Friday, August 8, 2008

Teaching Your Dog to Perform “Fun Tricks”

Teaching your dog “fun” tricks is a great way to get your dog involved in family functions and simply a great way to interact with your dog. It gives your dog a way to be involved in the family life and it tends to make the family be more involved with the dog.

It takes some patience and practice, but you and your dog will learn tricks that will last a lifetime. Tricks are like riding a bike. Once they have fully learned the trick, they will recall the trick years down the road, even if they have not practiced for a long time.

Before you begin teaching your dog new tricks, it is important to know the limits of your dog. Be realistic. Consider the size and breed of your dog before trying to teach a new trick. Also, it is important that you and your dog are having fun. If your dog is not “into” the trick thing, you must respect his wishes. Unless it is something that you are teaching for safety purposes, you will not want to force the “fun” tricks. This could cause tension in you and your dog.

When training your dog, it is absolutely essential that you use positive reinforcement. This is the most effective technique when trying to teach your dog tricks. Fun tricks are supposed to be just that, fun. Punishing a dog for not performing a “fun” trick is simply mean and unacceptable.

In positive reinforcement, you ignore the bad and reward the good. Once your dog has performed the trick, you reward him with something he likes, especially a lot of praise. They know when you are pleased with them and they will want to try for that response again.
Another important tip is to break down the trick into smaller steps.

Here are some tricks you can teach your pooch.

Paw trick – Have your dog sit. Ask for the paw. Shake it gently and praise and reinforce with a treat.

High Five – Start with giving the paw. Hold your hand at the same height in which your dog gives his paw. With each command, hold your hand higher until your dog gives his paw at a higher level. Do this until your dog actually gives a high five. After he has learned the small steps, he will realize he is supposed to give the paw no matter where you have your hand.

Give Ten – This is a variation of High Five. This is where your dog will give both paws and rest his weight on his hind legs. Only teach this trick, if he has mastered the above two tricks.

Are you Happy? – When you ask this question, your dog should wag his tail. This is a simple but cute trick that makes your dog feel part of the family. This trick is taught by the tone of your voice. Be sure to use an excited tone. If he wags his tail praise and reinforce with a treat or toy.
Give me a Kiss – Dab butter or cream cheese on your hand and say “give me a kiss” while extending your buttered hand to your dog and raising it up towards your face. You can even have him kiss your face, if you like. Once this has been done with butter a couple of times, they will learn this hand signal.

Going through a hoop – Buy a hula hoop. Hold the hula hoop in front of you. If your dog is frightened, positive reinforcement is great here. Give him a treat if he sniffs it. Then hold it out to your side and have treats on the other side of the hoop. He will walk through for that treat.

Chase your tail – Hold the treat at level with the dog’s nose and say “chase your tail”. Start slowly by giving treats at half spins, etc.

Once you have trained your dog some “fun” tricks, you can venture out to the park. Take along his pet stroller for after his performance in the park. Make it more exciting by getting your dog a pet costume. This will add to his performance! He will likely be tired after a day of fun and be ready for a long nap in his pet bed.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Pet Money Saving Tips

If you own pets or considering adding a new member to your family, you either know or are going to discover that pets can get expensive. Most people who have made the decision to add a pet to your family will do whatever it takes to keep your pet happy and healthy. Even though you will likely do whatever you can .for your pet, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to make your pet happy.

Here are some tips to help you save money while keeping your loyal companion happy and healthy.

Money saving tips when choosing your pet
If you are in the process of deciding what pet to bring into your home, consider your budget seriously. You will want to be able to take care of that pet the best way you can, especially if something serious were to happen.

Seriously consider visiting a shelter. Not only will you be saving money, but you will be saving an animal’s life.

Choose a mixed breed as opposed to a pure bred. Pure bred tend to be more expensive.

Money saving tips after bringing home your pet
Shop around for a veterinarian. Make sure to ask questions on the prices of shots and other normal procedures. One veterinarian may cost up to 40% more than another for the exact same shot simply because they have a nicer facility. The most important thing is the facility is clean and that the vet has a great “pet side manner”.

Get the immunizations on time. This will help prevent your pet from getting sick, costing you even more money.

Pet proof your home to help prevent ingestion of foreign objects, preventing a trip to the emergency pet office.

Sign up for free promotions offered at the pet stores. They will usually send you money-saving coupons for products you will need for your pet, such as pet food, pet clothes, pet stroller, or even on pet beds. You can even purchase these items at garage sales which can be almost 60% cheaper or more.

Purchase pet food in bulk to save money. The highest priced food does not always mean it is the best food. Ask your vet or pet store owners for advice. Compare ingredients from brand and generic dog foods.

When giving your pet a bath, purchase a hair strainer to prevent more costs from clogged drains.
Consider installing a pet door. This will help to reduce your heating and cooling costs from not having to open the door so many times throughout the day.

Pet insurance may not be the answer. It can be very expensive and may not cover the vet expenses you actually need. Instead, start a savings account set aside specifically for your pet and other household emergencies. Your money may be better spent in your own savings account.

Your pet is a loyal companion that you want to be able to protect. Makes sure you have what you need to take care of your pet by making wise financial decisions. Your pet deserves only the very best – even if it means its pet bed comes from a garage sale so that you have the money to get his/her shots!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Perfect Backyard Dog

Those of you that have decided to grow a garden this summer or are planning to add some landscaping to your yard and own a dog will know that it can be quite interesting trying to keep your dog from having a blast in the garden or in the bushes.

As a responsible dog owner, you will want to take precautions, not only to prevent destruction of the garden, but for the safety of your loyal and trusting companion. You need to take steps to protect your dog from any toxic fertilizers or plants.

Here are some tips to help you create a backyard fit for a dog.
Leave spaces between shrubs so dogs can run between them to reduce damage.

Install a fence. Even the best behaved dogs will have trouble holding back the desire to chase that squirrel!

Check your yard for potentially toxic plants, such as a nightshade, which is a poisonous weed. Remove these immediately. They pose not only a danger to your pet, but to your children.
Know that even though some parts of a plant are safe for humans, it could be toxic for your dog, such as tomatoes.

Do not use rocks or mulch that smells good. Dogs can choke or will want to eat the mulch.
Use organic products instead of toxic pesticides to manage bugs.

Train your dog to stay away from the garden.

Avoid planting poisonous plants where you know your dog will be. Find a place where the dog is not able to get to for these plants.

Avoid mulch made from cocoa bean hulls because dogs will eat it because it has a strong chocolate fragrance. It can also contain caffeine and theobromine stimulants that will make a dog sick or could be fatal if eaten in huge quantities. This is according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

You can actually help reduce the lawn from being destroyed by dog urine by encouraging your dog to drink plenty of fresh water. This will help to dilute the urine so it is not so strong.
Train your dog and praise him with lot of treats and love.

Show him the boundaries. You should grab that pet stroller and pet jacket and leave your house the same way when going for a walk outside of the yard. Either get into the car or always leave the yard by the drive way. This will help to confuse your dog and will help in training the boundaries of the yard and areas where he is not allowed.

Play, play, play. If you take the time to play with your dog out in the yard, this will give you lots of chances to train him to stay away from specific areas, but will also give him the sense of belonging in the areas you allow him to be in. After a long hard day of play, he will be ready to sleep in his beloved pet bed.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Furry Friends Tidbits

Enjoy our monthly little tidbits on your furry friends. Here you will find interesting fun facts on dogs and cats or any other little tidbits of information from delicious pet recipes to different types of pet beds to fun games to play with your pet. You never know what you will find, so join us each month for some fun and exciting tidbits!

Five Fun Facts
Adult dogs have forty-two teeth.

Did you know a dog can carry HALF it own weight comfortably in a backpack? Your dog would be a great companion on a hike or camping trip!

When a dog chews on grass, it does not always mean it has a tummy ache, grass adds fiber to his diet. It is a dog’s salad!

Kittens are born with blue eyes, just like a baby. If their eyes will change, it will occur at four to five weeks of age.

Cats will meow at people, but will rarely meow at other cats. Plus, they could put in a growl or two with the dog they share a house with!

