Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pet Quotes

"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." Andy Rooney

"If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man." Mark Twain

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

"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful." Ann Landers

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Polluting pets: the devastating impact of man's best friend

The following article discusses the carbon footprint of pets...though the way it is written is someone disturbing and has pet owners, no surprisingly, up in is the article....
by Isabelle Toussaint and Jurgen Hecker Isabelle Toussaint And Jurgen Hecker – Sun Dec 20, 3:23 pm ET
PARIS (AFP) – Man's best friend could be one of the environment's worst enemies, according to a new study which says the carbon pawprint of a pet dog is more than double that of a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle.

But the revelation in the book "Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living" by New Zealanders Robert and Brenda Vale has angered pet owners who feel they are being singled out as troublemakers.

The Vales, specialists in sustainable living at Victoria University of Wellington, analysed popular brands of pet food and calculated that a medium-sized dog eats around 164 kilos (360 pounds) of meat and 95 kilos of cereal a year.

Combine the land required to generate its food and a "medium" sized dog has an annual footprint of 0.84 hectares (2.07 acres) -- around twice the 0.41 hectares required by a 4x4 driving 10,000 kilometres (6,200 miles) a year, including energy to build the car.

To confirm the results, the New Scientist magazine asked John Barrett at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, Britain, to calculate eco-pawprints based on his own data. The results were essentially the same.

"Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance, mainly because of the carbon footprint of meat," Barrett said.

Other animals aren't much better for the environment, the Vales say.

Cats have an eco-footprint of about 0.15 hectares, slightly less than driving a Volkswagen Golf for a year, while two hamsters equates to a plasma television and even the humble goldfish burns energy equivalent to two mobile telephones.

But Reha Huttin, president of France's 30 Million Friends animal rights foundation says the human impact of eliminating pets would be equally devastating.

"Pets are anti-depressants, they help us cope with stress, they are good for the elderly," Huttin told AFP.

"Everyone should work out their own environmental impact. I should be allowed to say that I walk instead of using my car and that I don't eat meat, so why shouldn't I be allowed to have a little cat to alleviate my loneliness?"

Sylvie Comont, proud owner of seven cats and two dogs -- the environmental equivalent of a small fleet of cars -- says defiantly, "Our animals give us so much that I don't feel like a polluter at all.

"I think the love we have for our animals and what they contribute to our lives outweighs the environmental considerations.

"I don't want a life without animals," she told AFP.

And pets' environmental impact is not limited to their carbon footprint, as cats and dogs devastate wildlife, spread disease and pollute waterways, the Vales say.

With a total 7.7 million cats in Britain, more than 188 million wild animals are hunted, killed and eaten by feline predators per year, or an average 25 birds, mammals and frogs per cat, according to figures in the New Scientist.

Likewise, dogs decrease biodiversity in areas they are walked, while their faeces cause high bacterial levels in rivers and streams, making the water unsafe to drink, starving waterways of oxygen and killing aquatic life.

And cat poo can be even more toxic than doggy doo -- owners who flush their litter down the toilet ultimately infect sea otters and other animals with toxoplasma gondii, which causes a killer brain disease.

But despite the apocalyptic visions of domesticated animals' environmental impact, solutions exist, including reducing pets' protein-rich meat intake.

"If pussy is scoffing 'Fancy Feast' -- or some other food made from choice cuts of meat -- then the relative impact is likely to be high," said Robert Vale.

"If, on the other hand, the cat is fed on fish heads and other leftovers from the fishmonger, the impact will be lower."

Other potential positive steps include avoiding walking your dog in wildlife-rich areas and keeping your cat indoors at night when it has a particular thirst for other, smaller animals' blood.

As with buying a car, humans are also encouraged to take the environmental impact of their future possession/companion into account.

But the best way of compensating for that paw or clawprint is to make sure your animal is dual purpose, the Vales urge. Get a hen, which offsets its impact by laying edible eggs, or a rabbit, prepared to make the ultimate environmental sacrifice by ending up on the dinner table.

"Rabbits are good, provided you eat them," said Robert Vale.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Shelter Pet Project

The Shelter Pet Project (SPP), is a public service announcement (PSA) campaign aimed at increasing the rate of shelter pet adoption in the US by dispelling myths about these lovable animals. They're looking to give shelter pets an image makeover, letting the 17 million people who plan on getting a companion animal this year know that shelters should be the first and best place to find them. This new campaign, sponsored by The Humane Society of the United States, Maddie's Fund, and the Ad Council, is funny and lighthearted. Check out the talking dog PSA here:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What is Your Pet's Breed?

Many times, adopted dogs are found in various places, and the true breed of those dogs is a mystery. Mars Veterinary ™ recently came out with a new do-it-yourself doggie DNA test that can detect your dog’s breed inexpensively and conveniently. With a simple swab of the cheek, Wisdom Panel Insight can determine the ancestry of a mixed-breed dog by testing for more than 170 breeds (which is the largest database on the market!). Within just three short weeks, owners can download an official Ancestry Report that reveals the dog’s genetic background.

Surprisingly, a dog’s ancestry can influence he/she in many ways. For example, physical traits and behaviors such as digging and barking all come from the various breeds in a dog’s family. Once an owner understands a dog’s natural tendencies, the possibilities for training, exercise and nutrition programs are tailored to meet the dog’s needs.

Check out

We at the Pet Haven haven't tried it out, but if anyone does, let me know what you think.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Pet Photo Contest

For the month of December, mambosprouts has teamed up with Wellness
Natural Food for Pets and launched a pet photo contest with the goal of raising $1000 for an animal related charity this holiday season. It might be worth checking out, as wellness is one of the beset premium foods out there.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Help for the SPCA

Hi, all you animal lovers!
This is pretty simple... Please ask ten friends to each ask a further ten today!
The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily so they can meet their quota of getting FREE FOOD donated every day to abused and neglected animals. It takes less than a minute (about 15 seconds) to go to their site and click on the purple box 'fund food for animals for free'. This doesn't cost you a thing.
Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising.
Here's the web site! Please pass it along to people you know.

The Animal Rescue site

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Pet Hazards

I'm sure there are a ton of these type of articles across the web, but it never hurts to be reminded of potential issues with pets during this time of year. This is from an article posted on

Decorations, candies, flowers, and plants can cause serious harm to animals. Here, 5 to watch out for.

By Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC, Prevention

Festive Foods
Baked goods and boxes of chocolate are abundant this time of year, but if ingested, they can result in gastrointestinal upset, heart arrhythmia, and seizure. Certain desserts can be deadly too--especially those containing grapes, raisins, or currants (like fruitcake), which can lead to kidney failure. Refrain from tossing meat scraps and bones to your dog (and ask your houseguests to do the same). It may seem like a treat, but pets just aren't built to digest meat prepared for humans; eating it can lead to pancreatitis. To keep your dog healthy, stick to her normal diet.

Liquid Potpourri
Filling your house with the smell of pine or peppermint may seem inviting, but if you're partial to heating your scented oils in a simmer pot, know that it can cause serious harm to your feline. These oils are toxic to cats, and even a few licks can result in severe chemical burns in the mouth, fever, difficulty breathing, and tremors. Dogs aren't as sensitive, but it's still wise to scent your home with a nontoxic candle kept safely out of pets' reach.

Flowers And Plants
Poinsettias get the bad rap, but the plant you actually need to worry about is the fragrant lily (such as tiger, Asiatic, and Stargazer), which is commonly found in holiday arrangements and is highly toxic to cats. Just one chewed leaf can result in severe, acute kidney failure. Yuletide plants (like holly and mistletoe) can easily be mistaken for food, resulting in gastrointestinal upset and even heart arrhythmia. Silk and plastic arrangements are your safest bets; if you prefer real flowers, however, choose bouquets made of nonirritating choices such as roses, marigolds, orchids, or daisies.

Ornaments And Decorations
If you find your pet chewing on a string of bubble lights, get her to the vet. The dangerous chemical methylene chloride (which bubbles when heated) can cause irritation to her eyes, skin, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. There's also the risk of broken glass ornaments cutting her paws. So avoid hanging any ornaments at pet level--and try to keep lights and delicate decorations out of reach.

If you own a cat, toss the tinsel--she's likely to mistake it for a chew toy, and eating tinsel can cause severe damage to the intestinal tract. It can get wrapped around the tongue or caught up in the stomach while the rest of it continues to pass through the intestines, which may require expensive abdominal surgery.

If you think your pet may have eaten something toxic, call pet poison animal control immediately. Keep these numbers programmed in your phone:

ASPCA ANIMAL POISON CONTROL CENTER (888) 426-4435, $60 fee per incident;

PET POISON HELPLINE (800) 213-6680, $35 fee (pay by credit card) per incident;

Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC, is a veterinary emergency critical-care specialist and the associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline. She is the author of the book It's a Cat's World...You Just Live in It.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Police Dogs Assist in Arrest

I always enjoy stories of police dogs coming to the rescue to help stop a criminal. The full article can be found HERE, but the dog part is as follows:

Man commits carjacking and police find the car.

Police found the car and the suspect fled the car, and both Cromwell and Middletown police attempted to find him. With the help of a K-9, police tracked the suspect to a garage at a home in Middletown, where he was found hiding beneath a car.

Fazzina refused to leave the garage, but was eventually drawn out by the K-9. He was taken to Middlesex Memorial Hospital for treatment of dog bites, police reports said.

Hopefully that dog received some great treats.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Unknown Dog Steals Frozen Turkey

Funny story about a dog stealing a turkey, and leaving it in someone else's yard....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy thanksgiving from The Pet Haven!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Keep your Dog Warm in the Winter Weather!

(Guestblogger post)
Winter is quickly approaching which means temperatures are dropping, rain and snow are falling, and you’re bundling up to stay warm. You may know what to do to keep yourself comfortable, but it is important to remember that your pets can feel the change in the weather as well. There are a few ways that we can protect our dogs from the chilly winter conditions and keep them safe, dry and warm.

- Outdoor dogs will of course be most affected by the winter. Keep them inside as often as possible, especially during rain or snowfall. If you can’t leave them in the house, they should have a sturdy outdoor shelter with walls to protect them from wind, a lifted floor to keep them off the cold ground and a roof to protect them from the rain.
- Be sure to leave your dog with a full coat for the winter and avoid trimming their fur for a few months. This allows them to better generate and insulate their body heat.
- Your pet may need more food during the winter as they will be using extra energy to stay warm. Be sure to watch for changes in eating habits and adjust food portions if necessary. Water bowls that are left outside should also be watched as they can freeze.
- You can always look into clothing or sweaters for your pets to help insulate their body heat, but make sure they are comfortable and it isn’t restricting to their movement.
- Play with them and give them plenty of exercise to keep them active and moving. Attention is important as pets can be prone to “winter blues.”
- Watch for cues of discomfort, such as changes in behavior and energy level. Make sure to have several veterinarian visits over the season to ensure that they are remaining healthy.

If you feel cold, your pet is probably feeling it too, so you can use your own comfort as a gauge for the needs of your dog. Keep in mind that your dog will enjoy curling up near the fireplace with the family as much as you will!

Kathryn Ek is a writer for Pocketchange, a shopping blog from where you can find more information about smart shopping for your dog. Check out this season to shop for all of your pet needs.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Concern Over H1N1 in Cat

With the recent announcement that the H1N1 virus was found in a cat, it is important to be concerned. Here are is intresting viewpoint that I found:

Be Concerned, Not Panicked
The upshot is that we need to be concerned for our pets, but there’s no need to panic. Knowing that cats and ferrets are susceptible to the swine flu virus adds a heretofore unknown twist to the rapidly developing H1N1 story, but all it means is that you need to take precautions should you develop flu-like symptoms –– even with your pets.
It’s no surprise that the recommendations for reduced human to animal transmission are similar to those for preventing human to human transmission: Cough into your elbow, wash your hands before handling your pets and give them a wide berth until 24 hours post-fever.

Again, take into account that so far it appears as though only humans can transmit H1N1 to cats and ferrets. They haven’t yet given it to us, nor have we given the virus to dogs. Only time will tell whether this will remain the case. Here’s hoping that’s as far as H1N1 goes.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Average Cost of Pet Ownership

Pet ................First year cost .........Annual cost
small dog .........1,050 .....................580
medium dog.... 1,260.................... 695
large dog ..........1,435..................... 875
Cat.................... 1,035 .....................670
Rabbit ...............1,055..................... 730
Guinea Pig ..........705..................... 635
Small Mammal... 340.................... 300
Small Bird ............270 .....................200
Fish........................ 235....................... 35

Prices do not include adoption costs, tank set up for the fish, or purchase cost.
Source: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tips for Holiday Travel with Your Pet

The winter holiday season is a time for family and friends to gather, often traveling a great distance to be together. Many families consider pets to be part of their family and choose to take them along. Traveling with pets is not always easy, especially when the family dog or cat experiences fear of travel, or motion sickness.

Some dogs resist getting into the car, giving out shrill yelps, while cats meow plaintively, salivating and drooling even before getting into the car. Some pets happily jump into the car, but the moment the engine starts and the car begins to move, their heads hang down and they start to drool, eventually getting sick after some distance. Others look out the window, flicking their heads in different direction as things move by, and quite rapidly they begin to drool and soon get sick.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that most long-distance holiday travel, about 91 percent, is by a personal vehicle, such as by car. Below are some helpful tips from HomeoPet to help make car rides more comfortable and safe for your pet, and your family:

Seat your pet securely in the car, either with a harness, crate or barrier.Allowing your pet to roam freely in the car can be dangerous for the pet and distracting for the driver. For pets with visual cue motion sickness, putting them down on the floor of the car where they cannot see out can often be very helpful.

If your pet is not accustomed to traveling in the car, take some short trips, gradually increasing his time to get him used to longer rides.Bring a favorite toy and blanket for comfort.

Your pet should have a very light meal in the three hours before travel.An empty stomach is usually more prone to nausea. Some pets will respond better on a reasonably full stomach, but if it comes up, it could mean a lot of cleaning. Keep pets hydrated with small amounts of water.

Make frequent stops, allowing pets time to exercise and relieve themselves. Be sure your pet is wearing identification tags or has a microchip in case he does run away or gets lost.

Never leave your pet in the car unattended. They can easily overheat, even when windows are left open. Always be careful with an open window—pets may jump out at the wrong time, or get stuck in them.

Be sure your pet’s mandated vaccinations are up to date, and ask your vet for a health certificate to bring along. Pack any medications your pet might be taking, or might need in an emergency. Researching local veterinarians and emergency clinics in the area you intend to visit can save you valuable time in an emergency.

If your pet does experience motion sickness, use HomeoPet’s Travel Anxiety before you begin your trip.

Tips courtesy of

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Not Good for Black Cats

The New Zealand Veterinary Association is warning trick-or-treaters to spare a thought for their pets this Saturday night.

Halloween is a bad time of year for black cats, with their long-standing connections with witches, hubble-bubble and evil.

Veterinarian Pieter Verhoek warned petowners to keep black cats away from children who might play pranks.

Reports of deliberate cruelty to black cats rise especially in the weeks around Halloween in Britain, the RSPCA animal charity said on Wednesday.

Verhoek said dogs should be restrained and protected from getting over-excited by a series of visitors to the front door which could result in someone getting bitten by accident.

Treats and trick-or-treating should also exclude pets, Verhoek advised.

"Lollies and chocolate are not good for cats and dogs, and in some instances can be toxic. Especially with chocolate, which can result in animals getting seriously sick or even dying. We do suggest that such treats are kept out of the reach of our pets.

"If the kids want to dress your dog or cat in a costume - please be sensible - ensure that the animals are comfortable and not restrained by unaccustomed clothing," he said.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bed Bugs Beware of Dogs

Sleep Tight; these dogs will do the rest!

Article from Chicago Tribune about canines trained to detect signs of bedbug infestation.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dangerous Foods For Pets

Part of the Pet Net Safety Event

We've all heard that chocolate is bad for our furry friends, but there are many other everyday foods that could be potentially harmful to our pets. Americans spend over $10 billion dollars on pet food and despite buying the best food available, some pets would rather eat what we eat. But beware as certain foods can be dangerous to your pet.

-Alcoholic Beverages. Ethanol is the component in alcoholic beverages that can be toxic when an excessive amount is ingested. Pets are much smaller than us and can be highly affected by small amounts of alcohol.

-Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plums. Ingestion of large amounts of stems, seeds and leaves of these fruits can be toxic. They contain a cyanide type compound and signs of toxicity include apprehension, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, hyperventilation and shock.

-Avocados. The leaves, fruit, bark and seeds of avocados have all been reported to be toxic.

-Baking Powder and Baking Soda. Baking soda and baking powder are both leavening agents - It produces a gas causing batter and dough to rise. Baking soda is simply sodium bicarbonate. Baking powder actually consists of baking soda and an acid. Could lead to congestive heart failure or muscle spasms.

-Chocolate - Depending on the type of chocolate ingested and the amount eaten, various problems can occur. The high fat content in chocolate may result in vomiting and possibly diarrhea. You may notice restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination and possibly excessive panting. Heart rate and blood pressure levels may also be increased. Seizure activity may occur in severe cases.

-Coffee (grounds and beans). Dogs that eat coffee grounds or beans can get "caffeine" toxicity.

-Fatty Foods. Rich and fatty food are favorites of dogs. They often get them as treats, leftovers or from getting into the trash. These fatty foods can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis can affect any pet. Miniature or toy poodles, cocker spaniels and miniature schnauzers are particularly prone. Signs of pancreatitis generally include an acute onset of vomiting, sometimes diarrhea and abdominal pain.

-Dairy Products. Dairy products are not highly dangerous but can pose problems for two reasons. One is their high fat content. The second reason is that pets poorly digest dairy products since they lack the enzyme required to digest lactose.

-Grapes and Raisins. Any dog that ingests large amounts of grapes or raisins should be treated aggressively, so contact your veterinarian immediately if ingestion has occurred.

-Macadamia Nuts. Macadamia nuts, also called the Queensland nut or Australia nut, can be toxic. The mechanism behind why these nuts are toxic is a mystery. Dogs develop weakness, depression, vomiting, difficulty walking, tremors, abdominal pain, lameness, stiffness and/or pale gums. The signs usually dissipate in 12 to 24 hrs.

-Moldy or Spoiled Food. Dogs love to get into the trash. In addition to food poisoning, some pets can develop tremors related to the ingestion of certain molds.

-Nutmeg. You may not realized this but high levels of nutmeg can be toxic, even fatal. Signs of toxicity include tremors, seizures, nervous system abnormalities or death.

-Onions or Garlic. Dogs and cats lack the enzyme necessary to properly digest onions and this could result in gas, vomiting, diarrhea or severe gastrointestinal distress.
All forms of onion and garlic are a problem. This includes raw, dehydrated, cooked, powders or those in foods.

-Yeast Dough. When ingested, bread or yeast dough will "rise" in the stomach just as it would for bread. As the dough rises and ferments, alcohol is produced. There are two problems with yeast dough. The biggest problem is that the dough often rises to many times its size, expanding the pet's stomach. The second problem is from the alcohol component, which can cause "alcohol toxicity."

-Cooked bones - Your pet does not have to give up their favorite raw bones, but they do need to give up any cooked bones they have. Cooked bones can become brittle, and because of this they can shatter and cause severe injury to the lining of the digestive track.

-Everday Toxins in the Home - Beware of everyday toxins that your pets can get into, including cleaning supplies, beauty products and even antifreeze. The smells of these items may attract your pets, but it is important to keep them away to avoid any issues.

-Beware of other pet wastes - Yes, some pets like to eat their own wastes, and sometimes the wastes of other pets. This one sure way for a pet to be at risk for diseases and parasites, which can make your dog ill. One such parasite, called Giardia,is transmitted from one dog to another through the ingestion of cysts in contaminated feed, drinking water or feces.

-Pet food not meant for your pet - in other words, dogs should only eat dog food, not cat food or any other pet food. Foods are specifically formulated for that particular animal and could be harmful to other pets because it won't have the right balance of proteins, vitamins and other minerals that your pet needs.

- Raw Salmon - It is thought that raw salmon and trout could carry a parasite that is potentially fatal to pets. The parasite has little effect on the fish itself, but if ingested by a dog, could cause serious problems.

These are just some of the everyday items to be avoid, but as always, check with your vet before giving your pets any type of diet that involves "people food."


Sunday, October 18, 2009

"My Dogs at Play"

The joys of a new toy!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Pet-Centric Bloggers & Site Editors To Raise Voices In Unison To Shine Spotlight on Pet Safety

Organizer To Feature Event Hub At

New York, NY (October 15, 2009)—In an effort to heighten awareness about critical issues related to pet safety, (, the popular online destination for pet owners and pet enthusiasts from NBC Digital Networks, has organized a consortium of some of the Web’s favorite pet-focused sites to launch the Pet ‘Net Safety Event on Wednesday, October 21.

On this date, each participating site and weblog will highlight content devoted to the important topic of pet safety, with hosting a comprehensive one-page hub ( with links to all of the special coverage. Additionally, Petside will join forces with the Associated Press to conduct a poll and collect data on people’s behavior and attitudes related to the safety of their pets, the results of which will be released on October 21.

"Common household dangers threaten our pets on a daily basis," said Joshua Fried, Director of “By raising our collective voice at once, we hope The Pet ‘Net Safety Event will help focus some much-needed attention to these important issues.”

The inaugural Pet ‘Net Event took place in October 2008 and successfully employed the combined reach of a more than dozen websites to raise awareness about animal shelter adoption. This year, participating writers will focus their efforts around issues related to pet safety. Topics covered will range from holiday dangers to travel safety to first aid tips. Sites slated to participate in the second annual event include:

• (
• Cats (
• Dogs (
• Veterinary Medicine (
• Altoona Mirror’s Have Dog, Will Blog (
• Baltimore Sun's Unleashed (
• Daily Dog Scoop (
• National Pet News (
• Houston Pet Talk (
• Love Meow (
• Paw Nation (ttp://
• (
• The Pet Haven (
• PetiQuette (
• Petopia (
• PetPeoplesPlace (
• Pets Channel of (
• PetsitUSA (
• Polka Dot Pup (
• Romeo the Cat (
• She Scribes (
• Thoughts Fur Paws (
• Timi Talks (
• YouPet (
• Zoolatry (

About ( was created by NBC Digital Networks, 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 5 pet Web sites and offers unique editorial features, expert Q&A's, tools and how-to videos.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pet Awareness Month

October is National Pet Wellness Month ( SeaYu Enterprises has just sent me some surveys they did of customers to find out what matters most about pet wellness.

Pet owners in the survey consider nutrition to be the most important aspect of their pet’s wellness (60%) followed by affection/play (17%) and disease prevention (11%). An overwhelming majority – 94% - said they were concerned with the negative effects traditional cleaning products have on their pet’s health. With good reason - according to the Environmental Protection Association (EPA), typical household cleaning products and air fresheners are one of the leading contributors to poor indoor air quality. The agency reports that poor indoor air quality can lead to health issues; animals have faster metabolisms and smaller lungs than humans, and not only are they processing these chemicals at a faster rate, they are also breathing them in more rapidly. Because animals are closer to the ground, they are more often in direct contact with these harmful substances.

In the SeaYu pet owner survey, about half of the respondents reported that “smell” was their biggest pet cleanup issue.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Many pets living longer

Some dogs and cats reaching 15 years or more, veterinarians say.

According to any article on MSN, just as humans are living longer, so are pets. A combination of a lot of factors are at play, including breeding, better health, and better awareness. Check out the article for some interesting details.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Stressed People Leads to Stressed Cat

Are you stressed? If so, you're cat may be stressed as well. According to, our cats pick up on our emotions and react to the chaos in our lives. When we're tense, they're tense. When their lives feel chaotic, they become agitated. Our stress certainly impacts our four-legged friends.

And there are plenty of other things that can put your cat on edge...

A strange environment, being home alone for long periods of time, loud noises or thunder, long car trips. Your pet's nervous anxiety can manifest itself in many ways - a physical or behavioral issue, digestive problems, a change in appetite, hypertension, even depression.

So when you're looking for a way to destress, keep in mind that your pets may need something calming as well.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dogs sniff out wrong suspect; scent lineups questioned

Interesting Article about the use of dogs are part of a line-up. Michael Buchanek became the prime suspect in a Texas murder case after sniffer dogs indicated he was involved. The dogs were wrong. His case is at the heart of a controversy over the use of an investigative tool known as dog-scent lineups. Check out the full article...what do you think?

Monday, September 28, 2009

7 Incredible Pets that Will Surprise You

By guest blogger Mary Ward Do you Digg It
Looking for the perfect pet can be a tall order, until you consider some alternative options. There are some excellent pets out there that can bring about hours of enjoyment, and sometimes the least expected choices make the best ones.
1. Hamsters: Sure they are rodents, but these are excellent pets for kids. The maintenance and upkeep is minimal for this family-friendly pet, so it’s a perfect starter pet. For the kids that want a family friend to take care of, this is an excellent animal to show what nurturing an animal is all about. These are fairly independent animals so they won’t necessarily show loyalty, but they’re pretty easy to care for.

2. Guinea Pigs: Along the same lines, these cute little bundles of fur are relatively easy to care for. That’s why you see so many of these cute little pets in homes with young people, as well as classrooms across the country. You can shower them with love but they can still do their own thing. This is an excellent pet to be able to care for but not to force too much time or attention as they blend into the family pretty easily.

3. Parrot: Birds are great pets in general, but the parrot can be a lot of fun. These are great pets because they feel like a part of the family as they repeat the words you say, making for hours of entertainment. Parrots are lovable yet fairly low maintenance making them a surprisingly delightful addition to the family.

4. Bunny: Who knew that these cute little fur balls made such excellent pets? Bunnies are great because they don’t require quite as much time or attention as cats or dogs, but yet they can be quite lovable. They can come out of their cage to play with the family, but yet will stay for long periods in their little home without making a peep. Cute and furry, these are a wonderful surprise as family pets go!

5. Iguana: Okay so this may not conjure up the visions of cuteness, but they make for good pets. You can shower them with attention though they don’t require too much in terms of maintenance. A little known benefit to these pets is that if you let them loose in the yard every once in awhile, they will help to control any bug problems that you may be experiencing.

6. Teacup Pigs: Admittedly any sort of farm animal such as this does better with more room to wander, but this smaller version can provide great delight. This tiny version of your typical pig can be lovable and sweet; it just needs extra attention to ensure they thrive. They are so cute though that you can’t help but fall in love with them!

7. Fish: If you want a pet but don’t want to keep up with the maintenance, this can be the perfect solution. A nice tank full of fish can bring about relaxation and a nice sense of companionship, offering some excellent delight to the individual who owns them.

These seven animals make surprisingly rewarding pets and companions, and are often easier to keep for many people and people with special considerations like allergies, time constraints, etc. Always keep in mind, though, that you should do your research to learn about any animal before committing to it as a long-term pet, and always consider alternative resources like rescues and shelters to help along a pet less fortunate.

Mary Ward is a freelance writer and likes writing about animal-related career topics, such as how to obtain an
online Vet Tech degree,job and education tips, and more.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Long Journey For Cat

A woman's pet cat was found alive after being buried beneath debris from a house fire for 26 days!

According to the Huffington Post, Sandy LaPierre said that she assumed her 1-year-old female cat Smoka had died from the Aug. 10 fire in Franklin, about 30 miles north of Cincinnati.

Then 26 days later, a demolition company moved in to tear down what was left of the building. As they started to clear away rubble, they found Smoka's head sticking out from under 16 feet of debris! Amazing!

Smoka is alive and well. LaPierre says Smoka lost a lot of weight and has been gobbling down food to make up for it. Smoka has some difficulty walking, but otherwise seems OK.

After 26 days of being trapped without food or water she is still alive. That is one lucky cat.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fish Tank Update

I recently wrote about my trials and frustrations with buying a new fish tank. The tank is up and running and doing well. I'll have to put up some pictures soon, once my home projects are done and things calm down a bit. I only lost one fish in the process. The minimal loss is because I used filter media from a current tank to help cycle the new aquarium while mixing in the water from the old tank, to keep from getting what is known as new tank syndrome. I'll be posting some other great articles soon!

Monday, September 14, 2009

World's Most Expensive Dog

It would have been much cheaper to adopt....

What does a $582,000 dog look like? A Tibetan Mastiff has apparently broken the record for the world's most expensive dog. It was sold to a young Chinese millionare.

You can read the complete article as found on

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Day to Reflect

I think every generation is defined by historical events beyond our control or even comprehension. For people my age, 9/11 is that day when our lives all changed. Take time to reflect on what's good in your lives and appreciate that special someone or pet as we remember those not only lost in the attacks, but in the battles that followed.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cleaning Hazards

According to the Environmental Protection Association (EPA), typical household cleaning products and air fresheners are one of the leading contributors to poor indoor air quality. The agency reports that poor indoor air quality can lead to health issues; animals have faster metabolisms and smaller lungs than humans, and not only are they processing these chemicals at a faster rate, they are also breathing them in more rapidly. Because animals are closer to the ground, they are more often in direct contact with these harmful substances.

Now, I'm not about to recommend any cleaning supplies, as the above was actually something a "green" cleaning product company sent to me as part of a press release. But, the information is worth noting that there are so many things in our environment that we don't consider for either ourselves, or our pets. It is worth doing a little research before using products around you and your pets to make sure it is safe.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shear Poodle Madness

It's time for Shear Poodle Madness...the pictures of what people do to their poor poodles.....Check it out!

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Trip With Your Best Friend

For dog owners who like to travel, there is the inevitable issue of what to do with your dog. A new business venture encourages you to take the dogs with you.

Canine Club Getaway ( is, quite simply the ultimate vacation for dogs and the people who love them. The first Getaway is scheduled for September 10-13 in the gorgeous Catskill Mountains in NY.

Here are some of the highlights!

1) Dogs are allowed IN the pool! There's even a kiddie pool for small dogs and novice swimmers.
2) No one has to "ruff it." It's a resort, not a camp, so you get heated, air conditioned rooms with cable TV and wi-fi (for all those hi-tech dogs out there), and there are gourmet meals for the humans (who, with a little training, should be smart enough to bring doggie bags back from dinner!)
3) Dogs are allowed to sleep in the bed with their humans.
4) Lure coursing! Lure coursing! Lure coursing!
5) Agility! Frisbee! Flyball!
6) Incredible hiking
7) A vet on the premises. In case you break a nail with all that lure coursing.
8) The convenience store sells dog treats.
9) It's a big, giant party with nothing but dogs and dog people! How can you NOT love that?

If this sounds like fun, check out the Web site at

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

L.A. residents urged to evacuate from wildfires with pets

Interesting article about pets sometimes being forgotten during evacuations........

As wildfires surge around the Los Angeles basin, pet owners need to take special care that their charges are safe. Most important is to take pets with you if you're evacuated, says Heather Case, the American Veterinary Medicine Association's coordinator of emergency preparedness and response.

"Everyone should be thinking 'How am I going to transport my pets?'" she says. "Take the order to evacuate seriously. Animals, because they're smaller than we are, are quite sensitive to smoke."

In past years during wildfires in California, animal e-mail lists "have gone crazy" but they're strangely silent this time, says Christie Keith, a contributing editor to the blog "It's been very different from previous fires where people had been clamoring for help with their pets," she says. "Maybe because it's such a more populated area people are following the evacuation orders. Or maybe five hours from now this is going to explode."

So best to be prepared. For cats, that includes having a carrier large enough to accommodate a temporary litter box, even a makeshift one that will work a few days, Case says. For dogs, leashes and collars are a must. Even the most well-behaved dog will need one in the confusion and excitement of an evacuation setting.

Identification for animals is crucial, in case they become separated from their owners. "Ideally, your pet is micro chipped," Case says. Failing that, some pet shops make tags while you wait. Owners in fire zones should think of including both their cell phone number and the number of someone well away from the fire area, should cell phone coverage break down or the pet's owner be unable to respond. With the Los Angeles fires threatening the Mt. Wilson communications hub, it's possible that cell phone service in the area could be disrupted, making local cell phone numbers unreliable.

For animals outside the evacuation areas, minimizing stress from smoke and the sound of helicopters, fire engines and general chaos is important.

"Shut down the noise as much as you can," suggests Ricky Whitman, spokesperson for the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA. Sometimes running the air conditioner helps to mask outside sounds, and cut down on the smoke smell. "Pay attention to your animals behaviors, because some animals are very sensitive and others don't seem to care quite so much," she says.

Several groups are offering to take in animals who need to be boarded during the fires. They include the Casitas Hotel for Cats in Glendale, which can only take cats, and the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA, which is taking cats, dogs and some wildlife. The Kitty Liberation Front provides details on local shelters that are accepting both cats and dogs.

The Humane Society's national site has checklists and our earlier post details U.S. government's plans on how to evacuate animals.

By Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Flurry of Information

As more and more pet owners pamper their pets and try to avoid the "commercial products," more and more smaller companies are turning towards internet/blog marketing then ever. Over the last few months, I have gotten more emails and questions from small companies telling me about their products in the last few months then I have gotten since I've started this blog.

Maybe I'm just becoming more popular on the web (I doubt it!) or companies are just becoming more grassroots in the way they promote their items.

My biggest issue, of course, is what to believe. It is so difficult for a company to convince someone that they need this product over the products they currently use...especially if the products a consumer currently uses is working for that person.

I read all the emails I get, and try to pass on the ones that look legit, but my I think my dogs are enjoying the products they have and aren't looking to be test animals for my blog. But, at the same time, you never know where that one great product will come around!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Needing A New Fish Tank

As I had posted previously, we are doing some work on our place, namely installing new hard wood floors and getting rid of the old, grungy carpeting.

In the midst of draining my 55 gallon fish tank down to about a quarter full of water and fish, we discovered that it had a slow leak. When we pulled up the old carpet, we found the floor under which the tank had stood was damaged with water. Apparently, the tank had been seeping water. So, what to do? Either replace just the top part with a similarly sized glass aquarium, or find an entirely new system, stand and all.

I never thought it would be so tough to find a good tank, at a good price. Years ago, I had a 45 gallon "high" tank, meaning the size was more vertical and deep, rather then horizontal. This way, a larger tank would fit in a tighter spot. Although my current tank was a "long," I was hoping to find a taller tank, but in the same amount of gallons.

