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Take me home FREE!

Issue 10 Winter 2007

10 steps to a better behaved pet Introducing The Fish Vet Dr Katrina Warren talks about cats and babies Winter warming tips

Does your dog have personality? 50,000 copies Australia-wide

the dog house | petiquette | job profile | bird talk pet cam | ask our vet | cat chat | petarazzi | and more!

Wouldn’t be without them

And you wouldn’t be without the peace of mind that RACQ Pet Insurance can give you and your best friend. For just $50* a year on top of your home contents insurance, RACQ Insurance Pet Cover provides up to $500 toward veterinary fees for each accident or illness. That’s a lot of protection for around $1 per week. To find out more, drop into your local RACQ office or call 13 1905 anytime or visit *Plus GST and stamp duties. Conditions apply. Insurance products are issued by RACQ Insurance Limited. Contact our branches, agencies or phone 13 1905 to obtain a copy of the relevant Product Disclosure Statement. Please read the Product Disclosure Statement before you make any decision regarding this product. RAI0000662

from the editor



s you can see on this edition’s cover, we have now reached the 50,000 copies mark! This is quite an achievement but what’s even more exciting is that feedback tells us Your Pet Magazine is shared among several readers in pet shops, vet clinics, grooming salons, animal shelters and hospitals, pet shows, aquariums, offices, businesses and households, meaning that we now have a readership of up to 185,000! Your Pet is going through an exciting growth spurt as demand for the magazine grows around the country. As pet businesses discover Your Pet — and that it’s free to pet lovers — they are increasing demand for the magazine. So much so that we expect a readership of up to 222,000 from our Summer edition. This is a great achievement and we are proud of the contribution we are making in informing — and entertaining — pet lovers about living with their companion animals and responsible pet ownership. This also marks the tenth edition and with this milestone we are excited to announce that renowned fish vet Dr Richmond Loh joins the team as a contributor to our ‘in the tank’ section. There are an estimated 20 million pet fish in Australia and we know that aquarists will look forward to Dr Loh’s regular columns. To meet Dr Loh go to page 24. Now that winter is well and truly here, it’s important to keep an eye on your pet for any signs of discomfort that the colder weather brings. Our guest vet Dr Carl Milford provides advice on caring for your pet over the coming months and answers readers’ questions about their animal’s health and behaviour. Of course, this is the time of year where, those who are inclined, can indulge in the pampering side of pet ownership. There are some gorgeous outfits available to help keep our pooches warm and cosy — and to ensure there are no excuses for not taking regular winter walks. I must admit that we have had some ‘canine couture’ underway in our household. Stephen’s mother recently sent Miffy and Bonny some matching winter outfits and while playing ‘dress ups’ I started thinking about how our mum often dressed my sisters Sally, Carolyn and Leanne, and me, in matching outfits when we were very young. Sally has since confessed that she quite liked the look whereas I loathed it. As far as I was concerned, we were different personalities with individual tastes and styles. But in true form, I am now mirroring my mother’s habits, as demonstrated in the photo. This is despite the fact that, although Miffy and Bonny are sisters and true to the characteristics of the breed, they each display their own behaviours. Is this due to their personalities? You will have to read ‘the dog house’ to find out. ®

Enjoy your pet – Janice Holland For more great content visit our website at







Features The Dog House . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Fish face. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Understanding your dog’s personality

Photographer David Doubilet’s underwater portraits

Bird talk. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Cat chat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Bird boarding takes flight

Dr Katrina talks about cats and babies

In the tank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Meet Dr Richmond Loh, aka The Fish Vet

Regulars Bites. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Letters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Pet Cam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Good Petiquette. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Petarazzi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Pet Shop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Competition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Ask our vet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Your pet photos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pet Reads. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Job Profile. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Menagerie Products & Services Guide. . . . . . End Tale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

22 28 29 30 31

About Your Pet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Published by Your Pet Magazine Pty Ltd © 2007 PO Box 451 Coorparoo Qld 4151 Ph: 07 3394 1607 Fax: 07 3394 1661 ABN: 53 111 899 953 Managing Editor Janice Holland. Letters to the editor are welcome. Please include the full name and address of the writer. Your Pet Magazine has the right to edit and reproduce letters and questions received. Advertising Manager Fiona Cootes Designer Lachlan Alexander Veterinary Advice, Dr Ed Layt, Dr Cam Day, Dr Katrina Warren, Dr Richmond Loh Good Petiquette Miffy Bruel Distribution and home delivery enquiries

bites “Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” Agnes Sligh Turnbull

Register now for Australia’s premier pet industry trade show

Spots are the new black this October! Happy Tails Day is your chance to ‘get behind’ a great cause and help raise funds for the RSPCA! Buy your furry black and white spotted tail from Big W, Bendigo Bank, Peter Alexander, Lush or online at and wear it on Friday 5 October to show you care about protecting animals from cruelty. Spotty ears, badges, magnets, pen and toothbrushes are also available to sell in your workplace or local community. If you are in the pet industry be sure to attend this year’s national trade show. PetExpo will be held at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre from 5 to 6 October and is open to all people working in the pet industry. Groomers, retailers, boarders, service providers, vets, those who supply the industry and those who import and manufacture, are all encouraged to attend this one-stop opportunity to see the latest trends, compare products, place orders at great prices, increase product knowledge and catch up with all the industry news. All the leading pet trade suppliers from around the country will have their products on display. Come and meet with your current suppliers and chat to new ones entering the market. You can also vote for the best new product of the year from the huge new product showcase. The event features a free pet care forum focusing on the year in review, the Pet Industry Association of Australia’s annual general meeting, and grooming competitions with great prizes for participants. The annual gala dinner and awards night will be held during the event. PetExpo will be open from noon to 9pm on Friday 5 October and 9am to 5pm on Saturday 6 October. Entry is free to PIAA members and their staff and $20 per person for non-members. Register by visiting or you can register on the day. For PetExpo updates visit the website or call 02 9659 9802. PetExpo is not open to the public.

Did you know? The cat’s ear contains almost thirty muscles, whereas the human ear scarcely has half a dozen.

For more information, or to tell your ‘happy tale’ about how animals have influenced your life, visit or email

More than 1220 dog lovers sign up to DoggyMates DoggyMates, the site for dogs and people who love dogs, has signed up more than 1220 members. The Australia-wide online service uses postcodes to list people who wish to find a friend for their dog. It brings together dog lovers who live near each other and are prepared to help each other out by looking after one another’s dogs through doggy day care, dog walking or dog minding. DoggyMates is a good way for your dog to have a familiar friend to play with; this stimulates them and contributes to their wellbeing especially if they are the sole dog at home. You will also find information on dog social events, sports and places where people can take their dogs.

With 1220 members and growing, DoggyMates is something to bark about! Visit

Australia and UK to cooperate on veterinary medicines regulations Two of the world’s major pesticide and veterinary medicine regulators, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and the United Kingdom Veterinary Medicines Directorate, have signed an agreement which will allow information and expertise to be shared between the two countries, ensuring they are at the forefront of international best practice and adopt consistent approaches and timely responses to issues of mutual interest worldwide. The APVMA had signed similar agreements in the last three years with its counterpart regulators in Canada, the USA and New Zealand and mirrors an agreement reached with the UK Pesticides Safety Directorate in 2006.

GRV backs a winner Greyhound Racing Victoria is doing its bit for charity while raising the profile of the breed and industry with celebrity Greyhound Fred Bassett on target to raise $5000 for the Royal Children’s Hospital. Fred rose to stardom on the top rating radio program the Hamish & Andy Show last year, and half of his prize money goes to the Royal Children’s Hospital, for which he has earned nearly $3000 this year on top of the $7000 he earned for the 2007 Good Friday Appeal in April. Run Fred Run!

