Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shelter Birthday Parties

Forget about MacDonald's and Chuck E. Cheese!

One of the hottest places today to celebrate a child's birthday is at the animal shelter. Not only do you support a good cause, but it is lots of fun. Several shelters nationwide offer birthday parties for kids.

At the Longmont Humane Society in Colorado, a two-hour party, held in the community room, consists of animal-themed games, an animal-safety presentation, a visit from kid-friendly dogs, and a tour of the shelter. Each guest also receives a special goodie bag to take home. The donation for this much fun is $150.

Instead of gifts, some children ask their friends to bring something on the shelter's wish list. The parties bring people to the shelter who might not do so otherwise, and the best part is that some families even go home with a new pet.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pot for Dogs?

In an effort to ease pain from arthritis, cancer, and other diseases in dogs, the Seattle company Medical Marijuana Delivery Systems is developing a "pot patch".

The product, to be called Tetracan, received patent rights in February of 2011 and could reach the market by the middle of 2012. This patch would be an alternative to pharmaceutical painkillers which have proven harmful, sometimes fatal in animals.

Maybe it will be sold with a box of milkbones?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Match for Pets

Now I have heard everything!

A website for dog companions.......find your dog's perfect playmate.

You can open a free account and search for potential pals for your pet according to species, breed, and city. Most of the site's profiles feature information about each pet's personality and favorite activities, and also photos. It is a way to find a few potentially compatible pals not far from home.

While the site is mainly for pets to connect with other pets, owners may connect too!

The creators goal is about enriching dogs' lives by providing them with more opportunities for the playtime they crave. That invaluable one-on-one time with another dog provides socialization and exercise and ultimately makes for a better pet.

For more information:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ebony Toy Test

Yes, Christmas time and time to spoil my dog.

Ebony loves soft, squeaky toys. But she destroys them. The last toy had "Chew Guard™" technology which claimed to be tougher, but Ebony had the stuffing out the next day. She still likes to play with the remains of the toy. In fact, I have seen at pet stores dog toys without stuffing.

The Kyjen Invincibles Snake claims to be a long-lasting toy and has no synthetic stuffing inside. It is filled with squeakers. The huge rectangular squeakers inside this toy make up its entire body. So if your dog bites through the toy, there is no stuffing to swallow. Unlike other squeaker toys, your dog can bite right through the Kyjen Invincibles Snake and the squeakers will still work.

These guys will show you......

I will let you know if it passes the Ebony Toy Test

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A New Sport!


A sport new to the United States and quickly gaining popularity.

Treiball (pronounced, "Tryb-bal," which means "driving ball" in German)is a problem-solving game that keeps owner and dog thinking and moving together as a team. It is played with large, plastic balls.

The game begins when the handler sends the dog out into a playing field containing eight large colored balls. The dog has 10 minutes to roll the balls into a target in the order directed by the handler. It ends when the dog brings in all the balls and lies down or time runs out. In competition, the fastest dog-handler team with the fewest errors wins. Canine errors includes using paws or teeth to move the ball.

Any size dog or breed can play Treibball, but the dog should have, or be willing to develop, good listening skills. Because it does not need a wide-open field of a traditional herding course, it can be done in urban environments which has earned Treibball one of its many nicknames, "urban pool."

Because the sport is fairly new, you may not find a group in your area. You can still teach your dog the basics at home, referring to the association handbook for specifics found on the website.

If your dog craves physical activity and mental stimulation, and you would like to be a part of an up-and-coming trend, check out Treibball. Your dog may not be satisfied by chasing a tennis ball again!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Paw Print Stamp

Here is a great idea for original wrapping paper and you will not have the mess of letting your dog walk all over wrapping paper with painted paws.

Make a paw print stamp!

What you will need:

1. Clay (regular modeling clay, modeling compound, or Play-Doh)
2. Petroleum jelly
3. Hot glue gun & glue sticks
4. Several small blocks of wood, a little larger than you do's paw
5. Sandpaper
6. Roll of plain paper
7. Nontoxic, washable poster paint
8. Paper plate
9. Paper towels

How to make it:

1. Work the clay with your hands until it is soft and pliable, then form several disks of clay, about 1/4 inch thick, a little larger in diameter than your dog's paw. The disks should not be very thick, so the paw print will be as flat as possible, to make a good stamp.

2. Press your dog's paw gently into each disk. The paw print should be shallow, while still being clearly a paw print.

3. Coat the inside of the paw print and the surrounding area of the clay with a think layer of petroleum jelly.

4. Plug in the hot glue gun. Fill the paw prints with hot glue, filling in each indentation, then covering the whole paw print and about 1/4 inch surrounding it with a thick layer of glue.

