Janette Thomas rehabilitates man, beast

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News of abused, abandoned, stolen or heroic dogs captured readers’ attention in 2010. A few of these stories stand out as shocking, inspirational, innovative or just downright funny. We highlight our top stories and the ones that made readers sit up and take notice.
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Prison pup program (January): If you could solve the world’s problems, from crime to abandoned dogs, Janette Thomas might have a solution for mankind. The Tustin resident rehabilitates abandoned dogs with help from incarcerated young men. Her prison pup program at two correctional facilities has saved more than 100 dogs from the Orange County Animal Care shelter. The dogs, once deemed as difficult and unruly, were trained by inmates or wards and within weeks had new homes with loving families. The inmates, in turn, learn a valuable lesson about structure and love.
STORY BY SAMANTHA GOWEN / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Published in: on February 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Keep Your Pet Healthy and Your Vet Bills Down

 

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One of our Shih Tzu’s, “Bookah”, is going into surgery next week to remove some of his bad teeth. He also seems to have a slipped disk in his neck that is causing him some back pain but right now we are controlling that with medication…one thing at a time!
Anyways, I came across this article and thought it would be a good thing to post:

Keep Your Pet Healthy and Your Vet Bills Down

Bookah not looking to excited about his upcoming surgery:)

Published in: on January 27, 2012 at 3:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cloned meat gets go-ahead: UK Minister rejects ban despite health and animal welfare fears

Cloned meat gets go-ahead: UK Minister rejects ban despite health and animal welfare fears.

Published in: on June 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Thinking of buying a puppy from a pet store?

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If you are considering buying a new dog or puppy from a pet store, please take a minute to remember the puppy mill industry that you may be contributing to and consider adopting a pet or getting one from a reputable breeder.

My wife and I just adopted an 8 year old (at least that’s how old we think he is) Shih Tzu from a local shelter.  His name is Kane and he has spent most of his life being abused in a puppy mill.  K-9 Castle Doggie Daycare (the daycare where we sell our pet supplies) has been taking care of Kane the past year as he was awaiting adoption.  Unfortunately, Kane lost his eye in an accident and has very limited vision in the other eye.  But his impaired vision doesn’t keep him from wondering around and wagging his tail in curiosity. 

As we spend more time with Kane in his new home, it is very apparent that Kane was dealt an unbelievable hard life.  He’s very skittish to noises and does not like being patted on the backside (probably a result of enduring years of forced breeding at the hands of in-humane hands).  As we work with Kane to overcome his fears, we wanted to research what exactly goes on in puppy mills so my wife and I can help Kane in the most effective and positive way.

Kane in resting in his new bed

Below is an article I found from DoSomething.org detailing eleven horrible facts about puppy mills:

  1. Puppy mills usually house dogs in overcrowded and often unsanitary conditions, without adequate health care, food, water or human company.
  2. The breeding dogs are bred as often as possible to increase profits and probably will never see life outside of the puppy mill. The owners rarely pay attention to the health or happiness of the dogs.
  3. Puppy mills often generate health problems for the dogs they are selling. The puppies may have immediate health problems such as respiratory infections or pneumonia and some even have genetic diseases that show up years later.
  4. Breeding dogs suffer continuously, imprisoned in small cramped cages, often soiled with their own excrement, breeding litter after litter till they can no longer reproduce.
  5. No states have laws against a breeding kennel legally keeping dozens of dogs in cages for their entire lives, if food, water, and shelter are provided.
  6. Thousands of puppy mills aren’t even regulated or inspected by the USDA, since many of them sell directly to the public.
  7. The average puppy mill has between 65 and 75 animals housed in hutch-style cages with wire floors. The waste drops to the ground below and accumulates beneath the cage where flies and other gross things fester.
  8. Dogs at puppy mills are often not actually purebred, and the breeders sometimes lie about lineage records.
  9. Dogs housed in indoor facilities deal with equally terrible conditions, with ammonia vapors and odors permeating badly aired buildings.
  10. Solid surfaces aim to protect the legs of puppies, but as they mature and scout out their surroundings, feet and legs often fall through wire floors designed to allow excrement to fall through. The resulting injuries compound their misery.
  11. Unlicensed puppy mills often sell puppies at six weeks of age even though federal laws prohibit licensed mills from selling puppies less than eight weeks of age.

