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Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Think your workplace is a zoo? Create a cohesive, well-run office by taking these tips from our furry (and feathered) friends.

Think your workplace is a zoo? Create a cohesive, well-run office by taking these tips from our furry (and feathered) friends.

Pet traits to emulate… and to avoid:Business Dog

So, you taught your dog to catch a Frisbee and your parrot to squawk "Loser!" when your brother walks into the room. Well done.

The rewards of animal training are many — ranging from the obvious advantages of a puddle-free house to the potential 15 minutes of "stupid pet trick" fame on Letterman.

But it goes both ways. Our pets also model valuable behaviors worth emulating, such as loyalty, trust and affection. Are you learning, Teacher?

Consider what pet traits are worth following and which demand avoidance in the workplace. Here are a few….

Old dogs can — and should — learn new tricks

Balancing a salad crouton on your nose might not impress your superiors, but updating your accounting skills to better balance the books might. Job security is often tied to adaptability. Jumping hoops is unnecessary, but growing your skill set to stay in step with industry trends is highly advised.

Social media has opened up new career possibilities for forward thinkers. What will be next?

No one is going to stand there holding a salary raise above that online class brochure or networking seminar. It’s up to you to picture the potential rewards of learning — and doing something new.

Friendly greetings and eye contact are key

Like your sociable pooch, sometimes you need to get up close and personal (but no sniffing). Say “hi” in person when possible. Answer emails. Check in by phone with key colleagues and clients. Bark wildly when unfamiliar people pass your cubicle (Not really. Just seeing if you’re paying attention. But feel free to “tweet” when appropriate.)

LinkedIn and Facebook make it possible to do more with less, but don’t minimize the value of face-to-face contact via local networking communities.

At after hours meet-ups do remember that social and business can be blended, but never blurred.

Leave the quick change to the real chameleons

A chameleon’s skin cells open and close in response to light, temperature and mood changes. The reflected pigment can change from green to brown or gray in as little as 20 seconds.

Kind of like the time Sharon loved your email campaign at lunch and then echoed Ed’s negative comments at the staff meeting that afternoon. Respect Sharon much?

It’s fun to watch a chameleon change colors. But, in the working world, random changes are unprofessional. Be sincere and be consistent. Own your ideas and opinions.

Give a dog a bone … not catnip

While monetary rewards are praise enough for most, bosses don’t generally hand out Ben Franklins on a daily basis. It’s long-term inspiration that best bolsters morale and builds successes.

Catnip won’t galvanize a dog. Similarly a juicy bone won’t set your parrot’s heart aflutter. And even within species, some will respond more readily to a scratch on the head over a treat or toy reward.

Think of your co-workers and staff as individuals. Whether you offer verbal praise, lunch, or a well-worded recommendation on LinkedIn, reward the positive in ways that encourage more of the same.

Keep incentives within reach

Placing a bowl of your finest kibble on the counter will only feed the most determined and creative dog. Likewise, stashing gerbil food in the fridge for your mini-rodent to self-serve from isn’t going to keep him fat and furry.

So why doesn’t the coffee shop keep loyalty cards where customers can reach them? And where is the contact number on the sportswear website? Procuring order forms and carryout menus shouldn’t require detective work.

Make it easy to be your customer to create — and keep — long-term clients.

To be sure you’re heard, bark less

"Oh boy! It’s the garbage truck/neighbor kid/15th time I’ve barked in the last minute!" Within 15seconds, you’re either fuming at the negligent dog owner or have totally tuned out the canine chatter.

It’s the same in the office: "Yum, roasted soy nuts!" "Sure is cold/wet/boring out there today!" "Another email!" "Hmm…"

Psst: Your 15 seconds are up. When you get to, “Let’s consider switching out our newsletter format in favor of…” they won’t hear you. A conversation about Nothing was funnier when Seinfeld did it and will only lessen your impact. Keep your credibility. No yipping.

Sometimes an accident is no accident

Accidents happen. Hopefully, not on the carpet. Or to your pet project (couldn’t resist). But shoe chewing? That’s a message. So is "forgetting" to inform you about a key meeting or spilling unflattering office gossip.

Passive aggressive behaviors won’t diminish with in-kind responses. With clear incidents of sabotage, first try clearing the air with the Career Chewer to unearth the root of the problem.

Sometimes the simple act of exposure will be enough to end the actions. If not, that’s what HR is for. Keep records and share them if necessary.

Cats and dogs don’t always see eye to eye

Each worker has a role in the office. (We’re not entirely sure what Doug’s doing over there in supplies, but he’s on the flow chart and the copier has paper, so let it go.) You won’t click with everyone. And here’s shocking news: Your natural canine tendencies may rankle co-workers with feline or avian preferences.

Respect functions within the office microcosm in spite of nasal voices, off-key elevator humming and misguided team affiliations. It’s work, so make it work. And if they don’t like you? Recognize it as a get-out-of-jail free the next time there is mention of a home jewelry party.

Some animals don’t play well with others

Someone will undoubtedly make a case for the alligator on a leash, the raccoon with a litter box and the backyard bear, but most will agree that there are animals and certain slithery reptiles that simply aren’t suitable pets.

Sometimes an employee simply isn’t a "fit" for the job he has landed in. Whatever the reason for the mismatch, it will strain patience and adversely affect productivity. If the square peg can’t be trained into cylindrical shape, let it go.

Unless the cubicles display signs listing the diet and Latin name for each department, keeping the untrainable is bad business.

Sometimes the alpha dogs are ‘fraidy cats inside

Intimidating personalities are akin to growling dogs or puffed up lizards. The great green iguana can self-inflate to present a more imposing profile, but when faced head on, appears compressed and thin like a successful and cranky dieter.

Lesson? Respect your co-workers, but respect yourself too. Blustering, self-important people are self-inflaters. Don’t allow appearances to deceive or dishearten you.

Larry from legal might know everyone in the courthouse, but he still puts his pants on one leg at a time (and doesn’t match them very well to his shirts, we might add… if we were catty).

Good dogs don’t do drama

A healthy parakeet won’t mope if its owner opts to play classical Vivaldi when it was really more in the mood for some smooth Pat Metheny tunes.

A beagle wouldn’t hold a grudge if its bed were moved closer to accounting to facilitate collaboration.

Emotionally healthy people keep the drama on their DVR. They don’t saturate tissues in a corner of the break room insisting they’re "fine."

No snarling or sulking at the office, please. Spare the staff and save it for Dr. Phil.

Persistence pays off

Ever tried to not play with a Labrador? Or walked away from a hungry cat? The dog will follow, nudge and gift you with soggy chew toys. Cats will implore with heart wrenching meows until the house smells like tuna fish again.

So why not try just a little harder with that creative brainchild of yours? Can you rework it to fit the current business environment? Who could help you define the technical parameters?

If it’s good, don’t quit too soon. We don’t recommend dropping grimy tennis balls into your boss’s office, but your idea might be worth another chat over a cup of coffee.

Confine your mess

When a cat goes rogue on litter box use, it’s unpleasant for everyone. And most pet owners don’t feed their lizards in the living room (mealworms and crickets are much better suited to a private dining experience).

Same for the workplace. An employee who leaves a stack of folders on the floor outside his cubicle so he won’t clutter his own desktop falls in the same etiquette-free zone as the dog owner who fiddles with her cell phone while ignoring Fifi’s ministrations next to the neighbor’s mailbox.

Tigger’s takeaway: Don’t let your clutter or messy habits infringe on others.

Kernels from the kennel

A few basic lessons from the animal kingdom could greatly improve human relations in the workplace. Pet principles often work because they’re stripped of human bias and rely solely on cause and consequence. A pet rabbit won’t cling to last month’s snub and read hidden messages into a late alfalfa delivery. And, for the most part, neither should you.

Sometimes, it may feel like a zoo, but your office is more like a team of sled dogs pulling toward a common goal. Think of this image during your next staff presentation. It beats imagining Bill in his boxers and may help you focus on how to better lead the pack.

by Heather Dugan, Salary.com contributing writer  -  Cross-Posted at Just One More Pet

February 25, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Unusual Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , | 1 Comment

They Live Here… You Don’t ;-)

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE PETS, THIS IS A TRUE STORY.  FOR THOSE WHO DON’T, THIS IS A TRUE STORY.

The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.

Dear Dogs and Cats:  The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food.  Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and/or food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack.  Racing me to the bottom is not the object.  Tripping me doesn’t help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king-sized bed.   I am very sorry about this.  Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however.  Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep.  It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible.  I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time,  there is no secret exit from the bathroom!  If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door.  I must exit through the same door I entered.  Also, I have been using the bathroom for years–canine/feline attendance is not required.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:

TO ALL NON-PET OWNERS WHO VISIT AND LIKE TO COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR PETS:

(1) They live here.  You don’t.

(2) If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture.  That’s why they call it ‘fur’-niture.

(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people..

(4) To you, they are animals.  To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don’t speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because:

(1)  they eat less,

(2)  don’t ask for money all the time,

(3)  are easier to train,

(4)  normally come when called,

(5)  never ask to drive the car,

(6)  don’t smoke or drink,

(7)  don’t want to wear your clothes,

(8)  don’t have to buy the latest fashions,

(9)  don’t need a gazillion dollars for college, and

(10) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children.

dalmation, parrot and other pets

February 3, 2011 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , | Leave a comment

Pets may be susceptible to swine flu virus

Thousands of Americans have been infected with the H1N1 flu virus, but that’s just counting people. This week it was announced a domestic cat in Iowa also was stricken with the virus — most likely transmitted by sick owners — as well as two ferrets in Nebraska and Oregon.

This sudden infection may have pet owners wanting to put their furry friends in line for an H1N1 flu shot, but state veterinarian experts say not to worry. (H1N1 or any type flu vaccines are a bad idea!!  We are over vaccinating our pets, just like we are over vaccinating ourselves and our children.)

“Theoretically, you could pass it on to pets, but the chances are extremely low,” said Dr. Bob Ehlenfeldt, a state veterinarian in the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.

The reversal of pets transmitting the virus to humans is even less likely, he said.

The chances are so low, according to Ehlenfeldt, because the H1N1 novel 2009 flu virus is a human disease being transmitted and maintained in humans. It’s unusual for species other than humans to become infected because viruses tend to adapt to certain species, he said.

For example, the bird flu from a few years ago was highly adaptable to infecting birds, whereas this strain of the H1N1 flu is adept at people-to-people transmission, he said.

Besides the cat and the ferrets, the only other non-human species known to have been infected with the virus are about a dozen swine herds worldwide, and recently some turkeys in Chile, according to Ehlenfeldt and Dr. Jim Kazmierczak, a state veterinarian in the Wisconsin Division of Public Health.

The infection of the ferrets, however, didn’t surprise Kazmierczak because the lanky rodents are thought to be susceptible since they are used as laboratory animals and are sensitive to human strains of influenza, he said.

Also, since turkeys were infected, Kazmierczak said it could be possible for other types of birds to get the virus. So far, however, no incidents have been reported.

“The safe thing to do is to assume that while we know cats and ferrets are susceptible, we should assume dogs and pet birds are also susceptible,” Kazmierczak said.

Thus, owners infected with the H1N1 flu should still be careful around their pets and maintain distance from them as you would with other family members.  It really is a matter of common sense!!!

For example, Kazmierczak said to relocate a bird cage if it is positioned in the room in which an infected person may be recuperating.
Also, wash your hands before handling or feeding the pet, he advised

By Hilary Dickinson – Published: Saturday, November 7, 2009 12:57 AM CST
hdickinson@beloitdailynews.com

Posted:  Just One More Pet – Cross Posted:  True Health Is True Wealth

Related: 

Katie Couric  Reports on Serious Vaccine Safety Issues – Finally

First Daughters Not Vaccinated Against H1N1

November 9, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Company Will Start Building “The World’s Most Pet-Friendly House” But Here Are Some Hints For All Pet Parents…

dalmation, parrot and other pets

Protect your beloved pets from everyday hazards in your home…

Pets are more than just animals. Our furry, feathered, and finned friends require time, attention, and as safe and comfortable a home as we do. “Most people don’t think about pets when buying or building houses—not even the pet owners themselves,” says David Beart of professorshouse.com, a Canadian company that will start building “the world’s most pet-friendly house” at the end of this year. “Over half of all homes have pets living in them, but animals are still an afterthought when it comes to home improvements,” says Beart. “What I really want to get across is much more than just creating the world’s most pet-friendly house,” Beart adds. “It’s about making people think of pets with importance rather than as possessions, or even disposable.”

