Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vote For ME!

I joined a health community which features pet health articles. You can vote for me as one of the top 100 blogs on the site. And also, check out the community. Thanks.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Classic Super Bowl Commercial - Goldfish

A classic pet related Super Bowl commercial. In this one, "Sparky" the goldfish plays dead until a boy holds a Pepsi over his tank and he performs tricks. Dad is clueless, though, and flushes the lifeless fish (a common practice).

Later, we see Sparky in the ocean doing back flips for a fisherman.

Another example of how pets help sell products.

Trackposted to Big Dog's Weblog, Cao's Blog, The Random Yak, third world county, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Classic Super Bowl Ad - Wildlife & Car

A fun one from a tire company as a squirrel survives and his buddies are relieved.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Classic Super Bowl Ad - Beer Fetching Dog

Two guys comparing the neat tricks their dogs can do. Not the most tasteful ad, but still a big game classic.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pedigree Adoption Super Bowl Commercial

Super Bowl XLIII is going to the dogs. Well, sort of. While the top two NFL teams will battle it out on the gridiron, PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs will join the ranks of advertising elite with the airing of a new spot called “Crazy Pets.” The ad will air during the broadcast of the game on February 1, 2009 and marks the brand’s first foray into the Big Game.

The creative concept takes typical family scenarios that involve dogs and replaces them with other, unusual animals ranging from a water buffalo to a boar, to an ostrich. At its core, the ad celebrates the brand’s love of dogs and emphasizes how much better life is with a dog in it.

The airing of the spot ties into The PEDIGREE® Adoption Drive, an annual fundraising and awareness campaign the brand created five years ago as a means to shine a spotlight on the cause of dog adoption.

Crazy Pets” will air nationally following its debut during Super Bowl XLIII, and starting on January 26, 2009, can also be viewed at, along with behind-the-scenes vignettes featuring the “crazy pet owners” from the commercial.


Monday, January 26, 2009

Top Dog Breeds - 2008

The AKC has announce the list of Top Dog Breeds for 2008.

The breeds that made the top 10 list are the same as 2007, however a couple of breeds have switched rankings on the list.

The Bulldog has jumped two notches to land at #8, and the Shih Tzu and Poodle have both dropped one notch. Last year, for the first time since 1935, the Bulldog climbed its way into the top 10 list pushing out the Miniature Schnauzer.

And, for the 18th year in a row, the Labrador Retriever is once again the most popular dog in the United States.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Puppy Bowl V Offers Alternatives for Non-Football Fans

If watching the Superbowl isn't your thing, there's an alternative: Animal Planet's 5th Annual Puppy Bowl. The unique show will air at 3 p.m. EST, Sunday, Feb. 1, on Animal Planet. While the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers go helmet-to-helmet at Superbowl XLIII, "Pepper the Parrot" will kick-off the Puppy Bowl with a unique rendition of the national anthem. Then twenty puppies listed on will fumble and tumble on their own gridiron. Halftime will feature the cat capers of the Kitty Entertainers.
The focus of Puppy Bowl is pet adoption, and viewers can logon to, the first and largest online, searchable database of adoptable pets, to learn about adopting or fostering a pet in their community.
The Web site lists about 200,000 pets on any given day at over 12,500 animal placement organizations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It has facilitated over 13 million adoptions since it launched.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thought of the Day

"Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul- chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!" - Unknown

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Science finds 3 types of fish are really 1

In an article posted on yahoo news, Researchers believe they have solved the puzzle of three seemingly different fish, one all males, one all females and one all juveniles. They're the same fish, and undergo remarkable changes as they mature.

"You can imagine it was a pretty exciting discovery," said G. David Johnson, an ichthyologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. "The pieces kept falling into place."

"And it tells you how little we know about the deep sea, Johnson said in a telephone interview.

The fish live in the sparsely populated deep water thousands of feet below the surface, though as youngsters they rise to shallower levels where there is more to eat.

Cetomimidae, a type of whalefish, had been known since the 19th century, but only females had been found.

Seemingly related species called Mirapinnidae, or tapetails, and Megalomycteridae, or bignose fish, were identified in the 1950s and 1960s. Tapetails were only found as juveniles and bignoses only as males.

Although their skeletons indicated the three were related, there were so many differences no one could believe they were the same fish at different sexes or stages in life, Johnson said.

But it turns out that is the case, Johnson and colleagues report this week in Biology Letters, a journal of Britain's Royal Society.

All three will now be classified as Cetomimidae, he said.

Johnson said the researchers were able to link the fish through comparative anatomical study and, once they obtained fresh samples, by their DNA.

The larvae are called tapetails because they grow long streamers, he said. The purpose of the streamer remains unknown, but several fish larvae develop similar appendages, so it must have some value, he said. They reside within 600 feet of the surface, a region well stocked with food.

As adults, however, these fish descend thousands of feet down into the dark ocean.

There is scarce food there and the females cope by developing a large mouth — a common trait among fish living in the deepest waters — and they even develop teeth in their gill area that can serve as an additional mouth.

Even stranger, males who reach adulthood don't eat at all. Having gorged as larvae, their jaw fuses and they develop a vestigial gut that only stores shells from previous meals. That's an advantage, Johnson said, because in the deep ocean "there's not a lot of food, you're better off taking your lunch with you." The males gorge as larvae and grow a giant liver, storing energy there to live on.

"This thing was basically a set of testes looking for the female," Johnson said.

The males also develop a large nose to sense smells in the dark water.

Meanwhile, researchers had noted that females have some unusual tissue, separate from the skin, on their body. It's not luminous, so Johnson speculated that this tissue may produce a pheromone that the big-nosed male can home in on.

Co-authors of the paper were John R. Paxton of the Australian Museum, Sydney; Tracey T. Sutton of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Takashi P. Satoh and Mutsumi Nishida of the University of Tokyo and Tetsuya Sado and Masaki Miya of the Natural History Museum, Chiba, Japan.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter Blues for Dogs

When the holidays are over, many adults tend to get the so-called winter blues. Affected people may have bouts of unexplained crying, desire for sweets, excessive fatigue, lethargy, depression, anxiety, and mood swings. But can dogs also feel the blues?

According to an article The Pet Place, dogs likely aren't feeling the same symptoms, but more likely, your dog is mirroring your own feelings.

For instance, some of the search and rescue dogs at the World Trade Center site got depressed because they picked up on the feelings of their human handlers, who were faced with a tragedy of unimaginable proportions.

The dogs were also at risk for depression because they were eager to succeed. They were trained to find survivors, and failure to do so was upsetting. To combat the sense of failure, human handlers "hid" so the dogs could "find" them. This boosted the dogs' confidence and self-esteem.

Dogs do have a hormonal response to the change in seasons. For instance, they shed their coats in spring and fall. But Dodman says it's a stretch to say that dogs experience the winter blues themselves.

Dogs do seem to be prone to cabin fever, like people. And even worse for them, they are not as entertained as us by watching old reruns or rented movies. But they do like exercise, which is the best tonic for winter blues for people and pets.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When Barks Turn to Brrrrs, It’s Winter

North Shore Animal League America Experts Offer Winter Tips for Your Pets

– Winter can be a marvelous time of year, especially for pets who love the outdoors. However, we must not forget the hazards that this season brings for our best friends. The pet experts at North Shore Animal League America , the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization, urge pet owners to be mindful of the time their pets spend in the frigid outdoors.

Here are some tips to help keep your pets safe and comfortable:
1. Antifreeze and rock salt are poisonous to your pets. Make sure to keep these and other harmful chemicals out of your pet’s reach or path. For an extra measure of safety, ask your retailer about eco-and-pet-friendly products.
2. Feral and stray cats often take winter refuge under cars and can sometimes even make their way under the hood. Make sure the coast is clear before starting your car.
3. Be sure to wipe your dog’s feet (and stomach, with small dogs) after a winter walk. Rock salt or other ice melting chemicals can cling to your pet’s fur and he can ingest these poisonous chemicals when cleaning himself.
4. ALL PETS NEED TO BE INSIDE. Never leave your pet outside for extended periods of time, even in a doghouse. When the temperature drops, your pet can freeze to death. If you notice a pet being locked outside in the winter, be sure to report it to your local animal control facility.
5. Keep an eye on your pet’s water dish to ensure it did not freeze.
6. Short-coated dogs are especially vulnerable to the cold and shouldn’t be outside unattended for too long a time span.
7. Most people know not to leave their pets in a car in the summer, but the same goes for the winter. A car interior can get as cold as an ice box and a pet can easily freeze.
8. Check your dog’s paw pads for ice balls. If your dog is lifting his feet a lot or seems to be walking strangely, his feet are probably too cold or ice may be forming which can cause frostbite.
9. Keep your pet groomed. Knotted or matted hair doesn’t insulate properly. Brush your dog’s hair regularly in the wintertime especially.
10. Adjust your pet’s diet as necessary. If your dog spends a lot of time outside, he may need more calories in the winter to produce body heat. If your dog spends most of his time indoors and has a decrease in activity, he may require fewer calories. When in doubt, always ask your vet about seasonal diet changes.

For more information on the North Shore Animal League, visit

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hallmark Contest

Hallmark is in search of real pictures of real bloopers -- that could become real greeting cards. Hallmark is holding an open call for consumers’ funniest photos, along with a corresponding “birthday” greeting. The photo and greeting will be judged and turned into actual Hallmark cards.

How it works: Just log on to anytime before Feb. 1 and upload your photo and birthday greeting.

Winning Big: Sixty finalists' cards will be printed and sold to the public (both at and in stores). They also will win $250 cash and become part of a secret humor card review panel. In addition, one grand prize winner will win $2,500 and their card will become part of Hallmark's regular humor line!

You can log on to vote for the winner at starting March 9, when the finalists will be posted.

---The Pet Haven is not associated with the contest ---

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"Retro" Pet Fountain

Petmate's radically 'retro' stainless steel Fresh Flow Pet Fountain is trying to make fashion waves. These refillable waterers (if that's even a word) promote health by encouraging pets to drink more. The purifying pet fountain is ideal for homes with multiple pets.

I haven't tried it out, but if you have one, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Identifying Overweight Pets

According to a 2007 study by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 43 percent of dogs – approximately 32 million – are overweight or obese and potentially face serious health problems. Approximately 50% of all adult cats over 7 years of age are obese.

Many pet-owners are unaware that their pet is unhealthy or, according to a recent survey, may be too embarrassed to address the problem with their veterinarian or fellow pet-owners. Vets may even hesitate to broach the sensitive subjects of weight and obesity. Nationally recognized veterinarian Dr. Bernadine Cruz, DVM, one of the resident veterinarian advisors on, has put together a list of questions pet owners need to ask:

§ What is obesity?
§ How does this happen to my pet?
§ What are the medical concerns?
§ What can I do as a pet-owner?
§ Is medical intervention available?

Pet obesity is defined as being 20 percent over ideal body weight. Improved medical care, indoor living and nutritious food have contributed to pets living longer, healthier lives. But a plethora of dining choices and treats, along with pet owners who desire to lavish edible love on their furry family members, have contributed to the expanding problem of dog and cat obesity. Other causes can range from genetics and breed, to over-feeding, lack of exercise, boredom, and old age. Obesity can decrease your pet’s lifespan by 15 percent and decreases the quality of life your pet can live.

How can you determine if you have pudgy pet: with a simple Body Condition Scoring test. With your dog or cat standing, look down on them. You should see an indentation after the ribs. If it looks like a sausage, it’s fat. Place your hand gently on your pet’s ribcage. With slight pressure you should be able to feel its ribs. If you are pinching an inch, it’s fat.

So, what can you do to get your pet back on track? Dr. Cruz has put together some simple steps that can help you develop a “New Year New Pet” regime:

“Dogs are really the easiest to get to slim down. They are much more willing to go for a walk and thankfully most don’t know how to open cans or cupboards,” says Cruz.

Step one - keep the animals out of the kitchen when you are cooking and away from the table when people are eating. It is the rare person who can resist slipping a tidbit to that poor, poor pitiful creature staring at you.

Step two - If a dog just has to have a treat because it was the good boy or girl and went potty or some equally talented act…give it a green bean, a baby carrot or piece of apple. If the pet says ‘no way, where is the good stuff’ well you are exonerated because you offered but the pet said no. You can also give a piece of its regular dry food as a treat.

“Cats can be more trying. You can’t put a cat on a very strict diet or just try to tough it out for a day or two by offering food your cat doesn’t like and expect it to change its mind. They can develop a fatal liver condition. Slow is always best for a cat.”

Step one - Cats don’t have to have food available 24/7. Controlled feedings of measured amounts is best. If you must leave food out for your cat, hide it in various spots in the house in small quantities, and then the cat has to search for it.

Step two - Cats can exercise. They just prefer not to. Find what floats your cat’s boat. It may be chasing a laser light or doing acrobatics while playing with a string. Try to set up some regular “play dates” with your cat.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Record-Breaking Aquarium

The Dubai Aquarium, which opened in November in the United Arab Emirates, has broken the Guinness Record for the "World's Largest Acrylic Panel." It is 108 feet wide, 27 feet high, 2.5 feet thick and weighs 540,989 pounds.

The largest panel before the Dubai Aquarium was at the Churaumi Aquarium in Japan. The Dubai Mall will be holding this record for a while, since the panel was the biggest acrylic that manufacturers could possibly make. The panel is made to withstand pressure from the 2,641,720 gallons of water behind it, while also being transparent so visitors can see the 33,000 animals on display.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Clownfish Attracted to Smells In Water

After clownfish hatch from their eggs in the ocean, they spend about 10 to 12 days floating freely in the ocean as larvae. After that time, they often return to the reefs close to the shore where they were born. The way they find their way back home has long been a mystery.

Researchers studying the percula clownfish have recently found that the clownfish may be attracted to the smells in the seawater. In a recent study, scientists showed that clownfish were attracted to water samples treated with anemones or leaf litter over other control sample scents. This suggests that scent or other chemical markers in the water are what allow the fish to find their way home. This is the first time that terrestrial causes of scent, such as leaf litter, have been considered.

(Published online

Monday, January 12, 2009

Beware of Plastic Bags Near Pets

We've all seen the warnings on plastic bags that they could be a choking/suffocation hazard, especially to small children. This warning applies to pets as well. Even bags we wouldn't think of as problems, such as a potato chip bag or a grocery bag, can get stuck over your pet's head and cause problems, even death.

Be sure to keep the bags away from your pets. Since pets tend to get into the garbage, it's a good idea to open bags at both ends before discarding. It's also best not to encourage your pets to play with or inside of plastic bags...if they must play in a tight spaces, paper bags are better (though still keep an eye on them), or even a box without a cover.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Top 10 Cat Names

The top 10 cat names for 2008, as reported by the nations top pet insurance company, were:

1. Max
2. Chloe
3. Tigger
4. Tiger
5. Lucy
6. Smokey
7. Oliver
8. Bella
9. Shadow
10. Charlie

Looks like Max and Chloe were a popular name for both dogs and cats...with Max being the number one name in both categories....I feel bad for people who have that name :-)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Top 10 Dog Names

So much for Fido and Rover. Here were the top 10 pet names for 2008:

Top names
1. Max
2. Bailey
3. Bella
4. Molly
5. Lucy
6. Buddy
7. Maggie
8. Daisy
9. Sophie
10. Chloe

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Man Dies Trying to Rescue Family Pet From Fire

WALKERSVILLE, Md. -- A man died overnight when he apparently tried to rescue a family pet from a house fire in Walkersville.

Michael Aquino, 50, apparently made it out of the house before returning to rescue a pet. His body was found in a second-floor hallway.

Aquino's wife, daughter and granddaughter are being treated for smoke inhalation.

------Although this story was a short blurb over the newswire, it does touch on how much family pets have become a major part of the family.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dog Biscuit Recipe

This recipe comes to us from the Healthy Pet Company who specializes in unique products for pets.

Let me know if anyone tries it out!

Peanut Butter Bonanza

2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Brewers Yeast
1/4 Cup Wheat Germ
1/2 Cup Powdered Milk
3/4 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter
1/4 Cup Canola oil
2 Eggs, beaten
1 Cup Water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine flours, yeast, wheat germ, and powdered milk. Cut in peanut butter. Add oil, eggs and water. Combine mixture by hand. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out biscuits using cookie cutters. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet or parchment paper for 14 minutes.
Return the biscuits to the cooling oven to harden overnight.
Store in air-tight container.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Prepare for Problems With Fish

Recently, I didn't heed my own advice on having a fish tank. I didn't have back-up equipment that could have saved me a lot of trouble.

I had checked the temperature on my 55 gallon display tank one morning to find that there wasn't even a reading on the thermometer. The temperature had dropped so low, it was below that of the 68-degree low range reading. In fact, it had dropped to probably in the low 60s. For a tropical tank that is usually kept at 74 - 78, this could be quite a problem.

The source of the problem was a faulty heater. No matter what I tried, it wouldn't work. And who knows how long it had been out, since I hadn't checked the temp in a couple of days.

Now on to an emergency trip to the pet store...who didn't have the size heater I needed!! So, on to the next store who did have one on the shelf.

I was lucky...I didn't lose any fish in the long run. But for a $22 heater, I should have had one in reserve, even a used one, to insure my overall investment of fish. With fish tanks, one little error such as this could cause major fish loss.

The thing that saved me, I think, is that the temperature dropped slowly and I'm guessing the heater probably wasn't broken for that long. Fish are more sensitive to sudden temperature changes then they are to a more gradual change. Which is why it was important when I got the new heater to only increase the temperature by a few degrees ever 4 hours over the course of several days. I also added some ich preventative, since when fish are stressed out, they are more prone to disease.

I'm happy to report that all the fish are fine (and warm), but that I could have saved myself some time and aggravation by having a back-up.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Tips for Choosing A Vet

* Credentials: Is the doctor a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association or any other professional organizations?
* Hours: Do they mesh with your schedule?
* Location: Is it convenient to home and work? (Especially in case of emergencies.)
* Facilities: Do they seem clean and well-organized?
* Availability: How easy is it to book an appointment?
* Staff: Do they seem friendly and knowledgeable?
* Prices: Do they fit your budget?
* Experience: How savvy is the vet about any special health conditions your dog may have?
* Services: Do they perform diagnostics, such as x-rays and ultrasounds, in the office, or do you need to be referred to a specialist?
* Reputation: Ask friends, family members, and colleagues for recommendations.

Tips from the "DogAge" website.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year

There is a song in the old musical "Damn Yankees" about "Gotta Have Heart" and the line "we gotta get better because we can't get worse." Nothing is more true going into the new year. A happy and prosperous 2009 to everyone and their furry, wet, slimy or pocket pets.