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Horse Sense

Bonding through affection and proper grooming

Dogs on Deployment Who is looking after the pets of our serving military?

Simple Saltwater John Carlin’s easy steps to getting your aquarium started

Tortoise Time

Which species is right for you?

Made for TV

Does your pet have star power?


Westminster The dog that filled the void in Bruce Littlefield’s heart

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Welcome Pet Lovers To say the least it has been a long cold winter for us here in the northeast. Now, it is time enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and warm weather. It is time to renew your body and soul. Take a long walk, or a nice jog. Relax by a lake or on your patio. Hit the beach or the trails. Gather with friends or family and find your own little oasis. Whatever your speed, enjoy the days ahead and share it with the people and the pets you love. Yes, the pets too! They love the fresh air and spring Higgins enjoying the Spring weather renewal as much as we do. Your dog or cat would love some exercise, and according to Sarah Hodgson’s “Fun in the Sun” article so would your lizard! Also Lise Pratt’s article on how your puppy can thrive will give you some pointers on bringing your new pup along with you on your adventures. Learn about the winning pet products in Doug Staley’s home that make the spring and summer extra special for his pack. Whatever you do, think about everyone’s safety and have some fun in the sun. In the mood for a new pet or hobby this season? Learn about what it takes to house a tortoise, start a small salt-water tank, feed a new parrot, or get a kitten. It’s all here. We are so happy to have Bruce Littlefield with us in this issue. Besides being “the great modern-day Erma Bombeck,” he has a great story to share on his wonderful friend, Westminster. Look for their book The Bedtime Book for Dogs in your favorite store. It would be a great summertime bedtime read for your child and a great beach/picnic read too! So, praise the sunshine, breathe in the fresh air, kick up your heels, and get out there with your pet friends to enjoy the season!

So, praise the sunshine, breathe in the fresh air, kick up your heels, and get out there with your pet friends to enjoy the season!

Doreen SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | NY PETS Magazine

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Table of Contents NY PETS Volume 2, Number 3 (SPRING/SUMMER) 2014






Features 7 Fun in the Sun Our pets love the great outdoors – even the lizard 11 Tortoise Time Which species is right for you? 16 Parrot Nutrition Care tips for a truly unique pet 23 Red and Blue Enjoying colorful blue jays and cardinals 29 Finding Westminster The dog that filled the void in Bruce Littlefield’s heart 2

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NYpets Publisher Alan Luff Associate Publisher Doreen Luff Contributing Writers John Carlin Julie Feinstein Dr. Suzanne L. Fox Jose and Susan Gueits Bettie Hamilton Sarah Hodgson Bruce Littlefield Cathryn (“Cat”) Long Dr. Katy Nelson PIJAC Lise Pratt Dawn Russell Alisa Sieber-Johnson Katya Sniderman Doug Staley Robert Stephenson Dr. Andrew Thayer Francis R. Yupangco



Photography John Carlin Julie Feinstein Integrity Imaging Alisa Sieber-Johnson Advertising Sales Alan Luff Production The Magazine Shoppe Editor Steve McNeill Creative Director/ Production Coordinator Eric Pezik Art Director Patti Whitefoot-Bobier COPY EDITOR Barb Chambers Director of Development & New Publications Sarah Freeman TRENDS EDITOR Katya Sniderman Winning Pet Product Editor Doug Staley Published by NY Pets is published two times a year by AKUSA Publishing Inc. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Phone: 845-721-5765 Fax: 845-268-7844 Email: Advertising:

49 Departments 4 Winning Pet Products Six items that can enhance the life of your pet 20 CRITTER CHATTER Our pet experts answer questions from our readers 27 Pet Workout Sharing an exercise routine with your dog 36 Flakey Feeding Solutions to healthy, happy and colorful fish 37 Dogs on Deployment Who is looking after the pets of our serving military? 41 Simple Saltwater John Carlin’s easy tips on setting up your aquarium


45 Cat Health Secrets to having a happy feline 49 Horse Sense Bonding through affection and proper grooming 54 Chicken Addiction The guide to raising hens at home 57 Legislation Watch Patchwork of local ordinances could affect you 59 PUPPY RULES Top three things you can do to help your new pup THRIVE 68 Made for TV Does your pet have star power? 71 Trends New products that make pet ownership easier SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | NY PETS Magazine

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WINNING PET PRODUCTS Six items that can enhance the life of your pet Doug Staley

It is no great secret that after this past winter we are all ready for spring and summer and some great weather. Part of my springsummer cleaning ritual involves the cat litter box, which we know can be an unpleasant task. This year I am better armed with a great new cat product that has hit the market. Dazzle! contains ODOGard® which is the most effective odor-removing technology on the market.

DAzzle! Litter box and litter disposal system by Precision Pet is a pretty amazing product. When I saw this hooded litter box, I’m like, “okay” it’s stylish with its sleek lines and smart design. However, what really blew me away was what is hidden in the design of the box. It contains a bottle of Dazzle! odor-eliminating spray. Dazzle! contains ODOGard® which is the most effective odorremoving technology on the market. The spray is water-based, non-toxic, and biodegradable. If you smell odor in the box, you simply press the button twice. Within seconds, the smell is gone.

Flea and tick season is here and you must consider protecting your pet; hence, our next two products.

I put the Seresto collar on at the beginning of flea season and it just keeps on working until winter.

SeReSto® From Bayer comes an exciting development in flea and tick control, giving you the performance you expect from topical treatments, in a convenient easy-to-use collar that lasts up to eight months. How does it work? Bayer has taken the active ingredient from their product Advantage, along with another ingredient that kills and repels ticks. It is embedded into the matrix of the plastic-like material. Due to the nature of the material that the collar is made of, the active ingredients are continuously and slowly released for several months. Which leads us to another winning flea and tick product:



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It is made with a plant-based formula… which is proven effective in controlling fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.

Alzoo Alzoo is a natural repellent system for cats and dogs. It is made with a plantbased formula (active ingredients geraniol, citronella oil, and cinnamon oil) which is proven effective in controlling fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Popular in Europe, it is now available in America. They have collars that last four months and a topical (geraniol, peppermint oil) which can be combined for the proper level of protection. Collars are waterproof but for dogs that swim frequently, you must reapply the topical every two weeks. They also have a repellent spray that can be put on before walks or to spray on bedding. Whichever way you go, you want to protect your pet this flea and tick season. So after the parasite protection, we are ready to enjoy the great outdoors which brings us to our next winning products:

… the retractable lead gives your dog mobility but retracts as the dog shortens its run.

Retractable tie outs I was amazed how many of my suburban clients aren’t fenced in so I thought the retractable outdoor tie out from Howard Pet Products would help get dogs the outside playtime they so cherish. Even apartment dwellers can benefit from this as well. What makes this product unique is that unlike a traditional tie out cable that is always extended, the retractable lead gives your dog mobility but retracts as the dog shortens its run. The tie out neatly stores itself in the cassette until ready for use. No more trip wire. When cutting the grass, you won’t cut the cable unsuspectingly with the mower. You can even take this product “on the go.” Available in the traditional stake in ground or the mount on house, porch, stairs, or deck version. Made for small to large dogs, it is durable and something that can enhance the quality of outdoor play for your dog.





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It is designed to keep your hand sanitary and eliminate the “multiple pile dive routine”. tHe SHmitt- “tAKiNG tHe eW out oF Poo”. So here’s the shtory and that’s no typo, The Shmitt is a hybrid mitt/glove that exposes just the fingertips similar to a traditional glove, but is webbed between each finger. The glove gives the fingertips the dexterity to easily pick up, while the webbing between the fingers provides the surface area needed to maintain the waste securely in the glove. The Shmitt provides enough length to safely lift the base of the glove up and over the hand, essentially turning the glove inside out to safely secure the waste for proper disposal. It is designed to keep your hand sanitary and eliminate the “multiple pile dive routine”. After trying it out, I agree it is easier to use than a grocery bag or some of those other pick up bags that are hard to use because they are undersized. It comes with 15 gloves and with dispenser and refills are 120 count. Now are you ready for some real fun and adventure? check out this next winning product.

alcott afoot has already inspired many to turn their dog walks into adventures. Alcott Alcott offers dogs and their owners a complete line of gear and accessories to turn everyday walks into extraordinary adventures. Based on the book alcott afoot, a story about Alcott a dog and his travels across the globe with his best friend Elsa. During the journey, Alcott experiences fun and excitement like never before; but he also learns some important lessons about friendship, adventure, and life. alcott afoot has already inspired many to turn their dog walks into adventures, whether those be near or far. The line is broken down into 5 categories as follows: Storybook features products from the alcott afoot storybook, which introduced the company’s iconic canine, Alcott, on his worldwide adventure that started in his neighborhood and continues across the globe. Alcott is available as a plush toy for your dog as well. essentials includes everything an owner needs to turn everyday walks into exciting new adventures. With attention to reflective materials, extra-soft linings, and durable materials, the dog-walking line goes beyond the basic collar and leash to the next generation of outdoor safety and security (Including visibility vests for dog and owner). traveler provides both tourists and globetrotters a selection of accessories for every dog’s comfort during overnights and extended stays, including car safety straps, travel anxiety treats, car beds, and protective helmets. The adventure helmet, bomber jacket, and the doggie UV goggles are a hoot. explorer offers canine camping and hiking gear that is a sturdy and safe counterpart to what humans use. The collection includes sleeping bags, reflective backpacks and boots designed to protect the pads of a dog’s paws. They even have a “pup tent” for your friend to take a snooze. mariner features items for dogs with an affinity for water – from the splashiest to the shyest. Life jackets and inflatable dog pools are designed for people who want to bring their dogs along on their aquatic outings. They even make a shade canopy to keep your pet cool and out of the sun on hot days. The company has really used their heads on this line! They are trying to increase the human/pet bond while, at the same time, produce quality products based on a book the whole family can enjoy. Do you have an idea for a great product for review? e-mail Doug at Doug Staley aka “d’Petguy” is a groomer, breeder, pet sitter, pet petailer, and multiple pet owner. A graduate of the Nash Academy of Animal Arts, his passion for animals has spanned almost four decades.



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Fun in the Sun Our pets love the great outdoors – even the lizard Sarah Hodgson

On any given day, one of my family members is assigned the task of playing with the lizard. Each participant chooses either the grass or sandbox.


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es, I have four dogs who need their daily dose of stimulation. Cats are also a part of our landscape. I’ve got tunnels in the backyard and playground equipment that satisfies both kids and dogs, but honestly, it is the lizard, peering out from inside his glassy habitat that routinely makes me feel most guilty. Perhaps I’ve taken anthropomorphism to a whole new level, but when I look at any of our pets (reptiles, mammals, and rodents included) I feel responsible — not only for their physical well-being, but for their emotional well-being too. So how do I cure my angst and why exactly do I feel pressured to enhance the playscape of every living creature in my care? Well, the why is simple…or sort of simple. Why? If living things are restricted, their muscles atrophy and a type of boredom sets in. As anyone who breathes knows, a little boredom is a good thing, but too much of it can make you delusional. Want more reading material? Dr. Jaak Panksepp lays it out in his book Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions (though you might need a college degree to understand some of the passages), and Temple Gran-


din (my personal hero) describes it well in her book Animals Make Us Human. In short, Dr. Panksepp cites many animal emotional, states are the root of all behavior. While each are present, the two mandatory for balanced living are seeking (as in food, water, and shelter) and play. So if we equate reptilian play as freedom/exploration, and mammalian play as interaction between familiar individuals, you are the “Why.”

If living things are restricted, their muscles atrophy and a type of boredom sets in. How? How did I cure my angst and just what did I do with a household of varying species to satisfy each individual’s urge on any given day? Let’s start with my toughest customer – Rocket, the lizard. For Rocket, I marched down to the pet store and purchased a lizard harness. They really do make such things. And now, Rocket our bearded dragon enjoys daily excursions. If

he is not better off for it, I most certainly am. Indoors in the cold weather, outdoors when the sun is beaming, Rocket, who was becoming aggressive, has mellowed into a fascinating family pet. Professionally, as a lifestyle pet coach and dog trainer, I routinely listen to my clients lament about their own shortcomings with their pets. According to them, their cats seem bored and their dogs need more attention, more training, more exercise… Or do they? Commercialism and the media have been quite effective in convincing the entire Northeast population that anything short of buying their dog a treadmill, their cat mechanical toys, and serving organic pet food passes as neglectful. The truth is, cats sleep a lot and dogs that have the brain capacity of a two-year-old child need a balance of interaction, exercise, and uninhibited play. Key word: balance. Few people know that dogs, like people, can become exercise junkies, equally addicted to hour-long jaunts at the dog park, 90-minute hikes or routine 5ks if conditioned to this level of stimulation daily. This is fine if you are, in


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fact, an exercise junkie who has the time to devote to this routine endeavor, but it might relieve you to know that excessive exercise is not necessary for a dog’s happiness. While there is some truth to the idiom, “A tired dog makes for a happy family,” dogs who are not conditioned as athletes can meet their daily dose of stimulation with two bouts of play in the backyard or by a short romp with a neighbor’s dog. Extended trips to the dog park and marathon-worthy laps should thus be the exception, not the rule. And the amount of exercise is greatly impacted by the type of dog you shelter. Personally speaking, my 100-pound shepherd needs about four times as much running time as my little 10-pounder. Of course, summertime brings its own challenges for dog and cat owners alike as the outdoor weather is simply too warm to expose any living being to prolonged outings. Fun feather-on-a-stick cat toys and catnip-laced balls can be propelled

through the air or on the ground to stimulate a cat when he wakes. Dogs should be exercised in the early morning or evening after the sun has dipped down, and provided an endless supply of water, shade, or ideally air

conditioned spaces. All pets enjoy interaction, but time can just as easily be devoted (as it is in our home) to teaching pets Silly Pet Tricks, like jumping through a hoop, rollover or “Hot Dog” — my summertime version of play dead. (Dog Tricks and Agility for Dummies would be a great read.) So while my engineering-minded son is dutifully building a miniaturized treadmill with his Erector set to occupy his lizard, you can think equally creatively about how to stimulate your pets throughout the warm months ahead. Though not created equally in size and mental acuity, all pets have the right, at least in my opinion, to a life balanced with love, play, and a healthy dose of freedom. Note about summer and pets: As summer heat waves take hold and temperatures spike, the dilemma of regulating body heat becomes a canine’s chief concern. With few pores on their body to release perspiration, it can be metaphorically likened to

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our wearing a fur coat 24/7. As you’re enjoying the pleasures of this season, keep these points in mind to make sure your dog is not only safe, but comfortable, too.

Access to water Place dishes of fresh water indoors and out. If you prefer your dog not drink from toilets, fountains or pools, have a large dish along side each of these locations. Should your daily fun include an excursion, take a collapsible bowl and a bottle of clean water with you.

• Keys in the car

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While I’d support a law mandating pets not be in cars when the temperature peaks 60, if you must bring your dog in the car, pack an extra set of keys in the glove compartment. If you need to leave your dog in the car for any reason, leave the air conditioner on. A car can overheat in minutes.

• Slowing metabolism During the hot months, your dog’s metabolism will slow down naturally. Do not be alarmed if their food consumption drops or their interest in exercise and play dwindles, especially during the hottest part of the day.

• Feel the pavement Your dog’s “bare” paws are the most sensitive part of their body. If walking on pavement, place the palm of your hand down before forcing your dog to follow you. Too hot? Choose a cooler time to walk or find a shaded pathway at a local park.

• Access to shade and pools of water When leaving your dog alone, a cool indoor location is ideal. If forced to spend time out of doors, provide access to shade, a shallow pool to lie in, and plenty of fresh water to drink. NYP Sarah Hodgson is an author of several dog books and Huffington Post blogger but still loves her work as a dog trainer and an associate certified dog behavior consultant (IAABC). She’s available for private lessons, group dog training classes, lectures and media appearances in Westchester, Putnam, and Fairfield Counties. Live outside the tri-state area? Schedule a phone consultation to discuss frustrations or pre-dog or puppy questions or set up dog-training lessons via Skype. You and your dog will be glad you did!



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Time for

Tortoise Which species is right for you? Robert Stephenson

As an avid breeder and collector of chelonians, I’ve always found turtles and tortoises to be some of the most amazing animals on the planet. From an architectural point of view, they are definitely amongst the most sound. In this article I’ll discuss the keeping of tortoises and terrestrial box turtles and save aquatic turtles for another day as there is so much to say about both.

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ost people can remember back to their childhood and the story of The Tortoise and The Hare. I remember falling in love with the slow-little-shelled hero the first time I heard the tale. I also remember immediately knowing I’d like to keep one and asking my dad if we could get one. He said we could start looking and left it at that – then it happened! On a sunny Saturday afternoon, the most beautiful bright orange and yellow Eastern Box Turtle walked across my backyard and into my life. Without hesitation, I quickly grabbed this little gold beauty and ran for the house. “I found a tortoise, can I keep it, can I keep it?” I emphatically screamed to my parents. After a few minutes of assessing the situation, my father said yes. What will we keep it in? My father then explained to me how he’d kept a tortoise back in England as a boy and what he and my granddad did to keep him in the yard. He then proceeded to drill a hole in one of the rear marginal scutes. He added a brass ring and about a 30-foot piece of cakebox string and tied the other end to the base of a young tree. (Remember, this was long ago and I was a tot.) Needless to say, I spent every morning that summer tracing the piece of string from the base of the tree with anticipation. The closer I got to my charge, the more resistance was built from the weight of the turtle. Churchill (a good strong English name, at my dad’s suggestion) seemed indifferent to the game I played. I often found him quietly eating earthworms or blackberries. Then one morning I woke and followed the string to one of my biggest childhood disappointments. Churchill had enough of this routine and snapped the twine (in reality it just wore out) to vanish off into the wild hills of the Catskills forever. Now, as entertaining as that little story was, the reason I tell it to you is that, as an adult, all I can think is “so sorry Churchill!” Thank goodness we’ve learned much in the years about the ways in which to keep our armored friends happy and healthy. Also thank goodness the twine snapped. As I got older, I realized how horrible it was to drill a hole through the edge of his poor shell even if this was the “old-school approach to things.” I hope Churchill is still wandering the countryside content and happy! The first thing to consider when picking the right tortoise or box turtle is size and habitat. Too often, well-meaning individuals pick



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up a cute little sulcata hatchling only to find within a few years the animal will have grown to a formidable size and is now eating them out of house and home. Your sulcata may also do a number on the sheetrock in your home since he’s probably outgrown any reasonably-sized enclosure. When you decide to welcome an animal into your home, it shouldn’t be on a whim. You have to look at it as a lifelong commitment. You must take care of it and provide for it. With that said, you also have to be real with yourself. If you live in a tiny apartment, a sulcata is not for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep one of the many smaller species available. Another thing to consider is the animal’s natural environment, and the added cost you’ll have to replicate it. Finally, you have to realize that many of these beautiful creatures will outlive most of us. If you are 25 years old and purchase a captive-bred baby tortoise, realize you’re probably going to need to have someone (preferably an individual who likes tortoises) to “will” it to. Most tortoises are “creatures of the sun,” in that they enjoy and need UVB and heat. In captivity, tortoises rely on their owners to provide proper UVB lighting and heat via heat bulbs, UVB bulbs, and heat pads. Being basking animals, it is essential to have both UVB

and very young tortoises, I use carpet to ensure cleanliness and to prevent any compaction as a result of them accidentally ingesting bedding. For my adults, however, I use the closest substrate I can find to their natural environment. For forest and jungle species, I use cypress mulch mixed with peat moss and coco fiber. For desert species, I use sand mixed with a small amount of coco fiber. I also tend to study pics of their native habitats to get ideas for landscaping their environments. Tortoises are active and inquisitive animals and often need the stimulation good landscaping provides. As they are natural born wanderers, I have even designed “workout tracks” for them to let them walk and wander around in all day. Even in the spring and summer when I move them to outside pens, they have rocks and logs and things to climb in and through. In outside enclosures, care must also be given to keep wild animals out as much as your tortoises in. Now that we’ve established the basics, let’s get to the fun part, picking your animal. I tend to advise people, especially first-time owners, to select healthy captive-born stock. Ask the store or breeder for history and check your state laws. Look for healthy clean nostrils and bright eyes. Crusty or bubbly nostrils are a sign of respiratory infection and closed or wa-