5. Gently place a wooden block on top of each paw print. This will be the back of your stamp. Allow the glue to dry for about five to ten minutes.

6. Gently remove the blocks and glue prints from the clay mold. If some of the clay has melted or stuck to the mold, just wipe it off.

7. Sand the glue to be somewhat flat, or rub it against concrete, such as a front step or your driveway. This will make for a better stamp.

8. Spread paint thinly on a paper plate. Dip your stamps in. Make a few sample prints on the plate to find which stamps make the best prints. Use the best ones for your wrapping paper project.

Stamp away on your wrapping paper or use the stamp to "sign" cards, seal envelops, or letterhead.

Be sure to treat your dog for helping you with this project.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hypoallergenic Dogs A Myth?

It turns out that the so-called "allergy-free dogs" are not so allergy-free.According to a study by a team of researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found that alleged hypoallergenic dogs, such as Poodles, Portuguese Water Dogs, and Labrador Retriever-Poodle mixes, do not have lower allergen levels in their homes.

People with pet allergies suffer bouts of congestion, coughing, sneezing, and red, itchy eyes. The harmless proteins, found in a dog's saliva and sebaceous, or skin, glands cause the adverse reactions. The proteins are then deposited on the coat through self grooming, or flakes of dead skin (dander) fall off the body, sticking to just about anything.....walls, carpets, and clothing.

For this study, Henry Ford researchers analyzed dust samples, collected from the carpet or floor of 173 homes, for the dog allergen Can f 1. In all, 60 dog breeds - 11 of which were widely considered hypoallergenic - were involved in the study.

Researchers found no significant differences in allergen levels between home3s with a "hypoallergenic" dog and those with other dogs.

The findings are published online in the July/August issue of the American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Dog Toy That Talks Back

Are you still looking for that entertaining dog toy?

This one is entertaining for both you and your dog. Especially if you have a "ball loving dog", it could prove to keep him busy for a long time.

My dog, Ebony, had one of these when she was a puppy. I must admit that I got tired of the noise long before she got tired of playing with it.

Here is a funny video of a Border Collie and the Babble Ball.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Puppy Raisers Needed

Do you love puppies?

Here is the perfect volunteer job.

Guide Dogs for the Blind, a San Rafael, California based organization that provides highly trained service animals to visually impaired people, needs volunteers to temporarily house and train its puppies.

Yes, the hardest part of the job is returning the puppy (between 13 and 18 months of age) for further training and placement with a visually impaired person.

Qualified volunteers receive their young canine charges - Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, or their mixes - around 8 weeks of age to teach them basic obedience, good house manners, and to begin introducing them to the real world. That means the pup goes with you everywhere to become familiar with life's sights and sounds.

Prepping puppies as future service animals is a lot of work, but volunteers do not do it alone. Local puppy raising clubs meet a few times each month to give volunteers guidance on proper training and socialization.

Guide Dogs is currently looking for volunteers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

Are you ready to be a Puppy Raiser?

For more information about volunteering call Guide Dogs for the Blind at 800-295-4050 or visit them online.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Benefits of Pet Ownership

Human interactions provide people with considerable social support and dog ownership can provide the social support, too.

Psychologists at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and Saint Louis University in St. Louis conducted experiments examining the potential benefits of pet ownership among people.

The findings?

Pets serve as important sources of social support, providing many positive psychological and physical benefits.

There was evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions.

People who own pets are more physically fit and conscientious, have greater self-esteem, and tend to be less lonely and fearful.

Pet owners were just as close to key people in their lives as to their animals, indicating that pet relationships did not come at the expense of relationships with people.

Does any of this surprise you?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dog Treats From China - Warning

Caution from FDA

According to the FDA, chicken jerky pet products that are imported from China are causing dogs to get sick and even die. According to the report, most dogs appear to recover; however, some have died. The report says,

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is again cautioning consumers that chicken jerky products for dogs (also sold as chicken tenders, strips or treats) may be associated with illness in dogs. In the last 12 months, FDA has seen an increase in the number of complaints it received of dog illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China. These complaints have been reported to FDA by dog owners and veterinarians."

People should watch for the following signs:

decreased appetite
decreased activity
diarrhea, sometimes with blood
increased water consumption
increased urination

If the dog shows any of these symptoms, stop feeding the chicken jerky and immediatley consult a veterinarian.

The report also states,

"Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose)."

Not the First Warning

The FDA issued a caution to dog owners in September 2007 and December 2008. The number of complaints from dog owners and vets prompted the FDA to release this recent warning.

Read full FDA report.