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?