What is a Pet Train?

 

Young dog , maltese puppy looking out the car window

To get a dog or cat from it’s current spot to a loving home, volunteers offer to drive part or all of the distance with the animal. My friend just became a part of this amazing puzzle over the weekend!
It started with a sick 5-year old’s announcement that Santa was bringing her a tiny white dog with a big brown spot for Christmas. She fixated on this one thing and even prayed for it at night. Her poor parents tried to convince her that a cuddly, stuffed dog would be a wonderful present but the girl cried out “No! I just know it’s going to be a real dog!”
So, the couple searched every local rescue and pet-agency for a small white dog with a spot. This time of year, there was nothing even close! They searched far and wide, even looking outside the state and region. Finally, they located a small white dog with… one spot! An older woman in New York was moving into an Assisted Living Home and could not bring her dog.
The couple struggled with how to bring the dog over 509 miles to their home in Raleigh, North Carolina by Christmas. They posted a “Can you help us friends?” request on Facebook and it was re-posted several hundred times!
The wonder of Social Media is that all the puzzle pieces came together, and here is how the pet train finally happened:
A co-worker’s cousin was going from New York to Washington DC and volunteered to take the pet this first leg of an 8-hour journey. A friend’s mother could take the pet from DC to her holiday destination of Richmond, VA. From there, a vet was heading to Wake Forrest to be with her family and volunteered to meet the Coleman’s at a Walmart parking lot with their new dog.  Everyone was thanked on-line for their role in the pet-transport train and the little girl will get her wish-come-true on Christmas morning. For now, the little white dog with a spot is staying with a friend and has no idea how many people volunteered to make it’s future brighter.
There are also organizations to help with transporting pets, both on a volunteer basis: http://www.freedomtraintransports.com/ and for a fee: petmovers.com; thepetwagon.com; ipata.org.

Beware, Holiday Tips for Pets

Christmas Dog And Kittens.Last year, my best friend had to spend Christmas Eve in a crowded pet hospital while her pet was sliced open and a long ribbon removed from its stomach. The wait for services was long, and her vet warned her that from Thanksgiving through the New Year, the number of  Emergency room visits for pets triples.

With all the chaos of visiting family, friends, ribbons and boxes – holidays hold many wonders and temptations for family pets! Below is a top-ten list of things to watch-out for when going about your festivities:

1. Do not tie anything around your pets neck that can choke and strangle them, try a pet-tested vest or fancy collar instead
2. Ribbons/Tinsel can cause intestinal damage as it twists and bunches inside your pet’s intestines
3. Plastic bags can suffocate a pet quickly, make sure to put them in recycling
4. Pine trees can and will topple over as your house-cat/panther attempts to climb them. Be sure to anchor them well, if possible place in a corner for more support
5. Rich dairy is not good for pets  avoid the old wive’s tales of cats & cream
6. Poultry bones & fat trimmings may cause intestinal issues or pancreatitis
7. Don’t let Fido drink liqueur – their livers are not equipped to process it and a “little” bit to us is a whopping big drink to them
8. Keep glass ornaments and breakable figurines up high, out of sight and reach
9. Keep these plants up high away from pets:
a. Mistletoe berries are highly toxic, can cause stomach upset and has the potential to cause fatal heart problems
b. Holly can cause vomiting, diarrhea, nausea and lethargy
c. Poinsettias are known to cause diarrhea and vomiting
10. Electrical cords should be hidden under rugs or tape, or sprayed with Bitter Apple to deter chewing/playing with them

Pumpkin For Your Pets!

Welsh Corgi Pembroke dog and pumpkinWhat’s round and orange (not a basketball) and grows on a vine? Pumpkin! A great treat for your pet to eat, it aides digestion and constipation. Vets recommend a Tablespoon for small pets, 2 T for larger pets. Pumpkin is a good fource for vitamin A and C, beta- carotene, fiber and moisture in pumpkin. Pumpkin seeds are also a good treat for larger dogs and contain 30% protein and 40-50 % oil.

Below is an easy 3-Ingredient recipe:

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Homemade Dog Treats

1/2 cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 cup 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree, canned
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (I used Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, stir together peanut butter and pumpkin. Stir in the flour 1/4 cup at a time just until dough is no longer sticky.

3. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper to 1/4? thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out the dough, then place on the prepared pan.

4. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.

Top Kid-Friendly Dog Breeds

Hoping to get a new family-friendly dog breed? Jordan Walker, content curator of Coops and Cages, will help you narrow down your options and select the perfect dog breed that would be right for your kids.
cute dogThere are a lot of things that need to be considered prior to getting a new pet. . The price of a pet is not just the main concern for families with kids; the dog’s appearance and temperament must also be considered. If you’re looking for kid-friendly breeds, you should focus on calmer, playful, and active breeds.
Since there are plenty of dog breeds to choose from, selecting a child-friendly breed can be quite tricky. To help you make up your mind, here are the top 5 child-friendly dog breeds to choose from.

Picture1This is the largest among the  dog breeds list, which has a life span of 10 to13 years. If you’re looking for a dog breed that’s reliable, friendly, and smart, then you can always count on the Golden Retriever as it possesses such qualities. They are also patient, so rest assured they can get along well with the kids. And because it enjoys playing, it can match your child’s level of activeness.

Picture1The Labrador Retriever or Lab is one of the medium-sized dog breeds, which are considered as kid-friendly. They are known to be naturally good-tempered and can keep up with children’s liveliness. It is protective, playful, and loving – all the qualities you’re searching for in a child-friendly breed. You can ensure that your child will always feel safe, and look forward to his playtime with your Lab. It is not only sweet, but is intelligent as well.

Picture2Younger children sometimes have the tendency to fear larger dog breeds that is why some families opt to get gentle smaller breeds. Among these breeds would be the Beagle, which is known to be the ideal pet breed for families with kids. They are bursting with energy for play, and are very friendly, so they easily get along with children. They are basically childproof and energetic. You may even expect them to show signs of exhaustion after the kids tire out.

Picture3German Shepherd dogs are among the large dog breeds that are intelligent and agile. They are obviously outgoing, kind, and gentle, which are among the qualities that make a dog child-friendly. These qualities also make them ideal companions, guardians, and watchdogs.

Picture4The Newfoundland or Newfie is among the large breeds that don’t intimidate the kids because they are usually very sweet. They are even dubbed as “Nature’s Nannies” because of their inherent love or children. They are also smart, and are always enthusiastic about bonding and enjoying with humans.

When it comes to choosing a pet for the kids, the children’s safety should always be a priority. Therefore, you need to choose dog breeds that are trainable and gentle – the kind of breed that would make you feel comfortable and at ease, even when your pet is out of its portable dog playpen, playing comfortably with younger children.

Image Source: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

Picture1Author: Jordan Walker

Jordan likes to write many pet-related blogs, and is also the lead content curator for Coops and Cages. His passion for animals is only matched by his love for ‘attempting’ to play the guitar. Catch him on Google+ or Twitter: @CoopsAndCages.

 

What to Do During Stormy Weather

Dog Looking On Overflowing
The Hurricane rains have made feral cats miserable! Stray dogs tremble through the storms, unable to find a dry place to rest their heads. Where can animals shelter during severe weather? The answers are surprising: under your porch, car, or inside the storage/wood shed. Sometimes they squeeze beneath the cover of your patio grill, boat or hot tub. They might shelter there for several days. When they finally emerge, their hunger drives them to raid garbage bins, gardens and nearby restaurants. If your own pet runs off during a storm, they are probably not far away, simply hiding out somewhere that makes them feel “safe”.

To prepare for a storm, make sure to shop for your pet when you make your Emergency Run: food, litter, medication and a jug of water should hold them over. Have a plan if you are in an evacuation area for your pet: don’t ever leave them behind! If you don’t have a pet-friendly hotel nearby, make sure to have a family member or friend on stand-by to take your pet. Never let a pet loose outside, walk your dog on a leash to use the bathroom in case there are dangerous power-lines or trees down.

For older pets, puppies/kittens and those that have storm anxiety:
1. Consider letting them sleep near you during a storm or putting them in their crate with a blanket over it
2. Set up a box with bedding inside, or open your closet so they can hide inside (this may help them feel more secure).
3. Create white noise: soothing music or leaving a TV on can help drown out storm sounds
4. Check with your veterinarian about whether your pet would benefit from a prescription for an anti-anxiety medication.
5. If the weather is particularly stressing your pet, smaller animals can be swaddled in a towel or utilize the snug-fitting jackets available at pet stores

For pets of all ages, remember, they need extra attention and cuddling during severe weather and storms!

The Best Pet Cameras

petcube-interactive-wi-fi-pet-camera-15When you are away, do your pets play? Do they surf the counter, lick the dishes clean, or hide under the bed?
Does your neighbor that’s house sitting snoop around the house? Does your pet sitter duck in and out or really get down on the floor and play with them?
The answer to these question is revealed by watching real-time footage on your computer or smart device that is mounted strategically in your home. When you begin shopping, a few things to consider: 

1. Do you want a hidden camera, ceiling mounted, or free standing unit? Should it be plug in or Wireless?

2. Do you need  high-quality resolution or simply a feed of the activity in your home?

3. Do you want the footage recorded to the cloud or a tape for later playback?

4. Is cost an issue?

A few highly recommended cameras with details about their features are listed below. Just make sure to read the reviews before you buy, so that you know the limitations of each camera.

Nest Dropcam Pro (voted best in 2015)
$199.00
Ceiling mounted
Easiest set-up: Just plug the camera into a power source, take a photo of the QR code with the iOS or Android app (see, QR codes aren’t completely worthless) and plug in your wireless password.
captures 1080p video (up from 780p), has 8x digital zoom, night vision and two-way communication so you can yell at a burglar or listen to your dog bark at the bathtub.

Motorola Pet Scout66 Wi-Fi HD Pet Monitoring Camera
by Motorola, $93.69

Remote HD quality video streaming (requires internet access via Wi-Fi)
Set up in seconds using the Free Hubble App
Motion triggered recording and image snapshots (requires compatible viewing device with storage capability)
Two-way communication with high sensitivity microphone
In room temperature display and infrared night vision

Sundirect HD 720P Wireless

Price:$149.99

  • Remote Live Video Streaming Via Smart Phone, Tablet or PC Web Browsers (IE/Firefox/Safari/Google etc)
  • 720P HD Video Capture | 12 Infrared LEDs for Clear Night Time Recording
  • Video Recording to Internal TF Card only ?Support Max 32GB), No Remote Recording
  • Motion Detection Video or Snapshot Alert
  • Clear 2 Way Voice, 4x Digital Zoom, Pan and Tilt Controls
 
 


Petcube Camera

$199.00Material: Aluminum
Size: 4″ x 4″ x 4″

Petcube Camera features a wide-angle (138º) camera along with real time HD video so you can see your pet easily.
You can also talk to your pet as the camera has a built-in microphone and speaker.
With the unique laser pointer toy you can play with your pet from your smartphone
Share photos from the camera with friends using the Petcube App

You Stink Good!

buldogs

My large lab loves to sniff the behind of every dog that walks by us: big or small, friendly or fierce. I embarrasingly call out “He’s overly friendly.” Pet owners will tolerate her first approach with tail wagging, nose twitching, as she heads straight for their pet’s rear end. “Peppi, give them some space, please!” Just what do dogs really learn from sniffing each other’s butt?

“Think of it kind of like speaking with chemicals,” referring to the release of glandular secretions by glands in a dog’s anal sac. “In fact, this butt-sniffing action is just a way of canine greeting. With a few short sniffs a dog can establish location, diet, illness, and readiness to mate. It is their way of deciding whether the backside in question is worth their time.” -Huffington Post.

My Peppi has an extraordinary sniffer, not just for dogs! He can find a peanut butter jar buried at the bottom of the recycing bin. How powerful is his nose? The scientific answer is that dogs noses are one hundred thousand times more sensitive than humans due to their three hundred million olfactory sensors (compared to six million in a human nose – pitiful).

So, how can my Pepe the super-sniffer make sense of the glandular secretions of another dogs anal sac?

“Dogs have a second olfactory system that’s known as the Jacobson’s organ. Its nerves direct the chemical information it detects directly to the brain so there’s no interference from other odors” -iheartdogs.com.

When a dog sniffs, two different things are happening:

1 He inhales the scented chemicals into his nasal cavities, where they are trapped in mucus and processed by the sensory cells. Inside the nostrils are cilia that contain many scent receptors. After the cell receptors trap the smells, each cell has several (10 to 100) axons that deliver their messages directly to the olfactory bulb.

2. He inhales into the sensory cells of Jacobson’s Organ that does not communicate with the olfactory bulbs and cortex, but with “the accessory bulbs and the part of the brain that coordinates mating and other basic emotions. In fact, recent evidence suggests that the two separate but parallel systems of odor detection cooperate in surprising ways to produce novel sensibilities not achievable by either of them on their own” -Whole Dog Journal.

When Pepe meets a dog he likes, they move around to sniff the back-end. This provides their emotional state, if they are in heat, info about their diet and health – a “How are you doing today?” greeting. If the dog is more aggressive, they will stay nose to nose and not offer any additional information!

Cat Scratch Fever

Siberian cat (12 weeks) in front of a white background

No, that catchy song by Ted Nugent is not about a cat attack! The real deal recently happend when a friend’s kitten climbed my bare legs like I was a palm tree! The results were traumatic – a series of long gashes that turned angry red and started to puff out. The innocent pet had already leapt onto the sofa, but if you have ever been scratched then you know how much it can hurt!

 Yes, there IS something worse than a paper cut… a cat scratch! Why? The claws of a kitty contain any number of bacteria from digging around in their cat litter box. If you get scratched from playful frolicking or an attack kitty, make sure to use a disinfectant on the wound like alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. There is an actual cat scratch disease caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae. Symptoms include:Lump at site of injury (usually the first sign)
Fatigue
Fever (occasionally)
Headache
Lymph node swelling near the site of the scratch or bite
Overall discomfort
Not as frequently,sore throat, loss of appetite, or weight loss may occur.If you are scratched, first determine how deep the cut is – usually a cat scratch does not need stitches. After a couple days, if your lymph nodes swell up, visit your health care provider and they can test you for cat scratch disease. The physical exam may reveal an enlarged spleen, or an infected lymph node as well. Since it is hard to diagnose, a Bartonella henselae IFA blood test is an option, along with a lymph node biopsy. At the end of the doctor visit, patients with severe cases are given antibiotics. The treatment may include any of the following antibiotics: asazithromycin, clarithromycin, rifampin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, orciprofloxacin. Right now in August all the way through to October is when cat scratch fever is most common in northern temperate zones. There are an estimated 22,000 new cases of CSD per year in the United States (Jackson, Perkins, Wenger).
In my case, the kitten had not had all her shots yet so I opted to have several tests done. The results were negative for CAT SCRATCH FEVER… however, later that evening I had a strong urge to yeowl at the full moon…

The Pros and Cons of a DIY Electronic Dog Fence

digging-dogIf you have a yard that your dogs can play in, how do you keep them inside it? A traditional fence is the most popular solution, and it’s a no-brainer: just put it up, and your dogs stay in. Well, most of the time they do. Some people have trouble containing their dogs with a traditional fence, because dogs who are determined escape artists may find ways to dig under or break through no matter what. And for some people, traditional fences aren’t options. A strict housing association may prohibit fences, for example; or the landscape may be too restrictive.

An electronic dog fence can be a great alternative to a traditional fence, but as with any major decision for your pets, the pros and cons should be weighed. If you’re thinking about using an invisible fence to contain your dogs, here are some of the upsides and downsides to keep in mind before making a purchase.

Pros

Reliability
The most important element of any safety measure is its reliability. If you can’t rely on your fence to keep your dogs in your yard, what is the point? Invisible dog fences are reliable, and they can be even more so than traditional fences. For example, a regular fence won’t notify you if a portion of it breaks due to the weather or other factor. The main unit of an invisible fence system will let you know immediately if there is a break that would put your dogs at risk of escape. Even better, a properly installed underground dog fence will very rarely require maintenance or repair. If you purchase a system that has battery backup, it will work even in the event of a power outage.

Invisible dog fences are also extremely reliable because most employ two layers of protection for your dogs. When your dogs approach the perimeter, their e-collars will emit a warning tone. At this point, most dogs will stop and turn back. If your dogs ignore the beeping, a mild corrective shock will warn them that they’ve reached their boundaries. Because of these mechanisms, invisible dog fences are also more reliable for dogs who enjoy digging or jumping; their e-collars won’t allow them to get close enough to the boundary to find a way through it.