It took stops at 5 different pet stores for me to find what I wanted. It seems as though the stores carry a lot of the "cookie cutter" style tanks, and mostly the long versions, bow front versions, or overpriced hexagon tanks. And most of the tanks were under 30 gallons.

In the end, my persistence to find the perfect tank at an affordable price paid off, but not without a lot of visits to different stores, and a lot of wondering if I would find one in my price range that would do the trick. Even the big box stores carry different tanks at different locations. Due to the size of a tank, and the amount of room they take up on the show room floor (or in storage), many stores don't carry a wide selection as it is more profitable to fill the shelves with other, higher volume items.

So if you're looking for an aquarium, do your research, be persistant, and don't be in a rush. Hopefully you too will find that perfect tank.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Confused About Doggie Day Care?

Confused about Dog Day Care?
Would you take your dog to a day care? Here are some tips from Dogtopia CEO Amy Nichols. Let me know what you think.

Just like parents seeking quality care for their children while they work or travel, dog owners face the same dilemma. Amy Nichols, who has devoted her life to ensuring quality of life for America’s dogs, offers the following information about dog day care to help sort fact from fiction:

* Day care provides quality, structured care: Dog day care provides a structured schedule for your pooch, complete with activities, nap time, snack time and social play. Each Dogtopia location includes a gymnasium, romper room, and lounge to suit the different sizes and play styles of their diverse clientele. There is plenty of open space, which gives your dog the opportunity to interact with other dogs, while running around and burning off plenty of pent-up energy.

* Peace of mind: Dog day care provides all-day service for your pup—that means tons of active play time with plenty of their four-legged friends. There will not be a moment in the day where the owner has to wonder, ‘Is my dog alone?’ The typical Dogtopia location cares for between 50 to 80 dogs per day with a ratio of one caregiver per 10-15 dogs.

* Your dog is never out of your sight: To create even more peace of mind for dog owners, Dogtopia employs web cam technology that allows the dogs’ owners to check on their pets at any time.

* Entrance Exams: A Great Dane might not make the best company for a Dachshund and Dogtopia understands that. All dogs undergo evaluations that include a health assessment, vaccination verification, and a temperament test to insure that the dog is social and comfortable in large groups. Dogs are placed in play groups that suit their style.

* Trained Staff: It’s important that your dog is consistently happy and healthy, so Dogtopia only employs the best. The Dogtopia staff is fully trained to provide the best care for your pup. Store owners attend pet CPR classes and all employees are trained in pack management and dog behavior.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Importance of Choosing the Right Cat Food

This guest post is Brought to you by Sean Green at Cat Food Reviews. For more information on Guest Blogging please send me an email at:

Perhaps the single most important part of caring for your cat is ensuring that you are providing them with adequate nutrition. Cats with a consistent supply of balanced, digestible nutrients will enjoy better overall health, and potentially require less veterinary care. However, there are hundreds of different choices of cat food formulas on the market today. How can you be certain that you are providing your cat with the best possible nutrition?

The first step in choosing the right cat food for your cat is to check the first five ingredients. These ingredients represent a large portion of the cat food formula. It is important to be wary of formulas that list corn, wheat or soy in the first five ingredients. These are high-carbohydrate ingredients, and have been potentially suggested to cause allergic reactions or food intolerance in some cats. Many people are opting to switch to low-carbohydrate cat food formulas, since these diets more closely resemble the nutritional needs of felines in the wild. In addition to this, it is ideal for the first ingredient of a cat food formula to be from the primary protein source listed on the front label. Remember, the ingredients in a cat food formula are listed by weight, and the first five ingredients represent a large part of the “bulk” of the formula.

For most cat food formulas, the phrase “You Get what you Pay For” is extremely accurate. Many cat owners are under the misconception that purchasing cheaper cat food formulas is an economical choice when feeding their cats. In reality, this is not true. Many cats need to consume a higher volume of an inexpensive cat food brand in order to satisfy their nutritional cravings. As many cheap cat food formulas are filled with high-carbohydrate products, this can eventually result in obesity. The chance of a cat experiencing a medical problem that requires veterinary attention is much higher when a cat is fed a cheap, high-carbohydrate cat food formula. In the long run, “Budget” cat food could potentially end up being more expensive than purchasing a premium brand.

Cat Food of the Week as recommended by
Wellness Cat Food is manufactured by the “Old Mother Hubbard” pet supply company, which was first founded in 1926. All of the Wellness cat food formulas are produced without artificial colors, artificial flavors, or preservatives. In addition to this, there are no corn, wheat, soy, or meat by-products included in Wellness brand Cat Food. Wellness Cat Food is available in several different dry and canned formulas, which are also available for cats in specific life-stages. Wellness is also available in a grain-free, low-carbohydrate formula, which is named Wellness CORE. This formula contains a Guaranteed Analysis of 50% protein (four of the first five ingredients are protein-based), while all of the other Wellness cat food formulas contain 30% protein or more. All of the Wellness Cat Food formulas are produced from protein that does not contain any hormones, steroids, or artificial growth products.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Letting Dogs be Dogs


National Survey Reveals More Common Sense Approach to Pooch Pampering

Forget about doggie day care, spas and designer clothes. According to a recent national survey of American dog owners, the majority say they are pampering their pooches with more simple pleasures, including belly rubs, walks and games of fetch.

The survey, which was conducted by ALPO® brand dog food, reveals that just two percent of dog owners say they have ever pampered their pooches by taking them to a doggie spa and only one percent says they have ever pampered their dog with a professional massage. When it comes to doing special things for their four-legged friends, 79 percent of dog owners say they feed their dogs treats, 73 percent say they give them belly rubs and 69 percent take them for walks. And, when asked when their dog is happiest, 62 percent of owners say it is greeting them when they come home.

To celebrate a more common sense approach to pooch pampering and share its mission to let dogs be dogs, ALPO -- America’s iconic dog food brand -- is announcing the ALPO Real Dogs Tell It Like It Is Contest ( The national contest is searching for real dogs to share their stories about their favorite real dog behaviors, such as rolling in the mud, drooling for dinner or chasing a ball. Up to 20 lucky winning “pawthors” will have their stories published in a first-of-its-kind “how to” manual to help dogs be dogs.

“It’s time to let dogs be dogs again,” said Brian Kilcommons, renowned dog expert and author. “Our four-legged friends really don’t care who designed their collar or what’s happening at the doggie spa. They are happiest when they can express their true inner-dogness – instinctual behaviors including sniffing, digging, eating, playing and sleeping that are in their DNA and define what it means to enjoy a dog’s life.”

In addition to greeting them when they come home, the dog owners surveyed say that their dog is happiest when being taken for a walk or a run (52 percent), receiving treats (48 percent), napping on the couch (32 percent) and chewing a bone (30 percent). And, 78 percent of dog owners say the current economy has not affected their dog’s lifestyle.

“We’re inviting dogs across America to celebrate their real dogness by sharing their stories and inspiring others about what it means to be 100 percent, real, lovable dog,” said Kilcommons. “The winning pawthors’ stories will be published in a common sense guide that should be required reading for dogs and their owners for generations to come.”

The ALPO® Real Dogs Tell It Like It Is contest kicks-off on Tuesday, August 11 and ends on Monday, September 28. Dogs are invited to submit a story (ghost written by their owner) on about their favorite real dog behavior, such as eating, chasing, chewing, drooling and napping, and why it’s time to let dogs be dogs. Stories must be 300 words or less and the entry must also include a color photo of the dog. No purchase is necessary to enter the contest. The entries will be judged by Kilcommons and an independent judging panel based on the following criteria: best description of a “real dog” behavior (50%); and originality and creativity of entry (50%). Up to 20 winners will be selected and their stories will be featured in the first-of-its-kind “how to” manual for real dogs that will be published in 2010.

---The Pet Haven is providing this for informational purposes and is not associated with the promotion----

Monday, August 17, 2009

5 Good Cat Tips

Some good stuff from about things some cat owners do wrong. Let me know what you think.....
1. They do not have yearly examinations done on their pets. Yearly exams are important and can find health problems early when many are more treatable.

2. They don't keep a current ID tag or microchip on their cat. Many cats don't have a current ID tag or microchip. However, even indoor cats occasionally get out. This is the most vulnerable of cats. An ID tag or microchip is the BEST way a lost cat can be returned to you. At the clinics, we often see pets brought in without a tag or microchip, and they end up going off to Rabies Control or to the Humane Society. Without identification, many of these pets are never reunited with their owners.

3. Skimping on nutrition is also a big problem. A good quality food is important to cats. Cats need a high quality balanced diet that is formulated to meet their life-stage needs.

4. Many pet owners don't pay attention to toxins and medications around their homes that cats can get into. Maybe it comes down to "cat-proofing" your home to ensure your cat can't get into common toxins such as rat poison, antifreeze, medications (cat and human) or the trash. Cats are especially fond of thread and other liner objects such as yarn and ribbon. Keep those items picked up and out of the reach of your cat as well.

5. Some cat owners don't monitor their cats. It is important to do this on a daily basis. Cats are so good at hiding their illnesses that often, by the time we notice, the disease may be quite advanced. For this reason, it is important to look for early signs of problems. Monitor your cat's urinations, defecations, attitude and appetite every day. Don't just keep dry food down and not be sure if your cat is eating, offer a little canned food twice a day to ensure he is eager to eat.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Penguins graduate from zoo 'school'

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO/CNN) - Wednesday was a big day for some little penguins as they waddled from their "school" at the San Francisco Zoo to join the "big kids" at the 54-member penguin colony.

They needed a bit of guidance, as you can see, but zoo keepers were there to help them on their journey.

The penguins were born earlier this year, and spent months learning to swim and feed, so they can join the other penguins in the permanent exhibit.

The San Francisco Zoo has had Magellanic penguins since 1984.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Home Improvement

I know I have been MIA lately and haven't been posting much on the blog. I'm in the middle of a home improvement poor dogs have been spending a lot of time at my in-laws to keep them out of harms way, and my fish tank is now in my kitchen....and no, I am not going to cook them as one of my coworkers suggested.

Projects are not only stressful to people, but our pets suffer too, so it is important to take good care of them during any time of major change.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cat Declawing

Declawing, or onychectomy, is not just the removal of the claws, but amputation of the last bone in each of the ten front toes. The series of amputations can sometimes sever tendons, nerves, and muscles. In fact, many organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, have issues formal statements opposing declawing cats.

If you do have a cat that is declawed, vets recommend using a soft liter that will not re-open any wounds. Because of the prolonged pain after surgery, many declawed cats tend to avoid the letter box altogether because their paws may hurt when scratching in the box.

There are alternatives to declawing your cat. When done properly, regular trimming of their nails (a vet can show the proper way) poses little risk to the cat.

Before domestication, cats used tree trunks to exercise, stretch and mark their territory. It is possible for cats to be trained to use a scratching post in order to fulfill their natural instinct to scratch.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

"Clown" Loach

Here is a picture of one my clown loaches in my community aquarium. I've had him for almost five years now! Proving that fish can live a long life if properly cared for, just like any other living thing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Buyer Beware When Purchasing Fish

This is such a pet peeve (pardon the pun) of mine, but why does Wal-Mart sell live fish? Everytime I go to any Wal-Mart with tropical fish, they look sick, many having ich (white spot disease) or even worse - dead floating in the tank.

But still, they always have rows of tanks full of dying fish. And they keep buying more from distributors since the tanks are always full of semi-alive fish covered with ich or fungus.

Adding unhealthy fish to your community tank can effectively wipe-out all the other fish in you have. Before adding any fish to your tank, inspect it closely for torn fins, fungus, and white spots. Make sure the fish is alert, active, and swimming around while not at the surface gasping for air.

Most likely, you won't find any fish like this at Wal-Mart. And even adding one unhealthy fish to your aquarium can introduce diseases that can destroy your community.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


We recently took Kelso, our male Lhasa Apso, to get, as they say, altered. The term struck me as funny, but I guess in the long run, that is exactly what they are doing to him, altering. I remember growing up, and we used to always say the dog was being "Fixed." But when you say fixed, in a lot of ways you are saying that maybe there was something broken to begin with?

I would have thought the term of spayed or neutered would be used by our vet, but when the paperwork came to us, it stated the surgery as our dog being altered.

There really isn't an easy way to describe what is being done to dog...especially if you're a guy!! But the good news is, no matter what you call it, Kelso did fine, and is now recovering. He's been whining a bit since the surgery, and I'm sure he's still a bit uncomfortable, but in a few weeks, it will all be a distant memory.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Over Feeding Fish Could Lead to Problems

Fish always see hungry in a home aquarium. They are always going to the top of the tank whenever you walk by, hoping you'll drop some goodies in the tank. But when it comes to fish feeding, overfeeding is one of the hardest mistakes to avoid.

It can be directly harmful to both the health of the fish and the quality of their water. All that uneaten food will be broken down into ammonia and nitrite, both of which are extremely toxic to fish. As uneaten food decays, it can also cause a variety of other problems, including cloudy water, algae blooms, in addition to low PH and low oxygen levels in the tank.

Poor water quality leads to poor fish health. There is always debate as to how often to feed your fish. Some people suggest 2 or 3 small meals a day, while others suggest once a day is fine. A lot of times it also depends on the type of fish. Regardless of how often, always feed your fish about as much as they will consume in about 2 - 3 minutes. Any more could lead to problems.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Weddings Are Going to the Dogs

As if worrying about the potential for the little flower girls and ring boys weren't enough to you stress at a wedding, more and more dogs are getting into the act.

The craze seemed to get going a few years back when Adam Sandler dressed up his dogs in little tuxedos. But according to this article from Chronicle Books, it is a trend that may continue to grown. Check out the guest article and as always, we enjoy your thoughts

Friday, July 10, 2009

Should It Be Law to Neuter Your Pets?

Do you think it should be a law to spay or neuter your pets? Vote here in The Pet Place Poll

So far, there are a lot of votes into this poll, and the no's are leading by an overwhelming majority.

What's your thoughts on the issue?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Fundraising Site for Shelters

I was recently contacted about a new site who's goal it is to support not only the pet community, but animal shelters as well. Here is some information from the press release:

Roseland, N.J., June 22, 2009 – Shop ‘til you drop in support of animal shelters, then get together with friends to share stories, advice and even pictures – all online. That’s the goal of the newly launched The fundraising Web site also offers exclusive content for cat and dog owners which includes information on pet care and safety, information on animal shelters, as well blogs, groups and open forums.

The site’s primary purpose is to raise money to help shelters care for homeless pets. It serves as an online portal where visitors can access more than 150 major online retailers, like Amazon, Sephora, Wal-Mart, iTunes, and many more. To raise money, online shoppers register at to select a shelter to support, then click-through to the merchant of choice. Each retailer specifies a percent commission on the Web site and donates that percentage of the purchase to Bring Pets Home. There is no additional cost to the consumer.

Every year, six to eight million animals enter U. S. shelters. According to the ASPCA, as many as one million additional dogs and cats are in danger of losing their homes in 2009, at a time when fewer donations are coming in. All need food, shelter, and medical care, so that they have the chance to be reunited with their original owners or adopted into caring, permanent homes.

“Bring Pets Home is a great way for pet lovers to raise money to help homeless animals without ever leaving home—and at no cost to them,” says Linda Block of Bring Pets Home. “More pets are entering shelters, but donors’ purse strings have tightened. Anyone can help by simply remembering to visit to click-through to a favorite online merchant whenever shopping online.“

About Bring Pets Home

BRING PETS HOME is a not-for-profit animal charity that raises money to help animals in shelters across the country. 100% of the money raised will go directly to animal shelters to provide food, shelter and medical treatment to pets in need. All operating costs of BRING PETS HOME are covered by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health. There is no additional cost to the consumer. To learn more, visit

Monday, July 6, 2009

Are You A Pet Product Inventor?

PetSmart has teamed up with innovation portal Edison Nation ( to host a “Live Product Search” specifically asking people to submit their innovative ideas for interactive pet toys and products that help keep house pets of all shapes and sizes entertained while owners are away.

Edison Nation, will present product concepts to PetSmart following the July 9th close of their “Live Product Search.” PetSmart will then choose which concepts to research, develop and potentially add to their product offering.

Individuals whose products are selected for development by PetSmart will receive a $2500 advance and percentage of future product sales for up to 20 years.

The direct link to PetSmart's Live Product Search opportunity on Edison Nation is:

With only one week left in the search, this offers readers the chance to jump on the ideas that have been scribbled on a sticky note or just thoughts in their inventive minds.

A recent American Pet Products Association report revealed that whereas most retail sectors are struggling to simply stay afloat, the pet industry is actually thriving, as one of the fastest-growing sectors with projected 4.9% increase in spending to $45.4 billion in 2009.

For more information on the Live Product Search hosted by a globally renowned consumer products company, see the official Web site for the search:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

I'm sure there are plenty of posts on the internet about holiday safety for your pets, and I've been guilty of it in the past. So for this year, I'm simply going to say, enjoy the weekend as best you can!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dog Boarding

I recently posted a contest for a stay at one of PetSmart's pet hotels. The giveaway, by the way, is still open and it is easy to enter from clicking this link.

This got me to thinking, what do others do when they go on vacation? Do they get pet sitters to come to the house? And if so, are they friends/relatives? Or someone that is hired?
Do people board their pets? Do they leave them with strangers at a kennel? There are so many options, all of which most likely cost money, or at least a trade off if you're using your friends/relatives. Or do you simply look for places that allow pets?

And that brings up another issue. If you're at a hotel that allows pets, how much can you trust the staff if you decide to go out for a bit without your pet? can you pet be left in the room? I would definitely put up the Do Not Disturb Sign.

What do you do with your pets when you travel?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Poll Finds Pets Are People Too!

A new poll by investigates how much pet owners treat animals as human beings. Findings reveal that half (50%) of all American pet owners say their animals are just as much a part of the family as any person in the household.

Another interesting bit of data - 43% of pet owners think their pooch or kitty has their own sense of style, with 1 in 5 dressing them up in fashionable attire. Other topics include where pets sleep, whether owners feed human food to their pets,celebrating pets birthday, top pet names, and whether or not pets are featured in family photos and holiday greetings.

Here's the link to the story

The only thing I found surprising is that there weren't more people who said they treated their pets like part of the family.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Win A 5-Star Accommodation For Your Pet

More than half of all pets are left behind when their families travel. PetSmart® (NASDAQ: PETM) knows pet parents want only the best care possible for their loved ones while away, so PetSmart PetsHotel® associates go to great lengths to give pet guests the personal TLC to make them feel right at home.

PetSmart has given me an overnight stay, doggie day camp, and a treat time voucher - a $60 value - for free to one lucky reader.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with your favorite vacation spot, and we'll use a random number generator to choose a winner. Contest is open through July 5th!

Here is some more information on PetSmart Hotels

No Request too Great
Take Coco Lamb, a 140-lb. Irish Wolfhound in Joliet, Ill., who only eats his dinner from a spoon. Coco's family drives more than 30 miles to their nearest PetsHotel in for this VIP treatment.
Rising to these unique requests is just part of what makes a pet's stay at the PetSmart PetsHotel so special. Whether it's the spoon-fed care of an affectionate associate or an associate rocking a dog named Mitzi to sleep to her parent's lullaby over the Bone Booth™ telephone, these are just a few examples of care provided at the PetsHotel.

Check out these links!

Over Night StayDoggie Day Camp
Dog Services

Please note that PetSmart hotel is not affiliated with The Pet Haven Blog and this blog assumes no responsibility for the items given away other then offering the promotion on their behalf.

All dogs and cats are welcome at the PetsHotel, provided they have necessary vaccinations, including rabies and bordetella every six months. Average rates for dogs staying at the PetsHotel range from $23 to $37 per night depending on room type. Activities including Doggie Day Camp range from $20 to $25, and varies by location. Cats stay for $14 per night. A la carte services and upgrades range from $3 to $16.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pet Summer Safety

The weather is getting warmer, and hopefully here on the east coast, the rain will stop. Here are some good tips to help your furry friends enjoy the summer.


Never leave your pet in an unattended car. On warm days, the temperature in your car can rise to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with the windows slightly open.

When you bring your pet along on a car ride, use a pet safety harness. If an accident were to occur, a pet safety harness can ensure that every passenger is protected.

If your dog must ride in the back of a pick-up truck, make sure that he or she is in a crate that is secured to the bed of the truck. If you were to suddenly hit the brakes, swerve or be hit by a car, it could result in serious injury not only to your pet, but to other drivers.

Do not travel with your pet on an airplane unless it's absolutely necessary. If you plan on bringing your pet on vacation, consider driving to your destination. Otherwise, think about leaving your pet behind under the care of a pet sitter or boarding kennel.


Only use veterinarian-approved flea and tick control products. Over-the-counter products may contain ingredients that have been found to harm pets. For more information about what chemicals to avoid, click here.

Make sure that your pet is protected from heartworm. Dogs and cats are at higher risk of contracting heartworm during the summer because there is an increase of mosquitoes, which transfer the disease. Contact your veterinarian in order to determine the best schedule for heartworm testing and preventive medication for your pet.

Protect your pet from the heat by providing him/her with large amounts of fresh water and keeping them indoors with you and providing plenty of shade when they are spending time outdoors.
On hot days, limit your pet's exercise to the early morning or evening hours. Also, keep in mind that the hot asphalt can burn your pet's paws.

Learn to identify the signs of heat stress: heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue. If your pet does become overheated, immediately lower his/her body temperature by applying cool (not cold) water over his/her body, and giving small amounts of water or ice cubes. Most importantly, get immediate help from a veterinarian.

Teach your dog how to get out of your pool. Like people, many dogs like cooling off in pools. Even if your dog can swim, tragedy can occur if he/she does not know how to exit the pool. This can be prevented by showing your pooch how to enter the pool via the stairs and guiding him or her back out. Never leave your pet unattended around a pool.

Make sure that your pet is always wearing a collar with an updated identification tag. Even if your pet has an implanted microchip, as of late 2003, animal shelters and humane societies may not have a universal scanner that can read every brand of microchip.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Free "Father's Day Card" from your pet did this for mother's day, and it was a hit. So now, you (ok, your pet) can send a father's day card.

Check it out!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dogs May Need Diets, Too

Tip from

You've no doubt heard about the human obesity epidemic, but did you know that pets have practically caught up with us? Check out this startling statistic: up to 40% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese. And as a result, there is a government-approved "fat drug" for our four-legged friends.

But before asking about a prescription for your portly pooch, get your dog on a diet and exercise plan. Not only will this help Rex with his weight loss, but it could help you trim down, too.

Case in point: Researchers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago rounded up 36 obese or overweight people who owned dogs that were obese and put the people and their pups on lower-calorie diets. The researchers also advised owners to get 20–30 minutes of daily exercise. The pup owners exercised more compared with overweight or obese adults who did not own dogs. And because they spent much of their time exercising with their dogs, the pets really ended up dropping the pounds. In fact, most lost about 15% of their body weight!

So do yourself and your dog a favor by staying active and eating healthfully. Both are vital for your -- and your pet's -- long-term health and happiness.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tips For Dog Park Visits

By Amy Nichols of Dogtopia

With June here and the weather heating up, more and more dog owners will be treating their pups to an afternoon at a neighborhood dog park. There are more than 600 dog parks across the country, which means spending the day at the dog park is becoming increasingly more common. As the founder of Dogtopia, a national chain of upscale dog daycare and spas, I see dogs interacting with each other quite regularly during our daily play groups and at the “indoor” dog park days we host at our facilities during the winter. While the trips to the dog park can be a great way to help with your pooches socialization skills, it can also turn out to be a disaster if you are not prepared for the trip. When it comes to spending time at the dog park, there are plenty of “do’s and don’ts.”

With that in mind, here are a few key tips dog owners should remember before rushing out to the local dog park:

* Make sure your dog is up-to-date on his/her vaccinations before heading out.
* If you've never been to the park before, find out if there is a water source. If there isn't, remember to bring water with you.
* Always clean up after your dog. The dog park’s for everyone.
* Always pay attention while your dog plays and interrupt any rough play.
* It may be a good idea to leave toys and treats of your own at home to avoid any competition for them between the dogs. Besides, the dogs are more than capable of occupying themselves.
* Don’t worry if your dog doesn’t immediately begin to play. Every dog has to reach their own comfort level.
* If your dog makes a new friend, chat with the owner and learn when they normally come to play. You can arrange play dates!

Following these tips will help make everyone’s experience at the dog park an enjoyable one. For more information on Dogtopia and a listing of locations nationwide, as well as how to get your dog involved with one of our numerous play groups, visit

About the Author: Amy Nichols, founder and CEO of Dogtopia.
After researching trends and carefully planning the venture to serve dogs and their busy owners, Amy founded the first Dogtopia, a full-service dog day care, spa and boutique, in 2002. The company has experienced overwhelming success and growth. There are currently 20 Dogtopia locations open throughout the country, with a dozen more facilities currently in development.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cute Kittens

Who doesn't like cute kittens? And now there is a new blog whose focus is on the kitties of the world.

check out the Cute Kitten Site and enjoy the fun pictures.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm Back

I've been off the blogging world for a bit, but I'm getting back into it and will have some more posts soon. The puppies and fish are all doing well. The dogs had their annual check ups and Rocco had an ear infection. He had been scratching a lot lately at the ear, and we thought it was from his seasonal allergies and had been giving him his allergy medicine. Unfortunately is was worse then that, but the vet caught the problem and Rocco has been scratching a lot less.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

400 dogs seized from Wash. puppy mill

-----this comes from an AP news story-----KENNEWICK, Wash. - More than 400 dogs, including three newborn puppies, have been removed from a puppy mill that is being called “one of the worst cases” of animal abuse seen by animal groups and state officials.

“The conditions were not only shocking, but also heartbreaking to veteran deputies,” said Benton County Sheriff Larry Taylor, who led the raid Wednesday at the Sun Valley kennel of 66-year-old Ella Stewart.

