Saturday, December 8, 2007

Holiday Pet Safety

By Jennifer Jordan

Just as for people, the holidays can also be stressful for animals. Not only are they wrought with the anticipation of what Santa is bringing them, but they are also stressed by the endless activity that's going on.

It might be easy to overlook your pets, as making sure your mother-in-law is happy is more important than your poodle's contentment, but pets still need to be kept safe. Keep the following tips in mind to make sure the holidays stay happy for those with two legs and those with four.

Keep bones away: Turkey, chicken, even ham can all have bones, bones your dog would love to get his paws on. Despite these desires, meat bones can be a choking hazard for animals, a hazard that can make them sick and, in some instances, be fatal. For this reason, it's important to keep bones away from your pets. If you feed them table scraps make sure they are boneless and keep the trash in a secure area, one that Fido can't sneak his way into.

Keep plants far from pets: Mistletoe, poinsettias, and Christmas trees all do their part to add a little essence to the holiday, but - when consumed by pets - they can add heartache as well. Certain plants, particularly poinsettias and mistletoe are poisonous to animals and should be kept as far away as possible. Eating out of a plant may lead your dog to think he's sampling the salad bar, but he's really eating something that is anything but nutritious.

Don't put things in the Christmas tree water that you don't want your pets consuming: Pets can't help it: they see water, they have to drink it. This includes the water underneath the Christmas tree. Some people may leave Christmas tree water alone, but others fill it with chemicals, chemicals that can sicken animals. If you have pets around the house, it's best to leave the Christmas tree water as pure as possible.

Don't leave pets outside for long periods: It might the easiest route: when company comes over, putting the pets outside is the best way to keep them from jumping up and getting their fur all over Aunt Shelly's leather jacket. While it's fine to keep pets outside in nice weather, for anyone who lives in cold weather, pets shouldn't be kept outside for long amounts of time. Placing them in a heated garage or in a basement are better options: these alternatives will help keep your pets warm and keep you from defrosting a dogsicle.

Don't keep candles lit in a house full of pets: The holidays are a time of the joy of lights, but when candles are involved, that joy can go up in flames. In a house full of pets, particularly cats that crawl and jump on furniture and windowsills, candles have no place. They might look nice, but they can easily be knocked over, falling to the ground and causing not only your chestnuts to be roasted on an open fire.

Jennifer Jordan is the senior editor for Someone who changes her mind every five minutes, her house is in a perpetual state of home improvement.

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How to Find Discount Pet Supplies

By Bernardo Fernandez

I love my pet, but I hate the high cost of pet supplies.

Can you relate to the constant drain on your wallet? Would you like to reduce the cost of your pet supplies?

If you too love your pet or pets and would like to benefit from some ways I save money on pet supplies then take just a few minutes and let me share some cost saving ideas that can really lighten the financial drain for those pets that we consider a integral part of our family.

One of the problems with the cost of pet supplies has become the increasing cost these past few years. It can add up fast. In my house we actually have a line item in our monthly budget because we actually have 3 pets (2 dogs and a cat). In this article I hope to help everyone who loves pets but would like to save money on pet supplies.

Most of us are genuine pet lovers. We love to keep animals as pets for our enjoyment and companionship. Over time, these pets become a regular part of the family. Our pets deserve the very best care just as anyone in the family would. Because of our love and commitment to care for our pets, We're constantly looking for little nick knacks we can buy while shopping..

The pet supply and pet product industry has grown quite a bit over the past decade. Thus a large number of new pet stores have opened up all through out the country. There are many pet products and pet supplies outlets available in the market today including where you live or at least over the Internet. As a Pet lover, you can buy these products from discount pet stores or order online from the comfort of your home of office.

The goal is sorting through these new shopping options in search for the true values, the genuine best and Lowest discounted prices available. In terms of pet supply inventory, this too has increased dramatically over the past decade. Today there are virtually endless products and pet food options available. Most of the discount pet supply stores have a large assortment of these different products that offers a variety of sizes. In addition they carry a growing selection of pet supplies and pet gifts.

