Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Designer Dog Collar for the Pampered Dog

For those of you who spare no expense when it comes to your dog buying a designer dog collar is just another way to spoil their four legged family member. Sure it's a little extravagant, but nothing is too good for your dog. Here are few things to think about when it comes to buying a designer dog collar.

Designer dog collars come in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. Many times these types of dog collars are based on a theme. These themes can be based on a number of things but most of the time it is related to the breed of dog or what country your breed of dog came from. Or it may be a combination of the two. For instance an Irish Sheep Dog would look good in a collar specific to Ireland. A collar made of green leather with shamrock shaped golden studs inlaid in it. A Scottish Terrier may sport a collar with a plaid design to match his plaid hat and coat. Designing a collar to match where his breed came from is one of the more popular ways to outfit him.

Of course some owners are more interested in making a personal statement about their dog that matches their own personal tastes. While these tastes may not appeal to everyone for the owner it is a perfect reflection of who they and their dog are. Let's look at poodles for instance. If the woman owner of a poodle likes pink she may look for a designer dog collar in that shade. The collar may also have ornamentation that matches the woman's own collection of jewelry. Then there are the more hardcore biker types who outfit their dogs with black leather spiked dog collars that match their own biker wardrobe. There's a designer dog collar out there for just about anyone with any type of dog. Some people even get multiple designer dog collars to match the different outfits they like to dress their dogs in. Dressing their dog takes just about as much time as they themselves take dressing themselves.

No matter what your taste there is s designer dog collar that will no doubt give your dog the look you think he should have.

To find out more about a designer dog collar for your four legged friend check out the web site Designer Dog Collars.


The Bullmastiff: Big Dog With a Big Heart

The Bullmastiff was specifically bred to bring down a man without biting him and hold him until his Master arrived. In the 1800s the estates of Great Britain suffered serious losses from "poaching" or the stealing of livestock and game and the Bullmastiff was bred to assist in eliminating poachers. This is a big dog, with a big attitude, but was not bred to attack but rather to hold at bay. The original cross of bull dogs with mastiffs produced this tractable yet powerful breed. The foundation stock was 50% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog. The common known term name for the breed early on was "The Game-keepers Night Dog". At first this was a rather generic description for all the big dogs that patrolled the estates but gradually these original dogs were more selectively bred and became what is today known as the Bullmastiff.

The Bullmastiff should have a large, square head with some wrinkling of the brow, a short broad muzzle with a slight upturn to the nostrils and a neck as broad and square as the head, on equally broad powerful shoulders. Unlike the Bulldog, the front legs should be straight. The chest should be deep and the back short, presenting a nearly square appearance to the body. The entire picture should be one of power and strength. The Bullmastiff is 24-27 inches at the withers, weighing between 110-130 pounds. The coat is short and dense, colors can be brindle, fawn, or red, with a black "mask" on the face. The Bullmastiff is somewhat shorter than a Mastiff and certainly stockier of build, a good Bullmastiff should be quite blocky in appearance, while a Mastiff is taller and rangier.

The Bullmastiff, like all large breeds, requires an owner with some knowledge of training and the willingness to socialize the puppy in its early life. As usual with any breed, a buyer who wishes to purchase a Bullmastiff puppy needs to be wary of irresponsible breeders who breed only for profit rather than a passion for the breed . The Bullmastiff is not for everyone, a neat housekeeper will not be happy with the amount of drool that the dog can put out. The coat is easy care and the general health is basically good, there being few genetic problems, except for hip dysplasia which is always an important consideration and care should be taken that x-rays are done before breeding.

The Bullmastiff is a powerful large dog with a fearsome look but is in truth a gentle and trustworthy dog. They are not excitable, actually being rather docile and gentle. They are loving to children and protective without being overly aggressive. The Bullmastiff possesses a delightful sense of humor and they can be quite "clownish". This is a dog that is very easy to train, desiring nothing more than to please its owner.

Perhaps because they were bred to hold a man at bay and not maul or kill, they have a sense of wisdom combined with their watchdog instincts and generally are quite intelligent and thoughtful in their response to strangers. They are good watchdogs and will accept strangers only when introduced properly by their masters and will seldom bite or attack, preferring to stand their ground and bark. This is a breed that is not excitable by nature and they do the business of guarding quite efficiently, since their size combined with their bark is quite sufficient to deter unwanted visitors. This is a dog that is great for country life or suburban areas but they should always be fenced or on a leash, even when on a farm or ranch. They are territorial by nature and will police the entire property that they have access to.

Michael Russell

Your Independent guide to Dogs

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bones for Dogs - Are They Good Or Bad?

We used to get lots of bones for dogs. Practically every cartoon showing a dog reveals that dogs like bones. But then, some time ago, veterinarians said that bones for dogs are not good. And all of a sudden, we stopped giving our dogs some of their favorite foods in the world.

So Which Is It -Bones Or No Bones

Actually, there is a disagreement over the health effects of bones for dogs. Are they good or bad? Some veterinarians cling to the belief that bones for dogs may cause some risks, while others believe bones are actually essential to a dog's diet.

The Good Thing About Bones

According to Tom Lonssdale, BVSc, MRCVS, a veterinarian in New South Wales, Australia and author of Raw Meaty Bones Promote Health, raw bones are but a natural, healthy food for dogs.

Bones for dogs, especially those that contain some meat, provide your canine pet with protein. What's more, they contain a balance of essential minerals which your dog needs.

"They also serve as nature's toothbrush," Lonssdale adds.

According to Lonssdale in his book, providing your canine friend with bones for dogs helps prevent periodontal disease and can even reverse its effects. Lonssdale further states, "My No. 1 safety warning would be to read up about dietary needs before taking on the responsibility of keeping a carnivore."

"Bones for Dogs are Bad for Canine Health"

On the other hand, another veterinarian, Ed Sullivan, DVM, of Animal Medical Center, a 24 hour emergency clinic located in Bellingham, Washington, says the exact opposite about bones for dogs. In fact, he outright advises against bones.

He says, "The potential for complications is always there, including bones lodged in the mouth or throat, intestinal obstruction, fractured teeth, and digestive upset."

Then again, Sullivan adds that he rarely encounters dogs with injury or illness due to eating bones for dogs. He says, "We see way more complications with toys, rocks, plastic bags, clothing, and string than with bones."

So What's the Moral of the Story?

The important thing to remember then is to distinguish between the good bones and the bad. Based on the discussion above, it appears that your dog stands to gain more by eating the occasional bone than not avoiding it completely. Accidents involving bones are rare so it should not stop you from trying to provide your dog with as much nutrients and minerals as only a bone can provide.

Just make certain that the bones you get from the butcher or the grocer are not sharply angled or sawed. Instead, try beef tails and ribs, necks of lamb, chicken, turkey and beef. And get bones for dogs that contain lots of meat attached to them but the fat removed.

Jeremiah O'Connell has put together 10 Gourmet Dog Recipes, 7 Dog Health Tips, A Dog Training Video and 7 Ways to Spoil Your Dog for Absolutely Nothing! So head on over to an pick-up your Free Gourmet Dog Recipes today - before he comes to his senses :)


BARF Diet For Dogs - Not As Gross As It Sounds!

By Tara Pearce

Are you just starting to research the BARF diet for dogs – also known as "bones and raw food" or the RAW diet? It can be confusing – I remember asking TONS of questions when I first started. How do you know how much to feed? WHAT do you feed? Can you mix the BARF diet with processed food? How long does it take to prepare the raw food? How much does it cost to buy all the BARF products necessary? Should you feed raw meat and vegetables? Well, on the last question, only you can decide what's right for your dog, but I'll answer the rest of your questions as best I can.

How do you know how much to feed?

It really depends on the weight of your dog. Most people recommend 2-5% of their body weight. Just make sure you know your dog's weight before starting, and then watch their weight and adjust depending if they gain/lose/maintain.

WHAT do you feed?

Raw meaty bones, like chicken necks and backs for example. Muscle meat which has no bones. Organ meat, like lungs, liver, kidneys, etc. Some people also include raw vegetables.

Can you mix the BARF diet with processed food?

It's not recommended as processed food, or kibble, is digested in about 10-12 hours, and raw food in about 4-6. This can lead to serious health problems. That being said, some people do it quite successfully – but I wouldn't.

How long does it take to prepare the raw food?

If you buy pre-prepared BARF for your dog, it only takes the time to defrost and put in their bowl. If you prefer the DIY (do it yourself) method, this would depend on what you're serving and to how many dogs. Most people recommend pre-packaging once a week in the serving sizes necessary for your dog. You could probably safely count on a half hour per dog, less if you can get your butcher to do some of the cutting for you.

How much does it cost to buy all the BARF products necessary?

This would also depend on whether you're going with the DIY or buying the packaged food. DIY usually requires hunting for bargains and can be time consuming. What I prefer to do (with only 2 dogs) is buy my BARF pre-packaged from a reputable company and I serve that. It can be more expensive, but with our busy lives, I don't mind paying a few bucks more.

Visit our website, for more information.

Tara Pearce is the author and webmaster of Please visit us for all kinds of information about dog food, toys, health, books, supplies and clothes.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Protect Your Cat from Household Dangers

Most people take precautions when it comes to children and household chemicals but did you know that there might be over 100 household items that could be potential dangerous for your cat. These products include common household items such as laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, dusting spray, bleach, all purpose cleaners, oil, medicines, antifreeze, mothballs, fertilizers, insecticides, oven cleaner and more.

There are many reasons for the old saying curiosity killed the cat. Cats are very curious creatures that can get themselves into a lot of trouble. Just like with children sometimes its common household things that can hurt our feline friends. There are no specific stats on cat poisonings but the majority of reported cat poisonings have happened in the home by either eating or drinking a chemical, mostly cleaning products.

Automatic dishwashing detergent and dryer sheets contain large amounts of synthetic detergents. Highly concentrated products can irritate the tissues in the nose and throat, can make your cat salivate excessively, vomit, create ulcers in their mouth or throat or cause diarrhea. Cleaning products like oven cleaner can cause fumes that can irritate your cat's eyes. Anytime cats get anything on them or their paws they lick it making it easy for them to ingest products that they come in contact with.

Another very deadly product that we have around the house is antifreeze. Unfortunately, cats are attracted to the taste of antifreeze. Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, a chemical compound that even in very small quantities can kill or make your cat very sick within a few hours. If you suspect that your cat has gotten into antifreeze get them to a Vet immediately. The sooner that they can get veterinary care the greater the chance of survival.

Remember anything can be toxic if enough is ingested. This creates a problem because cats seem to check everything out with their tongue. Treat all of your cleaning products, medicines, and grooming products as potential dangers for your cat. Try to isolate your cat when using chemical products. If you have a chemical spill remove your cat immediately, if you haven't already, and clean it up completely. Make sure that the area you cleaned is completely dry before you let your cat back into it. If your cat has any of the above symptoms, seems lethargic, depressed or won't eat, take them to the vet right away.

Tina Seay is the author and webmaster of a website devoted to cat lovers everywhere, with cat articles, cat pictures and a nice selection of cat gift items.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Dyson Animal Vacuum Cleaner - A Kitten or a Tiger?

By Matt Adler

Dyson Animal Vacuum Cleaner is marketed towards pet owners as a vacuum cleaner that was specifically designed to help clean up pet hair. As anyone with pets knows, pet hair clings to everything, and most vacuum cleaners have a difficult time actually picking it all up.

The most confusing aspect of the Dyson Animal is that it is really just a trim line for each of the Dyson models. There are four Dyson upright vacuum cleaner models: DC07, DC14, DC15, and DC17. Each of these models comes in a variety of trim lines, including the Animal, with the exception of the DC17 which only comes in the Animal trim.

The DC07 is the base model cleaner. The DC14 adds a telescoping wand, or vacuum hose, and the DC15 uses a rubber ball for maneuverability instead of the traditional four wheels most vacuum cleaners use. The DC17 only comes in the Animal model and uses a more advanced root cyclone suction method that Dyson became famous for.

What is the main difference between the Dyson Animal and all of the other trim lines for each model (excluding the DC17 model)? Believe it or not it is just two add on tools, the mini turbine head, and the low reach floor tool. The mini turbine head is what they market specifically to pick up pet hair out of carpet, furniture, and other types of materials that pet hair sticks to. What makes matters slightly more confusing is that several of the other trim lines also include these tools!

The DC17 Animal is the only true upgrade that deserves to be called an Animal. It uses an advanced technology they call the Level 3 Root Cyclone which is an improvement over the Root Cyclone in the other Dyson vacuums. It adds additional cyclones to increase efficiency and further remove dust particles from the air.

When it comes down to it, the DC07, DC14, and DC15 Animals are more than likely just a marketing ploy geared towards pet owners. They offer no real difference over the other trim lines of the same models. The DC17 Animal on the other hand is the tiger, and offers more advanced technology for the money.

For more information on the Dyson Animal Vacuum and other Dyson vacuum cleaners, visit

Tips on How to Remove Urine from Carpet

Urine is such a normal occurrence every day, yet not so many people consider it as something that should be taken seriously.

However, when damage has been or it has penetrated on the wrong area, it suddenly becomes a very demanding job.

Why? It is simply because urine can bring about bad odor that can actually humiliate you from your visitors especially when it has penetrated in your carpet.

Carpets are hard to clean especially when it comes to animal urine. In addition, when the problem has happened before, chances are, your pet will continue to pee on the same area. This is because animals such as cats and dogs can still identify the exact place where they have peed before. By the time they like to pee again, they will opt to have it on the same place, as if the area becomes a marked spot for urinating.

Many solutions have been tried and tested just to remove the stinking odor that urines leave behind when penetrated in carpets. However, most of these solutions failed to remove the foul odor.

To solve the problem, here are some simple steps:

1. Try to use some solutions that will effectively remove urine odor

Even if most solutions fail to resolve the problem, there are some "bio-enzymatic" solutions that have been proven to be effective in eliminating urine odors in carpets. These products were known to remove even the past urine odors that had long been soaked in the carpet.

"Bio-enzymatic" refers to the ability of the solution to work its way in removing bacteria or cleaning the enzyme material present in the urine. These are the things that create stinking odors.

2. First aid remedy

Once you have spotted urine material in your carpet, it is best to dab several layers of paper towels in the area. This will guarantee instant absorption of the urine. Let the paper towel absorb as much urine as it can handle by putting more pressure on it.

Repeat this process for about two to three times until greater amount of urine has been absorbed by the paper towels.

3. Use a car shampoo

After removing the urine and eliminating bad odor by using "bio-enzymatic" solutions, it is best that you use a car shampoo. This will make your carpet smell good enough. Besides, it can also condition your carpet since it contains some conditioning agents. Hence, your carpet's softness is maintained.

4. Always rinse with warm water

After doing all the necessary application of proven solutions, always make it a point to wash away the entire residue by using warm water. This can also effectively wash away bacteria and other materials not removed by the solutions.

5. Home-made solutions are great alternatives

If your budget cannot afford to buy those commercialized urine and pet odor removal solutions, you can opt for some alternatives.

Try using some solution of vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and some water. This solution will neutralize the odor that urine can cause.

Use the solution in your carpet and let it stay there for about a day or two. If some odor persists, repeat the procedure.

Keep in mind that nothing can work better than an instant remedy. So it is best to remember to treat the area as soon as you have spotted urine material on it.

Michael Louis is a dog lover with a passion for knowledge who enjoys sharing his dog cleaning care secrets. Did you fine these dog odor tips useful? You can learn more tips and training tricks at


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cat Spraying Problems - Stop Cat Spraying Behavior Before It Starts!

By Thomas Allen

In order to stop cat spraying behavior, you must first get to the root of your cat's problem. The reasons your cat is spraying in the house can depend on numerous things and is therefore an issue that must be dealt with on a case by case basis. This article details some scenarios you might have encountered.

For example, have you recently moved into the place of your dreams, just to find out that your cat thinks he is living in a nightmare? It happens all the time, people move into a new place and their well behaved cat suddenly acquires a behavior problem. Issues such as spraying in the house can happen when your cat is faced with new surroundings.

When cats spray, it is mainly because of a territorial instinct that they are acting on. This spraying behavior can be recognized by your cat turning and re-positioning their rear end toward an upright surface. This is different from regular cat urination.

Is important to distinguish cat spraying behavior from urinating on the floor, which can often be tied to a medical problem. Seek the advice of your veterinarian if your cat suddenly starts urinating on the floor. Urinary tract infections in cats can be a serious health problem and can be life threatening if not treated.

Keep in mind that cats can sense the animals that were previously living in your new place, months or even years from now. A cat's sense of smell is highly developed and several times stronger than that of a human. Even though your new home feels clean and fresh to you, it may be "filthy" to your feline!

It is likely that your cat is reacting to the left-over smells of previous occupants. Try hiring a professional carpet cleaner. You can also do it yourself by using a specialized carpet cleaner for pets. Specially formulated cat urine cleaners are available that break down enzymes that are left behind.

In summary, there are many scenarios that can trigger cat spraying behavior. If your cat is spraying in your new house, it is often a reaction to the leftover scents of the animals that lived there previously. Have your new home professionally cleaned and disinfected or do it yourself with a dedicated pet cleaner. Hopefully this will solve your cat spraying problems.

