Page 1

Oral Care Pg. 3

Home Aquarium Instructions Pg. 6

P ET I DO L February 2011

Grooming T ips Pg. 7

Cat vs. Dog

Backyard Bird Habitat

Pg. 2

Pg. 5


PET IDOL

2 February 2011

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Business Directory: Clarinda Co-op Co. . . . . . . . . . . . .Pg05 McQueen Carpet Cleaning . . . . . .Pg09 Orscheln Farm&Home . . . . . . . . . . .Pg07 United Farmers Mercantile . . . . . . .Pg03 Sapp Bros. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Pg03 Shenandoah Animal Hospital . . . .Pg09 Southwest Iowa Humane Society .Pg05 Stony Point Kennels . . . . . . . . . . . . .Pg04 Twin Oaks Veterinary . . . . . . . . . . . .Pg04 Pet Idol 2011 Contest . . . . . . . .Pg 12

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Cat vs. Dog: Find the right fit for you F

ew acts are more selfless than adopting a pet. Particularly in these trying economic times, making the emotional and financial commitment to a pet is an admirable decision. As admirable as that decision can be, it can also be difficult. Prospective adoptees, be it singles, young married couples or families, must decide which type of pet they want to adopt. For most, the decision boils down to cats or dogs. Both cats and dogs make wonderful pets, but those considering adoption should know what they're getting into before deciding to adopt Morris or Fido. The 411 on Felines Before adopting a cat, it helps to know a thing or two about these often misunderstood yet lovable animals. „ Cats are social. Contrary to popular belief, many cats love attention and social interaction. The misconception about cats as loners likely stems from the comparison between cats and dogs. Though cats typically don't need as much attention from their owners as dogs, cats do require some daily play time with and affection from their owners. A cat is not simply a pet an owner can feed, house and forget about. Cats need and want attention and companionship from their owners.

„ Cats can live a long time. A cat's life expectancy is longer than a dog's. In his book, Caring for Your Dog: The Complete Canine Home Reference, Dr. Bruce Fogle says the median life expectancy for canines is 12.8 years. While a cat's life expectancy varies depending on the breed, veterinarians routinely advise prospective cat owners that indoor cat owners will likely live 15 years and could very well live longer than that. Adoption candidates should recognize that adopting a cat is a 15-year commitment. „ Declawing is painful. Prospective cat owners might be unaware that declawing, which involves removing the first knuckle of each toe, is extremely painful to cats. Many products, including scratching posts, are effective at keeping cats from clawing away at the furniture. „ Families with very young children should avoid kittens. Parents of children three years of age or younger should adopt older cats and steer clear of kittens. The 411 on Man's Best Friend Decided on a dog instead of a cat? Consider the following before visiting the local shelter. „ All dogs go to heaven, but all dogs are different, too. Dogs differ greatly depending on the breed. Before choosing a specific type of dog, read up on the various breeds,

including their behavioral patterns, and choose one you're most compatible with. „ Purebreds are available at the local shelter. Many people mistakenly assume the local shelter specializes only in mutts. However, according to the Humane Society of the United States, 25 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred. There are also nonprofit organizations that rescue particular breeds, be it English Bulldogs or Greyhounds, from unfortunate living situations and offer their rescues for adoption for a nominal fee. „ Dogs need attention and affection. While cats need attention and affection, dogs often need much more. A dog that does not receive enough attention and/or affection from its owner will suffer both physically and emotionally. Don't adopt a dog if you don't have the time or desire to spend time with the animal and cannot provide it a loving home. „ Not all dogs can adapt to their environments. An owner must not only be compatible with his dog, but that owner's living situation also has to be compatible. Active dogs often struggle to live in confined spaces, such as apartments or small homes without a yard or nearby dog park to play in. Research breeds that are likely to thrive in your home, whether that home is a studio apartment or a mansion.


