Page 1

AGE-RELATED DISORDERS How to spot the signs in your pet


How to keep your cat AND the furniture happy

FEB/MAR 2010


Why your indoor cat needs a physical

WINTER WEATHER Keeping pets active and healthy during the cold weather

PUPPIES AS PRODUCTS Puppy mills exposed

Santa Clarita • Valencia • Stevenson Ranch • Castaic • Canyon Country • Newhall • Saugus


5 Dogs Man’s Best Friend provide more than just a playmate Courtesy of Dr. Foster Smith

6 Age-Related Behavior Getting older gracefully for our pets Courtesy of Dr. Foster Smith

7 Time For A Check-Up

Why your indoor cat needs a physical By Dr. Tracy McFarland

9 Why Cats Scratch How to keep your cat and the furniture happy By Terry Dayton, PhD, C.A.S

11 Tips Handling Emergencies from FEMA on keeping pets safe

before, during and after a natural disaster Courtesy of FEMA,

12 Puppy Puppies As Products mills exposed By Michelle Sathe

13 Understanding Lizard Tail Loss the reasons and

how to care for your pet after the loss Courtesy of Dr. Foster Smith

14 Keeping The Indoor Life of Cats pets active and healthy during the cold weather By Michelle Sathe

15 Great Feeding Wild Birds tips for keeping our outdoor pets happy Courtesy of Dr. Foster Smith

16 Bringing Tropical Fish Home Adding an aquarium brings beauty and fun By Michelle Sathe

There are two means of refuge from the misery of life - music and cats.



Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.


Bridget Alves


Bridget Alves




Michelle Sathe PUBLISHED BY

Pet Me! Publications 661.259.9979 ADVERTISING INFORMATION:

Direct: 818.635.6473 Fax: 866.259.9201

General e-mail: Web-site: Annual Subscription: $10

LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER Hello and happy late New Year! Pet Me! is excited to present our second issue. We thank you for your fabulous feedback on our first magazine and look forward to including some of your suggestions in the near future. If you’re like most people, you’ve made a few resolutions for the New Year, and somewhere near the top of the list would be get into better shape. Well, what better way than to walk your dog or if you don’t have one of your own, volunteer at a local rescue to walk theirs? Dogs get so much out of walking, but we get so much more from them as the Man’s Best Friend article states. We’ll also introduce you to a cat’s need to scratch and what’s hidden behind all of those claw marks. And if you’ve ever sung along to “How Much is That Puppy In The Window?,” we found that the price is way too high, as the “Puppy Mills” article from Best Friends Animal Society illustrates. With the cold winter weather, it makes even more sense than usual to keep your cat indoors - we’ve got some great tips from a local vet about how to keep up with your indoor cats health. If you’re looking to adopt a cat, we feature several from Forgotten Angels Cat Rescue in this issue who are waiting for a home just like yours. Tropical fish can be considered either a hobby or pets - either way they’re beautiful to look at and keep in your home. We’ll show you how to do so with a minimum of fuss and maximum enjoyment. For more exotic types, say those partial to reptiles, check out our story on lizards. Ever wondered what to do when they lose their tail? Find out the answer and dozens of other interesting lizard facts. As always, our magazine is geared to providing the most helpful, current information for pet owners, lovers, and advocates. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.


Bridget Alves

Publisher, Pet Me! Magazine

FEB/MAR 2010


Pet Me! Magazine

Why Man’s Best Friend is…

or over 15,000 years dogs have worked to earn the distinction of being “man’s best friend.” Dogs have not only offered love and affection, but worked side-by-side with their human counterpart for centuries. A vast assortment of studies have been conducted to research the physical, emotional, and social benefits of canine companionship. Physical benefits of dog companionship • Increase longevity after heart attacks. Dog ownership increases the odds for survival in persons who have had a heart attack from 1 in 87 to 1 in 15. • Lower cholesterol and triglycerides. People with pets have been found to have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels when compared to people who did not have pets, even when matched for weight, diet, and smoking habits. • Decrease blood pressure and reduce stress. Studies of people undergoing stress tests or physical examinations have demonstrated that the presence of a dog lowered their heart rate and blood pressure during testing.

Man’s Best Friend

• Increase physical activity and functioning. People who own pets often have better physical health due to the need to exercise and care for their pets. • Reduce medical appointments and minor health problems. The use of prescription drugs and the overall cost of caring for patients in nursing homes dropped in those facilities where companion animals became part of the therapy. • Predict seizures. Some people who have periodic seizures have reported that their dogs can sense the onset of a seizure before they can. Now it has been found that dogs can be specially trained to recognize some type of change prior to a seizure, and signal the owner of the imminent seizure. These dogs are called ‘seizure-alert’ or ‘seizure-response’ dogs, and can be trained to signal their owners from 15 to 45 minutes prior to a seizure. • Alert to hypoglycemia. There are also animals who alert their owners to episodes of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which allows the owner to correct the level before serious symptoms develop.

Emotional benefits of dog companionship • Adjust to serious illness and death. Children often turn to their pet for comfort if a friend or family member dies or leaves the family. Grieving adults who did not have a close source of human support were also found to have less depression if they had a pet. • Be less anxious and feel more safe. Pet owners tend to feel less afraid of being a victim of crime when walking with a dog or having a dog in the home. • Relax and reduce everyday stress. Pets can help us relax and focus our attention away from our problems and worries. • Have physical contact. This ability to have something to touch and pet is very important. More and more studies show how important touch is to our physical and emotional health. • Lift our mood. Pets decrease our feelings of loneliness and isolation by providing companionship to all generations. • Feel less lonely. Pets can help ease the sense of loneliness or isolation we feel.

Continued on Page 7

Pet Me! Magazine™ 5


Consider the following scenario:

Your old dog has never been overly fond of children anyway. He has a dental problem that causes him pain, and arthritis, which makes him unable to move fast. A child comes running up to him and when he normally would just walk away from the child, he is unable to move fast enough, so he snaps at the child.

Is it normal age-related behavior?

Our pets get a little “crotchety” as a natural course of getting older. Older dogs, in particular, can become less tolerant of changes in daily routines.Some normal age-related behaviors can be modified with the same training techniques you would use on a younger

Pet Me! Magazine

pet, but they will entail some work on your part. Keep in mind that your old friend’s reaction time will naturally be slower.

Common age-related behaviors

• Separation anxiety. Older dogs are more sensitive to changes in routine such as your absence or being left alone. This may cause behaviors such as destructiveness, whining or house soiling. For more information, see our article on Separation Anxiety. • Decreased appetite. Older pets tend to eat less, which often means they are not getting the nutrition their bodies need. A vitamin supplement formulated especially for older dogs like Vita-MinTabs Senior will help ensure your older pet gets the necessary vitamins

and minerals his body needs for optimum health. Also, a gravy-like substance added to your dog’s food will help boost his appetite and provide additional nutrients. • Increased sleeping and lower activity levels. • Aggression towards people. The encounter with the child in the beginning scenario is an example of this. • Increase in vocalizations. This may be a result of failing vision or hearing problems or may be part of separation anxiety. • Noise sensitivity. Thunderstorms or fireworks may make your older dog nervous. Factors contributing to these behavior changes include decline in organ function, decline in hearing and vision, and age-related diseases.

Cognitive Disorder (CD): A more serious problem...

The natural slowing of body processes and the decreased blood and oxygen to the brain can lead to a more serious disorder known as a cognitive disorder or CD. Some brain changes that physicians see in Alzheimer’s patients are similar to the brain changes that veterinarians see in CD patients. Signs that the situation may be more serious: • Decreased reaction to stimuli, which you may notice as your old dog not recognizing you, old friends or family members. • Confusion or disorientation. Your dog may get lost in his own back yard or get trapped in corners or behind furniture.

FEB/MAR 2010

• Pacing and being awake all night or a change in sleeping patterns. • Decreased attentiveness or staring into space. • Increased irritability. Although there is no approved CD medication for cats, the use of medications for CD has been shown to be very effective in dogs. The drug Selegiline or L-deprenyl, (brand name Anipryl), although not a cure, has been shown to alleviate many of the symptoms. The dog will have to be given it daily for life, but so far, a lot of dog owners have said that it has made a dramatic improvement in their dog’s behavior and overall condition. Owners also report that their dogs really seem to be enjoying life again. As with all medications, there are side effects, and dogs with certain conditions should not be given Anipryl. Dogs on Mitaban for external parasites should not receive Anipryl. Your veterinarian will discuss the possible side effects with you. If you are concerned that your pet may be experiencing behaviors that go beyond normal aging, talk to your veterinarian; he/she may be able to recommend a treatment that could enhance the quality of life for your loyal companion. ©2009 Drs. Foster and Smith, Inc. Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from ( Free pet supply catalog: 1-800-323-4208

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6 Pet Me! Magazine™

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FEB/MAR 2010


Pet Me! Magazine

Why Indoor Cats Need Annual Checkups

     “My cat is strictly indoors so I didn’t think she needed check ups”.  Every companion animal veterinarian hears variations of this statement over and over, and sadly these well-meaning cat lovers are mistaken.  While keeping your cat indoors will avoid many problems such as cat fight abscesses, ear mites, fleas and car trauma, indoor cats will still benefit from regular yearly exams.      For example, indoor cats are at increased risk for obesity, the number one health problem facing American pets.  During your cat’s yearly exam, your cat’s doctor should assess your cat’s BCS (body condition score).  They should ask about your cat’s diet and discuss with you the nutritional status of your cat.  They may have suggestions for improving your cat’s diet, depending on what else is found during your cat’s exam.      Cats with a predisposition for periodontal (gum) disease might benefit from an all dry diet while an overweight prediabetic cat would benefit from a high protein, low carbohydrate all canned diet.  Some cats develop urinary crystals, which can turn into kidney or bladder stones.  Changing diets early can avoid surgery or life-threatening complications such as urethral obstruction.      Speaking of dental disease, many cats have the first signs of dental disease by three years of age.  During a yearly exam, your veterinarian should carefully examine your cat’s mouth, teeth and gums including under your cat’s tongue.  Besides discussing at home dental care such as tartar-control treats, dental diets, or oral rinses, your veterinarian (who doubles as your cat’s primary dentist) may also advise a dental prophylactic cleaning.  Regular dental care can prevent pain, tooth loss and other complications of periodontal disease (kidney and heart valve infections).

Wendy Roof, CPDT Licensed Guide Dog Instructor Degree in Exotic Animal Training CGC Evaluator

Dog Training and Puppy Socializing

   And last, but not least, even indoor cats need occasional vaccinations, especially against panleukopenia virus, which is deadly and can be tracked home on an owner’s shoes.  Because there are occasional reports of rabid bats in Santa Clarita Valley, every cat should also be vaccinated against rabies.  If your cat is allergic to vaccines, a blood test called a titer can be performed to check your cat’s immune status, to see if some vaccine boosters can be avoided. Dr. Tracy McFarland has spent most of her veterinary career devoted to our feline friends. For more information she can be reached at 661-259-5288 or visit her website @

Caring for cats and the people who love them. Dr. Tracy M

Dr. Rebecca



The Cat Doctor & Friends

26055 Bouquet Canyon Road Santa Clarita, CA 91350 For Appointments Please Call: (661) 259-5288 Jennifer Bisbee, RVT

Peace of Mind Pet Care provides loving, professional, at-home pet care and pet sitting for the Santa Clarita Valley, California area.

For Appointments Please Call:

Whether you're heading out of town, or work late and just need someone to feed, or medicate your pet, Peace of Mind Pet Care will be there when you can't.

(661) 714-2839

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Pet Me! Magazine™ 7


Pet Me! Magazine

Why Man’s Best Friend is… Man’s Best Friend

Hearts In

Continued from Page 3 • Have something to care for. Everyone needs to feel needed and have something to care for. Many elderly citizens or people living alone will tell you their pet gives them a reason for living. • Keep active. Having a pet can help us remain more active. We may not only get more exercise from walking a dog, but we also increase our activity through feeding, grooming, and otherwise caring for our pet. • Have consistency. Pets provide some consistency to our lives. Caring for a pet can significantly affect our routine and gives us something to do and look forward to each day. Social benefits of dogs • Create a sense of closeness and well-being. Families surveyed before and after they acquired a pet reported feeling happier after adding a pet to the family. • Offer a topic of conversation. A study in a veteran’ s hospital showed that the residents had more ~ AUTHOR UNKNOWN verbal interactions with each other when a dog was present in the room than when there was no dog present. Dogs were also shown to increase socialization among persons with Alzheimer’s disease in a Special Care Unit of a nursing home. • Promote interaction. Residents in long-term care facilities were more likely to attend activity sessions when an animal was going to be present.


My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am

Is there any wonder that the bond which began more than 15,000 years ago still exists today? Dogs have an extraordinary affect on many aspects of the human condition. Their ability to act the clown, be non-judgmental, help us feel needed, offer unconditional love and trust, provide an ear to our troubles, and warm fuzzy fur to hold and stroke ensures them the well-deserved title of “man’s best friend.” ©2009 Drs. Foster and Smith, Inc. Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from ( Free pet supply catalog: 1-800-323-4208

FEB/MAR 2010

November 2009


VOLUNTEER Only official pink-ribbon Theatrical Tea walk that OPPORTUNITIES

encourages dogs to participate.

Please join our Circle of Hope’s 6th Annual Walk for Hope 5K on April 17 is paw’sitively pink! Families, teams, and even dogs can join Ralphs Community in the fun and enjoy a walk along the beautiful shores of Program. A portion Castaic Lake. If you and/or your dog can walk for an hour, you can do a 5-K! of your spending Pre-registered humans get a dark green tee shirt and the pooches get a pink goes to COH ribbon neck bandana.every $25 for humans and $5 per dog (must be on a leash), or time $35 andyou $5 aftershop. April 1st. Teams of five or more get a $5-per-person discount. Everyone must People geteach to voteyear. for their five favorite vehicles in the rejoin People’s Choice Car Show along the route of the 5K. Trucks JOIN NOW are included! And there will be a special and motorcycles honor for the top three fundraising Teams. The 5K and Car

Participate Show start at 8:00inamour at lower Castaic Lake scenic area. Day-of registration starts at 7:00 am. Compassionate Angels ProgramAfter the walk, enjoy more of the car show, several ventable settings, each depicting the dors, and gather info from other local non-profits. Hundecade. Jordana Capra comp Become a Member or beone gry? There’ll a tantalizing BBQ lunch by The Friends featuring fromCourt each decade of Castaic Lake for about $5. Oursongs Warrior-Princess Sponsor theof day's festivities. Many guests (made up of three our current clients) will reward dresses the coursethat with aportrayed memento at thea time per Contact us for walkers who finish finish line, thanking you for all of your support.


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Lara Independent WICKLESS Wilkin Scentsy Consultant SCENTED CANDLES 661-263-8598 BUY•HOST•JOIN 8 Pet Me! Magazine™


fundrasing ideas or Proceeds benefit Circle of Hope’s breast cancer clients donations. Perhaps the receiving most medical financial aid, who live, work, or receiveheart-warming treatment in the Santa Clarita Valley. event Share the day of hope. Quick Links of each day was the Contact Circle of Hope reading of an letter atauthentic 661-254-5218 Visit our Website written by an Army or gofriend onlineoftoLouise's register: Email us father during WW II. VENDOR OPPORTUNITIES STILL The writer, anAVAILABLE! Calendar of Italian American Events soldier, wrote to Louise's mother, Facebook telling her how beautiful she was and how lucky she and Board of Directors her husband were to have each other. The Colleen Shaffer actor impersonating the writer cr Executive Director by reading the letter with an Itali Judy Penman the phonetically written words on President both moved and amused at the te this lovely and memorable letter.

