Saturday, March 31, 2018

Is This Dog Actually Happy?

CreditJaromir Chalabala/EyeEm, via Getty Images

By Alexandra Horowitz
March 27, 2018

What is it like to be a dog?

I’ve been in search of the answer to that puzzling question by way of science. I’m a researcher of dog behavior and cognition: I study how dogs perceive the world and interact with one another and with people. Even in those moments when I wrest myself away from my subjects, the question stirs in my head. For everywhere I look, I find myself faced with dogs.

Dogs in movies, GIFs and memes — peppering Twitter feeds and Facebook posts. The Super Bowl has a puppy alternative; dogs in advertisements sell everything from toilet paper to tacos. Weirdly, the omnipresence of my favorite subject has begun making me grumpy, not elated. As dogs themselves produce a profound anti-grumpiness in me, I began to wonder why. Why can’t I stand to look at one more photo of a “funny dog”?

The reason is that these dogs are but furry emoji: stand-ins for emotions and sentiment. Each representation diminishes this complex, impressive creature to an object of our most banal imagination. As the philosopher Lori Gruen has observed, to be seen as something other than what one is, or to be the object of laughter, robs one of dignity. Such treatment may not be mortifying to the dog, perhaps (in fact, that’s a legitimate question, whether dogs can feel mortified; I remain agnostic); but it is degrading to the species.

Despite the ubiquity of dogs in our culture, there is much we don’t know about them. My field is in its infancy.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Being a pet sitter can sometimes be lonely. I was so used to having co-workers when I was in the banking industry. I needed someone to share ideas and dreams with so I started my own networking group of professional pet sitters. It's called Bradenton/Sarasota Professional Pet Sitters and we are a group of sitters from Manatee and Sarasota counties. We have a closed Facebook group where we seek each other's advice, support each other and refer each other to pet parents when we can't take a job. Sometimes we meet for coffee or breakfast. Of course, we can't all make it at once due to the nature of our work. Our newest member is Susan Starck Romano of Susie's Safe at Home Pet Sitting, LLC. She recently moved here from PA and is working on getting her business built up like she had it back home. Susie is really sweet and she knows her business. Check her out in my latest interview on Society Bytes Radio! Listen to "SUSAN ROMANO" on Spreaker.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Darcy's Corner: Airlines and Pets

In view of the United Airlines pet tragedy this week - actually three of them - we wanted you to know the guidelines for each airlines. Here is a great article from Bring Fido:

Airline Pet Policies
Planning to fly with your dog? While air travel can be a quick way to get Fido from one place to another, you should know that every airline has different rules about transporting pets. Some allow small dogs to travel in the aircraft cabin as part of your carry-on luggage allowance, while others will only allow pets to travel in the cargo area, and fees can vary from nothing at all to more than $500. Also, most airlines only allow one or two dogs on each flight, so always make sure a "seat" is available for your dog BEFORE buying your own ticket.

To take off without a hitch, please read our Ten Tips for Flying with Fido, and familiarize yourself with current U.S. Travel Regulations or International Pet Travel restrictions before you go. Have a great trip!

Friday, March 16, 2018

If you live in Manatee or Sarasota counties in the west coast of sunny Florida and have pets, you will be familiar with the awesome Suncoast Pet publication. You can pick these free magazines up at almost any veterinarian's office or pet related stores. You can also check them out on line at: I was lucky enough to talk to the amazing woman who puts her heart and soul into Suncoast Pet. Sit down, grab a snack and relax as you listen to my interview with Candace Botha! Listen to "PET EDU" on Spreaker.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Professional Pet Sitter's Week

This is Professional Pet Sitter's Week which was created in 1995 by Pet Sitter's International to honor the hard work of professional pet sitters! I am talking to Beth Stultz form PSI. She shares with us the many wonderful educational opportunities for professional pet sitters and pet parents alike. Grab your snacks and put your feet up and listen to a great interview! Listen to "BETH STULTZ" on Spreaker.

Pa. bill would require pet stores to get dogs, cats, rabbits from shelters and rescues

WRIGHTSVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – Two Pennsylvania lawmakers are sponsoring a bill cracking down on the sale of puppy mill animals at pet stores.

The numerals 260 are stamped inside Frankie’s ear from being in a Lancaster County puppy mill. Another dog, Yankee, was debarked during his time in the mill.

“They’re filthy. The dogs are literally living in their own excrement,” said Kate DePasquale, with A Tail to Tell Puppy Mill Rescue.

DePasquale rescued the two puppy mill dogs. Yankee spent around five years in a puppy mill and was debarked there. He now enjoys a good life with his human mom at their Wrightsville home.

Pennsylvania has 12 of the 100 puppy mills on the Humane Society of the United States Horrible Hundred List. Seven of those are in Lancaster County.

“People really don’t understand where the puppies are coming from,” DePasquale said. “I think a lot of people ask the right questions, and I think that they’re misled.”

“Senator Reschenthaler and Representative Ortitay’s Puppy Retail Sales Bill is currently getting co-sponsors,” said Kristen Tullo, Pennsylvania director for the Humane Society of the United States.

Yankee is the poster dog for that bill and will campaign for it at the state Capitol.

The bill would do three things. The first is require pet stores sell dogs, cats, and rabbits from shelters and rescues. They could not come from large-scale puppy mills.

“No longer would you be able to sell dogs, cats, and rabbits at outdoor venues like flea markets,” Tullo said.

That’s the second element of the bill.

“Any licensed breeder would be required to advertise that license when advertising an animal,” Tullo said when discussing the third item.

The bill would not prohibit mom-and-pop stores from breeding.

“Responsible breeders and mom-and-pop stores do not sell to pet stores,” Tullo said.

“Some of these puppy mill animals live by themselves in tiny wire cages without windows. It’s completely dark in there. It’s just completely unacceptable,” DePasquale said.

The House bill already has dozens of co-sponsors. Both the Senate and House bills are expected to be introduced within the next few weeks. New York and New Jersey have a similar bill.

Petco sent abc27 News the following statement:

“Petco has never sold dogs or cats in our stores and we stopped selling rabbits in 2008. We believe in a “Think Adoption First” philosophy, which means we encourage anyone looking to add a new pet to their family to consider adopting a homeless animal. Together, Petco and the Petco Foundation partner with thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, help find homes for more than 400,000 animals every year.”


Sunday, March 4, 2018

People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets


ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435

Our Animal Poison Control Center experts have put together a handy list of the top toxic people foods to avoid feeding your pet. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

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. Under no circumstances should your pet be given any alcohol. If you suspect that your pet has ingested alcohol, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately.

Avocado is primarily a problem for birds, rabbits, donkeys, horses, and ruminants including sheep and goats. The biggest concern is for cardiovascular damage and death in birds.  Horses, donkeys and ruminants frequently get swollen, edematous head and neck.

Chocolate, Coffee and 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.

The stems, leaves, peels, fruit and seeds of citrus plants contain varying amounts of citric acid, essential oils that can cause irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression if ingested in significant amounts. Small doses, such as eating the fruit, are not likely to present problems beyond minor stomach upset.

Coconut and Coconut Oil
When ingested in small amounts, coconut and coconut-based products are not likely to cause serious harm to your pet. The flesh and milk of fresh coconuts do contain oils that may cause stomach upset, loose stools or diarrhea. Because of this, we encourage you to use caution when offering your pets these foods. Coconut water is high in potassium and should not be given to your pet.

Grapes and Raisins
Although the toxic substance within grapes and raisins is unknown, these fruits can cause kidney failure. Until more information is known about the toxic substance, it is best to avoid feeding grapes and raisins to dogs.


Saturday, March 3, 2018

Is pet insurance worth the investment?

By Howard Dashefsky
Published: February 27, 2018, 6:00 pm  Updated: February 27, 2018, 9:42 p

If you have a pet, you know keeping them healthy isn’t cheap, and emergency visits can get very costly very quickly.

But what if you have pet insurance? Is it worth the investment?

Pet insurance can save a whole lot of money and grief, assuming you purchase the right plan.

For Tami Sederquist, Mack is no different from her son when it comes to looking after their health.

“He’s another member of our family, and we have homeowners insurance, health insurance, and he’s a member of her family, so he needs to have insurance too,” she said.

What wasn’t so easy for Sederquist was deciding which policy to go with, as there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all plan.

“You just need to do your research,” she said. “As with every other insurance policy, you have to do your research. They’re all different. They’re all going to ask different questions, and you pick which one’s right for you at the time.”

If you’re considering pet insurance, there are two primary questions to consider: Do you want something that’s just going to cover basic wellness, meaning visits, shots, annual check-ups and some medications? Or are you looking for something that will be there in the event of a potentially very costly, unforeseen accident or emergency?

Dr. Candice Denham of the Kailua Animal Clinic says patients ask about pet insurance all the time.

She says if you have cash available in the event of an emergency, that’s great, but for most patients, a smaller monthly premium, usually in the $30 to $40 range, is more manageable.

“We ask people to make sure that they research the insurance company and the policy as well to find them one that best fits their needs,” Denham said.

Denham says something else you need to carefully consider are health issues that might be associated with your specific breed.

“Especially in the younger animal. If you can avoid having pre-existing conditions, the policies cover a lot more,” she said. “Most incidents that happen, happen with younger patients in terms of unexpected drama. In older patients, it’s more chronic illnesses, such cancer, diabetes, that type of thing.”


Friday, March 2, 2018

The vet will STILL see you now! Pet owners share hilarious photos of their beloved animals trying to hide from surgery staff

By Katie French For Mailonline

Man may be a dog's best friend but according to these pictures, there is one exception to the rule.

Canines will be well-behaved and loveable to almost anyone they meet - until you try to take them to the vets, it seems.

And they aren't the only ones.

As these hilarious photographs show, other species of the animal kingdom including cats and rabbits will try many a tactic to avoid being seen by the medical professionals.

But it appears the animals have been sharing methods away from the ears of prying humans.

Several dogs have opted for the old 'hide under the waiting room furniture' strategy, while the 'stand in the corner and pretend nothing is happening' rouse appears to be a hit with both cats and canines. 

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