When you’re planning a home for both you and your pets, consider their particular needs. Think about whether you’re putting your door-dashing dog on a high-traffic street. Will your protective pup go postal on guests? How can you make your multi-story home comfortable for your elderly dog? What common household items are hazardous to pets and not humans? (Last year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) handled more than 140,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances and hazardous things in their own homes.) Keep reading to learn what you should be looking for, and how a little planning can go a long way to help you streamline your daily routine and keep your pet safe and happy.

All-Fours Inspection

Try to think like your pet to get a sense of what might be dangerous to them. The pros at Purina suggest that the best way to start is by taking “a puppy’s eye-view” of things. You have to put yourself in your pet’s place—and get down on all fours—to take a look around. Make sure you inspect areas that your pet can access by way of climbing or jumping. You’d be surprised at the dangers a periodic inspection of your home can reveal. Here are some hazards to look for (although they may not be all you find):

•Look for choking, strangulation, electrocution, and suffocation hazards. Keep window treatment cords short and cut through any loops, and unplug or cover wires and electrical cords.
•Don’t leave human foods and medications where pets can access them. Eliminate “ladders” that curious pets can climb to access elevated areas like countertops and tabletops. Discard perishable trash daily to keep pets from rummaging through it.

Between trips to the curb, keep trash odors (and pet temptation) low with baking soda and a tight-fitting lid. One pet-owner favorite is the stainless steel and rubber Vipp Trash Can with foot-pedal.

If pets get into the trash, they can chew chicken bones into shards, get to choking hazards like fruit seeds and cores—and your house is going to be a mess. Note that many fruit seeds contain natural contaminants that can result in potentially fatal cyanide poisoning in dogs: Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure, caffeine in coffee grinds and chocolate are also toxic, sugar-free foods and gums containing Xylitol can cause liver failure, and nutmeg can cause tremors, seizures, and central nervous system damage. See the ASPCA’s list of  Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pet. If you think your pet has ingested something hazardous, call the ASPCA Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 right away.

•Make sure indoor plants are varieties that are pet-safe. Lilies can cause kidney failure in cats. Other common, but toxic, plants include amaryllis, poinsettia, mums, and aloe vera. See the ASPCA’s database of Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants before bringing a new plant home.

•Pets can often maneuver cupboards open to access home cleaning products, pesticides, fertilizers, and other hazardous items. Consider latching them shut. Keep rooms where you set out rodenticides and traps off limits to your pet.

•Not letting your pet ingest antifreeze seems like a no-brainer. But, the smell and taste of the stuff is especially appealing to both cats and dogs. In fact, approximately 10,000 pets die every year as a result of antifreeze poisoning from as little as a drop. Keep it stored in a latched cabinet or on a high shelf, and use it carefully, cleaning up any drips or spills immediately.

•Keep your toilet lid down, especially if you use automatic bowl cleaners, to eliminate risk of poisoning. Keeping the lid down also eliminates a drowning hazard.

•The number of cats that fall out of windows is so high, that the veterinary profession has coined the term High-Rise Syndrome. If you must open windows, make sure that screens are sturdy and properly installed. Window guards are not adequate protection for cats, who can easily fit through the bars.

Carving Out a Space

Kittens and pups will sneak into an opened dryer (or other small, dangerous places) the first chance they get. Give them their own space and you won’t have to worry about them seeking refuge where they don’t belong. A hazard-free zone, with a cozy bed, water source, and safe toys will do the trick. Other convenient features include a sink to wash feeding bowls, and adequate storage for accessories. Remember that well-exercised pets are less likely to get into trouble, and more likely to rest well at night instead of barking or whining for attention. If it’s possible, create a pet area in a mudroom with cat or doggy door access to a fenced-in yard, corral, or dog run so that they can head outdoors at their leisure.

Litter boxes should be placed away from feeding areas and in a place that’s private, but not too isolated. If your pet doesn’t feel safe or comfortable using a litter box, he won’t. Elderly pets should be given an area on the ground level, and weepads should be accessible. Consider placement of ramps to furniture if you allow your elderly pet that kind of access. If you’re not home for most of the day, you’re presented with a special set of concerns: Consider a pet fountain so that fresh water is readily available. Leave your pet with sturdy toys that won’t break to reveal small parts. Interactive treat toys made of high-impact plastic, like the Buster Cube from Doctors Foster and Smith, will keep your pets occupied and stay in one piece. If your pet is especially curious, consider crate training him or blocking off a small, safe area with a baby gate.