PET IDOL

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

February 2011 3

Oral care essential for dogs’ health D

ogs, like people, are living longer thanks to advancements in preventative health care. That means that illnesses and parasites that once were the culprit behind a short life span are no longer the threats they once were. Now oral health care issues have become a leading problem for dogs. Fortunately, such problems are largely preventable. A new puppy comes home full of life and with sweet breath. As a dog ages, however, foul breath can become the norm and make interacting with a pet an undesirable affair. Bad breath is one of the key signs of poor oral health and an indication that owner should take action. While it’s largely believed that eating and gnawing on bones is enough to keep plaque and tartar build-up at bay, this isn’t the case. Dogs need routine brushing of their

teeth for optimum health. Failure to do so opens dogs up to the build-up of food and bacteria, which can contribute to tartar and gum disease. Research indicates as much as 85 percent of all dogs have some form of gum disease. In addition to bad breath and tooth loss, periodontal disease can increase a dog’s risk of heart disease. Ideally, a dog’s teeth should be brushed at least once a day. But many people do not take the time to brush dogs’ teeth. At the very least, the task should be done once a week. This is the single best way to help keep periodontal disease at bay and prolong a pet companion’s life. There are other steps to take that can reduce tartar build-up and fight bad “doggy” breath. „ Use antibacterial wipes (found at the pet supply store) to reduce the amount of bacteria in a dog’s mouth

that can contribute to plaque. „ Routinely inspect the gums and teeth to check for discoloration or tartar build-up. „ Consult with a veterinarian if the problem is bad. He or she may have to perform a professional dental cleaning, which is conducted while the dog is under anesthesia. „ There are many bones and other dental-health products that can help remove plaque scaling from the teeth. „ Observe a dog’s behavior and look for problems that could indicate mouth pain, such as pawing at the mouth or trouble eating. As in people, periodontal disease can lead to other issues, including heart disease, and should be taken seriously. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is an easy task and one that can greatly prolong the life of a furry pal.

“Doggy breath” could be a sign of periodontal disease. Teeth-brushing remains the single best way to prevent tartar buildup.

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PET IDOL

4 February 2011

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

High cholesterol affects pets also

H

igh cholesterol is commonly considered a problem that only affects animals of the human persuasion. However, high cholesterol levels can also compromise the cardiovascular health of pets as well. Hyperlipidermia, or high cholesterol, is excessive amounts of fat or fatty substances present in the bloodstream. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is produced in the liver in order to digest fats from one's diet. Cholesterol is carried through the blood to various organs through large molecules called lipoproteins. There are different types of lipoproteins, each responsible for different tasks. Just as with people, diet and heredity can play a role in a pet's cholesterol levels. Dogs and cats can have high levels of cholesterol in their bloodstream, levels that negatively

impact health. Other factors that may increase cholesterol include hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, obesity, inflammation of the pancreas, and diabetes. Veterinarians will conduct tests to determine if a pet's cholesterol levels are too high. These tests may include a complete blood count (CBC), chemical blood profile, urinalysis, and a serum sample for biochemical analysis. Bloodwork is usually done after a fast, and for ease on the pet owner, a dog or cat may be hospitalized in order to complete testing. The veterinarian may prescribe a lowfat diet in order to bring cholesterol levels in check. If this is not effective, medication or other therapies may be employed to

lower cholesterol levels. Pets problem, owners can alter the may have to undergo routine lifestyle of their dogs and cats. testing to check for cholesterol „ Maintain a healthy weight. and triglyceride levels in the „ Get routine exercise. future. „ Limit fats in food. Much in the same way a per„ Avoid "people food," son may make an effort to preespecially fatty items. vent cholesterol from being a „ Regularly visit a vet for check-ups.

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PET IDOL

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

February 2011 5

Manage a backyard bird habitat F

or many nature enthusiasts, there's nothing more rewarding than seeing wildlife right in your own backyard. Birds are often welcome outdoor visitors, and homeowners look for ways to entice birds to take up roost in their landscape. Providing several different types of foods can be the first step to welcoming a variety of birds to your yard. Bill Askenburg, a backyard birding enthusiast and maker of custom birdhouses (www.newenglandbirdhouse.com), says he offers thistle seed to attract finches and chickadees. A nut and berry mix is set out for woodpeckers, and a sunflower/safflower mix attracts cardinals, wrens, doves, and blue jays. A few different feeders placed at various heights or hung from branches on your property can attract an abundance of wildlife. Feeding birds is one way to enjoy their company. However if you're looking for a different relationship, some other features can increase the chances that birds will nest and raise young in your backyard habitat.

Naturally, the species of birds that you can attract to your backyard depends on the birds native to your area and the types of structures they tend to use as nests. For example, certain birds nest in cliffs, high atop trees or in abandoned chimneys. Therefore, you'll have to attract the types of feathered friends that will find your yard habitable. Here are some ways to do so. „ A hands-off approach may work best. It's easy to want to remove felled trees, tall grasses or old brush from the yard. However, these items, while eyesores to you, could be the very spots certain birds deem worthy for their nests. The same can be said for abandoned nests from last season: leave them in place. They could be reoccupied by birds or taken apart for nesting material. „ Tall trees will attract a number of birds that prefer nests in the high branches, such as jays and mourning doves. If you have such trees on your property, keep a trained eye on nesting activity. „ Think about placing nesting boxes around the yard. This will attract birds that prefer the protected cavities of small hol-

lows for their nests. The nesting boxes will compensate for lost habitats where these birds would normally nest. „ Water fountains and birdbaths that are frequently refreshed with clean water provide drinking water and bathing opportunities for birds. Birds are hard-pressed to resist the gentle trickle of water. „ Enhance your backyard habitat by choosing both native and ornamental plantings that provide seed or berries for the birds you wish to attract. These natural options can be used in conjunction with

packaged seeds and berries you offer as other food sources. Remember, variety is the spice of life, and is also the way to attract birds to your yard. Having a variety of food sources, nesting opportunities, flowers, and hiding spots available will help ensure the greatest chance for wildlife taking up residence in your backyard. If you need help planning your bird habitat, there are many books you can check out at the library or contact a local National Audubon Society chapter or center.

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PET IDOL

6 February 2011

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Step-b y-step Instructions for setting up a home aquarium Establishing a freshwater aquarium at home can be a low-maintenance and relatively inexpensive way to own a pet. Saltwater aquariums will require more of a time and financial investment. There are a large variety of freshwater fish from which to choose and many fish tanks that can complement decor or the space on hand. Here are some guidelines for choosing and setting up an aquarium. Purchasing Purchasing Supplies Before setting up the aquarium, you will first need all of the materials necessary. These include the following basics: - aquarium - aquarium stand - lighted hood - gravel - filter - air pump - plastic tubing - air stone - heater - plants

- other decor - fish food - net - background picture - thermometer Choosing an Aquarium Aquariums come in different sizes and styles. A smaller tank may be appropriate for a kids' bedroom, while a larger tank can be a centerpiece of a family room. Depending upon how many fish you plan to have, a good rule of thumb is one gallon of water per fish. Many people find a 20- to 30-gallon tank is sufficient for a recreational fish tank. When picking the aquarium, choose a complementary stand that can house all of your supplies. The stand will need to be sturdy to support the weight of the tank, which could be several hundred pounds. Setting Up Your Aquarium „ Choose the location of your aquarium. Once the water is in the tank, it will be difficult or impossible to move it. „ Place the stand and aquarium in the location. Apply the paper background to the back

of the tank on the outside. This provides visual interest for you and the fish. „ Rinse the gravel, any plastic plants and other embellishments that will go inside of the tank with fresh, cold running water for a few minutes to clean off any impurities. „ Place the gravel into the tank. Secure the plants and any decorations by nestling them within the gravel. The gravel should be one to two inches deep. „ If you will be using an air stone, attach it to one end of the plastic tubing and insert the other end of the tubing into your air pump. Hide the air stone beneath the gravel somewhere inconspicuous. Place the air pump higher than the aquarium so that water cannot siphon into the air pump should the power fail or the pump turn off. „ Fill the aquarium with quality drinking water. „ Install your heater according to directions and set the temperature according to the preference of the fish you plan to buy. Most fish live comfortably in 70 to 80 degrees F. „ Assemble your aquarium filter and follow the directions for placing it on the tank. Put

the thermometer in or on the tank. „ Turn on the filter and air pump and allow the aquarium to filter for 24 hours. Also check that the water has reached the set temperature. You can purchase a pH test to check the water levels and make adjustments according to the fish you will be using. „ When you are ready to stock your aquarium, buy your fish from a reputable source. Slowly build up the population of your tank. Choose a variety of fish that will populate different areas of the aquarium, such as top- and bottom-feeders and schooling fish. „ Bring your fish home and float the bag in your aquarium for a half hour or more so that the water temperatures are similar. Use a net to scoop out the fish and place in your tank. While many fish stores have clean water, all it takes is a little contamination to spoil your tank and make your other fish ill. „ Feed your fish frequently, but do not overfeed, which can lead to buildup in the tank. „ Sit back and enjoy your aquarium.


PET IDOL

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

February 2011 7

Grooming tips to keep pets prim and proper

P

et parents know there are many responsibilities that come with having a pet as a part of the family. Medical care, feeding and watering, providing exercise, and offering moderate entertainment are all par for the course. Another consideration is keeping your pet well groomed and clean. Depending upon your pet, grooming may need to be a frequent or intermittent part of care. Birds, for example, may need nail trimming every once in a while. Cats keep themselves relatively clean, so may only require nail trimming and infrequent baths. Fish don't need grooming, per se, however you will have to keep the tank clean and at the right pH. When it comes to grooming, most people associate the task with dog ownership. Dogs of all shapes and sizes, with various coat types, may require more grooming than other animals. Grooming may feature home

bathed „ some groomers use a dryer for your pet, others believe it is better to let the coat air-dry „ detangling and dematting will occur if the pet needs it „ ears and teeth may be cleaned „ nails are trimmed „ emptying of dog's digestive system may occur „ clipping and shaving of coat will take place „ if pet has fleas, a flea dip will be offered „ advice on routine maintnance may be given

involvement, professional grooming or a combination of both. Professional groomers will offer an array of services and are the way to go if you do not have the time or the ability to bathe, dry and shape your pet's coat. Depending upon the groomer,

certain services will be rendered at every grooming appointment. Here are some things to expect: „ the grooming appointment will likely last a few hours from start to finish „ your pet will be brushed and

sult with a veterinarian to see if a sedative is helpful or necessary to make grooming sessions less traumatic. Grooming is not just for aesthetic purposes. Regularly cleaning and brushing a pet's coat ensures that the skin remains healthy and receives adequate air and blood circulation. Matting or other problems can cause infection or fungus to form, or hot spots that lead to irritation.

Pets who are introduced to the grooming experience early on -whether at-home brushing or visits to a groomer -- will become less nervous and more tolerant of the experience. While groomers expect some skittishness from certain pets, your animal may be refused if he or she is overly aggressive. You may want to con-

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PET IDOL

8 February 2011

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Labrador retrievers: most popular purebred pooch According to the American Kennel Club(R), in 2009 the Labrador Retriever was once again the most popular purebred dog in the United States. That marked the 19th consecutive year Americans embraced Labs more than any other purebred dog. While that's an impressive reign, a more careful examination of AKC statistics reveals the Lab's reign could soon be coming to an end. More U.S. cities featured a breed other than the Labrador Retriever in their top spot in 2009 than in 2008. The German Shepherd, which is now the second most popular purebred dog in the U.S., is gaining ground on the Lab and is the most popular breed in several cities, including Detroit, Honolulu and Miami. Geography also apparently plays a role in popularity, as the city of Los Angeles loves no breed more than it does the English Bulldog, which is the seventh most popular purebred overall.

1

3

2

Labrador Retriever

German Shepherd

English Bulldog

Dachshund

Poodle

Beagle

Shih Tzu

Yorkshire Terrier

Can you guess the order of popularity of the remaining 7 breads of dogs?

Can you guess the order of popularity of the remaining 7 breads of dogs? Golden Retriever

Boxer

1. Labrador Retriever

6.

2. German Shepherd

7.

3. English Bulldog

8.

4.

9.

5.

10. Answers on Page 11


PET IDOL

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

February 2011 9

Raise a green pet . . . I

f you thought that being eco-friendly was reserved solely for the twolegged animals on the planet, then think again. One of the newer trends in the green movement is thinking green for pets as well. Americans spend $36 billion on pampered pets each year, according to MSN Money. These days more and more dollars being are being diverted to products that

are environmentally responsible. But what items can you buy for your pet that are green? Just a quick search will yield many. Biodegradable pet waste bags: It's the law in many communities to clean up after dogs when taking them out for potty breaks. The standard is a plastic bag for retrieving waste. However, we know how good plastic is for the environment. Biodegradable bags

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feel like plastic but are actually made from corn. Look for BioBag for dogs if you're interested in this item. Green cat litter: Advances in cat litter have led to many new products. There are also cat litters that boast that they're environmentally friendly. Elegant Cat(R), for example, is flushable and biodegradable. Made from all-natural materials, the litter does not produce errant dust, and waste clumps can be safely flushed in a toilet. Additionally, the product contains natural chlorophyll to control odors. Recycled pet toys: Manufacturers are turning recycled materials into products for pets. For example, recycled plastic is showing up in dog chew toys. One company, Bark for Peace, is recycling sweaters into dog pull toy ropes. You can also find cat scratching posts made from recycled materials. Clean and green: There are pet groom-

ing supplies that are purported to be ecofriendly, and as a bonus, safer for your pets. Shampoos, toothpastes, deodorant sprays, and more are made from all-natural ingredients that are also safer for the environment. Spot Organics, for example, focuses on organic aromatherapy to help combat canine ailments like fleas, anxiety and bad breath. Organic foods: What pet owner doesn't want to take the best care possible of his or her pet? What a dog, cat or other animal eats can go a long way to affecting the animal's health. Foods untouched by pesticides, hormones and preservatives are very popular. Considering organic food? Newman's Own has developed products based on the latest information in pet nutrition. With just a little research you can take the steps to ensure your pet is living a green lifestyle, too.


PET IDOL

10 February 2011

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Understanding the threat of rabies to pets

O

ver the years, family pets have undergone quite a change. For instance, dogs once relegated to a doghouse in the backyard have now largely migrated indoors, sleeping where the rest of the family sleeps. The migration dogs have made indoors is indicative of a larger trend for domestic animals, wherein pets are now more valued members of the family than ever before. That said, most pet owners would be willing to take any and all steps to improve their pet's quality of life, including the animal's physical health. One of the first things new pet owners are informed of is the importance of vaccinations, including a rabies shot. But is rabies really a concern for domestic pets? Much like the way we treat our pets has changed drastically over the last half century, so, too, has those pets' susceptibility to diseases, such as rabies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from a public health perspective, rabies has changed dramatically since 1960. Before 1960, the majority of rabies cases were in domestic

As more and more pet owners have allowed their dogs to migrate indoors, dogs' and other pets' susceptibility to rabies has decreased.

animals. Conversely, of all the rabies cases now reported annually to the CDC, better than 90 percent occur in wildlife. Humans, too, have less to worry about when it comes to rabies than they did 100 years ago. At the onset of the 20th century, rabies-related

human deaths exceeded the century mark on a yearly basis. However, by the dawn of the 21st century, those figures had dwindled to one or two deaths per year. So why the insistence on giving domestic pets rabies shots? Simply put, rabies is an entirely preventable

viral disease. Regardless of the likelihood of a domestic animal actually getting rabies, it doesn't hurt to get the shot. While less than 10 percent of reported rabies cases each year are in domestic animals, there is still a risk, albeit minimal. And that risk is eliminated if an animal is up-to-date with its rabies vaccination. While the chances are very slim of a domestic animal falling victim to rabies, some animals still do. Pet owners who suspect their pet might have been exposed to rabies should be on the lookout for the following indicators: „ Increased aggression in the animal „ Combative demeanor „ Highly sensitive to stimulation, including touch „ Lethargy „ Weakness in one or more limbs „ Difficulty with normal muscle function, such as raising its head or making noises, due to paralysis of throat and neck muscles To learn more about rabies, speak to your veterinarian or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at www.cdc.gov.

Choosing the right feathered friend W

hen it comes to choosing a bird as a pet, many people are far less experienced than they might be if they were looking to adopt a cat or dog. As a result, those looking to adopt a pet bird are often unsure as to the best way to do so, or if the bird they truly want is going to make a good pet. As the Humane Society of the United States notes, not all birds make appropriate pets. Much like dogs, some birds have greater needs than prospective owners might understand. These can include physical as well as behavioral needs. In addition, it's common for those looking to adopt a pet bird to assume the birds will be low maintenance. However, some birds need lots of attention, something they simply cannot get in the average household. For those serious about adding a pet bird to their home, it helps to understand a few things first. The HSUS offers the following advice to those hoping to find the right feathered friend. „ Go with the standards. Certain birds have a reputation

as good pets. Canaries, finches, parakeets, and cockatiels among others, have a long history of selective breeding in captivity and can be considered domesticated. These species also aren't terribly needy, making it easy for pet owners to meet their basic needs and pick up any necessary supplies at the local pet store. „ Leave wild birds to the wild. While some prospective bird owners envision adding a colorful exotic bird to their homes, oftentimes these birds are not ideal for the average home. Macaws, cockatoos, toucans, and many varieties of parrots have not been captively bred as long as birds like canaries and finches, and therefore might not prove as domesticated. The less domesticated a bird is, the more difficult it's likely to be to live with that bird. Birds can be destructive and noisy and even bite their owners or others. So when looking for a bird, it's best for buyers to find species that are more domesticated and less likely to prove problematic.

„ Visit the shelter. It's easy to assume the local shelter just specializes in cats and dogs, but they may have birds available for adoption as well. Just like cats and dogs, birds at a shelter aren't necessarily problematic. In fact, many animals at the local shelter are there through no fault of their own, whether they're victims of a family's financial problems or a move to a new, less pet-friendly home. Chances are, the shelter has plenty of great birds available. „ Consider the source. When adopting a bird, it's tempting to adopt a beautiful bird without consideration for where it might have come from. However, many exotic birds are an unwilling part of the wild animal trade. These animals might be abused and are often caught and sold illegally. When caught, these beautiful animals might be treated inhumanely. If the bird at the local store was wild-caught or if buyers suspect something isn't quite right, avoid adoption and consult local law enforcement.


PET IDOL

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

February 2011 11

What to do when a pet runs away W

e give them shelter, affection, food, and entertaining toys. But once the front door opens, some pets have their minds set on escape. A cat may dart, a dog may sneak. Either way, getting outdoors unattended can spell trouble. It's impossible to count all of the runaway pets, but estimates suggest hundreds of thousands of pets go missing every year. Many of these pets end up in shelters where, unless they're adopted, they face euthanasia. A lost pet can be devastating for an owner. Pets are extended members of the family, and their presence in the home can be immediately missed. Should a pet get loose, there are some steps to take. „ Cats are territorial and aren't likely to venture where other cats reside. If you know where stray cats often congregate, look elsewhere for your kitty. Bring along a cat carrier and urge the cat inside with a

treat. „ Some dogs will see something interesting in the distance and chase after it. Others will run a perimeter around the neighborhood. Focus on a 5- or 6-block radius around your home to find a lost dog. „ If a pet is located, do not chase the animal. He or she may see it as a game and evade capture. Lure the pet in with a treat. „ Some animals can find their ways home. Give it a little time and the pet might just return home. „ If it's been several hours and

the pet hasn't been found, visit area shelters to see if he or she has been picked up. Check with shelters that aren't in the immediate vicinity, too. Animals can wander great distances when lost. „ Post pictures of the pet around the neighborhood and ask if the mail carrier can distribute "lost pet" fliers. „ Shelters have different rules regarding how long they hold an animal. Some will do so for a few days before putting the animal up for adoption or putting it down if it's

a shelter that euthanizes. Preventing pets from getting lost is the key to avoiding the heartache and lost sleep searching for a missing pet. „ If a dog is allowed to remain outdoors unleashed, do so only in a fenced-in yard. „ Be sure to license and register the pet with the city or town in which you live. Display the license and an ID tag on the pet's collar. „ Use leashes and animal crates when transporting pets to and from the car. „ Invest in a permanent radiofrequency identification microchip. An RFID chip is the size of a grain of rice and is injected under the excess skin by the shoulders of the pet. It contains contact information should the pet be found. Many shelters have the scanners necessary to read the chip's frequency. „ Be aware of your pet when opening the door. Don't leave doors and windows open if your pet is a known escape artist.

Answers to the remaining popular pooches from page 8 are: 4. Yorkshire Terrier 5. Golden Retriever 6. Beagle 7. Boxer 8. Dachshund 9. Poodle 10. Shih Tzu

End-of-Life care for pets A

rguably no aspect of pet ownership is more difficult to cope with than end-of-life care. Be it an elderly pet or one recently diagnosed with a terminal disease, pets are a part of the family no one wants to lose. When a pet is nearing the end of its life, owners must make a difficult decision. Caring for a dying pet can be heartbreaking and might even be painful for the pet as well. If the pain a pet is experiencing is simply too much, then veterinarians will likely recommend euthanasia. The ASPCA offers the following tips to pet owners caring for a pet as it approaches the end of its life. „ Make the pet as comfortable as possible. Pet owners should make their pet's comfort a top priority as the pet nears the end of its life. This includes immediately addressing any medical issues that may arise or recur, as well as creating a warm and comfortable environment for the pet. Provide a well-cushioned and warm sleeping spot to avoid the development of pressure sores, which are common in pets with limited mobility. In addition, routinely check in with the pet to see if there is any wetness or soiling. Incontinence is common among older pets or even younger pets facing the end of their life. „ Determine quality of life. No pet owner wants to euthanize their pet. However, sometimes an older or sick pet's quality of life deteriorates so much that euthanasia should

be discussed with a veterinarian. Before that discussion, pet owners can look for a handful of indicators to determine a pet's quality of life. Among the signs that might indicate a poor quality of life are irritability, restlessness, confusion, loss of appetite, excessive water consumption, seeking out unusual sleeping spots, and avoidance of favorite activities. „ Look for signs the pet is experiencing pain. Older or sick pets may or may not experience pain, but pet owners should be on the lookout anyway. When a pet is nearing the end of its life, it won't necessarily exhibit pain in the same way it has throughout its life. Typically, a healthy pet will whimper or cry when it is in pain. However, a pet approaching the end of its life will not always whimper or cry when it is in pain and might even continue eating and drinking as it normally would. When trying to determine if a pet is experiencing pain, look for the following signs: - excessive panting or gasping for breath - reclusiveness - pickiness with food - reluctance to move If the pet has been diagnosed with a specific condition, ask the veterinarian for signs associated with that condition, as different conditions manifest themselves in different ways. „ Manage any pain in accordance to the veterinarian's

advice. When a disease is diagnosed, a veterinarian will likely give pet owners a plan of action to help the pet. This may include advice on managing pain. A medication may or may not be prescribed, depending on any pre-existing conditions. Whatever the situation, pet owners should stick to the veterinarian's advice. Going off course could be harmful to the pet, and the goal is make its remaining days as enjoyable and comfortable as possible. For more information on caring for sick or elderly pets, visit the ASPCA at www.aspca.org.


12 February 2011

Welcome to Entries ing & Vot

"Pet entries and photo submissions, as well as the voting process, will be conducted through the Herald-Journal and Valley News websites. To enter your pet's photo, go to www.clarindaherald.com or www.valleynewstoday.com and click on the PET IDOL link. Voting can be done through the same link."

PET IDOL

The Valley News/Herald-Journal

Pet Idol 2011 Benefiting Southwest Iowa Humane Society and People for Paws in Shenandoah.

"A feature story about the winning pet will appear in The Herald-Journal and The Valley News after the voting period has come to an end."

Photos may be submitted starting Monday, Feb. 21st thru Sunday, February 13th. Voting begins the next day, Monday, February 14, and continues through Friday, February 25.

HERE IS HOW IT WORKS: Submit your cat, dog, bunny, fish or other furry friend in the contest for $5. When voting begins, view the entries and vote for your favorite. Voting is free and one vote per email address per day may be cast. CAN I STILL PLAY IF THE CONTEST HAS ALREADY STARTED? Yes. As long as it is still within the voting period. ARE THERE PRIZES? Yes. The overall winner will receive $50 in Chamber Bucks ($25 from Clarinda and $25 from Shenandoah).

SVN-CHJ Pet Idol  

Backyard Bird Habitat Backyard Bird Habitat Grooming TGrooming Tips ips Cat vs. DogCat vs. Dog Oral CareOral Care Pg. 5Pg.5 Pg. 6Pg.6 Pg. 3P...

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