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Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Does Lead in Toys Pose a Danger to Pets?

dog

Whether your pet prefers squeaky rubber squirrels, stiff rawhide bones or fuzzy mice, he or she undoubtedly loves to play with toys. But is the source of your dog’s or cat’s merriment safe? Many common household products—including toys for children and pets—may contain trace amounts of lead and other toxins. In most cases, however, the levels of these ingredients in toys don’t pose a significant threat to your furry friend.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) reviewed 200,000 cases from the past two years and produced no examples of lead poisoning from pet toys. According to Dr. Sharon Gwaltney-Brant, ASPCA Vice President and Medical Director of the APCC, younger dogs, just like children, are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning, but most studies reveal only tiny amounts of lead in pet toys—not a grave risk for acute or chronic lead poisoning in dogs.

“Just because it’s ‘detectable’ doesn’t necessarily make it hazardous,” says Dr. Gwaltney-Brant. “Even oxygen is toxic at the right concentration.”

And what about other types of treats such as rawhide bones? Like pet toys, rawhide chews can include trace amounts of pesky chemicals. Dr. Safdar Khan, Director of Toxicology at the ASPCA, believes many dog lovers would be surprised if they learned the true contents of their pets’ treats. But he also adds that pet parents would likely be surprised if they knew the complete ingredients of what they eat and drink, too.

The reality is that a dog is much more likely to suffer obstruction from a rawhide bone than poisoning from a hidden toxin. In general, the smaller the dog, the fewer rawhide treats he should receive, and only give your pet rawhides under a watchful eye. Remember, it’s always wise to supervise!

And lest you think we’re leaving out our feline fans, here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when shopping for kitty’s favorite play things:

  • The wand toy, often adorned with feathers, string or small stuffed toys, is ubiquitous. But take care with it, and watch for pieces of string or other components that might fall from the toy and get swallowed by your cat.
  • Another popular treat for the kitty set is catnip. Word to the wise—some cats become very excited when smelling or eating it, so be careful about petting your cat until you know how she will respond.
  • Please don’t let your cat play with rubber bands, paper clips or plastic bags. All can prove dangerous and a choking risk to our feline friends.

For more information about playing it safe with your pet, please visit APCC online.

Sources:  ASPCA

Posted:  Just One More Pet

October 19, 2009 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Just One More Pet, pet products, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Busy Pets Are Happy Pets: Fun Ways to Keep Your Pet Active

Dog

It seems like the most natural thing in the world—our pets need food, water, medical care and lots of love. But dogs and cats have other needs, too. Our furry friends need ample physical exercise and mental stimulation to lead truly full and happy lives.

“They need jobs,” says Kristen Collins, CPDT, ASPCA Animal Trainer. Dogs and cats need to stay busy and engaged, but unfortunately most pets are unemployed—they sit at home, chronically bored, waiting for their humans to return from work. And as we all know, an idle pet can quickly turn into a naughty pet when restlessness becomes overwhelming.

“With nothing to do, dogs and cats are forced to find ways to entertain themselves,” explains Kristen. “Their activities of choice often include behaviors we find problematic, like excessive barking or meowing, gnawing on shoes, raiding the garbage, eating houseplants and scratching furniture.”

To prevent behavior and health problems, Kristen recommends the following physical and mental workouts—both when you’re there to join the fun and when your pet is home alone.

  • Move it! Healthy adult dogs need at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a day. Jogging, swimming and playing at the dog park are all great ways to burn excess energy.
  • Get Their Games On: Engage in structured games, like fetch and tug-of-war—they’re not only great exercise but also teach your pet impulse control and strengthen the bond between you.
  • Engage in the Hunt: Keep your dog occupied when he’s home alone by giving him a food-stuffed puzzle toy, like the Kong, or some tasty chew toys.
  • Let’s Get Physical: Like their canine counterparts, cats also need plenty of aerobic exercise. Get kitty fit with rousing play sessions, such as chase and fetch with furry toys, small balls or toy mice.
  • Feline Pastimes: Encourage your cat’s favorite home alone activities, including bird watching, exploring paper bags or boxes, watching cat videos or spending time in secure outdoor enclosures.
  • Teach Your Cat New Tricks! Felines are quick studies and can learn practical skills like coming when called, sitting up, rolling over and even using the toilet!

Kristen adds: “The bottom line is that you’re responsible for enriching your pet’s life. Providing opportunities to exercise your cat or dog’s mind and body will keep her healthy and happy—and enhance your relationship, too.”

For more information about enriching your pet’s life, please check out expert advice from our Virtual Pet Behaviorist.

Source:  ASPCA

Posted: Just One More Pet

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August 30, 2009 Posted by | animal behavior, Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pet and Animal Training, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pet Health, pet products, Pets, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Holidays Went To The Dogs and Other Pets This Year

The slow economy may have influenced some people to cut back on extra spending this holiday season, but their pets likely didn’t suffer.

The American Pet Products Association speculated before the holiday that more than half of dog and cat owners will buy holiday gifts for their pets.

That averages out to 20 million people spending $210 million.

“A lot of (customers) don’t have family members other than their pets and that’s what we cater to – people who really love their pets,” said Sherri Cartwright, an employee at the Welcome Wagg’n Home in Upland.

This time of year, the store usually sees an increase in customers, Cartwright said.

Everything from sweaters, treats and toys are being sold at a higher volume.

“We have a bakery, so they buy a lot of dog cookies that are Christmas cookies and then we sell sweaters and jackets and, of course, toys,” Cartwright said. “We sell a lot of treats this time of year.”

Welcome Wagg’n also provides a year-round dog daycare, but many pets have been getting dropped off in the days leading up to Christmas, so their owners can do some holiday shopping or visit with family.

“We have more dogs about this time. People go out shopping and don’t want their dogs to be neglected or get bored at home,” Cartwright said. “They can come here and play with other dogs.”

Pat Williams of Upland was dropping off her recently adopted Lab and border collie mix, Chance, before heading out of town.

Williams has given Chance Christmas treats, toys and even has a stocking waiting for him at home.

“He gets a little bit at a time,” Williams said. “He got a couple cookies, which he really likes, and has gotten several toys. … He’s kind of spoiled.”

Katie’s Pet Depot in La Verne has also been seeing extra customers the past couple of weeks.

“We have done exceptionally well over the last two weeks,” manager Taryn Hartless said. “People buy extras, like extra treats, extra toys, and people come in and buy animal-related gifts for people.”

Holiday pet treats have also been one of the store’s most popular items of the season.

Even pets themselves have been selling more.

“Within the last couple of days, a lot of animals have been sold,” she said. “Parents have come in to buy kittens for their kids.”

Posted 12/24/08 By Sandra Emerson

December 30, 2008 Posted by | Just One More Pet, On The Lighter Side, Pets | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment