Archive for August, 2008
Owning a pet offers years of a rewarding experience. The loyalty, love, and affection they provide is vast. It has even been said that pets help people live longer healthier lives. Although the rewards of owning a pet far outweigh the reponsibilities, the obligations of a pet owner are still very important. After providing annual shots and vet visits, spaying or neutering your dog or cat is the most important. Several people have excuses about why their pet is not spayed or neutered. As pet lovers who sincerely believe in helping to prevent homeless animals, we feel that it is important to stress the benefits of spaying or neutering.
Why Breeding Your Pet is Not a Good Idea
Unless you are a professional breeder, you probably should not be breeding your dog or cat. There are a lot of costs involved in breeding that you may not have considered. Finding a male for your female is not always easy. And if you do find a male, there may be a stud fee involved. If you already have both a male and female breed, you may be inadvertantly breeding dogs or cats that are too closely related and therefore contributing to the degeneration of the breed. Once you have a pregnant female, there are several vet visits which cost money. There is not only the vet cost for the pregnant female, but there are also vet fees involved for the puppies or kittens. If you want to sell quality breeds, vet costs increase because you want the vet to check for health issues and hereditary problems. Also, some breeds require docking of tails or ears which also involves vet fees.
Another thing to consider is that all of your puppies or kittens may not be sold. If you are a considerate pet breeder, you may want to dispose of them by taking them to a no-kill shelter. No-kill shelters often request a donation in order to help them care for the animal before it is adopted. More often than not, breeding dogs or cats is not as profitable as you might think. And sometimes, no profit is made at all.
Besides costs, a lot of your time is required when caring for the pregnant female and her puppies or kittens. The mother dog or cat does not always care for her young properly. And if proper care is not given by either you or the mother, some of the young may die before they have a chance to be sold.
Even if you are lucky enough to find homes for the puppies or kittens your pet has had, you would be surprised to find how many of them end up in a shelter later. A lot of people get a puppy or kitten on impuse because they are so adorable. But people who don’t have the knowledge or the desire to learn about raising a pet tend to end up with an adult dog or cat they can’t handle. That pet may then end up abandoned. Stray dogs may bite or attack people or pets, get into trash, defecate on your lawn and spread disease to other pets. Research shows there are more dogs and cats born every day than there are people which means there are not enough people willing to adopt them all.
Spaying or Neutering Does Not Cost a Lot of Money
Costs to spay or neuter your pet can vary depending on your vet. If you can’t afford those costs, check with your local humane society and ask about low-cost spaying and neutering programs. These programs were formed in order to prevent unwanted pets so they will be glad to help you find something that can fit within your budget.
Spaying or Neutering Can Help Curb Certain Behavior Problems
Male cats who are not fixed tend to spray more often than male cats who are not neutered. When a male cat sprays, there is a highly offensive odor that can easily infiltrate your entire home. Not only that, the odor on the item that was sprayed will be difficult to remove. When female cats who are not fixed go into heat, they tend to do this odd screeching cry that is both incessant and loud. This could happen twice a year (usually in the spring and fall) and lasts up to three weeks.
Male dogs who are not fixed tend to mark more often, even indoors, and especially when they smell a female dog in heat. Indoor marking could damage your furniture and the smell could be difficult to remove. Female dogs who are not fixed tend to leave marks of blood on your carpet or furniture. Dogs do not bleed as heavily as people, but they do bleed – the bigger the dog, the more noticable the spotting.
For both male and female pets who are not fixed, you could have problems with them trying to get out of the house or fenced yard. Females in heat are especially more urgent to get outdoors. Male pets who catch the scent of a female in heat could be more inclined to get out of the house or dig out of the yard or jump the fence.
If you are wanting a loyal and lovable affectionate pet, your chances of getting one is by having your pet spayed or neutered. Believe it or not, studies show that fixed pets tend to be more affectionate.
Spaying or Neutering Can Help Prevent Certain Health Issues
Fixed pets tend to live longer. Losing a pet is very difficult so you want your dog or cat to live as long as possible. A dog that is spayed or neutered also tends to be healthier. They are also less likely to get certain types of cancer. A sick dog can be very expensive to make healthy. And in many cases, the pet can end up dying anyway.
So please help to prevent homeless pets by getting your dog or cat spayed or neutered. Spaying or neutering your pet benefits you, your pet, and the community.
This article was inspired by No More Homelss Pets KC (NMHPKC)
According to No More Homeless Pets KC (NMHPKC), “. . . for every one person born, 15 dogs and 45 cats are also born. And that means there simply aren’t enough homes for them all.” So what happens to the excess animals? They roam the streets. They may possibly spread diseases to your own pets, get into garbage, mess in your yard, and continue to breed which causes more homeless dogs and cats. Wild dogs may form into packs and sometimes attack people and other animals, including your own pets. And the worst of all, millions of homeless dogs and cats get euthanized each year – That’s right, MILLIONS!
So what is being done to prevent homeless animals? There are many non-profit organizations all over the country that dedicate their time to not only find homes for these animals, but to also find a way to prevent more homeless animals. There are several in the Kansas City area, including No More Homeless Pets KS (NMHPKC). Their mission is “To lead a cooperative effort to end pet overpopulation and transform the KC area into a ‘Humane community’.” Part of what they do is help in getting homeless animals adopted. They also prevent homeless animals by providing humane education and low-cost spay and neutering.
So what can you do to help prevent homeless animals? The most important thing you can do is to spay or neuter your own pets. There are many benefits to spaying or neutering your dog or cat. Check out our following blog in a few days about the benefits of spaying or neutering.
When you have a dog in your car, there are many safety issues that you should be aware of. Just like using a cell phone in the car has been statistically proven to increase the prospect of getting into a car accident, so too does a dog in the car have similar risks. And just like driving while talking on your cellular phone, there are precautions that should be taken so that you can avoid a serious situation involving you and your loved ones.
A dog car seat belt can make regular driving much safer. By providing your pet with a comfortable, secure location your vehicle, you are giving yourself the time and focus to react to any problems that may come your way on the open road.
Come check out the Art Unleashed event at the Uptown Theater in Kansas City, Missouri. The Uptown Theater is at 3700 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64111. The event is held at 7-10 p.m., Friday, August 22, 2008. Lots of fantastic pet art will be put up for a silent and live auction. All proceeds go to help animals in the Kansas City area through the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City. Check out more art and more information on the event at http://www.hsgkc.org/artunleashed2008.html
Included in the event is the artwork above which is an artistic rendition of Maya. Maya, of course, is the yellow lab puppy portrayed at the top of this blog page. And Maya is owned by one of the pet-lover employees of PetAutoSafety.com. More artwork of the artist can be viewed at NatureByDawn.com.
Yesterday, August 16th, 2008, PetAutoSafety.com participated in the Tails on the Trails event at Ad Astra Park and Swimming Pool. Sephi and Maya came too in order to show off their seat-belt-wearing-skills. We all had a great time. Maya and Sephi made a lot of new friends and PetAutoSafety.com spread the word about the importance of keeping your pet safe when they are in the car.
The Tails on Trails event was sponsored by Lenexa Parks and Recreation in conjunction with the Lenexa Animal Control. Lots of animal-related businesses had booths at the event including Woof’s Plan & Stay, Bark Busters, Metro Pet Magazine, PawPrints Magazine, and of course, PetAutoSafety.com. The fun activities which took place at this park included puppy swimming, pet/owner look-a-like contest, a bat presentation, pet show and parade, gentle dog training demo, and the Lenexa Police K9 demonstration. There were also fun kid activities such as Make Your Own Dog Treats and the Fire Depart Deluge where the fire department let loose a stream of water from high in the sky so that kids and pets could play in the giant sprinkler.
Click HERE for more fun photos of the event. Please note that the photos are for online use only.
Shetland Sheepdogs are highly intelligent dogs. They are affectionate, intensely loyal, and an all-around great family pet. They are good with children if they are raised with them from an early age and they do well with other pets. They tend to be a little wary of strangers, sometimes to the point of being skittish or snappy but their loyalty to their family more than makes up for it. They require regular brushing but their size makes them great for any sized home, including a farm or even an apartment.
The Shetland Sheepdog is also known as a Sheltie or a Miniature Collie. They originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland where the Shetland Pony and Shetland Sheep also come from. It is possible that the Shetland Sheepdog was bred to herd those smaller sheep but it is more likely that they were used on the farm to scare off birds, rodents, and garden pests such as rabbits.
With a few differences, the Shetland Sheepdog looks like a miniature version of the Collie. The dominate color of the Shetland Sheepdog is either black, blue-merle, or sable. The dominate color is accompanied by varying amounts of white and/or tan. Their hair is long and needs regular brushing. Their weight ranges anywhere from 10 to 40 pounds. Their height according to AKC standards should be 13 to 16 inches to the shoulder but can be shorter or taller with the height proportionate to the weight.
If you consider adopting an adult Shetland Sheepdog, do not be concerned if the dog does not warm up to you right away. Since Shetland Sheepdogs tend to be wary of strangers, bonding time will be needed. If you are considering purchasing a Shetland Sheepdog puppy be aware of several inherited and/or susceptible diseases common to the breed. These health issues include Dermatomyositis ( a genetic disease of the skin), Von Willebrand Disease (a bleeding disorder), malformation of the eyes, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and various skin allergies. Before you purchase from a breeder make sure the breeder has clear bloodline records. A breeder should have vet records showing that they eyes were checked for the eye disease and that DNA tests were done for the Von Willebrand Disease. Some of the symptoms for the diseases listed above do not show up until about age two so adoption of an adult dog is a safe way to go but will require some bonding time.
The image above is an artistic rendition of Cassie. Cassie was adopted at age 1 and quickly bonded with the adopter’s 10 year old daughter. Cassie became the 10-year-old’s dog and spent the remainder of her life with her. Cassie died at age 13 when her owner was 23. She can attest that Cassie was the best dog she has ever had. Cassie was extremely loyal, knew over 30 commands, and very lovable. If you want to read more about Cassie and the owner, visit the Pet Pals page of PetAutoSafety.com. To view other pet art from the artist of Cassie, visit www.NatureByDawn.com.
Many dogs love to ride in the car. You see them often with their noses to the wind and a happy doggy grin on their face. So you know dogs can enjoy a car ride but perhaps you are not sure how to get your dog to enjoy it too. Whether you have a puppy or an older dog, here are a few tips to help help your dog enjoy the car ride.
First, you need to consider using a pet auto safety device such as a pet car seat, dog seat belt, or pet carrier. If you use a pet auto safety device for your pet, you need to allow your pet time to get used to it. If you are using a pet car seat, for example, allow your pet to use as a bed for a short time before putting it in the car. If you are using a dog seat belt, put the safety harness on the dog (without the buckle strap attached) and allow them to wear it around the house (with supervision). If you are using a crate, crate train your pet first.
Tip #1 – To Help to Prevent Vomiting or Voiding in the Car
* Do not give them anything to eat for an hour or two before the ride.
* Don’t allow them to drink excessively.
* Allow your dog to take a potty break just before going for a ride.
Tip #2 – Take Short Fun Trips
Once your dog is used to the pet auto safety device, start taking them somewhere they will enjoy. This will help them learn to associate a car ride with these special places.
* Go to the park.
* Visit the pet store.
* Take your pet with you to visit a friend.
* Take your pet with you when you are only going to a drive-through such as at a bank or fast-food place.
* Go to a coffee shop or restaurant where you can sit outside.
Never take your dog someplace where you will have to leave them unattended in the car. The inside of a car is not safe for a pet, even if it is not hot outside or the windows are rolled down. Not only are there dangers, but it could also cause your pet to get lonely, anxious, or nervous. If your dog already fears a car ride, leaving them alone in it is not going to help.
Tip #3 – Distract Your Pet
* Give your dog a familiar object like their favorite toy or blanket.
* Talk to your dog while you drive, but don’t use a soothing voice. Talking to them in a soothing voice may confirm their thinking that the car ride is a bad thing. Use a regular tone of voice and talk as if nothing is wrong. However, every dog is different. Some dogs may get more excited by the sound of your voice, in which case you should ignore them. Try both talking and silence to see which works best for your pet. Try not to scold your pet. Positive reinforcement is the best way to make a car ride enjoyable. Do not let your talking to the dog distract you from your driving. It is also recommended that you do not pet them while you drive. Not only can this distract you from the road, it may also encourage the dog to pester you for more attention.
* Try playing the radio for your pet. Soothing music may have a calming effect on some pets. But most importantly, the sound of music will help cover the loud and unfamiliar sounds of the road. A passing semi, for example, may be a familiar sound to us, but the rumbling of these big trucks can be terrifying for a dog who has never heard them before.
* Open a window. Even if the loud sounds of the road are a problem for your pet an open window may provide a distraction of new and interesting smells for your dog. Most dogs seem to love this aspect of car rides. Your dog should not be able to stick their head out the window while using a restraint, but they should still be able to catch those exciting scents.
* If possible, have someone sit in the back seat with your dog. They can provide a distraction that you, as the driver, can not. This person, however, should not use a soothing voice and comforting manner. Remember, you want your dog to think that riding in the car is no big deal.
Does your dog like to try to join you in in the front seat of your car when you drive? Does your dog try to lick you or sniff you while you are driving? Dogs moving around freely in cars can be a serious a safety hazard to themselves, the driver, and the passengers. A pet car barrier keeps everyone safe by creating a strong wall between the front and back seats of the car. This wall keeps the dog safely in the backseat. The main benefits for keeping your dog in the back seat include:
* Should the car stop suddenly, the dog might be kept from flying forward into the front seat or out the front windshield.
* Helps restrict excited pups from distracting the driver by moving between the front and back seats of the vehicle.
* Should an accident occur, your dog will likely remain in the back seat and away from airbags. (Airbags can kill rather than save your pet.)