Customization
A wired dog fence also gives you a bigger range of options when it comes to placement. Rigid fence sections can’t always be placed in desired areas, and you’re limited in how they can be arranged. Wire is much more malleable, and you’re able to lay it in any shape or formation you desire. It can be placed on rough or uneven terrain, or close to walls or other obstacles in the yard. You can also create exclusion zones within your yard to keep your dogs out of your garden, for example. If you have a small yard, an invisible dog fences allows you to maximize the area your dogs can roam. For very large yards, a DIY electric dog fence allows you to enclose all of it without spending a fortune on a traditional fence, because wire is much less expensive.

Cost
Not only is additional wire much less expensive than additional fence sections, the entire cost of a DIY electric dog fence is less. Highly rated units, such as the PetSafe YardMax, cost as little as $300. If you need more than the one e-collar the unit comes with, you’ll only need to spend $60-$100 more on each additional e-collar. Installing your own invisible dog fence will save you at least $1200 on installation fees. In general, DIY invisible dog fences cost at least 80 percent less than traditional fences in the same yard. And if you’re worried about the cost of electricity for running an invisible fence, don’t be – your electric bill will only raise about $1-$2 per month.

Cons

Installation
While installing your own electric dog fence will save you a significant amount of money, you do have to do the work required to get it up and running. You don’t need any expertise to install a dog fence – just the willingness to read the manual and follow the instructions. However, some people would rather pay to have the work done. Depending on the size of your yard, an invisible dog fence can be installed as a weekend project. Underground dog fences will require digging, for which you can rent a trencher if you prefer. If you’d rather not take the time, a wireless dog fence is another option that is quicker and easier to install.

Training
The most important aspect of installing an invisible dog fence is training your dogs to understand the new system. With proper training, your dogs will learn the perimeter and won’t experience the uncomfortable corrective shock unless they deliberately ignore their boundaries. After you’ve installed your electronic dog fence, you’ll need to spend about 15-30 minutes twice a day for up to two weeks. It’s essential that you follow the dog fence training instructions to the letter. If you don’t have the time or patience for this training, then an invisible dog fence isn’t right for you.

If you’re interested in installing your own invisible fence, there are lots of online invisible fence reviews that are extremely helpful for selecting your system. There are many different brands and models of electronic dog fences, and each have their own pros and cons. For example, not all have battery backup, and some are limited in the size of yard they can contain, especially wireless dog fences. With your due diligence and your devotion to your pets’ safety, you’ll have no problem choosing the right method to ensure your dogs stay safe in your yard.

For more information about dog fences please visit our educational partner www.dogfencediy.com. We encourage you to share your experiences with a variety of dog containment systems in the comments section. Commenters and those who share the post in social media qualify for a drawing of a $25 Amazon gift card!

MISSING: Companion of 31 Years. Little Green Man.

Beautiful green parrot in the rainforest , Yasuni National Park,MISSING: Companion of 31 years. Little green man. Prone to fits of cursing when stressed. Petey the Parrot. Call: (734) 555-5555.

Believe it or not, I just returned from vacationing in a town where a missing parrot was now commanding a $1500 reward for capture and return! He had been with the family for 20 years!

Throughout the week I would catch glimpses of fliers and posters in the boarded – up shops. A bird with a crazy cowlick of feathers spraying up behind his foreboding image.Petey simply up and left his owner when she opened the door for company. Perhaps it was a desperate attempt to be with like-minded birds singing outside in the Oak tree. Or maybe it was simply the instinctive urge to soar free. Either way, when the opportunity presented itself, the parrot surged forward and seized it by the tail-feathers!

What should you do if your pet goes missing? lost-dog-flyer

Step 1. Make sure to have a microchip put in your pet – they are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice, that can be implanted in your pet’s skin by many veterinarians and animal shelters. They are designed to work for 25 years!

Step 2. Find a photo of your pet looking cute and make fliers to post around the neighborhood and any nearby parks.

Step 3. Offer a reward, even a minimal amount will incentivize neighbors to pursue your pet should they glimpse him

Step 4. Continue to check with local Animal Shelters to see if he has been turned in or captured by Animal Control

Step 5. Contact the National Pet Recovery Hotline (1-800-252-7894)

and/or a service that investigates and tracks missing and sometimes stolen pets:

https://www.lostmydoggie.com/package-options.cfm