Sunday, April 29, 2007

Where'd You Get Your Dog?

Whenever I'm out with my dog, usually the third question I'm asked, after "what's his name?" (though I'm never asked for my name) and "what kind of dog is he?" is "where did you get him?" My answer is that I got him at a pet store. Usually this is followed by some type of surprised look, or simply "oh really." I suddenly become the biggest dirtbag in the world to some of these people.

Now I know pet store purchases are a controversial topic, and having a blog that advocates responsible ownership means I should be adopting a pet, but I'll say this - purchasing from a pet store is like any other major need to do your homework.

We purchased our puppy from a store, but only after doing considerable research, asking the store for references of others who have purchased from there, and asking around to other pet owners for their feedback.
We also took regular visits to the store to see their puppies. The dogs at this store were always alert and awake. They were playful and, well, puppy like. The puppies also played in pens together, separated by size, rather then being individually crated. The pens were very clean, as were the dogs. The puppies were well documented, with information from the breeder should we wish to contact them to find more info about the parents of the pups.

Now I know in general pet stores have a bad rap. And I understand why. I've visited other stores and didn't get the same feeling as I had in this one. In fact, going to some of the local malls, it seemed as though some of their dogs were drugged...the dogs were very sluggish and did not act like you'd expect a dog to act when seeing new faces. The mall dogs were dirty, the place smelled, and some dogs were in crates way too small.

This is the problem with pet stores, there are too many who don't care about their animals, and are just looking for the profit. The one diamond in the rough that does show they care about the animals get lumped in together and get a bad reputation. That is why we made sure to do our research. The last thing we wanted was a dog with health problems and social issues from not being treated properly and not being with other dogs.

The store where we purchased from actually called us to make sure everything was OK and to see if we had any questions. Talk about customer service! I just wish more pet stores could be like this.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis

Friday, April 27, 2007

Boycott Menu Foods

This is a petition to boycott menu foods due to their mishandling of the whole situation. Although they didn't know the imported gluten was contiminated, it did a horrible job of damage control once pets started getting sick.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

All About Goldfish

I was chatting with some people about goldfish and, being a fish enthusiast, I realized that there are some common misconceptions with this popular wet pet.

A typical goldfish can live a lot longer then people may realize. In fact, a healthy, well maintained goldfish has been known to have a lifespan of up to 15 years!

Goldfish are like any other pets. You must take care of their health, feed them properly, and keep their environment clean.

A common misconception is that a goldfish will live fine in a bowl with no filtration. The truth is, a goldfish is a hearty animal, who not only eats a variety foods and plant matter, but also excretes all kinds of waste. This waste must either be filtered out, or removed from the bowl with regular water changes (see my other articles about the importance of water changes for fish). If not, the fish waste will become ammonia, which is toxic to fish. Therefore, it is best to have a goldfish in a filtered aquarium.

A goldfish also requires a lot of oxygen. With this in mind, it is important to have plenty of aeration in the tank. A simple air stone attached to a small aquarium air pump will work wonders for this fish.

In contrast to the tropical species, goldfish prefer cooler water so a mix of goldfish and tropical fish often causes problems. Either the goldfish are too warm or the tropicals are too cold. Goldfish are active diggers, so they can be destructive to plants and even some of the decor in your tank.

Goldfish are usually seen alone in many tanks, but actually prefer to be with other goldfish rather then being all by themselves in your aquarium.
With good, clean water, and proper care, your fish can live for a very long time.

Trackposted to Blog @, A Blog For All, Big Dog's Weblog, Adam's Blog, basil's blog, Stuck On Stupid, Cao's Blog, The Amboy Times, Conservative Cat, Conservative Thoughts, Rightlinx, Allie Is Wired, Faultline USA, , stikNstein... has no mercy, Blue Star Chronicles, The Right Nation, Pirate's Cove, The Pink Flamingo, and Right Voices, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

More tainted pet food protein likely imported
Here is the beginning of the article, the full text can be found with the above link. I'm glad someone is taking the initiative to do something about this mess.

"A second company likely imported rice protein from China that was contaminated with a chemical linked to a major pet food recall, two U.S. senators said on Monday.
Rice protein tainted with the chemical melamine was used in pet foods from at least five manufacturers who obtained the protein from one supplier, U.S. officials have said. It also made its way into feed used at a California hog farm.
Now, another company is suspected of importing rice protein from China, Democratic Sens. Richard Durbin of Illinois and Maria Cantwell of Washington said in a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Dog in a box

My silly dog (who also needs a haircut) loves paper and boxes. He jumped right in and made himself comfortable.

Tips to Giving Dog Medication

Invariably, a dog will need his medication. Here are some things I found worked for my pup. Would love to hear others tips as well, so feel free to drop a comment on this subject.

When talking to the vet about medication, I always it in a pill form. My experience is that it's much easier to get my dog to take a pill then a liquid. Once I have the pill, there are two ways I coax my dog into taking the medication.

The first is to just offer it to him as a treat. He is trained in that before giving him any treat, I simply say to him, "want a treat?" This is his cue and he gets excited, wags his tail, and waits by my side until he gets his treat. I do this same routine with his pill. Just feed it to him like it is a treat. Usually, after he eats it and I praise him, I'll give him a real treat.

The other way is to mix it in his soft food. I make a little ball of his soft food and stick the pill in the ball. I then feed it to him by hand, and that usually works.

If I do end up with liquid medication, I'll either mix it in his hard food, or squirt it on his soft food and try to get him to eat it up. Another trick that worked is to put it on a spoon with a little peanut butter, and he smells the peanut butter, eats it up, and in the process licks up the medicine.

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson's Website, Blog @, basil's blog, The Bullwinkle Blog, Cao's Blog, Leaning Straight Up, CORSARI D'ITALIA, and Conservative Cat, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Pets are funny

All of us love the funny about our pets. It never ceases to amaze me how much animals develop their own personalities and habits. My dog Rocco, for example, loves perfumes, lotions, and drier sheets.

There is something in the smell of these items that attracts him. Any time we are wearing colognes or perfumes, Rocco’s always comes up to us when we’re sitting and tries to lick the perfume. Or, when I’m putting on hand cream, he always starts licking my hand like it is a treat.

The most annoying is his attraction to drier sheets. Doesn’t matter which brand– bounce, snuggle– he searches it out! When he sees that drier open, he immediately pokes his head in and sniffs around.

The funniest is when there is a load of clothes and he sniffs the drier sheet out. He actually pokes his head into the basket, pushes some clothes aside, and steals the drier sheet right out from the basket.

So now we have to be extra careful not to let the drier sheet slip out, or he’ll take it, hide under the bed, and tear that thing to shreds, eating parts of it along the way.

If he’s in the laundry room with us, we now have to shut the door so that he can’t run and hide if he happens to find the drier sheet before we do.

It’s the funny things our pets do that make us smile everyday and bring joy to our lives.

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Maggie's Notebook, Adam's Blog, basil's blog, MONICA, Stuck On Stupid, The Amboy Times, , Conservative Cat, Jo's Cafe, Pet's Garden Blog, Allie Is Wired, Woman Honor Thyself, Pirate's Cove, Gone Hollywood, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New Pet Food Recalls Announced

The chemical, melamine, is believed to have contaminated rice protein concentrate used to make a variety of Natural Balance Pet Foods products for both dogs and cats.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tainted Pet Food Still on Shelves

According to the FDA, they are still finding recalled pet food on the shelves of several stores. My thoughts -

Any store who isn't taking responsibility to thoroughly check the status of the food they carry is being totally irresponsible. I hope the names are released of any stores not acting on the best interests of their customers so pet owners know where not to shop.

With this being said, any pet owner who, knowing what we now know, are buying any product from the companies who were involved in the recall, or for that matter, buying food with wheat gluten, should really consider the consequences. If you care about your pet, and you've been following the situation, then I hope you are taking precautions to avoid feeding anything tainted.

The first thing I do when buying food for my dog is to check the ingredients. If it doesn't contain wheat gluten, and I decide to buy the food, I then doublecheck the recall list when I get home to make sure it hasn't been added when I wasn't paying attention.

I've been pretty much sticking to the same brand at this point, but every time a new recall is announced, I'm always afraid I may see the brand I'm using on the announcement.

It really is a shame the industry has come to this, but here's hoping this all gets better before it gets any worse.

Trackposted to Pet's Garden Blog, Rightlinx,, Maggie's Notebook, basil's blog, Pirate's Cove, Blue Star Chronicles, Stuck On Stupid, The Pink Flamingo, The Amboy Times, CORSARI D'ITALIA, Dumb Ox Daily News, and Conservative Thoughts, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Product Review - Deer Antlerz Chew Toy - Dog

My dog is great at destroying so-called indestructible toys. Once he destroys them, he feels a need to eat them…stuffing and all. We’ve found the hard way that this stuffing is far from digestible. So, when a relative approached me with this unique product, I was more then happy to give it a try.

