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.