Monday, December 29, 2008

Good Thoughts of the Day

There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

-Ben Williams

A dog is the only thing
on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.

-Josh Billings

If you think dogs can't count,
try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them.

-Phil Pastoret

Sunday, December 28, 2008

These are some "relatives" of ours. They are both Pekingese, with the white one being a relatively unique color.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Year's Pet Safety Tip

It's almost time to celebrate the start of a new year. Hopefully things will be better in the new year then they were around the world in this one. With celebrations also come tips on how to make sure your pets are safe this coming new year's eve.

Balloons and confetti are fun party decorations, but they can cause your pets to choke or obstruct their intestines if ingested. Keep an eye on your pets when they're around these items or move them to an area that is not decorated.

New Year's is typically a noisy holiday. Unfortunately, loud noises frighten some pets and can cause them to react in ways that are uncharacteristic for your furry friend. They might run off, bark more often, and act defensive by biting or attacking people and other pets. Even the friendliest pet can show signs of aggression and violence when they are spooked by loud noises. Keep your pets in a separate room, away from noisemakers, music, and other loud sounds that may startle them.

Also, watch out for other common holiday decorations such at plants, Christmas tree water, decoration hooks, Styrofoam, ornaments, and tinsel. All can cause problems if chewed on or swallowed by your pets.

Happy and safe new year to you and your pets!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays from all of us at The Pet Haven Blog.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Canines Battle Bed Bugs

Canines Battle Bed Bugs in New Business Venture

Bed Bug Finders, LLC announces the launch of a new business serving Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. It's a business that was created to help homeowners and businesses deal with the ever-growing bed bug population in North America.

The detects bed bugs by using highly-trained dogs. They are quickly
able to seek out these difficult to find pests.

Bed Bug Finders, LLC is only a bed-bug detection company; it is not an extermination company. The company will work with any extermination company to remediate bed bugs by identifying their exact location.

The dogs find the exact site of the specific infestation within minutes.

This saves customers a significant amount of time and money. For instance, dogs can search the average hotel room in less than two minutes. Many times the solution is fast and easy and may simply call for throwing out an old clock radio or book to resolve the problem.

The company's approach is to perform a "search and destroy" process and not a "spray and pray" approach when it comes to the detection and remediation of bed bugs.

The members of the canine team are more than 96 percent accurate when it comes to locating bed bug infestations. Often, the company will use two canine members to verify the infestation making its accuracy nearly 100 percent.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Poll - Pet Owners Not Cutting Back

According to results published in a recent Petside Poll, a majority of those surveyed say they are not cutting back on expenses when it comes to their pets.

Of those surveyed, 85% say they are not cutting back due to economic pressures, even as most surveys are showing that consumers are cutting their expenses overall.

Predictably, lower-income pet owners are twice as likely to have had to make cuts as higher-income owners (11% vs. 20%).

Among the 15 percent reducing pet-related expenditures, cutbacks can be drastic. Half (54%) stated that they are deferring routine visits to the veterinarian, while one in five (21%) are also putting off vet visits for serious problems. One in four (27%) are even considering giving up their pet due to financial difficulties.

The most common cutback is buying fewer toys and clothes for their pets, followed by switching to a cheaper type of food. This can be a tough thing to do for many, as cheaper pet foods mean cheaper quality, and could lead to an unhealthy pet in the long run.

Nevertheless, in spite of the economy a good number of pet owners plan to include their pet in holiday festivities this year. 43 percent of animal owners plan on purchasing a gift for their pet this season. Canines also have an edge over the felines when it comes to owners expecting to buy a holiday present for their pet (48% vs. 28%).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Poll - Pet Owners "Talk" To Pets

The Associated Press and just released a poll taking a look at the relationship between pets and their owners. Topics range from lighter matters -- like whether or not people think they fully understand what their pet says -- to a serious investigation into the impact of the economy on pet care.

According to the Poll, 67% of those asked say they can comprehend their pet's own language. 62% say their pets understand what they are being told.

Dog owners were most likely to say that their pet understands them as compared to cat owners (though cats are sneaky!).

Friday, December 19, 2008

Endangered Turtles Arrive in CT Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., is now home to four sea turtles – Charlotte, a juvenile green sea turtle, and three loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings. Their arrival marks the first time in more than three years that the Aquarium has had sea turtles on exhibit.

“All seven species of sea turtles are either endangered or threatened,” said Don Harrington, interim director of Fish & Invertebrates at Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration. “The turtles’ arrival here has given us the invaluable opportunity to educate our visitors about the plight of sea turtles and how they can help these wonderful creatures.”

Charlotte came from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island , Ga. , on November 23. She was found stranded on Cumberland Island , Ga. , and taken to the center last January. Her shell and hind flippers were covered with barnacles, and she had been struck by a boat’s propeller. A CT scan and MRI revealed a fracture or break in her vertebrae and a compressed spinal cord, which partially paralyzed her intestinal tract and hind flippers. The paralysis prevents normal movement of her gastrointestinal tract, causing gas to accumulate, which makes it difficult for her to dive. As a result, she floats with her rear end up.

Though Charlotte has been deemed non-releasable, there is a chance that, with long-term rehabilitation, she could recover and possibly be released back into the ocean in future years. Until then, she is serving as an ambassador for her species while staying in “ Stingray Bay ” on the main exhibit floor. Charlotte is the first sea turtle the Georgia Sea Turtle Center has placed in an aquarium.

“It could take years for Charlotte to regain specific biological functions needed for release back into the wild. We needed to find her a home, so that we can continue to take in more injured turtles,” said Dr. Terry Norton, D.V.M., veterinarian and director of the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. “Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration was a good fit for Charlotte . We knew the aquarium would provide her with a good quality of life and would use her story to spread awareness of how common boat strikes are.”

The three loggerhead hatchlings arrived on October 28 from the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores . One was rescued from its nest three days after hatching after showing signs of sluggishness. Another was found on a beach with a flipper injury, and the third was rescued from its nest before Tropical Storm Hanna arrived. The abnormally high tides created by the storm would have flooded the nest.

The loggerheads will be raised here until they are ready for release into North Carolina ’s waters in one to three years. In the meantime, visitors can see them in a new exhibit on the Aquarium’s main exhibit floor, opening tomorrow.

About Sea Research Foundation, Inc.
Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Presents are divisions of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a private, non-profit, charitable organization incorporated in the State of Connecticut .

Green Sea Turtles
Green sea turtles get their name from the color of their body fat, which is green from the algae and sea grass they eat. Their shells are usually dark brown in color and heart-shaped.
Males and females look the same until they mature, when males’ tails grow longer and thicker.
The green sea turtle is the slowest growing sea turtle, taking up to 40 years to mature.
The largest hard-shelled sea turtles, they can weigh up to 500 pounds and have shell lengths of up to four feet.

Loggerhead Sea Turtles
Loggerheads get their name from their large head size. Humans’ heads would have a diameter of three feet if it were the same proportion as a loggerhead’s.
They are primarily reddish-brown in color. Males have narrower shells and longer and thicker tails than females.
Full-grown loggerheads are between two and a half and four feet and weigh 170 to 350 pounds on average.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Outdoor Pet Hazards

When your pets are outside, remember that there are plenty of outdoors objects and chemicals that are harmful to your pets. Here is a list of the most common ones from the ASPCA.

*Algae (can be found in ponds or other bodies of water. Certain forms may be hazardous).
*Fences or gates. Pets can run away if fences are old and they find an opening. Pets can also get stuck in those openings and possibly get wounded or even strangled.
*Deck Lattice - Same as for fences
*De-icing salts. Some formulas may contain chemicals that are hazardous to pets if ingested. Wipe your pets paws after going for walks in areas where there might be salts. Also, look for pet-friendly brands for your home.
*Compost, particularly if moldy.
*Swimming pools and hot tubs. Never leave your pet unattended near uncovered pools, even if they can swim.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Hazards for Pets

Christmas is almost here, but be sure to take precautions with your pets. And if you are taking your pets with you to visit relatives, make sure to look for potential hazards at their homes as well. Here are some of the common things to watch out for during the holidays.

- Holiday plants. Christmas rose, holly, lilies and mistletoe are all toxic
- Ribbons. Placing one around your pets neck for "decoration" could cause them to choke
- Fire salts. Contain chemicals that are harmful to pets
- Spun glass (angel hair). Can be irritating to eyes and skin, and could cause intestinal obstruction if eaten in large amounts
- Christmas tree water. Stagnant tree water or water containing tree preservatives could result in stomach upset if ingested.
- Decoration Hooks. Can cause blockage and/or trauma to gastrointestinal tract if swallowed.
- Styrofoam. Can cause your pet to choke if swallowed.
- Ornaments. They may look like little toys to cats and dogs. Unfortunately, they can cause serious injury, especially if your pets break or swallow them.
- Tinsel. Can cause choking or internal trauma if swallowed.

Enjoy a safe and happy holiday season!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pet Haven Contest Winner

Thank you to all 29 people who entered this giveaway courtesy of The Pet Haven blog and PetSmart.

The winner is
... grannyvon who will enjoy using the kit on their pomaranian who sheds a lot.

I appreciate everyone's visits!

Common Pet Household Hazards

Many common household items can be lethal to your pet if ingested. Here are some of them:

anti-inflammatory medications, acetaminophen, cold/flu medications, antidepressants, vitamins, home insect products, rat/mouse traps and bait, bleach, diet pills, disinfectants, fabric softener, lead, lighter fluid, mothballs, solvents (paint-thinners, etc.), flea & tick products that are meant for the skin, drain cleaners, potpourri, oven cleaner sprays, lime/scale remover, fly bait, detergents, and tobacco products.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Foods Harmful to Pets

Most of us know the common people foods that are harmful to pets, but the ASPCA has listed several that you might not have known about.

Coffee (all forms)
Onions & onion powder
Macadamia nuts
Alcoholic Beverages
Moldy/spoiled foods
Gum, candies or other food sweetened by xylitol
Tea leaves
Raw yeast dough

Be sure to store these foods where your pets can't find them!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CT Votes for Animals

"Animals don't vote. People do." This is the statement from the newly formed Connecticut Votes for Animals, Inc. It is a nonprofit, bipartisan organization, dedicated to lobbying for animal friendly laws and educating the public about animal-related legal issues.

The intent of CT Votes for Animals is to serve as the political arm of the state's animal protection movement. Their mission roles include:

*Serves as the political arm of the state’s animal protection movement.
*Advocates pro-animal policies.
*Educates the public regarding animal protection issues.
*Rallies an engaged public to support passage of animal-friendly laws and the defeat of proposals harmful to animals.
*Safeguards the interests of animals by making their well-being a priority for our elected leaders.f

Membership in the organization is open to anyone for a yearly fee of $25.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Top 10 Surgically Removed Things

Interesting list from the of things that are most commonly removed from pets via surgery. These indigestible items can become lodged in their stomach or intestine requiring the surgery.

The number one item on the list surprised me, as my pets play with them all the time.

Top 10 Surgically Removed Items
1. Socks
2. Underwear
3. Panty Hose
4. Rocks
5. Balls
6. Chew Toys
7. Corn Cobs
8. Bones
9. Hair Ties/Ribbons
10. Sticks

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Givaway - Grooming Essentials Kit

Last week to enter!

The Pet Haven, along with PetSmart, is giving away a Grooming Essentials Kit - a $100 retail value.

Here's what it includes:
8 oz. deShedding Shampoo
8 oz deShedding Solution
FURminator deShedding Tool (Medium)
TubNub Bath Brush
Super absorbent microfiber towel

This is a limited edition kit that will be sold in stores during the holiday season. FURminator Bathing Essentials Kit includes the FURminator deShedding tool. The kit also comes with a special deShedding shampoo and bath items that create a spa-like experience for pets and their parents.

The contest runs through December 14th...that way you should get it before Christmas.

It's simple and easy to enter. Just leave a comment with your email or website (so I can contact the winner), or post an anonymous comment and email me your info. I would also appreciate a link anywhere on your site back to The Pet Haven - it's not a requirement to win the prize.

I will then use a random number generator to determine the winner.

Then, leave me a comment that

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Deer Tries for Revenge on Hunter

After the hunter thought the two shots he put in the deer were enought, the deer came to life and attacked the hunter.

The deer eventually died, but not before sending the hunter to the hospital with a slight concussion and cuts to the head....cuts that took staples to close up.

The entire article is a quick read and you can't help but root for the deer.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Singles Ad

This has to be one of the best singles ads ever printed. It is reported to have been listed in the Atlanta Journal.

SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companionship, ethnicity unimportant. I'm a very good girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. I'll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Call (xxx) xxx-6420 and ask for Daisy, I'll be waiting..

And who was this ad for??

Over 15,000 men found themselves talking to the Atlanta Humane Society...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Skin Health

For those of us who experience the cold winters every year, we know how our skin can get dry and itchy. Your dog's skin struggles with cold weather, overheated houses, and low humidity, too. Here's how to help keep your pooch itch-free:

*Brush your dog often. Even shorthaired dogs need help sloughing off dead skin cells. Brushing stimulates circulation and kicks up production of natural moisturizers from oil glands.

*Shampoo less often. Experts warn that weekly baths remove much-needed lubricating oils.

* Use a pet shampoo. Keep your own shampoo, even the gentle one, on the shelf, and use a moisturizing doggie-formulated one.

*If dry skin persists, take dog to the vet. Itching can be a sign of something more serious, such as parasites, hot spots, allergies and more.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Ear Health

The most common cause of infection cats and dogs is ear mites, which create a large amount of very dark brown itchy debris. Most ear mite treatments require multiple doses. Veterinarians carry options that are effective in just one – although the ears will need to be cleaned several times. Although cats are the natural host and carriers of ear mites, dogs can be affected too, so all contact pets should be treated.

Dogs, particularly floppy-eared ones, commonly get yeast and bacterial infections in their ears. This is generally an overgrowth of microorganisms that are normally present in low numbers in the ear canal; these are not directly contagious to other animals.

Some other causes of infections in dogs and cats are excess moisture in the ears (swimming, bathing, excessive grooming from another pet), and skin allergies.

Common signs to watch for:

Scratching or rubbing of ears and head
Discharge in the ears
Ear odor
Redness or swelling of the ear canal
Pain and tenderness around the ears
Shaking of the head or tilting the head to one side
Changes in behavior such as irritability and depression

Key points for ear health:

Have your veterinarian show you how to safely clean ears
1 – 2 times per month and after swimming/baths clean your pets’ ears to help prevent infections
Check floppy ears at least once per week for any of the common signs listed above and contact your vet if any of those occur
Only use pet ear cleaners or others as directed by your veterinarian, you may damage the ears with at-home remedies
Check with your veterinarian about medications for ear infections

(Info from the Wellness Food Brand e-newsletter)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More Pet Holiday Tips

As families all around the country start pulling out their favorite holiday recipes, and shopping lists, and decorations, it’s easy to overlook one hairy detail: the family pets. Between vacationing out-of-town and readying the house for a veritable invasion of friends and family members, it is really no surprise that pets feel left out, but more than that, the general upheaval of the holidays can be a dangerous time for cats and dogs.

Nationally recognized veterinarian Dr. Bernadine Cruz, DVM, and one of the resident veterinarian advisors on, encourages pet owners everywhere to add “pet safety” to their holiday list and check it twice.

Year-round every room in a house can pose a potential threat to pet health when human foods, cleaning products, insecticides and rodenticides, and medicines meant for people are left out where pets can get into them. During the holidays inattention to things left unattended can double. Everyone is busy, caught up in the celebration of good food and good company: house guests may unwittingly allow the dog into a room he is usually forbidden to go, or feed the cat a “treat” to which he is allergic. The holidays bring out so many more potential hazards to pets than we may think. Pets may ingest tinsel, ribbons, and string, harming their digestion and intestinal tract. Especially harmful is fertilizer used in the water of Christmas tree stands which can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

To pass the holidays in celebration, companionship, and good health, Dr. Bernadine Cruz and offer these tips to add to every pet owner’s list:

· Remind houseguests not to feed the pets human food, especially fatty foods and candy.

· Restrict pets to “safe areas” or outdoors during dinner parties when you are too occupied to watch them.

· If you have not already, install child safety locks on cabinets that contain cleaning supplies, paints, and medicines. Even hand soap and toothpaste can harm dogs and cats.

· Try to give your pet some focused attention each day to keep her or him calm, relaxed, and less likely to misbehave.

· Be sure pets wear identification tags at all times. That includes indoor pets, because with the hustle and bustle of having visitors, pets can wander outside without their owners being aware of their escape.

· To protect curious pets, be sure to keep candles safely out of the reach of paws, whiskers, and tails.

· Pets, especially dogs, tend to eat first and think later. A dangling, shinny tree ornament or holiday table decorations may be more than your pet can ignore. A nibble of a plant can lead to an upset stomach or worse. Decorations can lead to an obstruction in the digestive tract and require a visit to the veterinary emergency room.

Many people include their pets in holiday travel. Dr. Cruz suggests to keep the following tips in mind when traveling with the family pet:

• Pets should always wear identification when traveling indicating their permanent home and where they are visiting. Owners should also have a copy of their pet’s medical records, vaccine history, and a picture of the pet in case they are separated.

• If you are traveling by car with your pet, plan ahead to insure that you can find hotels that accept pets. AAA can usually direct you to these establishments. Be sure to bring your pet’s usual diet and water. You don’t want “traveler’s diarrhea” to put a damper on your road trip.

• If traveling by air, try to get a direct flight. Losing your luggage is one thing, but it could be a disaster if it is your pet. Check the expected temperature of your destination airport. If you need to have your pet travel in the cargo hold, bitterly cold temperatures may not be tolerated by your pet. We have all seen luggage carts stranded on the tarmac or sat in a plane for hours while it is delayed. Your pet could become fatally hypothermic.

• Though you may be welcomed with open arms when you go visit, your pet may not be. If you are staying with friends, make sure your pet is welcome.

• If you are staying at a pet-friendly hotel and you need to leave your pet unattended in your hotel room, place a “do not disturb” sign on the door. You do not want housekeeping to accidentally let your pet out. Be sure your pet is a good neighbor and does not bark excessively. Bring along an extra sheet for your pet to lounge on.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Pet Tips

Reduce your dog’s regular food portions during the holidays through the less-active winter months. Consult with your veterinarian before downsizing to determine the right portion.

* As a rule, don’t feed pets holiday treats or leftovers. Some foods such as chocolates, uncooked bread dough and macadamia nuts can actually be life threatening.

* Instead of human foods, give your dog treats specifically for canines. Training reward-type treats are especially good, because they’re typically bite-sized and individually very low in calories.

* Be sure to tell your guests not to feed the pet. If everyone at a holiday party sneaks even a little food to the dog, it can quickly add up.

* Even though things get hectic during the holidays, try to stick with your dog’s normal routine of outdoor play and walks.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dogs Rule the World?

I saw an old Jerry Seinfeld bit, and he wondered how aliens looking down at the world perceive our hierarchy. We walk our dogs and pick up after them in little bags that we then carry with us.

The aliens are looking down and thinking the dogs must be the rulers. Why else would someone walk behind them carrying their poop for them in bags?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Kitten Training

We always see stories on training your new puppy, but how about kitten training?'s article on kitten training gives some quick tips for training you new pet.

For instance, kittens learn quickly, but also tire quickly, so don't spend too much time during one session, or they may start resenting any type of training.

Check it out!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Sweet Dreams"

We should all be so lucky as to enjoy such a peaceful rest.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Real-Life Furby Rediscovered

primate species that looks like a living, breathing version of the Furby electronic toy has been found alive in the forested highlands of an Indonesian island for the first time in more than 70 years, scientists announced Tuesday.

Three specimens of the pygmy tarsier, a nocturnal creature about the size of a small mouse, were trapped and tracked this summer on Mount Rorekatimbo in Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi, Texas A&M University reported.

Check out the entire article for more about the find.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Preparing Pets for Winter

Here on the East Coast, the cold is starting to make it's way into our daily lives. Just as people prepare their homes and cars for winter, so should they keep their pets in mind when the temperatures drop.

Cats are very susceptible to the cold and can freeze if left outdoors. Therefore, keep felines inside during especially cold weather. Also, stray cats have a tendency to hide under car hoods to keep warm. Bang on the car before starting it to warn any cats.

According to ASPCA, more dogs are lost during the winter because they can easily lose their scent on snow-covered terrain.

Salt-covered pavement and cold walkways can wreak havoc on dog paws. Wash their paws after coming in from walks to remove any salt and ice.

Just as you shouldn't leave your pet in a hot car, the same is true for a cold one. A vehicle can act as a refrigerator and your pet could freeze to death.

If you bathe your pet during the winter, make sure they are thoroughly dry before going out in the cold.

Antifreeze is sweet-smelling to pets and can attract inquisitive animals. Antifreeze is a lethal poison for pets. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle and don't leave any bottles where pets can get to them.

Pets should have a cozy spot to sleep away from drafts and the cold floor. A blanket or filled pet bed can be comfortable to your pet.

Just because it is cold outside doesn't mean that all the fleas that were incubating inside are dead yet. Be sure to keep an eye out for flea infestation even in the winter.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Reverse Sneeze

The first time my dog made that noise...the one where it's not quite a sneeze, not quite a gag, not exactly a cough, but something in between.....I wasn't sure what to think. But, it only last a few seconds and he was fine afterwards.

The phenomenon is known as a reverse sneeze. No one is really sure what it happens, but it could be from allergies or sometimes an even more serious condition. But if it happens infrequently, there isn't much to worry about.

This Pet Place article is a good place to find some more information on reverse sneezes, including ways to get your dog out of them if you are worried or if they are lasting a while.

Only one of my dogs, the one with all the allergy problems, gets this condition on a regular basis. What experiences have you had with the reverse sneeze?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Are Fish Easy Pets?

As a life-long fish keeper, the answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. First, there are the differences between fresh-water set-ups versus salt-water. Having a salt-water tank is much more time consuming and high maintenance then fresh water set-ups.

For those looking for less maintenance, fresh water is by far the choice to make. The advantages to a fresh water set-up is that once the initial set-up is completed, the daily maintenance of the fish are basically just feeding and checking to see if there are any problems with the fish.

By looking for problems, I am referring to checking for unusual behavior, looking for any damaged fins, and checking for any signs of disease or fungus. By observing your fish for a few minutes everyday, you'll start to see what their "normal" behavior is, so that you can spot abnormal behavior. Plus, isn't the point of having a fish tank is to have something to enjoy everyday anyway?

Freshwater Fish also need weekly and monthly maintenance chores. Once the tank is established (i.e., been running for more then a couple of months), you still need to stay on top of checking the water quality of the aquarium. By water quality, you should check the PH level weekly (the amount of PH varies based on what type of fish you have) and the ammonia level (ammonia, even in small amounts, can be fatal to fish). Water softness/harness can also be a factor is you are keeping fish that are sensitive to the amount of harness (dissolved minerals) that are in the water.

As for monthly chores, the tank filter media should be cleaned or replaced at least once a month. Partial water changes are also of importance. An aquarium is an enclosed environment. Fish are excreting waste in the same water they are living and breathing. There is also decaying food in the tank producing ammonia. It is for this reason the tank water must be changed approximately every two weeks. When changing the water, a water conditioner must be added in order to remove any chlorine and other items in tap water that are harmful to fish. These conditioners can be found in most pet stores where fish are sold.

The good news is that once the tank is established, this type of maintenance routine is much lower in comparison to having other pets. If you enjoy a crisp, clean aquarium, then it is worth it to take these steps. If not, it could cause more problems down for your tank, making it higher maintenance.

When all is going well, then fish become an "easy" pet. But when problems occur in the tank, and your fish start to die, there is nothing easy about that!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

A great time to reflect and remember all those who gave us the freedoms we enjoy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Common Pills Not to Give Pets

When our vet first suggested giving our dog on over-the-counter medication for his allergies, I thought - wow, you can give dogs human stuff? But, there are some common human medications that you should never give your pet, according to

1. Aspirin. Aspirin toxicity (salicylate toxicity) is poisoning that occurs following the ingestion of aspirin or aspirin-containing products. Aspirin can be especially dangerous when mixed with other drugs such as steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. There is a much higher risk of toxicity. Aspirin interferes with platelets, which are responsible for helping the blood to clot. Disruption of platelet function incr eases the amount of time it takes the blood to clot in cases of wounds or lacerations. Spontaneous bleeding may also occur causing pinpoint bruises to appear in the skin and on the gums (petechiae). Aspirin toxicity may cause gastrointestinal problems, respiratory difficulties, neurological problems, bleeding disorders and kidney failure. Gastrointestinal problems are common in dogs.

2. Ibuprofen is a popular and effective over-the-counter medication available to treat pain and inflammation in people. For dogs, ibuprofen can easily exceed toxic levels. The most common cause of ibuprofen toxicity is a well-meaning owner who tries to alleviate pain in his dog by administering a dose he thinks is adequate without knowing the toxic dose. The initial toxic effect is bleeding stomach ulcers. In addition to ulcers, increasing doses of ibuprofen eventually lead to kidney failure and, if left untreated, can be fatal. Symptoms include poor appet ite, vomiting, black tarry stools, vomiting blood, abdominal pain, weakness and lethargy.

3. Acetaminophen . Common brands include Tylenol®, Percoset®, aspirin free Excedrin® and various sinus, cold and flu medications. Dogs most commonly receive toxic amounts of acetaminophen because owners medicate them without consulting a veterinarian. They also consume tablets that are dropped on the floor or left around. Dogs are less sensitive to acetaminophen than cats. For example, a 50-pound dog would need to ingest over seven 500 mg tablets in order to suffer toxic effects. In the cat, one 250 mg acetaminophen tablet could be fatal. If you suspect that your dog has ingested a toxic amount of acetaminophen, (one pill or more), contact your family veterinarian or local veterinary emergency facility immediately.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Clown Loach Profile

One of my favorite fish, and one of the oldest in my aquarium (I've him him for almost five years), is the Clown Loach

The clown loach is an active schooling fish that is best kept in small groups of three to six fish. It will tolerate tankmates of other species, although docile species may become agitated by the constant activity of this fish. The clown loach may alarm its owner by lying on its side or back — while resting — appearing to be dead. This is normal clown loach behavior. It also makes audible clicking sounds in the evening, especially when feeding.

Because it is not a territorial fish, the clown loach generally poses no threat to its tankmates. However, the clown loach may become entangled in nets. This species can live for as long as 20 years in the home aquarium.

Provide a soft substrate because the clown loach likes to nose through the substrate to find tidbits of food to munch on.

The clown loach will accept most commercially prepared flake, freeze-dried and frozen foods. Its diet should be supplemented with small live foods, such as Tubifex worms, bloodworms and brine shrimp. This fish also loves snails. If you ever took home a live plant and ended up with a snail infestation, this is the fish that will take care of the problem.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A New Puppy in the White House

In a historic speech following his election win, Barack Obama announced that his two daughters have earned a new puppy that will join them at the White House. This will follow in a long line of presidents who have had pets over the years.

No word yet on what kind of dog.....

Web Vet

Although nothing can take the place of taking your pet to a vet when there may be a problem, there are plenty of informative websites available.

One relatively new site, is Webvet, which is dedicated to giving pet owners all the news they can use. The site hosts the latest news and advice on topics ranging from pet weight loss to acupuncture for ferrets. WebVet does not diagnose, suggest treatment or editorialize but rather provides news, information and fact-based education to pet owners.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Presidential Pups

In honor of election day, This article from AKC talks about the tradition of presidents with dogs.
Did you know George Washington, the father of our nation, is also the father of American Foxhound?

Or that Richard Nixon had four dogs?

And who doesn't remember Bill Clinton's Choc. Lab Buddy?

Some interesting presidential dog facts!

And, no matter what you support, get out and vote!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sugar Glider

Anytime I see a unique pet, I'm always intrigued...usually to the point of wanting one. At a recent pet expo, I came across a dealer selling Sugar Gliders. What are Sugar Gliders? According to Pocket Pets of Dallas, Sugar Gliders are small, aboreal marsupials which originate primarily from Indonesia and Southern Australia. As their common name implies, they possess a gliding membrane (similar to that of the flying squirrels) that stretches from their wrists to their ankles and allows them to 'glide' from tree to tree. As with all marsupials, female sugar gliders also possess a pouch, in which they raise their young. Sugar gliders are nocturnal animals, which spend almost their entire life in trees.

Sugar Gliders can make excellent pets. They adapt very readily to captivity and can develop very strong relationships with their human keepers. They are small in size, and are very intelligent and love to play. They are very smart and have a long life span, most living to be 10 years or older if taken care of properly. Although nocturnal, it can be a benefit, in that they want to play in the evening when you are at home, and if you take them with you in the daytime, they are content to sleep in your pocket or pouch. Most gliders, if handled well and given time, learn their owner(s) scent(s) and have absolutely no fear of them.

Their diet consists of fruit, fresh vegetables, wholemeal bread, yogurt, peanuts, high protein dry food, and supplemented occasionally with mealworms, meatmeal or hard-boiled eggs.

According to the company, they get along well with other household pets...though I'm worried my dogs might think of them as another new toy.

Dog Halloween Pictures

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

These tips were sent to me from
Banfield, The Pet Hospital.

Enjoy a safe day!

Halloween Pet Safety Tips From Banfield, The Pet Hospital:

o No Tricks or Treats – Candy can make your Pet sick and the packaging can be dangerous to your Pet’s digestive tract

o Costume Faux Paws – Make sure the Pet's costume isn't constricting their movement or hearing, or impeding their ability to breathe or bark

o During Trick-or-Treat Hours – Keep your Pet in a separate room, or a safe hide-a-way so they don’t harm anyone or dash away. Always make sure your Pet has proper identification, which includes a collar with tags and a microchip.

o Let your pet sit this one out – Pets may find it very frightening to sit in a dark car while scary creatures of every size and shape walk by. For the safety of your Pets, leave them at home where they are safe.

o Candles and Jack-O’-Lanterns – Keep candles near Pet areas unlit to prevent your Pet from burns or starting a fire.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Day at the Pet Expo

Whenever you see a vendor with food at a pet expo, you have to ask the obvious question – is that for pets or people? You see, the pet expo has been drawing all types of vendors, and not all are strictly pets.

The lady selling fudge was for people. The person giving out the wholesome food samples…those were for dogs. The tooth whitening booth – people; The boutique – pets; the home delivery newspapers – people…though I guess after the people are done, it could do well to serve the pets. Plus home improvements, new windows, a chiropractor and vacation destinations were all available. Though I thought the vacation people could have done better had they created pet friendly trips.

At the annaul pet expo in Hartford, CT, the usual assortment of pet vendors were there – food, health, vets, pet rescue, pet astrology, pocket pets (I really wanted the “sugar glider,” which is basically a rodent, but looked fun as heck) beds, toys, clothes and the like.

Maybe I’ve gone to too many of these, but it seemed like there were a lot of the same types of products. Plus, how do you distinguish one all natural home-made food vendor from the next one? The ones giving out the free samples tended to be the most popular. My dogs will let me know right away if they don’t like something. The event contained a good mix of local, weekend warrior type specialty vendors and the bigger store fronts. In talking to some vendors, it seemed things were slower this year. Partly the economy, partly because of other events going on in the area this time of year.

The petting zoo and the dog pool diving competition were both popular attractions. It's always good to have some distractions from the booths.

And if there is one thing I learned going to a pet expo, where animals are allowed, be sure you always look down when you walk! Don’t want to punt any little doggies, or step in something wet.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

SanDisk Film Festival Contest

This contest through SanDisk is still open....You can do more with your point and shoot camera then just take still shots. And now, using your digital camera to take short video clips could win you $10,000 and a trip to Vegas! This conteste goes until November 10th!

SanDisk has a new contest with YouTube where you can enter a two minute video clip, including clips of your pets. The video clip has to be taken with a digital point and shoot camera.