If you are 25 years old and purchase a captive-bred baby tortoise, realize you’re probably going to need to have someone (preferably an individual who likes tortoises) to “will” it to. and proper temperature levels. Additional belly heat may be needed for higher-temp desert species. Careful attention must also be given to food offerings. Some more temperate and jungle species prefer lush greens and sometimes even fruit while others like desert tortoises prefer grasses and hays. They actually need the long fiber to clean out their digestive systems. Feeding the wrong type of food to your tortoise can lead to gastric and metabolic disasters. Watering is something else to consider. For instance, I have misting systems and shallow water pans in my cherry head/red footed enclosures while all my desert species like, star, spider, and leopards get soaked for 45 minutes a week. Depending on the species, you may need extra hardware to house them. On the subject of substrate, this one can be debated. Many keepers choose to use safe sterile choices like carpet while others will utilize natural substances like sand and mulch. I use both. Let me explain: For my hatchlings

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Even in the spring and summer when I move them to outside pens, they have rocks and logs and things to climb in and through.

tery eyes can be a sign of sickness as well. You should establish a good relationship with an exotic animal expert, and more specifically, a reptile veterinarian in case of emergency and for general checkups. Make sure they specialize in our scaly friends. Reptiles and mammals are quite different and not all vets have a vast knowledge of them. Tortoise and box turtle species can be broken down geographically into groups and then even further by environment. In my opinion, they should be broken down into the five following geographic categories: 1. East and Southeast Asian species (Burmese mountain tortoise, Indian star tortoise, any box turtles of the genus cuora). 2. African species (pancake tortoises, sulcata and leopard tortoises, spider and radiated tortoises of Madagascar). 3. European and Eurasian species (Herman’s and marginated tortoises, Greek and Russian tortoises). 4. North American species (desert and gopher tortoises, any box turtle of the genus terrapene). 5. Central and South American species (redand-yellow-footed tortoises, Galapagos and aldabra tortoises, chacoan Tortoise, any box turtle of the genus rhinoclemmys). There are a large number of tortoises and box turtles to explore, and as your experience grows so does your number of species to keep as pets. You must adapt the attitude of “slow and steady wins the race,” no pun intended. It takes a while to properly understand these animals and to be able to move on to more challenging charges. Below


I’ve separated some of the more commonly available species into three lists based on difficulty of keeping (as you climb they become exceedingly less common to find). I must, again, implore first-time keepers to start at the bottom and take the time to work up the list and build your working knowledge of these extraordinary animals. Care level: EXPERIENCED: Egyptian tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni) Parrot beaked tortoise (Homopus areolatus) Spider tortoise (Pyxis aracÚoides) Angulate tortoise (Chersina angulate) Radiated tortoise (Astrochelys radiate) Sulawesi-forest turtle (Leucocephalon yuwonoi) Coahuilan box turtle (Terrapene coahuila) Chacoan tortoise (Geochelone chilensis) Galapagos tortoise (Geochelone Nigra) Aldabra tortoise (Aldabrachelys gigantea) Care level: MODERATE: African spur thighed tortoise (Geochelone sulcata) N.A. wood turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) C.A. & S.A. wood turtles (Rhinoclemmys sp.) Pancake tortoise (Malacochersus tornieri) Star tortoise (Geochelone elegans) Leopard tortoise (Geochelone pardalis) Asian wood turtle (Heosemys grandis) African hinged tortoise (Kinixys sp.) Elongated tortoise (Indotestudo flongata) Gopher tortoise (Gopherus sp.) Care level: BEGINNER: Russian tortoise (Testudo horsfieldi) N.A. box turtle (Terrapene sp.) Red-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaria) Yellow-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulate)

Greek tortoise (Testudo graeca) Herman’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni) Indonesian box turtle (Cuora ambionensis) Marginated tortoise (Testudo marginata) Asian mountain tortoise (Manouria emys) Chinese box turtle (Cuora flavomarginata) In all, the keeping of tortoises and box turtles can be very rewarding to the pet parent. It can also be a great way to make new friends with similar interests. In fact there are several organizations, a few of which I belong to, that specialize in the keeping, breeding and conservation of turtles and tortoises. Two great ones are Turtle and Tortoise Preservation Group (T.T.P.G.) www.ttpg. org and Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) www. I often find networking to be a great way to gain knowledge from colleagues who have hands-on experience rather than just theories. I hope this has helped and I wish you luck in your search for the perfect chelonian companion. If you have any questions or topics you’d like to see covered, Rob Stephenson can be reached by email at nypet.reptile@gmail. com. NYP Robert Stephenson has been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 25 years. He is the former Eastern United States Regional Manager for the largest reptile product manufacturer in the world, Zoo Med. He is also an avid explorer, writer, and photographer who leaves the country several times a year in pursuit of adventure and the perfect reptile photo opportunities. Gotham Reptile, https://www.


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Care tips for a truly unique pet

Jose and Susan Gueits

Understanding parrot nutrition can be difficult, in part because there has been very little scientific information on avian nutrition due primarily to the lack of funding for aviculturists. Feeding, initially, was an art form, with practices adopted and modified because of perceived benefits and hearsay. Most scientific research was initially based on using the poultry industry as a baseline. Because chickens are bred for production, changes in our knowledge of their nutritional requirements had to occur by incorporating growth studies and long-term feeding trials. 16


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bviously, this would be a difficult task to attempt to study in relationship to parrots with so many different species having different metabolic requirements. Improvements in understanding parrot nutrition only began to occur recently with the interest in handraising and the advent of commercial-rearing or hand-feeding formulas. Advances have certainly been made within the last decade and will continue; however, it may well be decades before we truly understand avian nutrition. Most parrots are often referred to as being an “opportunistic omnivore.” What does this mean? In the wild, parrots essentially eat whatever is available to them at any given time or season. This may include vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds, grains, animal material, soil, and mineral deposits. A common thread for those who have spent extensive time studying parrots in the wild is that they exhibit four main behaviors: Social Interaction, Grooming, Foraging, and Sleeping. It has been observed that as much as two thirds of their day in the wild is spent “foraging” or searching for food. Yet, many bird owners tend to offer their pet the same single source of nutrition in a bowl which requires very little “task” time. This can lead to boredom

Most reliable sources will agree that one of the most important vitamins in assuring your parrot’s overall good health is vitamin A… and destructive behavior. As parrot owners, we are in control of what they consume. We choose what type and how much food goes into the daily bowl. It is our responsibility to offer foods that stimulate the mind as well as provide good nutrition and a task to complete. If we do this successfully, we will see less waste, better overall behavior, and good health. Most reliable sources will agree that one of the most important vitamins in assuring your parrot’s overall good health is vitamin A, which is required for: vision, integrity of skin, disease resistance, reproduction, and growth, especially, of the bones. Generally speaking, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, as well as dark green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin A. It is the carotenoids or plant

pigments, more specifically, beta-carotene which is important. When consumed, bodies convert it into vitamin A to be used when necessary and will store it in the liver. A deficiency in vitamin A called “hypovitaminosis A” is a common problem seen in parrots. vitamin A affects the tissues that line the respiratory, digestive, and reproductive tracts. When Vitamin A is low or absent from the diet, the cells undergo changes that prevent the secretion of mucous, thus destroying a critical line of defense. This makes parrots more susceptible to bacterial, viral, or fungal infections. Symptoms range from the obvious to the obscure and can include any of the following: sneezing, nasal discharge, wheezing, crusted or plugged nostrils, lethargy, depression, diarrhea, tail-bobbing, lack of appetite, emaciation (severe weight loss), poor feather color, swollen eyes, ocular discharge, gagging, foul-smelling breath, white patches, or a “slimy” appearance to the mouth. The value of sunflower seed as a part of a healthy diet for parrots has been recognized by aviculturists for many years and is misunderstood by many people. Because seeds lack vitamin A, we began to see a shift in the avian community in becoming fearful of a sunflowerbased-seed diet along with a misconception

SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | NY Pets Magazine

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of their fat content. The sunflower seed offers the benefits of containing healthy unsaturated fats, protein and fiber, along with vitamin E, selenium, copper, zinc, foliate, iron, and phytochemicals. All of this wrapped in a small unsuspecting package that allows your seed-eating parrot another means of foraging. The problem that arises from feeding a sunflowerbased diet typically occurs when it is the only food they are allowed to eat. We have found that the key to success truly begins with providing great nutrition. In our humble opinion, based on three decades of hands-on experience, no single food item will provide parrots all necessary nutrients required for them to thrive. We practice the freedom-of-choice method for our personal flock. This means that we have several bowls in the cages giving our birds the choice to pick and choose (forage) throughout the day from offerings of a high quality seed mix, a few high quality nuts (preferably in the shell for them to


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crack), pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables. We do this instead of pouring everything into one single bowl. In the daily fresh water bowl, we offer a chelated vitamin/mineral supplement to assure nutritional needs are being properly met. Calcium is another critical element. African species of parrots tend to lack sufficient levels of calcium as well as breeding birds and chronic egg layers. Therefore, we also offer a high concentrated liquid calcium supplement that contains magnesium for better absorption along with vitamin D3 based on each individual bird’s current needs. For those who do not have an ample natural light source near their cage area, providing vitamin D3 is another important element that needs to be properly addressed. We all love to give our parrots snacks. But just because they appear to love some of those less than healthy choices for snacking, moderation rather than overindulging needs to be exercised. Salty, sugary, and single carb items are truly not the best snack choices. Also, the digestive system is not designed to consume large amounts of dairy products. So, think healthy choices and exercise

This means that we have several bowls in the cages, giving our birds the choice to pick and choose (forage) throughout the day from offerings of a high quality seed mix, a few high quality nuts (preferably in the shell for them to crack), pellets, fresh fruits, and vegetables. moderation in this area of feeding. If you do not provide your parrots with a well-balanced and varied diet focused on addressing nutritional requirements, you may experience similar situations that occur in

the wild. These can include a compromised immune system that can lead to illness and premature death, poor feather quality, and a potential for abnormal behavior. Parrots are not a cat or dog; nor are they human. They are incredibly unique, lovable, naughty, nice, highly emotional, and extremely intelligent…and, so much more! Parrots enrich our lives in countless ways. Sharing the pleasure of their company is why so many of us LOVE what they truly are: Magnificent Parrots! NYP In 2004, Jose Gueits and his wife Susan opened Little Acres Aviary, a specialty pet shop focused on high quality hand-fed parrots and pet supplies located in Orange County, New York in the town of Montgomery. Jose grew up in New York City and considered Central Park his own personal backyard. His fascination for all animals began when he was very young, spending countless hours chatting with the Central Park Zoo keeper, developing an even greater excitement and passion for the exotics. Those conversations helped him realize that you needed to responsible. You could not possibly think that you could just buy an animal right off a shelf without first trying to learn as much as you possibly can about how to properly care for it.



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Questions & Answers

Critter Chatter

Our human friends ask the following questions Andrew from Cold Spring asks:


“When spring/summer rolls in, at what point do I start feeding my pond fish?�


The days are getting a little longer and warmer. Soon you will see life emerging in your pond. You will see movement, you will see fish picking at algae and maybe


even coming to the surface. As it gets warmer and warmer, you will soon need to start feeding them. Once the fear of freeze is gone, you can start up the filters. Make sure you scoop out dead leaves and other debris accumulated

on the top and bottom. And, add some type of biologic starter or enzymes to help get rid of sludge. When the water reaches 50 degrees, you can start feeding the fish. Do not feed them before this time. They will not be able to properly digest the food in the cooler temps and will just put it back into the pond as waste product. It can also cause health problems for the fish later on in the season. In addition, the bacteria in the pond will not break the food down until the temperature is almost 60 degrees. So, you can see, the nitrites and ammonia will quickly build up and could be detrimental to the fish. The food to use in the spring would be a wheat germ-based food. The fish are still in slow motion, and they cannot use a high protein-based food at this time. Laguna makes a great floating pellet with wheat germ. It is extremely palatable and easy to digest. It also has to contain no corn or corn starches, which are nearly impossible to digest. If you use it properly, it claims it will not cloud the water and it is made in the USA. Laguna fish foods contain high quality ingredients that provide excellent nutrition. As a result, fish do not require as much food and less waste is produced. You can see how this would help with clean clear water. There are other brands you can use also; e.g., Tetra and Hikari to name a few. Just look for wheat germ-labeled foods and use them until the water temperature reaches about 70 degrees. When you do switch your food from wheat germ-based to higher proteinbased, make sure you do it slowly. Use a little of both until the fish get used to the new food you are using. We hope this has given you some insight as to when to start feeding your pond fish. Remember, your fish associate can help answer any other questions you may have. NYP


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Questions & Answers

Critter Chatter

Our human friends ask the following questions Dawn from Pearl River asks:



“How do I pick out a fish tank for my family?”

After many trips to your favorite pet store, you have decided to purchase

a fish tank for your family. Excellent! You should decide on one that fits into your family’s lifestyle. Do you want a small

desk-top aquarium for a goldfish or a betta, or do you want a bio-cube or some other type of smaller enclosed system that will handle tropical fish? There are many 5- to 12-gallon tanks available today that can be put on a heavy-duty shelf or secure desk. There are also some available for just shrimp, plants, or even just a nice relaxing waterfall. Or, would you prefer a larger-size tank with a furniture stand that could be a focal point in the room (in addition to handling many larger-size fish)? These are all decisions you have to make. If you have a busy or hectic life, the allin-one desk top tank might be the way to go. They offer ease of maintenance, a beautiful look, and they don’t take up too much space. The only drawback would be the limited number of inhabitants. On the other hand, if you are really looking for a true hobby to keep you busy and a variety of fish, a larger fish tank with a beautiful stand would be the way to go. This larger tank would require some maintenance, but the fish will be happier and you would be more active in the upkeep and care. You would also be able to really decorate and landscape this tank with many rocks, caves, plants, etc., to suit your décor and your inhabitants. A great addition to any room and certainly a conversation piece. Your family could learn about fish from a certain region and may even get involved in breeding. The fish-keeping hobby is definitely addictive. People always want to add more fish and, more times than not, they always wish they had purchased a larger tank to begin with. So, evaluate the time, space, and money you have available, and go for what fits the fins, so to speak. NYP

SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | NY Pets Magazine

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All in the family Tuffy’s Pet Foods was featured in a issue of Petfood Industry Here is part of the article that was featured: “In today’s business world there are fewer and fewer family-owned-and-operated manufacturing businesses, especially one as unique as ours,” says Charlie Nelson, vice president of sales and part of the family that owns Tuffy’s Pet Food. Tuffy’s, based in Perham, Minnesota, USA, is indeed unique, and not just because of its ownership. Its history and collaborations with other divisions of its parent company, KLN Enterprises, brings a distinctive knowledge to pet-food manufacturing. All this adds up to a growth of over 30% a year. While that may not be unique in the dynamic pet-food industry, it does make the case for-as Tuffy’s national sales manager, Jim Farrell, puts it – “striving to be” who we are and keep within our niche. Family to family The family emphasis is not just a warm and fuzzy sentiment: it’s part of the company’s business strategy as a key differentiator from competitors. We like to do business with family-owned distributors and retailers, and that’s how we set ourselves apart, “says Farrell. “That’s what we like to be known for: as somebody big enough to have high quality pet food but also be able to take care of independent retailers’ needs, ensure their profitability and keep that relationship.” This strategy permeates the company’s supply chain. “What distinguishes the network of suppliers that provides our ingredients is that they by and large have been suppliers for many, many years,” Orvik says. “We’ve done business with the same suppliers who know us, who know what we expect of them and we’ve

developed partnership relationships with many of them.” “Which kinds of lends itself to why we weren’t involved in the 2007 recalls,” Farrell adds, “We have a large marketing push with our brands that we know our sources.” Nelson emphasizes the company’s commitment to the strategy: “We have absolutely no plans of not being a familyowned company, and that is a big question we get asked. With so much consolidation going on in this industry, people want to know and like to know that we’re going to be around, we’re going to continue to provide high-quality, ethical products, we’re going to continue to bring new items to the market that our retailers are asking for.” Back hunting again The family touch extends even to consumers. “They contact us all the time with questions and compliments about how great our products are,” says Paula Sucher, sales coordinator. “We’ve heard testimonials about old and lame dogs that are now back hunting again after eating our food.” “We have a personalized customer-service desk here, too.” She continues. “If someone has a question. They can pick up the phone and talk directly to a person. We don’t have automated phones. People tell us all the time how

nice it is to actually talk to a human being right away with a question or concern.” Nelson chimes in, “If there are questions on ingredients, they’re answered directly by us. That’s why we’re growing and why I think we have more relationships; it’s doing these small things that we don’t have any plans of getting away from. We remind each other of the grassroots approach to growing this business. “If they stay on that path, he says, “We can continue to grow nicely, focus on our segment of the industry and keep moving forward.” Don’t forget to ask about our Frequent Buyer Cards.

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Enjoying colorful blue jays and cardinals Julie Feinstein Photos by Julie Feinstein

During the “polar vortex” winter of 2014, jays and cardinals visited the feeder on my porch in Brooklyn every day. Blue jays announce their arrival with loud urgent-sounding cries of jay jay, or softer chime-like calls of cheedle cheedle. Cardinals mostly make a simple but penetrating chipping sound in winter; by the time this article appears they will be whistling their more familiar mating songs of cheer cheer and pretty pretty pretty.


ays and cardinals eat a variety of seeds like sunflower, safflower, millet, and peanuts. With all but the smallest seeds, the jay flies to a perch, holds the nut or seed in its feet and pecks it open with its bill. The cardinal picks up a seed with its bill, cracks it, maneuvers with the tongue to

extract the kernel, and then spits out the shell. Cardinals also eat fruit. I give them raisins, grapes, apple slices, and an occasional chunk of pomegranate. Male and female cardinals look different. Scientists call that sexual dimorphism. The male cardinal is red with a prominent

crest and black face. The female is tan overall with a thick orange beak, black mask, and blushes of red in the crest, breast, wings, and tail. Immature cardinals are similar to females but have brown beaks. Cardinals are named for Catholic clerics who traditionally dress in bright red robes and caps.


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Male northern cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis.

The blue jay, Cyanocitta cristata. Male and female blue jays look alike. They are mainly blue above, with patterned faces, white breasts, black-bordered blue crests and black u-shaped collars. Blue jays don’t always spend the winter in my corner of Brooklyn. But cardinals are famously faithful and have visited regularly for about 10 years. A scientific paper from 1937 documented one banded cardinal’s visits to an ornithologist’s yard for 13 consecutive years, so I have a way to go before setting any records. When the weather gets warmer, I expect the cardinals to nest in the nearby garden as they usually do. While they are nesting, I often see the hard-working male foraging for food, flying with his beak full of seeds and berries. Eventually the whole family shows up together. The parents crack seeds for the youngster. Here are the family portraits from last summer. Fruits and berries in the cardinal’s diet provide the raw materials that color its feathers. The bird metabolizes red, orange, and yellow plant pigments called carotenoids. (The most famous carotenoid is the orange pigment in carrots for which the group is named.) The colorful chemicals are sequestered by the bird’s liver and then transported in the bloodstream to growing feathers where they are incorporated to make them


Cardinals couples are often seen sharing food.

red. It is no accident that one often sees cardinals perched on bushes with red berries. They stay bright by eating colored fruits. It would seem to follow that blue jays should get their feather color from blue pigments in another case of chemical coloration. But no blue chemicals are involved, only dull gray ones. Jay feathers are blue because of what scientists call structural color. Each blue feather has an internal core of dark melanin pigment surrounded by a zone of tiny air bubbles. The physical arrangement of pigment and air bubbles reflects light in a special way that makes the feathers look blue – but not under all conditions. The next time you find fallen blue and red feathers from the jay and cardinal, you can do an experiment to illustrate the fundamental difference between them. Hold the blue feather up to a light and look through it; it will look gray. Then hold it so the light falls on it; it will look blue. The light must bounce off the feather to your eye to look blue. If you

This immature northern cardinal was born in my garden. Takes after its mother, right?


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Julie Feinstein works as a Collection Manager at the American Museum of Natural History. She has authored numerous scientific papers and conducted biological field research in the rainforests of French Guiana and Peru and in the cloud forest of Taiwan. An avid birder, Julie has been birdwatching on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. She writes the blog and is author of the popular science book, The Field Guide to Urban Wildlife. A fledgling baby jay. If you find one like this, leave it. It has flight feathers and it is holding onto its perch, so it is not a helpless nestling. Its parents are probably near and watching you. repeat this experiment with the cardinal’s feather, it will be red regardless of the position of the light because the feather is intrinsically red. If you were to dry both feathers and grind them to dust, the cardinal’s would be red, but the jay’s would be gray. The cardinal is the official state bird of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. The cardinals have it seven-to-nothing – no state has claimed

A female northern cardinal eating seeds in Brooklyn. the blue jay. I think they might reconsider if they came across this cute baby jay. I can’t decide which of these birds I like better. Both are lovely against a snowy background and I’m grateful that they stay north during winter. Cardinals are resident and are always present year-round. Blue jays are less predictable. On one hand, the blue jay’s cheedle call is one of my favorite bird sounds. On the other hand, there are few sights more charming than a pair of courting cardinals passing seeds from beak-to-beak. NYP


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PET WORKOUT Sharing an exercise routine with your dog By Dr. Katy Nelson

When you’re looking to get healthy, there’s simply no better partner than your pet. Walks, hikes, and runs with your dog are great ways to incorporate cardiovascular exercise, behavior training, and bonding time.


efore starting a new fitness routine, consult with your veterinarian (and your own doctor) to make sure you and your pet are healthy. The best part of this pre-checkup is that you’ll get a benchmark on which to base your progress. Make sure your pet is up-to-date on all vaccinations and heartworm/flea/tick medications to keep him safe in the great outdoors. And while you’re there, discuss with your veterinarian what your pet is eating. We all know that when we eat fresh, healthy foods, we look better and we feel better. The same goes for our pets. You may want to explore diets outside the realm of kibble and cans, and look for a balanced diet made of fresh ingredients, with no preservatives, that will fuel your pet’s body with all the right nutrients. There are none of the fillers that many pet food companies put in unnecessarily. There are wonderful fresh food options on the market for pets, like FreshPet®, and they can make a huge difference in your pet’s overall health. Next, make sure you have the right equipment for your canine companion. Purchase a standard harness and a four- to six-foot reflective leash for walks and hikes. The harness is preferable to collars for most dogs because the latter can restrict oxygen intake and even lead to tracheal collapse. I never recommend extender leashes because they make it very difficult to control your dog in an urgent situation. Also, gentle leader collars are not ideal for running because they decrease your dog’s ability to pant. Plan your route ahead of time. Start your exercise program with shorter distances, slowly progressing to longer distances over time. If at all possible, choose a trail that has

grass or dirt, which is better for your pet’s joints and their foot pads than cement or blacktop. Before a run, make sure your pup eats a small amount of food with a little brown rice added. You should offer just enough to give him energy but not so much as to cause GI upset or vomiting (think about what you eat before a trip to the gym and calculate the doggie equivalent). Bring low-calorie treats (pieces of frozen baby carrots, or FreshPet® Sweet Potato Treats, for example) along to offer as rewards during the workout. Allow time for frequent short water breaks so that your workout buddy stays hydrated, especially in warmer weather. Portable, collapsible dog bowls or squirt bottles are a good investment for this purpose. Remember not to give your dog too much – all that swishing in the belly can cause nausea. Always make sure to “check in” with your pup during the workout. Panting is normal but your dog shouldn’t be out of breath or have difficulty breathing. Also, if your dog’s tongue is hanging out while panting, make sure it’s a healthy pink color and not red, purple, or blue. And ALWAYS be prepared for an emergency. Have the closest veterinary emergency hospital’s number programmed into your cell phone, and if you see any of the following, call the hospital and go there immediately:

If at all possible, choose a trail that has grass or dirt, which is better for your pet’s joints and their foot pads than cement or blacktop.


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Overheating: If your pet overheats, do not use ice water to cool him down. Instead, cover him with ambient temperature water or wet towels to initiate a slow, steady cooling process and get to a veterinarian immediately. Collapse: This could be caused by a cardiac problem, a stroke, or a seizure, all of which require emergency veterinary attention. Respiratory distress: Stop what you’re doing, allow your pet a moment to calm down, and if he’s still in distress, get to your car, turn on the air conditioning, and get to the veterinarian. With this advice, and a healthy dose of commitment, you and your pup can achieve your goals this year! For more information on a healthy lifestyle for your pet, visit NYP Dr. Katy Nelson is an associate veterinarian at BelleHaven Animal Medical Center and host/executive producer of The Pet Show with Dr. Katy on Washington DC’s News Channel 8. She quickly grew her presence as a trusted animal expert in the DC area with several recurring media engagements, including: • Weekly blog for WTOP Living • Work as an animal health reporter for WJLA ABC 7 • Host of an online radio show called Pawsitive Talk with Dr. Katy • And a quarterly Ask Dr. Katy column in the Virginia-Maryland Dog Magazine In addition to her for-profit work, Dr. Katy is active in the local community, serving as the Executive Chair for the Washington Humane Society’s Fashion for Paws Advisory Board and on the Public Relations Board for The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

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2014-06-02 4:22 PM


Westminster Discovering another place in my heart Bruce Littlefield Photos by Integrity Imaging


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M Westminster, the mutt outside the fancy dog show, found a home.


y furry best friend died on a Saturday morning in bed at our country house. My beloved Jasper’s final hours and the heartbreaking aftermath will never be forgotten. But what I gained from the experience will always be remembered. Our country house was Jasper’s favorite place to be. (Second best: “his window” overlooking 98th Street on Manhattan’s Upper Westside and any working kitchen.) Most of all, Jasper loved life in the country. He was with us when we first looked at the house. In fact, the deal was sealed when he ran circles around the yard and joyfully celebrated the open space. If he loved it, we had to have it! Jasper got five good years in the country. Life for a rescued beagle/collie combo platter

between the city and the country was good. And he was as good as it gets. We all like to brag about our babies, but he was smart, funny, loyal, and always ready to eat. (All qualities I really adore in a good friend.) I remember joking once that if Jasper ever needed a kidney, I’d give him one of my own. Unfortunately, when he did, I discovered that human and dog kidneys don’t match. His end was painfully, yet mercifully, quick. Two weeks from first symptoms, diagnosis, the terrible loss, and the river of tears. We wrapped Jasper in his favorite blanket and buried him in the rose garden overlooking the creek. I wasn’t just crying; I was inconsolable. His eight-and-a-half years with us were magical, adventurous, and legendary. He was my loyal companion while I wrote three


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Photo by Integrity Imaging

books. He traveled with us on a tiny seaplane to the island of Vieques for the Millennium. He walked through the living room of our friend’s house at Christmas with her holiday ham in his mouth. I couldn’t imagine life without Jasper. The car felt empty as my partner Scott and I drove back to the city without him. Uncharacteristically, Scott drove. My eyes were blurry and I couldn’t see well enough to drive. Except for our spontaneous sobs, the car was silent, empty, and sad. I was wrecked that we had to leave the country, Jasper’s grave. I needed to mourn, but I had previously arranged a series of interviews for my new book dogs and the people who love them. My appointments that

Photo by Integrity Imaging

February, less than 48 hours after my own dog’s death, were at the Westminster Dog Show. Seeing a dog was painful enough, walking into an arena full of them was unimaginable. I’d just finished a book with my friend Barbara Corcoran, and she and her son Tommy offered to go and to sit with me during the first few rounds of judging. They made me laugh recounting Jasper stories. He’d spent a summer with all of us at the beach while she wrote her book. He was even part of my book contract! (I’m told a first in publishing.) According to Paragraph 8, Line 3 “Jasper will travel with WRITER anytime WRITER will be away from New York City for more than two nights.” Once I had regained my composure, Barb

and Tommy left so I could get to my scheduled interviews in the holding areas of Madison Square Garden with breeders, handlers, trainers, owners, and…the dogs, more than 2,000 of them. It was a den of activity – barking, brushing, blow-drying – and an emotional roller coaster for me. More than once, I had to sneak off to a corner and cry. Back in the arena, I sat down in an available seat to watch the Labrador Best in Breed event. The friendly woman in the seat next to me quickly introduced herself. “Hi I’m Gayle,” she said, not taking her eye off the dogs circling the ring. “I breed Labradors, so I’m down from Massachusetts with my husband to check out the competition.” “I love Labradors,” I said.


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LEFT: Westminster being read a bedtime story

Photo by Integrity Imaging

Once I had regained my composure, Barb and Tommy left so I could get to my scheduled interviews in the holding areas of Madison Square Garden with breeders, handlers, trainers, owners, and…the dogs, more than 2,000 of them. It was a den of activity – barking, brushing, blow-drying – and an emotional roller coaster for me. More than once, I had to sneak off to a corner and cry. “Do you know a Labrador has not won Best in Show since the Westminster Kennel Club was founded in 1877?” Gayle asked. “They’ve been robbed!” I told her. “They’re awesome dogs.” I didn’t know the half of it. But Gayle and her husband did. They knew everything about


Labradors and the strict judging standards. I loved hearing her brag: “Labs are the only dog with webbed feet, which makes them amazing swimmers. Their otter-like tail even acts like a rudder for changing direction. “Look at that tail,” she squealed! “Now, he’s

happy! Labs wiggle their tails to the left when they feel threatened and to the right when they see something familiar.” “See the judge measuring that bitch,” she said, pointing. I laughed. Dog people’s terminology was not something Jasper and I had learned during our relationship. “The


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Photo by Integrity Imaging

In the Days that Followed After being discovered on Valentine’s Day in a rescue van outside the Westminster Dog Show, Westminster adapted to his exciting new city and country life quickly. In the city, his daily walk with his rubber chicken entertains the locals. And when in the country, he is on duty as chief Frisbee catcher, deer chaser, and UPS delivery alarm. Photo by Integrity Imaging

height at the withers (that’s the ridge between the shoulder blades of a four-legged mammal I found out later) is supposed to be 22 ½ – 24 ½ inches for males and 21 ½ - 23 ½ inches for bitches.” “Jasper is a…” Caught up in Gayle’s excitement, I’d momentarily forgotten… “Jasper was more of a conglomeration.” After I learned some dog lingo and a pretty black bitch named Dark Crystal was named “Best of Breed,” Gayle, her husband and I went for a drink. Over a cocktail, I shared my story and a few tears. It’s a nice memory of a difficult moment in time. The following day, I was happy to run into Gayle again. I sat down with her to watch the toy group get ready while her husband was

having a smoke break outside The Garden. Gayle’s cellphone rang. It was her husband calling to tell me to get outside. “There’s a rescue van out there with some really great dogs.” “No. No. No no no no no.” I shook my head emphatically. Then, Gayle looked in my eyes and spoke the words that would change my life forever: “You’ll never fill the spot you have in your heart for Jasper, but when you get another dog you’ll find a spot in your heart that you never knew you had.” The two of us journeyed outside and into a puppy rescue van sponsored by North Shore Animal League. “Wow,” I said as we climbed in. “We rescued Jasper out at North Shore.” There were a dozen or so dogs in cages,

He has appeared on NBC’s Today Show and the CBS Early Show, as well as in publications such as The New York Times and This Old House Magazine. One day, as his two-legged friend was working on a book, he got an idea and lightly pawed his pal’s leg. No, he didn’t want to go outside. No, he wasn’t begging for a treat. No, he was not looking for his toy. “What?” Bruce asked. “You want to write a book?” A happy tail wag sealed the deal. It was an “aha!” moment for the pair. Shortly after, Bruce and Westminster got a book deal for The Bedtime Book for Dogs (Grand Central) and released the first book written with dog words, that dogs understand. Check out for more information.


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some looking around, a few sleeping, and a couple crying out for attention. One little mottled pup caught my eye, like looked me right in the eye. I’m yours. I asked to take the little guy out of the cage. I’ve been waiting on you. I pulled out my phone and called Scott. “Um,” I said, my voice trembling. “I think I’ve found a dog….” Scott jumped in a cab and journeyed across town from showing an apartment on Park Avenue. I met him outside the rescue van. “If you pick the same one I did, we’ll do it.” He did. And we did. Westminster, the mutt outside the fancy dog show, found a home. And I quickly found a new spot in my heart I never knew I had. NYP

Photo by Integrity Imaging

Best-selling author and TV personality Bruce Littlefield is an arbiter of American fun. Hailed as a “lifestyle authority” by The New York Times and as a “modern-day Erma Bombeck” by NPR, he is seen on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Early Show, and ABC’s The View. He is the author of 15 books. Entertainment Weekly said his latest book, Moving In: Tales of an Unlicensed Marriage, “hilariously chronicles a year of living in domestic non-bliss.”

Food for a Lifetime



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FLAKEY FEEDING Solution to healthy, happy and colorful fish


eeding your fish a highly nutritious diet is an important step in keeping fish disease-free, colorful, and happy. As important as feeding your fish is, it is important to note that not all fish foods are created equal. A great example of this is to think about the wide variety of food options that we, as humans, face every day. Hot dogs and pizza may taste great, but they do not necessarily provide us with a healthy, balanced diet if eaten every day. When selecting fish foods, choose a good daily staple food that provides your fish with the fundamental nutritional requirements they need to thrive. Supplemental foods which enhance color or provide added nutrition are also recommended to help your fish show off their beautiful natural coloration and their behavior while giving them variety in their diet. The next item to consider is what size or format of food will suit your fish best. Smaller fish have smaller mouths. Tetras, guppies, barbs, swordtails, and other small fish should be fed a flake food which can be easily broken up to feed the smallest fish or left whole for slightly bigger ones to eat. In the case of most “community tropical fish tanks” with small to medium sized fish, the inhabitants should be eating various types of flake food. Larger fish such as cichlids and gouramis may need to be fed a pellet. A premium tropical flake that contains at least 40 percent crude protein is the best option for daily feeding. Select flakes that are high quality, ultra palatable and specifically formulated to help keep fish active and vibrant. (Fluval tropical flakes would be an excellent choice.) In addition to feeding your fish a well-


Francis R. Yupangco balanced daily food, it is also a good idea to provide them with a varied diet. How would you like eating the same food day in and day out? A great supplemental food would be a color-enhancing flake. Some of these foods would feature krill, which contains color enhancers such as anstaxanthin and carotene as well as key trace elements and added vitamins. Other excellent foods available to help

diet will not only keep them healthy and active, but it also helps to promote breeding and other natural behaviors. Keeping your fish well fed is important, but ensuring that you do not overfeed your aquarium is equally crucial. Uneaten fish food will rot in the aquarium and produce toxic ammonia which can be deadly to your fish. It is recommended to feed your fish twice per day and only enough food that can be eaten in about two minutes. It may take a few feedings for you to gauge the exact amount, but once you do, feeding your fish the correct amount becomes second nature. To help prevent ammonia build-up, you should siphon or net out any uneaten food in your aquarium. NYP Francis R. Yupangco is Aquatic Development Manager Rolf C. Hagen (USA) Corp. 305 Forbes Blvd Mansfield, MA, 02048

provide varied nutrition are vegetarian flakes. Vegetable flakes are a highly nutritious fish food usually containing spirulina, vegetables, and kelp which are specifically formulated to support the overall wellbeing of fish. Spirulina is a highly beneficial ingredient that provides a rich source of color-enhancing natural pigments, proteins, and trace elements that combine to help keep fish active and vibrant-looking. In addition, almost all fish – whether they are herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores – will benefit from the rich variety of vegetables in this food. Alternating between flakes is an excellent strategy to ensure that you provide your fish with crucially important varied nutrition to keep them thriving and colorful. Providing your fish with a highly nutritious and varied

Fluval Tropical Flakes: The food is an excellent daily source of healthy nutrition and provides a rich supply of proteins, trace elements, and antioxidants derived from several key ingredients, including Atlantic Herring, Norwegian Krill, Atlantic Shrimp, and Green Mussels. The food also contains highly nutritious kelp, a rich source of omega 3, polyunsaturated fatty acids, proteins, and complex carbohydrates. The kelp is harvested in an ecologically responsible way to help preserve ocean stocks and ensure a continuing future supply.


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Dogs on Deployment Who is looking after the pets of our serving military? Alisa Sieber-Johnson Photos by Alisa Sieber-Johnson and Lt. Shawn Johnson


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With the help of our small group of volunteers, Dogs on Deployment has grown to include a network of over 10,000 users.


very military member deals with various difficulties and personal uphill battles during their careers; a dual military couple is a special breed of marriage where those battles are multiplied with the complexities of two careers, two commands, two goals, and two paths that aren’t always convergent. This is the situation in which my husband and I found ourselves. 38

We knew it going into the deal that our marriage would be tested, we’d be apart, and it would be tough. My husband, LT Shawn Johnson, US Navy, was at the end of his first sea tour stationed in San Diego, CA, and facing an upcoming deployment. I had just commissioned into the US Marine Corps and would be attending an infantry-centric six-month training required by all Marine officers, The Basic School, in Quantico, VA, followed by up to two years of Naval Flight Training in Corpus Christi, TX. We were as prepared as we could be to meet the challenges of separation and trying to manage a marriage from separate states. What we weren’t prepared for, of all things, was our dog. JD is our baby. We got him as a puppy and his 35 lb. body of fur brings so much


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love into our home. His presence is the thing that makes me smile in the morning. He was two years old when I commissioned. In a few months, I was scheduled to move to Virginia for training, where I would be required to live in the barracks, where pets are strictly forbidden. Shawn was scheduled to deploy at the same time. We broke the lease on our house, moved our stuff into storage and then stared at our dog in puzzlement as to what to do with him. Our immediate family was unable to care for him for the six months we needed, and professional boarding (which we would have paid if it came to that) was the same as a small mortgage. We were lucky. A distant relative on Shawn’s side of the family lived in Virginia near the base I was moving to, had a large yard, and

was retired military. The family understood the difficulties placed on military families. Without even meeting JD, they agreed to welcome him into their home for six months while I tromped around the forest in my boots with my M-16 and Shawn deployed to the Middle East. We were lucky, but not all military members are. On our drive from California to Virginia, we got to talking about the situation. JD in the back seat inspired us to come up with an idea to prevent this worrisome situation from happening to other military members. We would create a national non-profit organization that would connect military members with volunteers willing to board their pets during their service commitments; deployments, training, and moves. We would eventually come to extend our network to homeless veterans, Wounded Warriors, and the families of those affected by military hardship. We would use the money we raised from donations to give grants to needing military families for help with their pet’s care during emergencies, provide funds to transport pets overseas on moves, pay for emergency surgeries, give food to homeless veterans’ dogs, and even basic care, such as spay and neuter initiatives. So, in June 2011, in the cramped seat of a baby blue Volkswagen crammed with everything I owned, my husband, and my beloved dog, we founded Dogs on Deployment. With the help of our small group of volunteers, Dogs on Deployment has grown to include a network of over 10,000 users. When a military member needs assistance with their pet’s care during their upcoming service commitment, they can visit our website and register their pet. In turn, what we call “DoD Boarders” register as foster homes to welcome a military-owned pet into their home. Through Dogs on Deployment, the two can connect and work together to provide placement and a safety net for the pet. Our network aims to prevent needless relinquishment of military pets to shelters due to lack of options and to improve the morale of deploying troops by providing them with resources able to help them and their pets. Our network is robust. While we are currently limited to only helping those in the United States (we have plans to eventually expand internationally), we allow listings for any type of pet. Since our inception, we have helped over 400 military-owned pets find temporary care in their owner’s absence. These include dogs, cats, birds, turtles, rabbits, ferrets, reptiles, and more. Since Dogs on Deployment is a networking service, there are few

Since our inception, we have helped over 400 militaryowned pets find temporary care in their owner’s absence. requirements placed on DoD Boarders to register. It is the decision of the owner to choose who will care for their pets. Our open network allows for easy communication between military members needing help and those who want to help them. In addition to providing the largest foster network for military members, Dogs on Deployment also promotes responsible, lifelong pet ownership by military families. Last year, we hosted our first annual Dogs on Deployment Military Pet of the Year and Mascot Competition to celebrate. We had several military-owned dogs submit to the contest, and the winner by popular vote was Bram, a Rottweiler owned by a US Air Force family stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base, MO. Bram has represented Dogs on Deployment and responsible pet ownership this past year by competing in training trials, being an ambassador for his breed, and attending several community events. The search has started again, and Dogs on Deployment launched its 2014 Military Pet of the Year and Mascot competition on February 1. The winner will be announced later in the year. In 2012, Dogs on Deployment was registered as a national 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit. We are funded through private donations and sponsorships. In 2014, we have big goals to expand our network, including launching a new website, increasing our financial grants to military families, and providing additional aid to DoD Boarders when a pet through our network is in their care. If you would like to get involved with Dogs on Deployment by volunteering or donating, please visit our website to learn how you can help. Our organization’s success relies on community support in both the civilian and military sectors. When you bring two common passions together – American troops and the love for animals – you create an unstoppable force of dedication, support, and outright

SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | NY Pets Magazine

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generosity. Running this organization has been an adventure, and a fulfilling one. Becoming a Marine is my greatest accomplishment. Being a Marine means self-sacrifice and putting others before yourself. Dogs on Deployment allows others to feel that same sort of pride. Helping a military member with their most precious item, their best friend, their family, can be challenging, but the reward is worth the effort. Seeing reunions of our troops with their pets (which you can watch on Dogs on Deployment’s YouTube channel), can bring tears to your eyes. I feel the greatest accomplishment for any of our DoD Boarders is to be the one who makes this type of reunion possible! NYP Support us by finding us online on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Alisa Johnson President & Co-Founder, Dogs on Deployment “For the common love of dog and country; Support your troops by boarding their pets!” Contact Dogs on Deployment P.O. Box 710286 Santee, California 92072 619.800.3631 EIN# 45-3109600

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John Carlin’s easy steps to getting your aquarium started Photos by John Carlin


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Photo by John Carlin


t’s got to be the most common question that aquarium customers ask. “Is saltwater harder than freshwater?” If there is a rival question it is the ever-popular, “isn’t saltwater a lot of work?”