In rural areas, where puppy mills are a cottage industry, puppies are farmed as “livestock” and considered a cash-crop.  Remember, as with any business, the focus of puppy mills is to make money while keeping expenses down.  The way they keep their expenses down is by not taking proper care of the parents of the puppy you are about to purchase.

Relative Links:

http://www.prisonersofgreed.org/Commercial-kennel-facts.html”>

http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-puppy-mills>

http://www.idausa.org/facts/pmfacts.html”>

Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 10:17 pm  Comments (3)  
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How you and your pet can help the environment

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These days, most people are at least beginning to make a conscious effort to reduce their environmental footprint.  Pet owners are also trying to keep their pet’s paw prints light as well and fortunately, environmentally friendly pet supplies are becoming more and more readily available.  Eco-friendly pet supplies help keep your pet happier and healthier while improving the overall health of your household.

Statistics show that at least 62% of all US households include at least one pet. That breaks down to about 71.4 million homes. With the overwhelming interest in environmentally responsible pet products, manufacturers have listened to the consumers and eco-friendly pet merchandise is becoming big business.  For 2010, it estimated that $47.7 billion will be spent on our pets in the U.S.

Below is a list of products currently offered by The Mom & Paw Shop that will help you become greener pet owner.

 

Biodegradable Doggie Litter Bags

Business Bags with Bio-Degradable Bags

If you are a dog owner looking for environmentally friendly pet supplies consider purchasing biodegradable doggie litter bags.  If you clean up after our dogs using a plastic bag it will take decades for the plastic to breakdown.  However, the biodegradable option will decompose in only 18 months.  All of our poop bags are 100% degradable and we offer a selection of stylish bag dispensers as well (see left).  You can purchase these products from our online store by clicking here

 

Eco-Friendly Pet Beds

West Paw Designs' Organic Bumper Beds

The Mom & Paw Shop carries a large selection of eco-friendly pet beds.  Don’t worry, you can buy your dog or cat an eco-friendly bed without sacrificing comfort.  The bed shown above is the Organic Bumper Bed® made from West Paw Designs.  The Organic Bumper Bed® is made with a removable organic cotton cover, helping our Earth by reducing the amount of chemicals we put into the ground. The cushion used on the inside of the bed is made from 100% recycled IntelliLoft™, which was previously plastic soda bottles.  All of the West Paw Designs’ pet beds that we carry are made from recycled plastic bottles.  Since 2006, West Paw claims they have helped divert more than 4.03 million plastic bottles from landfills.

We also carry the Eco+ line pet beds from Bowsers Pet Products.  These beds are made from organic natural hemp fabrics as well as “Eco-Tech” fleece made from post consumer recycled soda bottles.  We are continually adding these products to our website so if you don’t see what you want, please let us know and we’ll be happy to order for you.

Remember…recycling is a cyclical process.  In order for it to work, consumers must buy products made from recycled materials!

 

Toys

Planet Dog's Orbee-Tuff Orbee Ball

In addition to buying toys made from recycled materials, buying durable, long lasting toys will allow you to consume less which, in turn, reduces your impact on the environment.  The Mom & Paw Shop specializes in durable toys but we also carry a growing selection of toys made from recycled materials.  Planet Dog and West Paw Designs seem to be leading the way in providing Eco-Friendly dog toys so look for these brands when visiting our toy section.  You can also read more about these brands by reading the “Looking for a long lasting, durable dog toy?” blog.

 

Organic Catnip

West Paw Designs' Barn Mouse

And let’s not forget about the cats!  Organically grown catnips avoid the use of dangerous chemicals and pesticides helping protect our environment and promoting sustainable agriculture practices. Your cat and the environment will appreciate organic catnip.

 

Collars and Leashes

There are a number of eco friendly options for collars and leashes that are stylish and durable. Recycled rubber collars are one example of an eco friendly option. They come in a variety of collars, have a look similar to leather, are waterproof and can stand up to your animal chewing at them.

Collars,  leashes, and harnesses made from hemp is another environmentally friendly option for your pet.  Hemp is a sustainable crop that does not require chemicals or pesticides to grow.  Hemp collars and leashes come in a variety of styles and collars and are extremely durable.

There’s no end to the types of products that can be made from recycled materials.  In addition to the items above, The Mom & Paw Shop carries dog bowl placemats and doormats  from Bowsers Pet Products that are made from recycled rubber tires. 

Although we are still a new company, we realize the importance of providing Eco-Friendly pet products to our customers and will continue to expand our selection so we can do our part in providing a greener planet for our pets to enjoy with us.

Traveling and flying with your dog

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Since the holiday season is all about spending time with their family, who wants to leave their dog home alone while they travel to visit loved ones. 

Air travel can be so unsettling for dogs.  For this reason, owners should always attempt to find alternatives to commercial airline travel for their pets, especially if you are going to have to check you animal in as cargo.

But sometimes traveling by air is inevitable. For those occasions, a little advance planning is the key to your dog’s comfort.  Following these guidelines from the American Kennel Club will save you unnecessary stress for you and your pup.

  • When traveling by plane, plan to visit your veterinarian before your trip. Certification of health must be provided no more than 10 days before travel. Rabies and vaccination certificates are also required. Your dog should be at least 8 weeks old and weaned.
  • Airlines make it clear that it is the owner’s responsibility to verify the dog’s health and ability to fly. Ask your veterinarian if it would be best for your dog to be tranquilized for the trip. Also be sure to check the temperature of the flight’s starting point and destination; it may be too hot or too cold to be safe for your dog.
  • Federal regulations prohibit shipping live animals as excess baggage or cargo if an animal will be exposed to temperatures that are below 45°F or above 85°F for more than four hours during departure, arrival, or while making connections.
  • Remember that each airline has its own variations on regulations and services. For example, if your crate doesn’t meet its requirements, the airline may not allow you to use it. They may, however, allow your dog in the passenger cabin if your crate or carrier fits under the seat in front of you.  For a list of each airlines rules and links to their pet travel policies, click here.
  • When making your reservations, you must make reservations for your dog. There are restrictions on the number of animals permitted. They are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

“Carry On Dogs”

For those dogs that are small enough to carry on, it is essential that you have a proper pet carrier to bring on the plane.  There are a number of things that you want to look for to ensure that your pet is as comfortable as possible on the plane.

Portability
Make sure that you get a carrier that has good carrying handles so that you can easily maneuver about the airport with your other bags as well.

Size
Make sure that you get a carrier that is certified for use on the airline that you are using. A lot of these carriers are designed so that you can put them under the seat in front of you, so you need to make sure that the one that you go for has the right dimensions so that you can keep your dog nice and close by.

Ventilation and Viewing Windows
You want to make sure that there are plenty of ventilation slots so that your dog gets plenty of air. Some of these will also form viewing windows or mesh that enable you to easily check that your dog is doing OK without disturbing it.

Washing
Let’s face it, your dog might get a bit distressed by the changes in its environment and the cabin pressure, so it is quite likely them might make a bit of a mess in the carrier. Most good quality carriers are fully washable with removable inserts for easy cleaning.

Access
If you have traveled with a dog before you will know that while it must be in the carrier at most times, there are various security checks where you will have to get it out of the bag. Often airports can be busy and rushed and these security points so you want to make sure you can get your dog out quickly and easily at these points so that your transition through to boarding can be as smooth as possible. Make sure that your carrier makes this easy for you and that you know how to use it prior to use.

Extra Pockets
Some airlines might limit you to one or two items of cabin baggage so if you carrier has plenty of extra pockets it will ensure that you can carry extra stuff with you easily.

If you get an airline pet carrier that has all these features then your pet will be comfortable and you will be able to have stress free journey.The Mom & Paw shop carries a selection of pet carriers that are guaranteed to be allowed on board and you can view them by CLICKING HERE.

Article Source: http://ezinearticles.com/?Best-Way-to-Carry-Your-Small-Dog-on-a-Plane&id=4236007

 

Published in: on December 2, 2010 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Prevent euthanasia for 500 Gulf animals — vote every day in the Pepsi Refresh Challenge

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It’s already been almost seven months since the BP oil spill and unfortunately, the crisis in the Gulf region is still very real. Families are struggling to make up for lost income and some have been forced to move away.  As a result, a record number of pets are being surrendered to local shelters.

For these animals, the outlook is particularly grim. Over crowded kennel facilities are being forced to euthanize these pets — who are already enduring the trauma of losing their families.

Now for the good news: Pepsi is giving away over $1,000,000 this year to fund great causes through their Pepsi Refresh Project.  DogTime.com, a dog blogging website, has entered a contest for the month of November to help support this cause.  At the end of each month, the top 10 ideas in each category receive funding, and with your help, DogTime will have a great chance of getting there.  You can read more about their cause here.

By voting for this cause, you can help 500 companion animals get a second chance at the life they deserve and help ease the burden for Gulf region shelters in need and you can help prevent needless euthanasia and further suffering.

To help support the DogTime project, vote here at http://www.refresheverything.com/saveoilspilldogscats.  You can vote using Facebook Connect or by creating your own login.

The dogs and cats of the Gulf region are not to blame for the tough times brought on by the BP oil spill. They certainly don’t deserve to die.

Please vote every day during the month of November – and help spread the word. It’s free. It’s easy. It’s important.

Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dog beaten with baseball bat recovering

Another story I saw that I had to post…

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9NEWS.com | Colorado’s Online News Leader | Dog beaten with baseball bat recovering.

Published in: on November 10, 2010 at 5:38 pm  Comments (1)  
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Looking for a long lasting, durable dog toy?

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As an owner of a pet supply store, I’m constantly being asked the question, “Will my dog chew this up?”  

While there are many great, long lasting, and durable chew toys out there, pet owners should be aware that there is no such thing as an “indestructible” dog toy.  Just as we supervise our babies while they are playing with toys, our canine kids should be supervised while playing with their toys as well.

I’ve spent many hours researching the highest rated chew toys on the market, and I’ve selected a group of toys that I like the best.  In addition to their overall toughness, I also factored in price, environmental impacts, and aesthetics (after all, the toy should be as “cute” as possible).  Below is a summary (in no particular order) of my toy selection, all of which are available on my website.

West Paw Zogoflex Toys

West Paw Design® 

Hand-crafted in the heart of Big Sky Country, West Paw Design® makes a variety of products including cat toys, dog beds, dog sweaters and jackets, and interactive dog toys as well as soft plush toys.  But they’re best known for their line of durable dog toys for aggressive chewers.  These toys are made from the one-of-a-kind Zogoflex® material which is a super durable, extremely pliable material that’s tough, buoyant, non-toxic, and guaranteed to last!  The other cool part about these toys is they are 100% recyclable and create virtually no waste during the manufacturing process.  This incredible high-tech material is used to make the HuckHurley®Tux®, Būmi® and Zisc® all of which are available at The Mom and Paw Shop.

Tuffy® Toys

Tuffy's "Captain Kurklops"

This manufacturer claims these toys are “The World’s “Tuff”est Soft Dog Toy,” and they certainly go the distance to ensure their “Tuff”ness.  Tuffy’s® are extremely durable toys made with one layer of soft fleece, two layers of industrial- grade luggage material, and one layer of plastic coating in the middle.  The layers are assembled with seven rows of stitching.  Four seams hold the product together and then a layer of material is added to cover the assembly stitching, then three more seams are added.  The toys are stuffed with safe, non-toxic fiber and a protective pouch around each squeaker.  Each toy comes with a numbered rating based on their “Tuff” scale, with one being the weakest and ten being the toughest.  Along with the high quality of their design, my favorite thing about these toys is the overall attractiveness of each toy.  To see our selection of Tuffy® Toys, click here.

Mighty® Toys

Mighty Toys' Wooly Mammoth - "Woody"

VIP Products says Mighty® Toys “Rethink Durability”.  The durability of these toys is created with multiple layers of flexible materials that move with the dog’s teeth instead of tearing.  The Mighty toys have no hard edges which often times promote chewing.  The toys are made with two layers of material, including a layer of industrial- strength luggage material and four rows of stitching.  Similar to the Tuffy® Toys, each toy comes with a numbered rating based on the “Dura” Scale, with one being the weakest and ten being the strongest.  I gave my Newfoundland puppy “Sandy” Seal6 months ago, and she has yet to chew it up.  The toys we carry at  The Mom and Paw Shop are our favorite form the Mighty® Toys series.

Planet Dog

Planet Dog Cosmos

Some consider Planet Dog as the industry’s leading socially responsible, values-based design. The toys are made with the Orbee Tuff® material and are extremely durable, buoyant, bouncy, minty, recyclable, non-toxic and, best of all, 100% guaranteed.  Each toy comes with at Treat Spot™ for hiding a healthy treat and their Chew-o-meter will help you determine what toy to buy.  Two percent of all of their proceeds go to fund the Planet Dog Foundation, and 100% of proceeds from their Glow for Good Ball go to the same cause.  My favorite Planet Dog Toy is the Cosmo.  My Newfoundland has had this toy for months, and it has yet to get even a tooth mark on it.  Click here to see our line of Planet Dog toys.

Premier Busy Buddy®

Premier Busy Buddy - Kibble Nibble

To quote Premier, “The Busy Buddy® line of treat dispensing chew toys are designed to keep your pet busy with good things to chew.  Each Busy Buddy toy is made with a different and unique chewing experience in mind and helps redirect potentially destructive chewing behavior into positive playtime.”  The strongest of these toys are the Kibble Nibble, Squirrel Dude, and Bristle Bone.

Kong®

Kong Puppy Squeakers

Kong has become legendary in the “strong” chew toy industry.  These durable rubber toys with holes in both ends now come in many styles and colors.  Red is the “traditional” (and most popular) while black is the “extra tough”.  They are dishwasher, freezer and microwave safe, allowing you to stuff them with all kinds of goodies to keep your pups occupied.   The Puppy Kongs come with a squeaker.

Go Dog

Go Dog Dragon w/Chew Guard

 Go Dog’s™ line of fun toys are perfect for all breeds and sizes of dogs. They make excellent toys for great big guys as well as the tiny guys… no discrimination! Some of their products come with the Chew Guard Technology which is constructed with a durable liner to provide a tougher soft toy.  These toys are extremely cute, but I wouldn’t say they are as tough as the toys listed above.



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The Myths of Elevated Dog Dishes and Bloat

Bloat in dogs, otherwise known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) is a very serious health risk and potentially life-threatening condition where the stomach becomes stretched by excessive gas content.  As the stomach swells, twisting can occur between the esophagus and upper intestine, thereby preventing the animal from relieving the condition by belching or vomiting.  The bloated stomach obstructs veins in the abdomen, leading to low blood pressure, shock, and damage to internal organs. The combined effect can quickly kill a dog.

Photo of an x-ray showing gastric dilatation and volvulus in a German Shepherd Dog. The large dark area is the gas trapped in the stomach.

Large breed dogs, especially those that are deep chested, are more susceptible to bloat. According to Wikipedia.org, the five breeds at greatest risk are Great Danes, Weimaraners, St. Bernards, Gordon Setters, and Irish Setters.  In fact, the lifetime risk for a Great Dane to develop bloat has been estimated to be close to 37 percent. Standard Poodles are also at risk for this health problem, as are Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers. Basset Hounds have the greatest risk for dogs less than 23 kg/50 lbs.

Some of the more common causes of bloat are rapid eating, eating dry foods that contain fat among the first four ingredients, foods such as kibble that expand in the stomach, drinking too much water before and after eating, drinking too much water too quickly, excessive exercise immediately after eating/drinking, stress and heredity.

Prevention of bloat can be difficult, especially for the dog who has had a relative experience bloat, and avoiding the causes listed above can certainly help.  However, there is a misconception out there that elevated dog dishes will help prevent bloat.  The thought being an elevated feeder will align the head allowing for a balanced eating position and better digestion.  Actually, studies are now showing that the opposite may be true…that elevated feeders may actually be a cause of bloat.

Typical elevated dog dish

An elevated feeder can cause a dog to inhale more air and allow the dog to eat its food at a faster than normal rate.  Both of which are causes of bloat.

The Glickman et al study, done on large and giant breed dogs, found that use of a raised feeder actually increases the risk of bloat by 110%. Dr. Glickman’s data showed that “approximately 20% and 50% of cases of GDV among the large and giant breed dogs, respectively, were attributed to having a raised food bowl.” (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:1492-1499).

While there are many benefits to using an elevated dog dish to feed your dog, new studies are showing that the prevention of bloat may not be one of them and in fact, they could actually lead to bloat.  Careful research should be done before an owner decides to purchase an elevated feeder for a dog that may be susceptible to bloat. 

References: 

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloat 

Peteducation.com: Bloat (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus) in Dogs

Vet Info:  How an Elevated Dog Feeder Could Lead to Bloat

Globalspan.net: Bloat in Dogs

Published in: on October 12, 2010 at 9:00 pm  Comments (4)  
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