The official rules are on the site, and as many of my readers know, I wouldn't be posting this if there wasn't a pet related category. Check it out and let me know what you think of the contest. Grand prize is a trip to Vegas and $10,000, while 200 other people will win free disks for their cameras. Start filming!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Dog Ear Cleaning Tips

Cleaning your dog's ears is an essential part of grooming. You should check your beloved pet's ears periodically to know if they have wax, fungus, and ear mites on them.

Like humans, dogs also need to have their ears cleaned. But before anything else, there are some precautionary measures that you need to do to prevent possible ear infections. Always make sure to use the right cleaning products.Bear in mind that the outer and inner parts of your dog's ears are very delicate. Be extra careful and ensure that you are doing the right procedure.

It is advisable to use an "ear wash solution" specifically created for dog ear cleaning. Soak a cotton ball in the formula and squeeze out excess liquid. Then, place the wet cotton ball in your dog's ears, starting at the base, and gently rub it.

Gently message the outsides of the ears for about a minute where you put the cotton ball. This will help the solutions to get down in the ear and your k9 will enjoy the ear rub. Allow your k9 to shake off excess moisture.

Never use a q-tip in your dog's ears for it could damage his eardrum!

Try to check your dog's ears at least once a week whenever you give him a pet bath. Infected dog ears can result to other serious health problems. If you dog's ears are dirty and infected, he may suffer from an ear hematoma by breaking blood vessels when shaking his head due to irritation and discomfort.

If you see any lumps in his ear or if his ear canal looks abnormal, better consult a veterinarian. It could be a sign of more serious ear infections or tumors.

This article courtesy of Pet Articles Blog

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Handling a Vet Complaint

Vets are businesses too, and there are good ones and bad ones. So what's the best way to handle a complaint? According to an article on Petplace, the first step is talk to your vet.

Having a conversation, without totally losing your temper, is the best place to start. Maybe you just want an apology or your vet bill comped. Decide before going in what you want to happen in order to rectify the situation.

If you're still not satisfied, the next step could be to file a formal complaint with your state's Board of Veterinary Medicine. They will investigate and check into the validity of your complaint.

You can also contact the local Better Business Bureau, or even contact a lawyer who is versed with pet medical issues.

Monday, October 20, 2008

More Health Benefits of Dogs

Did you know that just being in your pup's presence makes you healthier? Here's what the latest research suggests:

• Petting your pup boosts production of pleasure hormones in the brain, helping to keep your stress and blood pressure at healthy levels.
• Canine company aids the recovery of heart attack patients and has a calming effect on people with Alzheimer's.
• Regular walks with your dog lift your mood and improve your fitness.
• Kids who grow up with dogs seem to have stronger immune systems and may be less likely to develop asthma, eczema, and pet allergies later in life.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Doors Could Hurt Cats

Cats are fast and many indoor cats will try to get out of your doors. Many doors swing close quickly or get kicked close and many cats can get injured.

Here is an example of a cat injury that I found on A cat owner was carrying in groceries and her cat thought this was a good time to try to sneak out the door. Her arms were full so she kicked the door shut with her foot trying to prevent her cat from escaping. When it shut - guess what happened? Yep, this kitty got her tail caught in the door. This is not an uncommon injury.
Many times the tail is broken which was the case for this cat - and other times the tail suffers a large laceration and even loss of skin and hair. The treatment?

Amputation. Removing the damaged portion of the tail will treat this. Cats live fine with a shorter tail, though the owner paid a lot in vet bills by the time everything was done. Not to mention the pain and discomfort to the cat.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shelters Fighting "Black Dog" Syndrome

In many shelters across the country, dogs with thick, dark black coats usually take longer to get adopted. The phenomenon is commonplace enough to have earned its own name: "black dog syndrome."

The worst part, is that because they are the hardest to adopt out, they’re in shelters the longest and are the most likely to be euthanized if nothing happens.

There is no exact reason as to why this occurs, but there are several theories. Could it be a subconscious thing, like the fear of black cats? Could it be that in some black dogs - the black pug comes to mind - that it's harder to see the dog's true features? Is it because they just look scarier?
Some people have actually turned in their black dog to a shelter because they've gotten new furniture and don't like the dark fur their pet sheds.

The sheer difficulty in marketing of a black dog is also one theory of why they stay in shelters the longest. Their black coats can make them invisible in poorly lit kennels. The same problem occurs with amateur photos on shelters' websites, which is how many people find the dog they intend to adopt.

And then, because a lot of these dogs may be at a shelter, a person thinks maybe they aren’t being adopted for a good reason – maybe there is something wrong with them.

Add that to the fact that in bigger breeds, such as Rottweilers, Dobermans, and pit bull mixes, the dogs just down right look big and scary.

But think twice when looking at black dogs. My family members did. The photo above is of their pit-bull mix they adopted. Ebony, as she has been adequately named, was just begging to be adopted. She was playful and friendly and had been found roaming the streets, all alone. Skinny to the point where you could see her ribs, the description read as follows: One-year-old terrier-mix is a very pretty girl. She has a very lean body that is accentuated by her beautiful black coat. She was found as a stray by a person that was not allowed to have pets in his home. He cared for her for three weeks while looking for her owner. She is a very polite young lady looking for her forever home.

The description was right-on. Although she may look big and mean, she is one of the nicest dogs I’ve ever been around. Loyal and loving, all she needed was someone to treat her right. After her adoption, she gained over 20 pounds, and is now a strong, playful, dog. I would use the old cliché that she is all bark with no bite…but she doesn’t even bark all that much. Not much of a guard dog, when someone walks in the house, all she wants to do is play. When she’s let out in the yard, she runs around to get her exercise, and then quickly returns home. Ebony has no desire to be lost again without a family.

As you can see by her place on the couch, she is a full-fledged family member.

So, the next time you’re at your local shelter, take a good long look at the black dogs. They may surprise you.

This post is part of Petside's Pet Net Adoption Event. Check out other great posts about pet adoption.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pet Costume Giveaway

The folks at Pet Smart are giving away a Halloween costume through my blog! All you have to do to enter is drop a comment, and one winner will be selected randomly.

To check out their customes, click here!

Our dogs dress up every year and enjoy all the attention they get from trick or treaters. The winner of the costume will get the appropriate size for their dog.

Contest runs through October 16.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008



Pet-Centric Bloggers & Site Editors To Raise Voices In Unison To Shine Spotlight on Animal Shelter Adoption

Englewood Cliffs, NJ (October 8, 2008) -- In an effort to heighten awareness about animal shelter adoption, (, the popular online destination for pet owners and pet enthusiasts from NBC Universal Digital Media, has organized a landmark consortium of some of the Web’s favorite pet-focused sites to launch the inaugural Pet ‘Net Adoption Event on Thursday, October 16.

Each participating site and Weblog will highlight content devoted to the topic of animal shelter adoption on this date, with hosting a comprehensive one-page hub ( with links to all of the special coverage.

"Due to the current troubles in the economy, animal shelters are full to over-flowing and shelter adoption is mission critical for animal lovers across the country," said Kim Jack Riley, editor-in-chief of “Through the power of these diverse and robust voices being raised at once online, we hope this experiment -- The Pet ‘Net Adoption Event -- will help focus some much-needed attention on the cause.”

Sites slated to join in the event include:

• Cats
• Exotic Pets (
• Veterinary Medicine (
• The Daily Puppy (
• The Days of Johann (
• Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Pet Central (
• The Pet Haven (
• (
• PetLvr - The Blog (
• Petopia (
• PetPeoplesPlace (
• Pets Channel (
• PetsitUSA (
• Polka Dot Pup (
• Raise A Green Dog (
• Rescue Me (
• Thoughts Fur Paws (
• YouPet (

About ( was created by NBC Universal, in partnership with Procter & Gamble Productions, Inc., as a comprehensive source of information and services that helps pets and their owners get the most out of life. Offering customized content and a highly personalized experience, is ranked among the top 10 pet Web sites and offers unique editorial features, expert Q&A's, tools and how-to videos.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tips for Healthy Cats

What do good cat owners do that help give them good healthy cats?

Here are a few things:

1. First, they play with their cats. Most cats love to run and play. It is a physical release and helps keep them physically healthy and emotionally happy. Make sure your cat has lots of good fun toys that he likes and work to engage him in play.

2. Yearly check-ups. Ensuring that your cat has yearly check-ups to help look for any medical problems early is a very good habit. During the yearly exam, your veterinarian will also determine if your cat requires any vaccines, flea control or heartworm preventative medications. These will help to keep your cat healthy and comfortable.

3. Good daily care. Daily monitoring of your cats appetite, urinations, bowel movements are a part of being a good responsible cat owner. Healthy cats have a good appetite, normal urinations and healthy bowel movements. Any abnormalities should be noted and any persistent changes should be reported to your veterinarian.

4. Feed a good quality food. Good nutrition is a very important part of a cat's health and is the most proactive thing you can do to keep your cat healthy.

5. Daily grooming. Monitoring your cats nails and trimming when needed, brushing his teeth at least every other day and daily hair brushing are important to prevent unnecessary problems such as dental disease, torn nails, and uncomfortable hairballs.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Rob Thomas Song Inspired by Dog

For those of you who are fans of Matchbox Twenty and their lead singer Rob Thomas, you probably already know that Rob Thomas is an animal lover. In fact, the song he wrote for the Disney Movie "Meet The Robinsons" which was released in 2007, was inspired by his dog.

As Rob Thomas tells the story, he was having a bad day, and gets back to his room, and his Terrier Mutt is there to greet him. The dog is just looking at him, not really caring that Thomas had a bad day. Seeing his dog made him realize that it doesn't matter how the day went, his pet doesn't care. And of course, the dog also cheered up Thomas.

Here is a youtube link to the video of the song.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Over Paid Parrot Joke

A man goes into a pet shop to buy a parrot. The shop owner points to three identical looking parrots on a perch and says: "The parrot on the left costs $500 dollars". "Why does the parrot cost so much?" asks the man. The owner says, "Well the parrot knows how to use a computer".

The man then asks about the next parrot and is told that this one costs $1,000 dollars because it can do everything the first parrot can do plus it knows how to use the UNIX operating system.

Naturally, the increasingly startled man asks about the third parrot and is told that it costs $2,000 dollars. Needless to say this begs the question, "What can it do?". To which the owner replies, "To be honest I have never seen it do a thing but the other two call him boss!".

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Poop Claw

One of the things I enjoy about being a blog writer is coming across interesting concepts and products. One that I saw recently in a magazine is the Poop Claw.

According to the ad, it eliminates unwanted handling of your pet's droppings, and uses standard plastic grocery bags. Just put the bag over the claw, and scoop the poop....No More Warm Touchy Feeling!

Would you consider using one? For me, walking 2 dogs is tough enough. I don't have enough hands to carry the claw...I guess I'll just have to keep getting that warm touchy feeling.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pet Driver's License

So maybe your cat isn't the best driver in the world....that's ok! This is a driver's license that you don't need a test to get!

Pet Driver's License ® products feature your pet on the state license of their choice. Issued for fun, the Pet Driver's License® is also a way to keep your pet's photo and information close at hand or on the pet if they stray from home.

Products are printed in full color, directly on PVC plastic. The product is not laminated and uses a hi-tech dye-sublimation printing process which makes it durable and long-lasting.

Every Pet Driver's License ® product has the Pet Project seal of authenticity. Visit

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Disk Contest Winners

Congrats to the TEN winners of the SanDisk Memory Card. Thanks again to SanDisk for providing so many prizes. I'll email all the winners to get your contact info and then the prize will be mailed by SanDisk.

You can still enter SanDisk's HUGE Contest and giveaway.

Here are my winners:
Amanda Sue
Windy City

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pet Food Prices Continue to Rise

As oil prices go up, and the dollar goes down, inflation across consumer goods sold continues to cause the prices to rise. Many companies are seeing profit margins erode, forcing them to raise prices in order to survive.

The pet food industry has felt the pain. The price of raw ingredients has gone through the roof over the last several years. Corn, which is up 35% recently, is the main principle protein source for several quality pet foods, and is also the feed used for chickens, the number-one ingredient for many high-end foods.

Premium pet foods, which were once $40 a bag, are now hovering at $50 a bag and up. Unfortunately for now, there is no end in sight.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bottled Water for Dogs

In the "Do we really need another one of these" category, Century Foods International has released its Hero Dog Water. I've written about dog waters before, and yet another company is trying to get humans to buy bottled water for their dogs...I guess my water isn't good enough for my pups?? According to Century Foods, this is much better.

Hero Enhanced Dog Water is "fortified with nutrients to help keep dogs of all ages healthy and active and flavored for tastes that dogs love," according to its producer. The retail price of Hero Dog Water is $2.29 per 32-ounce bottle, which provides two servings.

Launched in early 2008, Hero Enhanced Dog Water is available in three formulas: Exercise Recovery, Hip & Joint and Healthy Aging. The first one is designed for quick rehydration of active dogs -- it includes potassium citrate and sorbate, sodium chloride, crude protein, niacin, thiamine and other ingredients. Hip & Joint, designed to help optimize joint function and mobility, includes the common arthritis supplements of glucosamine and chondroitin as well as other ingredients; and Healthy Aging includes vitamins A, D and E, zinc, selenium, niacin, thiamine and others.

The manufacturer uses a triple-filtered, reverse-osmosis purification process to remove impurities and additives such as chlorine and fluoride, according a statement at its Web site,

And to think, many dogs are just as happy drinking from the toilet.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Difference Between Stray & Feral Cat?

Often you hear the terms stray and feral when referring to cats. But is there a difference. Actually, there is:

A feral cat is one that has had little or no human contact and is usually unapproachable by people. These felines differ from housecats who are allowed to visit the outdoor environment, as well as from those stray cats that once had owners and were abandoned or became lost. They have been born into or adapted to outdoor life without human contact, living together in loose families organized as colonies, and can do well in urban as well as rural areas.

In either situation, be careful before taking any stray or feral cats in your home. Leaving food out for them could also lead to other wildlife showing up on your door step eating the food. The best way is to call your local animal control office for help, as some states have laws regarding treatment of these cats.

Pet Haven Giveaway - $40 Value!

Do you take video with your point and shoot digital camera? If so, it could win you over $10,000 in the SanDisk YouTube Video Contest.

The folks that run the contest want to make it even easier for you to enter, so they are providing me with some camera disks to giveaway. They aren't just any old disks, they are 4GB SD cards valued at $32-$40 retail!

If you want to enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post with some type of contact info (website, email, whatever, as long as I can find you). Each comment will be assigned a number (first comment is number 1, etc.) Winners will be drawn via a random number generator. I'll contact the winners and the disk will be mailed to you. Don't worry, the addresses won't be sold to anyone. The Pet Haven contest goes through the end of September, while the SanDisk contest will be avaialable through November.

I have several disks to giveaway, so tell all our friends about contest!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Top 10 Reasons Cats See Vet

Knowing the most common reasons cats got the vet is important in developing a preventative health plan for your cat.

Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) recently analyzed its medical claims received in 2007 to determine the top 10 most commonly claimed conditions for cats. In fact, they found that the top 10 conditions accounted for about 25 percent of all medical claims received last year.

Most Common Cat Claims/Conditions

1. Urinary Tract Infections
2. Gastritis/Vomiting
3. Chronic Renal Failure
4. Enteritis/Diarrhea
5. Diabetes Mellitus
6. Skin Allergies
7. Colitis/Constipation
8. Ear Infections
9. Respiratory Infections
10. Hyperthyroidism

An interesting change in the top 10 list was that feline enteritis (diarrhea) went from #16 in 2006 to #4 in 2007. Diarrhea can be caused by stress, diet changes, intestinal obstruction, parasites or infections. The most common cause is dietary changes. Also, VPI commented that it is possible that the gastrointestinal related claims were up this year perhaps due to the pet food recall.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Congrats to our entry from
She's the winner! The marketing partners of this product may have more for me to giveaway in the future, so I"ll keep everyone posted.

The makers of Feliway are giving away a bottle of their spray ($25) Value to one of Pet Haven's lucky readers. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with some type of contact information (email or website, so I can contact you if you win).

Contes is open through Thursday, September 25th. Each comment will be assigned a number and the winner with be drawn using a random number generator.

Here is some information Feliway from the manufacturer:

With over 88 million cats owned in the U.S1 and 71 percent living in a multi-cat home, behavioral problems and co-existing can present challenges for cat owners. Feliway® is a synthetic pheromone developed solely for cats that offers a safe and natural solution to managing stress related problems.
This innovative product works by mimicking a cat’s natural facial pheromones to help reduce stress and allows our furry feline friends to reside in purr-fect harmony.

• Completely undetectable by humans.
• Feliway has proven to reduce urine marking and scratching by 96 percent2.
• Ideal for multi-cat households, a Feliway Diffuser reduces urine spraying by 70 percent in one month in homes with more than one cat.
• Feliway reduces negative behaviors in cats brought on by social and environmental disruptions, such as multi-cat homes, hospitalization, relocation, new arrivals and when transporting, helping it to accept environmental changes.

• Feliway® Spray -- a 75 ml spray bottle that is applied directly on surfaces the cat is marking.
• Feliway spray can be used in addition with the Feliway Diffuser for urine spraying or scratching.
• Suggested retail price: $25.

Product Availability: Available at veterinary clinics.

More Information for Vets and Cat Owners: Call toll free (800) 276-8197 to speak with a live veterinary technician who can answer questions about Feliway, or go to

Note: All claims are from the maker of the product and the Pet Haven does not have any involement other then this giveaway.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Poop Patrol Bags

Ok, so picking up poop isn't the favorite subject of anyone, but it's something we all need to do, right? The No Trace Waste Bags by Pet Nation make clean up a snap. The bags are stronger then most others on the market. In fact, the manufacturer claims it is 5x stronger then any other comparable bag.

One-hand easy-pull dispensing makes clean-ups a breeze. Adjustable strap dispenser attaches to any leash and safety reflectors are ideal for nighttime walks. The holder might be a bit cumbersome on the leash of hyper dogs, as it is a bit heavy to have attached to the leash. But the bags are still really good. They are bio-degradable and packages contain 25% more bags.

When you order the dispenser, you'll also receive 3 refill rolls of bags.

Available in pink, blue, or gray.

This product can be found at most retailers and is part of the PetSmart favorite things promotion. In the promotion,
Online shoppers can save 15% with this link and their PetSmart card.

Monday, September 22, 2008

PetSmart Favorite Things Coupon

PetSmart is offering 15% off over 1,000 products for your pets.

It's part of their Favorite Things promotion. As part of this promotion, they are asking shoppers to rate and review their favorite (or not so favorite) products. Simply search their site and find products you want to review. You do have to have a free account with them and log in to review. Writers can also upload pictures of their pets using the product.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Greenies Pill Pockets

Items come along that are so thoughtful you wonder why you didn't think of that first. Greenies pill pockets are one of those items.

When I first tried giving pills to my dogs, I tried to give it to them as just another treat. But, apparently the pill didn't taste like chicken, because after the first couple of times, they knew exactly what it was and wouldn't take the pill.

So, then I had to hide it in peanut butter, which is quite messy. With Greenies Pill Pockets, all I have to do is stick the pill in the little pouch, and the dogs don't even know the difference. No mess, no fuss. The greenies are made for both dogs and cats, and have a variety of flavors.

It's easy to use. Simply hold the pill pockets treat with thumb and forefinger, and insert tablet. Pinch the top of the pocket to secure the treat inside, and give your pet their pill, consealed in the pocket. It's great for small pills. If you pet needs to take a larger pill, trying putting two of the pockets together, one on each side of the pill.

This product can be found at most retailers and is part of the PetSmart favorite things promotion. In the promotion,
Online shoppers can save 15% with this link and their PetSmart card.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NFAFC Protects The Deep Sea

The North-East Atlantic Fishers Commission (NEAFC, has agreed to implement a UN resolution from 2006 that protects cold water corals, sponges, and other deep-sea species in the Northeastern Atlantic.

This resolution will protect the deep-sea ecosystems and lead to more sustainable deep-sea fishing throughout the Northeastern Atlantic. The fisheries that use high seas bottom fishing methods that damages corals, and other species will be subject to environmental impact evaluations, and some areas will be closed to fishing where damage cannot be prevented.

The NEAFC has closed several high-risk areas over the past four years, but this resolution is a huge step in protecting Northeast Atlantic deep-sea species.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Why Dogs Eat Grass

Does your dog like to nibble on the grass? According to this article from Pet Place, offers up several theories, though the definite answer isn't really clear.

Do dogs eat the grass to make themselves vomit when they're ill? Or does eating the grass simply something they like and then leads to vomiting. Many vets feel it's the latter, that dogs are simply following their ancestors who lived in the wild, and enjoy nibbling on some grass.

Though the act itself if relatively harmless, eating grass that has been treated with pesticides or other chemicals is dangerous to your pet.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Never Release Hobby Fish Into The Wild

After catching a fish with teeth in an Illinois subdivision, Mark Dill and his 10-year-old son were certain they had found a piranha.

What they caught was a close cousin, the pacu, an aquarium fish sold in many pet stores. These fish look like piranhas, but grow much larger and have two rows of square teeth, unlike the piranha, which has one row of pointed teeth.

The fish was likely released into the wild once it got too big for some one's home aquarium.

The illegal release of fish into public waterways can be dangerous to current ecosystems because the fish can introduce new parasites and foreign diseases. Other species could be in danger if the "foreign" fish starts to eat the natives.

The best solution is to call your local store or check with an aquarium society and find someone to take it off your hands. Better yet, research a fish before adding it to your aquarium to find out how big it gets and how much trouble it can cause you.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dress Your Dog Like A Rock Star

There's a new photo contest by the Independent Film Channel called "Dress Your Kid (and/or Pet) Like a Rock Star" where runners up win $500 each and the grand prize winner earns a cool $5,000. Plus, the highest rated photo each week wins a $50 iTunes gift certificate.

Contestants can enter as many photos as they wish (one per day). Pets of all ages accepted. All visitors can view and "rate" the photos that have been submitted.

Contest is open now until November 19.
Here's the Link

Note- I don't personally know much about the contest, and just providing this for informational purposes, enter at your own will.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

God Bless America

I can't believe how time has flown, and here we are seven years removed from the 9/11 tragedy. Let's take a moment and remember those lost and the impact it had on our entire country.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Stupid Dog Joke - Thinking Fast

Two men are walking their dogs, a poodle and a german shepard. They decide they'd like to go into a bar for a drink. "But we can't bring out dogs into that bar," says the poodle's human. "Hey, no problem," says the german shepard's owner. "Just watch this" He pulls out a pair of sunglasses and walks into the bar. "Hey, no dogs!" yells the bartender. "But this is a seeing eye dog," says the german shepard's human.

The bartender apologizes and shows them to a chair. So, the poodle owner decides to follow suit, whips out his sunglasses, and walks into the bar. "Hey, no dogs!" yells the bartender. "But this is a seeing eye dog," says the poodle's human. The bartender objects, "Hey, poodles can't be seeing eye dogs!". The poodle owner gasps "Poodle? They told me they were giving me a german shepard!".

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Importance of Dog Toys

A dog's natural instinct is to hunt. But really, how often do they get that chance when they're living with us?

Petside's Article about dog toy tips is a good little reminder about the need of our pet to chew.

Monday, September 8, 2008

"Cat in Crocs" Picture

I admit it, I own a pair of these too....and yes, my friends and relative make fun of me! So, when I saw this picture, I had to laugh.

By the way, they are very comfortable.

Friday, September 5, 2008

What Does Your Dog Mean About You?

Dogs come in all shapes in sizes, as do their owners. But does owning a certain breed say something in particular about the owners? According to this article, owners of certain breeds have certain traits.

Of course, this isn't the most scientific analysis, but can be fun to see if you fit the profile.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Perfect Cat Match?

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has a unique adoption program designed to make the "perfect match" between people and cats up for adoption.

Cats are evaluated on their interest in play, communication, curiosity, and their desire to be noticed and attended to. From these evaluations, the nine possible feline-alities are categorized into one of three-color groups, designed to help an adopter easily find a good match.

The three-color groups include green, orange, and purple.

1. Green cats are considered "Party Animals", "MVPs", or "Leaders of the Band".
2. Orange cats are "Sidekicks", "Executives", or "Personal Assistants".
3. Purple cats are "Love Bugs", "Secret Admirers", and "Private Investigators".

This program assesses the behavior patterns and personality of shelter animals and the character, lifestyle, and pet expectations of potential adopters. That information is used to connect life-long friends.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Top 10 Peeves Dogs Have With Humans

1. Blaming your farts on me..... not funny... not funny at all!

2. Yelling at me for barking. I'M A FRIGGIN' DOG

3. Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out. Exactly whose walk is this anyway?

4. Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose. Stop it!

5. Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew your stuff up when you're not home.

6. The sleight of hand, fake fetch throw. You fooled a dog! Whoooo oooooooo what a proud moment for the top of the food chain.

7. Taking me to the vet for "the big snip", then acting surprised when I freak out every time we go back!

8. Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry, but I haven't quite mastered that handshake thing yet.

9. Dog sweaters. Hello ??? Haven't you noticed the fur?

10. How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the truth. You're just jealous.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fish Distributor Fire

For some reason, this story made me think about fire plans in both our homes and in the local pet stores. What precautions and plans do we have in place for our pets should something unfortunate happen?

The story is about a tropical fish distributor trying to save their fish after a fire destroyed the building. The owners want to save their fish, which are worth over $15,000.

What plans do you have in place for your pets should their be some emergency?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

67 Ways to Spoil Your Cat

Fun article about spoiling your cat from the Pet Place website. They're trying to get the list up to 100, so contact them with any other ideas.

Here are a sample of a few of them:
1. Sing them a Song
2. A Satin Pillow
3. Tea Time with Me
4. Create a Cat Room
5. I Give Bam CatSip
6. A Little Nature on TV
7. Share Some Morning Kisses
8. Are Really Got Pat and a Cuddle
9. Big Comfy Chair in Front of the Window
10. A Stroller
11. Her Own Bathroom
12. Playtime in the Bathtub
13. Lots of Kitty Beds
14. Floor to Ceiling Windows
15. Warm Cereal

I'm sure you all have many others!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Basic Bird Care - Bird Environment

Healthy birds can adapt to housing conditions that are generally comfortable to its owner. But sudden fluctuations in temperature may prove a shock to a bird that is ill or even a healthy one.

When possible, try to tailor humidity levels to what the species of bird would be accustomed to in the wild. Tropical birds may appreciate the steam of a shower or misting with water.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dog Humping!

I know, it can be an embarrassing issue, especially when your dog is getting his groove on when the company is over!

According to an article on the The Pet Place Web Site, humping is not only considered a sexual action, it can also mean other things. In fact, it can be a signal of power and rank.

Essentially, some dogs hump as a way of asserting themselves. Whatever the motivation, when humping is directed toward peoples' legs, or objects in the environment, the result is the same: embarrassment for the dog owner and any guests who happen to be present.

Check out the article...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Keep a First-Aid Kit

As responsible pet owners, it is important to keep in mind that accidents do happen. What do we do when our pets are bleeding? Don't panic!

The care doesn't have to be fancy but effective. Keep your dog calm. When you see where the blood is coming from - get a clean cloth or towel and apply gently pressure on the wound. Don't use a tourniquet. Just gentle pressure and go see your veterinarian.

Having these items in a conveniently located first-aid kit will make it much easier in case something does happen to your pet. Take a minute and consider what should be in your dog's home to help him in the case of an emergency.

Included in the kit should be the number of your vet or local pet ER. This way, if you don't know what to do they can help guide you until you can get to the clinic.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Basic Bird Care - Nutrition

Diet is one of the most important considerations when purchasing a bird. It should be your primary area of focus in overall care.

Adequate feeding plans may be developed from a wide variety of commonly available foods, or formulated diets specially prepared for birds by commercial companies may be offered.

Birds tend to rely on variety in order to maintain proper health and fitness. Ask your avian veterinarian for recommendations on feeding your bird.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Proper Fish Feeding

One of the biggest causes of pollution in fish tanks is overfeeding. This Fish Channel article gives some good tips on how/when to feed your fish.

We may think that our fish are always hungry, but the truth is, fish need very little food on a regular basis to be healty.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

If Your Dog Is Fat....

If your dog is fat,
you aren't getting enough exercise

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Basic Bird Care - The Cage

Birds require more attention and detail with their care then some might realize.

A bird will spend the majority of its time confined in a cage. Therefore, choose the largest cage you can accommodate in your home. Allow width for wingspan extension and height for birds with long tail feathers. The cage should be made from a nontoxic material, and will need to be strong enough to withstand dismantling attempts by the bird.

Choose perches that are easy to clean and easily replaceable. Give birds (depending on species) different perching options.

Monday, August 11, 2008

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

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quick Dog Pool Tips

Jumping into the water is a great way for your dog to cool off, especially on hot, steamy days. Swimming can also be a great everyday activity, since it's easy on the joints, but never force it on your pup if he isn't a fan of the water.

If he is a fan, always be cautious of water quality, and don't let him drink from the pool, lake, stream, or ocean. Swallowing too much salt water or chlorine can very quickly make your dog sick.

Keep a close eye on him while he's paddling around, and help him steer clear of deep waters and strong currents.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Acupuncture for Pets

Acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular among the savviest of pet owners as a great option for controlling pets’ pain and treating a variety of ailments. Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist Bridget Halligan, DVM, treats dogs and cats with acupuncture at West Chelsea Veterinary in Manhattan.

"More and more of our clients request acupuncture as a first resort treatment," says Dr. Halligan, DVM, CVA, of West Chelsea Veterinary. "New Yorkers not only want the best for their pets, but have the know-how to seek out every medical option available." Dr. Halligan says more people are specifically seeking acupuncture, and she’s glad she’s providing one more treatment option for her four-legged patients and their owners.

In acupuncture therapy, tiny needles are inserted into certain points of a pet’s body to cause the release of endogenous opioids such as beta endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killers, and smaller amounts of cortisol, an anti-inflammatory steroid. The needles are so small they cause only minimal discomfort. Veterinary acupuncturists most commonly treat cats, dogs, cows and horses, but can also treat exotic pets like birds, ferrets and rabbits.

While acupuncture’s popularity is ever-increasing for companion animals, it isn’t new to veterinary medicine at all. In fact, acupuncture has been used to treat both people and animals for thousands of years. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the earliest known writings about alternative medicines, such as acupuncture, date back to 2800 B.C., and the first uses of acupuncture for animals can be traced from 136 to 265 A.D. in China. The earliest versions of animal acupuncture were practiced on large working animals and involved the application of pressure from sharp stones to specific points on the animal’s body.

Today, Dr. Halligan says her patients are initially treated once weekly for four weeks. “If a pet responds positively, the results are usually noticed within those first four treatments, and sometimes earlier depending upon the condition. Veterinary acupuncture provides an important treatment option for patients with orthopedic, neurological and geriatric issues.”

Media Opportunities: Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist Dr. Bridget Halligan, DVM, of West Chelsea Veterinary is available for interview. Media inquiries and booking requests, please contact: Julie Robbins (646) 981-3342 /

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Top 10 Dog Names

What are the top 10 dog names? My dogs (Rocco, Kelso) didn't make the list. But perhaps your dog made it?

Top 10 Male Pet Names

1. MAX
10. JACK

Top 10 Female Pet Names

10. ZOE

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Top 10 Cat Names

What are the most popular pet names? For the second year in a row the name "Max" has taken top honors as the nation's most popular pet name according to research by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI).

A survey of VPI's 300,000-plus policyholders showed that Bailey, Buddy, Molly, Maggie, Lucy, Jake, Daisy, Rocky and Sadie rounded out the top ten pet names rankings.

Top 10 Male Pet Names

1. MAX
10. JACK

Top 10 Female Pet Names