Friday, December 23, 2011

Ideas for pet presents

Guest Post From

Some people love it, and others loathe it, but buying and exchanging gifts with others is now a big part of Christmas, and it some cases it includes buying for the animals of the household too.  Of course, animals can’t tell you what they want under the tree on Christmas morning, so here are a few ideas to get you started.

·         A sure-fire winner with pets – and people for that matter – is food. Whether that’s an extra-generous helping of your pet’s favourite treat, or a special purchase for the festive season, you won’t go far wrong appealing to their stomachs over Christmas!

·         An easy choice for dogs is a chew toy, of which there are probably a hundred tired and ragged ones around your home already. The choice in these types of animal toys is huge, especially if looking online, so finding something even for cats or other animals should be easy enough.

·         An idea for one-pet households for those who have the resources (i.e. time, money and attention) spare, a second pet to keep your incumbent happy would be a fantastic idea. Of all the ideas listed however, this is the one that should certainly be considered the most, as the statistics themselves show how many pets end up neglected or homeless as a result of rash festive purchases.

·         For cats and dogs, pet houses are something that might not instantly come to mind, but could work out as a great gift for your pet for Christmas.  With this type of gift, it’s important to consider other factors around the use of the kennel or cat cabin, especially if it will be intended for outdoor and night-time use, such as the climate of the area you live in and the structure’s suitability therein.

A lot of pet shops will now take all the hassle out of thinking of ideas for pet gifts, with Christmas stockings aimed at animals.  A stocking for a dog for example might contain a chew toy, some treats to eat and a ball, making it easy to pick something up for your pet.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wayward pooch, owner reunited after 3 months apart

Pet Reunited With Owner

Great article about a pet that was away from his owner for three months.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween safety tips for your pets‏

Fetch! Pet Care Helps to Promote Humane Halloween

Halloween may be full of tricks and treats for humans, but the holiday does not hold the same appeal for our pet counterparts. In fact, Halloween can be a downright frightening time for pets. Paul Mann, Founder of Fetch! Pet Care, the nation’s largest provider of professional pet sitting and dog walking services, is devoted to the safety and comfort of pets. He provides the following tips to keep your pets safe this holiday season:

· Tricks are for kids. While ghouls and goblins provide entertainment, your pet does not understand the person behind that mask is their friend. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit and can easily become frightened, aggressive or agitated by the unaccustomed sights and sounds of costumed visitors. So when the trick ‘or’ treaters come knocking at your door, it’s best to keep your furry friend contained indoors in a quiet, comfortable area of your home. Also, make sure all pets are wearing collars and ID tags in case they get spooked and escape your home or yard.

· Candy is not a treat for our pets. Sweets may look appealing to pets, but candy – especially chocolate – can be downright toxic to animals. Keep your candy bowl out of reach from pets and make sure your children sift through their bags at a table where Fido can’t sneak a piece. Candy wrappers can be just as harmful. Instead, purchase a box of your pets’ favorite treats for them to munch on. If you believe your pet has ingested a harmful item, call your veterinarian or the Animal Control hotline immediately.

· Decorations should shock Trick ‘or’ Treaters – not our pets. Keep all electrical cords and decorations out of reach. One chomp on an electrical cord could have a potentially deadly outcome. Pets can also become tangled and injured by dangling cords or decorations. You can purchase plastic tubing or casing at your local hardware store to provide some level of safety. Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach and on stable ground. Your pet could accidentally bump the pumpkin, resulting in fire damage to the home – and potentially to your pet.

· Costumes are constraining. Yes, your pet may look adorable as a dinosaur or Cleopatra, but pets can feel constrained and uncomfortable in costumes. Many costumes also have loose accessories that could be hazardous if chewed or swallowed. If you must dress your pet, find a costume that has few accessories and is loose fitting.

· Extra care for black pets. Don't let your pet fall victim to Halloween pranks; keep them inside or under supervision during the Halloween season. This is especially important for pets with black fur, since they are a target for pranksters.

As an alternative to keeping your pets at home this Halloween, Fetch! Pet Care has the ability to provide a safe and quiet overnight boarding, day or evening care environment at one of their 5,000 pet sitter’s homes across the country. As a way to support the cause of pet safety on Halloween and throughout the year at homes and in shelters, Fetch! Pet Care will be donating a portion of their Halloween revenues to Best Friends Animal Society, a partner in pet care and safety. For more information on Best Friends, visit

Sunday, October 30, 2011

East Coast Snow

Hope all of my fellow bloggers on the east coast got through this crazy autumn storm. My dogs enjoyed watching the snow, but I think they are just as confused as we are about this weather.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Protecting a Little Fish

The Atlantic menhaden doesn't look like much, but it's not called "the most important fish in the sea" for nothing. These little fish are critical food for striped bass, bluefish, tuna, whales, porpoises, seabirds and other wildlife.

Protect Atlantic menhaden from dangerous overfishing »

By weight, more menhaden are caught than any other fish on the East Coast, and its population is now less than 10 percent of its historic level.

As the menhaden population suffers, so do our coastal economies, where thousands of commercial and recreational fishing businesses rely on the predatory fish that depend on menhaden as a food.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has taken a historic first step to restore menhaden by laying out a plan that could significantly increase the number left in the ocean, finally taking into account the needs of their predators.
Take action link:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011



From high-end items to high-tech items, products for our companion animals now extend beyond traditional necessities. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) presents top pet product trends for 2011.

Reducing Your Pets Carbon PAW print

Around the world people are making conscious efforts to help our planet Eart, and the pet industry is no exception. From natural litters to toys, accessories and organic food options, earth-friendly pet products are sprouting up everywhere.

Going to the Dogs

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

Pets Welcome

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

Pet Products Sold Here

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


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

Dinner is Served

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


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

Loosen Up

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

Help Yourself!

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

Straight from the Catwalk

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

Keep on Truckin'

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

Hello, My Name Is…

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

Heath Benefits of Pets


Pets Help to Lower Blood Pressure A recent study at the State University of New York at Buffalo found that people with hypertension who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than did those who did not own a pet. (Dr. Karen Allen, State University of New York at Buffalo)

Pets Help to Reduce Stress Walking with a pet helps to sooth nerves and offers instant relaxation. Studies conducted worldwide have shown that the impact of a stressful situation is lesser on pet owners, especially males, than on those who do not own a pet. (Josephine M. Wills, Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, United Kingdom)

Pets Help to Prevent Heart Disease Because pets provide people with faithful companionship, research shows they may also provide their owners with greater psychological stability, thus a measure of protection from heart disease. (National Institute of Health Technology Assessment Workshop: Health Benefits of Pets)

Pets Help to Lower Health Care Costs People with pets actually make fewer doctor visits, especially for non-serious medical conditions. (National Institute of Health Technology Assessment Workshop: Health Benefits of Pets)

Pets Help to Fight Depression Pets help fight depression and loneliness, promoting an interest in life. When seniors face adversity or trauma, affection from pets takes on great meaning. Their bonding behavior can foster a sense of security. (Between Pets and People: The Importance of Animal Companionship)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pet Industry Spending

Total U.S. Pet Industry Expenditures

Year Billion

2011 $50.84 Est.
2010 $48.35 Actual

2009 $45.5
2008 $43.2
2007 $41.2
2006 $38.5
2005 $36.3
2004 $34.4
2003 $32.4
2002 $29.5
2001 $28.5
1998 $23
1996 $21
1994 $17

Estimated 2011 Sales within the U.S. Market
For 2011, it estimated that $50.84 billion will be spent on our pets in the U.S.

Estimated Breakdown:

Food $19.53 billion

Supplies/OTC Medicine $11.4 billion

Vet Care $14.11 billion

Live animal purchases $2.15 billion

Pet Services: grooming & boarding $3.65 billion

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pet Ownership Statistics

According to the 2011-2012 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 62% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 72.9 millions homes.

In 1988, the first year the survey was conducted, 56% of U.S. households owned a pet as compared to 62% in 2008

Breakdown of pet ownership in the U.S. according to the 2011-2012 APPA National Pet Owners Survey

Number of U.S. Households that Own a Pet (millions)
Bird 5.7

Cat 38.9

Dog 46.3

Equine 2.4

Freshwater Fish 11.9

Saltwater Fish 0.7

Reptile 4.6

Small Animal 5.0

Total Number of Pets Owned in the U.S. (millions)

Bird 16.2
Cat 86.4
Dog 78.2
Equine 7.9
Freshwater Fish 151.1
Saltwater Fish 8.61
Reptile 13.0
Small Animal 16.0

* Ownership statistics are gathered from APPA’s 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey


Monday, September 5, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Top Five Summer Foods Dangerous to Pets

recent poll conducted by online pet retailer that found the majority of pet owners unaware of some of the most dangerous summer foods for family pets.


You make think Spot loves yummy summer guacamole as much as you do but in fact avocados are toxic to dogs. According to the ASPCA’s website, all parts of the avocado, including the pit and skin, contain a substance called Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs.

Picture this: you’re grilling up some kebabs out back when a piece of grilled onion falls to the ground. Do you let Rover eat it? According to WebMD, you shouldn’t. Onions and garlic in all forms can destroy your pet’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Symptoms include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness. Cats are especially susceptible to the dangers posed by onions.

Lemons and Lemonade
According to the ASPCA, lemons and limes are toxic to both dogs and cats. These fruits contain a substance called psoralens, which when combined with the acidity in lemons and limes, can make ingestion dangerous. Plus, the essential oil found in lemon peel can be toxic to cats when taken internally, applied to the skin, or simply inhaled.

Although they are one of the most refreshing of summer’s fruits, grapes and raisins should be avoided when it comes to Fido. Although the specific toxin is unknown, grapes have been known to cause vomiting, lethargy, depression and eventually kidney failure, especially among older dogs and puppies.

Ice cream
In small quantities, your pup should be able to handle a few licks of your ice cream cone, but according to the ASPCA, because pets do not possess significant amounts of the enzyme that breaks down lactose, milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What to Expect at the Emergency Vet

Check out this article on what to expect at the emergency vet from zootoo

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The importance of calm assertiveness

A guest post from

When you welcome a dog into your home, you're not simply gaining a pet, but a new state of mind.

This fact quickly became clear to me when my husband and I got two lab mix puppies. The oldest, Shammy, is about 5 months old, while Dozer is 10 weeks. In hindsight it probably wasn't the best idea to get puppies so close in age simply because of the time requirement, but since I'm a housewife, I have the time to make it work.

When you bring a dog in, you go from an individual, or a house full of individuals, to a pack. To understand how a pack works, think about a time when you were around someone who was feeling a certain way -- whether sad, angry or even happy -- and how it started to affect your mood. Multiply that by the number of animals and people in your household and you get an idea of how a pack works. When you bring a dog into your house, you are bringing an animal who is literally hardwired to be your lifelong companion. Dogs are empathetic to their humans in a way no other animal, including other people, can be. Because of this, owning a dog means you have to be more in touch with your feelings, and through that, the feelings of your household.

My pack consists of myself, my husband, two cats and our two aforementioned puppies. We act as one symbiotic entity. If one of us is sad, angry or frustrated, it carries through to the rest of the household. If I wake up in a bad mood, the dogs are unmanageable and hyper, the cats are racing around the house and even my husband is grousing. But I find that if I can find that center, the calm assertiveness that is the foundation of a good working relationship with animals, then it's like night and day. By taking a few moments in the morning to breathe, to relax, to envision the day that I want to happen, I find that it helps stop a majority of the craziness. Add in exercise, training and a set routine and the battle for a peaceful, animal-loving household is already won.

As dog owners, we cannot allow ourselves the luxury of giving in to our anger and frustration. Will we feel these things at times? Yes. But much like a conscientious parent, we have to have the wherewithal to rein it in quick before it disrupts the pack.

So what is calm assertiveness? Simple. Think of someone in your past, whether it's a relative, teacher or other influential person in your life. Was this person someone you obeyed out of fear, obligation or respect? If the answer is respect, then that's the assertiveness. Next, picture how you felt around them. What kind of "aura" surrounded them? Hectic and worried or peaceful and tranquil? It's pretty obvious where the calm is there.

For some people, simply imagining how that person would react in a given situation is enough, but for me it isn't. Instead, I try to think of times before where I myself felt calm assertiveness. I think of writing, editing and publishing, which are all areas in which I feel very confident. I call forth that same strength in hectic times to ground myself.

Calm assertiveness is a must for dog training, but it is also useful in life in general. The next time you find yourself getting annoyed at a situation, find that center and try facing it with calm assertiveness. You will be amazed at how much easier even the toughest obstacles can become.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Reducing Pet Allergens in the Home

Guest post by Abby Snyder ~

Pet dander is a common culprit for many allergy symptoms, but for those of us with allergies; it's certainly not always the cause. I blamed my constant stuffiness on my dog's dander for years - only to realize it was actually my apartment that was setting off my sneezes. Looking back I realize the allergens were everywhere - floating in the air, stuck the carpet, or hiding behind every bookshelf - and I wasn't doing a thing about it

After moving to a new place and following some simple cleaning tips, both my dog and I are enjoying cleaner, allergen-free air. Some good recommendations include taking as many of the following steps as possible to eliminate allergens to your home:

Establish a weekly cleaning routine. This includes a complete clean of floors, doors, sheets, furniture, windowsills and window frames. If it can collect dust or potentially grow mold, it should be cleaned. Changing or cleaning your heating and cooling filters is also recommended to improve your indoor air quality.