There are a wide variety of online and local discount pet stores for you to choose from. Both online and traditional discount pet supply stores offer a growing selection of items for the pets that you love. The online pet discount stores carries a wider range of product for your pet because their not limited to physical shelf space. These online discount pet stores are a great resource for checking out a discount pet supplies and price comparisons without the need to actually visit stores in your area. Online stores are easy to use as they are easier and more convenient to order from. When purchasing anything online including pet supplies or pet foods you can save money by not having to pay sales taxes in most cases. In addition, you can have many online pet supplies stores offer free shipping to first time buyers or in many cases for a specific period of time of if your order exceeds a certain dollar amount.

Most of the pet supply discount pet stores are pet friendly. They are designed to provide a nice comfortable place for the pet owner and your pet while your buying pet supplies. Some of these discount stores offer many additional benefits and services in addition to the normal services you've come to expect. Some of these extra services include pet grooming services, pet photography and veterinary services, Community services such as obedience classes, pet adoption clinics and seminars on pet care are also offered.

Well I hope this article has helped you and I hope it has shed some light on the challenge of saving money on your pets supplies regardless whether you use a local regular pet supply store or an online store. This may take a little research and price comparison on your part but the savings will be well worth it.

Find more information about discount pet supplies by visiting, a popular Discount Pet Supply website that specializes in Discount Pet Supplies and ratings on the most popular traditional and online discount pet supplies.

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Pet Care - Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Pet!<

By Stacey E. Crevoiserat

When you first get a new puppy or kitten, the last thing you probably want to think about is taking them in for a surgical procedure. However, it's very advantageous for you and your pet's health that you do! Spaying and neutering refer to the surgical procedure that sterilizes the animal so they cannot reproduce. This procedure has a number of advantages and is definitely something you should do for your pet!

Did You Know?

Every day 10,000 humans are born in the United States. And every day 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. If these birth rates continue, there will never be enough homes for all the animals. As a result of these birth rates every year, 4 to 6 million animals are euthanized because there are no homes to care for them.

The only way to stop this suffering is to spay and neuter your pet! Communities spend millions of dollars trying to control and eliminate unwanted animals. Irresponsible breeding contributes to the problem of random dog bites and attacks. Animal shelters are already overburdened with surplus animals, so the best way you can help is to spay or neuter your pet, be part of the solution, not the problem.

Health Benefits

One of the best health care choices you can make for your pet is to have them spay or neutered. Scheduling this procedure early in their life will help prevent health problems as they get older. It's a huge myth that pets become fat or lazy after being spayed or neutered. They actually live healthier, longer lives!

Spaying females helps eliminate:

• Mammary tumors

• Uterine infections

• Tumors of the ovaries or uterus

• Stress, leading to increased susceptibility to disease

• Pregnancy and complications resulting from pregnancy & delivery

• Ovarian cancer

• Breast cancer

Neutering males helps reduce or eliminate:

• Territoriality and aggression, including fighting and marking.

• Wandering and escaping

• Prostate enlargement

• Prostate tumors and infections

• Tumors of the testicles, penis, and anal area

• Prostate cancer

• Stress leading to increased susceptibility to disease

It's Good For You Too!

A spayed or neutered pet is actually a much better companion! They are more affectionate and less likely to wander away from home, making them less likely to get lost, get into a fight, contract a disease, or become a victim of cruelty, poison, or traffic. Altered pets also won't spray and mark their territory and they are much less likely to bite! An unaltered animal usually exhibits more behavioral and temperamental problems than altered animals.

When Do I Have It Done?

Typically, pets are spayed/neutered when they are at least 5 or 6 months of age. However, with advances in technology and medicine, there is no longer any need to wait that long. Early age altering can be done when the animal is between the ages of 6 and 14 weeks old. Now that you've decided to have your pet sterilized, you should seek an experienced veterinarian office for additional information and to schedule the procedure.

Corner Animal Hospital : Online Pet Pharmacy & Veterinary Service

Buy the Medications Your Pet Needs With Confidence. Owned by Ivy League Educated Dr. Dorothy Hayes and Dr. Judith Lombardi Daniels. "We treat your pets as family members. Their health and comfort are our primary concern."

