N OVEMBER 2008
HOLIDAY STRESS AND PETS DE-STRESSING DURING THE HOLIDAYS 6
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE GIFTS
FOR YOU AND YOUR
PET ALLERGIES AND DIETS GOOD FOOD
DOG WASTE KEEPING
UNDER CONTROL 31
Free to Readers
In Every Issue
Holiday Stress and Pets Learn ways to de-stress your pets during the holidays
Complete and Balanced
Have a stress-free Holiday.
How would you describe your pet’s food?
Does Your Pet Travel Safely You and your family are expected to wear seat belts. Why not protect your four-legged friends?
Holiday Gift Guide The Holidays are coming soon! Find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. And, maybe even something for you too!
10 14 21
Dog Waste Educate yourself on the importance of cleaning up the presents your dog leaves behind.
Online Photo Contest This month’s winners of the metropetmag.com contest.
26 Cat Horoscopes How well do you know your cat?
28 Ask the Expert Ensuring dignified after-life care for your pet.
Pet Allergies and Diet
Integrated Veterinary Medicine.
Newshound Sniffing out leads on kids and their pets.
Balancing A Career with Pet Ownership
The Best in the West
Dog Horoscopes Do you really know your dog?
32 Ad Index
Making sure your pet’s food is good for them.
Chip’s Corner Include Chip in the Holiday Fun
Have the best of both worlds: a career and a happy, healthy, well-managed pet.
Welcome Pet Lovers
Video Clips Check out these video clips at metropetmag.com.
Dog Look-Alike Contest Winners The winners of Dogtoberfest’s look-alike contest.
Staff and Contacts
Publisher’s Message Dear Readers: This issue of MetroPet focuses on a better life for your pet — especially during the holidays! The holidays are stressful for everyone. While the media sends the message that this should be “a perfect time with our families” the reality is that we are over-stressed and this impacts everyone, including the animals in our lives. How do we cope? There is help. Check out the article about de-stressing during the holidays on page 6. Also check out Chip’s Corner — how to include pets in our celebrations. Take time to educate yourself about your pet’s diet and how allergic reactions to pet food can impact your animal’s health, articles on page 12 and 22. If you, or know someone who, is coping with the loss of a pet take time to read the wonderful article on after-life care of your pet, page 28. MetroPet was excited to attend Dogtoberfest and sponsor the look-alike contest — see winners on page 34. Finally, as you decide on presents for the holidays, consider a product to keep your pet safe, see the article on page 16 about eight reasons to purchase safety seats and pet restraints. Let’s all get through the holidays safely and with a minimum of stress. Remember, the holidays are a time of celebration with all our family members, including pets, not a time to get stressed. Continue to visit our website for current pet events, an online version of the magazine, and video clips. Thanks to our readers — we love your feedback. Thank you also to our writers, there is such a wealth of information in Kansas City! A special thanks to our advertisers — remember they are the reason we are able to produce this magazine. Please tell them you saw their ad in the magazine so they know their advertising is working. Happy Holidays!
Publisher Barbara Riedel firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor/Production Manager Dan O'Leary email@example.com
Layout/Graphic Design Alison Fieber firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Master METROPET IS THE PROUD SPONSOR OF THESE PET PAGES
Barbara Riedel, Publisher
P.S. Support our advertisers during these tough economic times and remember to tell them you saw their ad in MetroPet. This magazine is free to you — because of them.
Jon Dunn email@example.com
Advertising Sales firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributing Authors Michelle Chappell DVM, CVA Sarah Dixon Kelly Evans Pat Hennessy Janice Krumm Suezanne Law Dawn Ross Robert Silver, DVM Lori Stiles
Photographer Dan O'Leary
Contact MetroPet PO Box 480065 Kansas City, MO 64148 Phone: 913.548.1433 Fax: 816.941.4655 Publishing Policy: Articles printed in the MetroPet Magazine express the opinions of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the formal position of MetroPet Magazine. Acceptance of advertising does not necessarily constitute endorsement by MetroPet Magazine. Articles: Readers are invited to submit articles for consideration for publication to email@example.com. All materials are subject to editorial review. © 2008 MetroPet Magazine. All rights reserved. Request reprint permissions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MetroPet Magazine is owned and published by ROI Marketing Services, all rights reserved. MetroPet Magazine N OVEMBER 2008
Holiday Stress and Pets De-stressing your pets during the holidays Be sure to provide them with “down” time where they can be calm and relax away from stressful situations.
aside a weekly half-hour play session with a favorite toy (squeaky ball or catnip toy on a string). Another nice reward for both you and your pet during the (sometimes stressful) holiday season, would be a few minutes of daily engagement in a relaxing mode, such as meditation, massage, gentle touching or grooming, maybe to some soft music.
by Pat Hennessy The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us. With it comes shorter days and less time due to activities and commitments. One thing you don’t want to do is sell your pets short. Since we are entering the season of giving, and giving thanks, take a moment to be thankful for the companionship of your furry and feathered family members. While you might find a cute collar or fanciful toy at the pet store, the thing that your companion would love most is time with you! A good way to remember your pets is to offer them something rewarding that you don’t normally do, such as going for a ride, or going to a park if you usually go on walks in your neighborhood. Or, give them some extra special time like setting 6
MetroPet Magazine N OVEMBER 2008
Other things to consider during the holiday season for your 4-legged and feathered companions, are the logistics of the holidays. They could use some extra TLC during this period. • If you will be traveling, and taking your pets with you, be sure they will be welcome and will have an appropriate setting at your destination. Be sure to provide them with “down” time where they can be calm and relax away from stressful situations. Offer them gentle and mindful touch, either TTouch (a light touch technique) or massage. If you will be leaving your pets, either boarding or with a sitter, ask that they receive some special attention, such as an extra walk, gentle touch, relaxing with music, etc. It is important to reduce the stress level associated with travel or separation. We often overlook these details because our days are filled with activities that keep us preoccupied, while their days are filled with trivial things and we are the center of their universe. • If you will be hosting guests in your home, provide your pets with a “safe” place to go so that they are not overwhelmed with the excitement or the stress. • If your dog enjoys being with people, she may participate for a small amount of time but should also have some quiet time away from the guests. That way you can focus on
your guests and not have to worry if she is getting into something inappropriate such as a purse or someone’s holiday plate, or whether she is getting too excited or stressed. Be sure to give her something really good when you take her to a safe quiet location, so that she knows she is getting a reward and not being punished. • Even if your cat is outgoing and would tolerate or enjoy guests, you are better off to isolate the cat to a room with a “do not disturb” sign or even use a large crate with a cover, to give her a safe
place where she won’t accidentally be let out. • If you have a bird whose regular spot would be in the area of guests, you may want to consider placing the bird off in another area while you entertain. You would need to move the bird to the new area and let him get used to it for several days prior to entertaining. This would give the bird privacy and keep him from being exposed to drafts or startled from loud noise. • Whether you travel or stay at home, if your pets will be around small children (especially if not accustomed to them), ensure that they are supervised in the presence of children and have a “safe” place to go when they need some space. This will secure the safety of your pets and the children. • If you get that sad-eyed look, stare-me-down or vocal expression while you are helping yourself to the holiday treats, make sure you have something nutritious to offer your canine, feline or avian companion. Human foods can be dangerous to them, especially chocolate or raisins, and bones from a turkey can splinter. Other human foods can be just too rich for their digestive systems.
Enriching Lives Between People & Animals Transform fear, aggression, trauma, or stress into balance, confidence & relaxation. Build trust with techniques that are simple to learn and easy to use.
Gift Certificates Available!
Behavior & Wellness support from a certified TTouch practitioner & CPDT
TTouch Reiki Alpha-Stim Doga Whole Pet Positive Training
The Holidays are Coming!!! While my children are excited about family visits and presents, I don’t know how I am going to get it all done. Business reports, business meetings, doctor’s appointments, driving to Grandmas, bills... oh, and did I mention, I am scared to death about the economy.
HOW DO I DO IT ALL? First, I have to remind myself to relax. The best thing I can do for myself, my spouse and children (step or grand) and my animal companions is to be calm. If I remain calm, then I can help others remain calm. Second, take stock of what has to be accomplished. Am I trying to do to much? If yes, what doesn’t have to be done right now? Maybe it can be done in a quieter moment after the holidays, or maybe, just maybe, someone else can do it!
ARE YOU TAKING CARE
If you take care of yourself, get plenty of rest and exercise, you will be better able to remain calm and help others during this stressful time. It is amazing how we are willing to spend time, money and energy on others, but forget about ourselves. And, taking care of yourself doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. During these economic times, there are still ways to can take care of ourselves, and our pets, and save money.
letting your cat climb in and out of empty boxes and bags could be quite amusing to him... • You could consider setting aside some healthy trimmings as you prepare the food, to offer as treats: ❖ A piece of cooked sweet potato before the glaze is added ❖ Some scraps of meat when you debone the turkey ❖ A few cooked green beans prior to making the casserole ❖ Dried pumpkin seeds or apple peelings (not apple seeds) for the birds
Take a moment and check out our Holiday Gift Guide, pages 18 and 19. Here are several products to pamper and relax us (the humans) and our pets! • Spa products from BeautiControl. • Beauty products from Avon. • Sterling silver jewelry from Silpada. • Glass jewelry from Glass Expressions. • Buddies® Pet Keepsakes Jewelry from Precious Pets Memorial Center. • Human and pet photos from Studio Calypso. • Pet safety products from Pet Auto Safety. • Training from Sympawtico Dog Training. • Relaxation with my pet from N2Paws.
BE MINDFUL OF SEASONAL DÉCOR
Pat Hennessy, is the founder of N2paws, LLC, an organization that provides a holistic approach to companion animal care through behavior education, energy work, and positive training methods. Pat is a certified TTouch practitioner, CPDT and member of the IAABC, IAATH and AWA. You may contact N2Paws via email email@example.com, phone 816-522-7005, or visit the website www.n2paws.com.
If you can plan ahead, by booking early at the boarding facility or groomers’, your life and your pet’s will be more relaxed. If you really get stressed and just can’t take any more, stop. Take a deep breath and spend just a few moments with your family — human and pet members. Remember the holidays are special because of them. 8
MetroPet Magazine N OVEMBER 2008
Your pet will feel included in the festivities and you won’t be adding any risk to their health. As you are decking the halls of your home, be mindful of the seasonal décor. It is not all pet friendly. Plants such as poinsettias and mistletoe are toxic. Tinsel and angel hair are dangerous — and what cat doesn’t want to climb the tree and go after something that moves or glistens? However, letting your cat climb in and out of empty boxes and bags could be quite amusing to him and making wrapping paper wads and tossing them around would make for good exercise and play. Sitting by the fireplace with a cat on your lap and a dog by your side, while the snow falls softly on the landscape — is a wonderful life!
INCLUDE CHIP IN THE FUN!
2. As the guests arrive, Sister helps Chip to greet them nicely by: a. Putting his leash on him before the doorbell rings b. Standing away from the door so the guests can enter easily c. Cueing Chip to sit as each new person approaches him d. All of the above
3. During the meal, Brother a. Cues Chip to lie quietly on his mat and chew a Bully Stick b. Feeds Chip secretly under the table c. Puts Chip in his kennel with a stuffed Kong toy d. Either A or C 4. After enjoying their Thanksgiving feast, Brother and Sister: a. Invite the whole family to go with them as they walk with Chip around a nearby park b. Tether Chip in the backyard while they play basketball with their cousins c. Leave Chip alone in the dining room with the leftovers d. Feed Chip cooked turkey bones Answers: 1. C. They can help keep Chip out of the way while also entertaining the guests. 2. D. While guests arrive it is important to keep Chip from getting outside, and to keep him from jumping up on the guests. 3. D. Chip should not be fed from the table. Instead, it is best to give him his own treats and a quiet place. 4. A. Exercise is important for the whole family, including the four-legged family members too. It can also add to the holiday fun!
It’s Thanksgiving Day! Chip’s family is hosting the celebration. Chip wants to be included in the fun. How can that happen safely? 1. While Mother and Father are preparing the Thanksgiving feast, Brother and Sister occupy Chip by: a. Playing chase through the kitchen b. Throwing the Frisbee in the dining room c. Practicing fun tricks in the living room to show off once the guests arrive d. Watching TV while Chip plays on his own
Book Boarding Reservations Early for the Holidays! Enjoy $10 Saturday DayPlay
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25% Off Grooming Month of November, 08
www.WoofsPlayStay.com 6465 E. Frontage Rd • Merriam, Kansas 66202 • 913-403-WOOF (9663) MetroPetMag.com
Canine Signs Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21) The Paragon
Scorpio traditionally governs secrets and this may be why Scorpio Dogs tend to make the most proficient trackers, being able to sniff-out even the most subtle of scents. Thus, this sign is an ideal one for bloodhounds, cocker spaniels, or any dog who needs an acute sense of smell. The sexual prowess of the male Scorpio Dog also makes him an excellent breeder.
Gemini (May 21 - June 21)
Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
The Yapper Gemini Dog oozes charm and it is not long before he or she will have the entire family (and most of the neighborhood) wrapped around his or her dew-claw. The Gemini Dog is difficult to train, firmly believing that he or she knows what is best.
The Boss-Dog To this canine, his or her home is a personal palace in which to "hold court," probably issuing invites to each and every neighborhood dog who can be found. Here, the Leo Dog will entertain his or her guests until it is time for the "walk-about," when they will all trail out... with Leo in the lead, of course.
Cancer (June 22 - July 22) The Home-Lover Physically, the Cancer Dog is bony... any bulk will invariably be around the shoulder area. The legs will be long in comparison to the body and this canine's movement will have a vague, sideways motion.
MetroPet Magazine N OVEMBER 2008
Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22) The Helper Unfortunately, this canine is also the hypochondriac of the dog world... a single flea, for example, and he or she will be convinced the pesky parasites are covering the entire body from head to toe... or a simple stomach upset, and the Virgo Dog will be certain that he or she has salmonella poisoning.
Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
Pisces (Feb. 19 - Mar. 20)
The Shop-Steward If the Libra Dog is obliged to sleep in a basket on the floor, then the owner is expected to do the same. Physically, the Libra Dog always appears to be well-nourished... and this canine will make sure he or she stays that way. However, as this dog grows older, there will be a tendency to bulge and spread.
The Interpreter Physically, there are no particular attributes or peculiarities associated with the Pisces Dog. He or she will be active and playful... on occasion... and unfortunately prone to leg and foot ailments since the ankles and paws tend to be weak. Any sign of limping by this canine should be investigated immediately. Mongrels tend to fare best under the Sign of Pisces, for this is the Sign said to contain qualities from all the other eleven.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21) The Problem-Dog An exceptionally brave and lucky canine, the Sagittarius Dog can be a very trustworthy and reliable creature, particularly suited in that event for working with the blind. These dogs are full of character and can easily learn amusing tricks.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 20) The Social Climber Reserved by nature and supremely diplomatic, the Capricorn Dog makes for an amenable pet. It is sometimes said of the Capricorn Dog that he or she looks old from the moment of birth, but improves with age.
Aquarius (Jan. 21 - Feb. 18) The Friend The Aquarius Dog will quietly get on with life...investigating, discovering and wondering. What an owner finds, when he or she catches up with this dog, may well be chaotic, but will have been created peacefully with a definite air of detachment.
Aries (Mar. 21 - Apr. 19) Leader of the Pack Headaches are often a problem for this dog, as is sunstroke during the Summer months. A home with plenty of space is vital to this canine, who hates to be restricted in any way. Any owner cooped-up in the average house with an Aries Dog all day will soon become utterly exhausted.
Taurus (Apr. 20 - May 20) The Strong Silent Type This canine is not particularly big on exercise and should not be expected to run over the hill and through the woods...indeed, he or she will probably not even want to run around the yard. Nevertheless, this canine is fond of the outdoors and a drive around the countryside in the car with the window down (rather than a walk through the same area) will be thoroughly enjoyed by the Taurus Dog.
Complete and Balanced by Sarah Dixon
How would you describe your pets food?
During the four years that I owned a health food store for dogs and cats, the number one question customers asked was “What is the best diet for my dog or my cat?” Inevitably my answer was always the same: “It depends.” It is the best answer — really. The nutrient requirements for each dog and cat may vary. My Pomeranian maintains her weight better with fewer carbohydrates than my Lhasa-Yorkie mix, who needs a little more fiber in her diet to keep her regular. Pet food companies do not focus on the individual dog; they make foods that appeal generally to most dogs.
an average state of health, so the effectiveness as a diet for pets under stress or illness cannot be assessed. Instead of putting a pet food through a feed trial, a pet food company can simply submit the food for approval as a member of a family of products. The company must show that the product meets nutritional similarity of the initially approved product. A pet food company can also avoid a feed trial by submitting a COMPLETE AND BALANCED standard chemical The American Association of Feed analysis of a product. Control Officers (AAFCO) provides Both of these methods nutrient profiles and test criteria lack comprehensive methods to regulate claims for nutrianalysis to determine tional adequacy; pet food manufacturers After you have identified a quality the effectiveness of longvoluntarily agree to participate in the term use. pet food for your dog or cat, AAFCO program. A pet food company can These test methods canconduct your own feed trial to successfully pass an AAFCO nutrient pronot account for how well a file through one of three processes: an specific pet will digest and ensure it is the right diet. eight animal, twenty-six week feed trial; metabolize the food. They adoption via “product family,” or by do not address animals in chemical evaluation of the food. Many pet food companies particitimes of stress or with other health concerns. Quality of ingrepate in the AAFCO nutritional adequacy program because it allows dients and the source of the ingredients are not measured in them to advertise their product(s) as 100% Nutritious or 100% any of the methods. Complete and Balanced. From the “super premium” to the “grocery store brand,” most pet foods have an AAFCO statement. HOW TO CHOOSE A PET FOOD So if consumers cannot depend on the AAFCO statement to LIMITATIONS OF COMPLETE AND BALANCED determine premium foods versus the average grocery store The “complete and balanced” statement is meant to address a brand, how can a pet food be chosen? A solid beginning is to standard of quality and belay concerns for deficiencies in pet understand the pet food ingredients. A diet with fresh, high foods. Consumers, however, should be aware of the limitations and quality ingredients, without additives and chemical preservaassumptions of this statement. To receive this statement for their tives, and minimal processing is ideal. Quality ingredients will food, pet food manufacturers can submit their food to a feed trail. have better bioavailability of nutrients as more nutrients will be The feed trial process evaluates a food that is fed to eight dogs for absorbed. twenty-six weeks. It is an inherently deficient method to identify Identify the main ingredients in the pet food by reviewing the potential long-term problems. The animals in the feed trials are in ingredients before the fat ingredient as these are generally the 12
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main ingredients in the formula. Avoid pet foods that do not name a specific source of meat or fat such as meat meal and bone meal, poultry fat, vegetable oil, or animal fat. By-products should also be avoided as the type and quality of byproduct varies greatly. The quality of grains is important. Avoid formulas that split the grains throughout the ingredient panel. Splitting grains initially looks like there is less grain in the formula when the opposite is true. For example, in a Lamb & Rice dog food, rice, rice flour, and rice bran are all listed on the ingredient panel and when combined account for a majority of the formula. The selection of the preservatives used in pet food are important as the average twenty pound dog, fed a commercial dry dog food, will eat about nine pounds of preservatives in one year. Avoid foods that use synthetic anti-oxidants such as BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, and TBHQ preservatives. After you have identified a quality pet food for your dog or cat, conduct your own feed trial to ensure it is the right diet. Start a journal. Make note of the following indicators: the stool composition (hard or soft), any strong odors, and frequency and amount of stool passed. Record how much water your pet drinks, his behavior, and his coat quality. If your pet’s metabolism is optimizing the food, the stool will be regular, soft to firm, low in volume, and virtually no odor. If your dog previously had gas or bad breath, the breath should improve and the gas should dissipate. Quality of ingredients will vary between manufacturers. Unless your pet requires a specific diet or brand due to a medical reason, consider rotating the formula and brand. There are no data that support lifetime use of a particular product/brand. In fact, pet food manufactures can change the formula at any time and are not required to formally notify consumers. Therefore, continue to monitor your pet’s response to his food over time and make changes as indicated.
FINAL THOUGHTS Pet foods vary greatly in the quality of ingredients, the source of ingredients, and the production process. Choosing the best diet for your dog or cat involves independent research that includes product label evaluation, manufacturer input, and conducting your own feeding trial. Ongoing review of the food your pet eats is part of a positive strategy for managing his nutritional needs to better avoid disease and to maintain or restore health. Begin today by reading and understanding the ingredients in your pet’s current food. Sarah Dixon is the founder of Pet Food & Nutrition Consulting. PFNC’s mission is to educate pet owners about pet foods, diet, health, and nutrition. Sarah has over seven years of independent research in the pet food industry, including four years of one-on-one consulting. Sarah enjoys working with pet owners and businesses about pet nutrition. She can be reached at PFNC@kc.rr.com or visit her website at www.petfoodnutritionconsulting.com.
Newshound Sniffing out leads on kids and their pets Newshound searches the area, sniffing out leads on kids living well with their pets. Here’s this month’s top story! What: Right away, the family began helping Einstein learn to be a good member of the Stubbs family. They learned to groom him to help with his itchy skin (the family makes homemade shampoo for Einstein, too, since even medicated shampoos from the store make his condition worse). Joseph says that even though caring for a dog can be hard sometimes, cuddling and playing with Einstein makes all the hard work worthwhile. Now the family also makes braided fleece toys and donates them to MOKAN Boxer rescue to sell at fundraisers to help other dogs like Einstein who need good homes.
by Suezanne Law
Who: The Stubbs children — Cassaundra, aged 14; Noah, 11; Joseph, 7; and Nehemiah, 5 — plus their 2 year old Boxer named Einstein.
Where: Noah recounts that the family’s love of Boxers began in their neighborhood in Las Vegas, where several of their neighbors lived with Boxers. The children made friends with the dogs and wanted one of their own.
When: After moving to the Kansas City area, the Stubbs children, who are home-schooled, began learning about what it takes to be a good family for a dog, and they researched the Boxer breed. All of the children completed projects, including lap-books and PowerPoint presentations, and Cassaundra developed a recipe for dog biscuits that the children could share with the new dog they hoped to adopt. Five months ago, they adopted 2 year-old Einstein from MOKAN Boxer Rescue. 14
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Why: The Stubbs children love Einstein’s energy and his “Boxer face.” Noah says that Einstein plays when the kids want to play and cuddles when they want to cuddle, and both Joseph and Cassaundra say that Einstein makes them feel safe and protected. Nehemiah sums up the way the family feels about their best friend Einstein: he says that he loves Einstein’s beautiful eyes, and that Einstein is the perfect dog. Newshound thinks Einstein has the perfect family, too!
How: Cassaundra writes, “My mom and I make dog toys for the MOKAN Boxer Rescue. Then MOKAN sells the dog toys and uses the money they raise to feed the foster dogs and to pay the vet bills. There is a fundraiser coming up in November and my mom and I are going to make dog toys and baked goods for MOKAN to sell.” Mom
Hey, Kids! If you have a good lead for Newshound, send an e-mail to: newshound@ metropetmag.com reports that the younger children are beginning to learn to make dog toys, too. Here are Cassaundra’s instructions for making fleece dog toys, “You need three strips of fleece. Then you tie a knot at the top and braid down very tightly. Tie another knot at the end and make it tight. And there you have it — and these toys are great for cleaning the dogs’ teeth.” Suezanne M. Law is a canine-human relationship counselor and accredited dog trainer. She opened Sympawtico Dog Training, LLC to better tailor her training curriculum to the needs of her community. Visit her at www.sympawtico.com.
Does Your Pet Travel Safely? by Dawn Ross Does your dog love to travel in the car with you? You and your family wear seat belts when riding in the car. Does your pet? If you have not considered it, here are eight important reasons why your dog should wear a pet auto seat belt. Protects the Owner — The dog won't be able to distract the person driving the car. Distractions an be very dangerous to the driver. Some dogs are naturally well-behaved in the vehicle, but many dogs have to be trained in car-riding decorum. Why not train them in the pet auto seat belt instead? Protects the Dog — Sudden unexpected stops won't cause the dog to fly forward into the dash, the back seat, or onto the floor. Dog's noses are very sensitive. Hitting their nose on the dash or back of the seat can be a very painful experience. Protects the Dog’s Eyes — The dog won't be able to put their head out the window. Did you know that even a tiny spec of flying debris can do serious damage to the dog's eye or nose? Many dogs love to put their heads out the window, but it can be an equally pleasant experience if they are sitting in a pet auto seat belt by an open window. They won't be able to put their heads out, but they can still get a whiff of the multiple odors zipping by. Protects the Dog’s Body — Not only will the dog not be able to put their head out the window, they won't be able to get their body out either. Dogs are instinctive creatures and if something catches their attention, such as another dog, a squirrel, or other animal, they may go after it without a thought. Perhaps your dog is too smart to do this, but why take the chance?
Protects the Dog in the Event of an Accident — Many dogs will run or even bite if frightened. What if you and your pet happen to be in a serous auto accident? Your dog is going to be terrified. If there is a means of escape, the dog may get out of the car and run. And where are they most likely to run? It would be a terrible thing to survive an auto accident only to get hit by a car. Even if there is no way for the dog to escape, they may need medical attention. An injured dog may react defensively by tying to bite someone who is actually trying to help them. A dog that is already restrained however, is easier to muzzle and therefore, easier to attend to. Meets State Requirements — Did you know that pet auto seat belts are required for dogs traveling in the car 16
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You and your family wear seat belts when riding in the car. Does your pet? Here are eight important reasons... in the state of California? This type of law may soon be required in other states as well. Get ahead by purchasing a pet auto seat belt now. If you wait until your state passes such a law, there will be businesses that will take advantage of the requirement and raise the prices on their products. Can Be Comfortable — A pet auto seat belt can actually be quite comfortable once the dog gets used to it. Dogs can have a difficult time laying down in a seat because of the turning, speeding up, slowing down, and stopping movements of the car. Many dogs can brace themselves better by standing or sitting. With a pet auto seat belt, a dog can stand, sit, or lay down comfortably and not have to worry about bracing themselves against car maneuvers. Shows Responsibility — Last but not least, a pet auto safety belt shows you to be a responsible and caring pet owner as well as a responsible driver. Friends and strangers will be
impressed with your thoughtfulness and foresight. They in turn, may consider getting a pet auto seat belt for their own dog. You can be indirectly responsible for saving another dog’s life. As you can see, all eight reasons are excellent reasons for your dog to wear a pet auto safety belt. Any argument against it are easily outweighed by the examples above. So do what is safe, what is best for you and your pet, and in some states, what is required by law. You and your dog will be all the happier for it. Dawn Ross is the founder and owner of Pet Auto Safety which can be found on the web at www.petautosafety.com. These high-quality products can be ordered online and shipped nationwide. MetroPet readers can receive a 10% discount on products ordered by entering the code kcmetropet.
Win A David Cook Poster
Dates: November 1-21 What: Fox 4 will give away four of David Cook’s self-titled CD’s and one lucky winner will also win an autographed framed poster of David. Who: Residents of Kansas or Missouri, 18 and up How: Go to www.myfoxkc.com and enter the David Cook contest under the Entertainment tab
Holiday Gift Guide SAVE MONEY & SPA YOURSELF! Enjoy the same luxurious spa treatments at a fraction of the cost of your typical day spa or salon in the comfort of your home.
PET HAMMOCK Wander Hammock offers super quality with great style. No matter how much you love your dog, no one wants to have dog hair and mud all over the backseat. This hammock is made from PVC backed coated 600d polyester, waterproof, anti-microbial, stain resistant and machine washable. It measures 56”w x 60”l. $52.99 less 10% off for Metro Pet readers (enter code kcmetropet). Orders shipped nationwide. Place your order online at www.petautosafety.com.
JEWELRY FOR THE PET LOVER! Do cats have a special place in your heart? Friends of felines love this hammered and oxidized Sterling Silver Pin. (Buy one for yourself too!)
Love silver and a bold look? Enjoy these hammered circle floats inside these Sterling Silver Earrings on French wires. Place your order for the holidays today. Call Debbie Green at 816.560.7950 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Booking Bonus Book a Silpada Show and qualify for a Booking Bonus! When your Show qualifies for the 30% Hostess Rewards, you may also purchase any one item from the catalog at half-price! Call Debbie Green at 816.560.7950 for details. 18
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Mary Thomas will bring her mobile spa retreat to you at no charge! When you host a mobile spa retreat, for friends and family members, you will be rewarded with a Seaweed Mud Mask and other hostess gifts. Call Thomas Spa Escape Mobile Day Spa at 913.687.1745 for a free consultation.
homas Spa Escape
P.S. Book your spa early — these spa products make great holiday gifts!
BUDGETING FOR A NEW PET How much is that doggy in the window? The costs, both financial and emotional, of bringing a new animal into your life range far beyond the initial purchase expense. Before you rush out to bring that Christmas puppy home, call Sympawtico Dog Training, LLC., for pre-adoption counseling. And, don’t forget to budget for training as your puppy grows! We offer group classes and private instruction. Make this the best gift you’ll give this season. Call Suezanne Law at 913.424.5072 or visit www.sympawtico.com for details.
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PRECIOUS GIFTS! Buddies® Pet Keepsakes — Did you know that your pet’s nose print is as individual to them as our finger prints are to us? Take a little unconditional love with you wherever you go with Buddies Pet Keepsakes. From an ink impression of your deceased or living pet, Buddies can create an exact replica of their paw, nose, hoof or foot print and scale it down in size to make an impression on a charm which may be displayed on a necklace, bracelet, keychain, tie tacs, pin, ring or lighter. In addition to working from an ink impression, they can work from plaster, clay or resin molds. In the case of capturing nose prints, they can even work from a photograph. Most keepsakes are available in sterling silver and 14k white or yellow gold. You can be wearing your Buddies charm within four weeks. Order one today for the pet lover in your life. They are a meaningful gift that lasts a lifetime.
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RELAXATION WITH YOUR PET! What better way to unwind from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season than a relaxation method with your pet? N2paws offers a variety of techniques to bond with your animal companion — TTouch session, Reiki or Vibrational attunement or Yoga class (Doga for dogs, Meowoga for cats). N2paws also offers treats that are irresistible to your dog or cat. Call Pat Hennessy at 816-522-7005 or visit www.n2paws.com for details.
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Balancing a Career with Pet Ownership by Kelly Evans
When staring at that starry-eyed dog or cat in the How pet owners can have the best of proverbial window, many working professionals don’t both worlds: a career AND a happy, fully consider the implications of owning a pet that will be healthy, well-managed pet. kept indoors all day. If regularly left alone for long periods, pets can suffer from depression, anxiety, and aggressiveness, and can even become downright destructive with valuable you could actually be doing more harm than good both home furnishings and structural elements such as physically, and behaviorally. baseboards, stairwell banisters and the like. Just a few simple tips can make a world of difference. Pet MAKE WAY FOR THE SANDMAN owners who work outside of the home can benefit Just as you need a good night of sleep to fully recharge from these tips: your battery, so does your pet! Assuring Fido and DAILY EXERCISE IS TOP PRIORITY Felix have a solid Dogs should get a minimum of 3 brisk night of slumwalks of 20 minutes or more each day to ber, with interexercise joints, release built up energy, and mittent naps inpromote proper metabolism. Daily walks between, can do are a great way of energizing lethargic wonders for and/or overweight pets. For indoor cats, their daily dispotake 10-minutes each day to get them movsition. Consider ing using cat toys or string. High strung, pet management hyperactive or even aggressive pets are often options carefulquite calm and relaxed after a good day of workout. ly. Before Regular exercise will keep these angst-ridden animals in enrolling your a greater state of contentment. pet in a boarding or day care facility determine the personality of your pet. While many animals do fine, SOCIALIZING IS NOT JUST FOR HUMANS. some experience adverse effects due to over-crowding in Find ways to socialize and entertain your dog each day, such as a small areas with other pets, stress from alpha dogs, and trip to off-leash parks or recreation areas where they can run and even health issues such as kennel cough or the highly play with other dogs. New pups or kittens, adopted pets, those contagious and sometimes deadly canine influenza. If received as gifts and/or the timid especially benefit from daily interyour pet will not do well at a boarding facility, consider action with both humans and other animals. When they’re home and in-home care with a professionally trained, screened, you’re not, consider turning on the radio or television to a pet friendly licensed, bonded and insured pet sitter. Another option program such as Animal Planet on the Discovery Channel. During your is for your pet to go to the sitter’s home where there are lunch break at work, call home and leave a message on your answerfar fewer animals. Ensure your in-home caregiver ing machine so your pet can hear your voice and be reassured while remains accessible at all times while your pet is in their you are away. care in case of emergencies beyond your common needs, such as those instances PROPER DIETS ARE A MUST where you get stuck in a traffic Your pet will be far happier and healthier if you feed them a brand jam, have to work late, or will pet food designed for their specific size and/or breed, and keeping otherwise run unusually late. meal portions in moderation. Consult with your local veterinarian Kelly Evans can be reached at northabout the most appropriate diet for your animal, and then stick to it. email@example.com. While you think feeding your pet scraps from the dinner table is okay, 20
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Online Photo Contest
Coco — My dear Coco, It wasn’t too long ago that I wondered how we would ever survive together. You had much to teach me as I did you in order for us to live in harmony. Thanks for teaching me how to be more unselfish, patient, giving, and loving. Love, Mommy. Submitted by Danielle.
ENTER THE ONLINE PHOTO CONTEST AT WWW.METROPETMAG.COM
Catfish — Catfish is such a sweet cat. He was a pet therapy cat who really enjoyed visiting children at a psychiatric hospital. He is 14 years old and still a joy to everyone around him. He loves anyone who will pay attention to him. He makes people laugh because he lays on his back to have his big fat belly rubbed. Submitted by Katherine.
Pet Allergies and Diet Making Sure Your Pet’s Food is Good For Them!
by Robert Silver, DVM
Ask any veterinarian (including myself) and they will tell you that they are seeing more cases of dogs and cats with allergies then they ever have at any other time in their careers. Perhaps you have an allergic pet, or know of someone who does. Allergies, although not life-threatening, can be dog-gone life-altering in terms of your pet’s “Quality of Life”. In my own small animal practice in Boulder, Colorado, at least 30% of my new patients present with an allergy-related problem.
QUALITY OF LIFE Although no one has come up with a definitive answer for the cause(s) of allergies, many agree that: Breeding, diet, vaccinations, and toxic environment all play a role. Some studies indicate that antibiotics given to young children or puppies and kittens increase their risk of developing allergies later in life. When beneficial Lactobacillus acidophilus cultures are given after the antibiotics, these youngsters’ risk of developing allergies is statistically quite less. Diets high in Omega 6 fatty acids are also known to increase inflammation. Omega 6 fatty acids come primarily from grains. Feeding diets that contain high percentages of grains can also contribute to the development of aller22
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gies. Many animals are allergic to grains like wheat and corn, and feeding diets that contain these grains can cause severe itching and chronic ear infections. Animals can be allergic to many substances, including pollen, dust and mold in the environment as well as a wide variety of foods. Diets that are high in grains create an imbalance in the body’s normal pH, making the skin less healthy, which makes it more susceptible to yeast and bacterial infections. These “secondary” infections are commonly associated with allergies in pets. Many pet foods are made with by-products from the food processing industry that are less digestible and which are not as nutritious as wholesome unprocessed foods. Thus many pet foods do not provide the wide diversity of nutrients that are naturally occurring in the diets of wild dogs (wolves and coyotes) and cats (bobcats, mountain lions, feral domestic cats). The better commercial diets for dogs or cats contain the same wide diversity of nutrients found in “wild” diets.
Feeding domesticated dogs and cats substantial amounts of animal protein improves their health... IMPROVED HEALTH The “wild” diet of dogs and cats contains no grains, and is higher proportionately in animal meat protein and omega 3 fats. Allergies are very uncommon in wild animals, due in part to their highly nutritious “wild” diet. Feeding domesticated dogs and cats substantial amounts of animal protein improves their health by following the diets that they eat naturally in the wild.
Changing your pets’ diet regularly to different sources of protein and carbohydrates is called “Rotation”. Diet rotation helps to mimic the wild diet by providing a wide diversity of nutrients that changes over time, in the same way that the “wild” diet changes with the nomadic wanderings of wild dogs and cats, as well as with climate and seasonal changes.
WHOLESOME DIET Feeding a pet food that is minimally processed, higher in omega 3 fatty acids and animal protein, and lower in grains and omega 6 fatty acids can help improve the health of the pet with allergies. Many people note improvement in their pets’ haircoats and itching problems when they switched their pets’ diets from their same old kibble to a home made or commercial raw diet. These diets generally contain no grains and consist of raw meat and vegetables with calcium added in the form of ground-up bone. Allergies can be a life long problem in our pets. Fortunately, feeding a wholesome diet, raw, if possible and rotating the food every few months can help these suffering pets. In addition to a healthy diet, adding omega 3 fatty acids and acidophilus cultures can also help. Written by Robert Silver, DVM, consulting veterinarian for Nature's Variety.
Integrated Veterinary Medicine
The Best in the West by Michelle Chappell, DVM
Over the years, pets and their people have enjoyed longer, healthier relationships through the advancement of veterinary medicine and optimal nutrition. MRI and CAT scans for cats and dogs are available in many metropolitan cities including Kansas City, and specialists abound in the areas of internal medicine, surgery, dermatology, oncology, neurology, ophthalmology, and even dentistry and behavior. General veterinary practitioners enjoy better diagnostic laboratory work than ever before to help uncover complicated infectious diseases and metabolic conditions, and surgical techniques are constantly being upgraded. Prescription diets and limited ingredient foods have been developed to assist doctors in helping their patients with everything from kidney failure to food allergies. With this abundance of tools for better health, what more could Fluffy or Fido hope for? This was all I needed to help my patients (and my own pets) live life to their fullest. Then Life taught me some lessons and my loyalty to conventional medicine had to make room for other tools if I really wanted to offer what was best for each patient. Here are a few of these “other tools” that have helped so many pets.
ACUPUNCTURE Practiced by the Chinese on war horses and livestock for centuries, acupuncture has amazing benefits for our pets, too. To me, it was just “voodoo” medicine until I met Heidi, a two-year old wiener dog with six cal24
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cified discs. Her mom was 92 and living on Social Security and could not afford back surgery for her little girl, so we did our best with injectable steroids, muscle relaxants and range of motion exercises, but to no avail. We tried for two weeks and I had to admit to Heidi’s mom that there was nothing else we could do for her. We were all gathered around this sweet, happy dog crying because we were going to put her to sleep, and I felt compelled to tell her mom about a veterinarian that I knew that said he was able to help dogs with bad backs with acupuncture. I told her I didn’t have any personal experience with it, but would be happy to refer her. She took Heidi for acupuncture and the dog walked after just a couple of sessions! Then six months later, a good friend of mine had their doxie go down with the same problem. She had back surgery, but was still paralyzed a month post-op. They were likely going to lose Lilly, too, but I suggested acupuncture for her, and she also walked again! Since acupuncture has been shown to improve blood flow to tissues, it can even help in cases like chronic renal failure. We have one patient that has done very well for 6 years now with a combination of conventional treatments and acupuncture for her kidney disease.
NAET I was first introduced to this allergy elimination technique when my then 2-year old daughter was suffering terribly from food allergies. She was covered in eczema and had such bad inflammatory bowel disease that she could not sleep prone through the night from gas pains and diarrhea. We went through extensive food elimination trials and skin prick testing, creams and medicated baths trying to help her. She was very small for her age and not thriving very much. Then a veterinary friend of mine told me about “Nambruipaud’s
Allergy Elimination Technique” (NAET) and we found a local practitioner who was able to diagnose exactly what was causing her allergies and then balance them using pressure, not needles, on acupuncture points. The same procedure can be used for pets and can have amazing benefits when diet trials and antihistamines or allergy injections are not enough to resolve the problems of itchy skin and ears or chronic vomiting. See the websites www.vetnaet.com and www.naet.com for more information about this amazing technique for people and pets.
NUTRITION My own cat Al became diabetic when he was seven years old and struggled with insulin shots and crazy blood sugar levels on a low fat, high fiber prescription dry food. He had stopped paying and his coat was dry and brittle. I went to an internal medicine seminar about feline diabetes and was shocked to hear the speaker talk about what these cats should really be eating the “Catkins” diet of high meat and fat and little to no starch/grain in the form of canned cat food. I started Al on the new diet, and within 6 weeks, he was off insulin! It can happen very quickly, and your veterinarian will need to help you decide how much and how quickly to drop the dose of insulin, so don’t try this alone. I have seen amazing weight loss in obese pets and resolution of terrible ear and skin conditions using whole food, low or no grain diets-conditions that I used to feel were something that just had to be tolerated if regular medications didn’t resolve it.
BALANCED VACCINATIONS My cat also developed a vaccine-induced tumor and had to have radical surgery to remove the abnormal tissue after a leukemia vaccine when he was three. The surgery saved his life, but I have never vaccinate him for this again. More is less with many vaccines and even the AVMA recommends core vaccines to be given only every three years to adult dogs and cats. There are many cases where blood titers are a better option than even repeating the three year vaccines, but when vaccines are necessary, we give a homeopathic remedy and send home fish oil to help prevent vaccine inflammation and reactions.
HERBAL CHEMOTHERAPY Many cases of cancer can be treated with injections of herbal compounds that cause apoptosis (cellular suicide) of cancer cells where amputation or radiation may have been the only other options for care. Using these methods in conjunction with anti-nausea prescriptions and pain medicine to keep our pets comfortable while they are healing is another example of how conventional and complimentary medicine work together for an improved quality of life. A graduate of Kansas State University, Dr. Michelle Chappell offers conventional medicine, surgery, and dentistry in conjunction with acupuncture, NAET, and herbs at Mariposa Veterinary Center. Dr. Grace Brewer is also available at Mariposa two days a week for animal chiropractic care. All of this is available in our “green” straw bale building where the mission is “Caring for pets, people, and the planet.” Mariposa Veterinary Center, 13900 Santa Fe Trail Drive, Lenexa, Kansas 66215. Dr. Chappell can be reached at 913825-3330 or visit the website at www.mariposavet.com.
Our trainers strive to provide the very best in positive reinforcement dog training with curricula developed from the field of behavior science, and techniques that have been tested everywhere from average homes to world championships. You can be confident that you and your dog will be treated gently and respectfully — and you’ll have fun, too!
ANESTHESIA Integrated medicine also has its place in surgery. Acupuncture needles can be used to help minimize the amount of anesthesia needed by blocking pain and there are points that also speed up anesthetic recovery. Special herbs for preventing excessive bleeding are extremely beneficial in some cases and can minimize bruising as well.
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Feline Signs Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21) The Catâ€™s Pajamas The Scorpio Cat will always remain a puzzle to the family... never where an owner thinks he or she might be... never doing what he or she should be doing. This is all a game to the Scorpio Cat... fooling the owner and leaving his or her human guessing. However, any owner of this feline will be in dire trouble if he or she guesses wrong.
Gemini (May 21 - June 21)
Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof Though adverse to being restrained for such basic tasks as baths and nail-clipping, the intelligent nature of the Gemini Cat will allow an owner to prevail... provided the nasty experience is supplemented with loving praise and a favored treat.
The Top Cat The Leo Cat often fares well in the show ring, frequently blessed with long hair and exceptionally beautiful features...particularly the Persian varieties. This cat is usually a healthy and well-adjusted creature. However, perfection is rare... even in the Leo Cat... and the flaw associated with this feline will be a weak back.
Cancer (June 22 - July 22) The Crazy Cat Motivated by the Moon, the life of the Cancer Cat will be one long chapter of accidents which eat into his or her quota of lives. Extreme stress or too much over-excitement will quickly lead to physical collapse and few Cancer Cats live to old age. Relationship with the home is of vital importance to this feline... something an owner must never forget.
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Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22) The Kitten Cat This feline is also a victim to allergies in many instances and the tender skin of the Virgo Cat often reacts adversely to flea powder. To have a feline ruled by Virgo as a family member is something like having a little guilty conscience who will continually remind his or her owners of where they are going wrong.
Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)
of gender, this cat is prone to poor circulation and cold extremities, which could prove to be a problem for everyone in the Winter when he or she attempts to snuggle up under the comforter at night.
The Copy-Cat "Lazy Libra" has also been said of this cat, which is not totally unfounded since some of them are far too indolent... lying about all day thinking about things and then sleeping it off. Such listless behavior can lead to weight problems which may be very difficult to rectify.
Pisces (Feb. 19 - Mar. 20) The Ship’s Cat The Pisces Cat would actually prefer a life at sea. Forced to live in an ordinary house, this feline will become aquatic, demanding that the faucets be turned on in the tub so that he or she can play in the water.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21) The Stable Cat The Sagittarius Cat is unable to sit still for longer than a minute or two and walks with the stride of a drill sergeant. Most of the time this feline is almost disgustingly healthy, but is prone to hip dysplasia... a painful complaint that should be dealt with as soon as it is suspected.
Aries (Mar. 21 - Apr. 19) The Stray Cat Perpetually on the move... climbing, jumping and flying... he or she is determined to make the most of the proverbial nine lives. However, the Aries Cat is prone to headaches, which often strike suddenly and quickly.
Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan 20) The Cat Burglar The Capricorn Cat harbors a great desire to climb ever-higher up the ladder of social success but will never be the “life and soul of the party” type. Physically, the Capricorn Cat is difficult to recognize by appearance alone.
Taurus (April 20 - May 20) The Earth Mother Lack of sustenance may be the only thing that will motivate the Taurus Cat to get up, go out and complain to the neighbors about the cruelty of his or her owner. This feline will also be adept at fooling everyone who enters the kitchen into thinking that nobody has remembered to feed him or her.
Aquarius (Jan. 21 - Feb. 18) The Hip Cat Physically, the male Aquarius Cat usually has a noble profile, tending to be tall for a cat and pale ginger in color. However, regardless
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Ask The Expert Ensuring dignified after-life care for your pet by Janice Krumm No one wants to think about the dreaded day when their beloved pet will pass away. Unfortunately, however, with the exception of certain birds and exotic animals, the typical lifespan of our pet family members is a mere fraction of our own. Although the death of pet can be incredibly painful, most of us wouldn’t give up a single moment of the happy times that we shared to avoid the pain of losing them. We owe it to ourselves though, to do whatever may help us face and cope with our grief. One important thing we can do is empower ourselves with information.
What happens to my pet’s body when they die in the vet’s office?
Because the biology of death is such that the body releases fluids, it is common practice for a pet who expires at a vet clinic to be placed in a plastic “body bag.” Depending on the clinic, a body bag for a pet can vary from what looks like a trash bag to a bag which more closely resembles a human body bag, made of waterproof material and zippered. Typically, the pet is then placed in a freezer or refrigeration unit until the chosen option for final disposition of the body is implemented. Whether your pet dies at the vet’s office or at home, there are pet after life services that offer immediate pick up, transport and disposition so that body bags and freezers are not necessary. If it is important to you that your pet is not in a bag, freezer or refrigeration unit, inquire ahead about alternatives.
What are my options for final disposition of the body when my pet passes away?
What about burial?
The options presented by most vet clinics include the following: pick up by the city for “disposal,” simple cremation (with other animals, also known as mass, communal or congregate cremation), or individual cremation, which may also be called private cremation. Because so few vet clinics actually have their own cremation equipment, they typically use a third party pet cremation provider (who picks up twice per week and then delivers ashes back for families to pick up from the clinic the following week). If you choose cremation, you are not limited to the provider your vet uses. If your vet clinic isn’t able to provide you with the names of all of the pet death care service providers in your area, an internet or yellow page search may be a good place to find a local resource. Many communities now have pet death care service providers who, not only offer services such as at home pick up, but will make paw, even nose print keepsakes, and also take fur clippings from your pet for you. If keepsakes like these and a personal service are important to you, your vet should respect your wishes. Though it isn’t common practice, some pet parents may even choose to stuff or freeze dry a pet who has passed away in order to feel, in some way, that they are “cheating death.”
Because the logistics of burial are a bit more complicated than that of cremation, the extent of most vets’ involvement is to refer you to a local pet cemetery or other pet after life services provider to make arrangements. Typically, vet clinics will keep your pet’s body until you make said arrangements, including pick up and transport of your pet to the cemetery. Of course, you may also pick up and transport your baby yourself. Although many municipalities have ordinances against it, there are still areas that permit “backyard burial.” Given the mobile nature of our society, it is important to ask yourself if you are going to be okay with leaving your baby if you move. 28
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Why choose cremation over burial, or vice versa?
There are a number of factors that influence a pet parent’s decision about whether to bury or cremate a pet who has passed away. Factors you should take into consideration when determining which to choose for your pet are listed below. • Religious affiliation, spirituality and personal beliefs: Certain religions dictate whether to bury or cremate the dead. Of course, this is typically specific to humans, but since pets are family too, people will sometimes choose for their pets what they would for human family members. For those who aren’t of any particular religious affiliation, even sometimes for those who are, our own personal beliefs about the afterlife and our individual spirituality strongly influence our feelings about what is appropriate with regard to the final disposition of a pet family member’s body. Although it has been historically common to bury the dead in our culture, from a religious standpoint, cremation is a clear manifestation of “ashes to ashes... dust to dust” and a way for us to control the process to that end. Most who choose cremation over burial also express concern about maintaining the tangible link to their pet by keeping the ashes with them always.
• Cost: Typically, cremation is less expensive than burial; for pets and for humans. With pet burial starting at around $365 at designated pet cemeteries, cremation, at anywhere from $135 to $270, is the more cost effective of the two options. Of course, it’s also important to consider what you might spend on a casket, marker or headstone or an urn. • Location: Burial requires a static location where your pet will remain, e.g. a pet cemetery on land that is commissioned for that purpose. Although you can visit the said location, time and distance constraints may make it difficult to do so, eliminating the tangible, physical link to your pet. With our society becoming increasingly mobile, cremation allows you to keep your pet’s remains with you always. Burial, or scattering, of cremains in a place special to you and your pet are additional options. • Legalities: If you are considering “backyard burial,” check with your city or town about specific ordinances or laws regarding pet burial. Some municipalities do not allow it. • Environment: As our society becomes increasingly environmentally aware, the “green”-ness of cremation versus burial is debatable. Each option has its merits and its downsides, but currently, neither is considered better than the other.
What is the difference between individual and private pet cremation?
Technically, individual and private pet cremation both mean that you receive the ashes of your pet, and only your pet, back. The major distinction, however, is that individual pet cremation may also mean that more than one pet is in the crematory chamber at a time. This is not always the case, but when pet cremation is called individual cremation, it is not uncommon for pets’ bodies to be placed on separate trays throughout the cremation process so that they are being cremated in the chamber at the same time, but the remains that are left to be processed into cremains or ashes never co-mingle. The technical definition of private pet cremation, on the other hand, is such that it always means one pet in the chamber at a time, with no exceptions. If it is not just important to you that you receive only your pet’s ashes back, but also that they are the only pet in the chamber during the cremation, make sure that your provider means one pet in the chamber at a time, whether they call it individual or private cremation.
What can I do to help our family, including our young children, cope when our beloved pet passes away?
Many of us have memories of a family pet dying when we were a child. Perhaps mom or dad made a casket of a shoe box for a hamster or gerbil and held an informal funeral service in which everyone was encouraged to say a few words to express their grief and say goodbye. For many of us, this was our very first experience with death. Even before we lost a grandparent or other human family member, we learned about death and how to cope with grief, as much as we could understand such things at the time, by following our parents’ lead. That said, one of the most important things parents can do for their children to promote coping with death in a healthy manner is to be honest with them. Of course, you must consider the age of the children and their ability to understand. Younger children, for example, have only a rudimentary understanding of death and do not understand the permanence of it. Still, it is better to refrain from using euphemisms like “put to sleep” to avoid confusion. For example a young child who is told that the family dog was put to sleep may become frightened to sleep at night out of fear that they may not wake up. In addition to being straight-forward and encouraging communication, let your children know that it’s okay to cry and to 30
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express emotions when their pet dies. Express your own sadness. It is good for you, and for them. There are also other proactive ways for the family to express their grief and heal together. Ceremonies or rituals, like the pet funerals we may remember from our own childhood, are positive ways to express sadness and promote closure for the whole family. Creating a memorial for your pet can also be very healing. For example, encourage your children to write letters to their pet and/or put together a collage or memory box with meaningful items from each family member for your pet. Finally, do not hesitate to explore all of the resources that are now available to you and your family for coping with the loss of a beloved pet. Everything from paw-print keepsakes and fur clippings, to the specifics about the final disposition of the body, to ceremonies and rituals and creative memorials can be helpful in coping with pet loss. There are many well-written books about the subject for adults and children alike. There are also grief counselors and grief support groups for pet loss. Though there is nothing that can take away all of the pain, understanding your options may be a source of comfort when you are facing the loss of a pet family member. As our thinking regarding the relationships we share with our pets continues to evolve, so do pet after life services. Resources and assistance for pet parents and families who are coping with the grief of pet loss are more readily available and accepted. If you are coping with the death of a beloved pet, rest-assured that you are not alone. For those of us who have experienced the unconditional love of a pet firsthand, they are not “just a dog”… or a cat… or a bird. They are family and should be treated accordingly in life, and in death. Janice Krumm, Precious Pets Memorial Center, Overland Park, KS. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas and is a Certified Grief Counselor. A lifelong animal lover, Janice has volunteered at various animal shelters and is the proud mommy of Rocco, a rescue dog, along with her other fur babies before him.
Dog Waste The Presents Your Dog Leaves Behind by Lori Stiles No matter how you look at it, dog waste is the “gift” that keeps on giving. We love our dogs, but are not so thrilled with the deposits left in our yard. Until dogs learn how to use the bathroom facilities inside the home, we need to educate ourselves on the importance of cleaning up dog waste.
DECISIONS TO MAKE RELATING TO DOG WASTE Winter sometimes brings on a different mind set for dog owners. Some individuals will hire a professional pooper scooper service during this time period so they do not have to deal with the cold weather. Others will leave the waste in the yard since technically no one in the family (except for the dogs) are interested in going outside. Before you choose to leave the waste in the yard, there are several points of interest regarding accumulation you may want to consider.
DOG WASTE ACCUMULATES QUICKLY Dogs eliminate waste up to two times per day, and the average household has two dogs. With this scenario, if dog waste is not collected within a month, there will be a total of 112 piles in your yard. Consider how much will accumulate over the winter (November through February) with two dogs. This would add up to an average of 448 piles by Spring and will take countless hours to clean up. The American Pet Association released an interesting statistic. There are approximately 71 million dogs in the United States that eliminate approximately 4.4 billion pounds of dog waste each year. This is enough to cover 900 football fields 12” thick of dog waste!
BENEFITS OF CLEANING UP DOG WASTE ON A REGULAR BASIS
HOW TO AFFORD A PROFESSIONAL POOPER SCOOPER How do you budget for a professional pooper scooper during a tight recession? There are several ways to negotiate pricing. The first option is to talk with your neighbors or homeowner association and see if anyone would like to have their yard cleaned by a professional pooper scooper. If several yards are close together you may collectively be able to negotiate a lower rate. This will allow the company to clean several yards in a close proximity. The second option is a referral program most companies offer. This applies when you send one or more clients to your professional pooper scooper; in turn most companies provide a discount for service. Don’t be afraid to call and ask for a deal. You will never know what will work until you call.
First, consider your time management. If you clean your yard weekly, you can reduce the 112 pile scenario to a manageable 28 pile yard. This will take you approximately 10 to 15 minutes to clean if you have an average size yard and are using appropriate dog waste removal equipment. Most important, cleaning your yard weekly will allow you to detect any abnormalities in the dog waste such as loose stool, worms or foreign objects that may be harmful to your pet. This information can be helpful to your veterinarian if it becomes necessary to seek help regarding any illness or digestive track problems. If you hire a professional
pooper scooper company please ask if they communicate these issues when they are detected. If not, search for another company. Your dog’s health should be their number one priority.
IT’S A MYTH. DOG WASTE IS NOT FERTILIZER Now, before you think dog waste decomposes quickly, the truth is dog waste can take up to a year to completely disintegrate. The reason for this slow decomposition is because dog waste is a protein-based output that has a high nitrogen content which is harmful to your grass and plants. Unlike horse or cow manure that is a vegetation based output, the nitrogen is low and can be used as fertilizer. Most important, dog waste should not be composted for fertilizer. If used in a garden it can transfer illnesses to humans.
Lori and Alan Stiles founded Scoopy the PooTM in 2005. Scoopy the Poo provides professional dog waste removal services and is the leader in the United States that designs equipment used by Professional Pooper Scoopers and is now available for sale to the public. For additional information about services and equipment go to www.scoopythepoo.com or contact Lori or Alan at 816-412-9000. MetroPetMag.com
Support Our Advertisers! ADVERTISER INDEX A Dog’s Fun Playce
Pawz at Play
7833 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO • 816.361.STAY (7829) www.adogsfunplayce.com • Pg. 17
11200 Mastin, Overland Park, KS • 913.451.PAWZ (7299) www.pawzatplay.com • Pg. 26
Deborah @ 913.515.9472 www.youravon.com/deborahwaller • Pg. 13
www.petautosafety.com • Pg. 18
Aussie Pet Mobile
8809 Monrovia, Lenexa, KS • 913.888.8889 600 N.E. Pavestone, Lee’s Summit, MO • 816.246.1116 5860 N.W. Prairie View Rd., Kansas City, MO • 816.587.3900 www.petemac.com • Pg 19 & Inside Back Cover
1-800-738-6624 www.aussiepetmobile.com • Pg. 15
Pete And Mac’s
Mary @ 913.687.1745 • Pg. 18
Precious Pets Memorial Center
Brookside Pet Concierge
12639 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, Kansas 913.685.PETS (7387) • www.preciouspetsmemorialcenter.com • Pg. 19 & 29
816.694.9296 • www.brooksidepet.com • Pg. 10
Camp Bow Wow Olathe
Scoopy the Poo 816.412.9000 • www.scoopythepoo.com • Pg. 23
1150 West 151st Street, Suite D, Olathe, KS • 913.322.2267 www.campbowwow.com/olathe • Pg. 15
Dog’s World of Fun
Deb @ 816.560.7950 • firstname.lastname@example.org www.mysilpada.com/debragreen.com • Pg. 18
1220 West 31st Street, Kansas City, MO • 816.931.5822 www.dogsworldoffun.com • Pg. 21
Sydney’s Pet Spa
13656 Roe Ave. (SW Corner of Roe at 135th Street), Leawood, KS 913.239.0110 • www.sydneyspetspa.com • Pg. 13
1250 SW Oakley, Topeka, KS • 1.877.966.0222 www.artglassexpressions.com • Pg. 19
Heart of America Invisible Fence 816.941.7700 • 913.722.9948 • Pg. 5
Studio Calypso Kate @ 816.520.4586 • Pg. 19
Sympawtico Dog Training, LLC Suezanne @ 913.424.5072 • www.sympawtico.com • Pg. 18
816.522.2195 • www.invisiblefence.com • Pg. 27
Tails R’ Waggin
KC Dog Trainers
6976 W. 152nd Terrace, Overland Park, KS • 913.685.9246 www.tailsrwaggin.com • Pg. 11
www.kcdogtrainers.com • Pg. 25
Mariposa 13900 Santa Fe Trail Drive, Lenexa, KS • 913.825.3330 www.mariposavet.com • Pg. 23
N2 Paws 816.522.7005 • www.N2paws.com • Pg. 7
Nature’s Variety www.naturesvariety.com • Back Cover 32
MetroPet Magazine N OVEMBER 2008
Woof ’s Play and Stay 6465 E. Frontage Road, Merriam, KS • 913.403.WOOF (9663) www.woofsplaystay.com • Pg. 9
Y-Bar-H (formerly Lloyd’s Dog and Horse) 1030 E. Santa Fe, Olathe, KS • 913.764.4626 www.ybarh.com • Inside Front Cover
READY TO SEE MORE? GO TO METROPETMAG.COM LINKS TO ADVERTISERS
2. On the local TV websites a. www.myfoxkc.com b. www.kctv5.com c. www.kmbc.com
You will find links to all our advertisers on our website. They are divided by category — so you can find the right resource fast.
VIDEO CLIPS Video clips are short movie clips that give you more information about the services offered by a MetroPet advertiser.
VIDEO CLIP LOCATIONS 1. At www.metropetmag.com a. Click on the Video Clip box on the top right hand section of the home page. b. Click on the Video Clip link along the top bar
EVENT LISTINGS We are posting local events — both from our advertisers and the humane groups on our website. If you have an event, please send it to email@example.com. We will do our best to get it posted.
ONLINE PHOTO CONTEST Enter your favorite pet photo in our online photo contest. Just go to www.metropetmag.com for details.
Video Clips! Heart of America Invisible Fence
A DOG’S FUN PLAYCE
BROOKSIDE PET CONCIERGE
CAMP BOW WOW
DOG’S WORLD OF FUN
INVISIBLE FENCE OF GREATER KANSAS CITY
INVISIBLE FENCE OF KANSAS CITY & LAWRENCE
MARIPOSA VETERARY HOSPITAL
PAWZ AT PLAY
PETE AND MAC’S
PRECIOUS PETS MEMORIAL CENTER
WOOF’S PLAY AND STAY
Y BAR H
Winners of Dogtoberfest’s Pet Look-Alike Contest!
Maureen with her dog Redbone.
Photos by Kate at
Studio Calypso Call Kate at 816.520.4586
Fay with her dog Toby.
Subscribe Today! Patty with her dog Cheri.
Cheyenne with her dog Max. 34
MetroPet Magazine N OVEMBER 2008
Mail To: MetroPet PO Box 480065 • Kansas City, MO 64148
Published on Jan 29, 2009