Watch your temperature and humidity. Keeping the temperature of your home at 70 F (21 C) and a relative humidity of no higher than 50% will prevent dust mites and mold from growing. Dehumidifiers and air purification systems can also help ensure clean, dry circulating air.
Eliminate mold. Keeping warm air out and dehumidifiers and air conditioners on helps keep your air fresh and also prevents mold from growing. To rid your home of mold, any non-washable materials, such as carpeting, need to be disposed of. Washable materials can be washed with a 5% chlorine bleach solution.
Exterminate pests. Not only are pests kind of creepy and unwelcome in our homes, they can also leave behind an allergy triggering residue. These residues can be removed by thoroughly vacuuming your carpets and washing hard surfaces. Infestation problems can be controlled with inexpensive traps, home bug sprays, or calling an exterminator for severe cases.

Don't smoke inside. Polluted air doesn't necessarily cause allergies, but it does irritate the nose and lungs. This can increase the likely-hood of suffering from allergy symptoms.

These may seem like a lot of work if you've never done them before, but I can assure you that the relief my dog has experienced from my beginning this regimen has been stunning. Remember, our pets usually depend on us to figure out what's ailing them, and I'm happiest when I know my dog is happy and not suffering. Oh, and my own relief from allergies is the extra bonus!

Abby Snyder has loved dogs ever since received her first pooch kiss as a baby. She writes for on how homeowners can save money on their heating and cooling bills. provides comprehensive, unbiased data and consumer product information on air conditioners, boilers, furnaces and heat pumps.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

#1 Surgically Removed Item From Dogs & Cats

Dogs and cats commonly eat things that they shouldn't. The problem is that many items can't be digested or passed through the intestine causing a "Foreign Body Obstruction".

An indigestible object can become lodged in the stomach or intestines and may require surgery to remove it. Untreated, ingestion of these types of items can be fatal.

According to Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), they compiled a list of most common items surgically removed from pets.

Do you know what is #1?

It is the sock!

Here is the list:

Top 10 Surgically Removed Items

1. Socks

2. Underwear

3. Panty Hose

4. Rocks

5. Balls

6. Chew Toys

7. Corn Cobs

8. Bones

9. Hair Ties/Ribbons

10. Sticks

Monday, July 4, 2011

Caring for a Betta Fish

One of the most common misconceptions of betta fish is that they must be in a bowl all by themselves. Mostly because of the stories that they are fighting fish and because these fish are seen in stores in those little plastic cups.

While Bettas don't get along with their own kind, they can make a good community aquarium fish and get along with other community type fish. I've have one with tetras and an angel fish without any problems. Because they are used to being in confinement and are very shy by nature, I found that it likes to hide in the caves and plants I had set up in my aquarium. Having plants, artificial or real, is important for housing a Betta in a community aquarium.

It's been very popular lately to have a betta in a bowl with a plant in it. While the plant may look good and make a nice display on a desk or end table, bettas are other words, they don't feed off of the plant. They need to be fed food formulated specifically for them like any other tropical fish.

As with any fish, it is better to house it in an aquarium with a filter. However, if you do decide to house it in one of those bowls, it must be cleaned out frequently, as it needs fresh, clean, de-chlorinated water. Otherwise, the water will contain ammonia caused by fish waste and uneaten food. The ammonia is toxic to fish.

Bettas have a special respiratory organ that allows them to breath air directly from the surface. In fact they inherently must do so. Bettas must have access to the water surface to breath air directly from the atmosphere.

In their natural habitat, Bettas often come from warm, tropical climates. Bettas thrive on heat, and will become increasingly listless when the water temperature falls below 75 degrees F.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Amazing Pet Expos Offers Tips for Attendees and their Pets

No doubt about it, our pet expos are CROWDED. As with any event that attracts large crowds, we've found that people who prepare for it tend to have a much better experience. With that being said, here are some tips that we've come up with to help ensure that our guests have the best day possible at the show:

Only bring your pet along if it is well-behaved, non-aggressive and doesn't get stressed out in crowded, stimulating and noisy situations. There are all kinds of other animals, small children, wheelchairs and lots of people at the event. Your pet will be exposed to dogs barking, people speaking loudly on microphones, crowds clapping and attendees cheering. You know your pet best, so please use your best judgment to make sure that your pet will enjoy the expo just as much as you will.

 We only have a few rules for bringing pets: Your pet must be current on all shots or you should plan to have your pet's immunizations updated at the event; low-cost vaccinations and microchipping are offered on-site. The immunization requirement only applies to dogs, cats and ferrets. A rabies tag is acceptable as proof of immunization, as are blood titer results for those pet owners who don't immunize annually. Dogs must be on a fixed lead or a locked retractible lead, no longer than 6 feet, at all times. You'll be required to sign a pet waiver at the entrance, but you can avoid the line by visiting the Phoenix Pet Expo website to fill your pet waiver form out in advance.

3. Once inside, stop by the prize entry table to register for awesome giveaways and prizes from our exhibitors. Does your pet have an amazing talent or enjoy being the center of attention? Make sure to enter them in the pet talent and costume contests. These popular events (and the great winning prize packages) draw a large crowd!

4. Bring cash. There are many opportunities for shopping and donations here and some rescue groups may not accept credit cards. There is an ATM on site as well.

5. The Pet Expo program includes all the vendor names and locations, a map of the show floor, as well as the full schedule of events and activities at the expo. You'll be offered one at the entrance so make sure that you pick up your copy!

6. If you are interested in adopting a pet, the Mega-Adoption area could be just what you're looking for, plus the majority of rescue groups have pets in their booths too. Hundreds of pets will be available for adoption or application (for those groups that don't do on-site adoptions).

7. High traffic events for the day will be agility, flyball and activity courses, as well as the entertainment stage. You may want to take a moment, either before the event by looking online, or once you arrive, to review the show program so that you have a general idea of how you want to spend your time at the expo. Plus you don't want to miss anything!

8. Take note of the pet-potty areas located both indoors and out. While we do have pet clean-up teams at the event, you'll also be given bags for your pet's waste pick-up when you enter. Please be kind and pick up after your pet.

9. Pet water stations be will scattered throughout the expo so that your excited companion doesn't get dehydrated. These are communal bowls, so if you have a puppy, please keep it safe and bring a travel or disposable bowl for their use.

10. Pace yourself! It's a long day and there are many things to see. Make sure you take periodic breaks and give your pet a chance to rest - or step out of the expo for a few moments of quiet - if you plan to stay all day.

11. Many exhibitors offer some sort of treat for pets. If your pet has a sensitive stomach or is super excited, you may want to consider allowing your pet one or two treats and then allowing her/him to enjoy the rest at home. We see a lot of dogs gobble up as many treats as possible only to - ahem - urp them up a few hours later.

12. If you have a small or tiny dog, you may want to be prepared to either carry it or have a stroller available. There are so many large and super large dogs at the expos that some small pet owners feel overwhelmed and their little fur-babies may unintentionally get stepped on.

13. If you are attending the expo with the intent of adopting a new family member, you may want to either bring a crate or some sort of car restraint with you or be prepared to purchase something along those lines at the show. We often have people ask us at the show if we have any boxes or crates that they can have/borrow. We don't and cage/pet carriers may sell out. So either bring one with you or plan to arrive extra early.

Amazing Pet Expos currently produces more than a dozen pet expos around the country; all of them indoors and free to the general public.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Preparing Pets for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season is now upon us - running from June 1 - November 30. Experts are predicting a busier-than-usual hurricane season for 2011. NOAA is predicting 12 to 18 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher. Each of these ranges has a 70 percent likelihood, and indicate that activity will exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

It is not realistic to think certain areas cannot be affected by a hurricane. The entire Atlantic and Gulf coasts are considered high-risk areas. Inland areas are affected by the high winds, floods and tornados. The best protection from a hurricane is to be prepared and have a plan. These plans should include the entire family - that means our pets. To help pet owners prepare for hurricane season, TripsWithPets provides an online Disaster Preparedness and Resource Guide for Pets,

Pets are abandoned during hurricanes and natural disasters every year. Pet owners' lack of planning is a big part of the problem. Many find themselves scrambling to find a safe harbor for their pet in the event of evacuation from their homes.

The most important part of a disaster plan is to prepare for an evacuation. Red Cross disaster shelters cannot accept pets because of states' health and safety regulations and other considerations. Further, most kennels, veterinarians, and animal shelters are usually filled beyond capacity. TripsWithPets' Disaster Preparedness and Resource Guide for Pets offers a pet evacuation plan checklist, complete with resources on finding a safe place for pets to stay, what to do if pets are home alone when disaster strikes, as well as recommended items to include in a Pet Evacuation & Disaster Kit.

In addition, the TripsWithPets Disaster Preparedness and Resource Guide for Pets includes links to the National Hurricane Center, Weather Channel, American Red Cross, and FEMA - just to name a few. The guide also offers site visitors access to helpful directories, such as over 20,000 pet friendly accommodations across the U.S. and Canada, airlines, pet hospitals and more.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Travelling with your Cat

Great article from Pet Business in regards to cat travel tips

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Summer Travel Tips offers these great tips:
Pre-Travel Preparation

Healthy Start: The last thing you need is a sick pet when traveling. This means a visit to the vet for a medical checkup and to ensure that your pet is up-to-date with all necessary vaccinations. The veterinarian can also issue a health certificate for your pet. If you and your pet will be traveling across state lines, you must obtain a recent health certificate and a certificate of rabies vaccination. If your plans include traveling with your pet from the United States to Canada, you will need to bring along a certificate issued by a veterinarian that clearly identifies the animal and certifies that your pet has been vaccinated against rabies during the preceding 36 month period. Be sure to contact the government of the province you plan to visit as each province has its own requirements.

Plan for Restraint: Have a plan for how you're going to properly restrain your pet in your vehicle. This is a crucial element of pet travel that is not taken seriously enough. The reality is that hundreds of pets are injured or even killed each year because they are allowed free reign in cars, trucks, RVs, and SUVs. Even more real is the toll in human life and property damage caused when an "enthusiastic" animal distracts a driver, leading to an accident. Vehicle pet barriers, pet seat belts, pet car seats, and pet travel crates are all excellent ways to keep your pet (and you) safe when traveling in your vehicle. It's important to familiarize your pet with the vehicle restraint of choice weeks or months before traveling so that they are comfortable.

Temporary ID Tag: In the unfortunate event that your pet runs off while you're traveling. A temporary identification tag, along with a photo of your pet will help ensure their safe return. Attach a temporary ID tag to your pet's collar in addition to their permanent tag. Include the address and phone number of where you'll be staying along with your cell phone number and perhaps your email address. This is one of the most important aspects of traveling with your pet, but also one of the most overlooked. In addition, bring along a current photo of your pet. A photograph will make it easier for others to help you find your lost pet.

Packing Essentials: When packing for your pet include an ample supply of your pet's food. Don't rely on stopping along the way to pick up their food or picking it up at your final destination. Their particular brand of food may not be readily available and it is not advisable to introduce your pet to a new brand of food while traveling. Other essentials to pack for your pet include collapsible travel food and water bowls, bedding, litter and litter box, leash, collar and tags, favorite toys, grooming supplies, a pet first-aid kit and any necessary medications. And of sure to always have an ample supply of water available for your pet.

Secure Pet Friendly Accommodations: If you're planning a long journey and will need to stay in pet friendly accommodations on the way to your final destination, be sure to secure these accommodations before you hit the road. Map out where you'll be spending the night and arrange for lodging along the way. Our Search By Route will allow you to find pet friendly lodging along your route by plugging in your origination location and final destination. Pet policies do change some times without notice and accommodations may be limited so it's recommended that you make reservations in advance.

Medical Records: In case of a medical emergency while traveling, it is advisable to bring along your pets medical records along with your vet's contact information should they be needed for consultation.

Hitting the Road

No Heads Out the Window: Although many pets find that sticking their head out the window is the best part of the road trip, it's not safe. Your pet can easily be injured by flying debris. This should go without saying, but NEVER travel with a pet in the back of a pickup truck. Some states have laws restricting such transport and it is always dangerous.

Frequent Pit Stops: Always provide frequent bathroom and exercise breaks. Most travel service areas have designated areas for walking your pet. Be sure to stay in this area particularly when you pet needs a potty break...and of course, bring along a bag to pick up after your pet. When outside your vehicle, make sure that your pet is always on a leash and wearing a collar with a permanent and temporary travel identification tag.

Proper Hydration: During your pit stops be sure to provide your pet with some fresh water to wet their whistle. Occasionally traveling can upset your pet's stomach. Take along ice cubes, which are easier on your pet than large amounts of water.

Watch the Food Intake: It is recommended that you keep feeding to a minimum during travel. Be sure to feed them their regular pet food and resist the temptation to give them some of your fast food burger or fries (that never has a good ending).

Don't Leave Them Alone: Never leave your pet unattended in a parked vehicle. On warm days, the temperature in your vehicle can rise to 120 degrees in minutes, even with the windows slightly open. In addition, an animal left alone in a vehicle is an open invitation to pet thieves.

Practice Restraint: Be sure that your pet is safely restrained in your vehicle. Utilizing a pet safety harness, travel kennel, vehicle pet barrier, or pet car seat are the best ways to keep your pet safe. They not only protect your pet from injury, but they help by keeping them from distracting you as you drive. A safety harness functions like a seatbelt. While most pets will not have a problem adjusting to it, you may want to let them wear the harness by itself a few times before using it in the vehicle. If your pet prefers a travel kennel, be sure it is well ventilated and stabilized. Many pet owners prefer vehicle barriers, particularly for larger pets. Vehicle barriers are best suited for SUVs. Smaller pets are best suited for pet car seats. The car seat is secured in the back seat using a seat belt and your pet is secured in the car seat with a safety harness. In addition to it's safety features, a pet car seat will prop up your smaller pet, allowing them to better look out the window. No matter what method you choose, back seat travel is always safer for your pet.

Safe and Comfortable: Whatever method you choose to properly restrain your pet in your vehicle, be sure to make their comfort a priority. Just as it's important for your "seat" to be comfortable for your long road trip, your pet's seat should be comfortable too. Typically their favorite blanket or travel bed will do the trick. There are also some safe and very cozy pet car seats available that your pet may find quite comfy.

Careful preparation is the key to ensuring that you and your pet have a happy and safe trip. To learn more visit

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Haven man accused of stabbing 'Princess' the bulldog in Hamden

A dog owner was charged with cruelty to animals after stabbing his bulldog.

When police arrived at 1061 Dixwell Ave. at 12:30 Wednesday afternoon, police found an 8-month-old bulldog lying in blood in the driveway of the home, Sgt. Anthony Diaz said. Officers also found a silver-colored folding knife with a blade of about 3 inches with blood on it, lying just feet from the animal, Diaz said.

The owner of the dog, Alexander Bernard, 25, of 257 Sheffield Ave., New Haven, was arrested at the scene and charged with cruelty to animals.

Animal Control officers responded to the scene and transported the dog, named Princess, to the North Haven Animal Hospital to be treated for her injuries. She is listed in stable condition.

The reason for the stabbing could not immediately be determined

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pets Impacted by Flooding Find Safe Haven

As evacuations and flood threats continue throughout Tennessee and Missouri, rescue organizations are coming to the aid of the four-legged victims of this severe flooding.

Since last week alone, the ASPCA has helped more than 1,000 animals affected by the disaster throughout the southern United States. In Shelby County, Tenn., the organization's disaster response team has been working with Memphis Animal Services and the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County to establish an emergency shelter to prepare for severe flooding. The emergency shelter will provide temporary housing for a large number of animals, where they will be cared for until they are reunited with their owners.

And more animal rescue groups are coming to the rescue. Agencies assisting on the ground include American Humane Association, Code 3, and International Fund for Animal Welfare. The Humane Society of the United States has also responded in Missouri with the ASPCA to assist with rescue and sheltering needs in areas with extraordinary flooding damage.

"Pets are members of the family, and we realize how stressful it can be to leave your pet behind," said Kathryn Destreza, Southeast director of ASPCA Field Investigations and Response. "It has been a challenging period for both people and pets in communities affected by the disaster."

Additionally, the ASPCA is partnering with PetSmart Charities, Inc. to establish a distribution center in Memphis, Tenn. where pet food, sheltering supplies, and crates can be distributed throughout the region to various local agencies in need.

Pet owners who need sheltering for their pets should go to the emergency shelter located at 1716 N. Shelby Oaks Drive in Memphis, Tenn. The ASPCA asks that pet owners bring vaccination records, carriers, leashes/collars, and instructions for pets with special needs.

In Missouri, volunteers are continuing to respond to emergency rescue requests and sheltering of approximately 200 animals displaced by flooding. The ASPCA transported nearly 60 animals from Caruthersville Humane Society in Caruthersville, Mo. to various rescue groups throughout Missouri and Kansas. The animals were permanently relocated to allow the local shelter the capacity to accept incoming animals. Agencies that quickly stepped forward to support the ASPCA's relief efforts include the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri (Springfield, Mo.), Wayside Waifs (Kansas City, Mo.), and Animal Haven (Merriam, Kan.).

The ASPCA assisted other communities in Arkansas and Kentucky with sheltering needs, transporting displaced animals to temporary shelters, conducting field assessments, and offering supplies such as pet food to residents in the community. All supplies were generously provided by PetSmart Charities.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Intense interest surrounds dog who may have participated in bin Laden raid

By Liz Goodwin

ShareretweetEmailPrintBy Liz Goodwin liz Goodwin – Thu May 5, 11:12 am ET

Americans are fascinated by the anonymous U.S. Navy SEALs who daringly raided Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad, Pakistan compound this week, but one canine commando is attracting especially fervent interest.

According to the New York Times and the British tabloid The Sun, a military dog (not pictured) was strapped onto one of the assault team members as he was lowered out of a Black Hawk helicopter and began the operation that killed the notorious terrorist on Monday. But who is this canine hero?

Sadly, we know very little, and the Pentagon hasn't confirmed that a dog was even on the mission, much less release information about the canine's name or breed.

"Little is known about what may be the nation's most courageous dog," the Times' Gardner Harris writes. He speculates that the dog was most likely a German shepherd or a Belgian Malinois, since those are the breeds most often found in the military's 2,700-strong military dog program. (A new breed, however, is becoming popular with the troops. Labrador retrievers have begun to "wander off-leash 100 yards or more in front of patrols to ensure the safety of the route.")

The Pentagon and White House are keeping tight-lipped about the details of the operation, but that, of course, hasn't prevented commentators from speculating on the dog's role based on the functions of other war dogs in combat. "It's possible that the commandos brought a specialized search dog, which would have been sent in ahead of the humans to find explosives or people hidden inside the building," Slate's Brian Palmer writes. Or the dog could have been a "combat tracker"--canines who are specially trained to sniff out individuals and then follow their trail. Saddam Hussein was found in a hole under a hut--the assault team could have decided that they needed a good tracking dog in case bin Laden had a similar idea.

Dogs are increasingly important in America's combat operations abroad, and some have been outfitted with special (and adorable) "doggles" to protect their eyes, oxygen masks to protect their lungs as they parachute out with soldiers at high altitudes, and even waterproof vests that contain infrared cameras that transmit video back to servicemen watching a monitor yards behind them. Check out Foreign Policy's beautiful photo essay on military dogs here.

Luckily for this courageous and anonymous furry creature, there is some precedent for war dogs receiving military honors. The Navy awarded a Silver Star in 2009 to a dog named Remco who gave his life charging "an insurgent's hide-out in Afghanistan," Harris writes. According to Foreign Policy, another dog named Eli fiercely guarded his Marine, Private First Class Carlton Rusk, after he was shot by Taliban sniper fire in Afghanistan. Rusk's bomb-sniffing dog would not even let fellow Marines approach the wounded Rusk, who did not survive the attack. Eli now lives with Rusk's family.

The dog's role was not mentioned in any of the public White House press briefings on bin Laden's death. Pentagon spokeswoman Elizabeth Robbins wrote in an e-mail to The Lookout in response to our question about the dog that the Pentagon has "no additional operational details, or comments on operational details, to make at this time."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dog Training Blogs

I was sent this link to the Top 25 Dog Training Blogs.

Interesting stuff. Let me know your thoughts

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ohio Proposes New Animal Cruelty Laws for Dog Breeders

Kennel owners in Ohio who violate certain animal cruelty provisions would face felony charges under a new bill proposed by state lawmakers. A public hearing on the measure is set for Wednesday, April 6, 2011.

House Bill 108 prohibits an owner of dog kennel from:

• Torturing, tormenting, needlessly mutilating or maiming, cruelly beating, poisoning, needlessly killing, or committing an act of cruelty against the companion animal; and

• Depriving the companion animal of necessary sustenance, confining the companion animal without supplying it during the confinement with sufficient quantities of good, wholesome food and water, or impounding or confining the companion animal without affording it, during the impoundment or confinement, with access to shelter from heat, cold, wind, rain, snow, or excessive direct sunlight, if it can reasonably be expected that the companion animal would become sick or suffer in any other way as a result of or due to the deprivation, confinement, or impoundment or confinement in any of those specified manners.

Violators would face felony charges of the fifth degree.

In an industry alert, the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council argued that animal cruelty laws “should encompass all persons, whether pet owners or otherwise, and should not target a specific group for prosecution.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

First mutt census reveals strong dog DNA trends

 Interesting article from  - MSN Article

Purebreds aren’t as popular as you might think. In fact, more than half the dogs in American living rooms and backyards are mutts. The first-ever National Mutt Census lets pet owners trace the roots of their pooch’s family tree, revealing the most popular varieties in the nation’s mixed-breed dog population of 38 million.

According to the National Mutt Census, the top 10 most popular breeds found in the mixed-breed population are:

1. German shepherd (the second most popular AKC-registered breed)
2. Labrador retriever (most popular AKC breed)
3. Chow chow (63rd most popular AKC breed)
4. Boxer (sixth most popular AKC breed)
5. Rottweiler (13th most popular AKC breed)
6. Poodle (ninth most popular AKC breed)
7. American Staffordshire Terrier (70th most popular AKC breed)
8. Golden retriever (fourth most popular AKC breed)
9. Cocker spaniel (23rd most popular AKC breed)
10. Siberian husky (22nd most popular AKC breed)

Check out the full article for some more interesting trends among mixed breeds.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Diabetes Is A Trend in Dogs Too

Nearly 3 out of 5 dogs in the US are either overweight or obese. This is an amazing number. This is a growing problem that we owners need to pay attention to.

While much of it comes down to portion control and exercise, the first steps are acknowledging that our dogs have a weight problem and then acting on it. Far too often we just accept that our dogs are overweight and pass it off as 'cute' or funny; but in reality, we are putting our dogs in danger of debilitating disease like cancer, arthritis and even shorter lifespans.

-Their ribs are easily felt
-They have a tucked abdomen - no sagging stomach
-Their waist can be seen when viewed from above

-It's difficult to feel their ribs over fat
-They have a sagging stomach - you can grab a handful of fat
-They have a broad, flat back
-They have no waist

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jones Natural - Recall of Pig Ears

Consumer Affairs Website annouced this recall this past week. Hopefully no pets were harmed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

25 Tips and Tricks to Help Your Pets Slim down

25 Tips To Help Your Pets Trim Down
Check out the post above for some tips towards a healthier pet.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

CT Man Gets Prison Time for Animal Neglect

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A man accused of years of animal neglect has been sentenced to serve 2½ years in prison.

Paul Novicki told Superior Court Judge Roland Fasano that he never intentionally hurt an animal. And Fasano said he took into account a traumatic brain injury that impairs the 63-year-old Novicki's judgment and reasoning.

But Fasano said Friday that he couldn't overlook Novicki's long pattern of animal abuse and grant Novicki's family's request for no prison time.

A prosecutor described Novicki as "sadistic." Animal control officers have seized hundreds of animals from Novicki's property since 2003, including horses, cattle, mules, chickens and rabbits.
An equine veterinarian told Fasano it was the worst case of neglect she'd ever seen. She said the horses were all diseased and hungry.

Fasano gave Novicki an eight year sentence, suspended after 2½ years.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Premium Choice Now A Brand Name

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.—American Colloid Company is transforming its premium line of pet specialty cat litter, Premium Choice, into a brand name. The new positioning will allow for the introduction of its new flagship cat litter product name, Carefree Kitty. Premium Choice is re-launching with a refreshed logo, new packaging and a new consumer Carefree Kitty website.
A line of new, easy-to-use packaging styles will be introduced into market later this year. "The first thing that came to mind when wanting to make a change to our current cat litter packaging was the reality that our consumers are expressing a need for convenient, easy-to-manage packaging. Given that cat litter in a staple in every cat owner's home and there is a constant need for replenishing, we also want to deliver packaging that is earth-friendly," says Melissa Martínez, pet products marketing manager at American Colloid. In addition, the Premium Choice logo and the new packaging styles will come with a new look that is fun and energetic.

The change rose from a desire to strengthen the brand's direct communication with its loyal consumers and increase it's already well-known marketability. The launch of a new consumer website will be the beginning of a series of outreach initiatives to provide a greater level of service and gratitude to its loyal consumer base. The launch of the new site will align with the in-market launch of the new packaging line.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

AKC Names Top Dog Breeds

For the 20th consecutive year, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in America, according to American Kennel Club's recently announced 2010 registration statistics.

German shepherds and Yorkshire terriers rounded off the top three as they did last year, coming in second and third on the top-10 list, respectively.

Although the results may seem somewhat predictable, AKC's listing did reveal some shake-ups in the line-up. The Beagle and the Golden Retriever traded places, with the beagle beating out the retriever for 4th place. And, the Bulldog, which has been steadily rising up in rank in recent years, stole 6th place from the Boxer, which dropped to 7th. This is the Bulldog's highest ranking in quite some time.

"Not since the early 20th century has the Bulldog enjoyed such sustained popularity," said AKC Spokesperson Lisa Peterson. at number 6."

Moving Up the Ranks

While the stars of the canine world duked it out to fill the top ten slots, 2010's statistics revealed a number of other noteworthy trends, with some breeds racing up the ranking of 167 breeds. Popular breeds with the biggest increase in rankings over the past year include the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (108th to 93rd), the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (101st to 88th) and the Smooth Fox Terrier (123rd to 110th).

The French Bulldog holds the distinction of having made the most significant jump up the list in the past decade, soaring 50 places from 71st to 21st. Other breeds with the most notable increases in rankings over the last decade include the Havanese (86th to 31st) and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (54th to 23rd).

In the past decade, smaller dogs have been consistently represented in the top 10 by the Yorkshire terrier, which has moved up from 7th to 3rd. Other small breeds, however, are coming up the ranks recents, with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel having jumped from 54th to 23rd and the Havanese, from 86th to 31st.

A sharp rise in the popularity of Great Danes, Mastiffs, Newfoundlands and Bermese Mountain dogs in the past 10 years point to a trend toward larger breeds.

Three new breeds entered the registry in 2010, and the AKC reports that the larger the breed, the higher they appeared in the rankings-again, suggesting a larger-breed trend. The Leonberger, the largest of the new breeds, was ranked 33rd; the Cane Corso ranked 51st; and the smallest of three, the Icelandic Sheepdog, ranked 82nd.

The AKC added three new breeds this year that will be counted as part of the 2011 registry statistics--the Norwegian Lundehund, the Xoloitzcuintli and the Entlebucher Mountain Dog. The list now includes 170 breeds.

2010 Most Popular Dogs in the U.S.

Labrador Retriever

German Shepherd Dog

Yorkshire Terrier


Golden Retriever





Shih Tzu

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Dangers of Atypical Pets

Great article from a guest blogger -

The Dangers Of Atypical Pets

By Ashley Warner

When it comes to buying pets, most people still aim for dogs and cats, while others opt for small pets like lizards, birds and fish. However, a growing number of people are opting to own more unusual pets. While most animal advocates and people who have studied animal behavior, such as those with online biology degrees, disapprove of this practice, some people see animals like monkeys, reptiles and large cats on television and think it would be great to have one. Yet more often than not, people don't have a full grasp on the responsibility of owning an exotic pet before they purchase one. This can lead to a lot of problems. Having an atypical pet in your home is not only often detrimental to the animal, but it also can put your life risk.

Agencies such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are vehemently against the ownership of strange and exotic pets, particularly those that need to be imported. As such, people often obtain these pets illegally. In fact, there are many Web sites that provide people with the ability to purchase atypical pets, which can lead to a lot of legal problems. For instance, there are state, local and federal laws to consider when it comes to owning an exotic pet. However, the legal issues are just the tip of the iceberg.

By owning an atypical pet, you pose a serious risk to your own health and well-being. These animals are often extremely dangerous. When you bring one of them home, odds are you cannot provide them with the extensive care they need such as special diets, as well as a secured and comfortable habitat. The most common risk to public safety is when one of these animals escapes as a result of an enclosure that is too small or poorly constructed. There have been dozens of cases in the news about large snakes, tigers and even monkeys killing animals or attacking people. It is important to remember that wild animals aren't easily tamed like dogs and cats. As a result, they are quick to exhibit aggressive behavior in lieu of a proper habitat or improper feeding. This often leads to unfortunate cases in which an animal lashes out at its owner or other people.

Aside from the behavioral risks, atypical pets also pose health risks. Many strange pets are carriers of disease: most snakes release salmonella. many monkeys carry Herpes-B, and even seemingly harmless prairie dogs often carry the bubonic plague. Most often, these diseases don't harm the animals, but they can prove fatal to humans. By purchasing one of these pets, you are putting yourself at risk to catch a potentially lethal illness. You could also put your family, friends and neighbors at risk.

In addition to putting yourself at risk, you also put the animals at risk. Many people can't get proper veterinary care for odd pets or provide them with proper food. Eventually, most people who buy exotic pets give up on them because they can't take care of the animal properly. In fact, the ecosystem in the Everglades has been devastated by people releasing pythons in to the wild because they have gotten too big to keep in a cage. No matter how well meaning they may be, most people cannot provide the necessary care for an exotic pet.

Ultimately it is best to avoid purchasing an exotic pet, but if you must do so, make sure you understand all of the pet's needs and the risks involved with its care. It is also crucial that you need to know the legal implications as well as the health concerns of having such a pet in your home. If you don't go in to the situation with complete knowledge, you will may find yourself in a terrible situation.


Ashley Warner is a graduate student working toward her Masters in Conservation Biology and is a content creator for Online Biology Degree. She currently resides in Washington state

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Diseases You Can Get From a Cat


Pet lovers commonly ask this question. Are there any diseases that humans can catch from pets?

The answer is yes.
Diseases or infections that are transmitted from animals to animals and animals to humans are called "zoonoses", and they can pose serious health risks.

Diseases you can catch from your cat include:

Cat scratch disease - This is a disease that is caused by bacteria that are carried in cat saliva. The bacteria can be passed from a cat to a human through biting or scratching.

Rabies - This infection is caused by a virus found in the saliva of infected animals and is transmitted to pets and humans by bites. Infected bats, raccoons, foxes, skunks, dogs or cats pose the greatest risk to humans.

Toxoplasmosis - You can acquire this parasitic disease from soil or other contaminated surfaces by putting your hands to your mouth after gardening, cleaning a cat's litter box, or by touching anything that has come into contact with cat feces.

Parasites - They include roundworms and hookworms, which can all be transmitted from cats to humans. These parasites are transmitted through contact with feces or the soil it contaminates. Hookworms can even infect humans through the soles of their feet. For these reasons, children are especially at risk, so make sure they wash their hands thoroughly after handling the cat.

Ringworm - This contagious fungal disease can affect the scalp, the body (particularly the groin), the feet and the nails. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with worms. The name comes from the characteristic red ring that can appear on an infected person's skin. Cats are primary carriers of this disease, much more so than dogs.

All animals can acquire zoonotic diseases, but animals at increased risk include: outdoor pets, unvaccinated animals, pets that are immunocompromised (they have a suppressed immune system), poorly groomed animals, and animals that are housed in unsanitary conditions.

People with immune disorders or those on chemotherapy or immunosuppressive therapy may be at increased risk of infection.

Animals with zoonotic diseases may exhibit a variety of clinical signs depending on the type of disease. The signs can vary from mild to severe. As a pet owner you should know your animal and be aware of any changes in behavior and appearance.

The MOST important thing you can do for protection is to make sure that you and your family wash your hands after any contact with any urine and feces. Always wash your hands before eating.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dog Behavior: Does Your Pooch Act Like You?

We all know that yawning can be contagious, especially in late afternoon meetings. Same thing seems to happen to dogs, according to one study. In it, dogs were paired with a person they'd never met before and placed sitting face to face. Researchers found when people yawned, the majority of pups yawned back, which suggests a certain level of empathy in the dogs.

Another study found dogs actually may be more interested in doing what their owners do than in getting food rewards. In the study, dogs were trained by their owners to open a sliding glass door using either their head or paw. Half of the dogs received treats when they opened the door the same way their owners did. The other half were rewarded only when they opened it the opposite way their owners did. Researchers found that the dogs seemed to be more motivated to open the door exactly as their owners had than to open it differently and get a treat.

If you tune in to some of your dog's subtle behaviors, you'll probably notice other human-like qualities. Heck, he may even remind you of yourself!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

It's Pet Dental Health Month

Have you taken a good look at your pet's mouth lately? According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral health problems by the time they're only 3 years old. Like us, pets need dental care, not just to keep their teeth pearly white, but for their whole health. Poor dental health can contribute to conditions such as liver disease, heart disease, intestinal problems and more.

Thanks to petsitusa for the info!

If your pet has bad breath, swollen gums (or red or bleeding gums), yellow teeth, tartar, missing teeth, or is reluctant to chew it's definitely time for a visit to your veterinarian. The best way to avoid problems like this though is by having regular checkups with your veterinarian, and preventive care. Brushing your pets' teeth and giving chew toys to help scrub away tartar are excellent ways to help your cat or dog have a healthy mouth. So, in honor of Pet Dental Health month, make a commitment to your pets. Learn how to brush their teeth, and if they haven't seen the vet recently, make an appointment today.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Hope everyone enjoy's their day. I always hated this holiday, since it was another way to make me spend money on stuff I don't need. But, now that I have a mini family, I can understand the point of it....still, I'm not spending any money! No flowers until next week, when the price for roses goes back down to a normal level.
The dogs enjoy the holiday as well; and they don't care how much I spend either, as long as they get their doggie treats. But I'm extra careful not to drop any of the chocolates that are in my house. If it's near their noses, they'll find it and eat it!

As for the fish, they're getting their regular weekly water changes. So, they'll be happy.

And, for us baseball fans, it's the official start of spring training, as pitchers and catchers report to camp.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dog Friendly Beer!?!

While I'm not here to promote drinking, the bottom line is, during the Super Bowl, there will be a lot of beer being consumed. While beer is never good for your pets, a company as come up with a pet safe beer.

It's called Bowser Beer - Here is what they are saying about it:

Bowser Beer puts the PARTY in PARTY ANIMAL

-Non alcoholic, beer-like beverage for dogs (all of the taste with none of the hangover)
-Hops and carbonation free beverage made from USDA beef or chicken stock
-Contains malt barley for healthy coats and glucosamine for healthy joints
-Dogs love it as a beverage or as a topping for dry food

If anyone buys it, I'd be interested in hearing your feedback.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Horse in Training - Super Bowl Commercial

Every year around this time I like to post some classic animal related super bowl commercials - check this one out!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Classic Super Bowl Commercial - Adopt a Dog

This is a good one from Pedigree about adopting a dog.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Purina One Promotion

Purina ONE® is celebrating the launch of Purina ONE® beyOnd™ with a special Facebook promotion that will offer 250,000 consumers a coupon to try Purina ONE® beyOnd™ brand dog or cat food. On a first come first serve basis, consumers can log onto to redeem a coupon for $2.00 off a package of beyOnd™ brand dog food or brand cat food (any size, any variety). Simply click on the “beyOnd Coupon” tab to download the coupon (limit of one sample per person).

Both of these natural pet food recipes are made from ingredients like real meat, whole grains and accents of fruits and vegetables. The Purina ONE® beyOnd™ packaging also goes above and beyond to make a difference, using at least 92 percent renewable materials.

Monday, January 17, 2011

10 Dog Foods that May Lead to Cancer

Article from Vet Tech in regards to foods that could cause cancer in dogs. Interesting article.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My dogs are great at destroying so-called indestructible toys. Once they destroy them, they feel the need to eat them…stuffing and all. We’ve found the hard way that this stuffing is far from digestible. So, when I was approached with this unique product, I was more then happy to give it a try.

The deer antler is the best one I’ve found. My dog loves chewing it, doesn’t get sick, and it’s all natural. The chew toy lasts for a long time. It naturally wears down so there is nothing that the dog will vomit later as he chews it down (sorry for the graphic thought).

Here is the product description:
Deer Antlerz are a 100% natural, mineral rich, long lasting dog chew. The new chew is made from a natural material that is rich in minerals, does not splinter and comes from a completely renewable source – Deer antlers! Wild deer shed their antlers once a year as part of a natural process, after which the deer re-grow another set.

To purchase the product, check out

Friday, January 7, 2011

Pet franchises are on the rise, according to Franchise Direct

The pet business has never been bigger. Industry experts now presume that American pet owners will invest about $47 billion on their animals this year alone. Many franchises are reaping the rewards, according to a new report from Franchise Direct.

The franchise portal credits the boom in part to American’s growing love affair with their pets. Today, 62% of US households own at least one pet. You’ll find a pet in 71.4 million American homes, which is a rise of over 20 million pets since 1998. Coinciding with the increase in pet ownership is the development of niche pet franchise markets. Pet owners now spend liberally on luxury pet hotels, vet care and upscale pet products, which are all industries that have been franchised. But the clearest proof of the power of the pet industry is this: when then US economy tanked in 2008, consumer spending on pets remained level.

Pet franchises make up a diverse and growing industry. Pet supply retailers, dog-sitting companies and many more have franchised their business model. In a growing industry like the pet market, consumers turn to companies they trust and know, which is why franchises have boomed.

As for the pet franchise scene, pet food retailers continue to drive the economy. Yet, as pets live longer, owners are also spending more on vet care, grooming, supplies and medicine. Nearly every niche in the industry features a thriving pet franchise.

Many entrepreneurs opt for a pet franchise without having previous experience working with pets. Franchise Direct has found, though, that people who love animals are especially suited to this field. Their passion for pets drives them to big things in life and business. As the Franchise Direct pet franchise report state, pet franchises are in a healthy state and ready for bigger things.

About Franchise Direct: Franchise Direct ( is one of the world's leading portals for franchise and business opportunities. Started as a single website for the promotion of franchises in the US market in 1998, Franchise Direct now operates a suite of six multilingual sites targeting North America and Europe.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from your friends at the Pet Haven. Hope your year is off to a great start.