Dogs were found living in wooden crates, shopping carts and other makeshift kennels caked with feces and soaked with urine, investigators said. Detectives wore gloves and put booties on their shoes before walking onto the 2-acre property

All the dogs will need medical care and some will require extensive treatment, Taylor said. Some dogs suffered from malnutrition while others had urine burns and overgrown nails.

Stewart was arrested May 12 after a deputy responded to an unrelated call at her neighbor’s home. Investigators said conditions at her kennel for breeding miniature American Eskimo dogs was deplorable.

Taylor said the dogs weren’t seized at the time because the county doesn’t have an animal control facility and had nowhere to house them. It also took time to find a licensed veterinarian and animal rescue groups to help, Taylor said.

The dogs will be placed in emergency kennels at the Benton County Fairgrounds.

Inga Gibson, state director with The Humane Society of the United States’ West Coast regional office, said it was “definitely one of the worst cases we have seen because of the conditions they were kept in.”

She also said the raid was “one of the largest in Washington state and close to one of the largest in the country.”

Stewart pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor count of second-degree animal cruelty in Benton County District Court. If convicted, she faces up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Prosecutors reviewing the case said they may file additional charges.

A telephone call to Stewart’s residence Thursday by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tips for Giving Pet Medication

--------Guest post -----
Pet Article courtesy of

Having a sick pet at home is tough enough without the added stress of medication. Some dogs and cats take their medicine with ease while others need a little coercing.

No matter how difficult it may be to get your dog or cat to take medication, it is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully.

Pills or Capsules - Step-by-Step

PetFirst Tip
Ask your veterinarian if your pet’s medication can be given with food. If so, trying placing the pill in a small treat.

1. Hold the pill between your thumb and index finger.
2. Firmly grasp your pet’s upper jaw with your other hand tilting your pet’s head back gently.
3. Using your middle finger, slowly open the lower jaw.
4. Keep your middle finger over the small incisor teeth and deposit the pill as far back on the tongue as possible.
5. Close the mouth immediately while keeping your hand over the mouth.
6. Stroke the throat or blow gently into your pet’s nostrils. This will encourage your pet to swallow.

Liquids and Syrups - Step-by-Step

1. Fill the syringe or dropper with medication before beginning.
2. Insert the syringe or dropper between your pet’s teeth and cheek.
3. Close your pet’s mouth and tilt the head back slightly.
4. Gently release the medication from the syringe or dropper.
5. Keep the mouth closed and stroke the throat or blow gently into your pet’s nostrils.

Make sure you stay calm when you are administering medication. You pets can perceive your stress making them more nervous. Praise and a reward after your pet successfully takes their medicine is always a good idea.

Contributed by Pet First Health Care

Labels: cat articles, dog articles

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Freshwater Stingrays Not For The Beginner

On a recent trip to my local fish store, we came across what was labeled a "Teacup Stingray." It was by far a different, unique and fun fish to watch. But, as I often say, it is important to do your research before buying any new fish.

As it turns out, this little teacup stingray, which was only about 6 inches in diameter, grow to over a foot in diameter and need at least 125 gallon of water to swim around.

They tend to be a peaceful species, but will eat any fish smaller then its mouth, and has a barbel with venom. Although the venom usually won't kill a person in these small species, it can cause extreme pain and needs to be dealt with immediately. Therefore, it is important to use gloves when doing any water changes or any time sticking your hand in the tank. In addition, being a peaceful species, they aren't good with aggressive fish in their community.

A lively bottom-dweller, this fish does well with a smooth, soft substrate. They enjoy meaty foods such as blackworms, bloodworms, earthworms, krill, and beef heart. Some people even feed them raw shrimp from the supermarket.

These fish are sensitive to water-quality, so it's important to keep an eye on the your tank. Also, there are several states that ban home aquarium keepers from having a stingray.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pet Expos Way to Save on Products

For those that haven't been to a pet expo, you're missing out! Various states have fairs and expos catered especially to pets. And many retailers are coming out as vendors at these expos and offering various coupons and specials, as well as free samples.

As retailers (both store, online and mom&pop) are competing for sales, one way to garner exposure is to purchase a booth these expos. Most of the time they'll give out lots of free samples, coupons, while you learn about new products that may (or may not) benefit your pet.

A lot of these expos are either free, donation based, or relatively inexpensive, depending on who is running the event. Not only is a great time to learn about new products, but it is a great day out for any pet lovers. Usually you can bring your pets with you (some require registration/rabies tags) and meet other pet owners and unique dogs. And if you're looking to adopt a dog, many of the expos have adoption centers in you can learn more about specific breeds you may be interested in by talking to both the adoption centers and to other pet owners.

If you've never been to a pet fair or expo, you might be missing out on same fantastic products and deals.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

America's Most Popular Pet

There are twice as many pet fish in the United States then there are dogs, according to the American Pet Products Association. In fact, research suggests that pet fish can actually make us smarter and more relaxed by lowering our blood pressure.

Aquariums are increasingly popular because as lifestyles change and become more demanding, it is difficult to give a cat or dog the special attention it needs. And with advances in technology and the amount of products available, having an aquarium is becoming easier. This makes fish ideal for the family pet.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The secret life of penguins revealed

PARIS (AFP) – Famous for its cuteness and comic gait on land, the penguin also has an enigmatic life at sea, sometimes spending months foraging in the ocean before returning to its breeding grounds.

Zoologists have long wondered where the flightless seabird goes during these long spells away from land -- and now French scientists, in a study published in Wednesday, believe they can supply the answer.

A team from National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) attached monitoring devices to a dozen male and female macaroni penguins (Eudyptes chrysolophus) at the onset of winter on the French Indian Ocean territory of the Kerguelen Islands.

Weighing just six grammes (a fifth of an ounce) each, the gadgets were attached to the penguins' legs by a harmless plastic strap.

The tufty-headed birds headed out to sea a few days later for their annual forage and the tiny recorders logged the location, ambient light and water temperature wherever they went.

The following spring, roughly six months later, the penguins returned to Kerguelen to breed.

The scientists recovered the devices and downloaded the data, and also took blood samples to get a chemical signature of what the birds had been eating.

Once at sea, the birds swiftly swam away from Kerguelen, heading eastwards into the southern Indian Ocean, the investigators found.

They dispersed widely, spending more than 80 percent of their time in a long geographical band between 47 and 49 degrees latitude south.

The rest of the time was spent farther south, closer to the fringes of the Southern Ocean. They did not cross this limit, though, nor did they forage in pack ice.

The birds swam astonishing distances, clocking up 10,430 kilometres (8,930 miles) on average during their six months away. The most adventurous swam up to 2,400 kms (1,500 miles) from Kerguelen.

In the final weeks of the migration, the birds rushed to get home, covering a massive 1,743 kms (1,108 miles) in just one month.

Foodwise, the blood test showed that the penguins had gorged on crustaceans during their time at sea.

Contrary to expectations, they had not tucked into the major species of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba, which only occurs farther south in colder waters.

The study is important as it pinpoints the penguins' key feeding grounds in the sub-Antarctic Indian Ocean, and thus helps conservation efforts, say the authors, led by Charles-Andre Bost.

Macaroni penguins are the most numerous penguin species, but their population is thought to have declined over the last two decades.

Climate change also poses a threat, as warmer waters and shifting ocean currents will affect food availability.

The paper appears in Biology Letters, a journal of the Royal Society, which is Britain's de-facto academy of sciences.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Good Hygiene Important to Pet Ownership

Your dog's mouth, coat and paws may not be as clean as you think.

In fact, your dog could easily be carrying infectious bacteria that can make you and your family sick. Just think about these tidbits from

Dogs love to roll around in the dirt and grass but when they do, they can pick up some infectious diseases that can be passed along to you. These are called zoonotic diseases.

Here are just 4 examples:

1. Parasite eggs - Your dog can ingest parasite eggs or pick them up on his paws and coat whenever he comes in contact with infected garden soil or sand. When you touch your dog, that infection can be transmitted to you.

2. Bird droppings - Inhaling the dust from dried bird droppings can cause a bacterial disease called psittacosis. If your dog sniffs dried bird droppings, he will inhale the dust. If he walks through the dried bird droppings or rolls around in them, the dust gets on his paws and in his coat. When you pet him or hug him, you can inhale the dust and become infected.

3. Dog urine - Coming into contact with infected dog urine causes a bacterial infection called leptospirosis. Infected urine can easily get on your dog's paws or coat. If you touch him (or anything that has come into contact with the infected dog urine), you can also become infected.

4. Ringworm - This disease has nothing to do with worms. It is a contagious fungal infection that be passed from your dog to you through contact.

So what can you do to protect your dog, your family and yourself?

Good hygiene is the key ... for both of you.