For a great tip on an unusual cleaning product that will remove cat urine from your carpet, read the article on how to clean cat urine at

Wait! Don't give up on your cat! A good behavior program may be all your kitty needs. Bad cat behavior can often be stopped with the simple methods described in this downloadable e-book.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dog Bakery - A Good Idea!

A report from Singapore where they opened a Dog Bakery has been circulated recently on the news network. As we all know, that idea has been around for quite a while in this country. I remember Three Dog Bakery when it first established a store way back in the late 1980's, and they were the World's First Dog Bakery. It reminds one of that era and my college years when the rock group "Three Dog Night" were churning out great songs. That rock group, appeared in Milwaukee a few years ago, and are still rocking, although we are all somewhat older rockers.

Since those early years, Three Dog Bakery has exploded and now have Dog Bakery franchises all over the world, Dog Recipe Books, and very healthy products which have been honed through the years with meticulous care of choosing the finest ingredients to tantalize your dog's palate. There are predictions that this chain will increase in numbers in the coming years. That seems plausible due to the explosive news of the dog food scandal coupled with the popularity of these doggy treats. Recipe books from Three Dog Bakery encourage pet owners to turn on that oven and make some at home. It is fun to bake cookies with the whole family and in turn you are providing your dog with some wholesome tasty snacks. Your dog will also appreciate them so much.

The Singapore bakery opened in 2004, and is a bakery that only caters to dogs on a busy traffic route in Singapore. It has taken them this long to clone our Three Dog Night Bakery and they are discovering just how good we can be to our dogs. The name of this bakery is "US Doggie Bakery". You have to wonder if the humans have to wait outside chained to the fire hydrant, or whether they are allowed to eat the treats? The question is why did they established it in a gas station, perhaps it is a pit stop for your dog and your car. Dog food at this level, is supposedly safe for human consumption except for items that are not geared to humans. You would expect that common sense would prevail and people would eat their own food. The trend of better products available for our pooches is catching on around the world. After perusing the product line it does not compare to Three Dog Bakery.

The Singapore bakery product line consists of: Mini Pizza, Chicken and Cheese, and Quiche that contain no preservatives, and no salt but they look rather bland from the pictures seen in the news item released a few days ago. However, Three Dog Bakery has such ingredients as: Garlic, Apples, Wheat, Egg, Milk, Honey, Vanilla, Blueberries, Cranberries, and Molasses. The wheat used is wholesome, which means no additives, all natural and comes from whole grains which adds more fiber and vitamins. Three Dog Bakery has a team of experts that track down the best wheat producers conducting extensive research and get the finest ingredients for our dogs health. The whole pet food industry is on alert since the pet food scandal of March 2007, and there is a need for more diligence in standards of what goes into our pet food chain.

Apples? Dogs eat apples? Blueberries? They sure do. Last night my dog was chasing a little green apple around the park, and chewing on it, how is that so much better than a rubber ball? Its nutritious, its fun, it's a little green thing that the dog's brain thought was great to chase, its biodegradable, and best of all the dog ate it. No garbage, and no harm to the environment. A natural diet will increase your dog's metabolic rate, helps to regulate hormones, and cope with diseases. Most dog owners know the nutritional needs of our dogs and they are: Proteins and Amino Acids, Fats and Fatty Acids, Energy Needs, Vitamins, Minerals and water. Pretty basic stuff, we don't need a degree to resolve that question, and its very similar to a human's nutritional needs to keep us health and alive. It seems that other countries are following the lead of our entrepreneurs who are catering to a whole new world of pet foods and treats for our favourite dog with quality in their products.

One must guard against over feeding with this abundance of dog treats, and watch the caloric intake and fat content. If your dog is getting overweight you can see the fat deposits on its back, and the waistline seems to disappear. Dog obesity is now a great concern amongst pet owners, of both dogs and cats. One out of four pets has an obesity problem, and it can increase with age and lack of exercise, which is another reason to keep an eye on the calories of treats.

The health risks are diabetes which was once rare amongst the dog population is now an epidemic. A boring lifetime of commercial based pet foods has made its contributions and other refined carbohydrates are also factors in dog obesity. Dogs do eat meat, but they are not strictly chained to meat products. The diet of a dog can include a wide range of vegetables, and plant based proteins. Older dogs need more protein to maintain good health and high energy products.

In these dog days of summer, we also need to insure proper hydration and that means water bowls everywhere, inside, outside and on the road trips. Make sure your dog stays in the shade if outdoors and only for short periods of time. Take your dog for walks in the early morning rather than later in the afternoon, or later in the evening when it is cooler. Pour water on your dog if you feel their temperature is very warm. If your dog is panting heavily that is a sure sign of overheating, to prevent heat stress keep them indoors. Water is a basic necessity for your dogs health at all times. In these hot summer days, keeping a dog at home in the air conditioning is preferable than bringing them with you on shopping trips, even if they are short ones.

In summary, to insure a properly balanced diet there is much room for improvement in the dog food industry and we look forward to the these changes so that the fear of feeding our dogs becomes less of an issue in making good nutritional meal plans for our best friends and offering them a treat that is nutritious as well as beneficial.

Written by: Teri Salvador

Get the latest updated information on her dog blog about health, vitamins, supplements and natural remedies for dog diseases, news and views. Sign up for a newsletter. For more information contact:


How To Clean Cat Urine

By Donovan Baldwin

Why is a cat urine smell so difficult to remove even after you have cleaned the spot with a good cat urine cleaner?

Pet urine, cat or otherwise, is comprised of three major components:

1. Urea - Sticky stuff

2. Urochrome - Pigments which give it color

3. Uric acid - The stinky part

It is generally conceded that almost any decent cleaner would probably do to get rid of the first two if that was all that was involved. No specialized cat urine remover or cleaner would be required for that part of the task.

However, it is the last item, the Uric Acid which accounts for that lingering reminder of, "Oh! You have a cat!" when there is no visible feline. It is also the reason why normal household cleaners will not work to clean cat urine effectively. What happens is that the Uric Acid part is comprised of crystals and salts, which, once dry, release relatively little odor. However, once the crystals and salts dampen again, with rain or humidity, for example, the pet odor comes back. Even steam cleaning a carpet in hopes of getting rid of the odor for good just dampens everything and brings the odor back to life.

This is the point at which you will need a specifically designed cat urine remover such as Simple Solution Cat Spray & Urine Stain & Odor Remover which is readily available at pet supply stores such as Petco and PetSmart. The most effective products rely on bacteria and enzymes to actually eat up the last remnants of the Uric Acid and thus rid your home of the unpleasant odor. Many home remedies will recommend the use of vinegar to remove the smell. I have never tried this, but those who have tend to give mixed reviews to the process.

A word of warning here. No matter what anyone may try to tell you about how to clean cat urine from carpets or furniture, do NOT ever try to use a product with ammonia in it as a cat urine cleaner. Cat urine contains ammonia, and by using that product, you have just provided a marker for your cat telling it where to do its business next time.

Sometimes, finding the offending spot can be difficult. One trick is to search with a black light. Remember, you will probably not be looking for a large puddle, particularly on carpet. The urine will have come out in a stream, so the actual spot visible in the black light may not be much larger than a pencil eraser. However, the problem will be that once in the carpet, the cat urine will seep into the backing, the pad, and possibly through to the floor itself. To effectively remove the cat urine smell and prevent further visits to that spot by your cat, it may be necessary to lift the carpet and clean the pad and the floor as well as the carpet itself.

By the way, one of the best things you can do to help cut down on odors associated with the litter box while decreasing the possibility of "accidents" is to keep the cat pan clean. Cats can be picky, and a dirty litter box can encourage your pretty Persian kitty to find another place to grace. Keep access clear to it, and make sure that your cat can get to it in time of need, even if there is company present.

Donovan Baldwin is a Texas writer and a University of West Florida alumnus. He is a member of Mensa and is retired from the U. S. Army after 21 years of service. In his career, he has held many managerial and supervisory positions. However, his main pleasures have long been writing, nature, pets, health, and fitness. In the last few years, he has been able to combine these pleasures by writing poetry and articles on subjects such as animals, health, fitness,yoga, writing, fuel economy, the environment, happiness, self improvement, and weight loss.

You can find information on caring for your cat or kitten at


Monday, September 24, 2007

Raw Dog Food And Your Pet

You've probably heard about raw dog food and wondered what all the hub-bub is about and if you should feed it to your dog. The truth is that a raw food diet is very good for your dog. This is because their natural diet in the wild was mainly raw meat.

Even when they were domesticated by man to be companions and working dogs, they thrived on healthy scraps that usually included raw off cuts and bones. As our modern diet has deteriorated to be a high sugar, high fat and high processed food diet, so, too, have the diets of our animals. It should therefore be no surprise that the diseases that increasingly afflict us have also spiraled to near epidemic levels in dogs.

Canine diabetes is one such example of a modern illness that has seriously impacted dogs. The incidence of cancer in dogs is even higher. Domestic pets are dependent upon their owners to feed them and care for them and the majority of dog owners have blithely trusted modern marketing and modern thinking and fed their animals a diabetes inducing diet. Combined with lack of exercise, this modern, processed diet has led to our dog's sharing in our illnesses. Feeding your dog raw dog food along with vegetable scraps, crushed egg shells, sardines for the essential fatty acids and the occasional cooked whole grains (complex carbohydrates) sets your dog up for the best possible health.

Here are three good reasons to feed your pet raw dog food:

1. Dogs thrive on a raw dog food diet. Scientific studies have been conducted to show the difference in health between dogs given a raw dog food diet with some healthful additions and those fed cooked meat as well as the same nutritional additions. These studies were not even comparing commercial dog foods with a raw dog food diet. The studies found that dogs on a raw dog food diet had stronger immune systems, did not experience illness, were less likely to be infected by worms and parasites and had lower incidence of fleas. Some of these results were surprising to say the least. However, they indicate the benefit of sticking to a natural diet for dogs as much as possible.

2. Three are no harmful additives. We live in a sea of chemicals. We breathe them, we drink them and we eat them. The more processed our diet, the more chemicals we ingest and this is the same for our pets. We can't do much as individuals about the air we breathe or even the water we drink, unless we buy a high quality purifier or trust suppliers of pure water, but we can certainly reduce our exposure to chemicals in our diets. Commercial dog foods rely on preservatives, artificial colors and flavors, and flavor enhancers such as sodium. By giving our dogs a raw dog food diet, we are protecting them against harmful chemicals as best we can.

3. Raw dog food is environmentally friendly. A raw dog food diet is a part of the natural process and ends up back in the ground to rot. Every time we use a can of commercial dog food, we are adding to the global non-biodegradable waste problem. Commercial manufacturing is ruining the earth in the quest for markets and profits. Commercial dog food is one unnecessary market and the product is not the best food for dogs. If enough people made the simple decision to feed their dogs a raw dog food diet, the benefits would be significant, not only for their pet but also for the wider community.

Our dogs are very dependent upon us to make the best decisions for them. We need to use wisdom and not just follow the common wisdom. After all, this common wisdom isn't really very wise.

Lee Dobbins writes for Dog Breeds 123 where you can learn more about different dog breeds and their care including more about different types of dog food.

Dog Carriers For Your Pampered Dog

By Eric Hartwell

Dog carriers are bags especially designed to carry your dog around when you are out in town and do not want to leave him behind. But since carrying dogs is also fad nowadays, you can carry your dog around with you just for fun! Dog carriers look very much like big bags, but they function as small havens for your beloved pets. They are padded on the inside and have a removable and washable bottom pad for easy cleaning. The bottom is sturdier and more secured and the straps are attached more securely when compared to the common bag. All these are specifically designed to carry a small dog around the city. These dog carriers also come in different styles, colors and materials. You can choose from a wide range of bags to suit your dog and even yourself!

Tips on Buying Dog Carriers:

When buying dog carriers, make sure that the bottom of the bag is sturdy enough to hold your dog inside of it. The removable pad at the bottom should be washable and should also be made of a material to which the fur would not stick. The inside of the bag should also be padded to provide your dog with comfort and warmth. There should be no protruding plastic or any hardware that could harm your dog.

Since there are a wide variety of dog carriers to choose from, it is usually wise to buy not just one of them. Some celebrities wear bags which match their clothes. If you also have the luxury of purchasing more than one dog carrier, do so. You can also try matching the dog carrier with the clothes you're wearing. But if you think just one is enough for you, try going for dog carriers which are made of leather. Leather suits almost any color and style of clothes.

Last but not the least you should make sure that your dog is comfortable when inside the dog carrier. He should first be trained to stay calm while inside it. One tip on training him is by giving him kindly praises when he stays put or giving him doggie treats when he does not try to jump out of the carrier.

You can find out more about dog care here or you can share your opinions at the world's best homepage.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cat Leukemia - What You Need To Know To Protect Your Kitty

Cats, just like any other animal and their caretakers, can get sick. If you love cats and own them, there are some things you should know about the illnesses that can affect your feline friend.


Even for humans, this word is one you never hope to hear. For Felines, it's a virus, that works by producing an enzyme that it then inserts into healthy cells infecting them. Just like a retrovirus. Because of this, it is a particularly nasty illness.

It doesn't matter where you are, your cat can be infected with this disease. The best prevention is to keep your cat healthy by maintaining its diet and seeing the vet regularly for any and all shots.

What are the ways your cat might become infected?

Feline leukemia spreads from cat to cat. There is no limit to the ways it can be spread. Even just sharing a litter box with an infected cat might be enough to spread the disease. Unborn kittens aren't safe from this disease since mother cats can pass feline leukemia off to their unborn offspring.

What type of cats have a greater risk of being infected?

While all cats are at risk for infection with feline leukemia, there are some cats that have a higher risk factor for contracting the virus. Multiple cat homes, especially if it's one that contains strays increase the risk factor for infection.

If you allow your cats to roam free out of doors then their chances of contracting this disease increases. They run a greater risk of coming in contact with infected cats and being bitten or scratched, allowing the virus to transfer itself. Kittens have a greater risk of becoming infected, especially when they are nursing since the virus can be transmitted through the mother's milk. Also, they have weaker immune systems.

Feline Leukemia: How to spot the symptoms and what it does to your feline

The virus can effect the cat in many ways. It is the major cause of cancer in cats and is responsible for many blood disorders. The virus affects the immune system of the cat, making it difficult for the immune system to protect him from other illnesses and diseases.

The main things to look for with feline leukemia is loss of appetite, weight loss and general loss of health for your cat. These may not be noticeable at first, since this virus can progress slowly. If you don't see any other sign see if you notice your cat becoming sick more often. Continual illness is a possible sign.

There are also other signs that usually show up a bit later in the diseases progression. These include fever, enlarged lymph nodes, pale gums or gums that are inflamed.

By paying attention to your cats health and following these tips, you may be able to avoid this dangerous cat illness.

David Lee is an expert on pet care. See his site for more information on Cat Health, Cat Care, Cat Leukemia & Cat Kidney Disease


Raw Food Diet for Cats

By Thomas Allen

There are several reasons why cat owners might want to provide a raw food diet for their cats. The number one reason is that raw foods are typically healthier. Commercial cat food is heavily processed so it is often a good idea to at least supplement your cat's diet with raw foods.

This makes sense when you consider that raw foods are an important part of human diets. Imagine if all the food you ate came from a can or bag. People need non-processed foods in their diets in order to remain healthy. The same can be said for animals.

Some people choose to provide their cats with a 100% raw food diet. It is important to research a 100% raw diet before taking this route. There are many excellent resources online and in books that provide specific outlines and meal plans for raw food diets.

Cats often enjoy raw meats such as chicken and beef. They are natural carnivores so their digestive systems are shorter than humans. Therefore cats are not as susceptible to many of the bacteria (such as Salmonella) that we humans are.

Cooking meats for your cat is another option. Though this takes more effort than a simple raw meat diet. Studies have also shown that it is actually less healthy to feed your cat cooked meets.

If keeping your cat healthy is your main concern, you should know that the quality of nutrients in commercial cat food is less than ideal. The meat portion in many animal foods on the market consist of animal parts that would make hot dogs look like grade-A steak!

In summary, it is a good idea to at least supplement your cat's diet with raw foods. Many people who have tried raw food diets say they notice a visible improvement in their cat's health right away. Consider that a raw food diet for your cat could be exactly what they need for optimal well being.

Did you know that a raw food diet can help your cat live a longer healthier life? Visit to get 100 free recipes for your cat.


Should Your Dog Eat Table Scraps?

It's a familiar sight to every pet owner who has sat down to a meal with their dog in the room: Your furry friend scoots as close to the table as he can get. His big, pitiful eyes stare longingly - first at you, then at your plate. He licks his chops over and over again, hoping to get just one bite of whatever you are eating. As hard as it is not to give in to those sad, soulful eyes, there are many reasons NOT to feed your dog table scraps.

The most obvious reason is because many of the foods that humans eat are just not good for dogs. The best diet for a dog is a consistent diet. Talk to your vet about how much food to give your dog, and then feed the same amount at the same time each day. There are ways to make his meals more interesting, such as adding gravy that is made for dogs, without sacrificing his good health.

Dogs that eat a lot of table scraps tend to be overweight. If you are eating a steak and want to give your dog a treat, what part of the steak does he usually get? The fat. Eating pure fat isn't good for your dog's weight. Dogs that are overweight have less energy and are at greater risk for developing health problems such as cardiovascular diseases.

Some foods are a direct threat to your dog's health. Chocolate is the best example of this. Chocolate contains a substance that is toxic to dogs. While humans love this sweet treat, it can cause great harm, even death, to your dog.

Digestive disorders are another common problem among dogs that eat a lot of table scraps. Again, the healthiest diet for dogs is a consistent diet. You're not doing your dog any favors if you feed him scraps that cause him to vomit or have diarrhea. Even a food that isn't always toxic to a dog can upset his digestive tract enough to cause these unpleasant symptoms.

Table scraps do not provide the nutrition that dogs need. Tossing your dog a scrap of chicken now and then is different than feeding your dog a diet that consists mainly of table scraps. Dogs need different things nutritionally than humans do, and the best way for dogs to get what they need is to eat a food that has been formulated for dogs. Even if you offer him nutritious dog food along with an abundance of table scraps, he is less likely to eat his own food if he is filling up on yours.

In addition to the health problems, there are behavioral problems that can develop as a result of feeding your dog table scraps. You need to ask yourself the following questions.

Do you really want him to beg? You need to ask yourself this question every time you are tempted to give in to your dog. If you start feeding your dogs scraps from the table, he is going to sit there like Old Faithful at every single meal. Do not reward begging at the table unless you WANT him to beg at the table. Rewarding that behavior even one time may make it difficult to train your dog to stay away from the table. Even if it doesn't bother you terribly, you may want to entertain guests in the future who won't appreciate Fido sniffing their plates as they try to eat.

Help your pet be a good dog by NOT rewarding bad behavior such as begging.

Do you want your dog to be a picky eater? Since the healthiest food for you dog is dog food, it's a good idea to make that dog food as appealing as possible. Setting his dry kibble next to a juicy steak probably isn't the most effective way to accomplish that. By feeding your dog a lot of table scraps, you are helping him develop a taste for your food. In some cases, this will cause your dog to become finicky about what he eats, and his dry food will not seem as appealing as it once did.

Do you want a dog who steals? A dog who is allowed to eat human food on a regular basis will begin to assume it is his right to eat the pot of spaghetti you left on the counter. He may also be more apt to rummage through the garbage to get a hold of some of the scraps you neglected to give him. This may cause serious problems as many items found in the trash are very harmful to your pet.

There are many good reasons not to give table scraps to your dog on a regular basis, but there are ways to treat your dog that are not harmful and that will not encourage bad behavior.

If you want to give your pet an occasional treat of leftover meat, just follow a few rules.

• Be sure that small bones are removed. Never give your dog chicken bones. Some dogs have a bad reaction (severe vomiting and diarrhea) to other types of bones, so it's best to remove the meat from the bones completely.

• Do not feed directly from the table. After the meal, when the dog has stopped begging, take the leftovers to his normal eating place and put them in his bowl. Do not let him see you walk directly from the table to his bowl.

• Do not do anything that causes your dog to see a relationship between his begging and you giving him table food. Do not feed him table scraps every day. His main diet should be of a food that contains all the nutrition he needs. In other words: dog food. Only feed hand selected table scraps as an occasional treat.

As much as you might want to give in to his begging, you must keep his best interest in mind. Dogs don't know what is good for them. It's your job to help keep them healthy and to help them behave, not give in to their every whim.

David Beart is the owner of Our site covers dog information, household finances, family forums, recipes and other household issues.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Parvovirus is Most Deadly to Very Young Shih Tzu Puppies

I am so surprised at how many pet owners and would be pet/Shih Tzu owners do not know which vaccinations are mandatory for Shih Tzu puppies. In this article I will address only the importance of "extra" protection against the deadly canine disease of "parvovirus."

Canine parvovirus is everywhere in the environment. Puppies and this does include Shih Tzu puppies are extra susceptible to parvovirus. The disease usually hits puppies the hardest, although adults can contract the parvovirus disease the same, your Shih Tzu puppy is most vulnerable. It is wise to protect your Shih Tzu puppy against this debilitating, sometimes deadly canine disease.

Parvovirus is shed in the feces of an infected Shih Tzu or any canine species. If another Shih Tzu or any other canine species comes into oral contact with the infected feces, they become inoculated with the virus. The degree to which your Shih Tzu puppy is affected will depend upon its own individual immunity to the disease. If your Shih Tzu puppy's mother was properly vaccinated, she will transfer immunity to parvovirus in the colostrums or first milk. I always vaccinate all my adult Shih Tzu each year.

The maternal antibodies transferred through the Shih Tzu mother's milk to the Shih Tzu puppies may be present in the Shih Tzu puppy for up to 20 – 22 weeks. This does not mean the Shih Tzu puppy will be absolute immune to the parvovirus this entire time.

Most of the Shih Tzu puppy's maternal antibodies to other viruses commonly vaccinated against have disappeared by about 12 weeks, however, the maternal parvovirus antibodies do persist longer.

It is wise to ensure your Shih Tzu puppy is adequately protected against parvovirus no matter when its mother's antibodies begin to wear off. Your Shih Tzu puppy needs to be vaccinated every three weeks starting at about 8 weeks, until it is 20 – 22 weeks old. Keep your older Shih Tzu up-to-date on vaccines as well. As the Shih Tzu ages, or any canine species, their immune system may become impaired and this may leave them more susceptible to diseases.

In addition to proper vaccination of your Shih Tzu puppy, you also need to keep young Shih Tzu puppies isolated from other dogs and out of parks where they may come in contact with infected feces, until they have completed their series of vaccinations. This decreases their chances of being exposed to parvovirus.

Parvovirus Signs:
• Loss of appetite
• Lack of energy
• Vomiting or diarrhea (the vomitus or diarrhea may be bloody).

Since these signs can indicate many diseases, you will need to see your vet if your Shih Tzu puppy shows any of these. Young Shih Tzu puppies, less than three months of age, can become dehydrated quickly, and die easily if not treated promptly. There is a special test your vet can perform for the parvovirus.

As of this date, there is no drug available that kills parvovirus once the animal is infected. The Shih Tzu or any other canine animal will have to rid itself of the virus. In other words, once a Shih Tzu puppy has contracted parvovirus, the virus will need to runs it course through the Shih Tzu puppy's system. Supportive care is the main treatment of parvovirus infections.

Sick Shih Tzu puppies need to be given fluids if they are dehydrated. Secondary bacterial infections may also result. If an infection develops, antibiotics need to be administered to fight it. Sometimes it is necessary to be kept in a vet hospital setting throughout the course of the disease. Other times, the disease can be managed at home. It depends upon the severity and the recommendations of your vet.

Treatment for parvovirus may take a couple days up to several weeks. This also depends upon the individual animal's immune system, its age and the severity of the case.

It is highly important to clean up the living quarters of a Shih Tzu who has had parvovirus. Parvovirus can exist in the environment for long periods of time. Washing the Shih Tzu's area with bleach and water in a 1:30 dilution will kill the virus. Throw away all feeding and drinking bowls, and all toys that came in contact with the sick Shih Tzu. Bedding can be saved if you will wash it in the bleach solution, but better to just throw it all away to prevent further spread of the infection. Your Shih Tzu can be re-infected as well.

Discard all feces promptly, wear gloves and rinse your own hands with the bleach solution. Humans can spread the disease on their hands if they touch the feces. Very small amounts of fecal material on the Shih Tzu's coat can contain large numbers of viral organisms and can easily be transmitted to other dogs.

Although there are a number of diseases Shih Tzu puppies and other canine breeds are susceptible to acquiring, the parvovirus is the most deadly to very young Shih Tzu puppies. Take all precautions necessary to keep your Shih Tzu puppy safe from this disease.

This article is FREE to publish with the resource box.

Author: Connie Limon, Breeder of pet and show Shih Tzu prospects in a variety of colors. Visit us at and sign up for our FREE newsletters. Puppies are sold with health guarantee and are bred from champion bloodlines. Also visit our collection of Shih Tzu articles at


How To Bath A Bearded Dragon

Many bearded dragons owner don't know how to keep a dragon clean, so here are some words about bathing a bearded dragon. This should give you the basics about.

Bathing is an important part in keeping a healthy dragon. Regular bathing helps improve the Beardie's overall hydration status and keep the Beardie clean and happy.

Most Bearded Dragons prefer to potty in the tub (making it very easy for you to clean up after them and disinfect the surfaces). Baths also help during shedding, keeping the loosening skin soft.

Some Beardies are comfortable bathing in the sink or the bath tub and others may not like bath time at all. You can try placing a see-through Rubbermaid container on your countertop and gently placing your Beardie inside. He may feel more comfortable resting on your hand while it is submerged in the water. Or you could try rolling up a wash cloth and letting him rest his arms on it. They need to feel secure or they will never enjoy bath time.

