Saturday, May 31, 2008



Friday, May 30, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Italian Paradise for Dog Owners

Tuscany is about to become a dog-owners' paradise, with a new law allowing pets into art galleries, theatres, restaurants, cinemas, post offices, museums and beaches.

The law, which is due to come into force by June, reverses a longstanding ban. Fabio Roggiolani, head of the regional health commission, said: “We are knocking down the barriers that separate Man from his best friends. Most people in Tuscany agree with this measure, which is in line with regional regulations forbidding discrimination or cruelty against domestic animals.”

To protect public health and hygiene, pets will have to have a veterinary health certificate, and dogs must be muzzled if necessary. Owners will have to guarantee that their pets will not disturb public order.

Mr Roggiolani said that “for obvious reasons” dogs and other pets would still be banned from the Teatro del Maggio Musicale, the Florence opera house. “We have to apply a bit of common sense.”

Roberto Santini, who runs a beach concession at the Tuscan resort of Forte dei Marmi, said that many of his clients had dogs, including Massimo Moratti, the president of Inter Milan football club, who often cut his holiday short because he could not bear to leave the dog behind.

Fulvio Pierangelini, an Italian celebrity chef, said that he was relaxed about allowing pets into his restaurant at San Vincenzo on the Tuscan coast provided they behaved properly, adding: “Mind you, I draw the line at cooking for them.”

Franco Zeffirelli, the opera and film director, who has four dogs, said that the move “rewards the dignity of Man's best friends”. He added: “Dogs and cats are rather like small children - they should stay where they are happiest. I would never take my dogs to La Scala. It would be torture for them.”

Monday, May 26, 2008

New Traditions in Dog Naming

Spot is out and Max is in. In fact, in a recent survey of the 10 most popular dog names in the nation, names more fit for humans are finding favor over more traditional dog names like Buddy and Buster.

"Over 50 years ago, Spotty was common," says dog owner Eileen Watson of Hallandale Beach, Fla., who has had eight dogs over the past 40 years. "Now, I don't know of any dog that doesn't have a human name."

Top names among male dogs are Max, Buddy and Rocky. For females, Bella, Molly and Lucy head the list. The research was conducted by Veterinary Pet Insurance from the names of insured dogs in its database.

Dogs have long been considered man's best friend, but for many Americans, they mean even more than that.

"It's a reflection of the position that pets hold in a household," says Mary Thurston, an anthropologist in Austin who has studied dog history for more than 25 years. "They are integral members of the family, just like a child."

Naming dogs in the same fashion as children was common even in ancient Rome, she says. The ancient Egyptians often went so far as to bury their dogs in family plots. Today, dog owners are showing a similar kind of care.

With everything from doggie nuptials to dog hotels, dogs are enjoying the perks of being treated, in many respects, like humans.

"It's an interesting contrast that, in a country where there's still child neglect and child abuse, people are spending so much time and effort on dogs," says psychologist and author Eleanora Woloy.

"It speaks to so many people's needs that they want a warm, comforting presence and companion."

People care much more about their animals now, "and that's reflected in the dog's name," Franklin says.

"When you ask people why they named their dog something, you're going to get a whole story behind it."

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pet owners, makers of tainted food reach deal

By GEOFF MULVIHILL, Associated Press Writer

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. - Companies that were sued over contaminated pet food linked to the deaths of perhaps thousands of dogs and cats have agreed to pay $24 million to pet owners in the United States and Canada.

The settlement is detailed in papers filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Camden. It still needs a judge's approval.

"The settlement attempts to reimburse pet owners for all of their economic damages," said Russell Paul, a lawyer for plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The deal would affect people who incurred expenses directly related to the illness or death of a pet linked to the food, which was at the center of the biggest-ever U.S. pet food recall in 2007.

Nearly 300 people sued about 30 companies in state and federal courts. They and perhaps thousands of other pet owners would be eligible for payments under the deal.

Ontario-based Menu Foods Income Fund, which makes dog and cat food under about 90 brand names, and other firms that make or sell pet food announced April 1 that they were settling lawsuits with pet owners.

The pet food was discovered to contain wheat gluten imported from China that was contaminated with melamine, a chemical used to make plastics. Though Menu was the first company to issue recalls, four other companies eventually recalled pet foods, too.

Some of the companies have already paid out more than $8 million to people whose pets were sickened or killed after eating the contaminated food.

Under the terms of the deal announced Thursday, pet owners could be reimbursed for all reasonable expenditures, including veterinarian bills and burial or cremation costs.

Pet owners could also ask for the fair market value of their deceased pets, if that is higher than the costs incurred. Owners who do not have documentation of their expenses can get up to $900 each. All claims are subject to a review.

The companies say they will donate any money left in the fund after claims are paid out to animal welfare charities.

The settlement details were originally to have been filed in court about two weeks ago, but it took longer than expected to hash out the deal, partly because it had to be made to conform with both U.S. and Canadian law.

A court hearing on the settlement is scheduled for May 30.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Your Cat's Real Age

Everyone wants the question answered: “How old is my cat?” The old, outdated idea was that one human year is equivalent to seven cat years. More accurately, the first two years of a cat's life are roughly equivalent to the first 25 years of human life; thereafter, each calendar year is roughly equivalent to four feline years.

Aside from this formula, there are other caveats that play a role in determining your cat’s age; such as environment, diet, and mental health. To determine your cat’s real age, look at the conversion chart pictured below to determine your cat’s human age. Then, subtract years from your cat’s human age, when applicable, after answering the following questions:

Do you keep your cat safe and secure inside your home at all times? If so, subtract 7 years from your cat’s human age.

Keeping your cat indoors reduces his or her risk of attack by other cats, dogs, coyotes, and other predators, as well as reduces the risk of being hit by a car—one of the most common outdoor threats. Your cat will also be less likely to contract disease or parasites and less likely to require emergency treatment.

Is your cat spayed or neutered? If so, subtract 5 years from your cat’s human age.

Having your female cat spayed helps minimize the risk of mammary cancer and having your male cat neutered protects him from testicular cancer and prostate problems.

Does your cat visit the veterinarian at least once a year? If so, subtract 4 yrs from your cat’s human age.

Annual examinations allow your vet the opportunity to evaluate your cat's health and detect feline health problems before they turn into serious cat diseases or illnesses.

Do you make sure that meat is the first ingredient in your cat’s food? If so, subtract 4 years from your cat’s human age.

The ingredient that is listed first makes up the biggest part of the food, so seek out cat food where a named meat (chicken, turkey, beef, etc) is the first ingredient and avoid unnamed foods (poultry by-products, wheat gluten, etc.). Always follow your veterinarian’s instructions for feeding a sick or senior cat requiring special prescription cat food.

Does your cat have a proportional figure, with slightly padded ribs and a distinct waist? If so, subtract 2 years from your cat’s human age.

Overweight cats are more susceptible to certain health conditions. Excess weight increases a cat's risk of health complications that can affect the respiratory, cardiovascular, and skeletal systems. One easy way to combat overweight cats is to cut back on the treats. Kitty treats should compromise no more than 10% of your cat’s total daily diet. Talk to your veterinarian for more information if you think your cat is overweight.

Do you have a variety of feline-friendly toys and encourage your cat to play for at least 15 minutes per day? If so, subtract 2 years from your cat’s human age.

Playing with your cat is the simplest way to maintain your cat's overall health. Playtime helps increase metabolism, minimize weight gain, and boost circulation.

Is your home free from toxins such as cigarette smoke, poisonous plants, rat poison, phenol and ammonia household cleaners? If so, subtract 2 years from your cat’s human age.

Research shows that the chances of developing smoking-related cancers, as well as lung infections, respiratory problems, asthma and other feline health problems are greater for cats living in smoking environments. And keeping your household free from poisonous plants and other types of toxins helps keep your cat safe.

Do you brush your cat’s teeth and/or regularly give dental treats? If so, subtract 1 year from your cat’s human age.

Periodontal disease, caused by plaque buildup, can ultimately affect various organs of the body and the nervous system if left untreated. Cats over the age of five years old become more susceptible to dental diseases, so it is important to keep your pet's teeth and gums clean with regular home dental care. If brushing your cat’s teeth seems too daunting, try giving dental treats. C.E.T. Home Dental Care makes a line of cat dental treats that can be purchased online.

Please be aware that this real age test is only a guideline and there are other determinants such as genetics that may factor into your cat’s age. As always, talk to your veterinarian for more information on how to help your cat live a long and healthy life!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Doggie Saves Joey

A dog has rescued a tiny baby kangaroo, gently carrying it to safety in its mouth after the joey's mother was killed by car.

Rex the dog and the four-month-old kangaroo have developed an unusual bond
Rex the dog found the four-month-old joey in the pouch of its dead mother and carried it to safety

Rex, the German short-haired pointer cross, was walking with his owner, Leonie Allan, near the Bells Beach in Torquay, on Australia's south coast, when they passed a dead kangaroo.

The marsupials are often killed while crossing busy roads, so Mrs Allan thought nothing of it. But Rex sensed something and when Mrs Allan went outside later in the day, she saw the ten-year-old family pet pointing and went to investigate.

"I was worried he'd found a snake and called him back, but when he returned he dropped the joey at my feet," Mrs Allan said.

"I was so surprised and delighted. Rex saved the day."

The dog had found the four-month-old joey in the pouch of its dead mother and gently prised it out, carrying it back to his owner.

"He obviously sensed the baby roo was still alive in the pouch and somehow had gently grabbed it by the neck, gently retrieved it and brought it to me."

The animals showed an instant fondness for each other, nuzzling and playing together, Mrs Allan said.

"The joey was snuggling up to him, jumping up to him and Rex was sniffing and licking him. It was quite cute."

Most joeys whose mothers are killed by cars die in the same collision. Those who survive the impact are rarely able to fend for themselves outside the pouch and succumb soon after.

But the prospects of this kangaroo - named Rex junior after its savior - are good. It will be hand-reared at a wildlife sanctuary until it is 18 months old, when it will be released into the wild.

Tehree Gordon, director of Jirrahlinga Wildlife Sanctuary, was amazed at the bond between the animals and said the fact Rex was so gentle with his younger namesake was proof that dogs - often criticized in Australia for killing native fauna - could live in harmony with local species if they were taught not to attack them.

"That Rex was so careful and knew to bring the baby to his owners, and that the joey was so relaxed and didn't see Rex as a predator, is quite remarkable," she said.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Dogs That Not Only Jump Rope...

but can understand Japanese while doing it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Retrieva Collars Find Your Dog

Soon, dog owners will be able to hunt down their missing pet pooches, thanks to a high-tech dog collar based on sat-nav technology.

The lockable collar, which was previewed on the first day of the Crufts Show in London, is made of anti-cut material to thwart thieves and can trace an animal even if it inside a building.

The device works by sending texts to the owner’s mobile telephone if the dog crosses a fixed boundary.

After receiving the text message, the owner can log on to a website where, using the sat-nav technology of the collar, they can locate the pet’s position.

Makers Retrieva say that the collar is due to go on sale in the UK starting in July costing about 200 pounds (about $400), plus a monthly fee.

“Dog theft is out there but it’s not high on the list of police priorities, for obvious reasons. But for owners or families, if a dog gets lost it is a traumatic experience,” said Andrew Stuart, the company’s director.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Should I Crate-train my dog?


By nature, dogs thrive in places that are sheltered and secure to raise pups. They seek out places that give a den-like setting which will have a calming effect on their well-being. When a dog is brought into a new home, it has to fend for itself, thus making it nervous and/or anxious. The typical response to relieving stress and anxiety associated with being in a strange and new environment are to bark, escape, destructively chew, dig, and pace. Getting a crate prevents unwanted behavior patterns from developing . As simple as it sounds: your dog can not shred clothes and furniture when it is in its crate. By establishing an effective routine with you and your dog this will prove the crate as an excellent management tool.

When buying crate it is wise to make sure the dog can stand up, turn around, and lie down. It should not be too big, especially for a young puppy, who can often find larger spaces in the crate uncomfortable. Also crates too large will often times ruin your toilet training efforts because a dog can eliminate at one end only to move at the other end and lie down, this is not a good thing.

Take the positive approach to crating your dog. Because your dog sees her crate as her sanctuary never use the crate as a punishment. Allow your dog quality time outside of the crate, your dog should not be living in the crate. If you think you may want some assistance with the positive aspects of training, GreenPets recommends Rachel Jones of K-9 Divine.

Come in to GreenPets today; we have a large selection of crates, and we're here to help you find the right one for your pup!!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Cleveland Pets Now Breathe Easier

Cleveland firefighters are now using pet oxygen masks that were donated to the department.

Invisible Fence donated enough mask kits for dogs and cats so that each rescue squad will have them.

"We hope that by donating oxygen mask kits, we will contribute to saving more pets and hopefully protect pet owners that may risk their own life to save a pet in a fire," said Jack Miltz, owner of Invisible Fence of northeast Ohio.

It's estimated that in 2006, more than 40,000 pets died in fires; most succumbed to smoke inhalation.

"We want to thank Invisible Fence for their generosity," Chief Paul Stubbs said in a news release. "These kits will help us save more pets; we can all recall a fire from the past where these kits would have helped save a pet."

For more information about the Invisible Fence mask donation program, reach Kristin Rogers 440-729-1780, Ext. 126 or

Friday, May 02, 2008

New Line of Collars and Leashes at GreenPets!

GreenPets is very excited to introduce Rogz. to our new line of collars and leashes.

Sturdier than normal belt collars because they are stitched at the seams instead of simply glued, these collars will not only appeal to the dog that likes to get dressed up, but will also make you feel more confident about the safety of your canine's apparel. You will also notice the quick release buckle locks for added protection!!

Come check our out new selection now, they won't last long!!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Giving Medicine Doesn't Have to be a Pill!

Sometimes it's inevitable; we have to give our pets medication. And it ain't always easy!

Spending the morning searching for our animal who has sensed that it is time for his medicine though, is never a pleasant experience. Coming home with a bottle of pills that you know your cat is going to spit out when you are not looking is stressful to both the owner and the pet. What if there was a way to have your pets medicine not in pill form though? What if your pet loved medicine time because someone was able to take the same medicine in pill form and transform it into a tasty liver treat? Well, you can. And the place to go is right in the DC area.

Knowles Apothecary is located in Kensington, Md at 10400 Connecticut Avenue #100.

Their compounding pharmacy can prepare:
Flavored medication
Medicine in ideal size, strength, and dosage form
Unavailable medications
Combinations to improve compliance
Novel Devices and Delivery Systems

At Knowles, compounding is actually a means to an end. They work together with veterinarians and their clients and patients to solve medication problems by compounding specialized medications that meet the unique needs of each animal - pets, exotics, horses, or zoo animals.

Check out their website for the latest information.