Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dog Survives 8 Days Trapped Rubble

In an extrodinary tale of survival, a dog was found with minimal injuries after a building exploded, hurting the dog's owner.

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. - A dog was found alive and in relatively good shape after spending eight days trapped in the rubble of a building that exploded, critically injuring the pup's owner.
Lulu, a Springer spaniel, was rescued Sunday after the owner of the business that had been housed in the two-story building heard her whimpering.

Here is the complete article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24374035/

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ellen Degeneres Joins Natural Food Company

Love her or hate her, there's no denying that Ellen is a pet lover. Now, she has become an owner of an "All-Natural" Pet Care Company called Halo. c

According to the Press Release:

“I can’t tell you how honored I am to be a part of a company that believes in treating your pets as well as you treat yourself,” said DeGeneres. “Everything about Halo is great. I’ve been using all of their products long before I decided to invest in the company. I attribute my shiny coat to their all-natural supplements.”

Continued DeGeneres, “If you love your pets, you only want the very best for them, and this food is the highest quality. And if you forget to go to the grocery store, you can actually split a can with your dog. If you’re going with the lamb, I’d recommend a nice Pinot.”

“This is a defining moment in the history of Halo,” said Halo President Alan Kerzner. “After more than a year of discussions, we’re delighted to have Ellen join our family, especially at this time of exciting growth. We are a company built on the foundation of providing the best possible care to pets and Ellen wholeheartedly shares our beliefs.”

All Halo pet food is made from pure, all-natural ingredients such as butcher quality chicken, eggs, carrots, flaxseed, green peas, barley, sweet potatoes and cranberries. All the recipes have been fortified with vitamins and minerals. There are no artificial ingredients in any of Halo’s products. There are no byproducts, chemical preservatives, fillers, rendered meats, artificial colors or flavors.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Doggie Dude Ranch

City dogs escape their leash-and-lounge existence and learn get in touch with their inner herder. And it happens on a controlled ranch designed especially for the dogs.

These type of ranches are part of a trend that mixes training techniques, a back-to-basics ethos and a hint of dog (and human) therapy.

The American Kennel Club says new herding clubs are popping up across the country, although it does not track exact numbers. Nearly 200 clubs held herding trials last year. More than 10,000 dogs competed, a roughly 10 percent increase over 2006.

To read more about it, check out:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pet Social Networking Site

Calling themselves the "facebook for pet lovers" All About Pets http://www.allaboutpets.org.uk/

has been developed by The Blue Cross, Britain's Pet charity since 1897, to give pet lovers a new way to communicate, and a place where they can meet like-minded people to share experiences or advice about their pets. To date, the social network has attracted nearly 2,000 members.

All About Pets is completely free. For us in the states, their might be some reluctance as this site is UK based. But, the site offers a lot more then just networking.

According to the site, the advantage of All About Pets over other social networking sites is that it works as an authorative and reliable information directory - there is a strong emphasis on the site being used as an information resource. The Blue Cross has produced over 80l eaflets on all aspects of pet care which are available to view, print or download free from the site. Pet owners with specific problems or those with advice to share can also set up forums and social groups to discuss ideas across the entire network. Members can create profiles for themselves and their pets, upload photos or links to videos and showcase their pet's talents. They can also view other people's pets, photos and videos and even rate them.

Members can take part in discussion forums and polls on topical subjects, promote their own events or find out what is happening in their area, and get the latest in pet news.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Protecting Pets From Pollutants

I recently wrote about toxins in our pets, along with an entire report from the Environmental Working Group.

In conjunction with the report, Environmental Working Group is helping to launch Pets for the Environment. Founded by a mutt named Eddie, Pets for the Environment is a place where eco-conscious pets can do their part to protect the environment -- and learn tips to keep themselves healthy, too.You can learn all about Eddie's crusade at http://www.petsforthenevironment.org/

There is a section about what happened to Eddie's friendly family bird, along with tons of tips on how to stay safe and how you can help the cause. Hopefully by spreading the word through this blog, I'm helping to do my part and hopefully other bloggers out there will spread the word as well.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Polluted Pets

Are your pets polluted?

Environmental Working Group, a DC-based research and advocacy organization, just released the most comprehensive study of industrial chemicals in pets ever published. The group tested cats and dogs for 70 different chemicals, and found 48 of them -- carcinogens, neurotoxins, fire retardants, stain removing chemicals, heavy metals, the list goes on -- many at levels much higherthan have ever been found in humans.

According to the group, "lax chemical safety standards in the U.S. allow manufacturers to use chemicals without first proving they're safe, and that hurts all of us -- including the feathered, furry, and finned members of our families." You can see the entire article and report on their website

How do these chemicals get ingested by pets? According to the report, "just as children ingest pollutants in tap water, play on lawns with pesticide residues, or breathe in an array of indoor air contaminants, so do their pets. But with their compressed lifespans, developing and aging seven or more times faster than children, pets also develop health problems from exposures much more rapidly."

It is a disturbing report, especially since you never know when you're at a park or other public area what types of things are being used; and have no control of it either.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Defining a Feral Cat

The news is always reporting things about feral cat problems and how to control the cat population. But how do you define a feral cat?? Darlene Anderson has a great article on http://www.petside.com/ discussing what is meant by a feral cat.


An interesting point she makes is the impact on public health.
"Ferals that form colonies, or individual strays that go from place to place, are often flea-ridden and have worms relegating them to a very poor quality of life. Not vaccinated for rabies, Ferals impact public health."

Plus, these cats survive without human interaction, and like many wild animals, are often afraid of people.

The suggested way of dealing with this problem is Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR). " Humane traps are set, and the cats are taken to a low-cost spay/neuter clinic where they’re given a cursory exam, a rabies vaccination and are altered. They’re then replaced in their colony, living out their lives without reproducing, ultimately resolving the overpopulation problem."

So the next time you hear a story about feral cats, you can refer back to this article to understand why it is a problem.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

2008 Pet Products Trend Report

2008 PET PRODUCTS TREND REPORT (Info from the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association)

From high-end items to high-tech items, products for our companion animals now extend beyond traditional necessities. The American Pet Product Manufacturers Association (APPMA) presents top pet product trends for 2008.

*Going to the Dogs More and more companies traditionally know for human products are going to the dogs, and cats, and reptiles. Big name companies including like Paul Mitchell, Omaha Steaks, Origins, Harley Davidson and Old Navy are now offering lines of pet products ranging from dog shampoo, pet attire, and name-brand toys to gourmet treats and food.

* Pets Welcome Many hotels across the country are adopting pet friendly policies. Several chains have announced new pet-friendly policies that include everything from oversized pet pillows, plush doggie robes, to check-in gift packages that include a pet toy, dog treat, ID tag, bone and turn down treat. Some even have a licensed dog masseuse on staff.

*Pet Products Sold Here Shopping for pet products is becoming easier than ever with an increasing variety of retail outlets now selling pet products. Right along side fertilizer and shovels, shoppers can now find pet products such as doggie doors and yellow lawn spot removers sold at many lawn and garden stores, nurseries, and major home improvement stores including Home Depot.

*The Lap of Luxury High-end items to spoil companion animals are must-haves for pet owners that spare no expense to please their furry, feathered and finned best friends. Items include faux mink coats for cold weather outings, feathered French day beds for afternoon naps, designer bird cages, botanical fragrances and to top it all off, a rhinestone tiara!

*Ultra-Clean… Pet-owners take grooming one step beyond a haircut, a quick bath and a nail trim. Mouthwash and an electric toothbrush for canines are routine steps in a beauty session for some pooches. Birds receive daily pedicures with special cage perches, while others enjoy manicures complete with nail polish. Pet-owning homes stay cleaner with automatic, self-flushing litter boxes, cleaning cloths for muddy paws that mimic traditional baby wipes, and scented gel air fresheners to keep rooms free of pet odors.

*Dinner is Served Today's pet foods include complete and balanced diets that tantalize our pets' taste buds and satisfy their tummies. Formulas for puppies and kittens, specialized meals for reptiles, birds and fish and diets for senior pets ensure a long and healthy life for our beloved companions.

*State of the Art High-tech products including computerized identification tags, digital aquarium kits, automatic doors and feeders, enhanced reptile terrarium lighting systems and touch-activated toys help pet-owners take care of companion animals with ease and precision.

*Loosen Up As pet owners meditate in yoga class, cats relieve stress by frolicking in a toy gym or relaxing in a feline spa before enjoying herbal catnip packaged in a tea bag. Dogs sip fresh water from flowing fountains after a soothing rub with a doggie massager.

*Help Yourself! Products designed with convenience in mind lead this trend. Programmable feeding and drinking systems, automatic and battery-operated toys, self-cleaning litter boxes and self-warming pet mats let pets virtually care for themselves!

*Straight from the Catwalk Faux mink coats, hipster lumberjack vests, designer plaid jackets, matching jeweled and leather collar and leash sets, Halloween costumes, and holiday outfits keep pets in fashion throughout the year. Upscale leather carriers complete with a cell phone and water bottle holder are the perfect accessories to keep the pet owner in style as well.

*Keep on Truckin' Whether it's a quick trip to the supermarket or a long ride to the beach, companion animals are now traveling animals too. Buckled up in a harness, seat belt system or a portable carrier, these pets stay safe and secure while on the road. Food and water along with safety supplies are on hand in all-in-one kits, waste disposal systems make for easy clean-up on quick stops and motion sickness aids are available too.

*Hello, My Name Is…From monogrammed sweaters and personalized food and water bowls to digitized collar tags and hand-made treats, owners embrace their pets as true members of the American family celebrating their fluffy, finned and feathered companions with their very own belongings.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Custom wheelchairs keep disabled pets moving

This picture says it all. A recent article discussed how wheelchairs are being built to help disabled dogs.
According to the article, the motives are quites simple. "A growing number of pet owners are turning to custom-built wheelchairs to restore mobility to furry friends whose legs, hips or backs don’t work. The owners’ goals are simple: to reward their pets’ unconditional love with whatever it takes for the animals to live normally."
To read the entire article, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23792467/

Friday, April 11, 2008

Bizarre Lawsuit Against Petsmart

Widow sues Petsmart over husband’s death
Claims pet retailer’s sick hamster infected him after a liver transplant
According to a Reuters article, A widow is suing Petsmart Inc, saying that her husband died after a liver transplant that was contaminated by a sick hamster sold by the largest U.S. specialty pet retailer to the organ donor.
The suit, filed in Massachusetts Superior Court in February, seeking unspecified damages, moved up to U.S. District Court in Boston this week.
In papers filed in the state court, Nancy Magee charged that a Petsmart in Warwick, Rhode Island in March 2005 sold a hamster infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, or LCMV, to a woman not named in the suit.
That woman later died of stroke and her liver was implanted in Magee's husband, Thomas, in April 2005. A month later, Thomas Magee died of LCMV.
Two other people who received organs from this woman died and one became seriously ill, the suit says, noting that medical authorities later tracked down the hamster in question and found it to be infected with LCMV.

Petsmart spokeswoman Jessica Douglas said the Phoenix, Arizona-based company does not comment on pending litigation.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Cat In The Road

They say no good deed goes unpunished. I was walking the dogs recently and saw a cat sunbathing….in the middle of the street. So, walking with one dog in each hand, I figured I would try to scare the cat out of the road for her own safety.

The dogs, of course, see the cat and since they want to play with everything and everybody, they start pulling on their leashes trying to take me over to the cat. Since I don’t want the dogs to actually come into contact with the cat, I walk across the street, to the side of the kitty, figuring she would run when she saw us coming. Didn’t quite turn out that way.

