Some cats are VERY afraid of taxidermy…
CLICK HERE TO WATCH SOME CURIOUS HOUSECATS CHECK OUT A BOBCAT MOUNT: http://www.montanaoutdoor.com/2013/11/bobcat-vs-house-cats-bobcat-wins/
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Some pet caregivers still recall the huge 2007 pet food recall for melamine contamination from ingredients imported from China. More than 40 pet food brands, including some of the best known names, were involved in the 2007 recall. Have things changed? Not much. According to About.com Pet Supplies, not a month has gone by in 2013 without several recalls. Last month both Nestle Purina and Proctor and Gamble recalled products. The Veterinary Information Network reported health problems linked to sweet potato treats similar to those related to chicken jerky treats (also sourced from China) which they had reported earlier this year. The seemingly endless list of recalls leave people worried that the items they bought on Monday will be recalled on Friday. How do you determine which foods and treats are safe for your dog? Read the labels carefully, and PLEASE don’t buy ANY treats sourced in China. Not chicken jerky treats, chicken tenders, chicken strips, chicken treats, or sweet potato treats. Buying only food and treats made in the U.S. won’t remove all risk of winding up with a tainted product, but it will certainly improve your chances of keeping your pet safe. I recommend not feeding any commercial treats. Most of them are NOT healthy, and there are many great easy-to-make recipes for homemade treats.
Pet food/treat packaging usually has a toll free number listed on the packaging. Take the time to call, and be prepared for vague, unsatisfactory responses. Be polite but insistent about the source and origin of ALL ingredients, and locations of production facilities. (Being imported from a responsible place does not mean that they were not sourced in China, shipped to another destination, and then sent to the U.S. pet food companies.)
Human grade ingredients means that meats and everything, including the grains are USDA inspected. …ask for authentication of this claim. There are few regulations as far as the ingredients in pet food, and commercials show fresh chickens and whole grains. Realize that the green nuggets are NOT green vegetables…they are nuggets that are dyed green with very little vegetable content. Same with other colored kibble or treats. With much confusing, misleading info in pet food labeling and advertising, bear in mind that most of the ingredients in most pet foods, including meat by-products and meat meal, are at the low end of the food chain, and are NOT human grade: they come from whatever remains of the animal parts not deemed fit for human consumption.
The hallmarks of a high quality pet food or treat include:
*A whole meat source should be listed as one of the main ingredients. (Primary sources are listed first on labeling)
*Superior sources of protein. This means either whole meats or single source meats. Generic fats such as “animal fat” can be anything from recycled grease from restaurants to a mystery mix of various fats. What do you think is in “animal digest,” for example?
*Natural preservatives. No artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. A healthy product with top quality ingredients shouldn’t need additives or extra sweeteners..
Choices have to be made regarding what to feed your companion animal, and cost doesn’t necessarily guarantee the best nutrition, and “premium,” “natural”, and “gourmet” are simply gimmicky marketing terms which are usually meaningless.. To find out how a specific food is rated, go to http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com; you can also request that they notify you of any new food or treat recall. With literally hundreds of different brands available, navigating the maze of canine nutrition can be overwhelming, but if your dog’s food is negatively impacting her health and well-being, changes need to be made….not easy, but possible!
Larsen can be contacted at Paw Prints, Box 373, Newell, Iowa 50568 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
If you have tried to adopt a dog, you know what I’m talking about. Dog Rescues – so many in-depth, personal questions; just to adopt a dog! For goodness sake – do they really need all of that information?
After all – aren’t these homeless dogs? Wouldn’t any owner be better than being a dog, lamenting in rescue? Than being homeless??
Nope – as a matter of fact, those questions and in-depth applications have a purpose. The individuals who run these rescues have seen quite a bit of dog stuff in their day. They have seen the circumstances that brought these dogs into rescue in the first place.
There are a few “real” cases where a dog needs the help of a rescue because the owner has died or fallen gravely ill (please see the article “cancer leaves 2 dogs without an owner”), but the majority of dogs in rescues are there because they had owners who did things all wrong.
So, why does the application ask the names and ages of those in the household? Because they need to know if there are kids in the house that might be at risk if an inappropriate dog is placed in the home.
Why does the application ask you where the dog will be at night, or while you are away? Because many of the dogs in rescue are there because a prior owner had to get rid of them after neighbors complained about constant barking.
Why does the dog rescue care about training? Really, if it is your dog, shouldn’t training (or not training) be your decision? Nope. Many of the dogs in rescues are there because nobody took the time to train them.
The dogs become unruly, hard to own and guess what? Dumped at a shelter or in a rescue. The dogs become somebody else’s problem. Unfortunately, at that point, they are often out of control and require considerable work to even become adoptable.
Why should the rescue know about your prior dog-ownership? Is it really their business? Yep. If you had a couple of dogs that you got rid of after they peed in the house, or because you were having a baby, or god forbid – moving, the rescue needs to know.
You see, rescues would not function if dogs were not re-homed. There would be no need for organizations to exist if all owners kept their dogs, no matter what. If all owners altered their dogs and prevented unwanted litters of puppies. If all owners kept their dogs safely indoors, instead of out in a kennel or yard where they might bark, or even get out of a yard and possibly injure someone or something.
The questions on the application (and if you’re lucky enough to get that far, those asked of you in a phone interview) have been designed to weed out the bad owners. Is the system perfect? No. Nothing is perfect. However, the situations that the rescue organizations have encountered through the years has given them a pretty good idea of what to ask in order to find exceptional homes for the dogs.
Why are exceptional homes needed? So these dogs do not end up without an owner again. So the dogs don’t end up at a shelter where they might be euthanized. The rescues aren’t able to take in every dog that needs a place to go. Too many dogs are in danger at the shelters.
So the next time you are looking to adopt, be prepared to complete a lengthy adoption application and to spend some time chatting on the phone with a volunteer. Don’t be offended or annoyed – be thankful that those rescue-minded individuals care enough about the dogs in their care to ask the questions that need to be asked.
Rescue organizations find some phenomenal homes – amazing people are out there. That being said, so many of the dogs in rescue are amazing too. They are worth the time and effort and they deserve the exceptional home. They deserve a home that will keep them until the end of their days.
And a final note – a bad owner is not better than getting a dog “out” of rescue. Getting out of rescue, only to be left in a kennel for 10 hours a day or chained in a yard is not better than sitting in rescue. Those “sitting” dogs will eventually get adopted and the new owner will not be keeping them in a bad situation.
Please adopt. Please alter your pets. Please own responsibly.
(Article via examiner.com)
Responsible pet care is being emphasized by the ASPCA and other national groups this month, with the emphasis on maintaining a meaningful relationship with your four-legged companion throughout the entire year. The first step to being a responsible pet caregiver is being committed to care for both the physical and mental well-being throughout the entire life of the dog, even if sometimes that is inconvenient., recognizing the fact that your dog’s welfare is totally dependent upon YOU…not just on weekends, or when you have spare time.
Dogs are dogs, and many actions that humans consider inappropriate are simply expressions of natural behavior. Dogs dig; dogs bark; dogs chew…these are things that come natural to a dog, and even though our domesticated dogs no longer hunt for their food, they are still predators by nature, and they need to be busy. If a dog becomes destructive or aggressive, it is almost always the fault of the humans…too little interaction and too little training. Teaching what is and what is not appropriate behavior is YOUR responsibility, and every member of the family needs to follow the same rules. Consistency is the key to having a well behaved dog.
Spayed or neutered dogs not only live longer and healthier lives, but they also make better companions. If you have an intact dog going into puberty, it is time to make an appointment with your vet. Please don’t procrastinate! Choose a veterinarian with whom you feel comfortable, and follow his/her recommendations for vaccinations, checkups, and other care. Regular vet care is essential, not only when they are sick; regularly scheduled wellness exams can detect many illnesses or issues before they become serious, costly or even life threatening. Veterinary care is an important aspect of being responsible for your dog, and caregivers should factor in the care-costs BEFORE getting a dog.
Dogs need a proper diet to stay fit and healthy. Dog food companies spend millions of dollars to convince you that their food is the best food for your dog. Don’t fall for all the slick marketing hype; do a little research, and you will soon discover that all foods are not equal. Read the ingredients label, and if you want to find out how different foods rate, check the independent website, www.dogfoodadvisor.com. You may be surprised to discover that expensive doesn’t necessarily mean best! There are a few people- foods like peanut butter, cooked eggs, and raw baby carrots that are good for your dog, but other foods like chocolate, avocado, grapes or raisins, onions, caffeine, and alcohol can be extremely dangerous for dogs.
Dogs require a lot more exercise than many other pets, and should be walked DAILY, although breed, size and energy level will affect how long a dog needs to exercise. (Turning her out into the back yard does NOT qualify as enough exercise!) Taking a walk with your dog provides an outlet for your dog’s energy, and is also good for your well-being. ( Always carry a pick-up bag with you to pick up after your dog…no one wants to step in a “gift” your dog left behind.)
Dogs need basic training… basic obedience training that addresses issues such as nipping, jumping and chewing will help your dog thrive in a social environment. There are training classes offered in every community to help you help the dog appropriately interact with other dogs and other humans.
Getting professional training will help you understand your dog’s unique temperament and tendencies, and help you to have better control over his behavior. A well-behaved dog will enjoy a better relationship with everyone he meets, and his good manners will reflect on your competence as a responsible caregiver.
. Hear our humble prayer, O God, for our friends the animals… for any that are hunted or lost or neglected or deserted or frightened or hungry.We entreat for them all Thy mercy and pity, and for those who deal with them we ask a heart of compassion and gentle hands and kindly words. Make us, ourselves, to be true friends to animals, and so to share the blessings of the merciful. ~ Albert Schweitzer
Larsen can be contacted at Paw Prints, Box 373, Newell, Iowa 50568 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org