Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Fun Facts About Dogs

1. There are a total of roughly around four hundred million dogs and hundreds of different dog breeds in the world.

2. Dogs can perform many tasks to assist humans. They can guard, hunt, do farm work, and aid people with disabilities. They can help the blind. They can also be trained to compete in breed shows which display their amazing agility. There are obedience contests, sled pulling, and racing that are meant for dogs.

3. The domestication of dogs, which naturally live in the wild, happened around 15,000 years ago.

4. Dogs have the same digestive systems as wolves and foxes - their counterparts in the wild. Thus, you are making it hard for them to digest pellet-based, plant-based, and processed dog foods. Dogs are meant to subsist on raw meat and bones.

5. Domestic dogs may eat plant-based foods, but it is not necessarily good for them. Foods that are plant-based will tax their pancreas and shorten their life spans.

6. Dogs have a spectacular sense of smell. They can differentiate odors in concentrations of around 100 million times lower than what humans can!

7. The hearing of dogs is also much more superior to that of humans. They can hear sounds at four times the distance!

8. According to the number of registered ownership, the most popular dog breed in the world is the Labrador. They are usually used as guide dogs and as police dogs. Labradors are extremely intelligent, obedient, gentle, and tireless.

9. Dogs live up to ten to fourteen years. They live longer if they are fed with unprocessed and uncooked meat and bones.

10. Dog breeders call young dogs less than one year of age as "puppies," a group of dog offspring as "litter," male dogs as "dogs," and female dogs as "bitches."

11. Dogs tend to pant a lot because they don't have any sweat glands on their body. Their sweat glands are only at their paws!

12. Dogs have a total of three eyelids. The third lid is called a nictitating membrane or haw; it keeps their eyes protected and fully lubricated.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Arthur Dogswell recalls cat chicken jerky treats, FDA says

..From NBC News..

One of the nation's leading manufacturers of pet treats has issued a voluntary recall of chicken breast treats because of the potential to cause health problems in cats. The recall follows reports of more than 1,800 dogs in the U.S. sickened or killed after eating chicken jerky treats from China.
Arthur Dogswell LLC issued a recall late Friday for its Catswell Brand VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins treats because of potential contamination with high levels of propylene gylcol. High levels of propylene glycol in the treats could result in serious in serious injury to cats, according to the notice posted by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

The Los Angeles-based firm is voluntarily recalling 1,051 cartons of the treats packed as either 10 or 50 packages per case of the Catswell Brand VitaKitty with Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins, the company said in a press release.
Health effects could include inducing anemia and making cells more  susceptible to oxidative damage. The company said no illnesses have been reported to date.
However, Arthur Dogswell LLC also produces chicken jerky pet treats made in China for dogs, which have been linked to more than 1,800 illnesses and deaths in the United States. Friday's recall is the first associated with chicken jerky pet treats since the FDA issued a third warning about the products last November.

The VitaKitty treats were distributed nationwide via retail stores and mail order from April 13th through June 14th, 2012.
This product is packaged in a re-sealable 2 ounce orange plastic bag with a clear window. The VitaKitty Chicken Breast with Flaxseed and Vitamins lot codes affected are as follows: SEW12CH032701/03c and SEW12CH032702/03c with a best before date of 09/10/13 and 09/11/13, respectively (UPC code 8 84244 00057 2). Lot codes can be found on the bottom right backside of the package.


Monday, July 23, 2012

The "Dos" of Safe, Pet Friendly Boating

With boating season in high gear it's a good time for a little refresher on pet friendly boating to ensure your little one is safe. Before hitting the high seas with your pet it's important to plan ahead and always keep the best interests of your four-legged friend in mind. Boating with your pet can be a wonderful and bonding experience or a not so pleasant one. It's all function of proper planning and preparation.
Be sure to take these necessary provisions to ensure that your pet's boat cruise is a happy and safe one.
  • Identification Tag: Make sure your pet has a collar with an identification tag. Include contact information, marina address and slip number.
  • Familiarization with the Boat: It is best to gradually introduce your pet to your boat and the water. Let your pet explore the boat while it is docked before going out on the water. Turn on the engine and let them get used to its sound, smell, and feel while the boat is docked. Then, take your pet out on small cruises and gradually build up to longer cruises.
  • Safe & Easy Boat Access: Provide a special pet ramp for your pet to get on and off the boat. This not only includes from the dock to the boat but also from the water to the boat. Pets weigh much more wet than dry and it can be very difficult to lift them back into your boat after a swim.
  • Flotation Device: A personal flotation device (a.k.a. life jacket) can also ensure safety while on the water. Not all pets can swim (including some dogs). Even if your pet is a good swimmer, getting tossed overboard can put any animal into a panic. In addition, your pet could suffer from exhaustion or hypothermia. Many pets also fall into the water from the dock or while trying to get from the dock to the boat. Having your pet equipped with a flotation device with a lifting handle makes retrieving your pet much easier and safer. Help your pet get used to the PFD by first practicing at home for short periods of time. Start by putting the PFD on your pet and let them walk around with it on. The next step is to let your pet swim with it on for a short period. It's a new experience for your pet so it's important for them to get used to it before the boat trip.
  • Proper Hydration & Staying Cool: Pets do not sweat, so keep an eye out for heavy panting or drool and a rapid heart beat. Protect pets from heat by providing some shade on the boat, providing plenty of water and keeping the deck cool to protect paw pads. Bring along a travel water bowl and fresh water. It is critical to hydrate pets before they get into the water. Otherwise, they will drink the natural water and may get sick.
  • Going Potty: A big challenge of boating with your pet is making provisions so that they can go to the bathroom. Bringing along your cat's litter box and securing it inside the cabin is a good solution for your feline friends. Dogs, however, are a bigger challenge. If your boat trip does not allow for regular land stops for your dog to do their business, then provisions must be made so that they can relieve themselves on the boat. A portable dog potty that simulates grass is an excellent solution. We recommend the Pup-Head Portable Dog Potty.
  • Health Records: If your boating destination is a marina or place that you're not familiar with, be sure to bring along a copy of vaccination and health records. Some places may require proof of immunization before letting pets explore on land.
  • Call Ahead: While most marinas and parks welcome pets, there are some that aren't pet friendly. Be sure to call ahead before arriving on shore.

Info provided by:

 TripsWithPets.com is the #1 online resource for pet travel. It was named BEST pet travel site by Consumer Reports! TripsWithPets.com offers resources to ensure pets are welcome, happy, and safe when traveling. The website features a directory of pet friendly hotels & accommodations across the U.S. and Canada, airline & car rental pet policies, dog friendly beaches, search by route, pet travel tips, pet travel supplies, along with other pet travel resources.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Alaska Town: Feline Mayor Is the Cat's Pajamas

The mayor of a sleepy Alaska town is feline fine.
The part-Manx cat clawed his way onto the political scene of Talkeetna, Alaska, through a write-in campaign shortly after he was born 15 years ago.
KTUU-TV reported ( http://bit.ly/LYvzBV ) Friday that residents didn't like the mayoral candidates years ago, so they encouraged enough people to elect Stubbs as a write-in candidate. The town has nearly 900 residents.
Sandy Bubar/AP Photo
PHOTO: Mayor Stubbs is a 15-year-old yellow cat who has been overseeing the town since shortly after he was born.
Sandy Bubar/AP Photo
Mayor Stubbs is a 15-year-old yellow cat who has been overseeing the town since shortly after he was born.
Although his position is honorary, Stubbs' popularity is real. His election earned him enough press to catapult the town at the base of Mount McKinley into a tourist destination.
Residents say they're happy that their stubby-tailed mayor is promoting tourism. The general store where Stubbs hangs out says it gets dozens of tourists a day asking for him.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Will Pet Ownership Decline in the Future?

I recently came across an article from petbusiness.com that discussed the role of retail stores and investing in future generations. The article expresses concern about how kids grow up today with technology and gaming, and if that trend will impact pet ownership.

It is an interesting read, especially expressing the concern about the future of pet retail shops and their role in the pet industry.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Better Pet? Dog or Cat?

The Cats Vs Dogs controversy has gone on for thousands of years, ever since they were domesticated. Which makes the best pet? The answer depends largely on the owner's personality and requirements for animal companionship. We have owned both and have made a few observations based on our experiences.

Dogs are intensely loyal to the people who feed them. They can be hostile to perceived "invaders," and a goodly number of them have shown a willingness to put their own lives on the line to protect their owners. The downside to this behavior is that they demand lots of attention. An owner can sit and scratch a dog's ears for hours and still receive a hurt look from the animal when it's time to do something else. Cats, although also attention seekers, seem much more aloof and independent. Just don't expect them to be there for you if a burglar breaks in. An intelligent, well trained dog makes a great hiking companion. Cats couldn't care less. This is why the owner's preferences are an important part of the Cats Vs Dogs debate.

Cats are complete carnivores, and can digest only meat. (You may have seen a cat eating green grass, but that was probably because its stomach was already upset by something else.) Dogs, like people, are omnivores able to metabolize a variety of foods. The difference is in the body chemistry of the two species. The bottom line when considering Cats Vs Dogs is this: although some dogs may develop a taste for some cat foods, the two types of food are not interchangeable.

The biggest factor in choosing between Cats Vs Dogs may be the environment of the prospective owner. Do not try to keep a large dog in a small apartment, even if the landlord allows it. You will all be miserable as a result. Cat urine smells worse than dog urine, is more likely to occur indoors and must be dealt with. Dogs are not adept at hunting mice, so rodent control is generally left up to cats, who will also catch lizards, birds and young rabbits. In a rural setting, however, be aware that cats are susceptible to being picked off by owls (yes, owls) and other predators.
Pet Article courtesy of http://pet-articles.blogspot.com.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Touch of Exotic In Your Home

Ever dreamed of snorkelling in Thailand? Diving off the Australian Great Barrier Reef? Experiences like these are truly mesmerising. The range of aquatic life on view is quite breathtaking. Well now you can encounter a variety of tropical creatures from the comfort of your own home. Keeping tropical fish in a domestic setting is becoming an increasingly popular hobby. Since the Disney Pixar animation Finding Nemo hit box offices in 2003, clownfish worldwide achieved above and beyond celebrity status.  While these fascinating and strikingly marked fish have certainly raised the profile of tropical species as pets, they are not necessarily ideal for the beginner. Guppies, mollies and neon tetras are among the most popular species kept and much more suitable for those who have little to no experience in keeping such animals.

Considering it?

These creatures are ideal for those looking for a relatively low maintenance yet rewarding pet or hobby. If you are looking to keep a selection of species it is a good idea to first research which varieties are at ease in the company of others. Corydoras catfish or rainbowfish for example will happily cohabite with others. The latter is known to develop bold colouring when reaching adulthood making it a valuable addition to your tank. A handful of species are known for their aggressive nature and are usually kept in a solitary environment. Certain variations of Cichlids for instance can display very territorial behaviour and it is recommended that these particular types are not placed with certain other tropical fish.

The size of tank you should purchase will depend on the number of tropical fish you are planning on housing. Recommendations usually state that every one inch long fish in your tank should have roughly twelve square inches of surface area.

Generally, tropical fish require a consistent water temperature of between 25c-27c (70f-80f). It is advised that you allow around three to four days for making any necessary adjustments in order to maintain the correct temperature before introducing your fish to their new home.

Regarding diet, small amounts of tropical fish food given once to three times a day is usually ample. It is worth noting however that for the first two weeks, the filter needs time to adjust therefore a small amount of food once every two days is recommended.

Plants and other Fish Tank Accessories make a valuable addition to any aquarium. Providing your new fish with stimulating objects to explore and engage with will enable you to observe the behaviour that makes them such a popular household addition.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pet Industry Spending

How much do you spend on your pets? The American Pet Products Association (APPA) publishes industry trends in regards to how much is spent on your animals.


The following spending statistics are gathered by APPA from various market reseach sources and are not included in the organization's bi-annual National Pet Owners Survey.

Total U.S. Pet Industry Expenditures
Year Billion

2012 $52.87 Estimate

2011 $50.96 Actual
2010 $48.35 2009 $45.5
2008 $43.2
2007 $41.2
2006 $38.5
2005 $36.3
2004 $34.42003 $32.42002 $29.52001 $28.51998 $231996 $211994 $17

Estimated 2012 Sales within the U.S. Market

For 2012, it estimated that $52.87 billion will be spent on our pets in the U.S.
Estimated Breakdown:
Food $20.46 billion
Supplies/OTC Medicine $12.56 billion
Vet Care $13.59 billion
Live animal purchases $2.15 billion
Pet Services: grooming & boarding $4.11 billion

Actual Sales within the U.S. Market in 2011

In 2011, $50.96 billion was spent on our pets in the U.S.

Food $19.85 billion
Supplies/OTC Medicine $11.77 billion
Vet Care $13.41 billion
Live animal purchases $2.14 billion
Pet Services: grooming & boarding $3.79 billion

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

“5 Rules for Finding a Pet Friendly Nanny

I came across a recent post www.findananny.net about the 5 rules for finding a pet nanny. Some interesting things to consider. Check out the article for some great tips.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Health 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)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pet 'Lemon Law' That Would Close 'Love Loophole' Passes Senate

Pet 'Lemon Law' That Would Close 'Love Loophole' Passes Senate

Interesting law from CT in regards to Pet Lemon laws.  Showing again that pets are considered property.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pet Ownership Statistics

It's always fun to see what pets are popular.  The American Pet Products Association (APPA) publishes information about pet ownership.


  • 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 5.7Cat 38.9Dog 46.3Equine 2.4Freshwater Fish 11.9Saltwater Fish 0.7
Reptile 4.6Small 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

Sunday, July 1, 2012

4th of July Pet Safety Tips

The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.  Celebrating our lives, liberties and freedoms while enjoying time with friends, both human and non-human.  However, the holidays can lead to trouble for your pet if you are not careful.

The ASPCA has offered some great 4th of July pet safety tips.
For many people, nothing beats lounging in the backyard on the Fourth of July with good friends and family—including the four-legged members of the household. While it may seem like a great idea to reward Rover with scraps from the grill and bring him along to watch fireworks, in reality some festive foods and products can be potentially hazardous to your pets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:
  • Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak, severely depressed or could go into a coma. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.
  • Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.
  • Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing—or even kidney disease in severe cases. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If lighter fluid is inhaled, aspiration pneumonia and breathing problems could develop.
  • Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea. This is particularly true for older animals who have more delicate digestive systems and nutritional requirements. And keep in mind that foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes & raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
  • Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.
  • Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.
  • Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
  • Loud, crowded fireworks displays are no fun for pets, so please resist the urge to take them to Independence Day festivities. Instead, keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home.