Instead, the cat stood up in the attack position and hissed at me and the dogs. Now, my original thought was that the cat would turn and run away from the human walking two dogs. Instead, the cat FOLLOWED US. So much for my plan! But, at the very least it got her out of the street. The cat followed us for a little bit, while my dogs kept pulling towards her. Finally, I picked up the pace of my walk while getting my dogs attention away from the cat. Once the cat decided we were pretty much out of her territory, she gave up following us. However, I’m sure this could have ended with the dogs and cats essentially fighting….like dogs and cats.

I guess the cat was protecting her turf. Since I haven’t had a cat in a while, I’m interested in hearing from cat owners about how their kitty’s react to threats in their turfs.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Product - Taste of the Wild Food

I recently wrote about the different, unique, pet foods on the market, all trying to find their niche. This particular brand recently caught my eye. Not so much for their product itself, but because of the marketing aspect describing why it is such a good product.

It's grain-free products "feature high quality, unique protein sources such as bison, venison and wild fowl. Combined with fruits and vegetables for added vitamins and antioxidants, Taste of the Wild gives pets a balanced taste of the diets on which their ancestors thrived. "

Now, how do we really know what our pets ancestors thrived on? I don't imagine the wild food they were eating was fortified with extra vitamins and antioxidants. But, I give the company credit for coming up with a unique product name and marketing idea. Still, there is something about feeding my dog food made from wild animals just doesn't appeal to me. If you disagree, or want to check it out, visit http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/

Monday, April 7, 2008

Pet Contest - Vote for Rocco!

Rocco has been entered in another photo contest. This one sponsored by Snapfish.com. Here is the link where you can vote for Rocco. You have to pick how many stars he is worth on a scale from 1 - 5, with 5 stars being the best.

Rocco appreciates your votes and hopes you consider him worth 5 stars!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Doggie Sushi

If you're a sushi lover, then why not share that experience with your dog? Full Petential, Inc. recently introduced Doggie Dance Doggie Sushi - sushi-styled pure chicken breast treats encased in a fish wrapper. The product claims to use a low-allergen chicken and fish formula as a protein base. Plus, the fish wrap contains healthy omega fatty acides, which research suggests helps dogs maintain a healthy heart, coat and skin.

I haven't tried them on my dogs yet, but if you're interested, visit http://www.fullpetential.com/

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pet Food Products Industry Growing

My friends at http://www.healthypetcompany.com/ recently attended a manufacturers trade show. These shows are essentially a way for manufacturers and distributors to connect with retailers and introduce their new products.

However, at this particular show, the majority of the companies with booths were displaying some type of pet food. From "all natural" to "human grade" to "holistic" to "allergen free," each manufacturer tried to find their own little niche.

From a trade show perspective, it was a little disappointing to have a majority of the booths showing off the same category of product. From a year anniversary of the pet food recall perspective, it's refreshing to see that there are a ton of choices out there that aren't being manufactured in Canada with tainted Chinese ingredients....the formula that started this mess in the first place.

Although it is encouraging to see all these pet food products, how do you decide which one is best? For my dogs, we experimented with several brands, and making sure they weren't on the recall list, found one that didn't cause allergies in our dog and also appeared to come from a good company.

With so many new foods on the market, there is going to be a ton of clutter in the premium food category....and a ton of decisions to make as to what the best foods will be for your pets. My quick suggestion: do your research before experimenting. Check the company background, the ingredients in the food (make sure they are premium ingredients) and see if other people are blogging and posting about that brand.

What are your thoughts on the best way to find a food brand for your pets?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Product - Pet Tents

Although I haven't actually tried this product, I came across it recently. According to the manufacturer, when your pet enters the tent and lie on its buckwheat hull-filled pillow, they will feel safe, secure and special.

Many of the tent designs allow owners to use closable doors to replace their pet's kennel. Each is lightweight and easy to move and assemble. They can be found on www.pettents.com.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Baseball Dog

I know I used this photo before, but in honor of the Yankees opening game, here is Rocco enjoying my Yankees Blanket.
Happy Baseball Season!