Paw-Safe Flooring and Fabrics

Go with fabrics and flooring materials that’ll make less work for you. Stylish, easy-care leather or ultrasuede can be wiped clean and won’t be dramatically affected by wear. Crypton Super Fabric is a synthetic germ- and stain-resistant option made with pet owners in mind. It’s available in a variety of custom colors and patterns and the Crypton online store offers couture pet beds, “Throver” furniture covers, and decorative pillows.

Carpet isn’t the best choice for pet owners, but if you must go wall-to-wall, choose a color that matches your pet (it’ll mask pet hair) with a performance rating of 3.5 or higher. For lightweight dogs, hardwood with adequate urethane finish is a common and easy-clean choice. For heavier dogs, ceramic tile or another nonporous hard surface flooring would be best. See Pet-Friendly Flooring for more ideas.

Clean Pet, Clean House

Groom your pet yourself, and you’ll save up to $100 per visit to pros. You’ll also spend less time cleaning house. Regular nail clipping keeps scratch damage down, while regular brushing keeps hair in the brush instead of, well, everywhere else. Brush before and after a wash to keep drain-clogging hair to a minimum. Vacuum twice a week with a machine like the DC17 Animal Vac by Dyson designed especially for homes with pets. It features a mini turbine head to lift hair and dirt from upholstery, stairs, and vehicles. The design allows for hygienic bin emptying and includes a lifetime HEPA filter. For a quick clean up, pass strips of packing tape or a wet plastic kitchen glove over clothing and surfaces to pick up stray hairs.

If your pet inherits furniture and flooring that isn’t ideal, then you’ll have to become a master at stain removal and disinfecting. Monitor your pet so accidents can be handled promptly. The longer a stain sits, the harder it’ll be to remove, and your pet will be more likely to sniff out the same spot for a repeat offense. Look for special cleaning products with natural enzymes to break down stains and odors. Pros recommend OdorLogic CleanAway and OdorLogic OxyQuick (for fresh stains). Finally, pay attention to flea and tick prevention and control. If the pests are on your pet, then odds are flea eggs, pupae, and larvae are in your carpeting, bedding, and yard.

Petscaping Your Yard

If you let your pets out into the yard, flea and tick prevention isn’t your only concern. You’ll have to determine whether you need to build or add structures, install invisible fences, and identify toxic plants in your landscape. The ASPCA keeps an extensive database of plants that are hazardous to dogs, cats, and even horses. Some such plants are azaleas, some ferns and ivies, daffodils, and daylilies. Pet-friendly plants include bamboo and, of course, catnip. Search the ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants database before you put something in the ground. Insecticides and fertilizers were among the ASPCA’s top 10 pet poisons in 2008, so consider organic gardening.

Feeding Time

Buying bulk to save on pet food? Then you have to store it appropriately to avoid contamination and slow the vitamin and nutrient degradation process. Check for tears in food packages before you buy them. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) advises against using feeding dishes to scoop food out of packages. Assign a clean spoon or small container for scooping. FDA guidelines for food storage call for leftover wet food to be refrigerated at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and dry food to be stored in its original bag, then placed in a clean, food-grade plastic container, and stored at 80 degrees Fahrenheit or less. Placing the bag in a container will also keep unwanted insects and rodents away. Note that dry foods are more nutritious and less susceptible to contamination or spoilage than wet foods are.

Storing bulk food in large trash cans in the garage is a fairly common practice, but this exposes food to temperature extremes in a container that can leach dyes and additives into food over time. Make sure you purchase a special food storage container, or visit a local food establishment to claim a food-grade plastic bucket that’ll soon be headed for the trash heap.

Small Animals

“Too often parents buy small pets and fish for their children as learning tools, but those pets are even more fragile than cats and dogs,” Beart explains. “The average lifespan of a hamster, for example, is about 3 years. In many homes, the pet hardly ever lasts more than a few months.” Here are some helpful tips that’ll ensure the safety and longevity of your small pets:

Hamsters

•They tend to be active at night and asleep during the day. For that reason, you’ll want make sure your pet’s exercise wheel isn’t a squeaky one.
•Provide at least 2 inches of bedding to allow for normal burrowing behavior. Use shredded tissue or paper, or clean processed corncob. Commonly used cedar chips are associated with respiratory and live disease in rodents. Clean cages and refresh bedding at least once a week.
•Many hamsters must be kept in cages by themselves after the age of 10 weeks. Adult females are especially hostile to one another, so do your homework before you consider grouping.

Guinea Pigs

•Their bodies cannot produce Vitamin C, so you’ll have to supplement it with an appropriate product from your pet supply store.
•Guinea pig’s teeth grow constantly, so chew toys are essential.

Rabbits

•They actually learn litter box habits quickly and easily. Keep in mind that they like to chew and may hide in small, dark spaces. When you allow your pet time out of his cage for exercise, consider cord protectors, securely cover ducts and vents, and always locate your pet before sitting down and opening and closing recliners.

Birds

•Cage placement is very important: Keep the cage away from windows and radiators to protect your bird from drafts and direct exposure to heat. Many birds prefer to have a safe corner to back into, and if a cage is placed away from walls or toward the center of a room, it can make your pet feel insecure. Cage placement away from windows also means your bird won’t always be anxiously guarding itself from “predators” like your neighbors dog and other passing animals.
•They perch and take cover in the wild, so provide these opportunities in their cages. Your bird’s foot should wrap around approximately 2/3 of each perch and toes should never meet and overlap. Irritation, injury, and infection may result if perches are too small.
•Kitchens are a common place for pet-owners to keep their bird cages. Be aware that birds have very sensitive respiratory systems, and fumes emitted from overheated nonstick cookware could be fatal.
•Do your homework when looking for pet birds: Some species, like social finches, require companionship while others will do fine on their own.

Fish

•Though fish are widely considered the most “disposable” of pets, you can greatly reduce tank mortality by creating the ideal water conditions for the type of fish you have. Required temperatures and pH levels depend upon the kind of fish you have. Research the requirements of your breed and monitor their conditions periodically.
•When adding new swimmers to your tank, consider the types of fish you already have. Some species may be aggressive or even attempt to eat other fish. Tell a pro at the pet store what’s already in your tank, and ask if the fish you want to group are compatible.

By: Tabitha Sukhai, This Old House Magazine

Posted:  Just One More Pet

August 12, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Fostering and Rescue, Just One More Pet, Pet Adoption, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Interesting Cat and Bird Houses

extreme birdhouse created by John Looser

Bird House Photo:  John Looser

Even a birdbrain can appreciate this wonder. With 103 compartments, 13 roofs, and 32 dormers, it is more like a bird hotel than a birdhouse. Built by former Canadian homebuilder John Looser, the enormous 8-foot-tall, 9-foot-wide Roxbury Inn is made of reclaimed barn wood, with a steel roof constructed of almost 100 hand-painted pieces. Compartments face in all directions, making checking in and out a breeze (the kitty doorman notwithstanding). This house was built as a Do It Yourself project.

Japanese Plus-Nyan House designed for cats and humans

Cat House Photo:  Asahi Kasei

Sometimes when felines and humans live together things can get, well, catty. Japanese home builders Asahi Kasei designed and built the Plus-Nyan House with special features that cater to the needs of cats and their owners, including cat walks and tunnels, climbing steps, and sleeping nooks. All materials in the home resist scratching and are easy to clean, and the house encourages cat/human interactions throughout, even in the bathroom, which has a special alcove for a kitty litter box next to the toilet. When tired of the amenities inside, kitties can explore a fenced-in outdoor area on the roof.

Source:  This Old House magazine

Posted:  Just One More Pet

August 12, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Just One More Pet, pet fun, Pets, Unusual Stories | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Orange Bone, a New Kind of Pet Store

Selling puppies in a pet store, especially since Oprah’s notorious Puppy Mill episode aired last year, can easily alienate members of the dog community, incite protest and boycott and be bad business in today’s climate. The Orange Bone, Melrose Avenue’s newest pet store, is changing its business model and selling puppies from local rescues and shelters. 

Orange Bone, working with Last Chance for Animals, is committed to saving dogs on death row. It all sounds too good to be true so I decided to check out it for myself. Not surprisingly for a store on Melrose Avenue, the place has a sleek, glossy modern look; it resembles a Pinkberry store more than a typical pet store you’d find in a mall. Los Angeles has its fill of nice looking pet boutique so I went straight to the dogs.

On a Tuesday afternoon the store was packed. I eavesdrop as Ray Maldonado, regularly referred to as the store’s dog guy by many patrons and coincidentally the vice president, talks to a couple considering a pit bull puppy. As I stand around and wait for my turn, I noticed the Orange Bone offers financing. Ray says potential buyers have the option to complete a credit application. He says for those who need it and qualify; it helps to get the dog placed a little easier. Wow. Rays reminds me, “It is all about the dogs.”

While Ray excuses himself to answer another customer’s questions, I take a second to review their sales contract. I was very pleased to see the following, “Adopter agrees if for any reason you cannot keep the puppy you will return it to Orange Bone so we may place it in a new home.” People are not guaranteed a refund, but may exchange the dog within specified timelines for another if they’re inclined. I think it says a great deal about the store that their first priority is to make sure puppies are placed in a stable and loving environment and will always accept a dog back.

Ray is still with another customer so I ask the Kennel Supervisor, Joseph Maldonado, Ray’s little brother, about the care of the puppies. He says he and Ray live nearby and are at the store nearly 20 plus hours each day. Joseph says, “I get here every morning at 8 a.m. to walk the dogs before we open at 11.” The dogs are also all supervised by monitors and short circuit camera feeds.

Ray says they only started working with shelters and rescues in December 2008 after getting some negative feedback. He was once an animal control officer for the city so he really wanted to reinvent the system to make it work for everyone. According to Ray’s records, they have placed about 150 dogs since December 2008 and it’s their goal to place a 1,000 dogs by the year’s end. Ray also happily boasts that about 25 percent, if not more, were on death row.

First impressions can say a lot and Ray and Orange Bone left an indelible impression on me and Rufus today. Ray and his team sincerely seem committed to the dogs with a real hands-on approach in their permanently placement. In the short hour that I lingered unannounced at the store I witnessed more than one person come in who had been working closely with Ray to find the perfect furry friend. It’s not hard to imagine since Ray is the kind of guy who immediately becomes everyone’s best friend.

Other notable features about the store include the Three Dog Bakery treats they offer, the wide assortment of doggie apparel, collars, leashes and stylist carriers. They also work with a trainer, Jessica Dragon, so new parents can get started on the right paw.

If you’re looking for a new dog, stop by and visit Ray. Tell him Rufus and Johnny from Examiner.com sent you.

by Johnny Ortez, L.A. Small Dog Examiner

Orange Bone
7574 Melrose Avenue 
Los Angeles, CA 90046

T. 323. 852. 1258 
F. 323. 852. 1299 
Info@orangebone.com

Mon – Sat 11am to 8pm 
Sun 11am to 7pm

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Posted:  Just One More Pet

February 24, 2009 Posted by | Animal Abandonement, Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, Stop Euthenization, Success Stories, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Top 10 People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets

no-no-doggie-foodsChocolate, Macadamia nuts, avocados…these foods may sound delicious to you, but are actually quite dangerous to our animal companions. Our ASPCA nutrition experts have come up with a list of top 10 people foods that you should not feed your pet. If ingestion of any of these items should occur, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.      

 

1. Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine
These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.

2. Alcohol
Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.

3. Avocado
The leaves, fruit, seeds and bark of avocados contain Persin, which can cause vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Birds and rodents are especially sensitive to avocado poisoning, and can develop congestion, difficulty breathing and fluid accumulation around the heart. Some ingestions may even be fatal.

4. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are commonly used in many cookies and candies. However, they can cause problems for your canine companion. These nuts have caused weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia in dogs. Signs usually appear within 12 hours of ingestion and last approximately 12 to 48 hours.

5. Grapes & Raisins
Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. In pets who already have certain health problems, signs may be more dramatic.

6. Yeast Dough
Yeast dough can rise and cause gas to accumulate in your pet’s digestive system. This can be painful and can cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. Because the risk diminishes after the dough is cooked and the yeast has fully risen, pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, these treats should not constitute more than 5 percent to 10 percent of your pet’s daily caloric intake.

7. Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones
Raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria such as Salmonella [ital] and E. coli [ital] that can be harmful to pets. In addition, raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), which can lead to skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones may seem like a natural and healthy option that might occur if your pet lived in the wild. However, this can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract. 

8. Xylitol
Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to recumbancy and seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.

