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Thursday, January 31, 2008

How To Train A Dog And Establish Rules Of The House

There is nothing more frustrating than figuring out how to train a dog to stop biting. Nobody wants an overly aggressive dog that is dangerous to house company, especially unsuspecting small children. Figuring out how to get them to settle down and be a bit more calm is easy once you establish yourself as the leader of the pack, earning your dog's respect and obedience. It's not about instilling fear into your dog or relying on medication or muzzles to keep them in line. In this article we will outline several ways to help you figure out how to get a dog to chill out.

Let us begin by reminding you that biting is in a dog's nature. Even the most loving dogs will bite and nip, especially teething puppies! A puppy really can't help biting when they are teething, however, it's up to you as a responsible dog owner to break them from this painful habit as they mature. The dog is only going to get bigger and with size comes more serious and aggressive biting. Uncontrollable biters are sometimes euthanized at the dog pound if they become a terror on your street. This is why learning how to train a dog to stop biting is worth any time spent in research.

Permanently modifying the behavior of your dog depends on learning how to train a dog to recognize clear dominance roles within the house. Biting is usually a form of dominance that dogs use in pack relationships. Have you ever watched a litter of puppies play with one another? The biter is looking for the other dog to submit to prove that they have hierarchy within the pack.

You may think that you automatically hold hierarchy in the "household pack" whenever you bring a dog into YOUR home and they are dependent on you for food, water and shelter. Your dog on the other hand views you as just another pack member that they can easily dominate - especially a puppy that is vehemently trying to establish their position in the pack. Since puppies are so small and cute we initially think this behavior is cute and endearing since the biting doesn't hurt very much. The teeth eventually become sharper, the dog gets bigger and stronger and the bites become a bit more painful and dangerous. Suddenly we are surfing the net looking for advice on training to stop biting.

Training a dog to stop biting can be as simple as letting out a high pitch cry whenever the dog bites, just like a litter mate would. Your dog will recognize that they've hurt you and back off. The same applies to letting out a firm "NO" to send a message to your dog that their biting is unacceptable. You can also use your hand to mimic biting the dog back but be aware that the dog can misconstrue this as playing rough and bite harder!

The above mentioned tips will temporarily ward off a biting dog but there is no permanent success unless other steps of alpha dog training are enforced. Learning how to train a dog for obedience is essential in ending their biting. Make sure that your dog is always following you and never leads the way. Get them to recognize specific commands. Make sure the dog knows that you eat first and their food comes only when you are finished. Most dogs want to make their owner happy and it's important to remember this when figuring out how to train a dog to stop biting.

Scott Jackson has been in the Pet Industry for over ten years. He has managed large Pet Specialty Retail stores and has worked as a distributor rep in the pet industry. He is a pet owner and lover who has extensive knowledge in pet nutrition and care. He runs a website http://www.coloradopetresources.com and http://www.dogandcatarticles.com where he gives information on pet care, location of Colorado independent pet retailers, vets, breeders and a general meeting place for pet lovers.

Visit http://www.coloradopetresources.com and find the information you need.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Parasites Beagles Might Pick

Most dogs, especially working dogs such as Beagles are more likely to pick up parasites when working or running out in the field. From fleas to ticks to tapeworms, these parasites will surely cause various problems that could trouble your dog and affect his healthy condition if not treated at once. Know these parasites so that you will know what to do when your Beagles are infested.

Flea. Fleas are small external parasites, about 1.5 to 3.3 mm long. They are wingless insects and are usually dark colored. These fleas don't just consider their host's body as habitat; they are also feeding on the blood of their host. Killing these parasites requires crushing them between the fingernails because of their hard, polished body. The body is covered with hairs and short spines directed backward. Fleas in pets can be treated with the use of insecticides. The house and the surrounding environment should also be treated with spot-on insecticide, a fogger or spray insecticide that contains ingredients ideal in controlling the growth of these parasites. Frequent vacuuming will also contribute in eliminating fleas. Dog owners should always remember that keeping the surroundings clean is the best armor against this battle.

Tick. Same with fleas, ticks are external parasites feeding on the blood of its host. Ticks are classified into two; the hard ticks and the soft ticks. Hard ticks are known to submit diseases such as Lyme disease. Beagles running around tall grasses and shrubs have higher risk of being infested with ticks. A tick can be removed from the body of your pet with the help of a small set of tweezers. With the use of tweezers, grab the insect by the head and then pull it gently and steadily. As much as possible, try not to crush the tick's body because its stomach content or it's saliva back-flow might increase the possibility of infecting and irritating the host's skin.

Harvest mite. Letting your Beagles run free in the forests or grasslands? Beware because they are at greater chance of picking up harvest mites. These parasites measure 0.4 mm sticking and feeding on human skin. These chrome-orange colored parasites feed on the skin cell of its host, unlike fleas and ticks that are feeding on their host's blood. The larvae mite works by piercing the skin and injecting enzymes that digest cellular contents and then later become liquefied for their consumption.

Tapeworm. Tapeworms are found in the intestine of dogs. The eggs are often visible in your dog's feces or sticking to the dog's hair around the rear. These parasites look like small, flattened grain of white rice that moves. Since it is normal for Beagles to chase rabbits and hares, eating their catch is discouraged because rabbits and other wild rodents are often carrier of tapeworms. There are medicines available to treat tapeworm infestation. Just consult the vet or any dog expert for suggestions.

About the Author

Richard Cussons writes articles of various topics. For more information, see Beagles and learn more about Beagle dogs here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Why Buy Pet Food Direct?

by Gordon Petten

If you buy pet food direct from us you will find the all the natural pet supplies you need. There is such a wide selection available of pet food direct from Holistic Blend. One of the advantages of shopping for pet food direct is that your purchases are delivered right to your door. You can shop online for pet food direct at any time of the day or night so you don't have to try to make a trip to the store before it closes. You won't have to pay any shipping charges when you buy pet food direct.

At Holistic Blend you can buy pet food direct for your dog or cat. You can find all kinds of specialty items for your pet at Holistic Blend, such as supplements and treats. If you are looking for items related to pet wellness, you will find them at Holistic Blend as well.

If your dog is underweight, Holistic Blend carries a wide range of products to help you get your dog's weight under control. These weight management items at Holistic Blend include such things as canned and dry dog food, treats and supplements. All-natural dog and cat food is available for shipping direct from Holistic Blend.

Whether you have a dog, or a cat you will find what you are looking for on Holistic Blend

About the Author

Pet Food Direct

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pomeranian Dogs - Big Dogs In Little Bodies

Pomeranians are beautiful works of art, but are far more delicate than the average dog. Do not get a Pomeranian if you cannot take care of their coats every day. Pomeranian dogs are born entertainers and save their best for their people. Pomeranians can be just as trainable as other dogs, if you are patient and use positive reinforcement. Pomeranian dogs have some health problems, but they can be cured if caught early. Grooming their coats every day not only checks for health problems, but gives your Pomeranian needed attention.

Pomeranians do not look like real dogs - they look more like wind-up toys or a creature from Star Wars. They are smaller versions of the original Pomeranian sled dogs that lived hundreds of years ago in an area on the Baltic Sea called, not coincidently, Pomerania. It is thought they might have originally come from Lapland or Iceland, but nothing has been proven and besides the name Pomeranian has stuck.

Pomeranian dogs are more than cute faces. They are demanding in terms of attention and grooming, although undemanding in terms of feeding and exercise. Their tiny bodies sometimes mean a lot of difficulties in housebreaking, although some have been successfully trained to use a littler box like a cat or a rabbit. They are vocal, bold and will not suffer fools (or foolish little children) gladly. Despite their resilient and fearless nature, their bodies are actually quite fragile. They need to be treated with the same care and caution as you would a guinea pig or dwarf rabbit.

Pomeranian personalities can differ remarkably from Pomeranian to Pomeranian. Since there is such a demand for them over the past few decades, they have been breed more for quantity than quality. Sadly, this has lead to puppy farms supplying pet stores and Internet puppy sites with unhealthy, neurotic dogs. Never get a Pomeranian from a pet store or Internet site that sells puppies. Get one from a breeder or a Pomeranian rescue.

Pomeranians are standoffish around strangers and very protective of their people and homes. This has, on occasion, led to attacks. For example, this writer was walking her sixty-pound dog past a yard with a wooden fence. One of the boards suddenly banged dangerously, causing the both of us to jump. When I looked at our attacker, it was a smiling Pomeranian who looked very pleased with himself. They will bite when cornered by a person or another animal.

Pomeranians need regular check ups and vaccinations just like any other dogs. They need worming medication and rabies shots. Pomeranian dogs are also prone to some illnesses more than other breeds. These illnesses include eye infections, dislocated patella, skin problems, teeth problems and slipped stifle. Their skeletons are also more fragile than the average dog's. A drop from your arms can fracture bones and do internal injuries. Daily grooming can help you not only untangle the coat, but spot potential problems before they become too serious.

Pomeranians can often grow bigger than their parents, but they can still be purebred Pomeranian dogs. Their ancestors were sled dogs of a Spitz-type that were about thirty pounds. Gradually, as the use of dog sleds dwindled, the Pomeranian became smaller for apartment dwelling. Now, they average about seven pounds. With regular care, attention and a sensible diet, they should live well into their teens and forever in your heart.

About the Author

Rosie Allan loves everything canine, including Pomeranian dogs. The Pomeranian requires a lot of attention and patience for training and grooming. The latest Pomeranian information can be found by visiting the American Kennel Club website.

Adopting A Dog From A Dog Shelter Or Animal Rescue Group

A dog shelter or animal rescue group is a good starting point in your quest to find the perfect four-legged companion. Many people rule adopting a dog from a dog shelter or rescue group because they fear that the dogs are damaged goods. An animal rescue group does take stray dogs from the street but a g shelter isn't a place where bad or damaged dogs are discarded. In many cases, a canine will find themselves in a shelter because their owner can no longer accommodate them. This happens sometimes when people are forced to rent an apartment that will not accept pets, travel frequently for business, start a family or move into a city dwelling that isn't suitable for their dog. Shelters, for many of these dogs, are their last hope for being put into a loving home. With a constant new stream of dogs, all in need of a home, there is simply no place to house every single dog and some may be put to sleep if a potential savior doesn't step forward.

It's good to keep a few things in mind before adopting a dog. First, make sure you are adopting from a legitimate source. Most dog organizations have storefronts. Many animal rescue groups operate from the owner's home. There are untrustworthy wholesale breeders and dog brokers that become "a rescue shelter" because they don't meet federal and state mandated requirements for breeders or shelters. Be sure to ask the animal rescue group for a tour of the premises so you can examine the conditions your potential dog has lived in. The conditions of the facilities should also be examined but animal rescue groups aren't subject to the same type of state or local inspection that a shelter is subject to. Ask the manager or owner of the rescue group if they are incorporated as a non-profit in your state. Try to use the American Kennel Club's (AKC) website to find a reputable dog shelter or animal rescue group.

These groups should interview you to ensure that their dogs are being matched with an appropriate owner. They will ask questions about your lifestyle, pet history, and knowledge of the dog breed you are interested in adopting. Distrust any dog shelter or rescue group that willingly accepts your money without getting a feel for who you are.

If a particular dog peaks your interest be sure to ask the dog shelter or rescue group how the dog was obtained. Were they checked for microchips or tattoos? Have they been examined by a veterinarian or placed into a foster home to access whether or not they are house trained, kid friendly, get along with other animals, etc. Don't be afraid to ask questions!

Scott Jackson has been in the Pet Industry for over ten years. He has managed large Pet Specialty Retail stores and has worked as a distributor rep in the pet industry. He is a pet owner and lover who has extensive knowledge in pet nutrition and care. He runs a website http://www.coloradopetresources.com and http://www.dogandcatarticles.com where he gives information on pet care, location of Colorado independent pet retailers, vets, breeders and a general meeting place for pet lovers.

Visit http://www.coloradopetresources.com and find the information you need.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Finding The Right Dog Boarding Kennel For Your Dog

Circumstances will surface from time to time that require you to look into dog boarding at a local kennel. The time duration can vary from a few days to a few weeks but you ideally want to find your dog the perfect home away from home. Boarding with a kennel should provide your dog with a safe environment while giving you peace of mind as you tend to your business.

Within your community itself, there should be plenty of word of mouth regarding suitable boarding, whether it's coming from dog trainers, veterinarians, pet groomers, animal shelters or localized dog clubs or forums online. Be sure to keep in mind that there may be some ulterior motives with the recommendations. Some of your sources may be recommending kennels owned or operated by friends or family. So just because you are getting names doesn't mean that your work is completely finished.

It's advisable to physically visit the kennels themselves to ensure that your dog will be staying in a professionally run, clean and friendly place. Any boarding facility should quickly welcome and accommodate a request to tour them. Maybe even test the waters by having your dog stay overnight prior to a longer stay for a vacation or business trip.

Are the kennels large enough for your dog? You don't want your large dog feeling cramped without any room to stand or maneuver about. Be sure to ask if the dog boarding facility itself takes the dogs out for a walk every day? Do the dogs have playtime outside of the confides of their kennel? Dogs will always need human contact and exercise.

Pay close attention to the kennel itself. Does the staff make sure that the cage is clean and sanitary? Will your dog have something soft and warm to lay down on? You don't want your dog sleeping on cold cement or dirt. There is always the option of bringing your dog their favorite pad or blanket but any good boarding kennel should have their own comfort accessories. It's still not a bad idea to supply your dog with as many at home familiarities as possible whether it's their favorite chew toy or blanket.

What exactly is separating your dog from other dogs at the facility? Be careful if it's just a wire fence since neighboring male dogs can easily lift their legs and urinate through the fence onto your dog or your dog's bedding and toys. This may also be a good time to ask the facility if they will bathe your dog during a long stay. Wire fences can also make your dog uneasy since they can see and interact with other dogs through the fencing. There may be some snapping and barking between the dogs. Your dog will not have a pleasant stay if they don't get along with the dog next door. This is why kennels with concrete dividing walls between dogs are preferable.

Be sure to ask them how often and what they will be feeding your dog? You may even want to suggest supplying the kennel with your own dog food since an abrupt change to your dog's diet may lead to stomach and digestive problems or diarrhea. Make sure that your dog will always have a supply of drinking water. The staff should also be friendly, caring and attentive to any special needs of your dog like medication. They should have experience at properly administering doses of your dog's medication and there should be a vet on call at all times.

The idea here is to make sure you can trust the dog boarding facility with your dog, reducing the worry and uneasiness from both you and your dog that comes with temporary separation.

Scott Jackson has been in the Pet Industry for over ten years. He has managed large Pet Specialty Retail stores and has worked as a distributor rep in the pet industry. He is a pet owner and lover who has extensive knowledge in pet nutrition and care. He runs a website http://www.coloradopetresources.com and http://www.dogandcatarticles.com where he gives information on pet care, location of Colorado independent pet retailers, vets, breeders and a general meeting place for pet lovers.

Visit http://www.coloradopetresources.com and find the information you need.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pet Care: The Annual Physical Exam and What to Expect

by Victoria M. Brown

Is it time to bring your pet to the veterinarian for a checkup? Are you unsure of what to expect? It's actually very important to understand what your veterinarian does to your pet during its annual exam. This helps you recognize when your pet is healthy and also if something is wrong. Here are the normal procedures that a veterinarian goes through on an annual physical exam:

Temperature: Taking the temperature of your pet is one the most important parts of the physical exam. A dog or cat's average temperature is somewhere between 101 and 102.5 degrees. Even if an animal seems healthy, a veterinarian can often tell that something is not right if the animal has a high temperature.

Skin and Coat: A healthy pet should have a shiny coat and clean skin. A brittle, dry coat or flaky skin is an indication that something is wrong. If the skin and coat are not healthy, the veterinarian will likely suggest that you switch your pet from a grain-based diet to a meat-based diet. Within a few weeks, your pet's skin and coat should be much healthier.

Ears: Normal ears should have smooth skin and should be without any wounds. The ears should be clean, dry and almost odor free. If your pet has an allergy or ear infection, you should be able to see it. However, infections usually start deep in the ear canal. The veterinarian will check for any infections that are in the early stages in order to eliminate them before they become a problem. Your veterinarian can prescribe any necessary medications and can show you the correct way to clean your pet's ears.

Eyes: The veterinarian will examine the interior of your pet's eye structures. Usually, pets do not have serious eye problems. The most common eye irritations among pets stem from contact with pollen, dust, or grass.

Paws and Toenails: Paw injuries usually heal on their own relatively quickly, but if your pet has really long toenails, they should be clipped shorter.

Mouth: Often pets with an infection in their mouth do not display any symptoms. However, many infections can be found in animals' mouths including infected gums, objects stuck in between teeth, and even tumors.

Abdomen: A seemingly healthy pet can also have problems with its abdomen. A veterinarian can discover that your pet could have bladder stones, a tumor, only one working kidney, or is pregnant. By feeling the outside of your pet's abdomen, the veterinarian can tell what's going on in the inside. Often what's on the inside is just as important, if not more important, than what's on the outside.

Heart: During any physical exam, it is important that your veterinarian listens to your pet's heart and lungs. By doing this, they can detect any heart valve or heart rhythm problems. If any heart problems are detected, further testing is usually recommended.

Bringing your pet in for a physical exam is an extremely important part of your pet's health. Many times, a seemingly normal pet is actually unhealthy. Only a veterinarian would be able to detect such problems. Understanding the physical exam will help you understand your pet's health and this will help your pet live a long and healthy life.

About the Author

Corner Animal Hospital : Online Pet Pharmacy & Veterinary Service (www.corneranimal.com) 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."

Submitted by NewSunGraphics.com

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fake Beagle Breeders

The time has come to bring a little beagle dog into your family and you have decided that you want to deal with a beagle breeder so that you know what you are getting. However, like any other industry, there are fake beagle breeders out there that are trying to scam you. You want to make sure you avoid a fake beagle breeder or else you may get an unhealthy pet that could rack up huge vet bills and cause you and your family to make difficult decisions.

A sure fire way to weed out the fake beagle breeders from the legitimate ones is to ask about free pet insurance for after you bring your beagle home. Legitimate breeders are offered free pet insurance to give to buyers that affords coverage for six weeks after the sale in the hopes that you will extend the insurance after the six weeks is up. If your breeder is not willing to give you signed proof of insurance, or if you check out the insurance and it is not valid, you probably have a fake breeder.

Your relationship, and contact, with your beagle breeder is an ongoing thing that does not stop just because you took the beagle home. A legitimate breeder will be available for any beagle owner to answer questions and offer any advice you may need. If you are having a hard time getting your breeder on the phone, or they won't answer any questions for you, then the chances are you have a fake breeder.

For first time beagle owners the beagle breeders are an invaluable resource for finding out the correct care and feeding instructions for your new beagle. The legitimate breeders build their business based on their reputation and it is important for them to be helpful. The good breeders will send home samples of food that should be fed to your new beagle so that you know what you are supposed to be feeding your dog. If your breeder is not offering any care or feeding instructions then you probably have a fake breeder.

A reputation for being professional, helpful, knowledgeable, and accessible is everything to the business of a beagle breeder along with providing quality pets. You should always be able to stay in touch with a legitimate breeder and if you find that you cannot keep your beagle later in its life then a good breeder will take the dog back but without giving you a refund for your purchase price. At least you will know that your beagle will be taken care of. A fake breeder will not offer that service.

The National Kennel Club is the standard by which all legitimate breeders adhere to and you should always buy your beagles only from those breeders in good standing with the National Kennel Club. If you find yourself in a position where a fake breeder has scammed you, about all you can do it sue in court for your purchase price refunded. Always use the National Kennel Club to find good breeders in your area.

About the Author

Michelle Adams gets involved in charitable events for animal rescue organizations. You can find a legitimate beagle breeders by using the information in this article. You can use this article as a source for beagle information.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Designer Dogs, Happy Humans

by John Hill

Todays' relationship between dogs and their owners has changed dramatically from the days of old. Sure, they still stand guard over you and your family, and occasionally they still chew up that favorite pair of shoes. However, no person on earth has been able to display the type of unconditional love that our wonderful pet bestows upon us every day. Despite the difficult and trying process of house training and the sometimes long hours left alone while we are working, our beloved dogs eagerly wait for us to walk through the door, ready to snuggle up and help us unwind from a tough day at work. Sometimes a person's best friend is the one with four legs and a wet nose.

With our growing love for these faithful companions it is no wonder we began to pamper and treat them to the finer things in life. From clothes to toys, special shampoos and beds, dogs are becoming increasingly more and more like our own children.

There are many online companies specializing in designer products for your dog where you can purchase items specifically designed to help you and your dog express that wonderful personality that has so endeared them to your heart. You can find a large array of pampered pet products such as suede sheepskins collars and leashes for that urban dog that enjoys treks through the parks or the occasional works outing. For the more sophisticated dog, you may prefer the stunning Swarovski crystal collars and leads that are available. Owners can also find the perfect little outfit for their best friend, including PJ's for your little canine baby to snuggle into for a good night's rest.

In addition to clothing and accessories, online pet boutiques often feature fashionable dog beds and bowls so that your pet can enjoy sleeping and eating designer style.

As with humans, before getting all dressed up in their new chic clothes for a day at the park, your dog might like a good grooming to make him or her look their best. Why no try grooming products that will deliver professional results, making your dogs coat shiny and velvety soft? Some products are designed to condition dry coats, ward off summer flea and mosquito attacks, and there are even detangling shampoos and leave in shine treatments that will smooth away those troublesome stray strands, leaving beautifully soft fur.

When it comes to pampering your dog, there really is no limit to style, design, or product for your fuzzy buddy. After all, your dog deserves the same amount of love and attention they show you every single day.

About the Author

Hot Dogs Cool Cats Designer Petware offers designer dog collars, dog shampoo, dog leads and much more.

Your Chubby Pet May be Cute, But Not Healthy

Not unlike ourselves, it's easy to over feed our pets. Between their regular feedings of that healthy dog food, they also get those in-between-meal doggie treats. And, let's not forget the "people food" snuck under the table that the kids don't want. And, anything dropped on the floor is fair game for our little furry friend. Before we know it he's no longer going for a walk, he's going for a waddle.

Many people don't realize it, but obesity in animals causes many of the same conditions as obesity in humans. Diabetes, for example. Obesity causes an increase in insulin because of increased blood glucose levels. As the need for insulin becomes higher than what the body is able to produce, diabetes mellitus will result. Just as with humans, if the condition goes on long term, the pet's pancreas will stop producing insulin completely. A regular regime of an herbal pancreas formula will help prevent and cure pancreas disease in your dog.

Another common illness that strikes our pets, as well as ourselves, is arthritis. Obesity doesn't necessarily cause arthritis, but it most certainly is a complication of our joints being required to handle an excess amount of weight. Our pet's joints react the same way under the stress and strain of a heavy body. Their joints being damaged can also lead to ligament damage. The animal's bones, ligaments, joints and muscles are all severely impacted when he's is allowed to become obese and sedentary. Start your pet on a program of a natural formula which will provide calcium with oatstraw, devil's claw, horsetail, safflower, and other pure ingredients to aid in joint and bone health.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is also common in overweight dogs. The heart has to pump extra hard to get the blood to all that extra body tissue. If the heart continues to be overworked, the dog could go into congestive heart failure. This can be a very serious condition for a dog. The pet's immune system needs boosting just like their master's. Since they live in this world of polluted air and other toxic environments, protect them with an immune boosting formula of dogwood, echinacea, goldenseal, astragalus, pau d'arco, cloves, cat's claw, yew tips and korean red gingseng.

And not to be forgotten is the respiratory system. Just as it's difficult for the overweight person to climb that flight of stairs, so is it for the overweight family dog. Because there's extra fat produced in the chest area, the lungs can't expand as much as they should. This causes shortness of breath and, eventually, could lead to serious respiratory disease, just as it could for humans. For temporary respiratory ailments, rely on an all-natural herbal formula that will help dissolve mucus and relieve chest congestion.

The obvious consequences for an overweight pet is that he or she is not going to have a quality of life that they could have if they weren't carrying around those excess pounds. If they're able to enjoy any activity, it won't be as much as they could without the extra weight. Don't they deserve a chance to live a full, rich life; running, jumping, and playing in the park or the ocean? Think about it the next time you're tempted to give in to that face begging for that greasy cheeseburger that you're eating. Instead, get him on a program of an herbal multivitamin and mineral complex, give him a healthy dog food and treats, and take him for a walk in the park.

About the Author

Suzanne VanDeGrift has developed this article on behalf of Dherbs.com   Dherbs offers a specially formulated herbal pet formulas<a>.

 

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tips for Safe Pet Air Travel

Before you begin your trip, be sure that your pet is "up" for the journey. This means a visit to the vet for a medical checkup and to ensure that your pet is up-to-date with all necessary vaccinations. Be sure to tell your vet about your plans to travel by air. Your vet can recommend to you whether your pet is suitable for this method of travel. Once you've got the green light, here are some tips that will help make you and your pet's air travel happy and safe.

During your pre-trip vet appointment, ask your vet to issue a health certificate for your pet. This typically needs to be dated within ten days of departure. Carry this with you while traveling with your pet, as it may be required at different points throughout your travel. Consider booking a non-peak flight, which typically means less passengers and more cabin room. This will help ease potential stress for your pet.  Have everything packed early and leave early to allow plenty of time to deal with normal air travel as well as your pet's needs. Keep yourself calm before the flight as pets sense your stress and anxiety.  Select the right carrier. Carriers are available in both hard-sided and soft-sided. Soft-sided carriers are more suitable for carry-on and tend to fit better under the seat. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations as far as the appropriate size carrier for your pet. The proper size carrier should allow your pet to be able to lie down comfortably, stand up and turn around. Ensure for proper ventilation and comfort.  Give your pet at least a month before your flight to become familiar with the travel carrier. This will minimize his or her stress during travel.  Include a favorite toy or item with your scent in the carrier with your pet for comfort.  Affix a travel label to the carrier with your name, the name of your final destination or contact person, home and final destination addresses, as well as your home, cell, and final destination phone numbers.  Fit your pet with a collar that can't get caught in carrier doors.  Make sure that your pet's nails have been clipped to protect against their hooking in the carrier's door, holes, and other crevices.  Do not feed your pet for four to six hours prior to air travel. Small amounts of water can be given before the trip. If possible, secure a collapsible travel bowl to the inside of the carrier and place a few ice cubes in it.  Use direct flights. Changing planes with your pet may cause undue stress on your pet, particularly if layover time is not adequate for a pet walk and bathroom break.  When you board the plane, notify a flight attendant that your pet is traveling with you as special precautions may be taken.  Attach two pieces of identification to your pet's collar, a permanent ID tag and a temporary ID tag. The permanent ID tag should include your name, home address, and home & cell phone numbers. The temporary ID tag should include the name of your final destination or contact person name, your name, address and phone number of your final destination, as well as your cell phone number.  Bring along a current photo of your pet. This will make it easier for others to help you find your pet should your pet get separated from you.  Do not give your pet tranquilizers unless your veterinarian prescribes them. Make sure your veterinarian understands that the prescription is for air travel.  Carry a leash with you so that you may walk your pet before check-in and after arrival. Do not place the leash inside the carrier or attach it to the outside of the kennel.  When you arrive at your destination, open the carrier as soon as you are in a safe place and examine your pet. If anything seems wrong, take your pet to a veterinarian immediately.

 

About the Author

 

TRIPSwithPETS.com is the premier online guide for pet travelers and their people - offering resources to ensure pets are welcome, happy, and safe when traveling. Visit http://www.tripswithpets.com , to find a directory of pet friendly accommodations across the U.S., pet recreational activities, airline pet policies, pet sitters, pet travel supplies, along with other pet travel resources.

 

The Chihuahua is a perfect pet for you

You have decided that a small dog is your best choice.

 

It's important to keep in mind, however, that although he's tiny in size, the Chihuahua is not a wimpy dog. He's tough, can be aggressive and will not back down in most situations. Due to his size, he's also extremely fragile so this breed is not recommended for households with toddlers. The Chihuahua can easily suffer broken bones if he's stepped on or dropped. Although he's extremely playful, the Chi is not sturdy enough for rough and tumble activity with his owner. If you want a dog to wrestle with, you'll want to choose one with a sturdier build. The Chi is also a good choice for the elderly or handicapped as his size makes him easy to walk and pick up. The Chi is an excellent pet for apartments with size restrictions for pets.

 

You enjoy cuddling and don't mind when your pet invades your space.

 

The Chihuahua is a very affectionate pet and is considered a lap dog. He loves attention and if you're not giving it to him, he will simply insert himself into whatever activity is keeping you from him. If you're the type of person who is easily irritated by a pet that is often underfoot, you may want to reconsider your choice. If companionship is one of the top reasons you've decided to get a pet, however, the Chi is perfect. He will prefer your presence to that of other animals and is quite social. Although the Chi may originally be standoffish to guests, he usually makes friends quickly and is willing to share his affection with anyone he feels will return it. The tiny Chi does have a jealous streak and without the opportunity to socialize with others may become overly protective of his owner.

 

You're looking for a dog that requires a minimal amount of grooming.

 

Although a Chihuahua will shed year-round, basic grooming needs are fairly simple. While a long-coat will require a little more care, both varieties are considered “wash and wear†pets. In other words, give him a bath, clean his eyes and ears, trim his nails and he's good to go. Due to his small size, the Chihuahua will fit in your sink making bathing a breeze.

 

You're considering more than one dog.

 

As we mentioned earlier, the Chihuahua is a very social animal and gets along well with people as well as other dogs. Although the best combination is another Chi, the breed has coexisted with other large and small dogs with very few problems. In most cases, two female dogs will be better partners than two males or a male and a female. Having both pets spayed or neutered is a must. If you're adding a Chihuahua to a household that currently has a pet, he may not be the best choice if you also have a very large dog. Larger breeds can accidentally harm the Chi if they play too rough.

 

Space is a problem but you'd like a dog that will offer some protection.

 

Although the Chi's small size prohibits him from being much help in the case of an attack, his bark alone is often enough to warn off any potential intruders. The Chihuahua has an excellent sense of hearing and will quickly alert you to potential problems long before you'd identify them yourself. The Chi's bark is loud and shrill, however, they are easily trained to be quiet on command. In most cases, once the Chihuahua knows that he has alerted his owner to potential danger, he'll immediately quiet down. Most Chi owners have reported that the dog has an uncanny ability to actually determine the difference between a squirrel on the patio and real danger, and rarely barks needlessly.

 

You don't have the desire or the time to exercise a dog.

 

Again because of his size, the Chihuahua usually gets enough exercise simply romping around your home. Although he enjoys an occasional walk, if he doesn't get it - his health will not suffer. The Chi can keep up with his owner for short periods of time but is not a breed suited to be a running or jogging partner. In most cases, he'll tire before you will and you'll often see Chi owners carrying them back home.

 

You enjoy traveling and would like your pet to be a traveling companion.

 

The Chihuahua loves to ride in the car and is easily transported in a dog or even a cat carrier. Although the Chi adjusts fairly well to changes in the climate, it will be your responsibility to make sure that he stays warm when traveling. A coat is a necessity if he's going to be outside in cool or cold weather for any length of time.

 

You're willing to be patient when housebreaking your pet.

 

Although the Chihuahua is considered to be an extremely intelligent and highly trainable breed, because of the small size of his bladder, housebreaking him can present a challenge. When he's a puppy, it's important that someone will be available to take him outside on a regular basis. Once trained, however, the Chi rarely has accidents. Crate training is usually the best option if you can't take him along with you during the day.

 

About the Author

 

Gregg Dickson, co-founder of The Chihuahua Fanatics Club at www.chihuahuafanatics.com  is an avid Chihuahua owner, trainer and care-taker. He has developed chihuahuafantics.com as an an online community; a place where people who care for Chihuahuas are joining together to share insights, information and Chihuahua pet care tips.

 

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Help Your Jack Russell Terrier Cope With Separation Anxiety

Despite its strong and exuberant personality, a Jack Russell Terrier may as well suffer from separation anxiety just like other dogs. Remember the first time you took home your new puppy? You might have noticed him being restless and having sleepless nights. Some people think that this behavior is just normal to puppies, being young and new to the world.

But, have you ever heard of separation anxiety in dogs? Yes, dogs can suffer from separation anxiety just like humans. Separation anxiety is a condition wherein a dog becomes stressed because he is being left alone on his own. As social animal, a dog always wants to be the center of his owner's attention and leaving him behind will make him feel bad. Once a dog is having his separation anxiety attack, he usually paces, whines, chews or scratches door and window sills, commits accidents in housebreaking, barks without obvious reason and just gets stressed out. Other signs of separation anxiety include diarrhea, vomiting and constipation. These signs are often seen when the owner is not around or when he is being neglected or kept away from the owner.

Separation anxiety may not pose life-threatening diseases to your Jack Russell Terrier but this should be addressed immediately so as not to prolong the anxiety feeling reducing tension. There are many techniques that work best in addressing this anxiety problem. Doing physical activities is one good way. At least once a day, take your dog for a fast walk on a leash for fifteen to thirty minutes long. Ten minutes of obedience training each day will do as well. This will keep your Jack Russell Terrier's energetic body working. Ignoring the dog for fifteen to twenty minutes before leaving and twenty minutes upon your return helps reduce the tension your dog feels when you are gone even for a week. Reduce your dog's dependent on you by ignoring him for at least three weeks. Ignoring your dog means you will not allow your dog to follow you around and you are not even supposed to look, talk and touch your dog.

Ignoring your dog and trying to keep him away from you can be a difficult situation for you and your dog. The sight of him longing and begging for your attention is heartbreaking! But it's just temporary... You don't have to feel guilty for neglecting him. Just keep in mind that you are doing these things not because you do not want him around but because you just want him to feel happy when you are gone. You just want him to do his usual activities instead of feeling miserable and lonely.

Richard Cussons is not just a writer but also a great lover of dogs. Discover more about Jack Russell Terrier at this site dedicated to Jack Russell dog.

Disc Dogs!

If you are looking to adopt or buy a disc dog, then you've come to the right place. Many breeds of dogs for sale or adoption make good disc dogs, but in general you are probably going to be looking for a mixed breed. Border Collies, Blue Heelers and Australian Shepards or mixes thereof, are historically the best breeds for disc training. Keep in mind that some of the best in the world have also been German Shepards and Labradors among others, so don't limit yourself to a certain breed or mix. Do your research and determine what disc dog might be best for you as a pet as well as a competitor.

Most people think that when they are ready to select a good disc dog that they should get a puppy and train it from eight weeks old. This isn't necessarily true. You should visit with the dogs for sale or adoption that you are considering and see which ones are the most interested in the disc. Some puppies may not be interested at all, but grow up to be. Some may loose their interest as they get older. Selecting an older dog that is interested could be a safer way to go if you're determined to train and have your dog compete.

Herding dogs instinctively want to herd things towards their owners. This can include discs and balls, making a chase, catch and return behavior fairly easy to teach. When considering a herding dog for a pet, keep in mind that their instincts are very strong. They have a need to work and run. Herding is a predatory behavior, modified by training. Border collies herd by getting in front of animals and staring them down. Blue Heelers will nip at the heels of the animals that it's herding. If you plan to have a herding dog around children, then it is very important to train the dog not to chase children. Constant contact and exposure to children is recommended. They can be very gentle and compassionate to children and adults if they are used to being around them. If they're not, then they are likely to try and herd them, nipping at their heels or staring them down not allowing them to pass. When you adopt or buy a herding dog, be responsible for it's training around people. Make sure that you have the time and space to keep these active dogs entertained.

Make sure that the dog you adopt or buy has the personality to be a good disc dog. Obedience training is important from the beginning. If you plan to train your dog to compete, then choose one with an even temperament so that being off leash around other dogs and humans is safe. Make sure that the dog you are choosing is healthy enough to go through the rigorous training that is required to get a dog ready for competition. Hips should be in very good shape before attempting high jumps and landings, so have your dog examined by a vet before beginning. If you choose a puppy, keep in mind that it could be about a year before they are ready for disc dog competition training. Once you have adopted or bought your dog, remember that the number one rule is to have fun together.

About the Author: Dean Burton is the owner of MyDreamPuppy.com, a leading provider of dogs for sale. For more information, please visit www.MyDreamPuppy.com.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Care Is Important In Feeding Your Beagle Dog

Some dog owners have unknowingly developed bad habits when it comes to feeding their Beagle dogs. What are these bad habits? Feeding leftovers to your dog is not a good idea because these foods, despite used by humans for consumption, may pose threat to your dear Beagle dog. Even feeding them with well known brands may not guarantee their safety.

Most dog owners are using commercial dog foods to fill their dog's hungry little stomach. These dog foods guarantee convenience since they are readily available in the market. There are various brands to choose from, ranging from ordinary to most expensive and well known brands. But some dog owners fail to realize that these pet foods can cause food poisoning in their Beagle dog due to accidental contamination. Some foods do not contain the necessary ingredients essential for the dog's growth and some even contain toxins that are harmful to dogs.

Veterinarians advise dog owners to be more critical in choosing pet foods. Read dog food labels carefully to find out if that product contains all the nutrients your dog needs and if it contains harmful substances. Compare product labels to give you the idea of what pet food you are gong to choose for your dog. Look for products containing all natural ingredients. Check for fillers, meat by-products, chemicals and preservatives. These ingredients are usually added to commercial dog foods to increase production and the manufacturer's profit. Checking the contents is not the only thing to consider. Check also the amount of each ingredient in that certain product.

Finally, when you have decided and purchased the best food for your dog, the next issue to be tackled is how much to feed your dog. You just can't give a bag of pet food in just one meal. Nutritional requirement varies according to your dog's age, size, breed, activity and health condition. Remember that a dog with a certain condition such as suffering from diseases needs different nutritional value compared to dogs with normal condition. Foods for obese dogs must be regulated but this doesn't mean that the amount of food must be cut down. Dog owners should consult their veterinarians for the proper amount and type of food to give their obese dogs.

Dog owners should keep an eye for signs of food poisoning. Signs to watch out are lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, orange-colored urine and jaundice indications, such as yellowing eyes and gums. In some cases where a dog is severely affected by food poison, he can produce blood-tinged vomit or blackened stools.

Dogs are considered man's best friend. Surely, you do not want your best friend to get less than he deserve. Their food is as important as human food. They do not have the ability to directly tell their owners that they are feeling something wrong and before you realize, it’s already too late. It's always good to pay important details to these things, after all there's nothing wrong it. The least you can get is a guarantee that your dog is safe and is not close to food poisoning or other diseases.

About the Author

Richard Cussons writes articles of various topics. For more information, see Beagle and learn more about Beagle dog here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pet Projects

Even though we like to think of our pets as important and treasured members of our families, we sometimes forget about ways we can include them in our home design and decorating plans.

Thanks to new products and technologies, it has never been easier to incorporate the needs of our four-legged (or in some cases, two-legged and gilled) friends into our home designs.

Fabrics: In addition to fun and whimsical pet-inspired patterns, the growing popularity of outdoor living spaces has led to the development of new moisture-resistant and antimicrobial fabrics that are indistinguishable from traditional indoor fabrics. Whether you choose them to upholster your pieces or use them just as slipcovers, these fabrics are ideal for pet owners who like to share their favorite sofas and chairs with their furry friends. Check out Crypton Super Fabrics to see new fabrics created by photographer William Wegman and architect Michael Graves that appeal to pet-loving families. Perennials Fabrics carries an extensive line of products ranging from contemporary to traditional patterns and has recently teamed up with textile designers Galbraith & Paul® to create an exciting new line of durable and beautiful products.

Flooring Surfaces: If you have a family member (or members) who suffer from allergies and you don't enjoy heavy cleaning on a frequent basis, you should avoid deep pile carpets such as shag rugs. Hard surfaces enable you to control allergens better, but in the past many pet owners shied away from hardwood floors because of concerns about claw and scratch marks. Thanks to a new water-based, low VOC polymer floor finish called "Traffic" from Bona , pet owners can put those fears to rest and once again enjoy beautiful and easy-to-clean hardwood floors.

Air Quality and Odor Control: Pet owners and non-pet owners alike should consider room or whole- house air purification systems that are attached to the air conditioning unit. These filtering systems, along with a good vacuum with a HEPA filter, can help remove allergens and irritants from your home (and not just pet irritants) thus making the air healthier for everyone. To help control pet odors, make sure you clean up any messes on carpets and fabrics as soon as they occur and use good quality kitty litters with maximum odor absorption capabilities. Yesterday's News® by Purina is made from recycled newspaper and is a good choice. Avoid scented cat litter - the chemicals used can irritate both you and your pet.

Space Planning - Indoors and Out: If you own a large dog or a big bird, you should consider this animal's space needs just as you would consider the space needs of another member of your family. Make sure your most-used living spaces (kitchen, family room, bedrooms) can accommodate your large animal. And regardless of whether your pets are big or small, find ways to integrate your animals' needs into your daily life by ensuring that pet beds, cages, fish tanks and crawling trees blend with the flow and style of your home. Depending on your style, you might find something appealing at postmodernpets.com or barkdeco.com. Try the Lotus Cat Tree or the wicker litter box from dogbedworks.com or petsnap.com

If your animal enjoys the great outdoors, you may want to consider a pet door for easy access in and out. Make sure your yard offers a cool, shady spot for those occasional (and much needed) cat, rabbit and dog naps and keep it enclosed to keep your special family members safe from traffic and other hazards, including wildlife that may prey on them. An outdoor bird aviary is perfect for milder climates and adds a touch of elegance to your garden.

A Room with a View: Lucky for us humans, many of our pets' special homes serve as more than just a place for them to hang their hats, so to speak, and can actually accentuate the aesthetics of our homes. The light, color and movement of a beautiful glass tank filled with azure water can reflect surrounding room light and highlight the bright colors of the exotic tropical fish that zip and zag about inside it. The rustic charm of an antique rabbit hutch might be the perfect anchor for a terrace or porch corner. A whimsical bird cage hanging gracefully from the ceiling can add vertical visual interest to a room. As evidenced by the items available through some of the websites listed above, the choices for stylish pet homes have exploded in recent years, so you no longer have to limit your choices to cheap plastic tubes in gaudy colors but can actually choose pet homes that enhance your existing decor.

So as you make plans to redesign or redecorate your home, remember all the warmth and comfort your pets bring to your life and make a commitment to find ways to make them warm and comfortable, too.

About the Author

Kaja Gam offers interior design in New York. Recently featured on HGTV.com, Kaja is famous for designing rooms that are comfortable, functional and make a distinct statement about your personality. Sign up for Kaja's free e-zine today at http://www.kajagamdesign.com.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Golden Retriever - The Favourite Choice Of Dog For Families

by Stan Ward

The favoured choice of many people who wish to own a dog is a Golden Retriever. They are a proud, obedient dog, but their main trait is as excellent pets, especially where children are concerned, which makes them a favourite choice for families. You will not end up disappointed if you resolve to own a Golden Retriever regardless of what your intention was for making that decision.

Golden Retrievers enjoy the company of people and so make loyal friends, are calm, well mannered, easy to train and extremely affectionate due to their intent to please.

They have many positive traits including loyalty, affection and ideal children's pets, but they also have a loud bark whenever they are disturbed by abnormal situations making them excellent watchdogs.

Golden Retrievers shed their hair constantly right through the year and more in the spring, so regular brushing is essential. The quality and condition of the coat is important in assessing the health of a golden retriever puppy. Daily brushing with a bristle brush is essential and special attention should be given to the dense undercoat

Getting wet is a favourite pursuit of Golden Retrievers, similar to Labradors, as they love the water and take every opportunity to get sodden. In the beginning this will be a novel source of amusement. But when they constantly finish up either wet or muddy, it could eventually cause frustration.

Like most breeds of dog once you own a Golden Retriever you have certain obligations to tend to his welfare. A most important requirement is his emotional well being that comes from being with his owner and family and being treated as an essential part of the family group. Neglecting the fact that he requires regular active exercise could lead to problems with his behaviour.

Leaving a Golden Retriever on his own for long periods of time is not ideal and this should be considered when making an initial choice of dog. Surroundings are important and a family atmosphere is ideal, especially if the family includes children who will give him all the attention he needs.

It is easier to school a Golden Retriever puppy than a full-grown dog, which is something to take into consideration when it's time to acquire your new pet. It can be a satisfying past time although frustration will surface at times and it will take up a lot of your spare time initially. An older dog would be a better option than a puppy if spare time is not readily available. A more suitable alternative would be a Golden Retriever that is already house broken.

The positive characteristics of Golden Retrievers, like companionship and loyalty, make them a superb option. They will want to be included in all activities that you or your family will be involved in. They love being outdoors and doing things with the family, and the more they are included the more they will become loyal and affectionate.

About the Author

More information can be gathered about Golden Retrievers by visiting Golden-Retriever-Facts.com a popular website with tips and advice on how to care for your family pet.

Looking For A Quality Toy Poodle Breeder

by Breeds of Dogs

The Poodle breed is one of the most popular breeds of dogs around. This loyal, fun and affectionate dog is one that fits right into many families. The Poodle breed can be found in three sizes, the Toy Poodle, the Miniature and the Standard Poodle.

The Toy Poodle is also called a Tea Cup Poodle due to their small size. They are around 5 pounds and about 10 inches in height. These tiny dogs do better with older children, but are extremely intelligent and very loving. They enjoy being with their families and are loyal.

This well loved breed is so popular that there are many breeders for this type of dog. It is important to find a breeder that incorporates good breeding techniques and a caring environment into their puppies.

What To Look For

A good Toy Poodle breeder can make all the difference in the type of puppy that you get. When first looking for a Toy Poodle breeder, ask your veterinarian. Since dogs need to be taken to the veterinarian to remain healthy, many have relationships with their vets and this can be a possible way to find a good quality Toy Poodle breeder.

The American Kennel Club may be another source for a Toy Poodle breeder. Many that show their dogs also breed them, and you may be able to get in contact with a good Toy Poodle breeder through this club.

If looking through the paper for a Toy Poodle breeder make sure to ask questions of the breeder. Find out if you can see both parents. If this isn't possible, as many reputable breeders don't own both the parents, find out if you can contact the other owner about their dog.

Find out if the pups have been raised in the home. Puppies that have had a lot of contact with humans from a young age are usually better socialized animals and make for a better pet.

Find out if the sire and dam have had any genetic testing and what the results were. A good Toy Poodle breeder should have information about the sire and dam and all of their medical histories.

Set an appointment to come and visit the puppies. It is a good opportunity to see where the puppy lives and the environment it is in. You can also spend time watching the mother with her pups and the interaction of the Toy Poodle breeder with the mother and babies.

There are many high quality Toy Poodle breeders available. Make the time commitment to make sure that the puppy you select has been breed in a good environment.
 
About the Author

To read more about Dog Breeds and Toy Poodles, head over to http://www.learninghow.com.au and find all the educational resources you need.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How To Care For A Hamster

When it comes to learning how to care for a hamster, your goal should be to remember that your furry friend must be kept warm, dry, and entertained. A hamster's needs are directly related to the life it would be living were it a wild animal. Hamsters are desert creatures, populating dry, rocky areas in places like Syria, Mongolia, and Pakistan. This is why it's essential that you meet your hamster's need for dry, warm housing. Avoid keeping your hamster in an aquarium, as the glass enclosure will promote the locking-in of moisture. Instead, seek out a cage made especially for hamsters-either a standard wire enclosure or one of the popular "habitrail" type cages. A habitrail cage, with all of its tubes, turrets, and tunnels will also help ensure that your hamster's need for entertainment is met.

Diet is another essential element in knowing how to care for a hamster. Fresh water should be made available at all times via a specially made drinking bottle. Never put your hamster's water in a dish, as the dish will quickly be tipped or filled with debris, and then you will have a sad, wet hamster. As for food, there are a multitude of pre-packaged hamster foods on the market, and it's always a good idea to make those foods the bulk of your hamster's diet. However, hamsters, like people, appreciate a little variety at dinnertime, so an offering of apple pieces, carrot slices, or crackers is always welcome. Greens can also be integrated into your hamster's diet, but avoid overfeeding these vegetables to your hamster as they will contract an illness called "wet tail," which is fatal if left untreated. Keep in mind also that hamsters are hoarders. It is nearly impossible to overfeed them, as they will most likely take much of their food with them into their nest, so remove uneaten foods that might spoil if your hamster decides to save them for later!

Other items that should be on your hamster care checklist include plenty of bedding (try cedar or pine shavings), adequate nesting material (facial tissues work great), and the all-important exercise wheel. Hamsters are nocturnal by nature, so be sure to get a wheel that won't make a ruckus and keep you awake as your pet makes its nightly rounds. Always be sure your hamster's wheel is unobstructed and can turn freely. The exercise a wheel provides is necessary to prevent your hamster from developing a condition called "torpidity." When a hamster is torpid, it hasn't had the activity it needs to maintain proper mental health. This lack of exercise will cause the hamster to snap, and possibly attack you when you reach in to pet it. Also be sure to respect your hamster's nocturnal habits. Avoid waking your hamster during the daylight hours as much as possible, as this could result in a nasty bite, or in the very least, a grumpy, confused pet.

Now that you're prepared, it's time to go pick out your new friend. Make sure you choose a clean, reputable pet store from which to buy your hamster. Look carefully to ensure that none of the animals seem sick, and make sure that the pet store employees are equipped to answer any questions you may have. After bringing your hamster home, allow it a day or so to adjust to its new surroundings before attempting to handle it. This may seem like a lot to remember, but know that the time you devote to learning how to care for a hamster is time well spent! Hamsters are affectionate, fascinating, and of course, adorable pets who will provide you with several years of enjoyment and companionship in exchange for your expert, loving care.

About The Author: Barry S. Mcgee is a pet enthusiast. His site at: http://www.squidoo.com/petcareonline provides advice and information on all aspects of pet care for all types of pets including dogs, cats, ferrets and others and makes it easier for pet owners to choose the best solution for their companion's care.

For answers to all your pet care questions, please visit: http://www.squidoo.com/petcareonline

Monday, January 14, 2008

Feline Arthritis - Nothing to Purr About

Cats are usually very stoic creatures but when it comes to feline arthritis, even the toughest tabby of them all will eventually give in and complain. Feline arthritis is a progressive, non-infectious disease characterized by joint swelling and pain. It can appear at any age but it usually affects middle-aged or geriatric cats.

What causes feline arthritis?

Certain factors contribute to the development of feline arthritis. These may include trauma, such as those caused by accidents or injuries to the joints, congenital disorders and developmental disorders. A commonly overlooked factor that usually leads to feline arthritis is obesity, which usually causes excessive weight to bear down on joints and cause too much pressure.

There are several types of cat arthritis - these include:

Progressive polyarthritis. This is characterized by arthritis affecting multiple joints and often worsens with age. Progressive polyarthritis usually affects the hock, wrist and feet. It can be severely painful, especially once the cartilage has eroded and bones are exposed.

Traumatic arthritis. This type is caused by injury to the joint from accidents, fights or even a fall. When left unchecked, the trauma can degenerate the joint and cause swelling and bone damage.

Osteoarthritis. Also referred to as degenerative arthritis, this is a chronic disease that often comes with age, characterized by the slow wear and tear of a joint. This usually occurs at the shoulder and elbow.

What are the symptoms?

When your cat shows symptoms of feline arthritis, it's usually when the disease has already progressed. These are some of the most common symptoms associated with feline arthritis:

Difficulty in moving or obvious expression of pain when moving.

Reluctance to engage in the usual physical activities.

Altered gait or limping.

Stiffness, difficulty in rising from a resting position.

Irritability, nervousness, aggression or depression.

Getting your cat diagnosed

Feline arthritis isn't arthritis until it's confirmed. If your cat shows signs of limping or inflammation, don't assume it is arthritis immediately and try to comfort your cat by giving him painkillers. Feline arthritis is best left for a veterinarian to diagnose and whatever medications you might need to administer should have the vet's approval.

During your visit to the vet, your cat will undergo a series of check ups in order to rule out any other diseases that may contribute to similar symptoms. It is also important that the vet examines your cat's medical history to find out if the problem is related to past injuries and diseases.

To check for the progress of the disease, an x-ray may be used which will show any deformed or damaged joints. An x-ray will often tell the veterinarian whether your cat needs to undergo surgery or will perform well with certain medications. Other forms of diagnosis may also be used by your veterinarian, including ultrasound, radiographs and blood tests.

Treatment for feline arthritis

A proper diagnosis from the veterinarian is important in order to determine the type and progress of the disease. This will help the vet prescribe the proper medication and therapies for your cat based on his age, the severity of his condition and medical history. The approach of treatment for feline arthritis is two-fold: one to treat the pain and inflammation and the other is to improve your cat's mobility.

If pain and swelling are present, medications may be prescribed, which can offer temporary relief. Common medications used include painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs must be prescribed by your veterinarian and should not be administered without the doctor's advice. Some drugs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and certain NSAIDs have adverse side effects that may not be well tolerated by cats.

Some supplements, such as chondroitin and glucosamine, are sometimes recommended to help in the healing of damaged joints. Glucosamine is one of the components that make up the cartilage while chondroitin inhibits damaging enzymes as it encourages cartilage formation. If the disease has progressed and joint malformation is already present, corrective and reconstructive surgery may be performed. Supplementing medication

Your cat may have to deal with feline arthritis for the rest of his life, so it's important that he is provided a comfortable place to rest and sleep. A heating pad will greatly increase your cat's comfort although providing a warm place to sleep will usually suffice. Since it often requires extra effort for your cat to move, make sure he has easy access to his bed, food and water bowls. It may also be necessary to help your cat lose weight, as some forms of arthritis are caused and made worse by excess weight.

Flor Serquina is a successful Webmaster and publisher of Arthritis-Education.com. She provides more information on topics such as feline arthritis, other forms of cat arthritis and canine rheumatoid arthritis that you can research on her website even while lounging in your living room.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fascinating Syrian Hamster Facts

By Adam King

Although there are several types of hamsters occurring in the wild, only five are commonly kept as household pets. And though there are several differences between the breeds that make them each unique, there are traits common to all hamsters, regardless of type. Chief among these traits is lifespan – the average hamster has a lifespan of roughly 1000 days, or just a little under three years, with male hamsters living on average just a bit longer than females.

All hamsters have cheek pouches which they use to carry food, or in cases of danger, their young. Also common among all hamsters is the presence of scent glands, although the location of these glands differs depending on the type of hamster.

All hamsters reach breeding age in roughly 6-8 weeks, with a very short pregnancy lasting only 15 days. The size of the litter averages about 6-8 pups. As you may already know, hamsters are very susceptible to stress, with new mothers being particularly so. If this occurs it's not unusual for the new mother to eat her newborn pups, so it's important to keep stress to an absolute minimum for new hamster mothers.

One of the most common pet hamster breeds, the Syrian hamster is also commonly known as the Teddy Bear hamster, Fancy hamster, and the Golden hamster, among others. Syrian hamsters grow to a full size of about 7 inches in length, with the females usually a bit longer than the males.

If you buy a Syrian from the pet store you may see several young Syrian hamsters kept in the same cage – this is very misleading as Syrian hamsters are extremely territorial and will fight to the death with any other hamster they are caged with. The only reason the Syrian hamsters you see in pet stores aren't fighting when you buy them is that they don't develop their territorial nature until about age 6 weeks. After that the rule is one Syrian hamster per cage!

Here's a story from Tammy Crum, a well-respected hamster breeder:

"A previous partner of mine used a shelving system to store the hamster, with Syrians on top. They were in a fish tank and somehow got out landed in a tank with Roborovskis. Needless to say that by the time he discovered the missing culprit all the Robs were dead."

Given their large size, Syrian hamsters are more easily held for longer periods of time than dwarf hamsters as they tend not to tire as easily. Another interesting fact about Syrian hamsters is that, even though they have the nickname Golden hamster, they come in over 40 different color types. This is achieved through today's advanced breeding techniques, allowing for a range of color and fur length.

Most Syrian hamsters, like all other hamster breeds, do not require any grooming on your part. The only exception to this is the Long Haired Syrian hamster. In this case a simple toothbrush can be used to remove any bedding material that may be caught up in his fur.

Visit the Hamster-Zone website for even more detailed information on hamster care, hamster diet, hamster cages, and much, much more. Learn important tips on how to keep your hamster healthy and happy, including proper diet, care, and cage enrichment. Remember, a happy hamster is a healthy hamster!

Also get your FREE handy hamster illness chart when you sign up for the Hamster-Zone newsletter.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Easily Disposable Cat Litter

By Darren Davis

For those of us who are both cat lovers and Mother Earth lovers, the idea of easily disposable cat litter is very appealing; as long as easily disposable means that it won't end up in a landfill! Luckily, there are some excellent kitty litters out there that can be flushed or even composted because they are completely biodegradable - talk about easily disposable cat litter!

It's estimated that over 2 million tons of non-biodegradable clay litter ends up in landfills every year! Biodegradable litter is great in many ways - it's made without chemicals and is fragrance free, so it is not harmful to your cat(s) and because it's made from a renewable resource, it's great for the environment. Clay litter is not made from renewable resource, but comes from mined clay.

Many cat owners like the biodegradable litters because once the cat poop has been scooped out and flushed the litter itself can be composted (not for your vegetable garden, though). Many of these litters are clumping for scooping ease and some can be flushed. If you won't be flushing them, or composting them, because they are biodegradable, you can still dispose of them in the back forty and they will simply become part of the soil.

Cat lovers seem to like the following brands of easily disposal cat litter: Swheat Scoop - A scoopable litter made from naturally processed wheat. It can be licked or digested without serious problems, and it's easy on paws. It is safe for septic systems, so it can be flushed. It is compostable. Feline Pine - All natural, made from (you guessed it) pine shavings that have been compressed into little pellets. It is clumping for easy scooping, compostable and flushable. CareFresh - this isn't really cat litter, it's animal bedding (small pets), but it's made from reclaimed wood pulp waste and contains no chemicals, etc. Very soft and good for when kitty has delicate toes after declawing. It's also good for pets with allergies.

All of the above are easily disposal cat litters that are healthy for your kitty and good for the environment as well. If you want to make sure that your cat is getting the healthiest litter for her and that you are getting easily disposable cat litter for your own convenience, you may want to give some of these a try.

Find out where to order Free Cat Litter

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cat Litter Training - Teaching Your Kitten To Use His Box

By Ned D'Agostino

If you have just gotten a new kitten, chances are it's already litter box trained. This is because cats who have been raised by mothers who use litter boxes themselves have already been taught to use a box by their mothers. If the mother is trained, then the kitty, too, is going to be trained to use a box. If not, though, the kitten will need to be taught cat litter training.

If your kitten was raised by a mother in the wild or is an orphan, chances are you're going to get a kitten that is not trained. Not to worry, however. By nature, cats are very clean creatures, and would prefer to have one special place to go to the bathroom. Therefore, even though your little guy (or girl) may "do his business" in indiscriminate locations throughout your house when you first get him, it's very easy to train a kitten how to use a box if he does not know how to do so already.

Remember that if the kitten is very tiny (less than six weeks old) and/or has been orphaned, then it may not have had a mother to show it how to use litter properly. It's very easy to show him how, though. First, get a box or container with low enough sides that even a very tiny kitten can climb in. One of the best containers to use is an old dishpan with one side cut out so that it's only a couple of inches high. This is low enough that even the tiniest of kittens can climb in easily. The box must be easy to get into for your kitten to be able to use it. Immediately after you've set up the pan, put just a small amount of litter (no more than half an inch or so) on the bottom and put your cat in. Instinctively, even tiny kittens will usually like to scratch around even if they don't exactly know what it's used for.

Now, the next time you feed your kitten, immediately after he eats, turn on him over on his back (often, you can even do this in the palm of your hand with a very tiny kitten). Cover your index finger with a warm wet rag or washcloth and massage his lower belly very gently with it using downward stroking motions, going toward his tail. What you're doing is stimulating him to eliminate as his mother would by licking him.

Immediately after you do this once or twice, turn him over on his feet and set him down in the box. He should feel the need to go to the bathroom almost immediately. He'll eliminate and once he does this, take his front paw and very gently scoop litter over his waste. Very soon, he'll get the idea and want to do this himself. As we said, cats are very clean creatures and instinctively bury their waste anyway, so he'll get the idea very quickly. You may need to help the little fellow clean himself off at first until he understands how to do that himself, too, and this, again, is done with a warm wet rag or washcloth.

For the next few days up to two weeks, every time you feed your kitten, take him to the litter box immediately and set him down in it. After the first two or three times, you should not need to stimulate him by stroking his belly. If he does not cover his own waste, remember to use his own paw to cover it up for him until he gets the idea. Training should be very easy as long as you're consistent.

Remember that your box always needs to be kept in the same location so that your kitten can always find it. Cats are very smart and remember things like that very easily, so if you keep it in the same location, he'll know to go to the box as soon as he knows he has to go to the bathroom. Very soon, you'll have a trained kitten with very little effort.

One final thing to remember is that because cats are so clean, their boxes must also be kept very clean. If your kitten has been trained and all of a sudden begins eliminating in various places in the house, it's likely that it's either a health problem or dirty litter box that's making him do so. If the box is dirty, make sure you clean it and keep it that way. If the accidents throughout the house continue, take your cat to the vet immediately, as this could signify some serious problems such as a urinary tract infection or constipation.

With a little effort from you, cat litter training should be very easy for your new kitten.

For more information on cat litter tray training visit http://www.catlitterboxesplus.com, a popular website devoted to cat lovers everywhere. You'll find tips on choosing the right kind of box for your cat, and information on the different types of litter available such as scoopable, flushable, silica and pine cat litter.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fascinating Syrian Hamster Facts

By Adam King

Although there are several types of hamsters occurring in the wild, only five are commonly kept as household pets. And though there are several differences between the breeds that make them each unique, there are traits common to all hamsters, regardless of type. Chief among these traits is lifespan – the average hamster has a lifespan of roughly 1000 days, or just a little under three years, with male hamsters living on average just a bit longer than females.

All hamsters have cheek pouches which they use to carry food, or in cases of danger, their young. Also common among all hamsters is the presence of scent glands, although the location of these glands differs depending on the type of hamster.

All hamsters reach breeding age in roughly 6-8 weeks, with a very short pregnancy lasting only 15 days. The size of the litter averages about 6-8 pups. As you may already know, hamsters are very susceptible to stress, with new mothers being particularly so. If this occurs it's not unusual for the new mother to eat her newborn pups, so it's important to keep stress to an absolute minimum for new hamster mothers.

One of the most common pet hamster breeds, the Syrian hamster is also commonly known as the Teddy Bear hamster, Fancy hamster, and the Golden hamster, among others. Syrian hamsters grow to a full size of about 7 inches in length, with the females usually a bit longer than the males.

If you buy a Syrian from the pet store you may see several young Syrian hamsters kept in the same cage – this is very misleading as Syrian hamsters are extremely territorial and will fight to the death with any other hamster they are caged with. The only reason the Syrian hamsters you see in pet stores aren't fighting when you buy them is that they don't develop their territorial nature until about age 6 weeks. After that the rule is one Syrian hamster per cage!

Here's a story from Tammy Crum, a well-respected hamster breeder:

"A previous partner of mine used a shelving system to store the hamster, with Syrians on top. They were in a fish tank and somehow got out landed in a tank with Roborovskis. Needless to say that by the time he discovered the missing culprit all the Robs were dead."

Given their large size, Syrian hamsters are more easily held for longer periods of time than dwarf hamsters as they tend not to tire as easily. Another interesting fact about Syrian hamsters is that, even though they have the nickname Golden hamster, they come in over 40 different color types. This is achieved through today's advanced breeding techniques, allowing for a range of color and fur length.

Most Syrian hamsters, like all other hamster breeds, do not require any grooming on your part. The only exception to this is the Long Haired Syrian hamster. In this case a simple toothbrush can be used to remove any bedding material that may be caught up in his fur.

Visit the Hamster-Zone website for even more detailed information on hamster care, hamster diet, hamster cages, and much, much more. Learn important tips on how to keep your hamster healthy and happy, including proper diet, care, and cage enrichment. Remember, a happy hamster is a healthy hamster!

Also get your FREE handy hamster illness chart when you sign up for the Hamster-Zone newsletter.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Proper Training For Aggressive Dogs Could Save Lives

By Maria Henrickson

Puppies acting like big dogs by fighting other dogs or trying to stop people touching their toys or food is an early warning that your dog might become more aggressive as he gets bigger. This kind of behavior shows that he is ready for training. If you do not train him and allowing this behavior, he might be dangerous to have around, especially if you have children in the house. You should find out about training for aggressive dogs before you even make the decision to get a dog.

Your dog needs to know you are the pack leader that you are to be respected and provide security. As leader of the pack, you need to defend your dog from any threats. If you cannot, your dog might sense that you are not a good leader and try to fight you to take over the pack leadership. Developing negative behaviors by trying to defend itself.

There are about 4.7 dog bite victims every year, 17% of whom need urgent medical attention. 10% to 20% of these cases die as a result. This could be due to improper dog training or the aggression was mistaken for playfulness. Dog training for aggressive dog behavior is extremely important and you can make the aggression even worse by ignoring it. You need to be patient and firm and realize how important the training is.

You might be living with a potentially dangerous dog in your home. Most dog bite cases are caused by the family's' own dog and a lot of sufferers are under 10 years old. Dog bites can happen suddenly and without provocation.

It is natural behavior for a dog to bite if it feels threatened. Aggression comes from the canine need for territory defense, fear and need for dominance. If a dog feels anxious about a situation and cannot flee, it will try to fight instead, using its teeth. After finding out what is causing the anxiety in your dog, using dog training for aggressive dogs might prevent physical attacks which could endanger your family and anyone else who comes into contact with the dog.

Dog training for aggressive dog behavior is all about learning to teach your dog to keep their instinct under control. Keep your dog away from situations which would increase their anxiety, such as pain or punishment. If you can understand your dog's psychology and requirements, you are halfway towards knowing all about training for aggressive dogs.

Here are some tips on how to treat aggressive dog behavior:

• Start early when you are training a potentially aggressive dog. If your puppy displays a negative behavior, such as biting, let him know by making a noise such as a clap. Distract the puppy by offering a toy. Reward your dog with food or playtime when they chew on the toy instead of family members.

• As well as training for aggressive dogs, you should consider neutering them. This might reduce the territorial instinct, which will greatly diminish the likelihood of attacks. Being aware of training for aggressive dogs means you lower the risk of them biting or killing other animals as well as protecting your family.

Being aware of training for aggressive dogs means you lower the risk of them biting or killing other animals as well as protecting your family. This means it is vital to begin dog training at the first sign of aggression.

Save a life by not ignoring dog behaviors, start training for aggressive dogs now