One of the very first things I learned when I got my first kitten was that they love to climb and perch at the highest level of a room. I would come home to pin pricks in my curtains and kittens perched at the tops of the windows. When they got bigger, I would return to holes in the curtains or draperies on the floor. Read More »
Summertime is full of opportunities for most of us to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. But as we all know, that searing summer sun can be intense and in the search for some reprieve we often find ourselves poolside, in local stream, river, lake or on the beach. If you’re like me, you likely have your pet along, too. My pup is a water-lover; if there is a way for her to get wet she will be. While it’s always fun having her along to play or go for a swim, it’s also important to keep any pet’s safety in mind while on, in or near water. Here are some things to keep in mind as you splash through summer with your favorite four-legged companion. Read More »
Parasites can afflict pets any time of the year, however during the spring and summer months, they tend to be more prevalent. Our pets spend a lot more time outside when the weather is warm, and parasites breed more readily. Even if your pets spend all or most of their time indoors, it is possible for parasites to find them whether carried in on our clothes or by crawling through our screen doors. Here are some common parasites to look out for and ways to combat them this summer. Read More »
If used improperly, treats can become bribes and you can set yourself to have a dog that will ‘only work for treats’. This isn’t the optimal behavior we’re looking for with obedience training. There’s a trick to using treats in training! Read More »
Don’t you wish that you could stop your pets from shedding all over the house? Shedding is a natural occurrence in all dogs and cats, except hairless breeds. Some shed their coats more often than others; some breeds shed seasonally and others rain fur all over your house all year. I currently have three dogs, two of which seem to shed enough for at least a dozen dogs! While, it isn’t possible to stop shedding altogether, there are some preventative measures you can take to keep the hair in your house to a minimum.
For many people the term “pit bull” typically brings several negative images immediately to mind. Images of a muscular dog on the end of a thick chain guarding a junkyard; a news report of a child being killed by a pack of ferocious dogs; the underbelly of the inner city where dog fighting rings play their disgusting games. “Pit Bulls” have earned a stigma as brutes, fighters, and even killers. I have to admit that if I were to come across the stereotypical “pit bull” in a dark alley, I would certainly be looking for the quickest way out of there. But, in my entire career in animal care, I have never come across a true pit bull, at least not the dog that fits that notorious label. Read More »
Mammalogists consider the Domestic Ferret to be a distinct species (Mustela furo) and “domesticated” in the true sense of the word. Most ferret owners can easily see, however, that 2,000+ years of captive breeding has not erased all traces of their pets’ origins. Today I’d like to give you a brief overview of the Domestic Ferret’s wild relatives.
What Sort of Creature is the Domestic Ferret?
The Domestic Ferret is classified within the Order Carnivora, Family Mustelidae. Within the Mustelidae we find 75-80 species of Weasels, Otters, Skunks, Badgers, Wolverines and related animals (skunks have been re-classified by some taxonomists). Read More »
Obesity in pets is becoming an epidemic and is a top health concern for pets according to veterinarians. It is estimated that 54 million cats and 34 million dogs in the US are clinically obese. Many pet owners struggle with keeping their pets at an ideal weight…it’s hard to deny those puppy dog eyes and we just want our pets to be happy, right, so why can’t they have a few extra treats if they want them? Unfortunately, a few extra pounds can be detrimental. The excess weight on our pets can cause a variety of other health problems, the same way obesity can have adverse effects on human health. A few extra pounds on a dog may not seem like anything to worry about, but the added weight can exacerbate arthritis, cause joint and bone issues, and it can greatly increase the possibility that your pet will develop diabetes or cardiac/respiratory disease. Thier immune systems can be diminished, making their ability to fight off other illnesses and disease. It’s best to learn how to prevent pet obesity before weight related complications arise, because even if your pet loses weight, the damage may be irreversible. Read More »
Recently, my 14 year old female cockatiel, Charlie was pacing at the bottom of her cage (her usual method of begging to be let out) when she got her leg caught in the grating of the cage. Panicked, I raced forward to help her, but unfortunately my bird’s panic took over and she injured her leg trying to free herself. I knew immediately she had broken it because she could not use it at all and there was blood on her perch, indicating that the bone had gone through the skin. I rushed her to the emergency vet and 4 hours and $360 later, she was ready to go home, dressed in a splint and bird sized e-collar. She’s recovering well, which is great news, however the cost of this endeavor got me to thinking: would pet insurance be worth the investment? Read More »
Recently I came across an interesting article about teaching dogs sign language. I was intrigued by the concept, and I decided to give it a shot with my own dogs. I purchased a book written by the creator of K9Sign. I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, if I want to successfully teach my dogs to sign, but one of the first things that I’ve got to work on is my understanding of how dogs learn. Read More »