New water efficiency guidelines for bathing dogs We all know we need to wash our dogs regularly to ensure they are clean and healthy but with the current drought conditions, it’s important that we reassess how we wash our dogs so minimal water is used. In Queensland, the Water Commission together with the Pet Industry Association of Australia, has prepared water efficiency guidelines for use by hydrobath operators and groomers. Hydro Dog Master Franchisee Paul Mimnaw was instrumental in developing the guidelines. “It is estimated that washing a dog at home, using a hose or bathtub, can use around 80 to 100 litres of water,” Paul says. “Under the new guidelines, specialist operators are required to use 12 to 20 litres of fresh clean water per wash, which is recycled throughout the service.” “This is a significant water saving. For example, Hydro Dog operators probably wash about 32,000 dogs per month nationally, which is a saving of about 1.9 million litres per month nationally.” Paul says the guidelines include specific hygiene practices and raise the bar across the industry. They can be adopted by hydrobath operators and groomers across the country that wish to be water efficient. From early June, all Queensland operators must be trained and licensed under the water efficiency guidelines and pet owners should look out for a sticker indicating that the operator is registered. “Using a professional to wash your dog makes sense, it saves water, does a better job in removing dirt and bacteria and makes your dog smell great,” Paul says.

For more information visit or


Vets Use It...

We would love to hear from you. Send your purrs, growls and photos to the Editor, Your Pet Magazine, PO Box 451, Coorparoo Qld 4151 or email and be in the running to win a great prize.

Breeders Use It... Westies web forum I picked up your magazine at Paddo Pets in Sydney and read your column with the photos of your lovely Westies. Well done on getting Bonny, it is so great having two together. It really improves their life substantially.

You Should Use It ELIMINATES INTESTINAL WORMS The opportunity for the transfer of roundworm and hookworm from your pets to your family is a real risk. Protecting your family pet from worms means protecting your whole family. Popantel Allwormer Tablets for dogs and cats, and Popantel Allwormer Cat Paste kills all intestinal worms so you can protect your whole family with the reassurance of Popantel. Popantel is available from your veterinarian and selected outlets. Ask for it by name!

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I have attached a photo of my two girls, 11-year-old Lucy Bear and eight-year-old Leisel, the loves of my life. Lucy Bear (on the left) still looks, behaves and is as fit as a puppy while Leisel is the most beautiful girl who actually takes the clothes off her dolls! They are the very best of friends and it was the best thing I ever did getting Leisel for Lucy Bear. She was desperate for a playmate but loathes puppies (I had to return a puppy once!) so I had to wait until we could find an adult female as I wanted another girl. Amazingly Leisel was in the next suburb and Lucy loved her from the moment she arrived. They won’t go anywhere without each other. I thought I’d also let you know about my email group for Westie owners and lovers group/Ozwestie/ We have about 130 members from around Australia and overseas who post questions seeking advice and just general chat about their Westies. We have quite a few breeders on the forum too. The magazine is really good and I particularly liked the article about Greyhound adoption. Growing up in Brisbane we had Greyhounds and they are the most beautiful animal.

Louise Convy, Paddington, NSW Thanks for the tip about the email forum. I hear from many West Highland White Terrier owners who I am sure will be keen to join the email group – Ed. Your Pet online Jake has travelled Australia Is it possible to have your magazine delivered to my with his owners. email automatically, as this saves paper and creates

100% Australian Owned & Made

a better environment for our pets and their owners. Congratulations on a terrific, informative magazine. Allison Davis, by email To receive advice on when the magazine is uploaded to our website, be sure to enter the online competition that appears in each edition. When submitting their entry, entrants agree to receiving email updates. Once advised, you will then be able to fully download Your Pet Magazine from the website – Ed. Leo is king

After reading the story about Jessie the Beagle in Your Pet, I felt compelled to write and tell you all about Leo Lionheart. Working as a volunteer with 4 Paws Animal Rescue on the Sunshine Coast, a voluntary group of dedicated animal lovers who rescue cats and dogs from the local pound prior to being euthanased, I see many horrific and tragic sights when it comes to lost, abandoned, surrendered and homeless cats and dogs. But none was as pitiful as when we saw Leo. He was emaciated, riddled with fleas and had a bad case of ear mite. Despite Leo’s bad condition, he was very affectionate and outgoing. We knew he had a lot of potential to make a loving household pet so I took the challenge of battling his health conditions. Every day for two months his ears were bathed and he was shampooed, combed, medicated, and given the works. Now the results speak for themselves. Leo no longer scratches all day. His coat is thick and glossy and he has a lot of condition in his body. In every shape and form, Leo personifies the wonderful cartoon character ‘Garfield’ with his laid back, ‘love ‘em or leave ‘em’ personality. You couldn’t get a better and much more loving cat than Leo. I too say that Leo is a treasure.

Annelies Craig, Sunshine Coast, QLD Annelies Craig has won a copy of the My Family and Other Animals DVD which is available from ABC Shops, ABC Centres, ABC Online and DVD retailers.

pet cam animal behaviour with Dr Cam Day

Ten steps to a better behaved pet To celebrate our tenth edition, Dr Cam Day revisits 10 important steps . for a better behaved buddy. 1. Stop your pet teaching itself bad behaviours. The more your pet rehearses an annoying behaviour, the more likely your pet will perform it again. So, try to avoid all situations that will create the unwanted behaviour to prevent the wrongful self-teaching of badness. Try taking the problem away from your pet or, your pet away from the problem. If your dog barks continually at the front fence, try a midway fence that keeps the dog in the back yard. If your cat scratches your child when playing, remove the cat from your child by giving your child a feather on a string as a cat toy. The cat’s ‘spikiness’ is directed to the feather not fingers.

2. Don’t try to cure aggression by being aggressive. Dogs which are aggressive are over-aroused. The last thing they want is to be pushed more out of control by being yelled at or hit. If your dog is aggressive, act like a statue. Let the aggression evaporate and allow the dog to calm down. It won’t take long. When it is calm, try a simple command like SIT. Reward the resulting calm behaviour with a GOOD DOG voice or even a food treat.

3. A dog that barks when you are at work is often bored out of its big brain. Your bored back yard dog will benefit greatly if you provide it with a rich lifestyle while you are away at work. Try giving pooch a Kong toy or a roller treat ball stuffed with food or even a frozen bone before you leave. Just be sure any food given is part of its overall diet so you don’t create a tubby puppy.

4. A dog that barks when you are away and also trembles, pants, looks anxious and is destructive may have a serious anxiety disorder. Be careful. Your dog has gone beyond boredom and its anxiety is taking over. Treatment relies on giving your dog a rich ‘home alone’ lifestyle, making ‘alone time’ part of every day. Medication is often needed to stop the anxiety merry-go-round so your dog can learn to be calm.

5. If your pet has an annoying behaviour, try to minimise punishment. Punishment is overused and often pushes animals further out of control. Instead, work on a system that creates the behaviour you want and then reward this behaviour so your pet can see more

value in behaving than misbehaving. There are ways and means to achieve this. Electric shock collars should be used with great caution as they do little to calm a pet.

6. Dogs, cats and birds that are fearful or timid have great difficulty learning when they are showing their fearful behaviours. Solving fear-based behaviours can be difficult. Don’t create the fear and then try to make your pet cope with it. It will learn very little because it is pushed into a defensive (flight) mode, not a learning mode. Create a situation where your pet will be calm and then slowly introduce the fearful stimulus.

7. If your cat stops using its litter tray, be sure it is not suffering from a medical disorder. Many cats that break their litter tray habits have a lower urinary tract infection causing the behaviour. Visit your vet for testing and if all is well, seek a behaviour solution. Clean trays are the first step.

8. If your dog is annoying visitors, get it away from visitors before they arrive. You will find it too difficult to manage a rambunctious pet and to greet your visitors simultaneously. Place your dog in a comfortable room, such as the laundry, with a Kong or bone before the visitors arrive, then introduce your pet to the visitors later.

9. If you have a new puppy or kitten, be sure to take it to a puppy preschool or kitty kindy. At a well-run pet preschool your pet can learn to get on with other pets and with people other than you. You will also learn about caring for your pet.

10. If your cat attacks you, it may be playing. Play behaviour and aggression are very closely related with cats. Try giving the cat things to play with that don’t bleed! A ‘fishing rod’ made from a bamboo garden stake, a piece of string and a cork with two feathers stuck to it will extinguish the rambunctious energy. ®

Dr Cam Day is a veterinary surgeon, animal behaviour consultant and media presenter. For more information visit Short questions for Dr Cam can be emailed to

WHY DOES MY DOG ACT THAT WAY? by Stanley Coren Published by Simon & Schuster, $24.95

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good petiquette with Miffy

Locating lost cats and dogs


o matter how much you believe that your pet will not get lost, accidents do happen. Storms can blow gates open or fences down; visitors may leave a gate open. Your pet may take fright when being transported in the car or out walking. Dogs and cats should be registered as required by your local council and wear a collar and identification tag at all times. Be sure that the information on the tag is current. It is best to have only your telephone number and the pet’s name on the tag rather than your full address. A microchip offers an additional and permanent method of identification. If your pet appears to be missing from your yard thoroughly check first to make sure it isn’t asleep somewhere in the corner, or accidentally locked in a shed. Cats are very clever at hiding away and ignoring your calls. Once you are sure your pet is missing, speak to your neighbours and ask them to check their yard, shed, garage and under their house. Also phone your local council, the animal welfare shelters and your local veterinarians and provide details of your missing pet. Having taken these initial steps, you should widen the search if your pet hasn’t been found. A flyer with a description of the pet, and a photo if possible, should be taken to local shops, veterinary clinics in your area, animal welfare shelters, local pet stores and the council pound. Dogs can walk quite a distance in a few hours, so include neighbouring suburbs and place an advertisement in the local newspapers. Visit all the animal welfare shelters and council pounds for surrounding areas every few days and ask to look through the pens. Depending on your state laws, your animal may only have to be kept for four to eight days before being classed as unclaimed and may then be rehoused or euthanased. Do not depend on phone calls to ascertain whether your pet is in the shelter or pound. Your description of the pet may be quite different to how someone else views it. Losing a pet is a very traumatic for both the owner and pet but in most cases the reunion takes place within a few days. Remember, getting information about your lost pet to as many people as possible as quickly as possible is the best way to ensure a happy ending. ®

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petarazzi The Greencross Vets/Triple M dogs breakfast in Brisbane had dogs and their owners drooling over the breakfast menu and howling at The Cage radio breakfast show.

Daisy looks dapper all dressed up for breakfast.

Shetland Sheepdog Zeke clowns around with owner Erin Gibson.

Peter Williams and German Shepherd Sarah enjoy their breakfast date.

Leanne and Tallula Southon-Whitton were up bright and early with their two Shitzus, Chester and Slash.

Your Pet Mag’s Miffy (left) and Bonny rub shoulders with The Cage breakfast show hosts (from left) Sully, Ian Skippen, George and Marto.

Kate Jenian and her assistant dog Dexter were perfectly matched for breakfast.

Marie and Geoff Staples with their happy early risers Tess and Nkita (Bichon Frise X Tibetan Spaniel).

Dr Harry and celebrity dog trainer Steve Austin were joined by thousands of two and four-legged friends for ‘dogaccinos’ at the Jacksons Landing dogs breakfast in Sydney. All agreed the inaugural event was a barking success!


This year’s Million Paws Walk to raise funds for the RSPCA was a huge success with pets and people around the country giving the event the paws up!


Gian Rooney and Suzi Wilks (top left) swap the cat walk for the dog walk at Albert Park Lake in Melbourne. They were joined by Pippa Black with partner and ‘Tank’; Andrea Tovey and ‘Mia’; and the Bayston Family and ‘Zorro’.



All creatures were great and small in Cairns.


From the air force to the local town crier, it was all paws on deck in Brisbane.

These ‘puppy paramedics’ were on hand with their owners during the Million Paws Walk in Canberra.


Chief Minister Clare Martin leads the way in Darwin while kelpie Jess keeps cool.

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the dog house

Understanding your If you wonder why your dog behaves a certain way, or why you are compatible with some dogs and not others, Stanley Coren might have the answers. Drawing from years of expertise in both canine and human behaviour, this psychologist and author suggests that your dog does have a particular (or peculiar) personality that influences its behaviour. Here is a snapshot of the latest scientific findings that show when it comes to dogs, personality counts.


t had been a cool damp day in Canada’s southern Alberta. The retriever trials had run late, but most of the dogs, ducks and equipment were now safely stowed away to wait for the next day when competition would continue. A collection of six or seven old and new friends had gathered in the warmth of the motel room to chat. A few dogs lay nearby and an open bottle of bourbon and another of Canadian whiskey sat on the table. It was a typical gathering of sporting dog owners and the conversation, as usual, consisted of reminiscences, training advice and many humorous stories or quips. As the alcohol warmed and relaxed us we became a bit more philosophical. We had just been discussing the issue of whether dogs went to heaven, and the conversation had moved from serious to hilarious as we speculated on what modifications and facilities would be needed to accommodate our pets in the hereafter. It was then that Ralph, a long-time field dog competitor, leaned over and put his grizzled hand on the head of his nine-year-old Golden Retriever, Morgan. ‘Well, when Morgan here gets to heaven, the first thing he’ll do is ask to see Saint Peter. Next he’ll ask to meet Jesus and then 12

he’ll ask to meet God and the Holy Mother — you see, for golden retrievers meeting people is heaven!’ The humour in Ralph’s suggestion lies in the fact that he was talking about a Golden Retriever, and his comments fit with the conclusions that most people have about the personality of golden retrievers. His comments would have made no sense if he were talking about a Rottweiler, a Doberman Pinscher, or an Akita, and certainly not a wolf. As a psychologist, I have always wondered why some of the techniques we use to predict human behaviours are not used on dogs, particularly that part of psychological science that deals with personality. I believe that each dog has a unique, measurable personality — a product of the dog’s genetic makeup and life history. As with humans, once you know your dog’s personality, you can reasonably predict its behaviours in many circumstances and also recognise why your dog may behave differently from another dog in the same situation.

Personality traits Personality theory is not the first case where psychologists have had to abandon simply categorising people into fixed types. Many

dog’s personality psychologists who study personality adopted an approach similar to that used by scientists who study intelligence. They have begun to measure a set of specific aspects of personality. We can’t call these aspects abilities, since they are behavioural tendencies (rather than skills), such as moodiness, optimism, aggressiveness, ambition, gregariousness, and so forth. Instead, these behavioural tendencies are called personality traits. The real problem in such research is to determine which specific personality traits are important and how many of them we have to consider if we would like to make meaningful predictions about the behaviours of an individual. Over the past quarter century, the research has suggested that we can pretty much describe human personality using just five traits: Extroversion is a trait that looks at how active, sociable, dominant or fun-loving a person is. Someone who is low in extroversion is likely to be retiring, passive, not very dominant and may tend to avoid social encounters. Neuroticism refers to emotional stability or emotional reactivity. People high in this trait are apt to be moody, anxious and insecure. They may worry constantly. They typically show frequent changes in their moods. People low on this trait are calm, have few major mood swings and tend to be more satisfied with life and their own performance. Agreeableness describes whether the individual is warm and pleasant, as opposed to cold and distant. Individuals who are high in this dimension also tend to be cooperative, courteous and trusting. Conscientiousness looks at whether the individual is careful or careless. People high in this trait tend to be dependable, punctual, well-organised and reliable. Individuals low on this trait tend to be

less organised, sloppy in their habits, less productive, often late and unreliable. Openness is associated with intelligence, creativity and imagination. People high in this trait also tend to be more daring, with broader interests. Individuals with low scores for this trait do not appear to be as bright or cultured; they tend to be conforming and to shy away from new experiences. In a landmark study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, psychologist Sam Gosling, from the University of Texas at Austin, and his collaborators started out with the idea that the human five-factor theory of personality could be applied to dogs as well as humans. He used the same testing and analysis procedures that psychologists employ to measure human personality and modified them so that they could be applied to dogs. The results of his work on dogs suggest that their personality structure, while somewhat similar to ours, may be simpler because it contains only four traits, rather than the five needed for people. The missing fifth trait in dogs is conscientiousness. Although we might see some aspects of this personality trait in dogs, such as the ability to focus on a task, the vast array of behaviours that define this trait — such as organisation, orderliness, a sense of time and sequence, a sense of ethics, purpose, and punctuality — don’t seem to apply to canine behaviours. Judging by the absence of neatness and discipline in the spontaneous behaviours of most dogs that I have lived with, I agree with him and believe many other dog owners will too.

Defining pooch’s personality traits The initial problem in Gosling’s research was to decide what the dog equivalents to the remaining four dimensions (extroversion,


the dog house neuroticism, agreeableness and openness) were. This involved specifying the kinds of behaviours that are characteristics of each personality trait that can be objectively observed in dogs. In the canine version of personality, extroversion becomes energy level, emotional stability becomes anxiety level, openness becomes intelligence, and agreeableness become affection and sociability. Gosling’s research involved 78 dogs and their owners, plus 78 other people who knew the dogs and a set of strangers who did not know the dogs but would observe them. In the first stage of the research, owners and the people who knew the dog described his or her personality. In human psychology, researchers sometimes use descriptions provided by friends, relatives or a variety of ‘significant others’ who know a person, in order to gain some insight into an individual’s personality. Judgements of the dogs’ personality were collected with a standard questionnaire that researchers often use when testing humans. Obviously, some items had to be adapted slightly so that they applied to the dogs. Thus, an item like ‘Is original, comes us with new ideas’ would be changed to ‘Is original, comes up with new ways of doing things’. Only one item in the entire inventory designed for measuring human personality could not be reasonably translated to a canine form, namely ‘Has few artistic interests’, so it was omitted from the test. The dogs’ owners and other people who knew the dog judged how well each item in the questionnaire described the dog by using a five-point scale ranging from strongly agreeing to strongly disagreeing that the dog had each particular characteristic. A typical item for extroversion/energy would be ‘Is full of energy’. Agreeableness/sociability was measured with items like

‘Is cooperative’. Neuroticism/emotional reactivity was judged with descriptions like ‘Can be tense’, while openness/intelligence was determined using descriptions such as ‘Is curious about many different things’. None of the people reported any difficulty describing the ‘typical behaviours’ of the dogs, which suggests that, in their experience, each dog acted as if it had a personality and predictable behaviour patterns that distinguished it from other dogs. In the last stage of testing, three strangers observed the dogs as they were being tested in a fenced region of a park. The idea was to get the animals to perform a number of different activities to see if the personality judgements made by the people who knew the dogs actually predicted what the dogs would do. Gosling confirmed that dogs had reliable, predictable personalities for the four personality traits he measured. Furthermore, there was a lot of agreement between the way that the owners described their dogs’ behaviours and the descriptions from both sets of observers, those familiar with the dog and those who met the dog for the first time when the test began. This suggests that global assessments of a dog’s personality work pretty much the same way they do with people: dogs seem to project their personality through their behaviours in a manner that others can read and respond to.

The personalities of dog breeds Every dog breed is different, in not only size, colour and shape, but also in their instinctive, inherited behavioural tendencies, which includes a personality profile that is specific to each breed. Most people recognise certain aspects of these breed differences. Several scientific studies have used the opinions of people who

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are experts on dogs and dog behaviour to try to determine the personality of different dog breeds. That said, Gosling also showed that, even though breed is a reasonable predictor of temperament, personality varies widely within a breed: thus not all german shepherds are clever; not all rottweilers are protective; nor are all golden retrievers affectionate. Do people use the same words to describe the personalities of dogs and people? Sure they do — as when they describe a dog as aggressive, clever, friendly or shy. However, I recently asked a woman to describe the personality of her Golden Retriever, and she responded with ‘He’s just one big hairy smile’. In all my years as a psychologist, I’ve never heard a human being described in that particular way! Stanley Coren has drawn from extensive research to develop the following personality trait ratings for dogs. ®

Energy Level Ranking

Dog Group

very high

pointers, drovers, vermin hunters, herding dogs

moderately high

fighting dogs, personal protection dogs, setters, spitz

moderately low

multipurpose sporting dogs, companion dogs, spaniels, retrievers

very low

guard dogs, sight hounds, scent hounds, draft dogs

Sociability Ranking

Dog Group

very high

setters, scent hounds, retrievers, spaniels

moderately high

multipurpose sporting dogs, draft dogs, pointers, spitz

moderately low

herding dogs, vermin hunters, guard dogs, companion dogs

very low

drovers, personal protection dogs, fighting dogs, sight hounds

Emotional Reactivity Ranking

Dog Group

very high

pointers, setters, multipurpose sporting dogs, herding dogs

moderately high

retrievers, sight hounds, personal protection dogs, spitz

moderately low

spaniels, scent hounds, vermin hunters, drovers

very low

companion dogs, guard dogs, fighting dogs, draft dogs

Intelligence/Learning Ability Ranking

Dog Group

very high

herding dogs, retrievers, drovers, personal protection dogs

moderately high

draft dogs, pointers, spaniels, multipurpose sporting dogs

moderately low

vermin hunters, setters, spitz, companion dogs

very low

fighting dogs, guard dogs, sight hounds, scent hounds

Dominance/Territoriality Ranking

Dog Group

very high

fighting dogs, personal protection dogs, guard dogs, spitz

moderately high

pointers, vermin hunters, drovers, setters

moderately low

multipurpose sporting dogs, spaniels, herding dogs, retrievers

very low

scent hounds, draft dogs, sight hounds, companion dogs

For further explanation of these ratings and dog groups be sure to pick up a copy of Why Does My Dog Act That Way? by Stanley Coren which includes the personality profiles of 133 dog breeds and a multiple choice personality test you can do with your dog at home. Available from all good bookstores.

Keep your pet warm in winter and cool in summer with these Australian-made pet beds from Chillout Australia. Chillout beds feature an innovative, non-toxic pack that can be frozen in the freezer or heated in the microwave then inserted into a specially designed pocket to ensure your pet’s comfort all year round.

Easy to clean and no risk of scoulding! Available in two sizes from Petwise stores, RSPCA World for Pets and other good pet stores. Call 0410 347 564 for your local stockists.


pet shop what’s in store

Muttlery & catlery

My family and other animals

Snug but cool!

This kitchenware is specifically designed for serving pet food. The spoon has a long handle to reach the bottom of the tin, a flat edge to effectively remove all the food and paw prints to prevent the owner eating from the spoon. The cup allows you to measure dry food and prevent overfeeding. Visit or call 0418 992 190 for stockists.

Too cold to play outside? Then snuggle up for some DVD viewing as author and naturalist Gerald Durrell’s best loved novel comes to life. Available from ABC shops, ABC online and DVD retailers.

Keep your dog warm and looking oh so cool with the range of winter outfits and accessories from Dogs and the City. Order by phone or online at 02 9363 4560 or visit

Keep your cat on track Find your cat within minutes with the new Cat Loc8tor. Using a small homing tag that is attached to your cat’s collar and a handheld monitor, the new Cat Loc8ter alerts the owner as soon as the cat wanders from its safety zone. It then gives directions to the pet’s specific location. Ph: 1300 306 605 or visit


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Entertaining and enriching These heavy duty toys will help keep your parrot occupied and stimulated for hours. Featuring a range of colours and textures, Polly will have a cracker of a time! Ph 07 5569 2840 or visit

Warm up and chill out

These quality Books On Video™ really capture the essence of your favourite dog breeds. Beautifully filmed, these DVDs tell you everything you need to know about each breed including; • History & Development • Characteristics & Temperament • Everyday Grooming

with these Australian-made beds by Chillout Australia. Featuring a non-toxic pack that can be heated in the microwave (or be frozen in summer) and inserted into a specially designed pocket to ensure your pet’s comfort all year round. Available in two sizes. Call 0410 347 564 for stockists.

• Nutrition & Exercise • Health & Aging • Helpful Training Tips

Winter competition


Your Pet has two Chiller Cooler beds to give away this season. To enter visit and complete the online entry form (only one entry per person). Congratulations to Maria Wilkins of Hillcrest, SA who won our Autumn competition.

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ask our vet

Pets and winter As we move into the colder months of the year, Dr Carl Milford talks about keeping your pet warm and managing arthritis.


s the nights cool down over winter it’s important your pets are kept warm and comfortable to ensure maximum health and wellbeing. Cold is a stress and if your pet catches a chill there is a chance it could succumb to respiratory viruses such as kennel cough and cat flu. Smaller, short haired dogs and cats are especially susceptible to the cold. Pets that suffer from arthritis often experience increased pain and stiffness over the winter months and need a high level of care to ensure their comfort. A recent study has revealed that around one quarter of the canine population has some degree of arthritis. Arthritis is a degenerative joint disease that particularly affects the spine and hip joints of dogs and cats. Although the disease is more common in older animals, it can occur at any age, often after an injury. The main symptom of arthritis is pain. Pets experience stiffness, have difficulty standing up and may not want to exercise. These symptoms are worse in the cooler months and can seriously reduce your pet’s quality of life. Although there is no cure for arthritis there is much that can be done to manage the disease. Maintaining the right level of care will make a huge difference to an arthritic pet’s wellbeing. Keeping out the winter cold will reduce arthritic pain and there is an extensive range of snug coats available these days as well as warm padded bedding to improve your pet’s comfort. More infirmed pets respond well to a heating pad that works like an electric blanket. The weight of your dog has a major impact on the progression and severity of the arthritic condition. Joint problems are often worse in overweight dogs because the skeleton has to carry an extra load. Winter is also a time when people are tempted to over feed their animals so it’s important to watch your pet’s weight. Weight control is best achieved by feeding premium quality foods in the correct quantity. Some premium foods have senior formulas with additives that promote joint health. If weight is a real issue then a low calorie formula may be necessary. You should consult your vet for the most appropriate diet for your pet’s optimum health. Regular gentle exercise is vital for all dogs especially if they are arthritic as it aids in weight control and helps keep joints mobile. Activity helps keep blood flowing through the joints, preventing stiffness and soreness and a daily walk may be good for the owner as well. The majority of arthritic dogs respond well to a range of marine-based products that act as natural joint anti-inflammatories. These products contain blends of chondroitin sulphate, glucosamine, anti-oxidants and vitamins and should be viewed as a dietary supplement to assist joint health. Your vet will advise which product best suits your dog. Another useful treatment is the administration of pentosan injections by your vet which helps reduce joint inflammation and stimulate the production of joint fluid. If pain persists, your vet will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs that have analgesic properties. There are a host of excellent non-steroidal pain killers available today that can help pets move more easily. An alternate to drug therapy for pain relief is the use of 18


Regular gentle exercise is vital for all dogs especially if they are arthritic as it aids in weight control and helps keep joints mobile.

Z acupuncture and skilled practitioners can achieve spectacular results in some cases. The use of chiropractic and physiotherapy manipulations can also be very useful, particularly with spinal arthritis. Remember, arthritis is a medical condition so ask your veterinarian for the right advice on how best to manage it for your pet. Whether your pet suffers from arthritis or not, be sure to rug up your pets against the cold, maintain a healthy diet and keep them active this winter. ®

Dr Carl Milford is a principal veterinarian at Total Care Vets in Dalby on the Queensland Darling Downs.

Q&A Post your question to PO Box 451, Coorparoo Qld 4151 or email Food for thought Just reading in the edition 9 of Your Pet, page 18, that garlic is no good for cats and dogs but some dog food manufacturers use it in their pet food products. What are we to do, as a lot of people who read what goes into commercial pet foods think it is okay to put it in their pet’s food because some companies do? Jayson Lee-Leong Formulation of animal diet is a science in itself. Dogs and cats have a different metabolism to humans so it is dangerous to assume that just because it’s good for you, it’s good for your pets. Ask your vet to recommend high quality pet foods to ensure a healthy diet.

Itchy and scratchy In edition 8, there was a question regarding a Silky scratching her belly by rubbing it on the grass and your vet suggested it could be a contact allergy associated with the Wandering Jew family of plants (eg Rhoeo). We have a Jack Russell Terrier who has the same problem and our garden has a lot of Rhoeo plants. Would you please clarify if the vet meant Rhoeos? If so, I will certainly pull them out to remove the source of the irritation.  Our dog has been on cortisone tablets and injections. He is now on atopica and still has the problem to a lesser degree. He has a very hot tummy and is always licking his paws which are very red. I have tried all sorts of creams and calamine lotion seems to be the most soothing. I’ve been told that the food colouring and wheat in dried dog foods is a source of irritation. We feed our dog uncooked chicken necks and wings for dinner and dry dog food in the morning. Could it be a diet issue? We feel so sorry for him and would appreciate your advice. Maureen Olsen Your Jack Russell has an allergy however dogs are often allergic to more than one thing. While Wandering Jew is a common allergen, there are many other allergens that could be causing the irritation. There is no cure, and many medications will help, but I recommend you place your dog on an anti-allergy prescription diet available from

veterinarians since there are many elements in normal diets that can sensitise the skin.

PS: An online search shows that Rhoeo plants are sometimes referred to as Rheo – Ed. Unfriendly feline I have just adopted a six-month-old female Scottish Shorthair kitten into my home to be a companion for my seven-month-old female domestic kitten who has grown up happily with another cat. I thought there might be a bit of tension from my existing kitten but it has been the other way. The new kitten is very affectionate with the people of the house but she is aggressive to my existing kitten, who then runs and hides. Even when they are on opposite sides of a door the new kitten hisses, growls and swipes. The existing kitten just wants to meet her and start playing. We don’t play favourites and we don’t reward aggravated behaviour. How can I help them to become friends or will it never happen? Kathryn Kenyon Your new kitten is trying to create its sense of place in your home because cats are territorial and can be aggressive when establishing hierarchy. This new kitten wants to be dominant and may always take this position however using a pheromone spray to generate a sense of calm in their environment may offer a solution.

Shy guy We have a four-month-old King Charles Cavalier cross Poodle. From the day we got him he has always been shy, perhaps even hesitant, but I am now concerned as when walking him he always rolls on his back when meeting a dog or a person. He has always done this at home but I thought he just wanted a pat on the tummy. Is this a sign of submissive behaviour? Is it detrimental in any way? How do I make him feel more confident? Natalie King By rolling on his back your dog is saying “I want to be your friend”. It is submissive behaviour but it is not detrimental and has nothing to do with confidence. There is no need to worry, this is normal dog behaviour. ®

Help is at hand if your dog pulls on the lead, jumps up on you or your visitors, digs holes, barks unnecessarily, bites, refuses to sit or ignores your instructions. Delta-trained instructors are the highest level of nationally-accredited professionals trained to teach your dog good manners and behaviour. All instructors complete the world-class Certificate IV . Delta Accredited Canine Good CitizenTM Instructor program that uses fun, humane, reward-based coaching methods for dogs of all ages. • Helping you to teach your dog, from puppies to adults • Well socialised and well behaved dogs with informed, . satisfied owners • No check chains — only sensitive modern training methods used • Private tuition or small group classes

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bird talk with Dr Ed Layt

Have bird will travel


very day in Australia, birds and their owners travel by car, air and rail to holidays or new homes. While it is a time of great excitement for their owners, birds are usually very stressed and need to be protected to prevent outbreaks of disease or social upsets. Birds are creatures of habit, and are masters of pretending that all is well, but they are easily stressed if taken out of their comfort zone where they know they are safe, to a new life of initial uncertainty regarding food, predators and shelter. To help reduce your bird’s stress when travelling, try to follow these tips: • always have plenty of room in the cage as cramped conditions • leads to self trauma and Dr Edward Layt has been sometimes attacking a Brisbane vet since others in the same cage 1978. He is based at Wishart Road Greencross • allocate only one bird Veterinary Surgery. Visit per cage if possible • ensure there is adequate shelter or cover the cage • don’t sedate or tranquilise birds before travel • ensure there is adequate food and a piece of fruit available to the bird throughout the trip (most birds can go six to 12 hours without water — as long as moisture as in fruit — is available, except on very hot days) • be aware that water will likely spill all over the cage during travel, so be sure to take adequate precautions.

Boarding your bird If you need to leave your bird while you are away, keep in mind the comments above about birds being stressed when out of their comfort zone. The following list is the best way to approach bird care for holidays. • if you are away for two days or less, leave the bird at home, half cover the cage, and provide enough food and water for three days, in multiple containers

• if away for longer, ask a friend or neighbour to care for the bird in your own home by visiting to feed, water and clean the cage, or contact a home pet-care service • if having someone visit is not possible, get a friend or neighbour to care for your bird in a quiet room in their home, keeping pets and children away from your bird • consider a bird boarding facility which is a growing service. Contact your local avian specialist, vet or bird club for advice if you do not know of a service in your area. Many dog and cat boarding facilities will also board birds. Remember that many of these boarding facilities are fully booked for Easter and Christmas a year in advance, so be sure to get in early. By taking these steps you can go away and enjoy your holidays knowing that your bird is safe and well cared for. ®

Breeder’s Quality

GOLDEN COB knows birds best. ® Registered Trademark © Golden Cob 2006 STA 7065 20

bird talk

Bird boarding takes flight


hen it comes to pet boarding, most people traditionally think of a kennel or cattery. But there is also a huge demand for bird minders who can care for a pet bird when its owner has flown the coup for a holiday or business trip. Zarita Garozza, of the Parrot Rescue Centre on the Gold Coast, says it’s important that people who are asked to mind a bird understand that certain behaviours can be triggered in a bird if it is handled incorrectly. “When you do something to a parrot it will remember it forever. Parrots experience psychological damage so it is important to only leave a parrot with somebody who lives with and understand parrots,” Zarita says. “For example, if children tease a parrot it can emotionally damage the bird for life. “Often people don’t understand that birds love being with people or other birds. A lot of birds come here with behaviour problems such as screaming or plucking but they don’t have them by the time they leave.” And of course, birds can fly away if people don’t know how to handle them. The Parrot Rescue Centre boards up to 10 birds a week and offers boarders — which can include cockatiels, macaws, budgies and sulphers (sulphur-crested cockatoos) — plenty of interaction, stimulation and nutritious food. All the birds have their own separate cages and come out for intervals throughout the day which include plenty of play and social interaction with Zarita as well as each other. “Parrots are social creatures so will play together if they get along, otherwise they are happy to sit and play with their toys,” Zarita says. The birds receive fresh natural branches and perches to meet “their natural instinct to chew and forage” and are given enrichment toys to help keep them busy, although owners are encouraged to leave the bird’s regular toys for their pet to play with during its stay. Zarita says a daily schedule usually starts with the birds coming out of their separate cages to explore the house or the enclosed patio and enjoying a breakfast of fresh fruit and vegetables. During this time cages are cleaned, water is changed and food replenished. At around 11am the birds return to their cages where they are in lock down for a couple of hours to ensure they eat and have their midday nap. From 1pm to 2pm the birds enjoy more play time out of the cage where they might interact, explore the swings and play gyms available


Photos courtesy of the Parrot Rescue Centre to them, watch television or enjoy some relaxing music while Zarita prepares their evening meal. As it gets dark, the birds return to their cages for dinner and to be covered over ready for bed. Zarita says birds are generally boarded at the Parrot Rescue Centre for a week or two with costs ranging from $5 to $12 a day. Birds must have a health check with a vet prior to visiting to ensure there are no underlying infections that could be brought on by stress. “Stress occurs occasionally when a bird frets but that doesn’t really happen here because of the environment we provide,” she says. “We treat the birds as part of the family and implement different things to ensure the birds feel really comfortable.” ®

For more information visit or phone 07 5569 2840.



Zarita Garozza treats her boarders as part of the family.

4 Mrs 4 Ms 4 Mr Address Suburb


Day Ph



I have the following pet/s: 4 Dog 4 Cat 4 Bird 4 Fish 4 I don’t have a pet

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I enclose my cheque for $20 (please make cheques payable to Your Pet Magazine) OR charge my: 4 Bankcard 4 Visa 4 Mastercard Card No.

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Please send this form (or a photocopy) to: Your Pet PO Box 451 Coorparoo Qld 4151 or fax to 3394 1661

your pet photos


This is my new olive Axolotl named Mr Walker. He is an exciting animal (even if he is lazy) and is great for people who like exotic pets.

Meet our cute little boy Rusty, He’s a 12-week-old American Staffy. He enjoys meeting everyone and every animal around.

Jack Murphy, Pittsworth

Tammy Hurlock, by email

Meet Basia our 10-year-old Miniature Schnauzer who was happy to sit on this log to have her photo taken. She’s had epilipsy from six-months-old. She brings so much love and joy to our family, every year is a blessing.

Princess Violet was born 1 December 2006 to parents Cinnamon and Basil. She is a Himalayan Persian who rules our home with her tiny claws and huge purr. Love your magazine!

Charlie is a four-year-old Miniature Schnauzer crossed with a West Highland White Terrier. He loves going for his daily walks and as he is so cute, he always gets stopped by people for a tummy rub and chat.

Glenda and Scott Thomas, New Farm

Sharon Schunemann, Sandgate

Vicki Cameron, Bayswater

Leba is a 21-month-old Dalmatian who loves nothing better than spending time with books while I am online in my study.

This is our dog Roo. After a walk on a hot day, he will sit in his water dish and drink at the same time. We have three Jackies. Love your mag.

This is our beautiful girl, Georgie. Fortunately the feather was a stray one from her good mate, Aura, our yellow Indian ring neck parrot. Pets bring so much love and happiness to your life, with challenges too, just like children!

Liz Grieve, Mt Crosby

John and Shirley Kilby, Adelaide

Ken and Sissi Lilley, Draper

Here is my beautiful dog Lambchops! He is a two-year-old Miniature Pomeranian (1.2kg). He loves going for walks and playing with his favourite toy — a stuffed kangaroo that he insists on taking with him to bed every night! He is by far the most spoilt dog. Thank you for providing such a great informative magazine.

This is my Elvis, she (yes she) is about two years old. We adopted her 12 months ago from the RSPCA to be a companion for my mare when her sister and companion died. Elvis is curious and this is a typical expression she has when investigating anything new or not so new. She had bonded with her horse quite well. Thank you I enjoy your magazine.

Bella Caffyn, Paradise Waters

Monica Hammond, Dayboro

If you would like to be in the running to see your pet featured in these pages, email a good quality photo and a brief description to with ‘your pet photos’ in the subject line or send your photo to the postal address details listed on page 3. The owners of this issue’s featured pets have won a book prize.

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in the tank Introducing The Fish Vet Dr Richmond Loh, also known as The Fish Vet, joins Your Pet Magazine to give readers regular advice on caring for their pet fish. Here, Janice Holland introduces Dr Loh and looks at how he is making a splash about the health and welfare of pet fish.


n May this year, Dr Richmond Loh told delegates at the Australian Veterinary Association’s annual conference that people often do not get treatment for their sick goldfish and many die unnecessarily as a result. He said he was concerned that many pet fish around Australia were not being as well looked after as they could be and he encouraged his peers to take a more active role in treating pet fish. Twelve months prior to making these comments, Dr Loh made some ripples when he announced that goldfish were much smarter than first thought and had a memory longer than the common misconception of three seconds. Dr Loh is well qualified to comment. He graduated from Murdoch University in Western Australia and has more than 20 years experience in the field of fish keeping covering a wide variety of fishes, including cold and tropical fishes and marine fish. He is one of only 14 people in Australia who have special qualifications in aquatic animal health including fish, and he has performed successful surgical procedures with fish under surgical anaesthesia. He says, as the few veterinarians that are involved in fish health mainly work in the area of aquaculture — where their expertise is unavailable to the pet owner — his aim is to share the knowledge with aquarists, to dispel myths and to educate fish owners to ensure pet fish are healthy and happy. As part of this quest, through this column Dr Loh will share information on all sorts of issues associated with fish keeping ranging from water quality testing to clinical investigation of disease to advising on new tank and pond setups, husbandry and feeding. “Anything you can do with a human, you can do with your dog

or cat. There is medicine when you get sick and surgery if anything needs repairing. I go further to say that anything you can do with a dog or cat you can also do with your fish. Ultrasound, X-rays, you name it, we can do it,” he says. Dr Loh is also extremely interested in fish behaviour and has looked at several studies that show goldfish have long memories and can experience complex feelings. He will also share these findings with you in his upcoming columns. We are sure you will enjoy Dr Loh’s fish tales. ®

Perth-based Dr Richmond Loh is available for consultations and provides a histopathology service. Phone 0421 822 383 or email for details on terms and fees.

The ideal way to get your message directly into the hands of your customers. Advertising in Your Pet Magazine reaches devoted pet lovers across Australia. Ask about our great rates and options. All ads also appear on our website with links to your site. Phone 07 3394 1607 or email Distribution opportunities are now available to pet businesses across Australia. Contact us for details. 24

Dr Loh’s tips for choosing a healthy fish: • W  hen choosing a fish for your tank or pond, look for a fish with fins that are erect and without any frays or kinks. The belly should be full, head should be in the right proportion to the body, colours must be bright, eyes should be clear and the fish should have no unusual spots or blemishes. • W  atch its behaviour. Some fish twitch a little as a form of communication. Watch that fish are not flashing (scratching) or doing anything else unusual. • D  o some research on the fish of your choice and know your fish. • C  heck what other fish are kept in the tank and ensure they look healthy. • C  heck the filtration system to see if it is shared with any other tanks and if so, make sure you check the health of the fish in those tanks. (These two points are of utmost importance.) • C  heck out all the other fish tanks in the shop as they will provide an indication as to how these fish have been treated. Make sure the above points apply to the other tanks and look for signs of excessive use of medication (colour-tinged water). Ensure there are no dead or dying fish lying around. • T  he take home message is that a good shop will provide you with good healthy fish.

Photo: Giulio Saggin


in the tank

Fish faces


ish portraitist David Doubilet says “exquisite photographic moments in the sea are even more rare than those on land”. Luckily he has captured those rare moments in Fish Face, a stunning collection of photographs which lets us all come face-to-face with some amazing sea creatures. ®

Fish Face, paperback, $19.95, Phaidon Press, 2007. Visit or ask at your local bookstore.


Groupers look like everybody’s Uncle Max and should be smoking cigars.



(Clockwise from top left) Saw shark, Tasmania, Australia, 1995; Yellow puffer fish, Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles, 1993; Black cod and shipwreck, Middleton Reef, Australia, 1987; Spine-cheeked anemone fish, Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea, 1997.

cat chat with Dr Katrina Warren

Cats and babies


any people are naturally concerned about how the arrival of a bub will affect their cat’s behaviour. The good news is that cats and babies can live very happily together provided you plan well in advance and respect the needs of your cat. Make changes to routine in advance. If you are no longer going to allow your cat to enter certain rooms or sleep on your bed, start making those changes now. Create a barrier to the baby’s room or cot. Cats love sleeping somewhere warm and high and nothing is cosier than a baby’s cot. If you are worried about your cat jumping into the cot, you can install a screen door which will allow you to see and hear the baby but puss can not access the room. A tall baby gate may also do the job, although some cats may still jump over this. Allow your cat to smell the new smells. Puss should be exposed to the many new smells associated with the baby, such as powder and wipes, well in advance. Before bringing baby home, send home a blanket from the hospital that has baby’s smell on it so puss has time to get used to the new smell. Make sure flea and worm control is up to date and trim claws in advance of baby arriving. A check up by your vet is a good idea while you have the time. If possible obtain a recording of a baby crying. Play this regularly at home so puss gets used to the new sounds prior to the arrival of the real thing. When you bring home baby, don’t force the introduction. Cats like to do things in their own time. Ideally have someone hold the baby while you give your cat lots of attention.

You want puss to think of baby as a positive addition. When baby is around try to get someone to give your cat some attention and if he/she likes food, give lots of treats. That way the baby starts to become a good thing in the eyes of your cat. Always allow puss to escape if he/she wants. Cats do not respond well to being pushed into circumstances they are uncomfortable with so make sure he/she always has somewhere to run to and feel safe. Stick to some kind of routine if possible. It is the change in routine and all the new smells that tend to upset cats, so try to stick to regular feeding times if possible. Try your hardest to find some time in the day to give your cat some individual attention. This is important to help your cat feel like he/she is still an important member of the family. ®

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pet reads 300 Questions About Dogs

By Heike Schmidt-Roger Published by Barrons, distributed by Bookwise International Dog owners will find 300 questions presented and followed up with detailed answers pertaining to every aspect of dog ownership and care. The book’s main topics are categorised separately and have colour-keyed page edges for quick reference. Questions and answers cover equipment and grooming; feeding and nourishment; health care; behaviour characteristics; and training methods. The book contains hundreds of colour photos and features a glossary of dog-care terms. The clear vinyl jacket protects against wear and tear.

Caring for Australian Native Birds 2nd Edition By Heather Parsons. Published by Kangaroo Press, distributed by Simon & Schuster As a founding member of the NSW Wildlife Information and Rescue Service, author Heather Parsons has spent many years caring for sick, injured and orphaned birds. She shares her knowledge in this revised edition that looks at the ethics of caring for wild birds, the basics of identification and anatomy, and feeding and housing needs. Detailed care plans and dietary advice are included for every bird type from the smallest insectivores to migratory seabirds. Also covered is information on first aid, rehabilitation, readying a bird for release back into the wild, as well as how to avoid young birds imprinting on their human carers. This book offers practical advice for people who wish to enjoy the company of wild birds in their gardens and surrounds.

Doggy Do Daycare By Suzi McLennan-Lyon. Published by Woofa-Publishing, distributed by Celestial Star Pty Ltd For anyone wanting to create and operate a doggy day care business, here is the ultimate guide. This Australian ebook outlines the proven doggy daycare system that has been used by the award-winning WOOFYS Doggy Daycare that has operated in Brisbane for the past four years. The techniques outlined will enable people to create and run their own large or small scale doggy day care, regardless of their skill level or business background. Doggy Do Daycare is available online at

Dogs’ Miscellany By J.A. Wines. Published by Michael O’Mara Books, distributed by Bookwise International Dogs’ Miscellany is a unique and elegant collection of fascinating facts, trivia, anecdotes and legends about dogs throughout the ages. Decorated with elegant black and white illustrations, sprinkled with sayings and quotations from famous dog lovers past and present, Dogs’ Miscellany is a marvellous tribute to man’s best friend, guaranteed to engage and delight. A perfect gift for yourself or another dog lover.

Grrrowlicious food for hungry dogs By Jamie Young. Published and distributed by GRRRR Books Dog lover Jamie Young and his dog Frodo have explored the schools of thought behind what kind of diet your dog should have: cooked, raw and carnivore, to come up with this tasty looking recipe book Covering a variety of foods that will feed your dog’s body and brain, this book offers well researched but basic recipes such as rabbit stew, tasty health burgers and supper sardines. There is also a section on treats with recipes for doggy biscuits and cheese and bacon cookies. Featuring stunning photos and no gimmicks — just the facts — the cheap, easy, balanced, nutritious and tasty home cooked meals that Jamie and Frodo have come up with can only help keep your pooch well nourished and begging for more. 28

job profile Your Pet Magazine talks with Rosie Overfield whose career has taken her from vet nursing to marketing and lecturing with the Animal Industries Resource Centre. Please describe your job I am the marketing and companion animal coordinator for the Animal Industries Resource Centre.

What does this entail? Most days I design and organise industry articles, advertising, industry liaison, expos, conferences and other marketing activities to ensure veterinary and pet care employees are aware of educational and training opportunities for their industry. I also oversee project work and the courses delivered by our student liaison officers for the companion animal and prevocational department and I lecture intermittently on nursing and animal care subjects.

Tell us about the AIRC The Animal Industries Resource Centre is a private Registered Training Organisation delivering nationally accredited qualifications for veterinary nurses, animal management officers, pet retailers, animal attendants and pet groomers. We have over 600 students in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore. We also provide consultancy and personalised training programs to vet practices, pet retailers, local governments, zoos and boarding kennels and catteries.

How and why did you get into your current role? I started at the AIRC as the introductory courses coordinator after several years as a veterinary nurse. I realised how much I loved teaching those working with animals and how important it was to support the industry in gaining the recognition it deserved. As the AIRC grew I began to spend more and more time promoting our courses, workshops and seminars. In September 2006 our company joined Provet Pty Ltd (an international veterinary wholesaler) and our staff went from 20 to 200. This led to a need for a more structured program of marketing and industry liaison for the AIRC.

What are your formal and informal qualifications? I am a qualified veterinary nurse and workplace trainer and assessor (Certificate IV in both). By the end of 2008 I should have my Bachelor of Journalism degree. At the AIRC, we support all staff in continuing education and because of this I regularly attend a variety of conferences, workshops and seminars in urban animal management and animal behaviour, which is a personal interest of mine.

What’s the best thing about your job? Being able to bring my dog to work every day and working with people who have a passion for animals and the industry. I have enjoyed seeing the changing face of pet ownership in Australia as well as supporting students from prevocational courses through to their qualification. Our graduation ceremonies are always very rewarding, you feel so proud seeing the students’ achievements. From a marketing point of view, I really enjoy writing articles, industry visits and meeting people at conferences and expos.

What’s the worst thing about your job? Because I do get out and about with my job I often linger around animals in facilities to get my fix! So I guess I would have to say I miss the hands-on nursing. Working with students from welfare organisations and local councils also exposes us to some terrible stories of animal cruelty. While this is upsetting, it only pushes me

Rosie Overfield takes Millie to work each day. to work harder to educate nurses, carers and the public about animal ownership and care.

What do you hope to do in the future? Despite my current role, I still have a passion for animals and veterinary nursing. In August I am going to South Africa for a month to nurse at a Lion Park. I hope to help make a difference to the survival of the rare white lion. I will also have an opportunity to work with other species such as hyenas and cheetahs. At the AIRC I am looking forward to continuing to work to create greater awareness, respect and professionalism for all those working with and for animals. The industry is growing so fast.

Do you have pets? What are they and what are their names? All my pets are waifs and strays from my nursing days! I have a dog, Millie who is a Maltese X Aussie Terrier. I also have three domestic shorthair cats: Patrick, Nina and Oliver. Patrick is my special boy — he was a kidney donor at Creek Road Cat Hospital. I fell in love with him when I locumed there six years ago.

Advice for those wanting to enter your field of work Working with animals is a popular career, and as such there is a lot of competition for places in the industry. Many careers require you to have gained employment before you can commence your path to a formal qualification. Always be prepared to undertake some prevocational study and to do some volunteer work. It is often a volunteer who gains a paid position because they already know the clinic or facility protocols.

Suggested courses or preparation Those interested in a career in veterinary nursing and animal care should undertake some prevocational study such as Introductory Veterinary Nursing or Certificate I in Animal Studies. The AIRC has a 12-week full-time veterinary nursing course whereby we place students in a veterinary practice one day a week, provide faceto-face lectures and assist students with resume writing and job applications. There is also a part-time option. For those already in the industry, we have a variety of Certificate IV accredited qualifications in veterinary nursing, companion animal services and animal control and regulation. Potential volunteers should consider purchasing personal accident insurance for themselves as often a vet clinic will not consider a volunteer who is not covered. ®


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end tale by Lauren Walter

My Greyhound My Greyhound is meant to be fast But in a race I think he’d come last He wouldn’t even run He’d just lay in the sun And all the other dogs would run past He is happy when he is asleep Except for his snoring, he doesn’t make a peep If he could, I think he would talk He would say ‘take me for a walk’ Then he’d go back to counting sheep He loves to eat his dinner He is a happy grinner He sneaks to steal my toys He doesn’t make a noise But to me he is a real winner.

This poem was written by 11-year-old Lauren Walter about her seven-year-old pet Greyhound, Dougie. Lauren has had Dougie as a pet for three years, since adopting him through the Greyhound Adoption Program. Dougie is one of 2200 greyhounds that have been adopted into Victorian families by the Greyhound Adoption Program since it started in Victoria in 1996. For more information on adoption or becoming a short-term foster carer, contact the Greyhound Adoption Program in your state. ®

about your pet Your Pet is a free pet lifestyle magazine devoted to pets and their owners. It is issued quarterly in Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer and aims to promote responsible pet ownership. From the Summer 07-08 edition, 60,000 copies — with an estimated readership of 222,000 — will be distributed directly to pet lovers and members of the pet industry throughout Australia. The magazine’s targeted reach and online presence provides the ideal advertising vehicle for all pet businesses from product manufacturers to retailers and service providers. Download Your Pet from where all display advertisements also appear as banner ads with links. The website features online competitions, the products and services guide and pet of the month. Your Pet’s website averages 72,000 hits per quarter. You can fetch Your Pet from pet shops, home delivery services, vet practices and animal hospitals, groomers, aquariums, retailers, animal shelters, pet boarding, training and behaviour operators, pet events and pet-friendly accommodation. Readers who don’t wish to collect their copy or risk missing out, can have the magazine home delivered for $20 for four issues. For details on editorial, advertising and home delivery phone 07 3394 1607, email or visit ®

This publication is not advice on your pet. It is intended to inform and illustrate. No reader should act on the basis of any matter contained in this publication without first seeking appropriate professional advice that takes into account their own particular circumstances. The publishers and editors give no representation and make no warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to the accuracy, completeness, currency or reliability of any of the material contained in this publication. The publishers and editors expressly disclaim all responsibility for any errors in or omissions from the information contained in this publication, including all liability for any loss or damage suffered or incurred by any person or animal as a result of or arising out of that person placing any reliance, whether whole or partial, upon the whole or any part of the contents of this publication. No correspondence will be entered into in relation to this publication by the publishers, editors or authors. Articles are published in reliance upon the representations and warranties of the authors of the articles and without our knowledge of any infringement of any third-party copyright. The publishers and editors do not authorise, sanction, approve or countenance any copyright infringement.


Arm your pets with Advantage. Fleas won’t stand a chance. In under 5 minutes, the only thing they’ll be biting, is the dust. Get it from your vet. (K]HU[HNLuPZHYLNPZ[LYLK[YHKLTHYRVM)H`LY(.3L]LYR\ZLU.LYTHU`)(@ 

Your Pet Magazine issue 10  

YPM issue 10 2007. Devoted to pets and their owners.

Your Pet Magazine issue 10  

YPM issue 10 2007. Devoted to pets and their owners.