While bathing your Bearded Dragon, the bath water should ideally be warm on your wrist and not hot, much like bath water for a small child. Make the water only as deep as your Beardie's chest or half way up their front arms. You should never leave your Beardie unattended in the bath because accidents only take a second to happen.

The ideal temperature for the bath water should be ...

More on bathing and caring your bearded dragon, along with everything you need to know about bearded dragons, you can find on Bearded Dragons Secrets Revealed Ebook.

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


Friday, September 21, 2007

Dealing With Pet Odor

Pet odor. If you have animals, you will probably have to deal with it at one time or another. It can be an embarrassing problem keeping you from inviting company to your home and keeping you from fully enjoying your home. You do not have to live with pet odor nor do you have to replace your carpet if you have odor. You can easily eliminate this odor if you follow a few simple steps.

First you have to find the source of the odor. This sounds easy, but it may not be as easy as just looking for yellow stains. Sometimes source of odor do not have a visible stain. To find the source of your odor, go to the store and buy a cheap black light. This should cost somewhere between $10 to $20. Now close all of the doors, blinds and drapes in the problem room. Turn the light on and move it over the carpeting in the room. Pet urine will shine bright white in the light. They do this because of the salts in the urine which glow under a black light. Mark the spots with a piece of tape or paper so that you can find them later without the black light.

Now it is time to treat the odor. To successfully treat pet odor, you must understand what is causing the odor. The smell is caused not by the pet urine, but by bacteria. The bacteria is feeding on the pet waste and produces ammonia as a byproduct which cause a foul odor. So to get rid of the odor, you must get rid of this food source for the bacteria. To do that, you will use a digester or enzyme. If you visit your local pet store, you should be able to find an enzyme treatment. One popular brand is called Outright.

Follow the directions on the bottle and mix up your enzyme solution. You will then saturate the area of the odor so that the solution reaches the carpet pad, tack strip and/or sub floor. The enzyme needs usually between 24 hours to several days to work depending on the extent of the odor and the amount of pet waste present. You might need to cover the area with plastic wrap to keep the area moist during that time period. Once you have given the enzyme time to work, and you have dried the carpet, you might have a visible stain on the surface that can be cleaned with a regular carpet spotter. Thats it, you have treated one of the most common of carpet problems.

If you find that you cannot remove the odor with an enzyme spotter, you might have a severe problem. Contact a local carpet cleaner to get an estimate on odor removal. They will have tools at their disposal which might be able to rid you of your problem. Most companies will be happy to provide you with a free estimate.

James C operates the Carpet Cleaner Directory.


Moving House With Your Cat

Moving house is a stressful time for the whole family, and often it is our pets who suffer the most. Cats are especially susceptible to the stress of moving house, as they are normally family animals and like to be involved; the confusion of moving house can be very traumatic for them.

There are however a few things you can do to make the move a little less disturbing for your cat.

When you start to empty and box up the contents of the house, start with one room first and completely empty it. When you have done this, put the cats' bed, toys, food, litter tray and a lockable carrier in the room. Having the lockable carrier in the room, will make it less intimidating for the cat when it needs to use it for the journey. Introduce your cat to this room, as it will be its home for the next few weeks. Although the room will be empty, your cat should be quite happy as it contains the things your cat is used to seeing such as its bed. The good thing about using this empty room is that should you need to keep the cat away from something (when you are moving house a curious cat might jump in to a box being packed), you cat should not be upset as it is used to going in to the room.

When you have moved house, your cat should be your first priority. Find an empty room and place all the same items in it as you had in the empty room before. This will be your cats room for the unpacking time. Only let your cat out once the entire house is unpacked and sorted out. Your cat will want to explore the house, however it may be nervous of the new surroundings, so talk soothingly to it, and try to calm it. Also make sure you show the cat where its food bowl and litter tray are. Your cat will then being to explore the house by itself.

If you let your cat outside, try not to let it out too soon. Make sure your cat is used to the new house first, otherwise it may run away. Let the cat in to the garden in short, supervised intervals, and when your cat seems happy with the garden and how to get back in to the house, you can happily let your cat go and explore its new territory. Once you move, you need to remember to update the contact details on your cats collar, should your cat get lost in your new neighbourhood, people will need to be able to contact you.

Written by Laura Marsh. For more useful information on cats and cat behaviour visit


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Feeding Your Cat

Feeding your cat is a simple endeavor. With loving attention and care you will discover which foods your cat likes best. Buying name brand and upmarket cat food will ensure the best nutrition, health and longevity for your furry friend.

Cats can be fed in two ways. You can either leave out a bowl of dry food for your cat to eat at its leisure or feed it wet/canned food once or twice a day and dispose of the uneaten remainder after 30 minutes. Kittens need to eat more than adult cats. When your kitten is 6-12 weeks old, feeding it four times a day is optimal. A kitten that is three to six months old needs to be fed three times per day.

Adult cats need to be fed smaller meals, two or three times each day. Kittens sometimes refuse to eat or don't eat enough. To help them out, you can heat up the cat food or feed your kitten human baby food (turkey and chicken for babies six months and older), eventually phasing out the baby food as you mix with cat food over a short period of time.

Cats need to drink plenty of clean, fresh water. Make sure their water bowls are washed on a daily basis and refilled at all times.

Feeding your cat a saucer of milk is detrimental to them as the digestive system of cats and kittens are not suited for cow's milk, sometimes causing diarrhea.

Most cats love treats and it is acceptable to offer a special snack to them every now and then. Treats can also cause weight gain in cats, which is unhealthy, and should be given to them sparingly. Some cats go crazy for fruits and vegetables such as peas or carrots. You will have to experiment to see which people food treats your cat enjoys.

Some cats will eat like pigs! If this is your case, terminate the "free-feeding" method (when you leave out dry food all day for your cat to eat when it's hungry) and start your cat on a more precise feeding schedule. To avoid an upset and hungry cat, gradually trim down its meals slowly. If your cat eats too fast and vomits after eating, you can put out a few pieces of dry food and monitor the speed of its intake or place a few clean rock mix in with the food. Make sure the rocks are big enough that it won't eat them accidentally but not too big that it will ignore them. The cat will eat slower as it has to figure out which is the actual food in the bowl, making feeding time a slower operation.

If you have more than one cat or have a house full of cats and one of them requires a specific diet (ask your vet), it is a good idea to put them on a morning/night feeding schedule and supervise the eating process. Some cats are more aggressive and hungrier than others and they may finish off their own bowl and move on to another cat's dish. If this happens, organize different feeding rooms for the greedy ones so every cat gets its proper share of food.

Eric Hartwell oversees "The World's Best Homepage" intended to be a user-generated resource where YOUR opinion counts. Anybody can contribute and all are welcomed. Visit us to read, comment upon or share opinions on pet care and visit our associated site articles for free


How To Buy The Right Dog Food For Your Pit Bull Terrier

By: Tim Amherst

Knowing exactly which dog food to buy for your Pit Bull terrier can be confusing. There are countless options available when you go to the store and many of them are very unhealthy choices. Dog food is offered in packets, cans, or large bags. Dog foods that are mass prepared can be high in quality and well balanced, it is important that you buy the best you can afford. Most of the larger dog food companies maintain testing laboratories that check for quality and nutritional value.

Basically, there are three different types of dog food.

1. Dry food
2. Semi moist food
3. Canned food.

Dry foods are made up of roughly ten percent water. The raw ingredients used to make dry dog food differs greatly from brand to brand, so stick with a higher quality food.

These dry foods are generally less expensive when compared to semi-moist and canned foods. This is beneficial if you own several dogs or have one that eats more than the typical canine. You can also purchase dry dog food in bulk quantities and store them for several weeks. Storing dry dog foods for too long may reduce the nutritional value of it however.

Semi-moist foods contain more water than dry foods, typically in the range of 25%. Semi moist dog food is usually offered in the form of chunks of meat or simulated hamburger. Given the choice, most dogs prefer semi moist foods over dry foods, however these foods aren't as good for a dog's dental health.

Canned foods are the most popular choice of dog food and it is available in two different forms. The first kind of canned food has a cereal component, making it a complete diet. The second type has a meat only component that doesn't give the dog a very balanced diet unless something like a dog biscuit is given in addition to the bowl of food.

No matter what you choose to feed your dog, be sure to follow the feeding instructions on the packaging as they differ greatly. Don't overfeed your Pit Bull by feeding him extra large portions or extra meals throughout the day and be sure to get your dog out for his daily walk.

About the Author:

To learn all about raising an American Pit Bull Terrier and training Pit Bulls, visit  today.


Shih Tzu - Food Allergens

Ingredients that your shih tzu may be allergic to include beef and beef by-products, milk, yeast, yeast-containing foods, brewer's yeast (as given to shih tzu for supposed flea protection), corn and corn oil, pork, turkey, eggs, particularly the whites. Never give eggs raw. You can try a hard boiled egg. I have given my shih tzu hard boiled eggs without seeing an allergic reaction. Other ingredients might be fish and fish oils. To provide omega-3 fatty acids, which are very beneficial, you should look for foods prepared with flaxseed oil. Shih tzu may be allergic to foods containing wheat and wheat by-products (when in combination with other allergens) and soybeans.

Healthy shih tzu may not have trouble eating most foods, however, if you feed the same food daily for years, there is a potential for intolerance to develop. Any shih tzu can become allergic to any food. It might be a protein source, a fruit, a vegetable and just a small amount of the offending food could cause reactions. Food allergies may present with symptoms of intestinal upset such as vomiting or loose stools.

The best food I have ever used for my lines of shih tzu has been HealthyPetNet Life's Abundance which is fomulated by a holistic vet. I have definitely seen healthier puppies as a result of using Life's Abundance in pregnant, nursing moms and weaning puppies. I have witnessed a total "stop" to loose stools and no stomach upsets in the way of "vomiting." I have concluded my lines of shih tzu must have been allergic to some of the ingredients in the foods I was feeding before. Of course, you might have one shih tzu allergic to wheat and another shih tzu never to have a reaction.

The first three ingredients on the label usually make up most of the contents. Avoid any kind of dog food that contains chemical additives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, sweeteners, chemical preservatives and stabilizers. All these types of ingredients have the potential to cause problems for your shih tzu and give them nothing in the way of adequate nutrition.

I believe a daily supplement is needed for optimum health. Not all shih tzu are created equally, just as not all people are the same. A deficiency in one vitamin or mineral may leave your shih tzu vulnerable to disease. A shih tzu's demand for certain nutrients fluctuate for many reasons. During times of stress, Vitamin B is great support to the body. HealthyPetNet produces a daily dog food and supplement, which I think is well worth using if you feel your shih tzu is not getting optimum nutrition from the food you are feeding now.

Connie Limon publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts on shih tzu puppies are offered to subscribers. Sign up at:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Abused Cats

Abused cats can be terribly maimed and damaged on the outside. They can even appear quite normal on the outside and all the damage might be emotional.

The emotional damage is harder to repair. A physically damaged cat will still respond positively to a soft voice and touch. They seem to know that the abuse will not continue anymore.

With an emotionally abused cat, you will need to let the cat come to you. Feed and care for it conscientiously. If you have another, more loving cat, the example to the abused cat will be good for it and will serve to draw the cat out.

Screaming, yelling, startling, and indiscriminate use of disciplinary tools, such as a water pistol can cause emotional damaged. Prolonged exposure to this treatment produces a cat that is slow to trust. The cat may turn mean or become lethargic.

If the cat becomes mean, it is actually a good sign. A lethargic cat is harder to reach. The angry cat still cares what happens to it, while the lethargic cat could care less.

The lethargic cat will not play, respond to treats, pats, or a soft voice. Your best bet with the lethargic cat is a companion cat to draw the poor thing out. Eventually, the damaged kitty will ask for a pat or scratch while you are most vulnerable - usually lying in bed or on the toilet. Give confident, gentle snuggling and use a soft voice. Do not make too much of a fuss - but let the cat know you like the new behavior. Move slowly because the cat is still quite traumatized. Once this behavior begins, you are well on your way to a friendly, but still stand-off-ish house cat. It may take a long time, and consistency is the key. Never raise your voice around the cat. It will run. Every instance of veterinary care will be traumatic to it. Try to minimize visits and combine the purposes. Your cat will hide after each visit for as long as it feels upset. Continue to speak softly and care for the cat. It will come out and be friendly eventually. This type of cat has the longest memory for past hurts. If you take on a cat like this, be prepared for a long, intensive period of healing.

The angry or mean cat will run away, fight and scratch. Consistent, gentle treatment and a soft voice are your best bets. If you tame the cat as if it were Feral, you will have the best results. Never trick the cat into a situation where it feels trapped. It will instantly revert.

Black cats face a serious risk around Halloween. Never leave the cat unattended outside during this time of year. It seems that all the sickos in the world come looking for black cats at this time of year. The unsuspecting and trusting pet black cat may be cat-napped and tortured or killed.

Morgen Marshall, a cat lover and trainer, invites you into her world of cats. She created a website dedicated to making the relationship between cats and people harmonious and healthy, For the Love of Cats. It is a place for people facing difficulties in their relationships with cats to come and find the answers they need from someone they can trust.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Serious Dog Urine Cleaning Products from a Surprising Source

Nobody enjoys thinking about dog urine stains and odor, but it happens. Even older dogs have accidents. (And let's also admit that dogs sometimes do it on purpose in order to mark their territory - no accident involved).

I'm thinking about this unpleasant subject at the moment because I just moved, and a very distinctive stain showed that a medium-sized dog recently lifted his leg on my new porch. To prevent my own dog from re-marking the house when I moved him to his new home, I had to find a good dog urine cleaning product, and fast.

With the help of my local pet store owner, (who also runs a house cleaning service), I found a great product - but not at her pet store.

So where did my friendly pet store owner take me to find a serious dog urine cleaning product? She led me next door, to the auto supply house. She asked the proprietor to search his shelves for a product that would be good enough to remove the smell and stain from my porch wall, but which would not be so strong that it would remove the paint. The product he had in stock was called Unbelievable!, from CORE Products Co., Inc., (but the man at the auto parts store said there are other brands that work as well).

The product was developed for professional cleaners, and works to remove pet and food stains (and odors) from a car's upholstery and carpet. The product costs far less than the enzyme product I recently purchased from a veterinarian, and it worked immediately. I just sprayed it on the siding where the dog lifted his leg, and the stain disappeared instantly, along with the smell. I'll be trying it on that suspicious spot on the carpet in a few minutes.

The first product that most people turn in these situations is enzyme-based cleaning products that can be purchased at grocery and pet stores. I recently had an opportunity to use an enzyme product on a borrowed cat carrier that had been sprayed by the owner's cat, and most of the odor did go away, eventually.

However, the enzyme product, which I purchased from a veterinarian, was expensive. It also took a long time to work, and my cats could still tell that the carrier had been sprayed, even though my own human nose could no longer detect it.

The product I purchased from the auto parts store worked better, and faster. And it cost less. So, the next time you have a need for a dog urine cleaner, don't head for the pet store - go to the auto supply store, and ask for a product that works on urine stains and odors. You'll save money by not buying an expensive enzyme product from the pet store or vet's, and you'll be happier with the results.

Copyright 2006 Jonni Good

Jonni is the owner of a large and popular website that is totally devoted to helping you adopt an older dog at your local humane society. You'll find a list of local animal shelters, and many articles about selecting exactly the right dog for your family.


Some Common Health Problems in Cats

Any cat owner must consider cat health a topmost consideration. S/he must have basic knowledge and understanding on the prevention of certain types of cat health problems. After all, a healthy cat makes a happy owner. Here are some common health problems in cats and how you can prevent them.

Hairballs. When cats groom by themselves, they tend to swallow loose hair that naturally comes off their tongues. This hair can clump into a ball and may get stuck in his digestive tract instead of passing through the body. Cats usually don't have a problem getting rid of hairballs, as they can just cough and hack it out. However, hairballs may pass into his intestines and cause blockage, which can cause serious complications. If your cat experiences loss of appetite, is constipated, sluggish and has a dull coat, then your cat's blockage can be serious. When this happens, visit your veterinarian immediately. You can prevent hairballs by frequently grooming your cat to get rid of loose hair as well as feeding him certain types of food that help control hairballs.

Worms. This is but a common, recurring problem among many cats. These worms can be hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms and even in some cases, heartworms. Your cat may be infected with any of these worms if it does not seem to gain weight, has white specks that resemble rice grains in his stool or is infested with fleas. If you suspect your cat for presence of worms, take him to the veterinarian. Your vet can prescribe some medication to kill off the worms. Remember that worms can be fatal when left untreated.

Urinary Tract Infections. Another health problem that is common among cats, urinary tract infection usually affects male cats that have not undergone neutering, although female cats may also acquire this problem as well. Your cat may have urinary tract infection if your cat's urine smells strong or if it suddenly stops using the litter box. Consult your veterinarian for treatment of this health problem.

These are just some of the most common health problems among cats. While some diseases are hereditary, many can easily be prevented. By regularly taking your pet cat to the veterinarian for check-up and following vaccination schedules, you can keep cat health problems at bay. Keep in mind that prevention is your first and still your best line of defense for cat sicknesses and disease.

About the Author

Jack Moundon is the owner of , Helpul information about cats health problems and meanings about their common behavior. Great gift for cat lovers and helping you cat stay healthy.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Raw Food Diet for Dogs

By Derek Youngs

Over the last few years, there's been a lot of debate over a raw food diet for dogs. Is it safe? Is it healthy for your dog to eat raw foods, and why should you feed your dog raw foods instead of the more convenient commercialized foods? Is cooking meat bad for your dog, and should you feed him raw vegetables? This article will answer many questions about the raw food diet for dog, so read on.

Most health-conscious dog owners know that commercialized dog foods are very unhealthy for dogs. They don't contain the nutrition necessary for your dog to be healthy and energetic, and they also contain many harmful chemicals. Dogs are color blind and choose their food by smell, and dog food companies use chemical agents to "trick" dogs into thinking the food processed food is healthy. They also contain texturizers and preservatives, all of which have been proven to cause liver and kidney damage, and have been linked to cancer.

The reasoning behind using a raw food diet for your dog, as opposed to feeding your dog "bad dog food," is to keep your dog's diet as close to what it was 10,000 years ago as possible. Dogs that rip and tear raw meat tend to have stronger jaw, neck, and shoulder muscles. Dogs that gnaw on raw bones tend to have stronger jaws, cleaner teeth, and healthier bones from the calcium and other nutrients they absorb from the bone.

A few tips on using a raw food diet for dogs. First of all, all food should be served at room temperature, not cold from the fridge. Do not add salt, as the salt that is naturally in foods is enough for your dog. If you're feeding vegetables and fruits, it's a good idea to blend or puree them first. Large bones are very healthy for dogs, but be careful of smaller bones that can be accidentally swallowed.

A raw food diet for dogs is a very healthy, natural way to raise your dog. Dogs on this type of diet have had dramatic jumps in energy levels, once they switched over from "bad dog foods."

Learn more about the best foods for your dog, how to boost your dog's energy, and how to extend your dog's life, at:


BARF Natural Diet-Is It The Healthiest Option For My Beloved Cat?

BARF diet also known as biologically appropriate raw food, bones and raw food and born again raw food is a diet program for felines. The foundation of this diet is base on the belief that bones and raw food are the closest form of food cat cats eat in the wild, and should be best for feline health.

Supporters of the BARF diet claim that cats would be healthier feeding a raw diet. Suggesting that cats feeding on commercial food would be detrimental to their health as proven in many studies done across the country because the cooking process destroy many essential nutrients that cats would require.

While those that were in favor of the cook diet argue on the fact that raw food can carry bacteria that causes food borne diseases and that alone far more outweigh the benefits that a raw diet could bring along. Critics also say that raw bone shards can break teeth and perforate the intestinal tract. With all said, both sides still has problems coming out with concrete evidences to proof their claims.

An example of such research was done by Lisa Freeman, DVM, and Kathryn Michel, DVM, publish in the journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, March 2001. It was done by evaluating five dog food diets, 3 homemade and 2 commercial. Studies show that raw diets lacked phosphorus and potassium and had high levels of zinc, and all these elements, added together are a big concern when feeding puppies. In addition to that, one homemade diet shows presence of E. coli 0157:H7, a well known cancer causing bacteria to humans.

On the other hand, the Pottenger Cat Studies, conducted between 1932 and 1942, found that cats that were feed a raw food diet which consist of raw meat, bones, raw milk and cod-liver oil, outlived and out-reproduced their peers that were fed a cooked diet. And surprising, the study also found that cats that were fed a cooked diet had problems to reproduce after several generations. And this condition improves only when they change the diet back to the raw diet.

There are also critics of the Pottenger study, and they cite the fact that no one knows for certain what aspect of the raw food diet actually affected the health of the animals, whether it was raw meat, raw milk or cod-liver oil. They also note that the study has yet to be reproduced to determine scientific merit.

Even Ann Martin, the author who took on the commercial pet food industry, calling them to task for the unhealthy ingredients used in pet food, does not support the raw food diet. In a Better Nutrition article, June 2005, she notes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had found that a high percentage of raw meat contains at least one form of bacteria. She quotes a veterinarian who explains that certainly it was normal in the wild for wolves to eat raw meat, but it was also normal for wolves to occasionally die of salmonella poisoning.

She describes a study in the Journal of the American Animal Health Hospital Association that showed that two cats became sickened by salmonella in raw food that led to their deaths and that the bacterial cultures of the cats and the meat were identical.

Although there are many examples of cats living a healthier and longer life on a raw diet, there are no clear evident to proof the benefits of the raw diet, and how much, if any bacteria, can be destroyed by the cat's stomach acids. If you are considering changing your cat's diet, it is recommended to talk to your veterinarian first.

Moses Wright is the webmaster of Feline Cat Diet. More helpful information on Commercial Cat Food and Special Medical Cat Diet can be found on his website. You are welcome to reprint this article if the content and live link are keep intact.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Raw Food Question - Is It Safe And Is It Healthy?

My short answer: Raw Food is safe and healthy for your pet. And it's natural.

Salmonella and E. Coli are not a well documented health concerns for your pet for several reasons. Pets have short intestinal tracts which digest food quickly, before bacteria have time to multiply and they also have very acidic stomachs, which kill many bacteria.

If you use common sense in preparing raw food, washing hands and counters, don't leave food out too long and store properly, you eliminate the worst potential for problems.

Our Pets are Natural Raw Feeders

As for dogs, their DNA differs from the wolf by only 2% and wolves are basically carnivores. There is a great deal of discussion on whether dogs are true carnivores or omnivores. One phrase you will hear used is 'opportunistic feeders,' meaning they will eat what is available. My own personal belief is that a dog is more carnivore than anything but will be an opportunistic feeder due to what is available to him.

Dog's and cat's teeth are classic carnivore. Look into their mouths. Their teeth are designed for grabbing, ripping, tearing, shredding, and shearing meat. They are not equipped with large flat molars for grinding up plant matter. Their molars are pointed and situated in a scissors bite (along with the rest of their teeth) that powerfully disposes of meat, bone, and hide.

Dogs and cats are equipped with powerful jaw muscles and neck muscles that assist in pulling down prey and chewing meat, bone, and hide. Their jaws hinge open widely, allowing them to gulp large chunks of meat and bone.

Dogs and cats have the internal anatomy and physiology of a carnivore, they have short digestive tracts and their bodies lack certain enzymes which make it difficult, if not impossible for their bodies to process grains and vegetables unless they are 'predigested' by processing; cooking, mincing, grinding, breakdown by enzymes, or fermentation through bacteria.

They have a highly elastic stomach, a relatively short foregut and a short, smooth intestinal tract. This means food passes through quickly. Vegetable and plant matter, however, needs time to be processed by the body. This explains why plant matter comes out the same way it came in; there was no time for it to be broken down and digested.

Dogs do not normally produce the necessary enzymes in their saliva, such as amylase, for example, to start the break-down of carbohydrates and starches; amylase in saliva is something omnivorous and herbivorous animals possess, but not carnivorous animals.

For thousands of years, our canine and feline companions have subsisted on diets of raw meats and scraps. Around 60 years ago, pet foods began growing in popularity, supplanting the more natural diets of our dogs and cats. The past 10 years, however, have seen a rise in the raw food diets.


One popular raw diet is the BARF model, Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (or Bones And Raw Food). The BARF diet which includes non-meats and numerous supplements was designed for pets and wild animals by Dr Ian Billinghurst. Billinghurst claimed that commercial kibble does not allow domestic animals to thrive, as their ancestors did on a wild, raw diet.

The Whole Prey Diet

This diet mimics what would be considered a 'natural' diet in the wild. You follow the proportions of an actual prey animal in a pet's diet. This includes organ meat, skin, muscle, and bone, without supplements. Many feed a diet largely composed of as wide a variety of meats and butchers' scraps as possible, and even occasional table scraps as supplements. Feeding a 'whole prey' diet is actually quite simple.

Health Benefits

Most pet owners notice many improvements in the health and general condition of their canine and feline companions.

These include:

  • shinier, healthier coat with less shedding
  • eliminated "dog" odor
  • better body muscle to fat ratios
  • cleaner teeth and breath
  • decreased itching from certain food allergies
  • normalized energy levels
  • improved urinary tract health
  • better resistance to infections
  • increased mobility with a decrease in arthritis pain
  • decreased allergy symptoms
  • little to no hairballs in cats
  • lower stool volume

Many pet owners even report lower Veterinary fees and lower costs feeding as compared to 'commercial' diets.

The author of this article, Deanna Raeke, is a pet owner, pet lover and natural health advocate. She dedicates her time to animal advocacy and welfare and the study and research or natural health for people and pets. For more information for your pet's health, visit Natural Health for Pets


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