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					  Pets Are
   Family Too!

    PL                                   INSIDE:
                                         Pet Behavior
                                         Pet 9-1-1
                                         Pets and Kids: What
                                         You Should Know
                                         Hairy Scenarios

                                         Pet Care on a

  In Partnership with Local Businesses
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 Pets Are                                                                     15
                                                                                    Pet Obesity No Laughing Matter

  Family Too!
                                                                                    Enzymes Key to Removing Pet Stains

                                                                              17    Cat Litter Basics


                                                                                    Pet Care on a Shoestring

                                                                                    The Lowdown on Pet Insurance
        Pet Behavior Decoded

  4     Train Your Pet
                                                                              21    As If Cats Didn’t Have Enough Hair …


   5    What’s In A Dog Breed?
                                                                                    Having a Ball

                                                                                    More Options Than Ever
        Are Electric Fences For You?                                                For Pet’s Final Resting Place

   7    Extreme Measures

   8    Pet 9-1-1 Safety Essential to Pet Care

   9    Pets and Kids: What You Should Know
 10     Pet Travel Demystified

   11   The Flea And Tick Problem

  12    Hairy Scenarios Resolved

                                         Brought To You By

                                                 Pet’s Are Family Too!   3   2008
                        Pet Behavior Decoded
                          E      ver wish you could talk to your
                                 pet? Unfortunately, we’re not there yet, but follow these         rain Your Pet
                        clues from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of          T
                   Animals to better read your animals. It can be quite a riddle to figure

                                                                                                            ow that
 out why a dog barks. He could be defending his territory, greeting others, playing,                        you’ve
 demanding attention and a myriad of other completely normal explanations. However,             brought little Fido
 if you suspect that your dog is barking too much and for no apparent reason, he could         or Felix home,
 be a compulsive barker. Try changing something in his routine, such as releasing him          it’s time to make
 from a leash if he is being tied down outside.                                                sure he is properly
 Cats are clean animals, so don’t read into it too much if they’re peeing outside of the

 litter box. The most logical explanation is you got lazy cleaning out the litter box, which   For cats, start with
 needs to be done at least once daily.                                                         scratching posts. If
                                                                                               the cat is scratching
 If a dog is chewing up your favorite things, it’s because you aren’t training him             this, that means he
 right. Dogs chew for various reasons, including play, anxiety, exercise and boredom.          won’t be scratching
 When cats are scratching, they are marking their territory. Be sure to provide                other things. Carry
 scratching posts.                                                                             a spray water bottle around the house and
 Cats and dogs must be                                                                         when you see any unacceptable behavior,
 taught not to play too                                                                        spray water in the face.
 rough with people. They                                                                       Puppies can be enrolled into obedient
 also need to be constantly                                                                    school as soon as they are 6 months old.
 engaged with stimulating                                                                      Proper training is essential to prevent your
 toys and played with at                                                                       dog from injuring others or running away or
 least 10 minutes a day.                                                                       into the street.
 Cats spray when they are
 not neutered or if they’re                                                                    For both animals, positive
 having a territorial dispute.
 Cat spray differs from                                                                           reinforcement for good
 urine in that it’s especially
 pungent.                                                                                           behavior is essential.

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                                                            Pet’s Are Family Too!   4   2008
                                    What’s In A Dog Breed?
             S                 o what kinds of                                the shih zu and Pomeranian are good for the single
                                                                              and the elderly. Mixed breeds are an option if you want
                               dogs are popular                               to enjoy the best from more than one breed.
 these days?              The American Kennel Club (AKC) keeps

                                                                              Features that need to be considered before choosing
 tabs on this, and this year they announced the bulldog’s arrival
                                                                              a breed include size, coat, maintenance level
 on the list (No. 10), a first in more than 70 years.
                                                                               of grooming, shedding, allergies, activity level,
 The other most common breeds, in order of popularity are:                         intelligence, trainability, social tendencies and
 labrador retriever, Yorkshire terrier, German shepherd,                             temperament.
 golden retriever, beagle, boxer, daschund, poodle and shih
                                                                                       However, keep in mind that dog breed advice
 tzu. The lab has held its top position for 17 consecutive
                                                                                       is never the be-all, end-all factor. Some

                                                                                      animal advocates, including Ian Dunbar,
 The bulldog had been absent from the Top 10 list since 1935,                       founder of the Animal Training Association,
 said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson.                                               consider suggesting breeds to be a dangerous
 “This breed appeals to a very wide range of dog lovers
 so it’s no surprise that it is a favorite amongst AKC’s 157                            “Recommending specific breeds may sound
 breeds,” Peterson said. “The bulldog is both docile and                                like helpful and harmless advice, but it is
 adaptive, and can thrive in small or large homes. It’s an                             insidiously dangerous and not in the best
 excellent all-around family pet.”                                                   interests of dogs or of dog-owning families,”
                                                                                    Dunbar said in an article at
 Below is a brief description of the nation’s top breeds:
                                                                                         That said, when choosing a breed, consider these
     labrador retriever — gentle, intelligent and family-                                pointers from the Stopping Pet Overpopulation Society.
     friendly; versatile hunting breed; serves the blind,
     search-and-rescue teams and narcotics teams                                              More family-friendly breeds: beagle, collie, bichon frise,
                                                                                         cairn terrier, pug, coonhound, boxer, basset hound
     Yorkshire terrier — brave, determined, investigative
     and energetic; portable                                                             Worst dogs for households with children: chihuahua, Lhasa
                                                                                        apso, cocker spaniel, toy poodle, chow chow, Yorkie, akita,
     German shepherd - world’s leading police, guard and
     military dog; loving family companion, herder and
     show competitor; approachable, direct and fearless                                      Best breeds for allergies: bichon frise, poodle (standard,
     golden retriever — intelligent and eager to please                                  miniature or toy), Portuguese water dog or any type of wire-

     attitude; an ideal guide and search-and-rescue dog.                                haired terriers (ex: schnauzer)

     beagle — sturdy hunting dog; merry personality                                       For senior citizens: middle-aged and low-key greyhounds,
                                                                                        cocker spaniels, toy poodles, Yorkies and dachsunds
     boxer - powerful dog with an intelligent and alert
     expression; instinctive guardian                                                    Dunbar recommends letting go of the need for perfection
                                                                                         when choosing the right breed, that training and upbringing
     daschund — friendly personality; eager hunters
                                                                                         will have just as much to do with a pet’s success.
     poodle — smart, active and excels in obedience training
     shih tzu — sweet and playful; he is not afraid to stand                                     “In reality … people seldom pay
     up for himself
                                                                                                 heed to well-meaning advice and
     bulldog — resolute and dignified
                                                                                                   usually end up choosing with
 For families with children, the best breeds include the
 labrador, golden retriever and schnauzer. Toy dogs such as
                                                                                                      heart instead of head.”
                                                                                                                               Ian Dunbar, Founder,
                                                                                                                               Animal Training Association
                                                            Pet’s Are Family Too!   5     2008
                Are Electric Fences For You?
                M     ore than 1 million dogs are hit by cars
                      a year, and 60,000 are stolen. Those
                are the facts according to Invisible Fence,
                                                                  challenge the system afterwards.”

                                                         estimates that the fences cost
                                                                  between $200 and $1,500, depending on
                which pioneered the first electric fence for
                                                                  whether the homeowner installs it himself,

                pet owners 35 years ago.
                                                                  the length of the perimeter and other
                According to, the jolt sent to           factors. Companies will refuse to give exact
                wayward dogs is tantamount to a static            quotes before visiting the home, but the
                electricity shock. The actual wire that’s         consultations are typically free.
                embedded underground carries radio
                                                                  Whether you opt for an invisible fence
                signals – not electricity – that interact with
                                                                  could depend on if your subdivision permits
                a special collar.

                                                                  visible fences, says Dog Owners Guide, a
                Invisible Fence denies any harmful effects        newspaper for pet owners.
                on the dogs, and even says the fence works
                                                                  Dogs with a high pain threshold may
                for cats.
                                                                  not respond to the signal, and aggressive
                “The correction … may be uncomfortable            breeds are not suitable for the fence, the
                and startling to your dog, but it will not hurt   publication adds. In addition, it says that
                him,” says Invisible Fence. “Many dogs only       proper maintenance on the owner’s part is
                feel the correction once or twice and don’t       essential for the fence’s success.

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                       Pet’s Are Family Too!   6   2008
                            Extreme Measures
                       Be sure to protect your pet in the heat, cold
 Your dog and cat may be the outdoors type, but even the most                 Clean up any antifreeze leaks
 resilient of animals need special attention in the most extreme              immediately, and phone the vet

 temperatures. Follow these tips to ensure the utmost comfort and             immediately if you suspect your pet
 safety for your pet.                                                         has been poisoned. Also, look out
                                                                              for chemical buildup on the paws.
 Animals expend energy when adjusting their bodies to hot and
 cold temperatures. Make sure your pet is getting plenty of food              Do not leave pets in the car in
 and water, and consult your vet when in doubt.                               the heat. Cracking the window
                                                                              or parking in the shade will not
 Always practice preventive medicine with your pet. A healthy                 help. Look out for symptoms

 pet will be more apt to handle difficult outdoor conditions. Be               of overheating, which include
 sensitive to your animals’ arthritis, which can be agitated in the           an unusual heart rate, panting,
 colder, winter months.                                                       salivating and a dragging in physical
 In the most extreme of temperatures, bring your pets inside. Cats            activity. If overheated, immediately
 in general are encouraged to be kept inside for the colder temps.            move the pet indoors, cool off with
 Dogs need a doghouse positioned on dry, elevated land. Never                 ice packs and cold towels, and let him drink water or lick ice cubes.
 use a space heater to provide warmth.                                        Then take him to a vet immediately.

 Lock up any antifreeze as animals are attracted to its sweetness.            Sources: Humane Society of the United States, Invisible Fence

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                                                            Pet’s Are Family Too!   7   2008
                          Pet 9-1-1 Safety Essential to Pet Care
                          P    revention is key
                               to preventing any
                          pet emergency, and
                                                       cold remedies and human vitamins
                                                       and supplements
                                                     • leftover chicken bones
                                                                                                     be applied, but only for up to 20 minutes.
                                                                                                     Loosen every six minutes.

                                                                                                     If your animal chokes, gently open his
                          it starts at home.         • cords to window blinds
                                                                                                     mouth to remove the obstruction. If this

                                                       (pets can hang themselves, must trim)
 First, make sure that all doors and windows                                                         doesn’t work, apply the Heimlich maneuver.
 to the outside are secured so that your animal    PETCO recommends providing your cat or            If a pet loses consciousness, CPR can be
 is only going where he needs to go. Those         dog chew toys so that he isn’t chewing on         applied on the way to the animal hospital.
 who live in second-story buildings need to        what he shouldn’t be. For cats, look out for
 take special care.                                any potentially dangerous hiding places, such     Poisoning is a serious risk for pets and is
                                                   as reclining chairs and dryers. Childproofing      often indicated by vomiting, diarrhea, poor
 “You may have heard tales about cats              cabinets also is recommended.                     coordination or a collapse. Get the pet to

 surviving falls from high buildings,” say the                                                       the vet immediately, and if possible bring
 experts at PetSmart. “However, a fall from        A national magazine recommends keeping            a sample of the suspected toxic substance
 a second story can seriously injure or kill a     a pet first-aid kit for these scenarios. Include   and/or samples of the vomit or diarrhea.
 cat.”                                             in your kit a number to the nearby animal
                                                   hospital, tweezers, antibiotic ointment,          You also may call the National Animal Poison
 Once all exits are secured, it’s time to hunch gauze and bandages, wound disinfectant, a            Animal Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
 down and pretend you are your pet. What’s heavy towel or blanket (to use as a stretcher),
 small and chewable? Any substances that Benadryl (for allergic reactions), sterile saline           Natural disasters are also a consideration
 can be potentially harmful? Any poisonous for eye flushing, a muzzle and latex gloves.               for pet owners. The American Society for
 plants?                                                                                             the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals offers
                                                   Unfortunately, emergencies do happen.             stickers one can post at home to alert rescue
 Here’s a list of some common culprits:            Always know the location of the nearest           workers of the presence of pets. Of course,
   • unattended garbage                            24-hour animal hospital. In the case of car       write “EVACUATED” over the
   • dangerous foods such as chocolate,
                                                   accidents, take the pet to the vet’s office        sticker if your pet is with you.
      grapes/raisins and onions (toxic to cats)    immediately. A national magazine suggests
   • toilet sanitizers (try to keep toilet closed) the following response in the case of an          Order the sticker by visiting
   • poisonous plants                              emergency:                               or calling
   • pesticides                                                                                      (888) 277-2210
   • small objects such as toys, toy parts         In the case of car accidents, first secure the
      or broken dog bone pieces                    pet’s mouth to prevent being bit. Clean,          ASPCA also recommends
   • electrical cords (unplug what’s not in use)   dry cloths can be applied to the wound            arranging a care plan for
   • litter boxes (keep away from dogs)            and should be added as the blood seeps            pets in the case of a

   • medicine, especially painkillers,             through. In the worst cases, a tourniquet can     natural disaster.

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                                                              Pet’s Are Family Too!   8   2008
               Pets and Kids: What You Should Know
 N    ontraditional pets, petting zoos and farms and pet stores pose a disease risk to
      children, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention warns Americans.

 An October 2008 study in Pediatrics magazine details diseases that can be transmitted
 through reptiles, rodents, mammals, birds, amphibians, primates and fish.

 “Exposure to animals can provide many benefits during the growth and development
 of children,” the report says. “However, there are potential risks associated with animal
 exposures, including exposure to nontraditional pets in the home and animals in public

 The diseases include:

   Reptiles – salmonella infection              Cattle – E. coli infection
   Rodents – salmonella infection,              Goats – cryptosporidium and
     plague, rabies                               E. coli infections, rabies
   Fish – mycobacterium, aeromonas,             Baby Poultry – salmonella infection
     vibrio, salmonella, and streptococcus      Ferrets – bites

 Experts recommend the following:
  • Hand washing after contact with animals. Children under 5 should be supervised
    to ensure proper sanitation.
  • Never touch wild animals or bring them home.
  • Children should be supervised at all times with animals, especially those under 5.
  • Don’t allow children to kiss animals or put their hands and other objects in their
    mouths after handling animals.

 According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, the number of
 families with nontraditional pets is on the rise.

 Aside from children, people with HIV or AIDS, pregnant women and organ transplant
 patients are more susceptible when it comes to transmitting diseases from animals.

 The CDC encourages communication with your veterinarian on how to protect your
 family from diseases transmitted from animals.

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                                                           Pet’s Are Family Too!   9   2008
  Pet Travel Demystified
    T   raveling with a pet can be fun, but it’s
        not for everyone. Follow these tips from
    the Humane Society of the United States and
                                                    nearest animal hospitals and, of course, your
                                                    cell phone or a place where you can be
     Invisible Fence on what to do (and not do)

      when you’re traveling as a pet owner.          If you decide to bring along your pet, make
                                                     sure you pack: food, water, carrier, scooper,
       When deciding whether to bring your pet, can opener, bowls, bottled water, favorite
        consider the temperament of your animal toys and treats (nothing new), brush, towels
        and any illness or injury. When in doubt, and poop bags.
        ask your vet. Call ahead of time to learn
        the pet restrictions of your destination, Don’t ever leave the pet alone in the vehicle,
         including hotels and airports. This could and keep him in a carrier when you’re away

         impact your decision.                       from the hotel room. Keep dogs leashed at all
                                                     times. Pet IDs and rabies tags should be on
        If you opt to leave your pet behind, choose the pets at all times, and try to maintain food
       your kennel or pet sitter carefully. If using and activity schedules.
       a friend, try to take the pet to his house so
      they don’t get lonely.                         A quick note about cats: Cats typically
                                                     don’t like to have their surroundings change
    Make sure the pet is caught up on check- dramatically, so bringing them along could
    ups and shots, and leave numbers to vets, be disturbing for them.

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                Pet’s Are Family Too!   10   2008
                The Flea                                                     If it’s determined that there is a flea problem, wash the pet in a
                                                                             flea bath, apply a flea collar to your pet and treat the home with

                 And Tick
                                                                                 flea treatments such as powders and sprays. Dog flea baths are
                                                                                     stronger than cat ones, so be sure to use the appropriate
                                                                                        product for the appropriate animal.

                                                                                              The key is the order in which you do things. Do not
                                                                                               treat the house until after the pet is treated. Keep

                                                                                                   the pet shut in the bathroom until the house is
                                                                                                    completely treated.

                                                                             The Humane Society of the United States recommends the

 E  ven indoor cats get fleas, PetSmart reports, offering up a slew
    of solutions for the problem nobody wants to think about.
                                                                             following to prevent flea and tick infestations:

                                                                                  • Mow areas of the lawn where the dog likes to hang, wash
 To prevent the proliferating pests, vacuum often and include a                     pet bedding often and keep cats indoors at all times.

 little bit of flea powder in the vacuum bag to kill any fleas inside.
                                                                                  • Consult your vet on products.
 Fleas hate water, so rinse around the outside of your home,
 and treat grass with pesticides, taking special care to follow the               • Elderly, young, sick or pregnant animals should not receive
 instructions to protect your children and pets.                                    treatment.
 Comb pet regularly with a flea comb and dispose of the fleas in
 a cup of water. Look out for flea dirt (excrement) and eggs (which
 look like dandruff). These will be your telltale signs when trying                            flea                                   tick
 to determine if there is an infestation.

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                                                          Pet’s Are Family Too!   11   2008
                                     Hairy Scenarios Resolved
                                                                                even require refills. These vary in price
                                                                                from $1 to $15 on average. Meanwhile,
                                                                                ACE Hardware sells a set of six brushes
 Maintenance key in keeping home clean                                          called FURemovers ($35.05) that claims to have “electrostatic

                                                                                capabilities” and a squeegee feature. A basic squeegee-style mop
 F  rom home remedies to store-bought products, from free
    solutions to investments that can rack up to hundreds of dollars,
 there are several ways to get rid of that pesky hair problem that
                                                                                works wonders for many pet owners as well. An old and reliable
                                                                                favorite is wearing a pair of rubber gloves, wetting them and rubbing
                                                                                them across carpet and upholstery. Another home remedy is to use
 plagues dog and cat owners.
                                                                                damp sponges or dirt and soot sponges to remove unwanted cat or
 Preventative measures are the best way to prevent a load of                    dog hair from furniture and other household items.
 housework and potential allergy and breathing problems. For
                                                                                Then there are the creative solutions. Pouf! Sheets by sticker retailer

 both housekeeping and health reasons, it is essential to develop a
                                                                                Mrs. Grossman’s remove hair from furniture and clothing. Order
 grooming routine for your cat or dog. PETCO recommends the daily
                                                                                them for $3.99 for a package of 20 by visiting www.mrsgrossmans.
 brushing of long-haired dogs and regular trips to the dog groomers.
                                                                                com or calling (800) 429-4549. Also consider Sticky Sheets (12
 Even short-haired breeds need to be brushed once a week. Medium-
                                                                                for $19.95), hailed on ABC’s The View as one of “Whoopi’s Must-
 to-long-haired cats must be brushed daily.
                                                                                Haves.” These larger adhesives can wrap around an entire piece
 From there, the hair removal solutions abound. Try a large, sturdy lint        of furniture, and makers claim one sheet can be used for an entire
 roller with a telescopic handle for carpets and upholstery. Smaller lint       room. For more information, go to or call
 brushes are good for clothing, and there are newer varieties that don’t        (866) 431-8898.

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                                                              Pet’s Are Family Too!   12   2008
 Online shoppers would be well-served to stop by www.the (866-386-6369), where one can purchase the Pet                        Top 10 pet hair
 Hair Magnet ($12.99), the Pet Sponge ($4.95), and the Feline Fantasy
 Brush ($25), a free-standing brush in the shape of an arc that lets
                                                                                           dos and don’ts
 cats groom themselves. Also consider the K9 Mitt ($6.99), sold on                   ✗ Don’t neglect brushing and combing your pet. It’s essential to
 automobile care retailers websites such as                     your pets’ health, as well as key in keeping the hair off the carpets.
 (800-628-7596).                                                                     ✗ Don’t skimp on a vacuum. Your vacuum will be getting a lot of
                                                                                       mileage, so it’s essential to find a durable product.
 Making a few physical changes in the household can do wonders as

 well. For example, designate pet free areas, such as a family member’s              ✗ Don’t opt for a long-haired breed if there are people in the
                                                                                       house that are allergic to pet dander.
 room or an entertainment room. Make this place the safe haven for the
 allergic and a place to entertain guests. In addition, consider purchasing          ✓ Do invest in lint rollers. Keep them in rooms, cars
 attractive sheets or throw blankets and use them as slipcovers on                     and the office. Tie ribbons to them and hang
                                                                                       them off of doorknobs.
 couches and loveseats. When the situation gets a little too hairy, simply
 remove and throw in the washer.                                                     ✓ Do find the solution that’s right for you. There
                                                                                       is not one solution that’s perfect.
 Finally, a good vacuum is essential. Don’t be tempted to go for the

                                                                                     ✗ Don’t feel like you have to spend tons of
 cheapest option. There are even vacuum varieties out there now that                   money.
 specialize in pet hair. According to Consumer Reports, the best vacuum              ✓ Do feed your pets high-quality
 is the Kenmore Intuition 28014, which passed the grueling Maine coon                  food. A poor diet can contribute to
 cat fur test. However, the vacuum is $600 and 26 pounds. Alternatively,               shedding.
 the Dirt Devil handheld Kone vacs, M0213 and M0212, are between                     ✓ Do vacuum often.
 $45 and $43 respectively, and received harsh scores for spitting back               ✓ Do bathe your dog occasionally
 out debris. Pick something in between these two devices for a practical,              during the summer.
 powerful vacuum option, such as the Sharkvac Infinity Upright with Pet
                                                                                     ✓ Do visit the vet regularly.
 Care System for $299.99.

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                                                            Pet’s Are Family Too!   13   2008
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   Pet’s Are Family Too!   14   2008
 Pet OBESITY                                                            No Laughing Matter
 I  n 2008, an estimated 48 percent of
    animals are overweight or obese,
 according to the Association for Pet
                                                                            such as diabetes
                                                                           and high blood
                                                                           pressure. The first step
                                                                                                     careful track of the portions that your pet is

                                                                                                     Take dogs on regular, energy-packed walks.
 Obesity Prevention (APOP). Just as in                                    to getting your pet
                                                                                                     Be brisk on the first leg of the walk, then on

 humans, obesity in pets is a serious matter                             at a healthy weight is
                                                                                                     the way back you can let him stop and sniff
 that can lead to several medical problems.                             taking him to the vet to
                                                                                                     all of the pretty flowers and such. A warm-
 If you think your pet may be overweight or determine his healthy weight and determine
                                                                                                     up is unnecessary.
 obese, read on to help determine if this is the a healthy daily portion of food that will foster
 case. Then, follow APOP’s tips on reducing weight loss.                                             Place the food bowl away from your pet’s
 body weight in pets.                                                                                favorite hangout spots so that he has to walk
                                                   Establish weight loss goals for your pet and
                                                                                                     to the bowl. Also play with them whenever
 If your pet is healthy, his ribs are easily felt, take weekly records. A healthy loss is about

 his stomach doesn’t sag and you can see his 3 to 5 percent of body weight loss a month.
 waist when standing above him. Your pet is Allow several days for your pet to transition            Finally, take this effort seriously.
 overweight when it is difficult to feel his ribs to this diet. Be gradual, instituting the new
                                                                                                     “Obesity in pets should be taken seriously
 under fat, his stomach is sagging and he has diet gradually over a weeklong period.
                                                                                                     by all pet owners. It shortens pets’ lives and
 a broad, flat back and no waist.
                                                   Keep careful track of portions. Whether it’s      dramatically increases health risks,” said
 Reducing your pet’s weight can increase his through several diet food feedings a day                Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and
 life by two years, and his lifespan will be or two well-measured meals at a reduced                 chief veterinary officer for Veterinary Pet
 improved when he isn’t at risk for diseases portion of normal food, it is essential to keep         Insurance.

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                                                              Pet’s Are Family Too!   15   2008
             Enzymes Key to Removing Pet Stains
 P    erhaps the biggest drag of caring for a
      pet, aside from that pesky hair situation,
 is removing pet stains. With the proper
                                                     COMMON MYTHS ABOUT PET STAINS
                                                     Any household cleaner will do. On the contrary,
                                                     if you don’t find one that contains the proper
                                                                                                           even stronger odor than before. Enzymes are
                                                                                                           needed to permanently remove the crystals.

                                                     enzymes, you can actually exasperate the              To clean up floors and furniture that have
 training and an understanding of how to
                                                     situation.                                            been newly soiled, soak up as much urine

 remove pet and dog urine, pet owners
                                                     Steam cleaners work best. In fact, the hot water      as possible. Consider renting a wet vac
 can save themselves a lot of money and              from the steam cleaner will help the odor bind to     from the local hardware store to adequately
 headache.                                           the carpet.
                                                                                                           remove all of the stain. Be sure to get under
 According to the Humane Society of the              If I discipline my pet enough, he will stop. If       any carpet or wood panels, as the stain will
                                                     the odor is there, he will continue marking his
 United States, the major steps of combating         territory.                                            seep under these areas. Rinse with clean,
 a pet stain problem is identifying the stain,       If a pet pees on my outfit, I have to get rid of it.   cool water. Blot. Repeat.
 determining the cause and preventing the

                                                     Pet urine usually comes out of clothes after one
                                                     cycle in the washing machine. However, if that      For stains that have already set, follow the
 accident from reoccurring. If the cause
                                                     doesn’t work, wash again, and this time add a       steps above, but after the affected area has
 of the accident is unknown, a trip to the           1-lb. box of baking soda.
                                                                                                         dried, treat the area with an enzyme-based
 veterinarian may be in order.
                                                   Pet accidents are always a discipline problem.        pet stain remover. Aim for a high-quality
                                                   If your pet is repeatedly having accidents, it may
 A black light is a simple way to locate the       be a sign of an ailment such as a urinary tract       product from a pet specialty store. Products
 urine stains. Ranging in price from $10 to $25,   infection. If this is suspected, take him to the vet. such as Urine-Gone and Urine-Off are highly
 these lights can be found at major retailers                                                            effective, and the latter can be found at Bed
 such as Wal-Mart and Target, hardware           Humane Society literature. “As long as your Bath and Beyond. Under no circumstances
 stores and home improvement stores such pet can smell his personal scent, he’ll continue should one use a steam cleaner; the odor will
 as Bed Bath and Beyond, often sold with pet to return to the ‘accident zone.’ Even if you bond to the surface. Cleaning chemicals are
 stain removal kits. Other good sources for can’t smell traces of urine, your pet can.” futile and can actually make the odor worse.
 black lights are Halloween or party stores, The trick is to know the components of pet While vinegar and baking soda are often
 and teenagers.                                  urine: urea, a sticky substance; urochrome, touted as effective home remedies, heavy
                                                 which gives urine a yellow tint; and uric duty enzyme cleaners are the best bet.
 The most important step to preventing repeat acid, which is mild and nitrogen-rich.
 accidents is to mark the correct bathroom spot                                                          As for clothing and soiled bed sheets,
 with the paper towels and newspapers used       Uric acid is the substance that cannot be machine wash as normal, but add 16 ounces
 to blot the stain. Completely removing the washed away by conventional means, of baking soda. If that does not work the first
 stains from the “accident zone” is paramount because it contains non-soluble salt crystals. time, machine wash again using an enzymatic
 to preventing repeat occurrences.               These crystals are incredibly hard to remove cleaner, found in the laundry soap aisle at
                                                 on the surface and can reactivate with the grocery store (hint: there’s usually “oxy”
 “If you fail to completely clean the area, your moisture long after the pet owner thought somewhere in the brand name).

 retraining efforts will be useless,” says       the stain has been removed, yielding an

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                                                                Pet’s Are Family Too!   16   2008
                                     Cat Litter Basics

 Y    ou just got home from work and you’re just about to change
      into your favorite after-work pajamas, which, unfortunately
 you left on the floor yesterday. It’s unfortunate because your feline
                                                                               After those issues have been eliminated and the cat is still having
                                                                               accidents, he could have a urinary tract infection. It is imperative to
                                                                               take him to the vet as soon as possible.
 companion decided to use it as a urinating spot, completely ignoring
                                                                               If the cat has been urinating somewhere else, he will continue to
 the litter box.
                                                                               revisit the place and re-mark his territory until the odor is completely

 Contrary to popular belief, there is no potty training for cats. You          eliminated. Locate a heavy-duty enzyme cleaner, and do not use
 simply provide the cat the appropriate accommodations, and he’ll              heat or general cleaning products when cleaning the stain. Locate
 know what to do. The trick is finding the right litter, the right box          the stains by using a black light.
 and the best location. Top that off with daily, diligent cleaning, and
                                                                               According to Consumer Search surveys, top-ranked cat litter brands
 you’ll have a well-maintained home free of urine problems in no
                                                                               include Feline Pine, World’s Best Cat Litter, Tidy Cats Scoop, Dr.
                                                                               Elsey’s Precious Cat Attract Cat Litter, Yesterday’s News, Scoop Away,
 When a cat urinates outside of the litter box, it’s easy to assume that       Swheat, and Arm & Hammer. It is essential to stick with one variety
 the cat’s mad because you’re not spending enough time with him,               of cat litter once you find the right one, because cats detest change
 but cats don’t work that way. Instead, medical problems, cleanliness          and may react adversely. Choose between clay and biodegradable.
 and location of the litter box are but a few of the reasons the cat is
                                                                               Keep in mind that cat litter must not be higher than two inches, and
 having accidents. In this vein, it is futile to punish and reward your
                                                                               most cats prefer the finer-grained brands. It’s going to take some trial
 cat when training him to use the litter box.
                                                                               and error. Some cats will tolerate litter while others won’t. Plug-in
 Clean litter boxes with unscented litter are essential for making the         deodorizers near the litter may be disruptive for some cats. Instead,
 box a desirable place to be for the cats. You absolutely must clean           line the bottom of the litter box with baking soda. Be sure to wash
 the litter box every day. If the litter box is not immaculate, the cat        the litter box regularly.
 will reject the litter box. Some cats prefer an uncovered litter box.
                                                                               When deciding to use a covered box or an uncovered one, consider
 Experiment with both to see if there’s a difference in behavior.
                                                                               whether one cat will ambush the other, whether your cat will
 In addition, place the litter box somewhere private enough for the            appreciate the privacy and the amount of odor that will be trapped
 cat to comfortably urinate, but not so far away that it is going to be        inside the box. Larger cats need more room to maneuver, so an
 a trek to go potty. Multiple-cat households require one box per cat.          uncovered litter box may be in order.

 In multilevel homes, place a litter box on each floor.

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                                                             Pet’s Are Family Too!   17   2008
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                                Pet Care on a Shoestring
 P  et owners throughout the United States are responding to
    financial difficulty by dumping their pets off at animal shelters.
 Before you find yourself in that situation, try to find ways to save
 money on taking care of your pet.

 According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers
 Association, the majority of Americans (63 percent) have at least
 one pet, and spending on pet supplies is expected to exceed
 $10.5 billion in 2008. The American Society for the Prevention
 of Cruelty to Animals reports that pet owners spend between
 $1,000 and $1,500 a year on their cats and dogs.

 “A dog, like any member of a family, has certain costs associated
 with him,” says Paris Permenter, co-author of How to Put Your Dog
 on a Budget. “With some creative thinking and some preplanning,            longer have to be administered yearly. Check with your animal’s
 though, you can save on your dog’s care on everything from food            health care provider for more details. Finally, just as in the case
 to toys to veterinary care.”                                               with humans, pets that are not obese will have fewer medical
 For main-staple pet food, settle on a product that that won’t
 break the bank, but that suits your quality level. While you’ll save       The Tampa Tribune suggests passing up on pet costumes, and
 money by purchasing whatever’s on special, constantly changing             making toys at home instead of purchasing them at the store. It
 pet food varieties can upset your pet’s digestive system. Buy              suggests a tug toy for dogs made out of a tennis ball and sock
 the food in bulk to save additional funds, and even consider               – put the ball into the sock, and tie a knot with the stem of the
 making your own pet food. Consult books from the library on pet            stock. For cats, cut a hole into a brown paper bag and lay it on
 food recipes.                                                              its side.
 If you send your pet to the groomer, try performing grooming               The pet blog Dolittler recommends saving money at the vet’s
 at home. Consult your vet for the best shampoos, brushes and               office by asking for a written list of prescription medications, then
 clippers. Check out books at the library to learn how to perform           researching them on the Internet for inexpensive alternatives. The
 the techniques.                                                            same is recommended for flea and tick remedies.
 Just like caring for a car, preventative care is key. You wouldn’t         While pet insurance can help with medical catastrophes and save
 ignore squeaking breaks, so don’t ignore that your cat is urinating        money in the long run, it may be a luxury pet owners cannot
 outside of the litter box frequently and inexplicably. Small medical       afford. Consider how willing you’d be to euthanize your pet in
 fixes can turn into surgical ordeals if not addressed in a timely           the event of major injury when making the decision on whether

 manner. Make sure your pet is caught up on his shots, and look             to opt for pet insurance. Also, be sure to pet proof your home to
 for special events that offer vaccinations at a discount. In recent        prevent costly accidents.
 years, veterinarians have determined that pet vaccinations no

                                                         Coupons for many pet care products can be
                                                         found in your city’s Sunday paper. Pet treat
                                                         makers are constantly coming out with new
                                                         treats, and often offer great deals to create a
                                                         buzz about their products.

                                                          Pet’s Are Family Too!   19   2008
 The Lowdown on Pet Insurance
 Dogs have their own houses. Cats have their own
 condos. Why wouldn’t they have insurance, too?

 P  et insurance is increasingly appearing as an option on various
    insurance policies, and independent companies specializing in
 canine and feline insurance exist throughout the United States.
                                                                             insurance policies, animal insurance is essentially reimbursement for
 According to, less than 3 percent of more than 70 million           lump payments of animal care services.
 pet owners in the U.S. have pet insurance, although it is an increase
 from 1 percent in 1995.                                                     Veterinary Pet Insurance (888-899-4VPI) is the oldest and most

                                                                             established insurance company in the U.S. Since 1982, the company
 In these harsh economic times, shelling out a few hundred dollars           boasts “nose to tail” coverage for more than 450,000 clients.
 a year for a pet may be too much to ask for. The bottom line often
 comes down to whether a pet owner could stomach the thought of              Their policy reimburses 90% of pet incidents and “replenishes”
 euthanizing an animal because of the high health-care expenses,             its coverage with each new incident, minus a $50 per-incident
 should the animal become fatally ill or injured.                            deductible.

 Just like human insurance, animal insurance needs to be carefully           In California, for example, the owner of a 2-year old border collie
 examined for deductibles, co-pays, whether pre-existing conditions          that swallows a chew toy and requires surgery, could incur more
 are covered and what the policy actually covers. Unlike many human          than $1270 in veterinary fees and be reimbursed $908.

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                                                           Pet’s Are Family Too!   20   2008
                         As If Cats Didn’t Have
                             Enough Hair …      Having
                         W                       Ball
                               igs for cats. It sounds like a joke, or perhaps a new way to
                               torture animals, but for the creators of, it’s

                         an innovative way to interact with felines … and get some pretty
                         neat photos in the process.
                                                       “Wigs are a fun prop to be used
                                                       to enhance playtime with your
                                                                                                           I s your hamster getting a little bit on the fluffy side? Maybe it’s
                                                                                                             about time to turn him into a contender for PETCO’S annual
                                                                                                           hamster ball race!
                                                       feline friends. They’re especially
                                                       fun for photo sessions,” say Julie                  The National Hamster Ball Derby takes place in the spring and

                                                       Jackson and Jill Johnson, who                       draws tens of thousands of hamsters that use hamster balls as
                                                       deliver their wares in specialized                  vehicles to race down an 8-ft. track in heats of four.
                                                       tin containers.
                                                                                                           First-place winners receive a Hamtrac Circle Track and trophy, but
                                                       Pink Passion, Bashful Blonde,                       the real prize is bragging rights for an entire year. All participants

                                                       Electric Blue and Silver Fox are                    receive a certificate.
                                                       just some of the selections offered
                                                       to those who would like to (slowly)                 Hamster balls are about $7 to $8; bring it with you the day of the
                                                       introduce the accessory to their                    race. Race registration is free. For more information visit www.
                                 Electric Blue

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                                                                                   Pet’s Are Family Too!   21   2008
                More Options Than Ever
                    For Pet’s Final Resting Place
                I t’s something we never want to think about, but someday our pets will die. Pet afterlife
                  rituals are as old as time, so do not feel weird or silly making special arrangements for

                your loved one. From cremation to burial the choices abound.

                Of the thousands of pets that die each day, the International Association of Pet Cemeteries
                and Crematories (IAPCC) reports that fewer than 200 are buried in the United States’
                more than 600 pet cemeteries. Of these burial spots, the IAPCC considers 400 to be
                “good operating businesses.”

                For burials, locate pet cemeteries through veterinarians, kennels, the Yellow Pages, and any
                businesses that cater to pets. Many of these organizations and businesses provide burials
                in conjunctions with their own operations. Make sure that the land is dedicated land
                that abides by local and regional laws and standards. When in doubt, call the IAPCC at
                (800) 952-5541.

                Options at pet cemeteries vary from individual burial to mass graves, from individual
                tombstones to a place on a memorial wall. Talk with your family and discuss ahead of
                time which option would be more comfortable for everybody. You may bury a pet at
                home if it is permitted by city ordinance. Be sure to cover the pet in a heavy-duty plastic
                bag, encase in a wooden or metal box and bury at least three feet deep.

                Animal crematories offer an alternative method for those who do not prefer burial.
                Again, options vary from individual treatment to arrangements for mass cremations. Be
                sure to specify an individual cremation if you do not want a mixture of other animals’
                ashes. When spreading ashes, check with your local government for the proper rules
                and regulations.

                According to the IAPCC, it is up to the pet owner what happens to the body, but animals
                left at hospitals and clinics can end up in landfills, communal burials or cremations.

                “There are no ‘Magical Burial Grounds’. It is the pet owner’s responsibility to determine
                the disposition of the pet’s body,” says the IAPCC.

                Sources: Humane Society of the United States, International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories

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                           Pet’s Are Family Too!   22   2008
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                         HOLD THE ONIONS                                                               What you need to know
                                                                                                       before feeding your pet

 O      ne of the essential building blocks to a pet’s well being is his KITTENS
        diet. The following are general feeding guidleines according to
 the The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
                                                                         Just like with puppies, it is preferable for kittens to be fed by mother’s
                                                                         milk in the first few weeks. After five to six weeks, move the kitten
 PUPPIES                                                                 on to a special-formula kibble, which he will eat until he reaches 1

 If possible, ensure that puppies rely on the mother’s milk for the first year of age. Nursing kittens should be completely weaned off their
 three to four weeks of life. Commercial milk replacements may be mothers by 8 weeks of age. Softening the food with commercial
 used if necessary. Hard food can be consumed after four weeks, but milk can help in the weaning process. Free-choice feeding is OK
 start small. By the age of 6- to 8-weeks old, the puppy should be with a kitten, but works best with kibble as opposed to wet food.
 eating meals on a regular basis. Food should contain 23 to 30 percent Dogs like cat food, so make sure they leave it alone! Kitten snacks
 protein. Small-breed dogs are OK to feed free-choice, which is should not exceed five percent of daily food intake.

 leaving the food out at all times and allowing the pet to eat whenever         CATS
 he wants. Portion control should be practiced for medium and large
                                                                                Consult your vet when deciding on an appropriate maintenance
 breeds. Beware of overfeeding during the development process, as
                                                                                level of food. Sedentary cats will require about 10 percent less than
 this can lead to bone-development problems in the larger breeds.
                                                                                usual, while very active cats may require 20 to 40 percent more. All
 Puppy treats are okay, but keep it to 5 percent or under of the daily
                                                                                cats require taurine, an amino acid found in meats. Most mammals’
 food intake.
                                                                                bodies can produce taurine to address any deficiencies, but cats
 DOGS                                                                           cannot. Therefore, a meat-based diet is essential for cats. Extreme
 Take special care not to overfeed your adult dog. It is essential              temperatures and medical conditions can change the amount of
 to take activity levels into account. For example, a lazy dog may              food a cat needs. For example, a cat recovering from surgery may
 require 10 percent less than the maintenance level of food, while              need more food to heal quicker. Two square meals, divided about
 very active dogs require 20 to 40 percent more. Consult your vet               12 hours apart, is recommended for cats.
 about the appropriate maintenance level for your dog. Extreme                  People food dangers
 weather conditions could affect the energy rate of dogs, so as the
                                                                                Never feed your pet the following foods:
 weather changes in your specific geographical location, consider
 consulting a vet about your pet’s nutritional needs. All dogs should           • chocolate, caffeine       • grapes and raisins
 be fed twice daily. You may do this by free-choice, portion-control              or coffee                 • yeast dough
 or only leaving food out for the dog at certain times. Pet treats should       • alcohol                   • Xylitol (a sweetener)
 comprise only 5 percent of the dog’s total dietary intake. If the dog          • avacado                   • onions, garlic, chives
 begins to gain weight, feeding must be portion controlled.                     • Macadamia nuts            • milk

                                                                                      The following situations may call for supplements, according
 Does my pet need supplements?

                                                                                          to experts at Most require
 In an age where dogs get Halloween costumes and cats get condos,                           multivitamins tailored to the specific condition:
 it’s often hard to discern what actually qualifies as a pet                                                           • Youth
 priority. So, do you need to consider vitamins for your pet?                                                         • Active lifestyle
 According to veterinarians Race Foster and Marty Smith of
 Wisconsin, the answer depends on your pet’s health.                                                                  • Pregnancy/lactating
                                                                                                                      • Aging
 “A supplement is something added to a pet’s diet on a regular
                                                                                                                      • Arthritis
 basis — typically to make up for a deficiency of some sort,”
 according to experts at                                                                      • Dry skin/coat
                                                                                                                      • Medical conditions/stress/
 “Pets with bright eyes, a shiny coat, soft skin, and a healthy                                                         surgery recovery
 energy level probably do not need supplements, especially
                                                                                                                      • Allergies
 if they’re eating a healthy pet food.”
                                                                                                                      • Weight loss

                                                              Pet’s Are Family Too!   25   2008
                A Furball By Any College Man’s
                Other Name             Best Friend  …

 W      e all knew uncommon baby names were
        on the rise, but the epidemic has apparently                                         P  et-friendly dorm policies are on the
                                                                                                rise. There are at least a dozen colleges

 found its way to pet owners. According to                                                   and universities that now allow animals on
 Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), today’s pet names                                           campus.
 include “Rush Limbark,” “Rosie Posie Prozac” and
 “Snoop Kitty Kitty,” to name a few.                                                         Citing an increasingly pet-friendly society in the
                                                                                             United States, Eckerd College in St. Petersburg,
 “The dog park would definitely be a more                                                     Fla., has been the frontrunner in such policies.
 interesting place if you heard people saying, ‘Fetch,
 Rafikikadiki,’ or, ‘Come here, Meatwad,’” said                                               “The future of the pet privilege rests on the

 Curtis Steinhoff, VPI’s senior director of corporate                                        successful administration of the policy and the
 communications. “I might be a little hesitant to                                            willingness of students to abide by, and enforce,
 introduce people to Miss Fuzzbutt, or Sir Lix-a-lot,                                        the policy,” say university officials, who enacted
 but I also can’t think of many better conversation                                          the policy in 2004.
 starters.”                                                                                  The policy only applies to pre-existing pets,
 Traditionally, experts recommend monosyllabic                                               ensuring that the pet owners are fully aware
 names that can be distinguished apart from                                                  of the responsibilities involved in having
 commands such as “sit” and “stay.”                                                          a pet.

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                                                         Pet’s Are Family Too!   26   2008

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