Our services include:

On-Line Pharmacy, Annual Physical Exams, Vaccines, Heart Worm Tests & Preventative Measures, Dental Exams & Cleanings On-Site, Spays & Neuters On-Site, X-Rays On-Site, Routine Soft Tissue Surgeries On-Site, Boarding, Advanced Procedures by Board Certified Vet Specialists for: Ultrasound, Endoscopy, Orthopedic Surgeries

Submitted by Stacey at NewSunGraphics

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cats Among Us

By Donna Levesque

Cats are among the most resilient animals on earth. They seem to survive under the most unusual and dangerous circumstances. I suppose that is where the saying, "a cat has nine lives", comes from. The thing is though, as durable as most cats are they do have their share of health problems. In the following paragraphs I will share some of the information I have gathered on the different ailments common to most cats in the hope it will help all of us to understand these beautiful animals and how to care for them.

First of all let me tell you cats will vomit. Not the most pleasant thought I know, but vomiting is something that occurs in cats very often. This is mainly due to the collection of hairballs. Cats can ingest quite a bit of their own fur each day while cleaning themselves. To avoid this from happening less often, try brushing your cat at least once a day. As common an occurrence as vomiting is, if your cat vomits more than four times in an hour, it might be best to call your veterinarian. If you should notice blood or if your pet seems to have abdominal pain, contact your vet immediately. This could also be a sign of a kidney infection especially if you have an older cat.

Cats will also get diarrhea from time to time. There seems to be many causes for this condition which can include everything from parasites and bacteria, to viruses, toxins, bad food and even stress. If your cat gets diarrhea for more than 24 hours or if you notice blood in the urine, be sure to call your veterinarian for an appointment.

One bit of information I read concerns Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. This condition too is very common and also very serious. The disease is perhaps more frequent in males than in females and is caused by an obstruction due to bladder stones, urinary tract infection or crystals. Some of the symptoms of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease are urinating frequently, straining to urinate, little or no urine in the litter box or blood in the urine. There are several options when it comes to remedies for removing the obstruction. Special diets may help by dissolving the crystals, antibiotics can also be used and if necessary, surgery can be performed.

I have also learned that cats can suffer from some of the same ailments people do such as diabetes, respiratory infections, and allergies. Some of the signs to look for with diabetes include weight loss or obesity, excessive thirst or excessive urinating. If your cat has a respiratory condition it may resemble a cold or the flu. He will most likely have a runny nose, red watery eyes and sneeze constantly. Cats also get allergies the most common being a flea allergy. Male cats are the most susceptible to this flea allergy. Other allergies that can affect your pet are food allergies. These can cause severe itching, vomiting and diarrhea. The best thing you can do if you think your cat has come down with any of these conditions is to take him or her for a check up with your veterinarian.

I have come to realize that as beautiful and self-sufficient as most cats are, they still can get sick and need the love and care of their owners. Taking pets for regular vet visits, making sure they have the necessary vitamins needed, and caring for their health should always be a pet owner's first concern.

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Bathing Guinea Pig

By Bosun Sogeke

Normally, guinea pigs are clean, and if you do not clean their cages regularly, they will possess that aroma that is lovely and familiar. What would help is bathing your pet and keeping their skin and hair healthy. Some people bath their guinea pigs every 3 or sometimes 4 months. This will be the recommended time bathing guinea pig, unless the furry friends are undergoing a skin condition treatment for lice or they have just become very messy for some weird reason. Keep in mind that bathing guinea pig frequently can lead to dry skin and also cause skin irritation.

For the preparation you will need a few things, and these are:

  • 3 towels
  • Medium size bowl
  • Flannel plastic jug
  • Animal shampoo
  • Soft brush
  • Swarfega (used for the grease gland on boars)

If it is cold, make sure that it is quite warm in the room so the guinea pig doesn’t get cold.

Before bathing guinea pig, add water to the plastic bowl. Make this about two inches deep and check the temperature of the water with your elbow and make sure that the water is not too warm or too cold before bathing guinea pig. A few people use the counter top in the kitchen and fill the sink with water and use that when they have to rinse down the guinea pig. Place the flannel in the bowl and this should help the guinea pig not slip around but feel rather secure while you start bathing guinea pig. It is advisable that you have everything that you will need within arm’s reach. Don’t leave a guinea pig unattended for one second.

When applying water before bathing guinea pig, use a plastic container with a spout. The one that came with your steam iron should work out perfectly. If you need to change the water in the basin make sure that you have a responsible person keeping their eyes on the guinea pig or their hands near its body while you turn away for a few seconds. Whatever you do, do not leave you pet unattended, especially on high surfaces.

There are different kinds of shampoo you could use when bathing guinea pig and you probably will hear about new products that prevent parasitic and fungal infestations. However, if you have to treat your little friend for any condition, you need an ordinary shampoo to penetrate the dirt and grease first before using the new shampoo to treat the infestations and other conditions.

Bathing guinea pig boars, you have to pay more attention to the grease gland and this is located near the tail area. Boars are the ones that usually have a grease gland, but a few sows have them too. It feels almost like a sticky coin. Adding a little Swarfega to the grease gland before bathing guinea pig boar will do the trick removing the grease. Allow the Swarfega to stay on the gland for a few minutes before rinsing it off. Mechanics use the product to clean their hands. The same product is ideal for cleaning the grease gland on boars.

If your guinea pig is suffering from mange mites, you need to visit the veterinarian immediately. In this case, a treatment of Ivomectin is given. A guinea pig having mange mites can cause severe pain and can also cause sores, and this is the result of intense biting and itching. Any fungal shampoo or parasite shampoo will not be successful when trying to rid the mites. You can ask the veterinarian to give the Ivomectin orally to the little friend, and this will save it from going through injections that could be painful. This is a rare condition, but the truth is that wherever you find guinea pigs you will find mange mites. If you have a litter of guinea pigs and only one of them is infected by the infestation it is best to treat all of them.

There are things to look out for before bathing guinea pig, and precautions should be taken when the little friend contracts a parasitic and fungal infestation. As time goes by, you will become used to tending to the needs and wants of these little furry creatures.

For more information or to learn more on Guinea Pig, please visit the
guinea pig blog

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Got a Bully? Get a Horse - At Risk Teens Find Help From Horses

By Catherine Held, PhD

A young woman learns how to stop her harasser through one session with a horse. Sound incredible? It's all in a day's work for one Equine Guided Educator in northern California. Since 2000, there has been a 300% increase in programs that bring humans and horses together for healing and learning purposes. Some of those programs specialize in working with teens.

Teens and Horses

Adolescent challenges include changing bodies, peer pressure, and the yearning for acceptance. The problems of at-risk teens are magnified. Innovative programing using horses is helping at-risk teens in new ways. One program in northern California, "Horse Sense for Teens At-Risk," helps youth in the Novato Youth Center teen pregnancy prevention program. The program uses horses to teach skills such as boundary setting, clear communication, and leadership skills. Horse Sense also serves homeless teens and adolescents with eating disorders.

Standing up to a Bully: It’s All About Congruence

A teen that came for a recent individual session had dropped out of school two months before. The young woman refused to return to school because she was being harassed and bullied. As the session began, the young woman talked to the equine educator about being intimidated by a fellow student, when suddenly the horse butted in.

Program horse "Toyota" walked over and began to knock his head into the girl’s shoulder, gently, yet insistently as the girl described her problems with the bully. The horse continued to “harass” the teen by pulling on her collar, pushing her around, and at one point even untying her shoelaces with his teeth. The young woman was clearly irritated with the horse's antics; her jaw tightened, her breath quickened, and her speech got tense.

The young woman appeased, then pleaded with Toyota, saying, “Please don’t do that,” while simultaneously petting him on the neck. As she continued her efforts to ‘make nice’ with the horse, the horse continued the harassment even more until finally, in complete exasperation, the teen held both hands out in front of her and yelled, “STOP IT!” Instantly Toyota complied, dropped his head and stood quietly by her side. Until that moment, the girl's actions were not in congruence with her intentions.

In just one session, under the educator's firm guidance, the willing horse had guided the young woman to access her own personal authority in a powerful form of experiential learning. Through the horse's antics, the teen saw that she was giving off mixed messages, which had worsened the situation. She learned how to stand her ground and mean it. Having practiced new skills, the young woman returned to school and successfully stood up to the bully who then stopped harassing her.

Learning How to Spot a Predator

Because horses are “prey” animals (they do not eat other animals, but instead are food for various predators), they are very attuned to their environment with what has been called socio-sensual awareness. For horses, predators are easy to spot because their intentions do not match their behaviors: they are incongruent. The horse has to recognize predators for survival and these are skills that our teens need to have as well.

Horses used in Equine Guided Education often "mirror" issues back to teens in ways that are easily remembered. In the example above, the girl was not congruent. She wanted the bullying to stop, but she also wanted to be in relationship, so she kept petting the horse, even as he was bothering her more and more. Her actions (the petting) did not match her desire (for the harassment to stop). Once she put some force behind her words, the horse backed off immediately, just as the bully did back at school.

Horse Sense for Teens: A Winning Combination

Taking Safe Risks.

Working with horses in equine guided education helps teens to take risks in a new environment under the guidance of trained adult leaders. Horses can be 1,000 lbs. or more, and the challenge of working with these magnificent animals can be daunting, but also feeds the adolescent desire to be challenged and "push the envelope."

Authentic Communication

One reason that so many adolescents tangle with the adults in their lives is that they are often brutally honest and can spot a "phony" easily. Teens and horses have little tolerance for adults that say one thing and do another. Like the horses, teens appreciate authentic communication, and people that "say it like it is." At the same time, teens need to learn to respect their elders, which the horses model.

Learning about Herd Behavior

Like the horses, adolescent survival in social settings is dependent upon getting along with the herd. Teens are often very savvy about picking up cues from their own "herd" or peer group. At the same time, they can fear rejection from their peers if they are honest about their feelings and life situations. The horses, with their large generous hearts, are very accepting and often will spontaneously go up to someone in need of the horse version of a hug.

Non-Verbal Cues

Teens respond especially well to working with the horses because so much of the learning happens non-verbally, and adolescents are often keen observers of the social cues around them. In addition, teens are often willing to face their fears and make positive changes. The non-verbal nature of the work is especially effective for English language learners.

Got a Bully? Get A Horse

Equine-guided education can be a powerful and effective answer to teaching teens important life skills. At-risk teens may be especially well-suited for experiential learning with horses because they like to take risks, want authentic communication, and because following the "herd" is so important to them. I urge you to support local equine programs that are helping teens navigate through the difficult passage of adolescence.

For more information on horses, healing, and psychology, I invite you to visit

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

What Are The Right Foods For A Bearded Dragon?

By Florian Ross

The type of food you feed your dragon can vary depending on its age. At the earlier stages of life a dragon will need more protein and fewer greens, but it is advisable to introduce greens as early as you can. If you shun these, your pet may not take to them later as it matures. Bearded Dragons are omnivorous - they eat bugs and vegetation.

Your dragon will feed only if both the food you give it and its body temperature are right and will not show any appetite if the conditions are wrong and even if it would show an appetite and feeds, it cannot digest the food if the temperature is wrong.

In good condition your bearded dragon should be a hearty eater and considering the importance of various conditions that influence its feeding and digestion, here is a short nutrition checklist:

- Pay attention to the health of insects you store for feeding your dragon.

- Wash greens / vegetables thoroughly.

- Adequate light and heat - both are vital for your bearded dragon's satisfactory food intake.

- Try and hand-feed insects to your dragon.

- Clear uneaten greens / vegetables from dragon's cage daily. Clean dish.

- Guard against vitamin A overdose.

- Gut-load insects before you feed them to your dragon.

- Choose younger prey because of its lower chitin content. - Supplement normal food with mineral (calcium) and vitamin additions.

- Make feeding age-appropriate.

- Chop greens and vegetables finely.

- Fasten suitable larger greens to a peg for your dragon to nibble.

- Match size of prey to size of your dragon's mouth. (Prey size half the width of the mouth)

- Offer water to your dragon through spraying, misting (greens and vegetables) and in dish.

Beside these, always remember to never-ever feed your dragon the items not recommended for them.

Florian Ross is a small lizard expert. For more tips on raising Bearded Dragons Lizards and having them live 3 times longer, go to

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