FEB/MAR 2010

Pet Me! Magazine

Why cats need to


SCRATCH Contrary to popular belief, cats don’t tear up the furniture or carpets to be vindictive or to sharpen their claws. It is the way that cats communicate with other cats and their owners that the area that they are scratching at is their space or item. It is also a way of grooming. Scratching is often done to remove the old claw sheaths from the front claws, they will often chew on their back one to remove the sheaths. Cats have scent glands in their paw pads. Humans cannot smell these scent signatures but other cats can. Marks left by clawing also let other cats know by sight who owns a given object or area. This is why you will see a de-clawed cat still scratching at furniture or objects.  Many cats love textured upholstery and cardboard because it mimics the texture of tree bark. Once a cat has marked  a piece of furniture or spot of carpet, it’s difficult to get him to stop because his personal scent signature will keep luring him back. Punishment doesn’t work with cats – it just increases anxiety, which can lead to more undesirable behavior such as spraying. It is best to make the area he scratches at less desirable by covering the surface with a material that cats don’t like for a few weeks or so until the habit is broken. Good deterrents include Tinfoil, sand paper or plastic carpet runners with the pointy side up, then clean the area thoroughly to remove any scent. A good product for this is Odor Mute or Nature’s Miracle , both are non toxic.  Cats need to scratch, so providing at least one scratch post is a good idea. Placing it near the cat’s inappropriate scratching area will ensure that the post gets noticed and may help to redirect the scratching behavior.






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There is also a wonderful product called soft paws that are plastic caps that are glued to the tips of your cats nail. They protect your furniture from damage without the stress, pain or expense of de-clawing. De-clawing is only recommended as a last resort if the cat is in danger of losing its happy home. Terry Dayton, PhD, C.A.S

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Pet Me! Magazine™ 9


UPCOMING EVENTS Trusted Vets in the SCV


Best boarding facilities in the SCV

Seco Canyon Animal Clinic

Canine Country Club

27935 Seco Canyon Road, Santa Clarita 661.-296-8848

20341 Blue Cloud Road, Santa Clarita 661-296-0566

The Cat Doctor

Castaic Canine Camp

26055 Bouquet Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita 661.259.5288

Valencia Veterinary Center 23928 Summerhill Lane, Valencia 661.263.9000

VIP Veterinary Hosp.

26111 Bouquet Cyn Rd., Saugus 661-222-PETS (7387)

Great Groomers in SCV Groomingtales

North Ridge Route Road, Castaic 661-257-0957

Pampering Pet Sitters Dogone-it

Marlee 661.251.3873

Happy Paws Pet & House Sitting Services


Dynamic Dog Trainers

17737 Sierra Hwy, Canyon Country 661-299-1189

Lucky K9’s

U-Wash Doggie (3 locations)

Wendy’s Wags & Wiggles

23013 Soledad Cyn. Rd., Santa Clarita (661) 255-9600 24144 Lyons Avenue, Newhall (661) 284-3600 29469 The Old Road, Castaic (661) 257-0695

Valencia’s Dog House

27674 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia (661) 702-0507

818-445-1418 www.luckyk9’ 661-406-4421

SCV Pawpular Pet Suppliers Pet Supply Santa Clarita

26831 Bouquet Canyon Road Santa Clarita 661-296-2654

Fox Feed

17028 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country 661-252-9790

10 Pet Me! Magazine™

Mews & Notes


Simply Perfect Synthetic Grass ForeverLawn Pacific, LLC 661-917-0302

Knock-out Nutritional Supplements Vetraceuticals

888-585-6722 www.myvetra4pets/com

Perfect Petfinder



Survival Necessities Pet-Pac


Friendly Fish Stores Natural Wonders Fish & Pet Supplies

28018 Seco Cyn. Rd. Santa Clarita 661-298-2740

Pet Friendly Property Management Full Service Real Estate Group 27943 Seco Canyon Rd. #518 Santa Clarita, CA 91350 (661) 255-9979

Pet Friendly Happening Hotels Hilton Garden Inn Valencia Six Flags 27710 The Old Road, Valencia (661) 284-3200

Best Western Valencia Inn

27413 Wayne Mills Place, Valencia (661) 255-0555

Remarkable Rescues Brittany Foundation

Agua Dulce 661-713-5240

Forgotten Angels Cat Rescue Acton 661-273-9822

New Leash on Life Newhall 661-255-0097

Second Chance Rescue (Acton) 661-269-1041

Villalobos Rescue Center (Agua Dulce) 310-842-8164

Animal Shelters Castaic Animal Shelter

31044 N Charlie Canyon Rd, Castaic (661) 257-3191

Lancaster Shelter

5210 W Avenue “I,” Lancaster (661) 940-4191

FEB/MAR 2010


Pet Me! Magazine

Making a Plan for Pet Disaster Needs

Plan for Pet Disaster Needs

• Identifying shelter. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to allow pets -- well in advance of needing them. There are also a number of guides that list hotels/motels that permit pets and could serve as a starting point. Include your local animal shelter’s number in your list of emergency numbers -- they might be able to provide information concerning pets during a disaster. • Take pet food, bottled water, medications, veterinary records, cat litter/pan, can opener, food dishes, first aid kit and other supplies with you in case they’re not available later. While the sun is still shining, consider packing a “pet survival” kit which could be easily deployed if disaster hits. • Make sure identification tags are up to date and securely fastened to your pet’s collar. If possible, attach the address and/ or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home. Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes. • Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can’t escape. • Animals in Emergencies for Owners This video, developed by the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) /FEMA, is intended to help pet and livestock owners prepare to protect their animals during emergencies.

This information is provided to us from FEMA for any type of disaster, that could occur anywhere. Here in Santa Clarita we know all too well the necessity of this information. With the fires recently that required emergency relocation of horses and exotic animals that live in the outer areas of SCV, to the large earthquakes there are a constant threats to our well-being, as well as our animals.

Prepare to Shelter Your Pet

• Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter, or animal control office to get advice and information. • If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located. Be sure to research some outside your local area in case local facilities close. • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet’s medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. Include copies in your “pet survival” kit along with a photo of your pet. • NOTE: Some animal shelters will provide temporary foster care for owned pets in times of disaster, but this should be considered only as a last resort. • If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place

your animal in great danger! Confine your pet to a safe area inside -- NEVER leave your pet chained outside! Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water. Remove the toilet tank lid, raise the seat and brace the bathroom door open so they can drink. Place a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located. Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet.

During a Disaster

• Bring your pets inside immediately. • Have newspapers on hand for sanitary purposes. Feed the animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink. • Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.

If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own; and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return. For additional information, please contact The Humane Society of the United States.

• Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs. • In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you. Talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given. Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.

After a Disaster

If after a disaster you have to leave town, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own. • In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood areas. Downed power lines are a hazard. • The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides information about how pet owners should prepare for a natural disaster: fema. gov or (there is more information about how to prepare your pets for a disaster here: getakit/pets.html). While there are many products available for pet survival FEMA does not endorse any product being sold. SURVIVAL KITS FOR YOUR PUP OR KITTY Includes water, food, bowls, first aid kit, collar & leash, sleeping pad, toys, treats, & more


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213-999-3490 Pet Me! Magazine™ 11


What’s a puppy mill? adopting your next pet instead of going to the pet store or buying a puppy online.

It’s easy to find your perfect rescued puppy or dog by visiting the local shelter or try, www., www.pets911. com, or A puppy mill is known as a “commercial dog breeding facility.” Picture hundreds to over a thousand dogs kept in cages in one place. Puppy mills exist for one reason: to make a profit by selling puppies in pet stores and on the Internet. Some puppy mills are worse than others, but all keep more dogs than anyone would have as pets and the dogs don’t live as companion animals. They live in cages in barns and sheds, more livestock than pets. Because the goal is to make a profit, puppy mill owners must cut corners to boost profit. Dogs are kept in cages all the time with just the minimum of space allowed: six inches larger than the dog on all sides. Females are bred as often as possible and when they are no longer able to “produce,” they are discarded. It is no life for man’s best friend. Though cruel and inhumane, puppy mills are legal and regulated by the federal government and some state governments as well. Government regulations, however, do not ensure a humane life for dogs; they do little more than require food, water, and shelter. There are nearly 6,000 federally licensed commercial kennels in the country and all exist to supply the nation’s pet stores with a constant supply of cute puppies. Puppy millers are different from “hobby breeders,” who have a fondness and respect for a particular breed that they want to

12 Pet Me! Magazine™

maintain and share. There are several ways to tell them apart. Puppy mills: • Usually have several breed of dogs for sale, keep a lot of dogs and always have a lot of puppies • Often offer to ship dogs to new owners

You can also contact local breed rescue organizations by searching, entering a city or state, the breed you are looking for, and the word “rescue.” (A note of caution: Breeders have caught on that more people are choosing

• Do no require an application or references from people buying a puppy

• Do not typically screen dogs for genetic defects (eye, joint, hip, and other congenital problems that can be painful and expensive to treat, if treatment is even possible). About four million dogs are bred in puppy mills each year while nearly five million animals are killed in shelters each year. More than 20 percent of dogs in shelters are purebred. You can choose not to support the puppy mill industry by

FEB/MAR 2010

Where pet store & internet puppies come from If you and/or your family have decided you absolutely must have a puppy instead of adopting a mature, fully grown dog, there are humane ways to go about bringing one home. In other words, to adopt rather than shop. First, contact your local shelter to see if they have any available puppies. Locally, Castaic Shelter can be accessed online at http://animalcare.lacounty. gov/locationByCity.asp (click on adoptions, then select Castaic from the drop-down locations menu) or call (661) (661) 257-3191. The Castaic Shelter is located at 31044 N. Charlie Canyon Road, Castaic.

Third, contact a local rescue and see if they have any puppies that may not be featured on their website. Even if they don’t have puppies, they are networked to the shelters and rescues in the area and may know of an available puppy that would be perfect for you.

• Usually will not allow customers to view their property or kennel

• Breed females every time they come into heat so they are always pregnant or nursing

Second, look on,, or for local rescues or shelters that may have puppies. Here, you can narrow your selection to specific breeds, if necessary.

• Sell puppies over the Internet and in pet stores

• Don’t ask buyers to return the dog or contact them at any point if they can’t keep the dog

Pet Me! Magazine

Basset Rescue (Acton) to adopt than buy. If a person is “adopting out” several litters of purebred puppies, has “more on the way,” and doesn’t seem to have adult animals in need as well, then proceed with caution. This may be a breeder that than a rescue. For more information about puppy mills and what you can do about them, go to Best Friends Animal Society can be contacted at (435) 644-2001 or This article originally appeared on Reprinted with permission from Best Friends Animal Society.

(661) 269-2682

The Brittany Foundation (Agua Dulce)

(661) 713-5240

New Leash on Life (Newhall) (661) 255-0097

Second Chance Rescue (Acton) (661) 269-1041

Villalobos Rescue Center (Agua Dulce) (310) 842-8164

FEB/MAR 2010


Pet Me! Magazine

How It Works Lizards that can drop their tail have “fracture planes” spaced regularly down the length of the tail. These are either between vertebrae or in the middle of each vertebra, depending on the species, and it is at these points where the break can occur. Skin, muscles, blood supply, nerves, and bone separate when the tail is dropped. After it falls to the ground, the tail starts to wiggle and move on the ground, hopefully giving the lizard a chance to escape while the predator is focused on the moving tail.

What Effects It Has

Tail loss, though natural, does cause some issues for the lizard. First, it will generally affect the lizard’s sense of balance, and it may have trouble climbing or walking regularly until it adjusts to the lack of a tail. For a lizard that stores fat in its tail, it also results in the loss of critical fat deposits. Juvenile lizards stop growing while the tail is healing and regenerating, and, in adults, the reproductive processes stop. Healing and regenerating the tail also takes a significant amount of energy, or protein, so lizards that have dropped their tail are at a greater threat for nutritional deficiencies. Finally, losing their tail makes a lizard more susceptible to predators, as it no longer has anything to drop if it is caught to give itself time to escape.

What You Should Do

If your lizard drops its tail, there are a number of things that you should do to ensure it recovers as quickly as possible without any complications. When it happens: Soak the lizard in a mixture of warm water and Betadine that is chest high for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Change the water if the lizard goes to the bathroom in it, or if it gets too cool. • After soaking, flush the end of the tail with Betadine. • Put triple antibiotic ointment on the stump. • Put triple antibiotic ointment on the end of the tail every night for one week or for as long as it takes the end of the tail to heal over.

Lizard Tail Loss:

Why It Happens & What To Do Many lizards have developed a defense mechanism called “autotomy,” or, more simply, they are able to drop their tail when they are threatened by a predator. These lizards’tails often have aspects that draw a predator’s attention, such as being brightly colored, having sharply contrasting colors or patterns, or moving when the lizard is otherwise still. Though this is a natural reaction to what the lizard perceives as a threatening situation, it is still stressful for the lizard, and there are things that you should do to facilitate proper healing and, for some species, regrowth. To promote quick healing and regrowth: • K eep the enclosure clean and spotless to prevent contamination of the wound and infection. • Provide a proper diet to ensure that your lizard gets the nourishment it needs and heals as quickly as possible. • Make sure that your lizard gets enough calcium, as hypocalcemia can delay the healing process. • Maintain the environment in the habitat properly. • Avoid putting your lizard in stressful situations. We recommend maintaining temperatures at the upper end of your lizard’s optimal temperature range. Keep the setup of the enclosure simple so you can clean it easily, but be sure to provide the necessities, such as a hide box and some form of safe substrate, like cage carpet. If the tail break is incomplete, or if the break was very close to the body, schedule a veterinary appointment as soon as possible. Incomplete tail breaks may require stitches or amputation by your veterinarian, and a

break that is close to the body may bleed profusely, requiring stitches to close the wound. A tail that has to be amputated by a veterinarian can still grow back.

What Happens After

As the break heals, you should expect to see the exposed muscle bundles fold over the bone that is showing. The end will dry out, forming a cap over the stump, and then skin will start to grow over that. There will

be some swelling initially, but if there is any swelling at the break site that has not gone down within one week, schedule a veterinary appointment. Many lizards will regenerate their tail, especially if they are young lizards. However, the tail is generally not the same length or color as it was before, and it may have abnormal scales or patterns. A tail that has been regenerated has a rod of cartilage in it rather than bone, and it usually cannot be dropped again. If the tail is going to regenerate, it should do so quickly, assuming that the level of supportive care is adequate.

How You Can Prevent It Since a lizard can drop its tail even if the tail hasn’t been touched, it’s important that you take care not to startle your lizard or make it feel threatened. Take time when you first get your lizard to learn how to interact with it and handle it correctly. Never hold your lizard by his tail, and never try to catch him by it. Once your lizard is comfortable with you holding it, you can stroke it down the length of its back and tail to get it used to being touched like that. Tail loss is natural and very common, and with the proper care, your lizard will quickly recover. ©2009 Drs. Foster and Smith, Inc. Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from ( Free pet supply catalog: 1-800-323-4208

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Pet Me! Magazine™ 13


Pet Me! Magazine

The Indoor Life: Keeping Your Cat Happy

FEB/MAR 2010


With the cool winter weather, now is a great time to bring your cat indoors full-time if it isn‘t already. Contrary to popular belief, indoor cats can be kept very happy with a regular diet or playing, stimulation, and exercise that simulate the exploration and hunting opportunities found outdoors. Not only is it warmer inside, your cat will also protected from native predators. The Humane Society of the United States provides the following tips for safely confinng your cat in a fun, interesting environment that satisfies all their needs. It helps if you start your cat young, as a kitten, as they usually have no desire to go outdoors, but older cats can learn new tricks. FENCE ME IN Create a screened porch or something similar so your cat can experience the outdoors safely. Always be present to prevent other animals from entering your yard and cat-proof the area by securing any potential escape routes and making toxic plants, garden chemicals, and other dangerous objects inaccessible. (Humane Domains can be purchased online at HANG OUT Create the perfect sunny napping spot for your kit by installing an indoor perch near a window that receives a lot of light. TREE’S COMPANY Invest in a ready-made cat tree or kitty condo found at pet stores or make your own. Sizes range from a few feet high up to floor to ceiling. This provides climbing opportunities for your cat and if you locate it near a window, the chance to watch the world pass by outside. PLAY TIME Spend ten to fifteen minutes each day to play with your cat. There are several different types of toys that will encourage your cat to stalk, chase, pounce, and kick, or you can invent your own with string, paper bags, and cardboard boxes. Make sure to put away all toys when you are unable to supervise and rotate toys on a regular basis to keep kitty’s curiosity piqued.

14 Pet Me! Magazine™

OUTDOORS INDOORS Cats love to graze, so plant some cat grass indoors (available at pet supply stores). CLEAN HOUSE No one likes a dirty bathroom, including your cat. Make sure to clean their litter box daily to remove clumps and waste, weekly to replace litter. WALK THIS WAY A cat on a leash? It’s possible and good exercise for your cat, but the training requires time and patience. Also, make sure there are no loose dogs in the neighborhood that can attack or startle your cat. ID, PLEASE Cats can be wily, sneaking out through open windows or doors so whatever access your cats have to the outdoors, make sure they have a collar with an identification tag or better yet, have them micro-chipped. If your cat should get lost, contact your local animal shelter immediately.

FEB/MAR 2010


Pet Me! Magazine

Valencia’s DogHouse Full Service Dog Grooming

Fall is the perfect time to revitalize your backyard bird feeders. Just because the colors of summer have begun to fade, it doesn’t mean the variety of seeds you offer your winged and wild neighbors has to follow suit. True, suet cakes and sunflower seeds – both high in fat and energy – are excellent feed choices that can help most bird species prepare for and survive the coming winter. But, by also keeping other high quality seed mixes available, your backyard is sure to be a winter hotspot for a variety of wild birds. The key is to find the perfect balance of quantity and quality of offered seeds. Though a flock of finches may have devoured an entire tube feeder worth of thistle on a weekly basis during the summer, they may only eat a portion of that as fall turns into winter. In addition, some seed and mix varieties may spoil faster in the cooler, moisture varying weather, which creates unnecessary waste and could potentially harbor diseases. Simply continue to monitor feeding activity at each of your bird feeders and adjust the offered seed levels accordingly.


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Similarly, the style of bird feeder you maintain doesn’t need to change throughout the year either. Birds, such as mourning doves and juncos, that tend to ground feed don’t change their preferences just because the ground is covered with leaves or snow. True, as leaves or snow begin to fall and potentially fill the feeder, maintaining a ground-style feeder requires a bit more upkeep. But, the rewards of keeping birds in your yard throughout the fall and winter far outweigh the short time it takes each day to clean and replenish your bird feeders.

THERE’S MORE TO FEEDING THAN JUST FOOD Keeping your wild bird neighbors well fed with a variety of high quality seeds is only part of the year-round bird feeding equation. The best bird feeders are not singular additions randomly placed in your backyard. Instead, the most visited and successful bird feeders are part of a welcoming environment that includes water, shelter, and natural food sources. Whether you’ve been birding for years or are just beginning to forage into this exciting hobby, keep birds at your feeders during the fall, winter, spring, and summer with: • Fresh water for drinking and bathing • Ample cover, preferably provided by native plants and landscaping • Natural food sources, such as berries, nuts, and fruits, from native plants ©2009 Drs. Foster and Smith, Inc. Reprinted as a courtesy and with permission from ( Free pet supply catalog: 1-800-323-4208

Pet Me! Magazine™ 15


Pet Me! Magazine

FEB/MAR 2010

Adding Tropical Fish to Your Home

sift through with your fingers to get it really clean. To start creating your aquarium, add gravel and anchor any decorations firmly. You can now add treated water (following directions from treatment product label or the advice of the store manager) about halfway up the tank, stopping to ensure you like the look of the tank. If not, make any changes before filling completely. Arrange the hood over the aquarium and remaining equipment, then plug into a power strip.

By Michelle Sathe Colorful. Beautiful. Relaxing. An aquarium full of tropical fish can not only enhance your home, it can enhance your life. Studies have shown that tropical fish owners have lower blood pressure, are less stressed, and are healthier in general than those than those that don‘t have an aquarium in their home. Tropical fish can be the perfect, semi lowmaintenance pet choice for the right household. If you’ve been thinking about taking on some tropical fish, there are many aspects to consider. First, how big of a tank do you need? That depends on how many fish you’d like to keep, however, a good rule of thumb to start is 10 to 20 gallons. Do some research before you buy, either online or at a reputable pet or tropical fish store, to determine what kind of fish you’ll want and to make sure they are compatible in a tank.

Next, consider the area for your aquarium. It should be close to electrical cords and if at all possible, close to water to make refilling and cleaning as convenient as possible. Make sure the stand or whatever you choose to place the tank on top of is sturdy and able to hold the weight.

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16 Pet Me! Magazine™

Now you’re ready to purchase the equipment, but not the fish (you’ll need a few days to test the tank and treat the water first). Your list should include: aquarium, gravel (approximately a pound per gallon of water), pump, filter, heater, light, hood, power and power strip, water treatment, a net, algae scraper or scrubber, gravel vacuum, buckets, and any decorations. Using only water, wash out the aquarium thoroughly, rinsing several times, and set it up in its designated area to observe overnight for leaks. If it’s leak-free, remove the water and start washing everything that’s going into the tank, again with just water, to remove any hints of soap or potential toxins. Put the gravel in a strainer and

Some experts recommend waiting a week or two for the water to stabilize prior to adding your new fish, but check with the store manager for their input. Once you are ready to purchase your tropical fish, start with one or two at a time, then slowly add to your collection for optimal tank health. While the benefits of tropical fish are many, ownership does have it’s requirements. Fish need to be fed daily. Water should be changed every one to two weeks, changing out the water in smaller increments and cleaning products should only be purchased at pet stores; traditional products are toxic in a tank environment and can kill fish. To learn more visit, or visit your favorite local pet or tropical fish store.

FEB/MAR 2010


Pet Me! Magazine


Makes about 80 (4-inch) biscuits 2C Beef or Chicken Broth (Preferably ‘Better For Bullion’) 4C Flour (Wheat or White) 1/2C Raw Wheat Germ 1/2C Corn Meal + more for rollling surface 1/2C Finely Chopped Parsley 1tsp Salt 1/3C Safflower or Canola Oil 1/3C Honey Topping: 1 egg lightly beaten with 1tsp water 1. Heat broth in small saucepan on low 2. Into large bowl, sift all dry ingredients. Add broth, oil and then - using the same measuring cup - add the honey (honey will slide right out of the cup!) Knead well, until soft sticky dough is formed 3. Separate into two balls. Cover dough in same bowl with damp kitchen towel, let stand for 20 minutes. 4. Remove one ball at a time, place on cutting board sprinkled with plenty of corn meal. Roll out to less than 1/4” thick. Use cookie cutter or cut into 1x4” pieces. Place on foil lined baking sheets. 5. Brush tops with egg mixture. Place in center of pre-heated oven. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. 6. Reduce heat to 250° for another 30 minutes or until golden brown.


Many thanks to MaeZ for sending us her favorite homemade dog treat recipe! If you would like to share your recipe with us just email it to or visit us on Facebook, become a fan and post your recipe there along with a picture of your best smile… just like MaeZ’s!


CANINE CAMP Castaic Canine Camp is literally a home away from home for dogs

Let’s face it, when it comes to your canine children, you want the best for them. A place where the love and attention they need and want is guaranteed. Castaic Canine Camp sits on 17 pristine acres of land adjacent Castaic Lakea. Castaic Canine Camp offers boarding, daycare, training facilities, and services for all ages, breeds and sizes of canines. Castaic Canine Camp accepts furry guests for a day visit or extended stay, and offers inter-action with other dogs or separate accommodations according to your pet’s special needs...and your needs for them.

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Pet Taxi Pet taxi is for those of you who know your pet is well to stay at home while you're gone for the day. But you know you can't make it on time to take your pet out where they need to go. We provide transportation to vet's office, groomer's, friend or relative's house, and even the airport. Wherever your pet may need to go or be picked up we can transport him. This service is not only for dogs, we also provide transportation for livestock. Also we can pick-up and deliver any supply you may need for your livestock and house pets. Rates depend on mileage, please call for more details.

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Pet Me! Magazine™ 17

Sheba The Rainbow Bridge “There’s a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge, because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge is a verdant land of meadows, hills, and valleys with lush green grass. When a beloved pet passes, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. Old and ill and frail animals are made whole. They play all day with each other in the beautiful sunshine. They are happy and content, but there is one thing missing. They are not with their special person who loved them on Earth. So, each day, they run and play until the day comes when suddenly, one stops playing and looks up! The nose twitches! The eyes are staring! And, this one suddenly runs from the group! You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, you take him or her into your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet. Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated…”


Stoli Sickafoose 1994-2009. In memory of the scrappy, stubborn, loving, yet loyal best friend, “first son”, and “big brother” that our family could have ever had. We’ll miss you.. Love the Sickafoose Family!

Adopt Me!


Author Anonymous

Adopt Me!


She’s 11 mos old. Spayed, up to date on shots. loves everyone. Must go to a very active home-lots of energy to burn! Having a treadmill for her to use will be a plus! She was found on the freeway in the City of commerce. TO ADOPT SUMMER, please call Precious Pets @ 661-296-2020.

It is with a heavy heart that we had to put our beloved family dog Sheba to rest on January 8, 2010. Sheba was raised as our first child. We rescued her from an abandoned litter that was taken to a home in Valencia, in February of 1997. Sheba became our children’s best friend an companion. Unfortunately, Sheba had a lump which was diagnosed as cancer. Sheba will be forever in our heart and soul. We already miss her running out of the garage when we come home, “talking” to us in the morning to greet us when we wake up, and keeping the bunnies, gophers and mice out of our yard! We are hoping that she has found her previous companion, Bear, and their grandpa is feeding them table scraps as he loved to do. Goodbye our dear Sheba – you will be greatly missed!

She’s 4 years old and was given her name for becoming a surrogate mother to newborns that had lost their mother. She is very loving and sweet. Is fine with smaller dogs. TO ADOPT MERCY, please call Precious Pets @ 661-296-2020.

Winnie. D.S.H 2-3 yr old spayed female. Shots current Winnie was found in an abandoned house- the family moved out and left her behind. A realtor found her and because she was so scared it took her almost a week to catch her. She drove back to that many times until she was able to rescue her and brought her to Precious Pets. Winnie is a LAP CAT, loves to cuddle! TO ADOPT Winnie, Please call please call Precious Pets @ 661-296-2020.

Adopt Me!


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February/March 2010 Issue Pet Me! Magazine  
February/March 2010 Issue Pet Me! Magazine  

Your Guide To All Things Pets. Pet Food Allergies - How to spot the signs in your pet. Cat Scratch Fever? how to keep your cat AND the furni...