Popular and Unique Names for your Pets
Dog Names:

Cat Names
Sabrina Lily

A Game to Play with your Pet

Treasure Hunt:
Have your dog sit and stay. Put a treat or special toy within sight. Give you dog the release command to run to her treat or toy. Let her eat it or play with it. After you do this a couple of times, have her sit and stay again, but this time change the place you put the treat or toy, still within sight. After a couple of times doing this, you can “hide” the treat or toy. The first time you hide it, you will want her to see you putting it there, but you don’t want her seeing the item. Each time you hide it, put it further away. You can even start hiding more than one item. This game is a lot of fun for both of you!

Pet Products
Pet strollers are a great way to take your dog or cat out for a walk or to give them a break on the way back from a long playtime in the park.

Pet beds are wonderful to have for your pets to have a special place to sleep after that long walk or playtime in the park!

Pet costumes or clothes are great for cold weather or simply for fun. Check out all of the cute costumes and coats available these days!

Dog Recipes – Warning these can be too tempting for humans!

This section is dedicated to all of those who like to make your own natural dog food or treats.

Whole Wheat Cheese Snaps:
1 cup uncooked oatmeal1-½ cup hot water or meat juice/broth1 cup grated cheese1 egg, beaten1 cup wheat germ¼ cup margarine½ cup powdered milk4 cups whole wheat flour

Preheat oven to 300 F (150° C).
In large bowl, pour hot water over oatmeal and margarine: let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in powdered milk, grated cheese, salt and egg. Add wheat germ. Mix well. Add flour, 1/3 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Knead 3 or 4 minutes, adding more flour if necessary to make very stiff dough. Pat or roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and place on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray.

Bake for 1 hour. Turn off heat and leave in oven for 1-½ hours or longer.

Makes approximately 2-¼ pounds.

Your furry little friend will love these delicious and homemade treats made from the heart!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tips for Introducing Cats and Dogs - July

When I brought our new puppy home, I was afraid that the cat would turn into a very mean cat. She was already “evil” according to our kids, but she was just a loner. She was actually starting to come around where you could actually pet her. She basically tolerates us to make us happy so that we will continue feeding her! So, she allows us to pet her for about three strokes and then she dashes.

So, bringing in a new puppy into the mix was going to be interesting. I was concerned that she would just become mean. The strangest thing happened. She actually became even more tolerant of us. She has turned into a pretty sweet kitty.

She bats and growls at my puppy, but luckily she does not have those front claws! However, it seems as though she actually tries to get the puppy to chase after her. It is pretty amazing the change I have seen in our cat. Now, the puppy will sit there and take the batting at her face because she thinks it is all in play. Little does she know!

Here are some tips to help you introduce your new dog or cat to your pets.

Be prepared to look for the perfect addition to your family. You will need to be sure you are aware of the needs of the dog or cat, as they are different.

Make sure you are able to provide time and resources for both pets.

Prepare your home before bringing in a new pet. Be sure to clearly mark their territory for their pet beds, food, and litter areas. Try to make it so that neither pet can intrude on the other pets resting area.

It is important to clip both animals’ claws before their first meeting.

Each pet should be allowed to smell the other pets blanket to begin the introduction. This helps to avoid surprise.

Give each pet extra attention and praise and be sure to spend quality time individually with each pet. Consider taking them both out for a walk individually. Grab the pet stroller and the pet coat and venture out with your new kitty or puppy.

Monitor them closely for the first thirty days for any aggression. Do not leave them alone until you are positive there is a bonding. If you have to leave, you will need to separate them by putting them in different rooms.

Refrain from punishing either one if they do not get along on their first meeting. This will cause negative feelings. They will resent the other pet because they were punished.

Love, love and love some more-give each pet an abundance of love and praise, especially in the beginning.

Hopefully with time your pets will learn to get along or will love each other at first sight. Usually, it takes a little bit of time for them to come around. Good luck on your new venture and your new little addition.

Friday, July 4, 2008

How to Give your Dog CPR - July

We are all aware of how important it is to know how to give CPR to a person, but have you really ever thought of what you would do if your dog was choking? How much of a tragedy would it be if you could have saved your dog’s life, if only you would have taken the time to learn how to give your dog CPR?

This month’s “how to” is designed to help give you the steps you need to save your dog’s life in the tragic event that your dog chokes. This can happen all too easily with all of the toys that are available for dogs these days. This article does not take the place of a professional training course. It is recommended that you enroll in a professional training course for more specific detailed training.

CPR for dogs under 30 pounds and puppies

Put the dog on the right side.

Locate the dog’s heart in the chest just behind the points on the front elbows. Put a cupped hand over the heart on either side of the chest. One hand should be resting between the dog’s body and the floor, while compressing one to one-and-a-half inches. Count to one, then release for one count. Do this at a rate of 100 compressions per minute.

If you have someone who can help you perform the CPR, you can give one breath using mouth to nose breathing every two to three compressions. If you are alone, you should do one breath every five compressions.

Puppies are a little different. Use your thumb on one side of the puppy’s chest, with your fingers on the other side. You will not need as much force, but you must be sure the compressions are strong enough to compress the chest.

CPR for dogs over 30 pounds

You will follow the steps above, except you should use both hands on the same side of the chest. Do NOT place your hand directly over the heart. Instead you will need to kneel on your dog’s back and place the heel of your hand at the widest part of the rib cage and put your other hand on top of it.

Keep your elbows straight and push straight down while compressing the chest two to three inches at a rate of one and a half to two times per second.

If you have someone that can assist you, you can give one nose-to-mouth breath every two to three compressions. If you are alone, give one breath every five compressions.
It is important to continue to give your dog CPR until your dog has a steady pulse and is breathing on his own.

Grab your dog’s pet bed and rush your dog to the veterinarian or nearest emergency facility. It is likely that your dog’s ribs have been fractured during CPR.

You could be faced with this tragic situation. Don’t take for granted the time you have with your dog. Take some time each day to spend quality time with your dog. Take out the pet stroller and go for a long walk. Make the most of every minute you have with your loyal furry friend.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Pet Advice for June

How much is too much chocolate for your dog?

Any of you who owns a dog has heard the saying “don give your dog chocolate or it can kill him”. I have grown up hearing that constantly from my parents. I remember being absolutely scared to death when my childhood dog got a piece of my candy bar. I hid the fact that she got a hold of the candy bar, but I was extremely worried that I was going to kill my dog.

Now, as an adult, my dog snuck one of those big Hershey candy bars right off of the table. My daughter was so upset, because it was the first time she was able to get one of those 7 oz. candy bars. However, my dog, which was an 80 pound German shepherd, started to feel sick. It scared me to death once I realized she ate the entire candy bar. This was not one of those King size bars, but much bigger. I knew something was wrong when I went to offer a treat and she refused it. Then a few hours later she seemed like she was in a drug like state. It terrified me. I called the vet and they said that a dog that size eating that much chocolate is not toxic. It would have had to be 40 ounces that she ate. He told me that she would likely feel sick, but that these levels would be okay.

Chocolate contains theobromine that is toxic to dogs in huge quantities. It is like caffeine and is in the same family as Xanthines.

The toxic levels are measured by the dog’s individual sensitivity, animal size and chocolate concentration. These are general levels:

Milk chocolate that has 44 mg of theobromine per oz. Semisweet chocolate that has 150mg/oz. Baker's chocolate 390mg/oz.Using a dose of 100 mg/kg as the toxic dose it comes out roughly as: 1 ounce per 1 pound of body weight for Milk chocolate1 ounce per 3 pounds of body weight for Semisweet chocolate1 ounce per 9 pounds of body weight for Baker's chocolate.

How does chocolate affect the dog?
It affects the nervous system, cardiovascular system and peripheral nerves. It also acts as a diuretic.

What are the symptoms of toxic chocolate?

Hyper excitability Hyper irritability Increased heart rate Restlessness Increased urination Muscle tremors Vomiting DiarrheaHow is a dog treated who has toxic levels of chocolate?
This type of poisoning does not have an antidote. Usually the toxin will remain in the dog for 17.5 hours. You should have your dog induced vomiting for the first 1 to 2 hours. Activated charcoal could inhibit the absorption of the toxin. An anticonvulsant could be needed if neurological signs are indicated. Oxygen therapy, intravenous medications and fluids could be needed. They will help to protect the heart of the dog.

I was lucky that my dog did not need any of the above treatments. I just watched her and she was up and back to her sweet self the very next day. Ready to go for our daily walk. I was grateful to be able to grab that pet stroller, since she usually runs herself ragged. Then she comes home to her favorite place in the entire house, her pet bed.

If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, don’t hesitate to call your vet. They will have the necessary information for you.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Furry Friends Tidbits for June

Enjoy our monthly little tidbits on your furry friends. Here you will find interesting fun facts on dogs and cats or any other little tidbits of information from delicious pet recipes to fun facts to fun games to play with your pet. You never know what you will find, so join us each month for some fun and exciting tidbits!

Five Fun Facts

Pets help to decrease the feelings of isolation and feeling lonely because they promote social interaction. They also help to increase morale.

70% of people put their pet’s name on a greeting card and 58% of people include a picture with their pets in Christmas cards.

Female dogs have 310 bones; male dogs have 311.

Cats begin puberty at about four months old.

95% of cats that are solid white and have two blue eyes are deaf. This is due to a dominant genetic trait that is linked to the white fur and blue eyes.

Popular and Unique Names for your Pets

Dog Names:

Cat Names:

Games to Play with your Pet
Doggie Says:
This is a game that you can play that also helps with obedience training. When you say sit, then you sit. When you say down, lie down. Get creative and close your eyes, turn your back to the dog. Of course, remember this is a game and it is just ways to enhance training. You could even stand on your head. Just make sure your dog is doing the correct moves, so you don’t confuse him!

Get a small box and punch several holes in it. Then place a small piece of ham or chicken in it. Let your cat play with it on the floor.

Pet Products
Pet strollers are a great way to take your dog or cat out for a walk or to give them a break on the way back from a long playtime in the park.

Pet beds are wonderful to have for your pets to have a special place to sleep after that long walk or playtime in the park!

Pet costumes or clothes are great for cold weather or simply for fun. Check out all of the cute costumes and coats available these days!

Dog Recipes – Warning these can be too tempting for humans!
This section is dedicated to all of those who like to make your own natural dog food or treats.

Chunky Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies:
4 cups whole wheat flour2 cups oatmeal½ - ¾ cup chunky peanut butter2½ cups hot water2 Tbs molasses
Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).
Mix all ingredients together, adding more hot water if dough is too sticky. Knead well. Roll out to ¼" and cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Bake on greased cookie sheet for 40 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool in oven overnight.

Your furry little friend will love these delicious and homemade treats made from the heart!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pet Tips for June, 2008

Tips on how to tell if your cats are playing or fighting

If you live in a household with more than one cat, then you have likely witnessed your cats playing or fighting. The question is, “Are they playing or fighting?” This can be hard to determine as they tend to seem like they would be fighting when they are actually at play.
Here are some tips to help you tell if they are playing or are indeed fighting.

Tip #1 - The first thing you need to take into account is how they have behaved towards each other in the past. If they have never gotten along, then chances are they are fighting. It is important to stop the fighting by distracting them. Cats that fight can lead to disease transmission and/or wounds and infections.

Tip #2 - When cats play they will usually chase, swat, hiss or nip.

Tip #3 - When cats scream, they are likely fighting.

Tip #4 - One cat that is dominant over another cat to an extreme suggests fighting. Usually when cats are playing the dominant role will shift between the cats, giving them both dominancy at one point or another.

Tip #5 - Cats that continue to hiss for a longer period of time suggest fighting. Some hissing is normal during play, but if it continues for a long period they are probably fighting.

Tip #6 - During cat play, neither cat will get hurt. If one is hurt, this was obviously a fight.

If you find that your cats are fighting, you must find a way to distract them. You can make a loud noise by clapping your hands or dropping something heavy on the floor. A sudden loud noise will usually startle the cats and they will get out of there pretty quickly. You can also shake their can of treats if they are familiar with that sound.

If the cats are playing, you shouldn’t get involved. Let them play their games and have fun. However, if they are fighting it is recommended that you do try to distract them. NEVER try to physically remove one cat from a fight. You will likely be hurt in the process.

Tips on dog fights – canine rivalry

Dogs are pack animals. Pack animals have leaders. If your household has more than one dog, you will sometimes see rivalry between the two dogs. This is normal. The fighting will usually occur when one dog tries to move up into the higher dogs rank.

Here are some tips to remember when living with two dogs

Tip #1 - Although dogs think of humans as the highest rank, the dogs also think of the highest rank dog as second in command.

Tip #2 - As the owner, you should respect the ranking of dogs and treat the dogs as they should be treated as in a pack. For example, you should pet the highest ranked dog first, and then go down the line. The highest ranked dog should be fed first and given treats first. The highest rank dog should have the nicest dog bed.

Tip #3 - The ranking occurs through behavioral gestures and body postures. These behaviors include growling and snarling.

Tip #4 – Fighting can happen at any time. Sometimes a lower ranking dog will try to move into a higher ranking dog’s territory. When this happens, dogs will fight. Some of the signs that a dog is intending to fight to protect its rank is licking of the lips, one dog leaning over another, one dog rolling on its back, etc. The signs could escalate into snarling, growling or even a full fledged fight.

Tip #5 – If a full fledged fight occurs; you must stay out of it. NEVER try to physically get involved. If you are concerned that a dog will be hurt badly, you can try to distract them by making a loud noise or by squirting them with water.

Tip #6 - Aggression can be lessened by spaying or neutering.

It seems that same sexed, same breed and same aged dogs will tend to fight more. If you notice that the dogs are fighting more and more frequently or if a dog EVER directs its aggression towards a human family member, then you must contact your local vet for a referral to a good dog trainer.

Dogs are happiest when they know what is expected of them. Sometimes they just need a little help along the way.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pet’s How to Column for June

How To Travel With Your Pet

It is that time of year. Summer is here and many people are taking vacations with their pets.
It is important to make sure that you are aware of how to take care of your pet while you are vacationing to ensure your pets safety.

Before you leave, make sure the hotel you are planning to stay at accepts pets. You can do this by either checking out their website or calling them direct. When you call, you should find out if there are any restrictions or extra fees.

Before you go, you should find out where the Emergency Veterinary Clinics in the area in which you are going. Anything can happen at any time, and if you are on the road and have no idea where to go in case of an emergency, the results could be devastating.

Even if your pet is completely comfortable with you, they may be frightened because they are not in their own familiar territory. Always have a leash on them before the door is opened to avoid any lost pets.

Many pets tend to get sick while on the road. It is a good idea to keep their food to a minimum and bring along ice instead of water. It is easier on their stomachs rather than huge amounts of water. When traveling by car you should feed your pet a small meal two to three hours before leaving. If you are traveling by airplane, you should feed them a light meal four to six hours prior to traveling. There is also medication that can be given to help with nausea.

You should have a special identification just for traveling that includes its name, your name and address, phone number, the place you are heading and a phone number of someone who knows where you will be in case of a lost pet.

Remember the temperatures could be very hot, so never leave your pet in a closed vehicle, even on cool days. A closed up vehicle is like an oven. Temperatures build up in minutes. Do not think your pet will be okay, even with the windows down. If you are traveling with your pet, you need to be sure that your pet is allowed every where you go. Otherwise you may as well have left your pet at home where he will be safe.

You will meet a lot of strangers on your travel. Be very careful when introducing your pet to strangers because they are out of their comfort area and could be agitated and scared. Even the sweetest pet can be a whole different pet when he is frightened. Do not allow people to approach your pet without supervision.

Never let your pet approach an animal in the wild. Wild animals can be fierce when they feel threatened– even wild animals that have a reputation for being tame. Plus, they carry many diseases.

Don’t forget to stock up on the flea and tick medication.

If you are going on a vacation where you will be doing a lot of walking, it is wise to take along your pet stroller. Remember to take many breaks if you are going on long walks as your pet will need to be rehydrated and rest.

Do not forget his pet bed. This will help him feel more secure at night.

Have a great time vacationing with your pet.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Summer Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe from the Dangerously Hot Temperatures

Summer is here and it is important to remember how hot it gets for your pets. Sometimes we tend to overlook things without thinking about the temperatures outside.

Here are some summer tips to help your pets have a safe and happy summer!

For those of you who like to take your animals for a ride in the car, it is important to never leave them in a parked car. Studies have been conducted that show temperatures inside a parked car can reach more than 160 degrees in five minutes. Never leave your pet in the car for even one minute. You may think that leaving the window cracked in the shade will protect your loyal companion, but this is not the case. Doing this will not keep the rising temperatures from inside that car.

Remember your dog’s paws can be susceptible to blisters and burns from hot pavement and sand. To help prevent burns and blisters, schedule your walks for the morning or evening. Sidewalks are cooler. You can even purchase boots designed just for dogs.

Water is imperative to a dog or cat in the summer months. Always provide your pet with fresh, clean water on a daily basis. In the really hot temperatures, you may need to fill up their water bowl more than once a day. Dehydration and heatstroke can be fatal to your loved one. Don’t forget this important step.

If you are traveling, you need to bring along a drinking container and water. Don’t forget to pack a cooler.

The best place for your dog to cool down in the hot summer heat is in the shade on a grassy area in the yard. The reason this is the best place is because grass releases moisture and keeps you dog cooler than concrete, dirt or gravel. You can even purchase a raised bed that will increase the flow of cooler air underneath the bed mat.

Be sure to have your dog groomed regularly to help protect him from the sun. Dogs can actually get a sunburn, as well as skin cancer. You can actually apply sunscreen where the hair is thin and where skin lacks pigment, such as the nose, ears and sensitive areas. Do this every single day your dog is outside.

Consider a cooling bandana for your dog. The bandana actually absorbs water to keep your dog cool for hours.

Purchase some sun glasses! Your dog’s eyes are just as susceptible to damage from wind and debris or UV light as you are. There are some really neat products available made specifically for dogs.

Life jackets are a necessity for your dog. Do not take for granted that your dog is a good swimmer. When you take trips to the lake or rides on the boat, be sure your dog is wearing a life jacket. He could fall in and get tired very easily. This would be devastating.

Your dog is a loyal companion that needs your protection through these hot summer months. Don’t take for granted that just because it is a dog that the heat does not affect them. Dangerous heat can affect any dog. Even the ones that are used to hot and cold weather need to be protected.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pet Advice for May

How much exercise is the “right” amount for my dog?

It really depends on the size, age and breed of your dog as to how much exercise is the “right” amount of exercise for your dog. If you have a larger dog, he will need more activity than a smaller dog. Some dogs that are the same size but a different breed need more exercise. If you notice that your dog is gaining weight, you could be feeding him too much and/or he may not be getting enough exercise.

Exercise is important in keeping your dog’s muscles tone, joint and mind healthy. At the very least, your dog should have some type of exercise at least three times each day for 15 minutes at a time. Never exercise your dog right after he eats. If your dog is overweight or simply out of shape, you will need to start an exercise program slowly. This will allow him to build up on time and intensity at a good even pace.

Dog’s exercise routines do not have to be boring and dreadful. You can incorporate exercise during playtime. You will likely benefit from exercising your dog, as well! Here are a couple of ideas to get you started thinking of some ideas to exercise your loyal companion.

Fetch – This is a tried and true traditional game that has been around for years and years. The great thing about this game is that it is very effective for exercise and only requires something to throw and your time. There are a number of products you can purchase for fetch, or you can go outside and pick up a thick stick and throw. That is my dog’s favorite fetch “toy”. It would be beneficial to you and your dog to do some simple training. Make your dog sit. Throw the stick or whatever you choose, and say fetch. Once your dog retrieves the stick, say “come” and point to your feet. Once they are at your feet, say “leave it” or “out” and start over. Don’t go running after your dog. This can be frustrating for both you and your dog. This is excellent exercise for you dog.

Jogging- This is obviously a great exercise for both you and your dog. Your dog would need to be trained to heel and run next to you for his own safety. But, this is something you and your dog can do together, and he will love it.

Walks – This is an entertaining form of exercise for you and your dog. You can go for walks in the park or down the street or on a mountain trail. Whatever you decide, if you include your dog, he will not only be healthy, but extremely happy. Don’t forget if it is cold outside to get him a coat to keep his muscles warm.

After that exercise routine, your dog will like be ready for a good nap. He will likely be ready for a long nap on his pet bed.

What are some kinds of exercises to keep my cat healthy and not so “fat”?

Cats actually have the ability to play, too. In fact, many times they will amuse themselves for quite some time. You could encourage your cat to play by incorporating some of these games or ideas into their everyday routine.

Consider a multi-tiered cat tree. They will be able to jump up and down on the different tiers, which will not only give them a good workout, but it will help improve balance and coordination.
A cat exercise wheel is pretty cool. It will help their heart and it is simply just so much fun watching them get on and running.

Throwing down a milk ring is popular among cat owners. Your cat will entertain himself by throwing it up in the air and chasing after it.

Slithering a snake or yarn is another way to get your cat up and moving. Their nature is to pounce. They love to chase after and pounce on small moving items. It is so much fun to watch. They are so cute and really enjoy playing.

After playing with your cat, you can put her in a cat stroller and take her out for a walk to get some fresh air. Or, your cat may likely take a long nap after all of that playtime!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Furry Friends Tidbits

Enjoy our monthly little tidbits on your furry friends. Here you will find interesting fun facts on dogs and cats or any other little tidbits of information from delicious pet recipes to fun facts to fun games to play with your pet. You never know what you will find, so join us each month for some fun and exciting tidbits!

Five Fun Facts

Almost 94% of people who own pets say that their pet makes them smile more than once a day.

The basic patron of dogs is St. Anthony.

In 1957, Laika was a female husky that Russian scientists rocketed into space. In fact Laika was actually the world’s first space traveler.

Cats can hear up to 50,000 cycles per second. This is more than twice then that of a human.

Cats usually have 12 whiskers on each side of their face. That is 24 in all!

Popular and Unique Names for your Pets

Dog Names

Cat Names

Games to Play with your Pets
Hide and Seek with your Dog – This game can be so much fun to play with your dog. It takes two people to play this one with your dog. One of you either holds your hands over your dog’s eyes or stays in the house with the dog. The other person runs outside and hides. After the count of twenty, the dog is let out and runs and finds you.

Hunting for the burrowing mice – This is a game for you and your cat. It is a classic that has been around for quite some time now. All you do is run your hand underneath a blanket and your cat will pounce on it!

Pet Products
Pet strollers are a great way to take your dog or cat out for a walk or to give them a break on the way back from a long playtime in the park.

Pet beds are wonderful to have for your pets to have a special place to sleep after that long walk or playtime in the park!

Pet costumes or clothes are great for cold weather or simply for fun. Check out all of the cute costumes and coats available these days!

Dog Recipes – Warning these can be too tempting for humans!

This section is dedicated to all of those who like to make your own natural dog food or treats.

Apple Cinnamon Delights
1 large apple 1/4 cup honey 1/2 cup of water 1/2 tsp cinnamon1 cup oatmeal 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour 1/8 cup whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 350° F.

Core, slice and mince apple. In a large bowl, combine the minced apple, honey, water, cinnamon, and oatmeal. Gradually blend in the wheat flour, add in enough to form dough that is stiff.

In a small bowl, add 1/8 cup wheat flour. Spoon the dough by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in the wheat flour (to prevent sticking), flatten each spoonful of dough into a circle.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and flip each cookie to brown evenly on both sides.

Reduce oven temperature to 325° F. Return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Let cool overnight.

Makes about 3 dozen crunchy cookies, depending on cookie size

Your furry little friend will love these delicious and homemade treats made from the heart!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Pet Tips for May

Tips For Choosing A Healthy Dog Food

Your dog’s nutrition is critical for leading a long, healthy and happy life. There are so many different types of dog foods available to you that it is sometimes difficult to determine which one is the right one for your dog. Just because a dog food is expensive, does not always mean it is the best food for your dog.

IMPORTANT – One thing that is critical to the health of your dog is to know what NEVER to feed him. Some foods that humans can eat can be hazardous or even fatal to dogs. Some of these foods you need to avoid are: alcohol, baby food that contains onion powder, bones from fish, cat food (too high in protein), chocolate, coffee or tea, grapes or raisons, citrus oil extracts, onions, garlic, table scraps, mushrooms and more. Some of these are toxic and could cause death, whereas some will cause less severe health issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting.

There are quite a few more human foods that dogs should not eat. Research any food you plan to hand over to your dog. Trying to satisfy your dog’s desires, could be a devastating result. In fact, chocolate is lethal for your dog, especially dark chocolate. The ingredients in chocolate are digested and excreted by a human in as little as three hours, but the same amount of chocolate in a dog can take up to 18 hours to leave a dog’s body. Here are some of the symptoms of dog chocolate poisoning: vomiting, excessive urination, hyper, diarrhea, seizure, coma or death.
Read the labels of their dog food. Dogs’ diets should be rich in meat protein.

If you choose to have canned dog food, look for chicken, turkey meat or pork because they will help keep your dog’s coat smooth and healthy. Give the foods that have a high vegetable protein level because these foods are more easily digested and give the dogs energy. They should also receive an adequate amount of carbohydrates, such as rice, corn, oatmeal and wheat.
Don’t give your dog a bone! Once bones are gnawed to where they are soft enough to eat, they will feel like splinters inside a dog’s throat and this could cause them to choke.

A natural dog food diet is a great way to increase your dog’s overall health. People who have tried the natural dog food diet have been very happy with the outcome. They report that their dogs have shinier coats, their eyes are brighter, they have more energy and their breath is better. The idea of a natural dog food diet is to feed your dog “quality” human food, not just your leftovers. If you do not take care in what type of human food you feed your dog, than instead of making him healthier, you could be leading him down the path of degenerative diseases or diabetes. Many people are beginning to give their dogs more natural dog food diets.

Some people are making the meals right in their kitchen. However, the dog food industry has recognized that owners want to give their “babies” a variety of healthier foods, so you can find more natural dog food manufacturers on the internet. If you do choose to make your own food, be prepared to spend a little time in the kitchen. Prepare the food ahead of time, so that you are not tempted to give in to their desires of your leftovers. This can happen if you are simply too tired to get up and make your dog’s meal after spending all that time making your own meal!
There are many different dog foods available. Be sure you are choosing a dog food that is high in meat protein. Before you prepare any meals for your dog from quality human food, check to be sure that the food is not toxic to your pet.

After feeding your dog his meal, take him on a walk. This will help to ensure a healthy lifestyle for you and your dog. Bring along the pet stroller so that he can have a relaxing ride back from the park after all of the playing. He will likely be ready for a nice long nap in his dog bed after his big meal and playtime!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Pet’s How to Column for May

How to Give Your Dog a Bath without the Drench

Your dog can really get into the craziest things. They tend to bring home the dirt, or whatever they can get their paws on. Therefore, you need to be prepared to give your dog a bath. Of course, anyone can give a dog a bath, but there are some ways to give your dog a bath that will leave your bathroom not such a huge mess! Believe it or not, there is a way to give your dog a bath without getting completely drenched and soaking the entire bathroom!

Make sure you have all the supplies you need before you get started. This will help reduce the water mess! You will need the following supplies.

· Beach towels that is large enough for the larger dogs.
· Some type of dog soap. Preferably some type of natural dog soap.
· A detachable showerhead
· A rubber mat
· Hair dryer
· Portable Dog Bath, which is optional.

Step One- Brush your dog’s hair to remove tangles, mats or loose hair. If you are using a bathtub, prevent drain clogging by using a removable hair strainer.

Step Two- Put the bathmat or a towel in the tub. This will help your dog feel more secure, so he doesn’t slide around. Sliding scares them and will cause them to try and jump out. What a mess!
Step Three-A detachable showerhead is way more convenient than the faucet. Dogs tend to be afraid of the water running from a faucet.

Step Four-Use shampoo specifically for the dog. Human shampoo does not have the right pH balance for a dog. Use oatmeal based or medicated pet soap to soothe their skin.

Step Five-Protect your dog’s ears to prevent water from getting in by moistening cotton balls and then putting them in the ear. Don’t forget to take them out when the bath is over!

Step Six-Make sure you rinse the shampoo. Residue can cause itching, which can lead to skin infections.

Step Seven-Minimize their stress. Although bathing is a normal activity for humans, dogs are usually very uncomfortable and sometimes even scared to death of the bathtub. Try to get in and out of the tub as soon as possible.

Step Eight-When the bath is done, close the shower curtains and let your dog shake. Then put the big towels around her to dry her off. You can dry them with a hair dryer, but keep it away from their face and eyes.

Dogs tend to get into to things and have other issues through out their life, such as allergies, skin infections or “bugs”. Remember to completely rinse the soap, so that you can avoid health issues later. You should start bathing your dog when it is a puppy to get him used to baths. You can add fatty acid supplements to your pet’s diet to help him maintain a healthy hair coat and skin. Daily brushing, regular baths and supplements will help to ensure a healthy coat, which in turn will lead to a healthier dog.

Your dog will likely be ready for a nap, make sure you have cleaned his dog bed before he gets in!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pet Advice Column for April

You love your pets and only want what is best for them. This monthly advice column is designed to give you advice on a variety of pet issues.

Is it really necessary to brush my dog’s teeth?

Yes, it is important to brush your dog’s teeth. A dog’s dental health can actually affect the health of your dog. If your dog’s teeth are not healthy, he will not be able to eat nutritious food. Obviously, not eating healthy will affect his health.

Plaque will begin to build up on a dog’s teeth. Plaque consists of a mixture of saliva, food particles and bacteria. Plaque begins to harden over time and change into tartar. If nothing is done to care for your dog’s teeth, tartar will spread to his gum’s which could result in gum infection. At this point, a tooth will loosen and eventually fall out. This is not a good thing to happen to dog.

Brushing a dog’s teeth is rather easy. There are actually special toothbrushes available for brushing your dog’s teeth. Brushing his teeth is the best way to prevent infections and tooth decay. However, for those dogs that simply refuse to let you brush their teeth, there are chews and special bones available that will rub on the sides of their teeth.
How can I get my dog to stop barking all of the time?

A dog who barks continuously can not only drive you crazy, but it is probably driving your neighbors crazy, too. It is quite normal for a dog to bark on occasion, but if he barks constantly, you need to determine what could be the cause of all of this “dog talk”!

Is your dog bored or lonely? If so, you could spend a little more time with him. Take him for a walk twice a day. If you have a park nearby, pull out your dog stroller and take him for long walk. Get him used to people. Some dogs simply just need to be around people.
Is your dog territorial? If so, you could teach your dog the quiet command. To do this, allow him to bark two or three times. Then you should say “quiet” and find a way to startle him to stop barking instantly. An example would be to squirt him with a squirt gun or shake something loud like a chain or glass full of money or candy. This is not to scare him, by any means. It is only intended to get his attention so that you can say “quiet” ‘good ________ (name)”, and give him a treat. If what you do to distract him scares him, you should find another way to get his attention.

Is your dog afraid of something? If he barks when he hears loud noises, such as the vacuum cleaner or thunderstorms, or he shows physical fear, such as his ears go back, his tail is low and his hair is sticking up, you should try to determine what it is that is bothering him. Once you determine what it is, you need to find ways to help him through his fear. If he is afraid of thunderstorms, you could try to drown out the thunder by leaving on the radio, television or a loud fan.

No matter what your issue is with your pet, your pet deserves your unconditional love, as your pet would love you. Spend time with your pet – play games, go for a walk, buy him fun toys, a special coat and give him his own bed to nap in after your special time together. Most of all have fun!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dog Trivia Fun Facts Game

Dogs are so much fun. Here are some fun trivia questions that you could turn into a fun trivia game with your family.

How long have dogs been domesticated? 10,000 years

How many breeds of dogs are there? Over 200

What is the Latin name for dog? Canis Familiaris

What is the tallest breed of dog? Irish Wolfhound

Which two dogs do not have a pink tongue? Chow Chow and the Shar-pei

What is the only breed of dog that doesn’t bark? The Basenji

What color is a Dalmation puppy when it is born? White, spots do not come in until they mature.

What dog was bred to fight badgers in their dens? Dachshunds

What dog did ancient Chinese royalty love to tuck into the sleeves of their royal robes? Pekingese

What was the Poodle haircut originally meant to improve? The dog’s swimming abilities as a retriever. The pom-poms were left in place to warm their joints.

How fast can greyhounds run? They can reach up to 45 miles per hour for short amounts of time.

Why do dogs curl up with their tail covering their nose? To keep the nose warm in cold weather.

What dog was the first ever space astronaut? It was Laikia. She was sent into space in an artificial earth satellite in 1957 by the Russian government.

What two dogs survived the Titanic? A Pekingese belonging to Henry Sleeper Harper and a Pomeranian belonging to Miss Margaret Hays.

What is the oldest known breed of dog? Saluki, which is an Arabic word which means noble one. These dogs were raised as hunting dogs by the Egyptians.

What is the oldest breed of dog native to North America? The Chihuahua

17. A dog’s year of life is not exactly equivalent to 7 years of a human’s life. How does it truly calculate? At one year, a dog is the equivalent of 16 human years; at two dog years they are 24 human years; at 3 dog years, 30 human years; and for every dog year after that, add 4 human years.

What mammals have prostates? Only humans and dogs

How many teeth are in a dog’s mouth? 42

Whippets can reach a maximum of how many miles per hour? 35

What is the Taco Bell dog’s name? Gidget, she is actually a female.

What is the age of the longest lived dog? 29

What does the “spring” in Springer Spaniel referred to? The dog’s ability to spring or startle game

What did the monks use Lhasa Apso’s for? To guard temples.

Where do dogs sweat? Many people think they sweat by salivating, but actually they sweat by the pads of their feet.

Where did the Pug get its name? From the dog’s resemblance to the pug monkey.

Are dogs really color blind? Dogs can see color. It is just not as colorful.

How much do Great Dane’s eat in a day’s time? They can eat up to 81/2 pounds a day.

Do dogs see any better than cats? No. Dogs first distinguish objects by movement, then by brightness and then finally by their shape.

Do dogs have a keen sense of smell? Yes, in fact when we smell a casserole, dogs smell the individual ingredients. It is amazing!

Have fun with these fun facts by creating a game for your family! You could come up with some more on your own that could be easier for your little ones! There is so much information available about dogs that you could spend an entire family night playing this game! These are just questions to get you started. You can make up some cards from cardstock and create your own rules. The main rule is to have fun.

After you have spent some time playing a game, take your dog out for a walk in the park. Don’t forget the dog stroller for the trip back from the park, as he may be a little tired! And, then he will be ready for a nap in his comfy dog bed!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tips for Training Your New Best Friend

You have picked out the perfect dog to bring home to your family, just to find out that perfect dog may be your worst nightmare! How did that happen? The answer is your cute little angel was never taught how to behave in certain situations.

You would not leave your toddler alone in the living room to have free access to the remote controls, DVD’s and snacks. You should not leave your puppy, either. If you do, you will likely come into a huge mess where your puppy had a blast while you were gone. The thing is that if you did not try to train your dog on how to behave, than this is your own fault! But sadly, it is the dog that is blamed and punished. How do you expect your dog to know what to do when put in certain situations?

You have brought your puppy or dog into your home to love and nurture, not to yell at and scold all of the time. This causes frustration for you and your puppy.

Teach one thing at a time. Your dog has a single track mind.

Do not demand immediate action. Give your dog a moment to carry out your command.

Be decisive and know exactly what you want from your dog.

Always be considerate of you dog. If your puppy is tired, don’t expect him to get up and go through a training period. It is not a very nice thing to do, and your dog will likely be too tired to comprehend what you are trying to teach him.

A bond should be developed between you and your dog. You will be able to train your dog more effectively if your dog respects you as his leader. And, he will want to please you much more.
Be clear when you say your commands, and the commands should be the same each time in the same voice and manner. If you try to change these things, your dog will only get confused and you will only get frustrated.

Patience is the key to successfully training your dog. With patience, you will be able to accept the fact that your puppy is just that, a puppy. He is not a human, and therefore you will need even more patience to get you and your puppy through this trying period.

With all of the ways to train your dog, it is important not to fall into the trap of using “common” techniques that are very ineffective and down right cruel. The sad thing is that people believe what they read much of the time. There are choke collars, spike collars and electric collars available that many people are led to believe are the only way to get your dog to behave. This is just plain cruel and can literally affect the health of your dog.

Take some time to get to know the characteristics of your dog before you bring him home. For example, if you are expecting a dog that will lounge around, you would not want to bring home an energetic Puggle, or if you want a dog that will run around and play, you would not want to bring home a dog known for “being lazy”! This could lead to frustration, and therefore you and your dog would not be very happy. Your dog deserves to live in a happy and healthy home where he is loved and maybe even a “little spoiled”! How about getting him a cozy dog bed or a jacket for those cold, rainy days? Make him feel at home and love being with you and you with him.

Friday, April 4, 2008

How to Choose the Perfect Dog For Your Home

Choosing the “right” dog can be overwhelming, as it is very important to find a dog that will “fit in” to your lifestyle and will bring joy into your life, rather than frustration. Whatever dog you choose to bring into your home, that dog will offer you unconditional love, and therefore deserves to have a home that he can feel safe and loved in as well.

Each and every dog has its own unique personality. And, with these unique personalities comes distinctive needs. It can be hard to determine which dog will best fit into your lifestyle and fit in with your own personality!

Questions to consider before bringing a new dog to your home:

Do you have children? If so, you will want a dog that is patient and playful.

Do you live in a home with a big yard? If not, you will need to consider options of how your dog will get the exercise he needs. (Especially bigger breeds)

Do you prefer big or small dogs?

Do you want a dog that is already house trained? Or do you want a puppy you can train yourself? There are benefits to both! Puppies are special in the fact that you can raise them and train them from the very beginning. Older dogs are great, just for the fact that you don’t have to go through the “joys” of house training! Either way it is important to know which you prefer.

Do you want a dog that is calm and relaxed or one that is playful and rambunctious? This is

important to know because if you want a dog that is playful and rambunctious, than you will need to be able to have the time to actually play with him and train him the “rules”. They cannot learn how to be good on their own! They need guidance and a lot of love and patience. If you want a dog that is calm and a great dog to cuddle up with at the end of the day, than you will not want to get one of those playful, rambunctious ones. This will only lead to frustration and an unhappy life for you and your dog.

Now what?

After you decide what personality and size of dog you are looking for, then you need to decide what type of dog to get that are known to “match” the personality you are looking for in a dog. You will need to do your homework. Do not hastily make a decision without first doing as much research as you can on all of the different breeds. Of course, just because a breed is known for something, such as “great with children”, doesn’t mean it is always the case. Each dog is unique and you will have to determine the right dog by physically meeting the dog or puppy. However, you can get an idea of which breed to check into through your research and through the questions you have answered from above.

After doing your research it is time to find your dog. There are many places to find a dog. Shelters are a great place to get a dog, as many of these dogs are loveable and really need homes. And, usually you can get a dog for a lot less than going to a pet shop. You could get your puppy from a house breeder. When choosing between a home breeder and a puppy mill or dog farm, it is highly recommended to stay away from the dog farms. Do your research on these types of places. Remember that many pet shops will get their dogs from puppy mills.

Once you have decided on where you want to go for your dog, you need to go and visit the puppy or dog. If you have children, it is a good idea to bring them along to see how the dog reacts with the children. If you decide on a puppy, and it is not time for him to come home, keep in touch and try to visit a couple more times to be sure he will be the perfect match for your home!

Once you have chosen your dog, then you will need to get the supplies for him before he comes home. Be sure to get a kennel, a dog dish, dog food, collar and leash, dog bed and maybe even a bandanna or dog coat! And, remember to have fun and just love your dog. He will be the most loyal friend you will ever have.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pamper your “Best Friend” with a Dog Bed Fit for a King - or Queen

A dog’s bed is its sanctuary. It is a place where he can go that is for rest, relaxation and to sometimes get away from the craziness of his little world, especially if that “little world” happens to include kids.

It is important to be sure to find a dog bed that is comfortable enough to curl up on and large enough to really stretch out. Some dogs curl up, some dogs stretch their entire bodies out, and some do both!

Questions to ask yourself before purchasing your dog’s dream bed!

There are so many amazing choices for dog beds! These questions will hopefully lead you in the right direction.
How old is our dog?
How big or small is your dog?
Where will you put the dog bed?
Will the bed be placed in a crate or dog house?
Will your dog be outside a lot?
Do you need a heated bed or a cooling bed?
Do you want a luxury or designer bed?
Does your dog need extra padding due to arthritis?

There is an amazing selection of luxury beds available. These selections range from couches to loungers to wrought iron and wooden beds. These beds can be full sized beds or small miniatures of these styles. It is simply unbelievable what you can get for your little king or queen!

If your dog is an outside and inside dog, you may consider having two dog beds. If your dog is outside only, you should consider purchasing a heated dog bed in the winter and a cooing bed for the heated summer days. Your dog gets cold and hot, too. Don’t make him suffer more than he has to in those cold or hot days!

If your dog has arthritis, orthopedic beds are designed to help with skeletal alignment. These beds do tend to cost a little more because of the technology involved in making them.

If you will be traveling, there are actually traveling dog beds available, too!

Dogs have a favorite blankie, too!

Even if you have not purchased a dog bed for your pooch, it would be wise and considerate to at least give your dog a blanket. Although blankets should not really take the place of a dog bed, they can be beneficial in helping to keep hair off of things like the couch or in your car. Blankets are easy to wash and will help with completing the dog bed!

Your dog will likely attach to his blanket as a child does to his blankie. It will give him a sense of security and ownership. Put his blankie with him in bed at night or bring it out during the day where he likes to lie down around the house. You can even get your little guy a pillow for his head. He would have a bed, blankie and pillow! Now, this would be a bed fit for a king – or queen!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Give Thanks to Your Cat for Your Healthy Heart

Those of you who have cats can relax a little when it comes to heart attacks. It has been discovered that people who own cats have a 40% lower risk of having a heart attack. Although dogs do not show such statistics, they do help with stress levels.

Recent study shows cat’s miraculous impact on the human heart.
Dr. Adnan Qureshi is a stroke expert at the University of Minnesota. He and a team of experts analyzed tests over a ten year period with almost 4,435 Americans. Out of these Americans, 2,435 owned a cat or had owned a cat in the past. The remaining 2,000 had never owned a cat. In this study, there were not as many participants recorded as dying from heart attacks.

Statistics on cats and dogs
According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, there are 90 million cats owned in the United States. 38.4 million U.S. households own at least one cat. 56 percent own more than one cat. There are 74.8 million dogs owned in the United States. 39 percent of U.S. households own at least one dog. Therefore, there are 36.4 million more cats out there performing their miracles.

All animals are important to reducing stress.
Animals in general are perceived to have a positive effect on people’s health if they consider their animals a part of the family. Animals tend to have a calming and relaxing effect on people, especially during times of stress.

If you are a dog owner, don’t feel left out. It is likely that there just hasn’t been a study done specifically for dogs.

Get the word out
With this study and studies done in the past on the health benefits animals have on people, researchers believe that pet ownership is a medical intervention that does not cost as much as drugs and tests and there are not as many risks involved as drugs and tests. Although this has been proven through studies, animals are sometimes not being allowed into apartment building and nursing homes. More needs to be done to make people more aware of the benefits animals have on the health of people.

Imagine all of those people who have died from stress related problems turning into strokes or heart problems that could have possibly been saved just by the love an animal.

Please help get the word out “animals are important in saving lives”. Medical facilities, apartment buildings and nursing homes need to step up and listen to the people. There are some nursing homes and apartment buildings that have recognized an animal’s importance to a patient’s health.

Get out the cat stroller and go for a walk.
Your cat obviously deserves some pampering after all that hard work of loving you! After all, just being himself could be the gift of life. Get him a favorite treat, grab the harness, put him in the cat stroller and take him out for a walk in the park. It will do you both some good to get out and get some fresh air and exercise, and he will enjoy getting out and hearing the birds! Just don’t let him run free! You don’t want him running away or getting that bird! After a long walk in the cat stroller, go home and relax with your cat. He will likely be ready for a nap in his pet bed or in your lap!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Purrfectly Amazing Cat Stories!

We have all heard of the amazing stories where dogs have been lost during vacation and have made it home years later from across the United States! Believe it or not, this is also true of some amazing cats. These courageous kitties have earned a cat bed fit for a queen or king, and forget about walking! They deserve to ride in a comfortable cat stroller for the rest of their lives! Not only that, they deserve the best kitty cocktail around!

I would like to share some of these purrfectly amazing stories with you.

Sugar traveled an amazing 2,004 kilometers from California to its home in Oklahoma.
Amazingly, Madonna, a seven year old tabby went missing within weeks of a move from Windsor, Ontario to Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. She returned home FOUR years later! Imagine the sites she saw on her kitty adventure!

Ninja decided he didn’t like his owner’s new home in the state of Washington, so he decided to go on a road trip. He traveled 850 miles to his owner’s old home in Utah.

It is not only US cats that are purrfectly amazing! It seems France and Germany may have some courageous kitties, too! This cat walked 1,000 kilometers from Nievre, France to the owner’s new home in Stuttgart, South West Germany! I do believe this cat deserves the cat bed of his dreams!

Lucy, a five year old Calico went missing in the Inuvik territory of Canada, by the Arctic Ocean. Lucy traveled over 6,600 kilometers to Toronto in the back of a transport truck! Here someone called the number on her tag, and she was flown back to the Arctic region! This cat has many tales to tell!

The following story is an even more amazing story!

This is one remarkable kitty! A family from Adelaide, Australia dropped their Persian cat, Howie, with their parents that lived over one thousand miles away from Adelaide. The family was away for months overseas, and were devastated to find out that Howie had ran away just two weeks into his stay. The family had to return home empty handed with their worst fears confirmed in their minds. Howie could not possibly take care of himself. He had never even seen a dog, nor hunted anything other than bugs!

The family was sickened by the idea of never being able to hold their kitty again. And, even worse was the fact that they did not know what happened to him.

A year later, a straggly looking, longhaired cat showed up at their door step. He had a wounded paw and was filthy and starved. The second the daughter saw the cat, she knew. This was their beautiful Persian cat, Howie. It literally was a miracle! Their cat had traveled through forded rivers, crossed two tracts of harsh desert and literally fought his way through the wilderness of the Australian outback. AMAZING!

Howie knew where his heart belonged, and there was nothing that would stop him from getting back to his loved ones. With a lot of love, a trip to the vet in his cat stroller and a bath, he soon started to look like his same pampered Persian self! He took his role as King of the House, and took his throne on his luxurious cat bed!

A Cat’s Purr and Cat Clothing Go Paw –n- Paw!

Have you ever thought about a cat’s purr? Like maybe what makes him purr, and how does that purr come from inside? A cat’s purr truly brings a peace and serenity for cat owners. When your cat is lying on your lap in her cat pajamas, purring, she is content and in complete relaxation. This calmness truly can bring a sense of tranquility to us, even in our most tense moments.

But wait! It has been found that cats do not only purr when they are content, but when they are severely injured, frightened or giving birth. So, now it changes the meaning of the purr. The purr is a mechanism for survival. However, I truly believe that when my cat is sleeping on my lap, purring, without a care in the world, she is most definitely happy! But, it is interesting to learn that other cats do purr during these not so happy moments in their lives.

Did you know that a kitten can purr in his second day of life? He is not able to meow and nurse, but he can most certainly purr and nurse. You would think that the kitten is content because he is being nursed; however, he could be frightened coming into this strange new world! And, often you will find the mother cat purring back, to reassure the kitten.

Over the years, since the Egyptians started worshipping the cat, scientists, philosophers and cat owners alike have wondered, just where does that purr come from? There have been many theories and ideas that have been determined from studying cats. One particular study found that purring involves an activation of the nerves inside the voice box. These nerves will cause the vocal cords to vibrate as the diaphragm pushes air in and out of the vibrating cords. This is where the purring sound comes in.

I do have to say that when my cat is frightened, she does not purr. She literally growls! She gets very annoyed with my dogs. Cats have their own personality. They are so much fun to watch, especially when they are playing. But, when my cat jumps up into my lap and starts purring, it literally gives me a sense of serenity. I will take any opportunity I can get for a sense of peace in my hectic world!

Cats can do many things, and many things will make them content. Have you ever tried to put clothing on a cat? There are times that the cat absolutely does not go for clothing. And, he will let you know that he does not like it. Generally, by growling! But, there are many cats that do enjoy cat clothing, especially pajamas! And, I believe that you will know how much they enjoy their pajamas and cat bed by their purr! I cannot believe that a cat will sit there and purr, if he is absolutely uncomfortable with his pajamas; however, it is recommended that you start your cat off as early as possible, because they will learn that clothing is just a way of life, if it is started when they are kittens.

There are so many adorable outfits for cats! From cute little white frilly dresses to the well know “little black dress” to the Harley Davidson Leather Jacket, you have so many options available. It is a blast to dress them up, as long as they are happy. You can even organize your cat’s wardrobe by purchasing a wardrobe storage unit! A content cat is important. Be sure your cat is content with his wardrobe, a cat’s purr and its cat clothing must go paw – n- paw!

Playing With your Rambunctious Dog or Frisky Feline Makes for a Better Best Friend

Playing with your dog is essential to his growth and overall mannerism with people. Playing with your dog can actually help dogs keep their homes. There are many activities that provide better opportunities for your dog to learn good manners.

Believe it or not, your cat actually likes to play, too! Actually, your frisky feline loves a ball of yarn or any other kind of string or rubbery toy that he can flip around in the air or bat at! I actually have a friend whose cat will do summersaults in the air by trying to “fetch” a toy in mid air! It is unbelievable what some cats can actually do, and how acrobatic they can be! They are so much fun to watch. And, playing with them will sometimes bring them out of their “moods” long enough to actually get close to you. Of course, some cats do have attitude, but over time even those cats will attach to a member in the family.

Doing activities with your dog or cat will make living with them easier, and you will likely become more attached, than if you never played with them. The “fun activities” you can do with your pet have many benefits. It makes your pet healthier, and reduces boredom, which leads to bad behavior. A dog or cat that is in continual contact with his owner is less likely to have behavior problems. Of course, a cat does have its own sense of how he should behave, but physical contact will get your cat used to you being around.

There are so many different types of games for dogs and cats, it is amazing. Any game or physical contact will bring you and your pet closer.

Some sports or jobs you and your dog can participate in include: carting, coursing and racing, duck diving, dog scootering, fly ball, flying discs, herding, hunting, rollerblades
Imagine rollerblading with your dog? Two common activities are flying discs and fly ball. That is a blast! It is a very good idea to bring your pet stroller with you, as your dog WILL be worn out when that activity is done! Remember your dog will follow you where ever you go. Pay attention to his breathing, or if he is tired, he may need a break. You could put him in his pet stroller for shade and a quick nap!

Cat activities are a little different. They are predators by nature. They love to pounce on things and play hide and seek! Cats tend to like small spaces! However, they sure know how to put on a show! Just drag that piece of yarn across the room, in the air or on top of the table, and your cat is sure to follow! If you can get him used to a leash, you could take him on walks in the park, too! If you can’t get him used to a leash, you can still put him in a cat stroller, so he can see the world, too! They are curious and love to be outside, but some still like the security they feel in the pet stroller.

Have fun with your cat or dog. They are special and have their own personalities. However, you can help them along just with playing with them, and they can be the best friend you have ever had!

Take your Senior Dog for a Walk In the Park-Don’t Forget the Pet Stroller!

It is crucial for all dogs to have a regular exercise routine. This goes along with proper nutrition, grooming and vet visits. The best time to begin an exercise program is when they are puppies into their senior years.

As a dog ages, his tolerance and requirements for exercise will change. It is important to contact your vet if you plan to change an existing program or want to begin a new program for your elderly dog. A complete physical exam will need to be completed, as well as discussing what kinds of exercises are okay for your dog to do.

Benefits of exercise for your senior dog
Because your dog can only handle so much exercise, you should consider purchasing a pet stroller to allow him to ride to the park, so that he can get out and enjoy the grass at the park! Always bring your dog stroller along, even if you drive to the park, as your dog may very well get too tired during his walk, and may likely need a break.
Exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight. A dog that is overweight may suffer from a number of health problems. It causes extra stress on your pet’s heart and when the heart is not functioning correctly, than other organs could suffer, which includes the brain, lungs, liver and kidneys.

Osteoarthritis is a degeneration of the joints. It causes a lot of pain and discomfort. A dog that has an excess in weight may speed up the disease. Moderate exercise can slow down the process of this joint disease. So, after you have gone on your walk with his pet stroller, he will be definitely ready for a nap in his dog bed! It is important to purchase a dog bed that is thick and comfortable to help relieve some pain from those sore joints.

Exercise also has been known to help with your dog’s mental health. It keeps oxygen and other nutrients at optimum levels in the brain.

Be patient and be careful.

It is important not to take your dog into hot or humid weather. Heat stroke is an issue and other heat related health problems can arise. Remember to take the pet stroller along with you on walks. This is important, as your elderly dog can only handle so much exercise. He may get tired quicker than you expect. You don’t want to be stuck carrying your 80 pound dog across the park! Be sure to keep your eye out to see if he is getting tired. Your dog is loyal and will keep following you past his limits.

Have fun.
Exercising can be fun. You could take a Frisbee or ball with you. Just be sure to keep his exercise in moderation. With a little bit of moderate exercise, your pet could live a long a happy life! Your dog is your best friend. He deserves to have a little fun, while also being able to live a long healthy life with you.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Puppy Days or Dog Days – Pet Bed or Crate?

Your family is so excited that you will be bringing your new addition to the family home soon. Whether you are bringing home a brand new puppy or an older dog, your new family member needs to have a place to sleep!

The question is- bed or crate?
Every dog needs the security that a crate offers. Dogs love crates because they offer a sense of security. However, it is important that your dog does not view the crate as a place for punishment. You can use the crate as a preventative from mischief. Just don’t wait to throw him until he has actually gotten into trouble.

When should you stop using the crate?
This all depends on how far they have come with housetraining and whether they have stopped destructive behavior, such as chewing up things. My sister made the mistake of stopping use of the crate too soon, leaving her German Shepherd in the house when she left. She thought it was okay because most of the time, she would come home and things would be just fine. But then one day, she was gone most of the day. She was worried, but her dog did NOTHING wrong. She then had to leave for about fifteen minutes to pick up the kids from school, and wouldn’t you know it, that German Shepherd puppy literally ate the couch up! It is amazing what goes through a dog’s mind! Needless to say, she started using the crate again! Stopping use of the crate too soon is a very common mistake. It is far better for your own sanity and the safety of your dog to continue on with the crate, until you are absolutely sure your dog is ready!

Should you put a dog bed into a crate?
This will depend on the age of the dog. However, unless your dog is older and just simply likes the crate, you should refrain from putting bedding into the crate, as too much ingestion of bedding could pose as a choking or smothering threat. Just expect your dog is going to chew up whatever you put into that crate! Toys can also pose as a choking hazard.

When to transition from crate to bed?
Again, this will all depend on how your dog is behaving. If he is still chewing things up, likely, he will chew up his bed. But, if you find he is ready, than it may take some work to get him used to the freedom a dog bed allows!

How to transition from crate to bed?
The crate is an excellent way to start training your dog to use a dog bed – other than yours! Just put your new dog bed into the crate and shut the door at bed time or nap time. This will give your dog that sense of security he feels when in the crate, and start to get him familiar with his new dog bed. Remember to be sure your dog is past his destructive chewing days before you give him his brand new dog bed. Especially if it is one of those fancy dog beds that are available online! It is amazing the different types of dog beds that are available, from football beds to princess beds to flowers to full size luxury beds (just like yours!) Now, that would be a bed fit for a queen or king!

Once your dog has become familiar with his bed in the crate, it is time to open the door. Leave the bed in the crate, but allow him the freedom to come and go as he pleases during the day. At night, however, he should learn that when its lights out, its bed time!

Once you have been able to train him to stay in his bed in the crate all night, you can finally bring out the bed and put away the crate, until your next puppy or dog comes along!

With a lot of patience and consistency, you will be able to remove the dog bed from the crate!
Good luck on the transition time, and happy hunting for a pet bed! That is so much fun to do!