9. Onions, Garlic, Chives
These vegetables and herbs can cause gastrointestinal irritation and could lead to red blood cell damage. Although cats are more susceptible, dogs are also at risk if a large enough amount is consumed. Toxicity is normally diagnosed through history, clinical signs and microscopic confirmation of Heinz bodies. An occasional low dose, such as what might be found in pet foods or treats, likely will not cause a problem, but we recommend that you do NOT give your pets large quantities of these foods.  (The garlic argument is on-going.  Adding garlic powder to their food is a natural flea deterent among other things.  But no garlic cloves, chunks or even bits.)

10. Milk
Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.

 

“Must” Resources For Every Pet Parent: 

Every Dog’s Legal Guide 

November 8, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top 10 Human Medications That Poison Our Pets

Did you know that ingestion of human medications is the most common cause of household poisonings in small animals?

Although pet parents are well aware of poisons lurking around their home, many don’t realize that some of the biggest culprits are sitting right on their own nightstands. In 2007, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center received 89,000 calls related to pets ingesting over-the-counter and prescription medications. To help you prevent an accident from happening, our experts have created a list of the top 10 human medications that most often poison our furry friends.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of the following items, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at (888) 426-4435. And remember to keep all medications tucked away in bathroom cabinets—and far from curious cats and dogs.

NSAIDs
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen or naproxen are the most common cause of pet poisoning in small animals, and can cause serious problems even in minimal doses. Pets are extremely sensitive to their effects, and may experience stomach and intestinal ulcers and—in the case of cats—kidney damage.

Antidepressants
Antidepressants can cause vomiting and lethargy and certain types can lead to serotonin syndrome—a condition marked by agitation, elevated body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, disorientation, vocalization, tremors and seizures.

Acetaminophen
Cats are especially sensitive to acetaminophen, which can damage red blood cells and interfere with their ability to transport oxygen. In dogs, it can cause liver damage and, at higher doses, red blood cell damage.

Methylphenidate (for ADHD)
Medications used to treat ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in people act as stimulants in pets and can dangerously elevate heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature, as well as cause seizures.

Fluorouracil
Fluorouracil—an anti-cancer drug—is used topically to treat minor skin cancers and solar keratitis in humans. It has proven to be rapidly fatal to dogs, causing severe vomiting, seizures and cardiac arrest even in those who’ve chewed on discarded cotton swabs used to apply the medication.

Isoniazid
Often the first line of defense against tuberculosis, isoniazid is particularly toxic for dogs because they don’t metabolize it as well as other species. It can cause a rapid onset of severe seizures that may ultimately result in death.

Pseudoephedrine
Pseudoephedrine is a popular decongestant in many cold and sinus products, and acts like a stimulant if accidentally ingested by pets. In cats and dogs, it causes elevated heart rates, blood pressure and body temperature as well as seizures.

Anti-diabetics
Many oral diabetes treatments—including glipizide and glyburide—can cause a major drop in blood sugar levels of affected pets. Clinical signs of ingestion include disorientation, lack of coordination and seizures.

Vitamin D derivatives
Even small exposures to Vitamin D analogues like calcipotriene and calcitriol can cause life-threatening spikes in blood calcium levels in pets. Clinical signs of exposure—including vomiting, loss of appetite, increased urination and thirst due to kidney failure—often don’t occur for more than 24 hours after ingestion.

Baclofen
Baclofen is a muscle relaxant that can impair the central nervous systems of cats and dogs. Some symptoms of ingestion include significant depression, disorientation, vocalization, seizures and coma, which can lead to death.

  • Pets are ultra-sensitive to anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and naproxen, which can cause stomach and intestinal ulcers and kidney damage in cats.
  • Nothing like antidepressants to bring a pet down—they can trigger vomiting, lethargy and a frightening condition called serotonin syndrome.
  • The popular pain remedy acetaminophen is especially toxic to cats, and can damage red blood cells and interfere with oxygen flow.
  • Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant found in many cold remedies, but acts like a stimulant in cats and dogs, who can experience elevated heart rates and seizures.

Pets often snatch pill vials from counters and nightstands or gobble up meds accidentally dropped on the floor. The solution? “Keep all medications in a cabinet,” advises Dr. Helen Myers, veterinary toxicologist at the ASPCA. “And consider taking your pills in a bathroom, so if you drop one, you can shut the door and prevent your pet from accessing the room until the medication is found.”

Source:  ASPCA

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October 17, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments