For Dogs, Cats & Other Pets And The People Who Love Them!

Why Cats Make Such Good Pets

Written By: Teri Champigny - Feb• 28•12

Why cats make such good pets is that they don’t require as much attention as other options such as a dog. You don’t have to walk the cat and you don’t have to deal with it barking at everything that happens to walk by your home. Young kittens are extremely playful and you can interact with them when you want to. However, most cats are content to play with toys or to be independent.


This doesn’t mean that cats aren’t excellent companions though. They can be silly at times and they often enjoy curling up on your lap and purring. Your cat won’t come running when you are home at the end of day and knock you over. They also don’t lick or bite so you won’t have to worry about how they will interact with others when you have company. Cats always seem to be able to tell when you need some comfort.

Taking care of a pet can help a child to become more responsible but some pets just come with too much time required. A cat makes a perfect choice for children because they tend to take care of themselves. As long as they are given sufficient food and water they will remain happy. Indoor cats will have to be trained to use a litter box but most of them learn very quickly so you won’t have to deal with cleaning up such messes around your home. However, you need to clean the litter box regularly because cats do not like to use a dirty litter box.

Cats are clean animals as they spend a large amount of time grooming themselves each day. In the majority of cases, cats lead a very happy and long life without too many problems. They don’t cost very much because cat food and litter are very cheap. They don’t require as many vet visits for routine shots either like dogs do which can become quite expensive.

For those that have problems with mice, cats make a great natural system for taking care of them. This means you won’t have to deal with messy traps or dangerous poisons around your home. Many cat owners claim they haven’t come across a mouse in their home for years with this line of defense.

Cats are very precious and beautiful animals as well. They have a gentle hum to them that can be relaxing for humans. They have coats in all colors as well as eyes that are very shiny and bright. Each cat has their own personality and you just can’t help but adore them. There are many breeds of cats if you want a particular kind but some of the most beautiful cats are those that are mixed breeds.

Cats are very smart animals too so they will quickly catch up to what you like from them and what you don’t based on the praise you give them. Contrary to popular belief, cats are obedient and they want their owner’s to be happy with them. They will learn fast that you don’t like them scratching on the furniture or putting their tail in your face while you are sleeping.

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Nightmare Grooming Services – Backyard Groomers

Written By: Teri Champigny - Feb• 16•12

Like with anything, if you are looking for a dog groomer, Do Your Research. This can’t be said enough. There is always someone out there to take advanage of you as a consumer of dog grooming services. Cruelty among unlicensed “backyard groomers” has been a growing series of unfortunate events in both small and large towns across the country.


With cheap services that are far lower priced than professional groomers, it’s easy for many dog owners to see the benefit of saving money over the possibility that the groomer might not know what he or she is doing.

Fortunately, there is an organization that works hard to protect the sanctity of professional animal groomers across the nation. They are the National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA).

With tens of thousands of members running strong, the NDGAA has been responsible for introducing legislation around the country to bring more responsibility and legal protection for dog owners and the garage groomers that do business today.

Unfortunately, it has not been an easy task to convince lawmakers to hold the same standards to the dog grooming business as they do for human barber shops and stylists. Beauty operators and barbers are licensed and must adhere to various controls to protect the consumer.

Licensing of dog groomers appears to be just over the horizon. While nobody likes federal and state governments to step in and control private industry, the present state of the grooming industry is such that steps must be taken to protect the consumer, as well as the unsuspecting animal. At present, any person has the right to call him or herself a groomer.

A Recent Shocking Survey

Last year a small group of individuals who support laws to come down hard on dangerous grooming practices and unlicensed shops took it upon themselves to interview 85 establish groomers in as many grooming shops as 5 large cities.

It was bewildering to discover only one shop conducting grooming in full view of customers and other patrons. This led to the shaking of a few more insights, and a desire to know why grooming is normally done behind close doors.

The answer, it seems, is that the dog owner “wouldn’t understand” why a groomer was doing a particular thing or treating an animal in a particular way. It seems that many animals left for grooming are in such a terrified state of mind that they have to be tranquilized.

In some cases, some animals are anesthetized before any grooming can take place. One groomer explained:

“Most animals left to be groomed are spoiled rotten, and you can’t do a thing with them unless they get their bottom spanked. Sometimes, we have to tie their mouths shut, but the general public just wouldn’t understand this.”

These groomers may have a point here about having a hard time keeping dogs calm during the process, but the underlying justification to abuse animals in order to get the job done is not enough to warrant such practices.

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Dog Agility Equipment: Where do I begin?

Written By: Teri Champigny - Feb• 16•12

Dog agility is one of the most fun things you can do with your dog. It is great exercise for both of you. There are clubs you can join that already have the equipment or if you have the yard for it you can build your own agility course. There is such a wide selection of dog agility equipment, where do I begin? There are several factors to consider when making your agility equipment purchases. Two major factors are your goals and your dog.

Dog Agility Equipment

Are your goals to develop a deeper bonding with your dog by taking agility classes together, having fun, and seeing how far you and your dog can progress with agility skills?

Do you have a timid dog and want to develop confidence in him? Or do you have a high drive dog and want to help him burn energy in a controlled manner?

Do you want to do agility as a just for fun activity or are you setting your sights on making it to the nationals and becoming an agility instructor? All the previous factors are important to consider when purchasing your equipment.

An agility course has contact equipment, jumps, weaves, tunnels, closed tunnel, and possibly a pause table (depending on your agility venue).

It would be wonderful to have a full course of agility equipment in your backyard, but its not necessary to learn the sport. Contact equipment consists of dog-walks, A-frames, and teeters. It is a good idea to have at least one contact obstacle.

Many people select to purchase a teeter because the motion often causes a dog hesitation. If you can’t fit a regulation piece of equipment in your yard, consider an 8′ dog-walk instead of a 12′ or even select from mini-contact equipment that is available to train your dog on.

Jumps. You can never have enough single jumps, but you also might think about a double jump or triple jump. If you cannot purchase a double or triple jump, you can place two or three single jumps together to practice. Eight single jumps give you lots of drills and exercises to practice and interchange.

Tunnels, chutes, and tables are variations to add to your course. Tire jumps are very popular to have in backyard training. Pause tables are essential in our agility training program. They are our center and focal point for developing our directional commands and building distance.

Weaves, critical for having at home. The type of weave to purchase depends on your method of teaching. Is your agility class using weave chutes, angled weaves, or straight lined weaves.

If your instructor is teaching a specific method, then it’s easiest to purchase the same type of weaves. We have trained five different agility dogs, each with a different method and in the end they all have nice weaves.

There are a variety of training aids that can help you develop the behavior you want from your dog on the equipment. Buja boards are excellent for timid dogs that need to build confidence slowly. Contact trainers are great for back chaining your contact behavior, and they are smaller so you can bring them indoors for winter training also.

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A Golden Retriever – The Right Addition To Your Family?

Written By: Teri Champigny - Feb• 16•12

A Golden Retriever, everybody wants one especially since the Buddies movies came out. They are very cute and adorable as pups and still retain that playfulness as adults. They are the forever puppy but are they right for you and your family. Selecting the right pet for you and your family is an important decision. There are several hundred breeds of dogs from around the world so your choices are virtually limitless.

Golden Retriever Puppies

The American Kennel Club (AKC) categorized the different breeds by groups with each group having distinguishing characteristics that are shared by all the breeds in it. The Golden Retriever is in the Sporting Group.

The Sporting Group is made up of some of the oldest and most popular breeds. Many of the dogs in this category were bred for hunting although most people who own sporting dogs only keep them as family pets, rather than hunters. The hunting traits, however, create some of the most enjoyable aspects of owning a sporting dog. Goldens are natural retrievers, so you can enjoy them fetching a tennis ball for what seems like forever. Another trait is their outgoing personality, making sporting dogs enthusiastic and responsive partners.

The Golden Retriever was bred to be tough and strong. Don’t let the happy, silly face fool you. While any Golden will delight in lazing around the house or wrestling on the floor with your family, the breed is particularly adept in the field.

As puppies, Goldens are full of energy and can be especially mouthy. Make sure you direct your puppy’s need to chew to appropriate chew toys. Remember, puppies aren’t fussy and don’t discriminate. A chair leg works as well for them as a sterilized bone. Goldens are very trainable, athletic, and good-natured. They have a keen desire to please. You can find them performing with tails wagging and eyes shining in the obedience, agility, and fly ball arenas. They are also excellent with children.

The Golden Retriever is generally light yellow to deep golden honey in color. The coat tends to get a little deeper in color after the first year. They tend to be about twenty-four inches tall at the withers (shoulders), with females being slightly shorter. Their coat should be long and either flat or wavy. They’ll need to be brushed properly or their coat will form thick mats

So, if you are looking for a loyal companion that will be great with kids or adults, you should definitely find a local breeder and spend some time getting to know a Golden.

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Aging Cats’ Nutritional Needs Change

Written By: Teri Champigny - Feb• 09•12

Like most aging animals, aging cats nutritional needs change. America’s most popular pet, the cat, lives more than half of its life in the senior years. Although advances in veterinary care, better nutrition and better educated owners have helped improve the quantity and quality of these years. Studies reveal that senior cats continue to struggle with weight as the result of reduced activity levels and a steady decline in senses, nutrient absorption and fat digestion.

Older Cats

“One of the most important goals when feeding senior cats is maintaining an ideal weight and keeping that weight stable,” said Dr. Arnold Plotnick, who developed a senior wellness program to address the special needs of aging cats at his veterinary clinic, Manhattan Cat Specialists in New York City.

Owners of senior cats can help their aging felines maintain an ideal body weight throughout the senior lifestage by feeding a diet that addresses their unique nutritional needs. Purina Pro Plan, for instance, has reformulated its entire line of senior cat foods to address the changing nutritional needs of aging cats in two different phases of the senior lifestage: ages 7 to 11 (mature) and 11 and up (senior).

As cats age, there’s a gradual decline in the body’s ability to repair itself, maintain normal body functions and adapt to stresses in the environment. Disease and weight changes are common throughout the senior lifestage.

Cats are more likely to face weight gain during the mature years when activity level declines and metabolism slows. But around age 11, weight loss becomes a greater concern.

The 11-plus years are particularly problematic for cats because their sense of smell and taste often diminish at this time, which affects their interest in food. The ability to absorb key nutrients and digest fat declines, making eating itself less efficient.

The undesirable result is that more food passes through as waste and less is used for energy, causing a drop in lean muscle mass and body fat that leads to potentially harmful weight loss.

In addition to providing the proper diet, owners of senior cats should pay close attention to their cats’ activity levels, weight, and eating, grooming and elimination habits and report anything new or different to their veterinarian.

Though many of these changes are a normal part of aging, others may signal a more serious problem. Scheduling veterinary visits at least twice a year is good practice during the senior years as many potentially serious conditions are treatable if caught early.

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