Monday, December 29, 2008

Give Your Pets Pure Water

I wrote a blog on giving your pets pure water months ago. I think it is important to cover this subject again. Tap water is contaminated with chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, pesticides, etc.
Plastic water bowls also leach chemicals.

To read a great article on the importance of giving your pets and yourself pure water, read an article written by Dr. Michael W. Fox, Ph.D, B.Vet. Med. Go to

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Protect Your Pet From The Cold Weather

Despite their fur coats, pets can get cold in the winter months especially short haired breeds. Try and keep outdoor cats in on cold winter nights.

If your dog is an outside dog, and you don't want to bring him indoors, make sure he has insulated shelter from wind and rain, and warm, dry bedding in his kennel.

Make sure that the water in his bowl is not frozen.

If you take your dog for walks in the snow, be sure to get some booties to protect his paws. Be sure and dry your pet after walks in the rain or snow.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Foods To Avoid Giving Your Pet At the Holidays

Foods to avoid giving your pet at Christmas, New Years or anytime for that matter.

* Alcoholic beverages

* Chocolate (highly toxic to pets)

* Coffee

* Moldy or spoiled foods

* Foods high in salt or fat

* Chicken or turkey bones (they can splinter or get lodged in your pet's throat)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Festive Foliage to Keep Away From Pets

Poinsettias, mistletoe and holly are all popular Christmas decorations. Eating any of these can make your pet quite ill. The plants can irritate the mouth and gastrointestinal tract. This can lead to drooling, vomiting and diarrhea.

Mistletoe can be more serious depending on what species is eaten. Some mistletoe can cause upset stomach, with vomiting; however others may lead to liver failure and seizures.

Festive plants really do add to your home's Christmas decor, but its best to keep them well out of reach of your pets.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Tree Dangers to Pets

Christmas decorations and celebrations can pose a threat to all pets. These tips will help you to keep your pets safe around the home this festive season.

The Christmas tree is one of the highlights for adults and children alike. It also poses a few hazards to your pets.

The tree can be pulled over by tugging on branches or cords. Make sure your tree is well anchored so your pet can't pull it over.

Electrical light cords can be chewed and cause severe electrical shock. Put cords in a PVC pipe or cover them well.

Broken ornaments can cause cuts to the feet and other parts of the body and even more dangerous if they are chewed on. Use unbreakable ornaments.

Many people add chemicals to the tree water to extend the life of the tree, which can be toxic to pets if they drink it. Its a good idea not to add anything to the water if your pet can get to it.

Fallen tree needles are very sharp and can easily get stuck in your pet's paws or throat. Sweep or vacuum often.

Avoid tinsel or ribbons which are dangerous to the gastrointestinal tract if your pet swallows them. This could mean that surgery is necessary to remove it from the intestines.

Do not hang chocolates from your Christmas tree. They are highly toxic and your pet will be tempted if he can see or smell them.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

More Dangers of Choke Chains

Choke chains always choke and they are responsible for a number of medical conditions including: Injured ocular blood vessels; Tracheal and oesophageal damage; Severely sprained necks; Cases of fainting; Transient foreleg paralysis; Laryngeal nerve paralysis; and Hind leg ataxia.

Choke and shock collars are designed to stop dogs from pulling on a leash, for barking, through the application of pain. Their use is unnecessary and often ineffective and in many ways are cruel.

Halters and reward-based training can achieve more effective results without hurting dogs.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dangers of Choke Chains

Some people keep their pet in a choke chain instead of a collar. Choke chains and other training aids are only to be used when you are actively training your pet.

A pet that is left alone wearing a choke chain is in real danger of choking to death. If a dog becomes entangled or catches the collar on something, its instinct is to pull away. This will tighten a choke chain and can make the dog choke itself. Dogs have died when they catch the choke chain or pinch collar and they struggle until they suffocate and die.

More on choke chains tomorrow.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Papaya for Tape Worms Worked!

In Dr. Pitcairn's Book, Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, he recommended alternative treatments for tapeworms. One was giving papain, which is a powder made from Papaya. I used Royal Tropics, The Original Green Papaya, Digestive Aid. Their website is . Their supplement just contained Papaya. Most other brands contained other ingredients. I gave Buddy 1 capsule in his food each night for 2 weeks. I haven't seen any signs of tapeworms.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why Do Dogs Get Gas?

Fortunately, Buddy doesn't have a problem with gas. Jake did have a lot of gas because he wasn't on a great diet, I didn't know about pet nutrition then.

Why do dogs get gas? The dog's diet has a lot to do with flatulence. Most supermarket brands of dog food are made up mostly of corn products for fillers. Soy products in your dog's diet are loaded with proteins that can be hard to digest. This can contribute to a smelly gas problem. Feeding a high quality food, with the top ingredients listed as chicken or lamb, can not only mean a more comfortable pet, but a less gassy one, too. High quality kibble will also reduce the amount of waste product, meaning less poop. A good diet results in less end product, because more of the meal is actually digested.

Flatulence is caused when bacteria in the digestive tract break down food items producing gas. Some breeds are more prone to flatulence, but all dogs can suffer from it and owners can suffer from smelling their dogs.

Be careful with table scraps. Vegetables and lean meats are good for your dog, but fries, bacon, bologna or ice cream, etc. can cause problems.

Don't feed you dog rawhide. Dogs love them, but they are very high in protein and dogs swallow a lot of air while eating them. They also can cause blockages, which can be a serious problem.

Feed your dog more often. Divide the food and feed him 2 times a day and see if that make a difference.

Try a digestive enzyme. These are safe products that will help their digestive track to digest the food, eliminating the gas build up in their intestines.

Give a probiotic. This will increase the friendly bacteria in your dog's intestines.

I give Buddy, Plant Enzymes & Probiotics from Animal Essentials. You can order this on or call 888-551-0416.

If none of these helps the gas problem, it may be time for a check up.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

How to Treat Hotspots

Hot spots are usually caused by food or flea allergies. The foods that cause the most problems are corn, wheat, beef, pork, soy. Some dogs can have allergies to other foods as well. Don't give your pet tap water if your water is fluoridated. Switch your pets food to a high grade natural food.

First you need to treat the sore and then remove the underlying cause to prevent recurrence. Trim the hair around the sore to prevent further spread of in the infection. Gently wash the area with a natural organic soap and rinse well.

Home Remedy: Boil water and put in a tea bag (black or green tea). The tannic acid helps dry up the moist places. Let it steep for 10 minutes or so. Remove the tea bag and let it cool to room temperature. Once it's cool, press the tea bag onto the hot spot. Wrap in place for a half and hour. Do this 2-3 times a day.

You can also smear on some Vitamin E oil or fresh aloe vera gel (from the living plant or in a liquid from a health food store).

Pet Silk is available at pet stores. It is organic with 100% natural oils, it protects and soothes the wound.

If these natural solutions don't work, take him to a holistic veterinarian.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Importance of Trimming Your Dog's Nails

Today, I took Buddy to get his nails trimmed. He doesn't like to ride in the car, so he gets very anxious in the car. He also doesn't like to get his nails trimmed, but he knows the routine and lets the groomer trim them. They always make him bleed which I don't like. I don't like to cut his nails because I am afraid of making him bleed.

Why should you trim your dog's nails? Untrimmed nails can cause a variety of problems including broken nails, which are painful and bleed profusely. A dog walks on his toes not the soles of his feet. Long nails can cause the dog to rock back on his paws, causing strain on his leg assemblies and interfering with his gait. Some dogs, particularly overweight ones, may find it uncomfortable to put their body weight on their feet with overgrown nails, causing sore feet, legs and hips. Over the long term, this can also contribute to the development of arthritis.

Many people have their dog's nails trimmed by a groomer or at the vet's office, which is usually affordable and quick. However, it can also be a very stressful experience for the dog. They usually have to muzzle or restrain the dog. It would be far better, and nicer, for you to handle this frequent task with care and compassion, which is way you should do it yourself.

There are two popular methods of trimming dogs nails: using a clipper tool and using a Dremel-style rotary grinding tool. Clipping the dog's nails involves squeezing the nail and putting pressure on the sensitive quick, potentially causing discomfort and pain. There is also the risk, especially with dark nails, that you will cut through the quick and cause considerable pain and bleeding--and perhaps make your dog afraid of nail cutting forever. A properly used Dremel or similar rotary tool involves no squeezing or pressure on the quick. With the Dremel, you can also grind off all around the quick so that it recedes faster and you can get even shorter nails. You can grind off all the corners and rough edges leaving nice smooth nails.

I'm not going to have Buddy go through the trauma of getting his nails trimmed by a groomer that makes him bleed. I am going to invest in a rotary tool to trim his nails.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Avoid Using Artificial Snow and Flocking Around Pets

Artificial snow and flocking on trees and decorations can cause health problems for pet. The snow is poisonous and can cause digestive distress when eaten. The snow is also a respiratory irritant if inhaled.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Buddy Got Skunked, AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!

Buddy got skunked again, last night! Buddy must have remembered the skunk because he was sprayed on his rear end (he must have been running away!).

This time I was prepared. I didn't let him in the house, I didn't try to wash him with water. I made a mixture of 1 quart peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 tsp liquid dish detergent. I washed the smell off of him, rinse him, and then let him in the house. There is a slight skunk smell, but nothing like the last time. This happened at midnight, much too late for a bath. This mixture works really good removing the smell, but it has bleached parts of Buddy's hair, red. He looks more like a tri-colored Border Collie on his head. I have read that an alternative to peroxide is white vinegar.

I need to work on making sure this skunk doesn't come back. I have learned that skunks can and do eat anything; bird eggs, bugs and larvae, small rodents, garbage, pet food, nuts, berries, fruits, water sources and bird feeder spills. Well, I do have bird feeder spills.

They can get through a hole only 4" wide. They are not climbers, but are great diggers. He dug a hole under the chicken wire that is across my back fence. I need to repair the fence so he won't come under it. Skunks also don't like light, so I will leave my back porch light on. Some people have used spicy pepper solutions that should be reapplied every few days. I will also call my local nursery to check out commercial repellents.

I will spray the hose, with a high pressure nozzel, before I let Buddy out at night. Skunks don't like water. It will get the skunk out of the yard, before Buddy goes out. I am tired of my house smelling like skunk.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Acupuncture Therapy for Pets

Acupuncture is an ancient therapy from China involving the placement of needles at specific sites along nerves' pathways to evoke positive healing action and bring relief from distress and suffering. In modern times it has been medically validated and found to be extremely useful in very painful situations. Some holistic veterinarians have begun to use it in their practices with much success.

Acupuncture can promote better circulation, reduce overall inflammation, and to provide local pain relief. Acupuncture automatically promotes the release of endorphins into the animal's body, which can reduce pain and inflammation. It is used to treat hip dysplasia, Lyme's disease, inflammatory skin conditions, inflammatory conditions of the intestinal tract, constipation, diarrhea, allergies, epilepsy, lung conditions, and arthritis. It can also boost the immune system.

To get a list of certified practioners from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society go to their web address:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tips to Keep Pets Safe on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is a joyous and relaxing holiday for most humans, but for pets, Thanksgiving can pose some very real dangers. To avoid a pet injury or illness on Thanksgiving consider the following tips, designed to help pet owners reduce the number of holiday pet hazards and dangers.

1. Keep Bones Out of a Dog or Cat's Reach. A dog or cat who eats turkey bones can suffer an intestinal obstruction, punctures and tears to the intestinal tract and potentially deadly internal bleeding. If your pets can access outdoor trash cans, instead place the container with the bones in the freezer and place the bones curbside on trash collection day.

2. Keep Dogs and Cats Out of the Kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. A pet in a crowded kitchen is a recipe for disaster. A pet can easily get under foot and cause a cook to trip and fall. If they have a hot food item in their hands, this could lead to burns and a big mess.

3. Confine Cats and Dogs When Thanksgiving Guest Arrive. Some dogs and cats are very social, while others don't appreciate visits to the home from strangers. Many cats and dogs find Thanksgiving Day guests overwhelming and frightening. If a guest attempts to pet a nervous pet, this may be a recipe for a dog bite, cat bite or cat scratch. Children visiting may pose a danger to cats, dogs and other pets. A child may act inappropriately, injuring the pet or provoke the dog or cat, leading to a bite.

4. Thanksgiving Dinner for Dogs and Cats. Most food at Thanksgiving should be OK for pets. Fat trimmings and very fatty food should always be avoided as this can trigger pancreatitis. Large amounts of unfamiliar foods will cause nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea in pets. Offer a small amount with the pets regular meal.

5. Keep the Emergency Vet and Pet Poison Control Numbers Handy. The ASPCA's Pet Poison Control Center is (888) 426-4435.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Buddy Has Tapeworms!

Buddy has tapeworms but doesn't have fleas. To get tapeworms the pet has to ingest a flea. I don't know how he got them, but I found them in his poop. The tapeworms look like pieces of white rice. Dr. Pitcairn says that the tapeworm parasites do not usually cause any detectable health problems and are not serious.

I am going to try alternative remedies first. In Dr. Pitcairn's book he recommends first a fresh diet which improves the chance that the parasites will be sloughed off.

The idea in treating tapeworms is to use substances that annoy or irritate the worms and to use them over a long period of time. Eventually, the worms will give up and loosen their hold, passing on out.

Pumpkin seeds - use raw seeds and keep them sealed in an airtight container. Grind them to a fine meal and give them to your pet in consume immediately. Add 1/4 to 1 teaspoon depending on the size of your animal.

Wheat-germ oil - buy a very good quality wheat-germ oil at a health food store, it is an excellent natural tapeworm discourager. Add 1/4 to 1 teaspoon to each meal.

Vegetable enzymes - the enzymes of many plant foods, especially those from figs and papaya, eat away at the outer coating of the worm. Add 1/4 to 1 teaspoon to food. You can use enzyme supplements that contain papain (the papaya enzyme) and other digestive enzymes. Follow the instructions on the label.

Homeopathic - Filix Mas 3C: Give 1 tablet or 5 pellets 3 times a day for 2 to 3 weeks, shorter if the segments go away sooner. Cina 3C, can also be used if Filix Mas is not available.

If these don't work Dr. Pitcairn recommends using conventional drug treatment.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pets Are Good For People's Health

A great deal of research has been done with the effects of animal companionship on the elderly. The evidence conclusively proves that single seniors who connect with a cat or dog live longer, enjoy life more, and have far fewer health problems as a rule than do those who have no pets. Pets are indeed good for our health!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Stress - What Relaxes Our Pets

Animals get stressed just as people do. Everything from loud noises and bright lights to crowded places and strange locations can make pets jumpy and irritable.

Some of the same things that calm the animals' owners work equally well for them. A nice, gentle massage helps relax tense muscles. So does hand stroking and brushing. Animals seem to like being touched in a loving way when they're under a lot of stress. Finger and hand caressing seems to help their bodies unwind and put them at ease.

Soft music works its own kind of magic. Animal psychologists discovered some years ago that not only does music "soothe the savage beast" within, but it changes the mood and behavior or pets as well. Fear and aggression are replaced by calmness and peace. When soothing sounds are played, inner anxieties disappear. Animals no longer are frustrated but feel a sense of confidence within themselves.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tips For Bee Stings for Dogs and Cats

If your pet gets stung by a bee, there are many remedies that can be used to help with reactions and reduce pain.

First remove the stinger, by scraping in out. Don't use tweezers because it will pump more venom into the skin.

-Bathe the stung area with a solution of baking soda and water. Make a thick paste. You may need to trim the hair to make this stick.

-Immediately apply ice packs to reduce swelling (this also keeps the poison from spreading quickly). Keep on 10-30 minutes. Repeat several times during the day to relieve pain.

-Give the homeopathic remedy, APIS MELLIFICA (this is good to keep on hand for pets and humans).

-Give Benadryl (diphenhydramine) by mouth. Use only the plain Benadryl formula. Call your vet for dosages.

-Dr. Pitcairn recommends applying a freshly sliced onion, rub in one drop of ammonia water, or use Urtica Urens tincture or glycerine extract on the sting. He also gives the homeopathic Ledum 30C, for all insect bites, a few pellets every 15 minutes for a total of 3 treatments.

Watch your pet for any adverse reactions. A sting in the mouth could be very serious because of swelling.
Take your pet to the vet immediately if he shows signs of weakness, trembling, vomiting, breathing problems or major swelling.

Friday, November 14, 2008

How To Introduce Your New Baby to Your Dog

I just found out that I am going to be a grandmother for the 3rd time! My daughter and her family have a rescue dog, Shasta, a black lab. Here are some hints to help when bringing home a new baby.

1. If you need to change house rules, change them before the baby arrives, so that your dog doesn't associate changes with baby's arrival.

2. Consider a series of obedience classes before the baby arrives.

3. Have your dog checked by a veterinarian to make sure he doesn't have parasites.

4. Let your dog get used to the sights, smells and sounds of a baby in advance. Let him get used to sounds of rattles and other baby toys.

5. Before bringing your baby home from the hospital, send home a blanket or gown that the baby has been wrapped in. This will get your dog used to the baby's scent.

6. Let Dad or someone else carry the baby inside at the first homecoming, so that Mom is free to greet the dog with open arms. The dog will be less jealous.

7. Praise your dog when you're near the baby so she will think of the child as a positive influence.

8. Reassure your dog, each time your baby cries, and train him not to bark when he hears it. Give the dog a treat or hug for doing the right thing.

9. Spend one-on-one time with your dog while the baby is napping.

10. Be patient because it may take some time before your dog is comfortable around your baby.

Warnings: Never leave your dog alone with your baby, no matter how well-trained and friendly the dog may be. Even the best-behaved dog can become frustrated with a baby's cries.

(The picture is Buddy and his "Baby".)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Are There Hypoallergenic Dogs?

About 10 percent of the U.S. population is allergic to animals, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. For those persons afflicted with asthma, the rate is even higher - approximately 25%. Allergic reactions to pets can range from bothersome (itchy or watery eyes) to downright dangerous, such as asthma attacks that constrict breathing.

The term, "Hypoallergenic" are breeds that result in a "reduced allergic reaction" among allergy sufferers. Non-allergic breeds simply do not exist. Dog allergens originate in the dog's skin, saliva, urine, and dander, that drift about your home, contaminating everything. It is the dander (skin scales) that causes the most significant allergic reactions, not the length or amount of hair on the pet.

All dog allergen is not the same and some breeds produce less than others. Breeds that produce less allergen are Poodles, Labradoodles, Bichon Frise, Havenese, Miniature Schnauzers, Kerry Blue Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Maltese, Airedales, Italian Greyhound, Chinese Crested, Chihuahua, and Mexican Hairless.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Buddy Got Skunked!!!!!

Last night, Buddy got skunked. He went outside to do "his business" before going to bed, and chased after something. I thought it was probably a rat. Well, Buddy ran in the house and started acting like he needed to spit. He smelled awful! A liquid was dripping out of his mouth. The skunk sprayed his face and mouth.

I didn't know what to do and got a towel and washed him with water. It was the wrong thing to do. He smelled so bad. Now the whole house stunk like skunk.

I went on the internet and learned what I should have done. Mix 1 quart hydrogen peroxide with 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 teaspoon liquid dish detergent together and sponge on your dry dog. ( They recommend not to put this solution in a sealed container, because it will explode.) Leave the solution on for 10 minutes and rinse off. Repeat if necessary. Then shampoo your dog with a pet shampoo.

It was very late at night when this happened and I did the peroxide mixture a couple of times. The smell was so overwhelming in the house, that I couldn't tell whether it was working or not.

The next morning, I couldn't smell the skunk on Buddy, but everywhere he had gone in the house, smelled awful!

If you have skunks in your area, have hydrogen peroxide handy, just in case. Don't let the dog in the house before you treat the smell on the dog. The spray is oily and can stay on carpet, upholstery, bedding, floors, etc. for a long time (one website said 2 years!).

Friday, November 7, 2008

Max Is Alive And Well !

In July, I wrote several blogs about our goldfish, Dorothy, who died after 3 years. I also wrote a blog about my granddaughter winning a new fish at the Orange County Fair. Well, I just wanted to report that Max is still alive and well. I wonder how many other fish from the fair are swimming in bowls today.
Max is being fed a goldfish food by Wardley with no artificial colors.

It is amazing how goldfish can each have their own personality.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

More Recommended Books

I recommend these books by Linda Tellington-Jones, Animal behaviorist and author.
The books are: Getting in TTouch with Your Dog; Getting in TTouch with Your Puppy; and Unleash Your Dog's Potential. TTouch is not misspelled, it is a touch therapy for animals.
For more information go to:

Friday, October 31, 2008

Keep Your Pets Safe on Halloween

Halloween is full of fun things for you and your family to enjoy, but it's one of those holidays that is enjoyed more by people than by pets. Keep the following precautions in mind when preparing for the frightfully fun festivities and help ensure that everyone in your family - including your pet - has a safe Halloween.

Keep your pet in a quiet place, away from trick-or-treaters and other Halloween activities. You may know that the monsters and goblins who come knocking on Halloween aren't real, but pets don't. In addition, frequently opened doors provide a perfect opportunity for escape, which can go unnoticed during all the commotion. Be sure all pets are wearing collars and ID tags in case of an accidental getaway.

Cats--black ones in particular--often fall victim to pranksters. Keep cats safely indoors. Visit for more information.

Place live flame decorations like candles and jack-o'-lanterns out of your pet's reach. Curious critters risk being singed or burned by the flame--they could also easily knock over a candle or pumpkin and cause a fire.

Keep candy away from pets. All those sweets may taste great to pets, but candy, especially chocolate, can be toxic to pets. Candy wrappers can also be harmful if swallowed. Raisins are also toxic. Candy and gum sweetened with Xylitol can be deadly.

Don't let the family dog accompany the kids on their trick-or-treat outing. Your dog can get easily spooked by the strange costumes, sights and sounds of trick-or-treaters. Your dog can get loose and run away.

Keep decorations that pets could chew on--like streamers, fake spiders webs, wires or cords. If pets chomp on Halloween decorations they could choke or become ill. Pets could also become tangled and injured by dangling cords or decorations.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Keep Your Pets Safe While Traveling in Your Car

Here are some tips to keep your pet safe when traveling.

1. Choose a special safety harness or belt that will keep your pet from jumping around the vehicle or from flying forward if you have to slam on the brakes.

2. Remember that the air bags can be deadly for a pet in the front seat in case of a collision.

3. Being restrained will keep a pet from falling or jumping out of the window.

4. Never leave your pet in the car on warm days because heat can be deadly and also, because your pet can be stolen.

5. Always take water along for your pet. They make collapsible food and water bowls.
6. Small pets can safely travel in a crate.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A New Book - "Speaking for Spot"

This book should be in the library of every person who loves their dog. Dr. Kay provides step-by-step guidelines that teach you how to be a responsible and informed advocate throughout your dog's life. It could save you thousands of dollars and give you the tools to prevent the heartache that comes with making uninformed or rushed decisions about your dog's health care.

Visit for more information including sample chapters, downloadable health forms, POD cast interviews, and order information.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pets Are The Victims of Economic Downturn

Pets are being turned in to shelters and rescue organizations in alarming numbers. Pet owners are having to give up their pets because they can not afford them anymore. Shelters are bursting at the seams. It's very sad because a large percentage of these pets will be euthanized.

Unfortunately, it is going to take quite awhile before the economy improves. In the meantime, if you are looking for a new pet, go to your local shelter first and rescue one of the many cats, dogs, rabbits, goats, or horses that are looking for a home.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pets Thefts Rise As Economy Hits Low

It is very sad, but dog thefts are up. There's a black market for dogs. People sell them on the roadside out of vans, at flea markets or through online classifieds. Some thieves walk off with puppies from pet stores and animal shelters or take dogs tied up outside stores and coffee shops. Other break into cars where dogs have been left while their owners run an errand. Some have even posed as prospective puppy buyers to case breeders' homes, breaking in later to snatch the dogs.

In most states, the value to the animal determines whether pet theft is a felony or a misdemeanor. People increasingly view their pets as members of the family and are willing to cough up big rewards if they go missing.

How to protect your dog:
1. Don't leave your dog alone in your yard for long periods, especially if it's visible from the street. Don't leave your dog in a car.
2. If strangers approach you with admiring comments about your dog, don't share information about his cost or where you live.
3. Report a theft to police and animal control as soon as it happens.
4. Keep a current photo of your pet so you can make flyers or posters immediately and post the photo on web sites.
5. If possible, hold back some kind of descriptive information about your pet so you can sort out crank calls from serious ones.
6. Microchip your dogs and cats, and keep microchip registration information up to date so shelters and veterinarians can contact you if your pet is found. A microchip also serves as proof that an animal belongs to you.
7. A tattoo on the inner thigh is a permanent way of identifying your dog if the tattoo is registered with a tracking organization such as National Dog Registry.
8. Consider GPS for your pet. New GPS collars allow owners to set up a safety zone. If the pet strays beyond it, an alert goes out e-mail and text message. The collars have potential for tracking missing dogs, but they're expensive at $129.99 and up, and they can be removed by someone who finds the dog and decides to keep it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Are You Ready For A Dog?

A dog relies on you for everything, from his food, water, shelter, exercise, grooming, his companionship, training, veterinary care and protection. Know what you are getting into. Are you prepared to spend the next 10-15 years of your life taking care of your dog? That is about how long your dog will live.

Can you afford the added expense of a dog? When you get a dog, it is a life long commitment, and should not be treated like a piece of furniture that you can just "get rid of" when you get tired of it. After all, this dog will be part of your family.

The decision to get a dog needs to be carefully thought out. Do you honestly have the time to take care of a dog? Is anyone in your family allergic to dog hair? Are you bothered by hair on everything from your clothes to your toast? Some breeds are heavy shedders, while others hardly shed at all.

Do you have children? Are you going to have children in the next 10-15 years? Do you have friends who visit your home who have children? Some dogs are excellent with children and would be their best friend. Some are only good with children when they are raised with them from puppyhood, while others are very sensitive and may bite your child if they are pestered by him or her.

Do you mind holes being dug in your yard? Some dogs like to dig, while others are less likely to dig. Do you mind hearing a dog bark all the time? Some dogs love to bark and do it all the time, while others are more quiet, barking only when necessary.

Do you have time to exercise your dog? Some dogs need daily vigorous exercise and you would need to take them out every day for a run and a nice long walk, while others will get enough exercise with a shorter walk and by running around the inside of your house.

Some dogs need a job to do or they will become restless, bored, very destructive and unruly. Some can be highly obedience trained, while others cannot.

All breeds of dogs are different, and all families are different. Find a dog that fits well into your family, so you and your dog can live in harmony.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Lawn Burn Products Can Be Harmful

Products are being sold in pet stores and on the internet that are supposed to prevent lawn burn from your dogs urine. These products are to be given to your pet internally, do not work and can be harmful to your pet. The products are urine acidifiers. Too much acid in a dog's urine may predispose them to bladder stones.

The basic cause of lawn burn from a dog's urine is the urine concentration. Highly concentrated urine contains a large amount of nitrogen (from protein digestion). This makes dog urine just like liquid fertilizer. The brown spots are basically over fertilized. To prevent this burn, try to increase your dog's water consumption, dilute the urine spot with a bucket of water or turn on the sprinkler. It is a good idea to create a potty area in the yard with mulch or stones. Your dog can be trained to use this area.

The products that are sold to prevent lawn burn contain chemicals that are hard on the liver and kidneys. Read the fine print on the label of the warnings.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dogs Go 'Batty' On Chains, Not a Good Idea

Dogs who are chained run a much higher risk of biting and are more likely to be the dogs that run off and don't come back when called.

Why? Chaining a dog goes against its natural instincts. Dogs were not meant to be chained. Most become protective of the area around them and in some cases, down right mean, even to their owners. They feel confined, trapped and it drives them crazy. They are harder to train and some appear to be literally untrainable when really they are just going stir crazy. Most chained dogs will take off on you any chance they can get off the chain. And why not? Coming back means they have to go back on the chain and they want to enjoy the freedom if even for a little while. Not all dogs will be biters and runners if chained, but all dogs would be happier, with a better temperament, if they were not chained.

I am not talking about the occasional time when you need to tie your dog up for a little while.
I am talking about the Back Yard Dogs. The ones with the dog house and a chain. The ones that spend the majority of their time and life chained, sitting and waiting, with nothing else to do but wait and protect.

Other options: Invisible fences are great. You can not see them and the dog has some freedom to walk without dragging a chain behind them. They are relatively cheap compared to the above ground fence. A regular fence is another option. The bigger the area your dog has the happier he will be and in return, the happier you will be with your dog. Training. Take your dog to obedience classes or teach him yourself. Teach him to stay around the house. An outside kennel would be better than being chained, if the owners take the dog out every day to run free or for a walk and play. But in the end, it all depends on how much time you spend with your dog. If you do not have time to spend with your dog you probably should not have one.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Xylitol Sweetner is Toxic to Dogs

A sugar substitute found in a variety of sugar-free and dietetic cookies, cupcakes, mints, candies, toothpaste and chewing gum is proving highly toxic, even fatal, to dogs.

It doesn't take a whole lot of xylitol, and the effects are so rapid that the window of opportunity to treat the dog is extremely small.

Within 30 minutes of consuming a small amount of a xylitol-sweetened product, dogs can experience a dramatic drop in blood sugar, and they usually begin vomiting, become lethargic and can have difficulty standing or walking. Some have seizures, develop internal hemorrhaging and lesions and suffer liver failure. As few as two or three sticks of xylitol gum could be toxic to a 20-pound dog.

Immediate and aggressive veterinary treatment, which includes glucose drips and IV fluids, has proved effective in many cases.

Pet owners need to be very careful because some dogs, get into just about everything and eat everything they find.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Do Pets Go to Heaven?

I believe that pets do go to heaven. The Bible tells that there are animals in heaven. The Bible tells us that God gives us the desires of our hearts. God loves and cares for the animals. After all, He made all of the wonderful animals in the world.

A book that is based on Bible Scripture on this subject is: There is Eternal Life for Animals by Niki Shanahan

Monday, October 20, 2008

How To Choose a Dog Collar That Fits Your Dog

Dog collars are an important accessory for your dog. Putting a collar on your dog enables you to walk it safely. Collars can help you teach your dog obedience skills and they come in many different styles, shapes, sizes and colors.

The collar should be the right size for the dog. A small dog should have a small, thin, delicate collar. A large dog should have a thicker, stronger collar. The size and strength of the collar should fit the size and strength of the dog. A leather collar is best for all dogs. Leather is comfortable and it lets your dogs neck breathe.

All colors should fit your dog properly. It is best to either measure your dogs neck or take your dog to the pet store to try on the collar. The collar should not be too tight. A tight collar can restrict air flow when the dog is breathing and a tight collar can make swallowing hard or impossible for a dog. Many dogs get their collars imbedded in their necks when they are too tight. You should be able to put two fingers easily between the collar and the dogs neck. A dog with a tight collar is a very unhappy dog. A collar that is too loose can slide down the dog's neck and cause trachea damage.

Choke collars should be used for training or walking only. Dogs can strangle if the choke collar gets caught on something when no one is around. Metal collars are uncomfortable and get hot in the sun and cold in the winter.
Veterinarians say pet owner's should be checking their dogs collar every 2 weeks throughout the animals lifespan to make sure that it's not too tight.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Regular Stool Checks A Good Idea

Regular stool checks are a critical part of our pets annual wellness visits. Regardless of having never seen worms in your pets stools, it is important that a fecal exam be done at least once yearly on all pets.

Several of the parasites that affect pets are contagious to humans and can cause serious illness. It is simple to have a stool check preformed. Just bring a stool sample to your veterinarian at every wellness visit, but especially when they have stomach or intestinal illness.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Don't Spook Your Pet on Halloween

If you or your children are planning to wear a costume this Halloween, be careful not to frighten your dog. The American Veterinary Medical Association, warns that masks and disguises can be confusing and alarming for animals, and could increase the potential for dog bites. "Dogs believe they are the guardians of their homes, and they can feel threatened if a 'stranger' enters their space".

If your pet is stressed or nervous when the doorbell rings, prepare for trick-or-treaters in advance by finding a safe and comfortable place for your pet.

Friday, October 17, 2008

EMFs May Threaten Pets

Several studies have linked residential electromagnetic fields (EMFs) with human cancer, especially those of the blood. A new study now suggests that these fields may pose a similar risk to pets.

A study at Colorado State University focused their study on 230 dogs hospitalized with cancer. These included 93 animals with canine lymphoma, a common blood cancer whose origins remain unknown. They did a study of each pets home and measured the actual magnetic fields where the dog spent most of its time.

Overhead power lines running along streets and up to homes constitute the biggest overall contributor to residential EMFs. In this study, factors associated with those lines also showed the strongest link to lymphoma. Compared to animals whose homes were fed by buried power lines, dogs exposed to these factors faced double the cancer risk--and it tripled if the animal spent 25 percent or more of its time outside. The most powerful statistical association to the cancer occurred in those 10 dogs whose homes were located very near a large, primary power distribution line. Researchers found that the dogs had 13.4 times the lymphoma risk of animals from homes with buried power lines.

This investigation suggests that "dogs may act as a 'sentinel' species" for studying environmental threats to the families with whom they share a home. This study was done in 1993! New housing developments are still being built next to large power lines even though this there is evidence of the connection to EMFs and cancer in humans and pets.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Too Much Salt Can Be Toxic or Deadly

Salt in high amounts can cause kidney problems. Also dogs that eat salty food may then drink too much water and develop bloat which is fatal unless emergency treatment is given very quickly.

Salt used in pet food is used to cover up rancid meat and fat, and can cause kidney and heart disease, hypertension. It is used in cat food to encourage cats to drink water (another problem of dry food for cats).

Dogs that swim in the ocean can become very sick or can cause death, when drinking salt water. Homemade playdough that is high in salt can also be toxic.
It would be best to feed a pet food that is free of salt and don't give salty foods to your pets.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Allergies in Pets

If your pet has been raised on commercial food, he or she may experience food allergies. The inferior quality of meat and poultry by-products, brewer's yeast and other pet food ingredients for increasingly common allergic reactions. Dogs can be allergic to beef, beef by-products, milk, yeast, corn, corn oil, pork, turkey, eggs, fish, fish oils, wheat and wheat by-products. Cats can be allergic to beef, beef by-products, tuna, milk, yeast, pork and turkey.

In addition, any pet may react to chemical additives, mold or contaminated drinking water. Some of the chemical that can cause an allergic reaction are sodium nitrite, benzoic acid, red dye number 40, blue dye number 2, BHA, BHT, MSG, sodium metabisulfate, ethoxyquin, artificial flavors, sugar, propylene glycol and formalin.

As an experiment, study the ingredient list of whatever food your dog or cat has been eating, then prepare a high quality diet based on other foods and supply only clean (filtered, bottled or distilled) drinking water. Raw meat does not cause the same allergic reaction that cooked meat does and organic meat can be tolerated, when meat from the supermarket can set off their symptoms.

In most cases of food sensitivity, the change is rapid, obvious and dramatic. A scratching pet stops itching, a lifeless coat begins to shine, a tired dog becomes an energetic puppy, a high strung cat becomes calm and affectionate and symptoms of poor digestion disappear.

Find a holistic veterinarian in your area for more help with an allergic pet.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chocolate Can Poison Your Dog

With Halloween just around the corner, it is important to know that chocolate is poison to dogs. Once dogs have tasted chocolate, they want more. And for dogs, that's a bad thing. The problem, according to veterinary experts, is that eating a speck of chocolate leads a dog to crave more. It can mean that your dog will jump at an opportunity to get any type of chocolate. Certain chocolates in large amounts can be lethal.

"Chocolate ingestions are one common reason why pet owners and veterinarians call us," said ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. There is always a rise in chocolate calls around holidays, Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter.

Why is chocolate lethal? Chocolate contains theobromine which is a naturally occurring stimulant found in the cocoa bean. Theobromine increases urination and affects the central nervous system as well as heart muscle.

You can recognize that your dog has eaten a toxic dose of chocolate from the symptoms. Within the first few hours, the evidence includes vomiting, diarrhea or hyperactivity. As time passes and there's increased absorption of the toxic substance, you'll see an increase in the dog's heart rate, which can cause arrhythmia, restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination or excessive panting. This can lead to hyperthermia, muscle tremors, seizures, coma and even death.

To answer the question "how much is too much" is not simple. The health and age of your dog must be considered. Not all chocolate is the same. Some has a small amount of theobromine and others have large amounts. The quantity eaten has a relationship with the weight of your dog.

Baking chocolate has 450 mg of theobromine per ounce.
Semi-sweet chocolate has 260 mg per ounce.
Milk chocolate has 60 mg per ounce.
Hot chocolate has 12 mg per ounce.
White chocolate has 1 mg per ounce.

If your dog has eaten chocolate call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435

Monday, October 13, 2008

Keeping Your Pets Safe in Catastrophic Situations

Catastrophes come in many forms: earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, violent storms and even terrorism. In the event of a disaster, would you know what to do to protect your pet?

The best thing any responsible pet owner can do is to be prepared. It is recommended to have a disaster travel kit readily available should you need to hit the road with your pet.

Your evacuation kit should be readily assessable, easy to carry and contain essential pet supplies for at least 5 days. Consider keeping the following basic items in your pet disaster kit:
1. Food, water and portable feeding bowls.
2. Collar, leash, rope and/or harness.
3. Pet medications, medical records and the name and number of your vet.
4. Garbage bags or doggie waste bags, small litter box, scoop and litter.
5. Current photos of your pets.
6. Carriers and/or portable kennel.

You might also consider taking along pet toys and bedding to help reduce your pets' stress and to keep them as comfortable as possible.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Plants That Are Poisonous to Pets

Certain plants can be dangerous to the lives of our pets. More than 700 plants have been indentified as producing toxic substances in sufficient amounts to cause harmful effects in animals. Poisonous plants produce a variety of toxic substances and cause reactions ranging from mild nausea to death.

For more information on plants that could be dangerous to pets, go to The Humane Society of the United States website:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Keep Cats Safe On Halloween

Cats and their owners can safely enjoy Halloween with some advance planning and some common sense, says the American Humane Association. As you get ready for the festivities, keep these tips in mind.

Keep your cat safe inside. Make sure your cat is kept away from the door so it doesn't escape when you disperse candy to trick-or-treaters.

Make sure your black cat is safe from harm. Halloween in particular can lead strange people to do strange things to black cats, AHA says. Children may even react to seeing a black cat by yelling or scaring the cat. Bring your cats inside for the night and away from sight of the front door.

Make sure your pet has identification. With so much activity happening near your front door, your cat may slip outside. Identification will help ensure your cat returns to you if she becomes lost.

Keep lit candles out of reach of your pets and don't give your pet candy which can make them sick.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Tips On Finding a Lost Pet

It can be a traumatic experience when your beloved dog or cat strays from home. Here are some tips that will help you find your pet.

1. Contact local animal shelters and animal control agencies. File a lost pet report with every shelter within a 60 mile radius of your home and visit the nearest shelters daily, if possible. To find your local shelter go to or check your phone book. If there is no shelter in your community, contact the local police department. Provide these agencies with an accurate description and a recent photograph of your pet.
2. Search the neighborhood. Walk or drive through your neighborhood several times each day. Ask neighbors, letter carriers and delivery people if they have seen your pet. Hand out a recent photograph of your pet and information on how you can be reached if your pet is found.
3. Advertise. Post notices at grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices, traffic intersections, online at and, at pet supply stores and other locations. Also, place advertisements in newspapers and with radio stations. Include your pet's sex, age, weight, breed, color, and any special markings. When describing your pet, leave out one identifying characteristic and ask the person who finds your pet to describe it.
4. Be wary of pet-recovery scams. When talking to a stranger who claims to have found your pet, ask him to describe the pet thoroughly before you offer any information. If he does not include the identifying characteristic you left out of the advertisements, he may not really have your pet. Be particularly wary of people who insist that you give or wire them money for the return of your pet.
5. Don't give up your search. Animals who have been lost for months have been reunited with their owners.

A pet, even an indoor pet, has a better chance of being returned if she always wears a collar and an ID tag with your name, address, and telephone number.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Keep Fake Spider Webs Away From Pets

Halloween is a fun time to decorate your home. Dogs and cats who eat or chew on the fake spider webs can have some horrible digestion problems. The fake webs can clog their intestines and this requires surgery to remove. Deaths have been reported. Please keep your pets safe and keep fake spider webs out of their reach or don't take a chance and keep them out of the house.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Are Microchips Safe?

There is a new debate starting about the possible dangers of microchips. At this time it may be best to get your vet to tattoo your pet instead of microchipping. Tattooing may have many advantages over the chipping. Microchips do not always work and they tend to migrate. Also a tattoo can be removed, but a microchip is more difficult to remove. Also many pets end up getting killed because the chip never showed up on the scan, or that shelter doesn't have a scanner.

A series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990's, stated that chip implants had "induced" malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats. Fibrosarcomas and Liposarcomas have been reported in dogs at the site of an implanted microchip.

To read what a vet has to say on the subject of microchips, go to:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Preventing Animal Cruelty

Nothing tugs at the heartstrings more than a neglected or mistreated pet. It is everyone's responsibility to ensure the safety of the animals around us. The following are 10 tips that you can use to prevent animal cruelty.

1. Familiarize yourself with your local animal control or ASPCA organization so that you know whom to call to report signs of animal cruelty.
2. Get to know the pets in your neighborhood. Know the conditions they are kept in and whether they seem healthy and well cared for.
3. Know what to look for. Animal cruelty can manifest in many forms; tick or flea problems, hair loss, injuries that have not received medical care, and being severely underweight are all signs of neglect. If you see any of these signs, contact your local animal control or shelter.
4. When reporting a case of animal abuse try to have as much information as possible detailing what you have seen and pertinent facts (name, address) for the abuser.
5. If you see a pet that is frequently chained without adequate food, water or shelter, contact your local animal care organization.
6. Become active politically supporting anti-cruelty laws. This may include writing letters to legislators or starting a petition in your neighborhood.
7. Know your state and city's laws pertaining to animal cruelty and abuse.
8. Support your local animal rescue organization. This can be monetary, donating supplies or volunteering your time.
9. Teach your children how to treat animals with kindness and respect.
10. Set a positive example by treating your pets with love and care.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mysterious Thyroid Disease in Cats

There is a mysterious thyroid disease in cats that is being linked to flame retardants, says EPA chemists. This hyperthyroidism is a new condition for cats that emerged in the 1980's and is today a leading cause of death in cats.

PBDE fire retardants are structurally similar to thyroid hormones. Fire retardant chemicals are believed to migrate out of furniture and then accumulate in house dust, food, animals, and people. People in the United States have the highest PBDE levels in humans worldwide, but our cats are even more exposed--some with levels 100 times greater than humans.

When tested in animals, fire retardant chemicals, even at very low doses, can cause endocrine disruption, thyroid disorders, cancer and developmental, reproductive and neurological problems such as learning impairment and attention deficit disorder.

There are federal regulations that put these chemicals in everything in our homes from our children's pajamas to our computer. Fire retardant were suppose to protect us from our things catching fire, but instead our health and that of our pets have been compromised. We don't even know the full extent of the problems.

Write letters to your state legislature to stop the practice of adding chemicals to our furniture and clothes. The state of California has an Assembly Bill 706 that will prohibit PBDE in furniture, etc. The chemical companies are spending millions opposing reforms that would protect our health and environment. They are even calling for federal regulations that would lead to higher levels of fire retardants in all furniture, bed clothing and pillows.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Receipe For Homemade Dog Treats

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 medium eggs
1-1/2 cup water

1/4 natural crunchy peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup unbleached flour

1 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together the water, oil, eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Roll the dough into a ball and place it on a sheet of floured wax paper. Roll or pat the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch. Cut the dough with a cookie cutter (if you can find one shaped like a dog bone, great!) and place the biscuits on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the biscuits in the oven for one hour. Makes 1 to 2 dozen biscuits, depending on the size of your cookie cutter.

These are not for dogs with allergies to wheat or corn.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

"Meat First" Food, Not Really Meat First

In the 1980's, some dog food manufacturers heavily promoted the "meat first" position in the ingredient panel. The dog food manufacturers have continued letting you think that the food you buy has meat as the main ingredient. It is a game that food manufacturers play.

Ingredients are listed in order by weight. If two or more ingredients are used in the same amounts, the manufacturer can choose the order in which to list the ingredients. Also, dog food manufacturers divide up the grain ingredients into different types, such as: ground rice, rice flour, rice bran, rice gluten and rice hulls. The food really has more than twice as much grains than meat.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Treats Can Add Up Alot of Calories in a Day

We all love to treat our dogs. Sometimes we treat our dogs to reward them for doing what they are told, but most of the time we give them treats because we love the interaction with our dogs. Dogs show their happiness when we give them treats, and that gives us pleasure. The treats we give our dogs are often one of the highlights of the dog's daily life. But unless we give our dogs the right treats, we may be shortening their lives.

Treats are often a major source of calories. A large biscuit or green treat may have more than 100 calories. One extra biscuit a day can cause a dog to gain a pound a month or 12 pounds per year. The grain and gluten content of these foods can add considerably to the carbohydrate level of the diet, and the stress placed upon the digestion system. Avoid treats with artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, salt and sugar.

The size of the treat is not important to dogs, it's the interaction and play with their humans that is important. Therefore give tiny treats instead of large biscuits. Tiny treats can be Charlee Bear Dogs Treats or small biscuits from Old Mother Hubbard or small pieces of meat, bananas, cheese, lettuce, a blueberry, carrot or other fresh food.