Monthly Archives: September 2010

Cats and String – a Dangerous Duo

By Julia Williams

We’ve all seen the classic image of a cute kitten playing with a ball of yarn. I’m not sure why, but most cats seem to really enjoy chasing string as its being dragged across the floor by their human playmate. Mine love a simple piece of string more than any fancy store-bought cat toy. Mickey is a couch-potato kitty, and if I can’t get him off his duff to play with the cat toys, all I have to do is dangle a string in front of his face and he’s off and running.

A piece of string or yarn is a cheap cat toy, and they can be great fun as well as good exercise for felines. However, what many owners don’t realize is that string can also be quite dangerous for their cat, and can even result in death. If the string is left out for the cat to find between playtime sessions, many kitties will start eating the string. Unfortunately, once they start swallowing the string, they can’t stop – they can only swallow more.

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Can Dogs and Cats Live Together in Peace?

By Linda Cole

We’ve all heard the old saying, “Fighting like cats and dogs,” but is it true? In all the years I’ve lived with both, I’ve never had any serious incidents with dogs and cats living under the same roof. Sure, they’ve had their little turf wars when one of the dogs wants a spot on the couch and the cat won’t move. Dogs and cats can live in peace, but you do need to be mindful of certain dog breeds that may not be as accepting of cats, and proper introductions need to take place before they can become house mates who won’t demolish your home while you’re gone.

Dogs and cats are both territorial, and we have to be respectful and understanding of their right to protect what they feel is theirs. In your pet’s mind, a newcomer is trespassing, and even a cat will defend her space, toys, bed and human. A new dog or cat may also be dominant, which is why you need to take charge and defuse any confrontations from the start.

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Eight Great Dog-Friendly Cities in America

By Tamara L. Waters

Whether you are planning a permanent move or a vacation, knowing which cities are friendly and welcoming toward your pooch can make things easier for you and Fido. Before you go, it pays to do a little research, and the site dogfriendly.com has made it easier for you. They’ve  compiled a list of cities in America that are the most dog-friendly, which you can read here

When you’re looking for a city or town that is dog-friendly, you hope to find a number of businesses and attractions that will welcome not only you but also your pet. Whether the businesses allow you to bring your pet shopping or visiting with you, or they simply provide kennels or other amenities to your four-legged friend, being dog-friendly comes in many forms.

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How to Help a Senior Pet Age Gracefully

By Julia Williams

September is Senior Pet Health month, so I thought now would be a good time to discuss how responsible pet owners can help their aging animals live longer and be healthier. Early recognition of problems that occur naturally with age is crucial, as is making a few lifestyle changes to accommodate a senior pet. Like humans, advanced age can lead to arthritis, decreased mobility and decreased organ functions in senior pets. The following tips can help a senior pet age gracefully and enjoy their “Golden Years.”

Provide regular exercise. The pace of your daily walk with Fido may be slower, and they may take longer to retrieve their ball in a game of fetch. Cats may not jump as high or chase after their toy as quickly as they once did. Nevertheless, senior pets need sufficient exercise to avoid obesity, keep their muscles strong and their aging joints limber. Read “Games to Play with Pets” for some fun and creative calorie-burning activities. Just be sure to carefully monitor your pet during exercise to make sure they don’t overdo it.

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Can Dogs Be Trained to Sniff Out Insects?

By Ruthie Bently

Dogs are used for many things these days that assist us. Dogs are featured on the news apprehending criminals, sniffing for bombs and contraband at airports, and searching for people after disasters. Now those impressive nasal powers are being put to a new use.

Some search and rescue (SAR) dogs are augmenting their careers in a new direction. They are being trained to sniff out household pests such as bedbugs and termites, and detrimental insects on crops.

We humans are nasally challenged when compared with our canine companions. Dogs have approximately two hundred million scent receptors to a human’s mere five million. Not to mention those cute wrinkles around a dog’s face and head that enable them to pull in the scents they smell by catching them on the wind as they pass by. A dog’s nose is sensitive enough to pull in a scent as small as a few parts per billion. Imagine how many odors must assault your dog’s nose every time they take a walk. 

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Why Do Dogs Lick Everything?

By Linda Cole

Dog behavior can be hard to figure out. Some dogs spend their days licking everything in sight. Why do dogs lick walls, floors, the carpet, a toy, us, themselves and even cats?

Most dog licking isn’t anything to be concerned about, as long as it isn’t excessive and the dog isn’t ingesting bad things along with his licking. Dogs use their tongue and mouth to investigate and determine what things are. They’re always exploring their world, tasting what they find. The problem with allowing a dog to constantly lick surfaces like carpet, furniture or floors is they can ingest hair, fibers, string, toxic products or other small objects, and these could end up blocking their intestinal tract.

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