flaxseed and vegetable fiber. For dogs, try the brand called Chicken Soup For The Pet Lover's Soul. It has most of the same ingredients as CORE, including the probiotics, which I've always fed my pets. They have a similar cat formula, but it has more fruits, vegetables and odd things than I see as necessary for a cat's diet, so I'd stick with CORE.

These are the only two corn-free products that I know of. Lastly, whenever changing a pet's diet, do it gradually over several days, slowly adding the new in with the old, until the older food is eliminated and they can adjust. Both of these products can be purchased at pet food stores. So, check your dry food ingredients and make the switch. Your pet will thank you by living a longer and healthier life!

Barry Wolfe is the owner of Cat Daddy Pet Care.

Kelly Osbourne Buys Pet Pomeranian
a Doggy Life-Jacket
By Daily Mail Reporter

Hollywood's pampered pooches are no strangers to being dressed up by their famous owners.

But in the case of Kelly Osbourne's new dog, she actually has a practical reason for her pet's latest fashion statement.

The reality TV star has bought a tiny doggy life jacket for her beloved pet Sid after he struggled to swim after falling in the swimming pool.

Cute: Kelly Osbourne's pet Pomeranian Sid models his new life jacket

After buying him the XXS life jacket, Kelly posted a picture of the dog modelling it on her Twitter micro-blogging page.

She said: 'Luke and I just bought a fish and a life jacket for Sid for when he goes to my mum's house because he always tries to jump in the pool.

'The dog weighs 1lb. If he fell in the pool he would not be able to get out.'
Kelly was given the black Pomeranian for her 25th birthday in October by parents Ozzy and Sharon.

Puppy love: Kelly carrying Sid in Los Angeles last month

Over the last few months, Kelly has regularly been spotted carrying Sid and even brought him for her appearance on Larry King Live.

Last month, she also got Sid into the Christmas spirit by dressing him as a Santa dog.

When she first got Sid, Kelly admitted she had to keep him in a playpen because he was so small.

She said: 'If I want to put it on the floor, I have to put it in the playpen because the dog is that small.

Christmas canine: Kelly also posted a picture of Sid dressed as Santa Claus last month

'It’s the size of a one dollar bill! I’m so excited.'

As well as Sid, Kelly and her model fiancé Luke Worrall, 20, also have a Shiba Inu named Sandy.

Kelly recently returned to LA after holidaying in Hawaii over New Years.

She also enjoyed a pre-Christmas break in Miami with Luke and her Dancing With The Stars partner Louis Van Amstel.

Click on banner to visit Lucy's Dog House

Heidi Fleiss Shares Bed with Pet Birds
By Joanne Clements -

Here is Celebrity Big Brother star Heidi Fleiss with the exotic birds she misses so much she is threatening to quit the show. Heidi is pictured at her home in Pahrump, Nevada, with her long-term lover Dennis Hoff and Madam Suzette, the madam at Hof's legal brothel the Moonlite Bunny Ranch. - Moonlite Bunny Ranch/Splash

Celebrity Big Brother contestant Heidi Fleiss is so fond of her pet parrots that she lets them play in her bed.

An incredible home video of the former Hollywood Madam shows her laughing and smiling at the exotic birds as they try to crawl under her sheets.

At one point, she even goes as far as to kiss one of her feathered friends on the beak.

“Three years ago, I got 20 exotic birds. They were from a lady who died – she was a former Madam,” she said. “I’ve never bonded to anything in my life, but I fell in love with these birds. I like them more than people.”

The home video of Fleiss, 44, and her birds was shown during American show Celebrity Rehab.

The former sex business owner completed a stint in the treatment centre in order to kick her crystal meth drug addiction.

Fleiss explained that the parrots were the closest thing to a relationship she could get.

“I don’t get high with anyone and you can’t be in a relationship because of my drug problem,” she said. “I’m so lonely. I’m such a lonely person because of my addiction.”

Fleiss, who lives in Death Valley, Nevada, has even threatened to quit Celebrity Big Brother because she misses her pets too much.

Fleiss, who once served 21 months in prison for tax evasion, told fellow housemates Nicola T and Lady Sovereign she was thinking of leaving because she missed the birds. “I have to see them tomorrow,” she said just five days after entering the Celebrity Big Brother house. “I can’t do it any more.”

Outdoor Rabbit Hutch -
10 Tips You Need to Know
When Purchasing a Rabbit Hutch
By Bella Thomas -

When purchasing a outdoor rabbit hutch, here are some tips to take into consideration:

1. One thing that will help you make your decision about buying a hutch or a rabbit cage is by surfing the internet. You can get a pretty good idea about what is best for you and your bunny. You will be able to find outdoor rabbit hutch prices and find the one you need.

2. When buying your outdoor rabbit hutch you need to make sure it has a wire mesh floor. This will make it easier for cleaning. You also need to check and see if the hutch has a solid floor, this will give your rabbit a good place to sleep.

3. A outdoor rabbit hutch will provide a lot of room for your pet while making it easier on you to take care of it. Your hutch should be at least 4 times bigger than your bunny rabbit. Also you need to make sure that the rabbit hutch comes withe the basics like a feeder and a water bottle. Also an outdoor rabbit hutch should have plenty of room for your bunny rabbit to hop around.

4. An important part of buying a outdoor rabbit hutch the size of the cage. It is recommended by experts that you purchase the largest hutch you can afford. For smaller breeds of rabbit, bunnies that weigh 8 lbs the cage should be at least 24 inches by 36 inches.

5. Also it is good to find a outdoor rabbit hutch with two levels. You can add a rabbit run to the lower level so your rabbit will have room to run.

6. It is a lot better for your rabbit to live in a hutch than inside your home. There are a lot of different sizes to choose from and your rabbit will love you for it and so will your spouse.

7. One thing that you can do to your outdoor hutch is to put wheels on it so you can move it around easily. Another idea is to buy a rabbit hutch that is high off the ground so you can put storage supplies underneath it.

8. Your hutch should have a tray that is easy to remove for their droppings. Be sure that the hole to your rabbits sleeping area is large enough for your rabbit. You also want to purchase a hutch with a covered top to protect your animal from wind and rain.

9. It is really important to keep your outdoor hutch off the ground so wild predators won't get to your rabbit. Having it raised gives you access to the hutch without bending over thus making it easier for feeding and cleaning.

10. Security is also very important. Rabbits are prey for predators, whose survival depends on their natural born instincts to run from predators. The fear and anxiety can be so strong that they can die from the stress of the ordeal.

When it comes to the health and happiness of your pet rabbit, choosing a quality living environment is very important. When deciding on a Outdoor Rabbit Hutch, the quality of the dwelling will determine how it will work out for your furry little friend.
Bella Thomas has been involved with animals in one way or another since she was a little girl. She knows a lot about rabbits, dogs, cats, birds, fish, and reptiles. She lives in Sunny Pensacola, Florida with 2 dogs, a horse, 3 rabbits, and 1 cat.

Eight Tips About Pet Ferrets

The question is often asked - can ferrets really be pets? The short answer is - yes -just the same as owning a cat or a dog. Of course you'll need to give a pet ferret the same kind of attention that you would to any pet. And, with the correct diet and proper care, your pet ferret should be part of your family for a long time to come.

Frequently ferrets can be referred to as "unusual" or "exotic" pets. That's because most people like to own the more traditional type of pets like cats, dogs, birds, fish or hamsters. Also, you might not know this, but in some places it's actually illegal to own a pet ferret.

Laws against having pet ferrets usually stem from safety concerns. Ferrets do have very sharp teeth and, even if they are domesticated, they can bite if they are provoked. You will need to keep this in mind if you have small children in your family. You might want to wait until your children are older before you get a ferret, or, at the very least, make sure they are never left unattended with a pet ferret.

You'll need to treat a ferret bite seriously. Because, just like dogs, they can carry rabies. Because of this possibility, you need to be absolutely sure to have your pet vaccinated against rabies. Neutering, which is always a good idea, may help to reduce any aggressive behavior.

Any ferret is going to want to explore when they are outside of their cage. If you don't want your house getting messed up, or have your ferret getting into places he shouldn't, then you need to ferret-proof your home. This means doing things like sealing off small spaces, protecting any electrical wires and securing any air ducts or dryer vents.

Ferret Tips

Here are a few ferret tips that you should know:

1. They will sleep 18 hours or more everyday. But, when they're awake, that's the time to feed them and play with them.

2. They need to get out of their cage at least twice a day, so give them a secure area to roam and play in.

3. Ferrets like to take naps in the most unusual places. If you've given them the run of the house, and you don't want to squish them, look under any cushions before you sit down!

4. Male ferrets (hobs) are heavier and grow much longer than female ferrets (jills).

5. Ferrets can live, on average, for about 7 to 10 years and with proper care, may even live as long as 12 years.

6. Ferrets have relatively poor eyesight but they make up for that with a heightened senses of hearing and smell.

7. Much like a cat or a dog, ferrets can be trained to do tricks and follow simple commands. Rewarding good behavior with praise and treats is the best way to train your ferret.

8. Ferrets are usually pretty quiet. They don't bark like dogs do. So, you won't need to worry about any noisy behavior annoying your household or your neighbors.

You can find pet ferrets at pet stores, breeders or animal shelters. However, before you commit to owning a ferret, be sure you're ready for the commitment and responsibility.

Choosing a Pet Rodent

What happens when most women see a mouse in their home? They climb up on a chair and scream. At least that’s what most cartoons would have you believe. It might surprise you that many people choose a pet rodent when they decide it’s time to get pets for kids.

There are a number of rodents which are kept as pets: gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, and rats. Pet stores are a great place to find these pets but you may also find individuals who have them to sell or give away. Here is some information on each type that may help you decide which rodent to have as a pet:

* Gerbils are about 4 inches long and can live as long as 5 years; 2-3 years is the most common. They have a furry tail, are active, and do better in groups rather than being kept alone. It is best to get gerbils while they are young so they get used to being handled. They need a cage about 12×24x12 so they have plenty of room to run and play.

* Hamsters generally live 2-3 years and can range in size depending upon the species. Golden and Dwarf hamsters are the most common. They need a 12×24x12 cage. How social they are depends upon how much they are handled as young. Dwarf hamsters are more social with their own kind than the Golden hamsters.

* Guinea pigs may or may not be rodents depending upon who you listen to. They’re larger than most pet rodents, weighing as much as 2-3 pounds. They live between 5-7 years but some have been reported to live as long as 10 years. They rarely bite and prefer to be kept with others of their kind. Because of their larger size they will need a cage about 4 feet square or larger.

* Mice are very easy to keep but they are also known to be escape artists. They live 1-3 years and are generally about 3 inches long. They can live in a cage 12×18x12. If you end up with a breeding pair, you could very easily be overrun with little pinkies. They can be tame if handled often, but may not be the best choice for families with small children.

* Rats are larger than their mouse cousins, coming in at nearly 8 inches. They live 2-4 years and prefer to live in pairs of the same sex. As with mice, a breeding pair can soon have many babies. They require a cage about 24×36 inches which is very tall. They can be tamed and rarely bite.

As a general rule, rodents need a large enough cage they can’t escape from, bedding to nest in, safe chewing material, food, and water. It is also important to provide some type of exercise wheel for smaller varieties of rodents.

Don’t expect your children, especially younger children, to completely care for pet rodents. They’ll likely forget to take care of them so it’s best if you resign yourself to that before you bring the pet home. You’ll also want to have a veterinarian check out a pet rodent within two days of purchasing it. They will be able to verify the animal’s health and ensure you know how to care for it properly.

Click here for "Dating Tips, Relationship Advice and Intimacy"

Click here to visit The EZ Online
Shopping Network of Stores

Why Dogs Bite People - Part II (Photos)

Police Credit Dog
With Saving Lost Girl's Life

A 3-year-old who went missing from her Arizona home Thursday was found alive Friday morning, after spending a night outside in near-freezing temperatures huddled next to her dog, Blue.

"She was able to stay warm with the dog. And it probably was one of things that saved her life. It was extremely cold out here," Sgt. Jeff Newnum of the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office told KPHO, a CBS news affiliate in Phoenix. "God watched over her last night."

Victoria Bensch vanished while playing outside with the family's Queensland Heeler around 4:30 p.m. on Thursday. Search teams scoured the rocky terrain surrounding Victoria's Cordes Lakes, Ariz., home, but as the night wore on, and temperatures dipped into the 30s, there was still no sign of her.

When the sun rose Friday morning, a rescue helicopter spotted movement below. It was Blue, hovering close to the missing girl, nearly half a mile from their home.

Even as medics approached, Blue kept Victoria, who was only wearing a T-shirt, pants and tennis shoes, safe.

"I think the dog was initially apprehensive of me. I was a little concerned he might bite me when I first walked up, but as I just walked right past the dog, the [animal] realized I was there to help," medic Eric Tarr told KPHO. "You could see the dog's expression almost turn to a smile. It came right up to the helicopter and jumped right in no problem at all."

Blue flew in the copter with Victoria to Phoenix Children's Hospital, where she was treated for frostbite, according to The Associated Press.

Victoria's family expressed their gratitude toward law enforcement and rescue officials for their role in saving the little girl.

Her father, Ernest Bensch, told WFIE, "It seems like the whole community came together to help find Victoria. All the manpower and hours out there, just working, were unbelievable."

The girl's aunt, Kim Rayfield, told KPHO, "I don't even like animals and I hugged that dog so hard."

Get Your Pet Back in Shape in 2010

The easiest way to help shed your pet shed pounds is to limit the amount of treats you give them.

Could Peaches stand to drop a few pounds? Does Cali need some calisthenics?

Now that you've been working on your own resolutions for a few weeks, how about helping your pets with theirs?

Ironically, many of the resolutions recommended for pets are the same we make for ourselves — lose weight, exercise more and generally live a better life. Perhaps a partnership will be good for both of you.

More pets than ever are overweight, according to a recent national study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. That's 44 percent of dogs and 57 percent of cats. And guess who's mostly to blame?

"The easiest way to help shed pounds off your pooch or kitty is to stop giving too many treats — table scraps, cookies, soft chews," says veterinarian Autumn McKenzie at Oakhurst Veterinary Center in Seminole.
"Each cookie is like giving them a chocolate bar!"

Limit treats to two or three a day and ask your vet about low-fat treats, she suggests.

Another tip: Cut back on meal portions to cut calories. Don't always follow suggestions on the bag of dog or cat food; they may be wrong for your pet's body size, stage of life or metabolism. Ask your vet about the right amount for your pet.

Mealtime shouldn't be a daylong buffet, either, McKenzie says.

"If your dog or cat does not eat their food within an hour, take it away — feed twice a day."

Your vet may also recommend a prescription weight loss diet, one with high fiber that make pets feel full but is low in calories.

Fortunately, dogs love exercise — er, I mean play. Take an extra walk, double the length of your normal walk or find a new dog park for special outings a few times a week.

Cats can be a bit more challenging when it comes to exercise, so you'll have to be persistent and creative.

"Find or create things for kitty that will be environmentally stimulating to reduce boredom and increase their activity," suggests Sonja Olson of Florida Veterinary Specialists in Tampa. For best results, play with your cat. Just tossing a toy and leaving the room is likely to lead to a catnap.

Mind their manners

If you need to polish your pet's manners, talk to a trainer. Ask friends, family or your veterinarian to recommend a good one that uses positive techniques and positive reinforcement.

"Make some rules and be consistent," says Jeff Drier, master dog behavioral therapist and trainer at Bark Busters in Tampa.

"Dogs, being dogs, expect and thrive on rules."

Consistency is key. Don't let dogs get away with something today that you correct tomorrow. Dogs are lifelong learners. They love learning new things, and if you make it fun, they can learn very quickly.

A dog's list

This year, make a New Year's resolution to help your pet live a healthier, happier life. Just for fun, the American Kennel Club offered these resolutions your dog may be considering for 2010.

Top 10 Resolutions by Dogs:

10. Owner on floor, dog in bed.

9. Stop begging and actually get a seat at the dinner table.

8. Give up the dream of ever catching my tail.

7. Bark like a big dog but still get cuddled on lap like a little dog.

6. Get back at cat for litter box incident.

7. Find every bone I ever buried.

4. No more haircuts! (come fall, I can go as a Komondor for Halloween).

3. Become alpha dog in my house. Well, at least stop letting the cat push me around.

2. Invent goggles that allow me to see the electric fence.

1. Finally pass that darn AKC Canine Good Citizen test.

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

Mama Cat Adopts Baby Squirrel

Pet owners thinking of insuring kittens may be interested to read that one mother cat has adopted a baby squirrel.

Tita, the caring mama, took the abandoned rodent under her paw when her owner found him injured and alone in a park.

The Sun newspaper reports that the tiny squirrel instantly bonded with the mother cat and is treated like a brother by her own kitten.

Now the baby squirrel suckles from Tita alongside the baby cat and cuddles up to sleep next to the feline friends.

The happy family reside in Envigado, Colombia with their owner Ruben Gaviria.

This isn't the first time a non-feline has reaped the benefits of proper pet healthcare and joined a band of fluffy friends.

It was recently reported that Prudence the piglet had fit right in alongside a group of six puppies, cuddling up to them when they all slept in a meadow.

The pooches' owner Rosie Catford told the Daily Mail that "it looks quite ridiculous but it seems so natural to [Prudence]".

Where To Find Quality Pet Medical Advice
by admin -

Getting good advice about your pet’s medical needs can be difficult. You don’t always know who to trust, and you don’t want to take the advice of just anyone. What if that person’s wrong and your pet gets injured or sick because of it? It’s not always possible to ask your vet, either, depending on when you need an answer to something.

Working With Your Vet
Obviously, your veterinarian is one of the best choices for pet medical advice. He or she has the training and know-how to answer the kinds of questions that pet owners are going to have. Sometimes getting answers will require your pet to be examined. Other times this won’t be necessary. Either way, it’s important to talk with your vet about concerns if possible.

Finding Answers Online
When it’s after hours or your vet’s unavailable – or you don’t want to bother your vet with what’s probably a minor matter – you can also find some answers online. Put your question into a search engine to see what information you get. Make sure to read it carefully, and try different combinations of symptoms or other terms if your first search doesn’t give you what you’re looking for.

When To Trust Information
Knowing whether you can trust information you find online is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to searching over the Internet. However, that doesn’t mean that you should just ignore what you find. Just make sure to pay attention to what kind of site it comes from, and verify it on other sites if possible.

If you’re still unsure about what you’ve found online, ask your veterinarian. It’s much better to be safe than sorry, but the good news is that there’s a lot of safe and reliable information online to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Rabbits Make Great Interactive Pets
By Hawaiian Humane Society

Question: My daughter wants a rabbit, but I think she'd be happy with an a pet she can play with. Are rabbits good pets?

Answer: Rabbits are highly intelligent companion animals that require a great deal of interaction. They are unhappy if left alone in a cage for long periods of time. They are inquisitive, intelligent, sociable and affectionate -- and if well cared for, indoor rabbits can live for seven to 10 or more years. Rabbits can be trained to use a litter box, they'll come when called, and some will engage their owners in a daily game of tag.

The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, Indicate "Pet Ohana" in the subject line.

Click on banner to visit The Pet Warehouse

Why Dogs Bite People - Part II
Thanks to Kathy in BHC, AZ

View Photos of Singles -
Click the banner to visit

What Your Pet Says
About Your Personality

People have connected certain personality traits with favored pets for years, but now University of Texas researchers have the evidence.

The team led by Professor Sam Gosling asked 4,565 volunteers whether they were dog people, cat people, neither or both. Then they gave the same group a personality test.

Here’s what they found:

• Forty-six percent of respondents described themselves as dog people, while 12 percent said they were cat people. Almost 28 percent said they were both and 15 percent said they were neither.

• Dog people were generally about 15 percent more extraverted, 13 percent more agreeable and 11 percent more conscientious than cat people.

• Cat people were generally about 12 percent more neurotic and 11 percent more open than dog people.

And these findings proved true regardless of whether the volunteer was a man or a woman.

Gosling, a professor in the Psychology Department, is a leading authority on human personality. He is the author of "Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You" and recently made international headlines with his findings that people's Facebook pages reveal their true personalities, not their idealized personalities.

Top Ten Human Medications
That Poison Pets

Below is a list of the top 10 human medications most frequently ingested by pets, along with some tips from the veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline on how to prevent pet poisoning from human medications. This list comes from calls received at Pet Poison Helpline.

NSAIDs (e.g. Advil, Aleve and Motrin)

Topping our Top 10 list are common household medications called non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs), which include common names such as ibuprofen (e.g., Advil and some types of Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). While these medications are safe for people, even one or two pills can cause serious harm to a pet. Dogs, cats, birds and other small mammals (ferrets, gerbils and hamsters) may develop serious stomach and intestinal ulcers as well as kidney failure.

Acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol)

When it comes to pain medications, acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) is certainly popular. Even though this drug is very safe, even for children, this is not true for pets—especially cats. One regular strength tablet of acetaminophen may cause damage to a cat’s red blood cells, limiting their ability to carry oxygen. In dogs, acetaminophen leads to liver failure and, in large doses, red blood cell damage.

Antidepressants (e.g. Effexor, Cymbalta, Prozac, Lexapro)

While these antidepressant drugs are occasionally used in pets, overdoses can lead to serious neurological problems such as sedation, incoordination, tremors and seizures. Some antidepressants also have a stimulant effect leading to a dangerously elevated heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. Pets, especially cats, seem to enjoy the taste of Effexor and often eat the entire pill. Unfortunately, just one pill can cause serious poisoning.

ADD/ADHD medications (e.g. Concerta, Adderall, Ritalin)

Medications used to treat Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder contain potent stimulants such as amphetamines and methylphenidate. Even minimal ingestions of these medications by pets can cause life-threatening tremors, seizures, elevated body temperatures and heart problems.

Benzodiazepines and sleep aids (e.g. Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Lunesta)

These medications are designed to reduce anxiety and help people sleep better. However, in pets, they may have the opposite effect. About half of the dogs who ingest sleep aids become agitated instead of sedate. In addition, these drugs may cause severe lethargy, incoordination (including walking “drunk”), and slowed breathing in pets. In cats, some forms of benzodiazepines can cause liver failure when ingested.

Birth control (e.g. estrogen, estradiol, progesterone)

Birth control pills often come in packages that dogs find irresistible. Thankfully, small ingestions of these medications typically do not cause trouble. However, large ingestions of estrogen and estradiol can cause bone marrow suppression, particularly in birds. Additionally, female pets that are intact (not spayed), are at an increased risk of side effects from estrogen poisoning.

ACE Inhibitors (e.g. Zestril, Altace)

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (or “ACE”) inhibitors are commonly used to treat high blood pressure in people and, occasionally, pets. Though overdoses can cause low blood pressure, dizziness and weakness, this category of medication is typically quite safe. Pets ingesting small amounts of this medication can potentially be monitored at home, unless they have kidney failure or heart disease. All heart medications should be kept out of reach of pets.

Beta-blockers (e.g. Tenormin, Toprol, Coreg)

Beta-blockers are also used to treat high blood pressure but, unlike the ACE inhibitor, small ingestions of these drugs may cause serious poisoning in pets. Overdoses can cause life-threatening decreases in blood pressure and a very slow heart rate.

Thyroid hormones (e.g. Armour desiccated thyroid, Synthroid)

Pets — especially dogs — get underactive thyroids too. Interestingly, the dose of thyroid hormone needed to treat dogs is much higher than a person’s dose. Therefore, if dogs accidentally get into thyroid hormones at home, it rarely results in problems. However, large acute overdoses in cats and dogs can cause muscle tremors, nervousness, panting, a rapid heart rate and aggression.

Cholesterol lowering agents (e.g. Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor)

These popular medications, often called “statins,” are commonly used in the United States. While pets do not typically get high cholesterol, they may still get into the pill bottle. Thankfully, most “statin” ingestions only cause mild vomiting or diarrhea. Serious side effects from these drugs come with long-term use, not one-time ingestions.

Always keep medications safely out of reach and never administer a medication to a pet without first consulting your veterinarian. Never leave loose pills in a plastic Ziploc® bag – the bags are too easy to chew into.

Make sure visiting house guests do the same, keeping their medications high up or out of reach. If you place your medication in a weekly pill container, make sure to store the container in a cabinet out of reach of your pets.

Unfortunately, if they get a hold of it, some pets might consider the pill container a plastic chew toy. Never store your medications near your pet’s medications – veterinarians frequently receive calls from concerned pet owners who inadvertently give their own medication to their pet.

Hang your purse up. Inquisitive pets will explore the contents of your bag and simply placing your purse up and out of reach can help to avoid exposure to any potentially dangerous medication(s).

It is also important to note that while a medication may be safe for children, it may not be safe for animals. Pets metabolize medications very differently from people. Even seemingly benign over-the-counter or herbal medications may cause serious poisoning in pets.

If your pet has ingested a human over-the-counter or prescription medication, please call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline’s 24-hour animal poison control center at (800) 213-6680 immediately.

Healthy Pet Food Tips

Deciding what to feed your pet isn’t easy these days, especially after the unprecedented pet food recalls in 2007 that pulled more than 100 brands off store shelves. The culprit of the contaminated food was wheat gluten, poisoned with melamine, a chemical used to make plastics and fertilizers. The tainted food caused kidney failure and other illnesses, and may have killed thousands of pets.

Recalls and poisonings aside, there are plenty of other reasons to be aware of what’s in your animal’s food. Obviously a healthy diet makes for a healthy pet, keeping his coat, teeth and digestive system running smoothly. Also, you pay for what you get. Foods with a lot of fillers are cheaper but less nutritious. Just as with human food, good ingredients will go a long way toward giving your pet a long, healthy life.

Learn to decipher labels on commercial pet foods. The most important parts of the label are the nutritional adequacy statement and ingredients list. The former tells you whether a food is suitable as the sole nourishment for a healthy pet. The label will specify that the product “provides a complete and balanced nutrition.”

A well formulated cat or dog food will list chicken, beef, lamb, poultry, or fish meal first.

Cats are carnivores and dogs are omnivores, so both need their meat. Bone meal and other meat by-products are poorer sources of protein. Fillers do provide some protein, but aren’t as digestible. Examples of fillers are: soy, rice, oats, yeast, wheat, corn. These ingredients should be listed lower on the list.

Manufacturers sometimes try to mask the amount of fillers in pet foods by breaking them into components. For example, corn may be listed as cornmeal, corn gluten and ground corn. If all three were grouped together, corn would appear much higher in the ingredients. At the end of the list you’ll find preservative. Ethoxyquin is one of the most controversial, because it may affect a dog’s liver. Look for foods preserved with Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid) or Vitamin E (listed as tocopherol) instead.

A better alternative is to buy organic pet food. An organic pet food marked 95% organic meets the same guidelines as organic food produced for humans. The food won’t contain pesticides or antibiotics, and it’s preserved with natural substances like Vitamins C and E. As with any food, the organic option will be more expensive, but it’s healthier for your pet, and the way it is produced is definitely better for the environment.

The best choice by far is making your own pet food so you know exactly what you’re feeding your animal. Ensure you’re preparing nutritionally balanced food, or your pet may suffer from malnutrition. You must consult your veterinarian or a specialist in pet nutrition before you start making your own food at home.

If expense isn’t an issue, then home made pet food is worth making, especially for the peace of mind in knowing exactly what your beloved pet is ingesting. While some pet owners feed their animals raw meat, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a vet who thinks it’s a good idea. There is always a chance that you or your pet could be exposed to E.coli or salmonella.

Click on banner to visit Lucy's Dog House

Dog Helps Iraq Vet with PTSD:
'My Little Marine'

Life has become calmer, safer and less stressful for Chris Goehner since he paired up with Pele, according to this story by the Associated Press.

Goehner, 25, a Wenatchee Valle, Wash., native now attending Central Washington University, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which has afflicted him since serving two tours as a U.S. Navy corpsman attached to a U.S. Marine Corps emergency room unit in Iraq. He worked as a medic in Kuwait and Iraq in 2004 and 2005, before being diagnosed with PTSD and discharged in 2006.

Pele is his service dog. Since November, the two have become inseparable.

Goehner is one of only 21 Iraq War veterans suffering from PTSD who have been paired with service dogs since the military recently started a new program to try to help soldiers with the disorder.

Pele was trained for the program by an organization called Puppies Behind Bars. The nonprofit organization uses prison inmates to train service dogs in several New York regional prisons. For a story and video on the training of the dogs click here.

Pele, a 20-month-old golden retriever/Labrador retriever mix, accompanies Goehner to his classes, when he goes to the store or mall and when he goes out to dinner. Pele sleeps in his bedroom at night, guarding his rest from haunting nightmares of bomb attacks and shot and blown-up soldiers.

"Pele is my little Marine. He watches my back," said Goehner, referring to the Marines who offered him protection when he was working close to the battle zone in Iraq.

Since getting Pele, Goehner said he's slept better than he has in three years. He's been able to take a nap for the first time since leaving the military. He can go into a crowded place with less fear that he's going to be attacked or shot at. He's not as unnerved by loud noises that remind him of shellfire and isn't constantly filled with anger and ready for a fight.

Why a Luxury Pet Carrier

Today, many pet owners want to show off their pedigree animals. Aside from obedience trials or other competitions, many other owners simply want to have their pets seen in public. As a result, luxury pet carriers cover a wide range of pet transport needs. Irregardless of whether you want an elegant carry bag for a sweet little Papillion, or a pocket book carrier for a Pekingese, luxury pet carriers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

Over the years, the utilitarian aspect of pet carriers has also kept up with fashion trends. As an example, today there are air conditioned cat carriers as well as dog crates. Depending on the size of the pet carriers, even large or exotic animals can travel in comfort and ease. When it comes to safety during transit, airline approved pet carriers have become recommended on virtually all airlines.

Even though there are many luxury pet carriers that you may find charming or adorable, your pet may not think so. It is always important to make sure that your pet’s temperament and health condition will enable them to enjoy traveling. As an example, if your dog is from a restricted breed, or does not like strangers, the best thing to do is leave them home as much as possible. If you are going on vacation, you may want to consider finding a house sitter as opposed to taking the dog to a boarding kennel.

Unfortunately, even the most ornate or comfortable luxury pet carriers will not make it any easier for some animals to travel. Consider that a dog that experiences motion sickness is not going to be any more comfortable based on the types of dog crates that you choose. Cats are also notorious for not liking to travel away from home. While many cat owners have cat carriers on hand, they are most often used when it is time for a trip to the veterinarian and the occasional short distance vacations. That said, if physical health is not an issue, you should be able to easily acclimate most animals to travel while they are still young.

There are many designer toy, and other small dogs that are well suited to luxury pet carriers. If you’ve ever seen a poodle hybrid or other toy dogs peeking out of luxury pet carriers, chances are you’ll stop to enjoy the view and maybe offer a little loving attention. Without a question, happy, well cared for pets are always an enjoyable sight, and a delightful conversation topic. Most seasoned pet travelers will have many carriers to choose from to provide maximum comfort for their precious pets for any given situation.

Today, luxury pet carriers can be used for safe, comfortable transport of your pet. As an example, air conditioned carriers, or carriers that have special padding inside can make travel for your pet much less stressful. Airline approved pet carriers also make it possible for your pet to travel by air to any location in the world safely. There are also many luxury pet carriers available that are becoming premier fashion statements. In some cases, you may even be able to find luxury pet carriers designed to match certain types of evening gowns, or other types of clothing. It is also good to research what pet carriers are available on the market and web sites such as www. petcarrierguide. com offer numerous articles and advice for would be travelers. Most seasoned pet travelers will have many carriers to choose from to provide maximum comfort for their precious pets for any given situation. So pick yourself a nice pet carrier and add a pleasurable experience to your next vacation.

Cari is a passionate dog lover and is very involved in rescue and fostering services. Her frequent international travel (which she always takes her dogs with her) has given her a world of experience that she would like to pass on to other pet lovers. Her website is all about pet travel and has many fine articles for the traveling pet owner.

Unusual Pets

Some pets that could be interesting:

An unusual pet is often chosen by apartment dweller that cannot have a dog or cat. But if your apartment rules state no animals, then of course you should not have one. Unusual pets that are suited to living in apartments include a variety of reptiles, fish, rodents and insects. Many people find that a stick insect or tarantula is fascinating, if not affectionate.

Fish are beautiful and delicate- especially tropical fish. While they don't actually love you as a dog or cat would, watching them swim around their aquarium can give a great deal of enjoyment. It is even said to make people calmer. While setting up the correct aquarium may be expensive initially, ongoing care is minimal.

Rats and mice can be tamed with plenty of attention and many people find that rats particularly make friendly and intelligent pets. They can also be cheaper as trips to the vet will be cheaper, they need to have a secure home so that they cannot escape and breed with any wild mice or rats around. Reptiles such as lizards or snakes also need to be kept in a secure environment so they don't escape into the adjoining apartments. That's a good way to make enemies of your neighbours. If you are not sure whether an unusual pet is for you, viewing some at a pet shop would be the way to decide. The pet shop attendant will be able to advise you on the correct care.

Should You Keep Rare Tropical Fish?

There is a lot of controversy these days over rare and exotic pets, and included in that controversy is question of whether or not you should keep rare tropical fish. Some may argue that rare animals of any variety should not be taken from their natural habitat so that they can breed and be as healthy as possible, while others argue that keeping any animal in captivity can actually be safer than letting it loose in the wild. And since keeping rare tropical fish means that they won’t be in the ocean near predators and other harmful elements, and they’ll be kept in a closed and controlled environment, is there really any harm to this? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of keeping rare tropical fish and then of course you can make up your own mind regarding this subject.

The first thing to consider about rare tropical fish is where they’ve come from. Obviously if you’re buying them from a private seller you want to make sure that he or she is obtaining these fish legally. Some people are not against smuggling exotic pets out of countries without proper paperwork. On the other hand some breeders of rare tropical fish are licensed to breed them on their own and may have their own fish farms and aquariums where they raise them. It’s up to you to find these things out for sure.

You also need to keep in mind the expense and care that may be needed with some breeds of rare tropical fish, which might need more exacting water conditions and may have special dietary needs. Many fish are very sturdy and can withstand changes in their tank water whereas some rare tropical fish are more delicate and need constant checking when it comes to the water’s pH, chemical, bacteria, and so on. If you want your fish to live you’re going to need to be sure you’re taking care of it properly.

You also need to be aware of their dietary needs, as some cannot do so well with plain flake fish food. They may need special live feed or may also need supplements added to their diet. These things can be costly, so do your research and comparison shopping beforehand and make sure you can fit these things into your budget. And of course there is the cost of the rare tropical fish itself!

Some can run hundreds and even thousands of dollars, and yet you should also keep in mind their life spans. How do you feel about spending that much money on a fish that lives only a few years, if even that? Weigh this carefully and be sure you can afford this type of temporary investment.

Only you can decide if any rare tropical fish are right for you and your aquarium. Keep in mind if you’re doing the right thing for the fish as well, and in the end you’re sure to make the right decision.

Click here for "Dating Tips, Relationship Advice and Intimacy"

Click here to visit The EZ Online
Shopping Network of Stores

Why Dogs Bite People - Part I (Photos)

Pet Scraps with Coyote,
Lives to Wiggle Happily
By Erik Lacitis - Seattle Times staff reporter

Tina, the 9-pound Chihuahua-pug mix attacked Monday by a coyote in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood, was given emergency treatment, and Tuesday evening was brought home to treats, costumes and love.

Tina, a Chihuahua-Pug mix that was attacked by a coyote in Magnolia is re-united with her family, LaQuita Fenton, her daughter Quinita, 8, and son Quincy, 6, at Animal Critical Care & Emergency Services in Lake City, Tuesday.The dog was nearly killed by the attack and was saved by emergency surgery. Photo by JIM BATES

Tina, a 9-pound Chihuahua-pug mix who gets fed Kibbles 'n Bits and sometimes is dressed up in a doggy cheerleading outfit, was reunited with her overjoyed owners Tuesday after surviving a coyote attack Monday in Magnolia.

The doll-like Tina, who had been reported dead in early police reports, returned from the vet's very much alive to a warm home in a comfy doggy carrier.

She was kissed by LaQuita Fenton and two of her children who accompanied her, Quinita, 8, and Quincy, 6. The mom held Tina and treated her just like another child, "She's so excited to see mommy! She misses us!"

It was another rainy winter night in Seattle, and the coyote blamed in the attack spent it in considerably less warm surroundings.

Maybe under some bush. Maybe behind somebody's garage.

There certainly was no family waiting to feed it Kibbles 'n Bits.

But there is a certain admiration for such an animal from wildlife experts who deal with human complaints about coyotes.

"I'm impressed with their adaptability, not just being able to survive, but thrive in almost any environment in this continent," said Capt. Bill Hebner of the state's Fish and Wildlife office in Mill Creek. "You have to tip your hat to that very intelligent animal."

Rain forests, deserts, climates cold and hot, from downtown Los Angeles and New York City to the suburbs. You'll find coyotes in all those places, said Hebner.

The one that attacked Tina was most likely 25 to 35 pounds, he said, "although they look bigger because there is a lot of hair on them."

LaQuita Fenton said she was with Tina as her children were getting off their school bus at 4 p.m. Monday in the 2600 block of 23rd Avenue West by Bayview Playground. The dog frequently waits with her for the children to come home and often runs up the steps to the bus.

But on Monday, Tina saw the coyote in a park across the street and ran to the wild animal.

Within seconds, Fenton said, the coyote had its mouth around Tina's neck, "and he shook her like a rag doll."

By coincidence, a KIRO-TV reporter, Chris Legeros, happened to be in the neighborhood on another story, and began throwing sticks at the coyote, who then ran away, dropping Tina.

Police arrived, and Fenton and Tina were taken in a police car to a nearby vet's office, where she was told there was no hope for Tina's survival.

Seeking a second opinion, Fenton and the cops went to the Seattle Animal Shelter on 15th Avenue West, where Fenton was told there was hope after all, but the estimated veterinary cost would be around $1,000.

Fenton said she is an unemployed welder recovering from an industrial accident. She signed Tina over to the shelter, and the dog was taken to Animal Critical Care & Emergency Services (ACCES) in Lake City, a 24-hour emergency veterinary center.

It turned out that the $932 bill was paid by two individuals who'd seen news reports about the attack. The donations allowed Fenton to take back possession of Tina.

Jean Maixner, the ACCES hospital administrator, said Tina's injuries were not all that severe. The dog had some puncture wounds and torn muscles in the neck.

She said the vet hospital would have cut the bill by half had no volunteers stepped up to help.

Waiting for Tina at home Tuesday evening were special doggy treats as well as several other costumes — a Santa Claus outfit, a pumpkin Halloween outfit and a bikini.

Asked if people sometimes overhumanize their pets, Fenton answered, "We love her; she's my baby; she's my child."

Erik Lacitis: 206-464-2237 or

More Pet Heroes:
Heartwarming Tales from Readers
Janice Lloyd -

Our story on pet heroes ran today in the newspaper and unfortunately not everyone I heard from could fit into print. I'm running nuggets of some of the other stories here.

•An 89-year-old man near Centralia, Wash., was protected by his dog after flipping off a four-wheeler. When cougars approached the man, the dog kept them away. More here.

•A woman canoeing in Lake Huron has her dog to thank for keeping her alive. When a freak thunderstorm swamped her canoe, she and the dog ended up in the water for six hours. The dog swam around her, helped support her and keep her warm until rescuers spotted the dog. Both are alive. More here.

•Not every story had an happy ending, unless you find peace in knowing a dog comforted a little boy when he was dying. This dog snuggled around an autistic boy who was lost in the woods. More here.

Others wrote about animals that do therapy work in hospitals. We can't list them all here, but will do more posts in the future about the wonderful ways pets help people. One story I'll never forget was told to me by a woman whose therapy dog befriended a young person struggling with anorexia. That dog was a last hope for the teen. The teen is thriving.

Today, more pets get a chance to be heroes as canine rescue dogs head off to Haiti to help locate people lost in the rubble. Let's wish them godspeed.

Thanks everyone for getting in touch with me. I would love to hear from more of you, including more cat people.

Prevent Ticks and Fleas
Before They Invade Your Pet
By: Lisa Chelenza,

Flea and tick season is right around the corner, and it's time to start preventative measures

"There certainly are many advantages to protecting your pets from fleas and ticks,” veterinarian Dr. Andrea Lee said. “The primary reason is your pet’s comfort, especially if your pet has an allergy to fleas. Also, you’d like to prevent an infestation of fleas within your home. If your pet becomes infested with fleas in the warm season certainly that infestation could exist throughout the winter.”

“Spot-ons" are effective and convenient treatment methods that involve only a few drops between the shoulder blades of your pet.

Two products your vet will have, Advantage and Frontline, control adult fleas on pets for at least one month. On dogs, Frontline Top Spot lasts up to one month to prevent fleas and ticks.

Another spot-on product available through retail stores is Biospot.

K9 Advantix, a flea, tick and mosquito treatment for dogs, provides extra protection.

If the spot-ons are a bit too costly for you, try the “pill program.”

When given to pets orally once a month at mealtime, the product prevents flea eggs from hatching. Dogs are fed Program in pill form; cats are fed a liquid mixed with their food.

There's a companion product, Sentinel, which contains both the flea control ingredient and heartworm medication all in one dosage.

Starting these medications now will greatly reduce the chances of developing a serious flea problem later in the spring and summer.

If using a spot on treatment, here's a helpful hint to deal with squirming dogs. Smear PNB in the fridge and get ready to apply the liquid on the skin between the shoulder blades. It sounds gross, but if you only have two hands, it works.

Make sure you check with your vet before giving your pet any medications. When you're ready to administer a treatment, make sure you follow each product's directions.

Getting Kids to Read to Their Pet

Our patron, Freedom resident Dawn Alexander-Tapper, read the online article about Louie and his favorite books and she had this memory to share:

I loved the feature on our little Louie! I wanted to share with you what I used to do with the book 3 Stories to Read to Your Cat and its counterpart for dogs. When I taught third grade, I would loan out those books each day to my students and the next morning, the child would tell the class which stories they read to their cat or dog and how the reading went. The kids were so cute. They'd say things like, "Harry's favorite story was the one where they made dog biscuits because he licked his lips when I read it to him." It was such a fun experience! Some of the kids would certainly exaggerate their pets reactions and it was hilarious- but I know for sure that they were reading on those nights that they got the book.

Click on banner to visit The Pet Warehouse

Why Dogs Bite People - Part I
Thanks to Kathy in BHC, AZ

View Photos of Singles -
Click the banner to visit

Pet Talk:
Introducing Two Cats?
'Scents' Their Behavior
By Sharon L. Peters, Special for USA TODAY

Beware the nose of the cat.
Or celebrate it.

Just don't underestimate it.

That's what I, a novice cat person, am learning.

I'd always had huge respect for the impressive power of the nose of the dog. Hard not to when the sniff-out gift was so conspicuous among my canines through the years: the unerring ability to locate a minuscule dot of pizza crust that fell between the sofa cushions months earlier; the laser accuracy with which they would scent out the spot where a visiting cat had deposited its calling card (buried under 3 inches of yard dirt); their instant wakefulness when an unfamiliar canine strolled into their sensory perimeter — half a block away.

Turns out cats are no slouches in the nose department either, though their deftness isn't as blatant as dogs.

Cats use those little nubs to find food and mates and their own territory — and (this is where we pathetic human house-sharers can land in consternated perplexity) for scoping out danger. Danger, of course, can take many forms when you're a cat: interloper of any sort (including one of their own species) or any scent unfamiliar.

This scent sensitivity can be a reason why two cats that have gotten along for years suddenly don't. If one is sick and smells different, or if one has just returned from the vet or from a bath, carrying unfamiliar (read: scary) odors, the previously friendly cat might be so troubled as to act weird (read: avoid the other cat or fight it).

It's also why most experts recommend that when you bring a new cat into an existing cat's home, you employ "scent exchange" — often for a very, very long time — before allowing them to meet.

I learned about cats' olfactory complexities just recently (and felt like a dullard, but was told my ignorance of this catdom puzzle is common, so I share this information). These insights befell me as I tried to learn why Gus the Cat (the household's long-termer) and Grisabella (the newcomer) united reasonably well at first, then didn't, then after being separated because one was ill, reunited well and have remained collegial.

Many factors may have been at play, but a likely contributor was the fact that although I'd kept them separated for a couple of weeks when Grisabella first arrived, then had them watch each other through glass for a while before supervising the face-to-face intro, I'd left out the all-important scent exchange. That step, I now know, might have made each feel more comfortable, more familial.

This is the bare-bones version of the approach advised by cat behavior consultant Marilyn Krieger ( Confine the new cat to a room. Gently rub the scent from the cheek of one cat onto a clean sock or rag and leave that cloth where the second cat will encounter it (but not near food, litter box or sleeping area). Using a second cloth, you reverse the process. Repeat this, using clean cloths, twice daily.

Don't rush, as having too much of another's scent too close is "offensive to a cat," says Krieger. Days, weeks or months later, depending on the cats, move each scent cloth to the other cat's bed. Eventually, with cats still separated, put the cloths by each cat's feeding station, placed increasingly closer to the door separating them so they'll associate something great (getting dinner) with the other cat. Eventually you can let them see each other while they eat. Then, well, the barrier between them gradually comes down, and … you get the drift.

Some, though not all, experts say this scent-exchange process could include (while the cats are still separated) rubbing each cat's face with the face scent of the other, as the face is an area ripe with possibly appeasing pheromones.

That being the case, a reasonable person might ask if since this face-scent rubbing may work in stranger-cat introductions, can house-sharing feuding felines be persuaded to bury the hatchet (or retract their claws) by being rubbed with the scent of the enemy?

Maybe, maybe not.

A few experts recommend using the scent-rubbing approach, sometimes referred to as "owner-facilitated allogrooming," as a means of neutralizing tension or even hostility between cats. Fervent-enemy cats should be separated (in the same manner a new-cat introduction would be conducted) for weeks while this exchange of scents is going on. If done gradually enough, adding treats during the process, it might, it is said, promote familiarity, maybe even chumminess.

Not everyone agrees. This human-forced rubbing of scents onto hostile cats is "definitely not advisable," says cat behavior consultant Pam Johnson-Bennett (, who has written several books on cats. If the cats already live together, "the scent of each is already distributed everywhere," and "forcing the scent on each other is not going to change the mind" of anyone.

Moreover, an upset cat confronted/rubbed with the scent of another with no way to escape may fight back in the only way possible: teeth and claws. "In addition to creating unnecessary stress for the cat, the person is putting herself in danger." The thing that must be altered "is the feeling that exists with one or both cats," and that's best accomplished by providing each with "positive things at ever-increasing proximity to each other."

Nothing with cats is ever simple.

But one thing's not in dispute: The nose of the cat must be respected.

Woman Keeps Pet Snowball For 33 Years

Hunk Of Ice Stays In Bread Bag

Prena Thomas has the usual things in the freezer of her home in Lakeland, Fla. Vegetables, pancakes and fish, she told a Tampa television station.

But she also has a snowball that she made in 1977.

Thomas said that over the decades, she has never had a power outage that would destroy the cold hunk she says is precious to her.

"It's just like a little pet," she said.

However, she does sometimes take it out of the freezer, unwrap the bread bag that contains it and shows it to friends.

"Look Ethel, there's that crazy Snowball Lady!"

Don't Let Vets' 'Bark' Determine
Your Opinion of Their Expertise
By Patty Khuly, Special for USA TODAY

Patty Khuly is a small-animal veterinarian in Miami, Fla. She is author of, an award-winning blog on pet health; she writes weekly for the Miami Herald and monthly for Veterinary Practice News. Her USA TODAY guest column appears each Friday.

Khuly lives in South Miami with her son, Max, dogs Vincent and Slumdog, goats Poppy and Tulip, and a backyard flock of chickens.

Do you want a vet with a great "bedside" manner … or do you want a great vet?
Some vets are charming soft-talkers who recruit your involvement in your pet's care with their winning, whitened smile and a penchant for flattering, incandescent lighting.

Others might well be better vets (or not), but their delivery leaves much to be desired.

We vets can't always be all things to all people. But some clients demand the whole package — on every visit. And that's not always going to happen. In fact, it almost always won't.

Case in point: The client I referred to a local internist yesterday. After explaining that her dog required a higher level of care than I could provide, I sent her to see my favorite internal medicine diagnostician with caveats in hand about expenses, wait times, etc.

Immediately after her visit to the specialist (she was still in the hospital's parking lot), she called me on my day off to complain about the guy I sent her to see. Here's the list:

1) He couldn't tell me what was wrong with Fluffy.

2) His staff wanted me to pay as soon as I agreed to the estimate for the tests he wanted to do.

3) I won't be allowed to be next to Fluffy during all the tests.

4) He was kind of curt when I complained.

Granted, my preferred internist can be somewhat gruff at times. But it's also pretty clear that the client's expectations were unreasonable. So here's where I get to my point:

A vet with a brilliant bedside manner can usually set anyone at ease on the first three points. After all, it's only a matter of explaining why the policies are in place and pointing out the obvious: "We're trying our hardest to find out why Fluffy is sick. Unfortunately, her situation is complicated and we need to run tests. I know you understand that — otherwise Dr. Khuly wouldn't have recommended that Fluffy see us."

But all that is easier said than done. When an owner is being (even understandably) demanding despite your every attempt to relax him/her, it's easy to get annoyed and abandon the bedside decorum you know would serve you — and the pet — best.

Which brings me to my next point:

It's really hard for vets to keep it together 100% of the time, and for some vets it's tougher than for others. Some of the best vets I know, clinically speaking, don't always handle clients really well. Yes, they can seem "curt" at times.

In fact, that's sometimes why vets go into specialized medicine. They prefer a more academic, scientific path. They want to take on more challenging cases that require more patient-specific face time. Compared with generalists like me, they don't usually value spending time easing your mind and making sure you're satisfied. In many cases they're well aware they don't have the patience or the skills for the human side of their practice.

But does that mean they can't do what needs to be done to cure Fluffy better than anyone else out there? Nope.

When I go to a specialist for my own health care, I know I'll be waiting longer in the waiting room. I know I'll be paying more. And I definitely know that my doc won't appear to care about me as much as my general practitioner does. Of course, I expect explanations and an answer to every question I ask. But I don't expect a stellar bedside manner.

In my case, even the general practitioner I've selected is a crotchety older woman with a notoriously caustic tongue. And why do I put up with it? Because I've come to learn that she's good — really good.

So why is it so hard for some clients to accept that sometimes the best vet won't be the one who will put you immediately at ease?

She won't always make you laugh. He won't typically spend 30 minutes explaining things or take the time to write his cellphone number on the back of his business card for your personal use. She won't necessarily smile or even say goodbye in a personable way. He might even lack for personal hygiene.

Nope, most won't inspire automatic confidence in the James Herriot sort of way we might like. Some vets will even treat you (almost) like dirt — as in, you're there, but she barely acknowledges you. She's all about your pet.

And isn't that ultimately what you want?

So here's my recommendation the next time you see a new vet: If you can find it in yourself to trust the person who referred you just long enough to figure out if this cranky vet's poor bedside manner is worth it, you might just realize you're in the same room with the greatest veterinarian on planet Earth: the one who has the power to fix your loved one.

How Are Dog People and Cat People Different?
By Elizabeth Landau, CNN

Fabian Bonasera's son, left, peers at cat Korben Dallas. Naveen Rajur, right, loves his dog Maddie.

(CNN) -- Do you rejoice at the sound of barking but cower at a meow? Or do you look at a cat and feel an instant sibling-style connection?

With the proliferation of Web sites cultivating photos and videos of animals doing cute things, it's easier than ever to get your daily fix of the pet variety you have, or wish you had. Ever wonder what your preference for cats or dogs says about you?

A team of researchers led by psychologist Sam Gosling at the University of Texas at Austin wanted to find out. They posted a questionnaire online as part of a larger study about personality called the Gosling-Potter Internet Personality Project.

About 4,500 participants answered questions that measured their personality inclinations in five areas: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. These five dimensions have been shown in previous research to encompass most personality traits. They also indicated whether they considered themselves cat people, dog people, both or neither.

It turns out that the "dog people" -- based on how people identified themselves, not on what animals they actually own -- tend to be more social and outgoing, whereas "cat people" tend to be more neurotic but "open," which means creative, philosophical, or nontraditional in this context.

To love cats, you have to be able to love things for themselves; they have their own life, they aren't necessarily dependent on you. Your dog kind of lives for you.

--David Bessler, veterinarian

Dog people scored significantly higher on extraversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness measures, and lower on neuroticism and openness than cat people, the survey found. The effect persisted regardless of gender of the respondent.

"Once you know the findings, it kind of falls into place," Gosling said. "You think, 'of course, agreeableness and extraversion -- dogs are companionable, they hang out, they like to be with you, they like your company, whereas cats like it for as long as they want it, and then they're off."

But this foray into your deeper pet subconscious isn't the final word, Gosling says -- after all, if the findings had been reversed, they would also make sense to some people. These are, of course, generalizations and don't apply to every individual.

"It means that if you knew nothing else about them, that would be your best guess," he said.

The findings do make sense to 12-year-old Naveen Rajur, a "loving dog boy" in Andover, Massachusetts, who considers dog people to be outgoing and active. He also agrees about the agreeableness and conscientiousness of dog people because they "always have to want to take care of the dog and always kind of be by its side."

Fabian Bonasera of Norcross, Georgia, who must give away his two cats soon because he and his wife and son are moving to Iceland, said the cat findings are about half-true of himself -- he considers himself laid-back and easy-going rather than neurotic, but the "openness" does resonate with him.

"They just like something a little more soft, more gentle," he said of cat people. "They're good pets, they're more independent, they do their own thing."

Cat rescue volunteer Eddye Sheffield, of Gadsden, Alabama, said she's seen all kinds of cat owners, and can't pin down personality traits that apply to all cat people. Outsiders might label Sheffield herself a "crazy cat lady" because she has 11 cats, she said, but she doesn't view herself that way.

"All of them are rescued cats and they need a place to go, and I had room, that's how I ended up with that many," she said. Owning that many has also gotten her more involved in rescue efforts, which has put her into more contact with other people, not less (score one for extraversion).

Veterinarian David Bessler, senior emergency clinician at NYC Veterinary Specialists in New York City, said he was a dog person growing up, but that owning a cat has "converted " him. It hasn't changed his personality, but he can imagine that dog people and cat people have personality differences.

"To love cats, you have to be able to love things for themselves; they have their own life, they aren't necessarily dependent on you," he said. "Your dog kind of lives for you."

Participants in Gosling's study were recruited to the study through search engines, portal sites, voluntary mailing lists, and word of mouth from other visitors. The study will appear in the journal Anthrozoos in September 2010.

The findings are useful for identifying the right pet for a particular person, and for pet therapies, Gosling said.

Is it that people choose pets that are like them, or that pets change people over time? Research has not come to a conclusion on this question, experts say.

Beyond personality characteristics, people may have physical features in common with the animals they like or own. A study by University of British Columbia psychologist Stanley Coren found that women with long hair liked Springer spaniels and beagles, which have long ears, and women with short hair liked the short-eared basenjis and huskies.

A study by Michael Roy and Nicholas Christenfeld found that participants could match photographs of owners to their purebred dogs about 67 percent of the time, based on appearance alone. Results suggested that the owners selected dogs that looked like themselves and did not grow to look like the dogs over time, as there was no relationship between how long the people had lived with the animals and how similar they looked.

Both of those studies are mentioned in an upcoming book called "Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why it is So Hard to Think Straight About Animals" by Hal Herzog, professor of psychology at Western Carolina University.

Herzog told CNN there are plenty of reasons why a cat person would own a dog, or vice versa: allergies as well as other lifestyle factors, such as space for the animal, come into play.

Herzog and his wife consider themselves dog people, but own a cat, Tilly, because they can easily leave her alone when they go away for the weekend.

Although he appreciates cats, he does not feel that owning one has changed his personality. But, Tilly is fairly social for a cat, he said, which may have something to do with how she was raised.

Empty-nesters such as Herzog and his wife, as well as retirees, are among those increasing pet ownership in America, he said.

About 37 percent of American households have dogs and 32 percent have cats, but the cat population (82 million) is significantly higher than the dog population (72 million), said Herzog, citing 2007 data from the American Veterinary Medical Association. That's because people tend to own multiple cats, as they are more amenable to many people's lifestyles, he said.

People tend to gravitate toward the animals they were raised with, Herzog said. Cat owners tend to be raised in cat families, and dog owners tend to be raised in dog families. In fact, one study found the animal you like is the one your grandparents lived with, he said.

The field of anthrozoology, the study of how animals and people relate to one another, only recently took off, Herzog said.

"I think our interactions with animals shed a lot of light on larger issues in human psychology," he said. "With pets it's things like attachment and why we're altruistic toward other creatures, especially creatures that we're not genetically related to."

Click on banner to visit Lucy's Dog House

After Long Crawl Home,
Injured Cat's Broken Legs Healing

- One down.

One to go.

Giggle-Blizzard had one cast removed and has one left to go. Staff photo by MICHAEL EGGER

Giggle-Blizzard, the Hernando County cat that crawled home more than a mile after being hit by a car in November, got his cast off his left leg.

"Right now it's just a matter of getting that strength back. He's lost a lot of muscle mass and it's just, you know, getting used to it again," said owner Tracie Steger, petting the cat's long, gray and white fur.

It's been a long road to recovery for Giggle-Blizzard. He disappeared from Steger's Spring Hill home Nov. 15. He crawled home 11 days later, on Thanksgiving, with two broken legs. He'd been hit by a car more than a mile from home.

"I'm amazed every day by what I see animals get through," said Steger. "Things people would not endure."

Giggle-Blizzard has had numerous surgeries to repair his legs. His right leg still is still in a cast.

"He gets round the house now by pulling his two legs forward and using his back left leg as a rower," Steger said.

Giggle-Blizzard's story has gotten worldwide attention. Steger said she's gotten calls from Animal Planet and People Magazine. It's been printed in newspapers as far away as Russia.

"When I go on the Internet and see that his story has been around the world and back, I think his story just touched some hearts at the right time of the year," she said.

Steger estimates she's gotten hundreds of letters and emails, as well as several donations to help pay for the cat's medical bills, which total more than $4,200.

"All the well-wishes, all the emails, the donations, it's just been something to carry me through each day," she said.

But Steger said the stories she's heard from the owners of other missing pets have touched her the most. She has encouraged other owners with missing pets not to give up hope their pets will come home.

"That's the part that people don't see," she said. "The thank you's I've gotten because of the few pets that have returned because of Blizzard's story."

Giggle-Blizzard is expected to get the cast off his right leg in a week. After that, veterinarians expect he'll need a month of rehabilitation before he's back up on all fours.

"It's just a work in progress. He's been a trouper," said Steger.

Dog Leads Owner to Unconscious Man

PINE CITY, Minn. (AP) - Police credit a 15-year-old German Shorthaired dog with saving the life of an elderly, unconscious man in Pine City.

Brett Grinde says he took Effie out for their usual walk on Monday evening, but within a couple minutes she started pulling on the leash, wanting to go in a different direction.

Effie then took off running, leading Grinde to a neighbor's house where a 94-year-old man was on face down on the driveway. The dog started licking the man's face. Grinde called 911, then started CPR.

KARE-TV reports the eldery man, William Lepsch, regained consciousness and is in serious condition at North Memorial Medical Center.

Information from: KARE-TV,

Jessie T. Wolf - Designer Doghouses

I got Jango a doghouse last night, since I'm going to be doing a bit of outdoor training with him once the weather starts getting a bit nicer. Ideally I'd like him to get used to being an indoor-outdoor dog, like Mojo is, so it'll be a gradual training process with him.

When I got Mo a doghouse for his outdoor run, Tor was convinced that he'd never use it because he thought is was too small. On the contrary, Mo uses it just fine on the rare occassion he actually sleeps outside, and being a retired sled dog he's used to sleeping in a doghouse anyway. People think that doghouses are supposed to be huge for their dogs, when the whole point is that if they curl up they're supposed to preserve body heat, which gets lost if the doghouse is too big for them. So I got lucky finding just the right size for Mo on Craigslist (best resource ever!).

Yesterday I got lucky again and was able to find a bigger one on CL for Jango, for $40! It was advertized as only $30, but I had two $20's on me, and the guy didn't have change, so I let him keep the extra $10 since he originally spent about $140 on it, for his Black Lab mix who never used it, and then it just sat in his yard for two years. Jango went in it on his own too, when we went to go see it, which is a good start anyway.

In searching for doghouse designs online, I came across this collection of Designer Doghouse models.

My goodness, what dog owners will buy to spoil their dogs!! I mean, as far as art design goes, these are brilliant pieces of work, and the artists who made them should be very proud! But as a dog trainer, first of all I kind of have to shake my head at people with loads of money who spoil their dogs rotten like this, since too much love and affection and no rules or leadership is what creates bad behavioral problems in the first place. Secondly, if someone's goig to spend thousands of dollars to create an intricately detailed miniature version of their own fancy home for their dog... then they might as well just keep their dog in their home with them in the first place!

I agree with some of the comments on that website - those doghouses aren't for the dogs, they're for their rich owners to show off. Dogs don't care what their doghouse looks like, as long as it works as a safe, dry place to stay. The two that I have are plain and simple.

Mojo's looks similar to this:

Jango's looks pretty much exactly like this:

I'd feel bad for any dog that had to stay out all of the time anyway. What's the point of having a dog? It's amazing how many people call me for training advice for an outdoor dog, which is considerably harder to manage than having a dog that lives inside with it's owner. Jango's brother for instance, Kobe, is chewing everything in their yard, including the back wood stairs, which they say they'll need to replace soon. He asked me for advice, and I told him that unless he's there to supervise and manage Kobe's behavior at every moment, you can't really do much to stop unwanted chewing of your property, other than restrict his access to the things he chews, or make sure he's got a lot of his own stuff to chew on! Outdoor dogs get bored. Your stuff becomes their entertainment.

I wonder if Jango will ever start chewing on his doghouse...? Hmmm. I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Lolo, a black Jaguar, plays with her newborn spotted cub inside their cage at Jordan's zoo in Yaduda February 16, 2010. The two-month-old cub made his first public appearance on Tuesday after being born to Lolo and Falah, who originate from South America. Photo/Ali Jarekji

Vet Has Pet Healthcare Tip
to Keep Coats Shiny

Glossy coats are all the more pleasurable to pet - and ethical insurance seekers may want to take one vet's tip on board to make sure their pooch gets all the attention it wants.

Dr Greg Martinez posted some advice on social media networking site Twitter saying adding a teaspoon or tablespoon of canola or olive oil to a pet's dish can help keep its fur shiny and healthy.

As the author of Dog Dish Diet, the vet has many other tips on improving an animal's wellbeing by changing its eating habits.

He said on his website that 30 to 40 per cent of all the conditions he treats on a daily basis as a pet healthcare professional are down to diet.

Dr Martinez also said all furry friends have individual nutritional needs and owners should not be afraid to take to the kitchen after consulting with their vet to make sure they get what their bodies are seeking.

Click here for "Dating Tips, Relationship Advice and Intimacy"

Click here to visit The EZ Online
Shopping Network of Stores