The deer antler is the best one I’ve found. My dog loves chewing it, doesn’t get sick, and it’s all natural. The chew toy lasts for a long time. It naturally wears down so there is nothing that the dog will vomit later as he chews it down (sorry for the graphic thought).

Here is the product description:
Deer Antlerz are a 100% natural, mineral rich, long lasting dog chew. The new chew is made from a natural material that is rich in minerals, does not splinter and comes from a completely renewable source – Deer antlers! Wild deer shed their antlers once a year as part of a natural process, after which the deer re-grow another set.

To purchase the product, check out

By the way, I get no financial gain for mentioning this product, but I do know the distributor very well. More importantly, more dog loves this thing!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Pet Ownership Benefits of Health

Having a dog has been shown to be beneficial both physically and emotionally. Here are some of the findings:
- Dogs encourage people to get out and exercise. It gives you a motivation and reason to get outside and walk or move around. And, it's not as boring going for a walk with a dog then it is when walking alone.

-Pets can help improve your mood. We've all had bad days. But how many times have you come home and as soon as you walk in, your dog is jumping and wagging his tail and greeting you at the door? It's hard to stay in a bad mood when your furry friend is always so happy to be with you.

-Pets can help lower your blood pressure - Between the exercise and mood lifters as mentioned above, your stress level gets reduced and your blood pressure may actually drop.

- Facilitate laughter. Let's face it, pets do funny things, and make us laugh. Which then goes back to reducing stress and lowering blood pressure.

- Builds responsibility. A pet gives you something to care for and teaches you how to take care of another living, breathing mammal. Some first-time parents say their dogs helped prepare them for parenthood.

-Becomes a trusted friend. A pet is always there when you're sad, and always wants to be your best friend. Sometimes, my dog is better to me then people!

-A pet helps to keep you from being lonely.

-Improved sense of well-being. Again, a combination of a lot of the issues above, a pet helps you feel better overall.

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Maggie's Notebook, , Blue Star Chronicles, The Pink Flamingo, The Amboy Times, The Bullwinkle Blog, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tips to Buying Tropical Fish

When buying a tropical fish, There are some important things to consider before taking one home.

Obviously, you want a fish that is healthy. But how do you pick a healthy one out when at the store? It is important to know a little bit about the type you are buying before taking it home. This way you will know what the fish should look like and what kind of behavior to expect.
You should examine the fish closely before it even leaves the store. Here are some things to look for before taking one home:

-Examine the fish closely for any type of white spots or fungus -Look at the eyes of the fish. Make sure they are not cloudy or show signs of pop-eye (a condition where the eye of the fish looks like it it popping out)

-Examine the fish closely for any torn or missing fins

-Are the fish swimming normally? or are they exhibiting some sort of unusual behavior.

-How are the other fish in the tank? Do any of them have signs of illness or disease? If so, don't purchase any fish in that tank since you don't know what may have spread.

-Are there any dead fish in the tank? If so, it's a good idea to stay away from any fish in that tank.

-Another thing you may want to ask is what type of filtration system the store contains. Many large stores may have a central filtration system where several tanks are sharing the same water. If this is the case, then if one tank shows signs of ick or disease, there is a good chance the water quality in the other tanks sharing that water could be impacted.

-Make sure to do your homework before bringing any fish species home. If you don't know how big the fish will get, or if he'll attack and kill the other fish in your home aquarium, do some research before taking that fish home.

Trackposted to Outside the Beltway, Stuck On Stupid, The Pink Flamingo, Perri Nelson's Website, basil's blog, Bumpshack, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"walking the dog" Picture

Here's a fun picture of my in-laws dog taking my dog for a "walk." Fun picture from the holidays.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Still More Dog Quotes

Some more great quotes about dogs. Hope you enjoy them!

“My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am.” Unknown

“The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.” – Anonymous

“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.” – Robert A. Heinlein

“Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job” - unknown

“Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail.” - unknown

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Will the Recalls Ever End??

Another recall.....this just doesn't seem to ever want to end. Two weeks ago I thought everything that wasn't on the list was ok...until they extended the list....then expanded it again...and again....and there was a company with salmonella, and then the original list got expanded again........just make some good food already, enough is enough. We've been fortunate that the brand we've been using has been off the recall (for now anyway), and it doesn't contain any wheat gluten. But I feel so bad for all those pet owners out there who have been feeding the so-called high quality food, only to find out it's not any better then anything else out there.

Linkfest Haven, the Blogger's Oasis
Trackposted to Pet's Garden Blog, The Pink Flamingo, Conservative Cat, and basil's blog, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Purring as Communication Between Cats

Cat communication consists of a range of methods with which cats communicate with humans, other cats, and other animals. While superficially cats may seem to lack social behavior, in fact close study reveals a wide repertoire of subtle behaviors, which serve cats in their natural wild setting where they form organized hierarchies, and in their domestic interactions with humans.

It is not quite clear how and when purring is used between cats themselves, which may be more indicative of its evoluntionary significance than why it happens when humans are involved. It is likely that purring is a cat's way of communicating to other cats that it is in a sociable mood, or that it has no aggressive intent toward the other cat(s). It may also indicate to other cats in its social group that it is healthy and well.

Purring may also be a signalling mechanism between mother cats and nursing kittens. Female cats are known to purr while giving birth, and this may be to reduce the pain and also assist post-natal healing. Kittens purr while nursing, presumably as an "all's well" signal to their mother.


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Take Care if Cooking for Your Pet

With the recall, a lot of people have started cooking their own meals for their pets. Personally, I barely have enough time to cook a healthy meal for myself, so I often don't venture into daily home made meals for my dog. However, I can understand everyone's concerns. I've written plenty on what a disgrace the pet food industry is right now.

Keep in mind though, that when cooking for your pets, it is not easy to provide all the nutrition, vitamins and minerals your furry friend requires.

In addition, common foods can be dangerous. The FDA and the American Veterinary Medical Association are urging pet owners to switch brands if they are worried. The veterinarian group also warned that many common foods are not safe for pets, including salt, garlic, onions, grapes and chocolate.

I can't say I blame you if you decide to make home made meals, but wanted to mention these things that need to be considered.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Growing Pet Business - Picking Up Poop

Are you too pooped to scoop? Would you rather do anything else in the world then clean up your yard after your pet has been out there doing his duty? Well, a new growing business seems to be cleaning up lately.

I’ve come across several recently who will do the dirty work for you. “There is a never ending supply of the stuff and you have better things to do,” claims one such service. These companies will come to your house, clean up the mess, bag it up, disinfect the area, and take it all with them once they’re done.

It’s an interesting business, one that I have no intention of starting myself. But, I can appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit of these folks. Dog waste can pollute the environment if not disposed of properly and apparently this is a needed service for people who just don’t want to do it themselves.

Just another segment of the pet industry popping up to serve our needs.

Who's Making the Pet Food?

This is something I posted a few weeks back, but it's still current and still bothering me.....

If one company is making pet food for a variety of manufactures, is one really better then the other?

Although it is common practice in the grocery industry for a name brand company to also produce lesser known store brands, I still like to think that the laundry detergent I bought for $8 is superior to the generic store brand selling for $6.

This same concept comes to mind when I’m buying pet food. The company that is selling (marketing) a certain brand is not necessarily overseeing the production of the food. The company that is making the food, in this case Menu Foods, is producing both the “premium” brands, and the “commercial” brands.

How am I, as a consumer, supposed to believe that these brands are truly different? In consumer products, as in pet products, a lot of the mark-ups in cost of the premium brands is due to the extra marketing costs associated with the increase of advertising such brands.
Why do we believe certain brands are premium? Because the companies spend millions of dollars each year marketing their products and branding them as such. Look who’s sponsoring the big dog shows, the pet expos, and other big media events. It’s those premium brands. But then look back at who’s making the food for a lot of those brands – the same company making the commercial brands.

So, is there really any difference other then marketing between the premium and the commercial? When it comes to a recall, there sure isn’t!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Where will that new fish tank be located?

When considering buying a new fish tank, consider the space you have available and where the aqauriam will be located. Remember, a tank gets heavy. Water itself is a lot of weight. Add in rocks, decorations, filters, and the fish, and you're talking about something you're not going to move very easily.

Be sure when positioning the tank that it is a place where it is visible. Why spend money on an aquarium if you are barely ever going to see the thing? It is also good to consider your tank maintanence when choosing a tank and location. Will it be easy to access the filter when you want to clean it and change the filter cartridge? Is it in a location where you can do water changes with ease? The harder it is to do regular cleaning, the less motivated you'll be to maintain the aquarium.

Also keep in mind that you're dealing with water...and spills, splashes, and accidents will happen. Don't keep the tank near any expensive furniture or electronics.

Just some tips to help if you're acquiring a new tank.