Over the years, the staff and I have become pretty good at answering the questions. In my opinion, saltwater aquariums are no “harder” to keep than freshwater setups. Similarly, I don’t believe a basic saltwater aquarium has to be “a lot of work.” Having said that, there are a few more steps involved with saltwater and yes, there is a bit more expense. Let’s take a look. It’s helpful to understand my mindset when assisting customers. I often explain to


them that keeping an aquarium is like gardening. In today’s day and age, you don’t need to have a garden in order to eat — there’s plenty of food at the grocery store. People have gardens because they want to grow their own food. They literally enjoy the fruits of their labor. It may be a pain to pull weeds, but it is part of the process that builds to the satisfaction of eating freshly-picked squash or sweet corn. At the end of the day, the produce tastes even better because you’ve invested your time in producing the result. It’s the same when it comes to enjoying an aquarium. There are a few basic principles that apply to the upkeep of ANY aquarium. You should have proper filtration, resist the temptation to overfeed and overstock the tank, and perform regular water changes. The goal is to create a happy, healthy home for your fish and corals, while having a beautiful attraction in your home or office that doesn’t look like a green, slimy science-class project. With a freshwater aquarium, the process is pretty simple – add water, substrate (gravel), decorations and fish. Attach a filter, add a

heater, put a light on top, and watch your fish! That’s overly simplified, but it gives us a place to compare for saltwater setups. In a saltwater aquarium there are a few additional considerations. First you must create saltwater. To do this, you add man-made aquarium salt to water. Most aquarium stores sell the salt and there are many brands from which to choose. Purists will tell you to use distilled water or water purified by a reverse-osmosis deionizing filter in your home. (I recommend this but many people have success with regular tap water.) Typically, you mix a half cup of salt per gallon of water (creating water with a specific gravity of 1.025. Think: “how salty is the water?”). I typically do this in a five-gallon bucket. Saltwater can also be purchased already mixed from some aquarium stores. Next you must add substrate to the aquarium. Here again this is not difficult, but you should not use the brightly colored gravel from the freshwater aisle. You’ll want to use some version of crushed coral or anything that is aragonite based. Just search the pet store


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The goal is to create a happy, healthy home for your fish and corals, while having a beautiful attraction in your home or office that doesn’t look like a green, slimy science class project.

ORA Trade Show Tank photo by John Carlin

for saltwater aquarium substrate and you will find that there are many options. It’s time to create a habitat for the fish, corals, shrimp, and anything else you might want to enjoy. This step is a big deviation from freshwater aquariums. You will build your habitat with something called “live rock.” The discovery of live rock for aquarium use was a critical turning point in the successful keeping of saltwater aquaria. It performs several vital functions and is worth discussing at some length. Live rock is not actually “alive.” It is ocean rock that is extremely porous and covered with beneficial bacteria. Because the rock is porous, it has more surface area and can therefore host more bacteria. These bacteria break down waste from the fish and uneaten food. In addition, the rock is full of crevices and caves that, when stacked creatively, create a wonderful habitat for the fish. If you wish to add corals, the live rock will serve as the backbone of your reef, and corals can be affixed in strategic locations to create a beautiful aquascape. It is recommended that you use a pound or more of live rock for each gallon of water. So

a 20-gallon aquarium would typically require 20 pounds of rock. Live rock can be expensive and is often a barrier for customers. It is a major difference in cost between fresh and saltwater aquariums. It is, however, essential if you want a thriving saltwater aquarium. Filtration for saltwater aquariums is a little different than freshwater tanks. The live rock you just paid so much money for is doing the lion’s share of the work. But, in order to be effective, you must create “flow” in your aquarium to mimic ocean currents and allow bacteria to convert fish waste into non-toxic nitrates. Fortunately, flow is easily created with small pumps which attach to the side of the tank called power heads. All they do is circulate the water. Think of it this way, the more the water that passes by bacteria in the rock, the more the rock can “scrub” the water. Power heads can be angled in many directions. It is best to create a chaotic water flow to prevent eddies and miniature backwaters where excess nutrients can settle. All power heads are rated by how many gallons per hour they create.

You want a minimum of 10 times the volume of your aquarium every hour; even more if the aquarium is heavily stocked or if you are keeping live corals. In addition to the power heads, you will want some sort of traditional filter – not unlike a freshwater aquarium. Small aquariums can often be maintained with simple hang-onthe-back filters or canister filters, where water passes through some sort of mesh to remove large particles from the water. The water also passes through activated charcoal or carbon, which aids in purification and water clarity. Protein skimmers are an additional form of filtration for saltwater tanks. These filters work by infusing the water with thousands of tiny bubbles that create foam within the filter, which is usually hidden in the stand under larger aquariums. When the foam bubbles burst, they create a liquid that is captured in the filter. This process removes a massive amount of organic waste from the saltwater aquarium. Finally, you will want to consider lighting. If your only goal is to watch your fish, then


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standard, low-powered strip lights will be fine. If you wish to maintain a few corals or anemones in your aquarium, you will need a stronger light source. Many corals are photosynthetic, like plants, and they will require lighting that supports them properly. In addition, you will find that more advanced lighting will enhance the colors of your fish and other livestock. LED technology has all but taken over the aquarium hobby in the past two years and has many advantages over fluorescent and other types of lights. A word of caution about lighting. If you leave your lights on too many hours a day, you will wind up with algae in your aquarium. Typically lights should be on no more than six to eight hours per day. You’ll want to adjust based upon your own tank and coral selection. If you are not maintaining corals, I suggest only turning the lights on when you want to watch your fish. Remember: light + excess nutrients = algae. Many aquarium keepers do not do water changes. Novices cringe when I talk about water changes, thinking they must drain their tank


live rock, the amount of waste will temporarily outpace the bacteria, resulting in an ammonia spike that often kills fish. This is true in both fresh and saltwater tanks. Please be sure to add the appropriate sized bottle of bacteria when setting up the tank. As long as you do not add too many fish at once, you should never suffer “new tank syndrome.” In a nutshell, saltwater aquariums are the same as freshwater tanks except you will use saltwater, ocean-based gravel, live rock, additional flow, and possibly protein skimming. If you set the aquarium up as described, you will Photo by John Carlin find that you have that healthy, happy and beautiful asset to your home or ofon a regular basis. That’s not necessary. I recom- fice that you desired. mend removing 20 percent of the water every Don’t worry – if you want to take on more two weeks and replacing it with freshly made responsibility there’s a lot more to learn and saltwater. This helps battle nutrients and main- the saltwater hobby can be addictive. tain the aquarium’s supply of trace minerals. Like gardeners, you may find you want to A significant development over the past go even bigger next year. NYP JoÚ Carlin is a regular contributor to NY few years has been the availability of bacteria in a bottle such as Bio-Spira®. This is the bacte- Pets Magazine. He lives in Roanoke, Virginia ria I mentioned that colonizes the live rock and where he is an award-winning journalist and helps break down fish waste. Often, even with president of Carlin Aquarium Systems.


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Secrets to having a happy feline Dr. Andrew Thayer

greatly reducing it, or in some cases eliminating it, you can slim your cat down. Vaccinating your cat is extremely important in terms of keeping your pet healthy. There are core vaccines that all cats receive and then there are non-core vaccines that depend on where you live, your pet’s lifestyle, and other factors. For those opposed to vaccinating their cat, your veterinarian can check titers through a blood test. Titers measure the amount of circulating antibody, and if high enough, may mean your cat doesn’t need to be vaccinated.


aking sure the members of your family stay healthy is of paramount importance. You make your trip to the doctor annually; your feline friends should too. One could actually make the argument that by bringing them to the vet annually, you are actually bringing them every seven years in terms of a cat’s life span. When you realize that one human year is approximately seven years to a cat, bringing them annually does not seem so strange. In my experience, the owner is frequently far more anxious about the whole event than the cat. Reasons for annual visits range from findings your veterinarian may notice on physical examination, which may indicate certain medical problems to misconceptions about hairball vomiting being “normal.” Cats hide their illness well and frequently it takes a veterinarian’s expertise to be able to notice the subtle changes that may indicate disease. During my history questions, I frequently encounter clients who think their cats are healthy. When I ask if the cat ever spits up hairballs they say “sure he does, about three times per week, but that is normal.” It is misconceptions like this that only a veterinarian can dispel and explain. Cats that vomit hairballs more

than once a month usually have an underlying gastrointestinal disorder, the most common being inflammatory bowel disease. When was the last time you opened your cat’s mouth? Research has shown that 85 percent of cats need their first dentistry between three and five years of age. Dental disease can lead to kidney, heart, liver, bladder, and respiratory infections if left untreated. As part of the physical examination, your veterinarian will look in your cat’s mouth and assess the need for a dental cleaning. During the examination, your veterinarian will also weigh your cat. Weight loss may indicate that a disease process is going on even if your cat is acting normal. Your veterinarian may recommend doing blood work to rule out certain diseases. On the other hand, many cats are overweight. Clients accept this because there is no easy way to exercise cats so they feel there is nothing they can do. Cats that are overweight are at risk of heart disease and diabetes mellitus. By simply changing what you feed your cat, you can make big changes to your cat’s weight. Cats are obligate carnivores. That means that they are meat eaters. Dry food is mostly carbohydrates. This is what contributes to the belly that hangs down and swings as they run. By

Here are some quick tips for keeping your cat healthy: Annual examination, vaccines (or titers), blood work and stool sample Bringing your pet to the veterinarian at the first signs of health problems Proper nutrition (cat food, not people food) 24-hour access to clean, fresh water Clean litter box Environment clear of hazards (toxic plants, flower, string, etc.) Lots of loving

• •

• • • • •

As you can see, taking your cat to the vet annually is an extremely important part of your cat’s welfare. From discovering problems you didn’t know existed to vaccines and to nutritional advice, your veterinarian will help you keep your cat happy and healthy. If they could, I know your cat would thank you for it. NYP Dr. Andrew Thayer received his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. He has worked at the ASPCA’s Bergh Memorial Hospital as a staff veterinarian, animal hospitals in Westchester County and Fairfield, Connecticut as well as emergency veterinary facilities. Andrew established the Hartsdale Veterinary Hospital in 2002 and has been the head of medicine for the last 11 years.

SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | NY Pets Magazine

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Tips to Keep Your Pet Well Hydrated

As pet parents, we control what our dogs and cats eat and drink. We measure food, but how many of us measure the amount of water we provide our pets daily? Water is one of the most important nutrients you can provide to your pet to achieve optimal health. The amount of water each dog or cat requires and consumes can be very different, so it’s your job as the pet owner to make sure your pet is getting enough water throughout the day. But how much do they need? To help put this into perspective, here are some examples from an article by JT Clough, a dog trainer in California: “A 7-pound adult Maltese with activities consisting of one 20-minute slow walk and some light indoor activities, would need approximately 1½ cups of water throughout the day to maintain a proper level of body fluid. A dog weighing 65 pounds would require approximately 7 cups of water depending on exercise, anxiety, climate and diet.” (www. Pet water requirements are influenced by factors such as species, size, level of activity, local climate, and the kind of food being fed. Talk with your veterinarian about how much water your pet should consume on a daily basis. To ensure your pet is drinking enough, first you need to have a sense of how much he’s already drinking throughout the day. Most people know how much their pet eats throughout the day but have you found empty water bowls and never realized how long they have been empty? In my household, we start the day with 8 cups of water distributed between 2 bowls. By the end of the day, I know how much is consumed and am also aware of empty bowls requiring replenishment. Keeping water bowls full is an easy way to increase intake. Another simple way to ensure your pet gets enough water is to increase the amount of wet food he is eating. Following the advice of

Halo’s Veterinarian, Dr. Donna Spector, both of my dogs eat a combination of wet and dry food daily. I feed high moisture Spot’s Stew wet food in the morning and dry kibbles later in the afternoon and on some occasions, a combination of wet and dry. To learn more about how to combine wet and dry diets, visit: pet-education/pet-articles/feeding-halocanned-dry-formulas.html Just like staying well hydrated promotes good health in humans, it’s important that our pets get enough fluids as well. Know the amount of fluids your pet needs to be healthy, put a system in place to keep track of what he’s drinking and then take measures to increase his water intake if needed. These simple steps will keep your pet happy, healthy, and well hydrated. Bettie Hamilton, a Northport resident, is the VP Marketing & Product Development for Halo, Purely for Pets. NYP

SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | NY Pets Magazine

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Bonding through affection and proper grooming Dr. Suzanne L. Fox

Although there are some cons to grooming, such as getting covered in dirt and horse hair at times, the pros greatly outweigh the cons. There are numerous benefits that both the horse and the horse enthusiast receive from grooming. The time spent grooming helps to create a bond of trust between the pair. Furthermore, information that is gained about a horse on the ground is an invaluable asset for a rider. So, let’s take a more in-depth look at the benefits of grooming.


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he second benefit we will discuss demonstrates how physically therapeutic grooming is for horses. The techniques that are used to clean the horse’s coat increase circulation and stimulate lymphatic drainage. These are both very important aspects of good health. Additionally, the relaxation effect that grooming has on the horse causes stimulation to the calming part of the nervous system, known as the parasympathetic nervous system. By nature, horses are flight animals, which means they are always ready to run away from things that scare them. This can best be exhibited through the dreaded “spook” when you’re riding. Physiological healing processes for the horse only take place when the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated. Therefore, stress relief received by the horse via grooming, truly improves your horse’s health! Believe it or not, grooming is essential for protecting your horse’s health. This third benefit to grooming is all about the horse owner and/or rider being proactive in the care of their horse’s health. You might be surprised to learn that something as simple as brushing your horse’s legs can help you discover an early ligament or tendon injury, thus preventing a major one from occurring. Or, that picking out horses’ hooves can prevent stone bruises. What about checking your horse for ticks, which cause numerous diseases? How about seeing your horse’s back dip down while grooming, indicating muscle soreness or spasm? The list could go on and on, but it’s obvious how important it is to thoroughly groom a horse. Doing so could help you detect issues early, or even completely prevent injuries and illnesses all together. Interestingly, there is a great deal of overlap between the equine and equestrian benefits of grooming. Let’s start by discussing the importance of building a bond with your equine friend, from a two-legged perspective.

Most people have heard that hugs are beneficial to your health. Well, grooming is equivalent to providing a series of hugs to your horse. the horse learns to trust you and to feel safe in your presence. 50


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The process of nurturing and caring for a horse is mutually beneficial for both the giver and the receiver. This mutually beneficial type of bond can only come from quality time spent together and learning what makes each other tick. This type of relationship can only improve one’s health. There is clear medical research that shows owning a pet lowers blood pressure, decreases anxiety, increases immune function, and improves depression. These are just a few proven health-boosting effects from pets. So, when a person starts to bond with a horse, especially through the physical contact of grooming, all of the above benefits, plus many more, get kicked into gear. The process of nurturing and caring for a horse is mutually beneficial for both the giver and the receiver. This mutually beneficial type of bond can only come from quality time spent together and

learning what makes each other tick. This type of relationship can only improve one’s health. The second favorable aspect of grooming for the equestrian is physical. Often, people ride their horses after sitting at a desk all day. Grooming is a great way to warm your muscles before riding, which is very helpful in preventing muscle and ligament sprains. Additionally, just as grooming increases circulation and lymphatic drainage for horses, it does the same for people. Although grooming provides a great upper body workout, especially for toning the triceps, it truly is a full-body

workout. Muscles are used differently during the grooming process than they are during normal activities of daily living and, diversity of exercise has been found to improve overall physiological function. When we’re going through the motion of things we do regularly and automatically, sometimes we forget to look for the underlying treasures that might be hidden. This last benefit may be more fitting for people who ride new horses frequently, but should still be applied if you consistently ride the same horse. Horses, like people, feel different from

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day to day, and checking in with them regularly is important. For years I did not own a horse, but fortunately had the opportunity to ride many different horses. In fact, while working at a barn that bought and sold horses frequently, I was often only told about the horse’s show history, not what he/she was actually like to ride. This experience taught me to use my grooming time wisely in order to gain insight as to what I could expect when I got in the saddle. Here are some fundamentally important things to observe during the grooming process:

• When you ask the horse to move his body

• •


over from right to left and left to right, does he ignore you or move right over? This is helpful for determining if the horse is going to be sensitive or dull to your riding aids. Does the horse seem to move one side of his body more freely than the other? In other words, is his range of motion from side-to-side the same? In his neck? In his ribcage? This will give you an idea if the horse is going to be more “stiff ” while riding in one direction or another. Is it hard for the horse to pick up any of his hooves? In this case, you would be concerned if there was an issue because that could indicate a potential underlying lameness. Does the horse spook or seem scared while being groomed? It’s always good to be prepared with this scenario. If the horse is spooky on the ground, expect the same when you get on his back.

This Q & A could continue, but it is clear to see how insightful grooming can really be when you investigate underneath the surface. All of the information gathered during the grooming process truly makes you a more aware rider, which ultimately can keep you safer on horseback. NYP For a step-by-step grooming experience visit our website: As an avid equine lover, Dr. Suzanne L. Fox has enjoyed the company of horses and the privilege of riding them for over 26 years. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Science and then continued on to receive her Doctor of Chiropractic degree, as well as her Diplomat in Nutrition. Suzanne currently practices with her husband Ryan in their Chapel Hill, NC office. They have a son who also shares in their love of horses. Dr. Suzanne L. Fox Chapel Hill Chiropractic Centre tel: (919) 968-4417, fax: (919) 968-4243 SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | NY PEtS MaGazINE

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Addiction The guide to raising hens at home Dawn Russell

Welcome to the wonderful world of chicken addiction, ownership, laughter, and amusement. With a little research on the best breeds, and some planning involving coop development and placement, you will be on your way.


aving chickens in the yard will probably require a few changes to your routine. Let’s start with lifestyle: As a first-time chicken owner, you will not see a dramatic lifestyle change, but it will be altered a bit. You may find yourself calling on friends, family, or neighbors to assist you with moving bales of straw from your vehicle to the coop for nesting boxes or to use for ground cover. However, you might find that pine shavings suit your backyard situation. Pine-shaving bags are awkward to maneuver unless you can find them in smaller more manageable sizes. Most often, you will end up hauling a heavy bag of grain; i.e., 50 lbs. is quite heavy to most of us! Don’t throw out your back or hurt yourself all in the name of fresh eggs and the great chicken movement.


If there are stronger people in your neighborhood, you should call upon them to help with the manual labor. Offer to work out a trade for fresh eggs. Having others help haul heavy items from place to place is a win-win situation. If you start with baby chicks you will likely have them inside your house, garage, and bathroom – somewhere near an electrical outlet because they will need the extra warmth of a heat lamp. Clear bulbs often give off an intense and blaring classroom-like brightness. If you choose a red bulb for the lamp, it will add a calming ambiance to the room and can also be a wee bit more soothing to baby chicks. Schedule: Whether you are raising baby chicks, pullets or laying hens, you will likely discover yourself checking in on them more frequently than

you had originally anticipated. Requirements include a morning visit to provide fresh water and to check food. In the evening, another check is required to ensure all is well, to refresh the water bowl, and to make sure havoc has not broken out. Every visit in between is good chicken stewardship. I promise you will find additional time to check on water, toss out some treats, and to sneak a peek into a nesting box for the coveted first egg. Pull up a seat and watch what they do. Regardless of the age, you are in for a show. You will find yourself amazed at each bird’s character and personality. Time Off and Vacations: If you are going to be away, you’ll need the assistance of a chicken sitter. As far as I’m aware, we chicken nuts haven’t come up with the concept of ‘kenneling’ our chickens – and


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likely to create such a mess. For a younger flock or chicks, a heat lamp is likely involved and clean water free of manure and bedding is essential. Younger birds are just messier and remind me of art time in pre-school. The older hen mommas are less likely to create such a mess within their surroundings Luckily, you’ll find that just about everyone has a particular interest – or is at least curious about chickens – and will enjoy filling in during your absence. Suggestions before your trip: Think about your daily routine and create a detailed chore list. Make at least three copies of the list in case one gets lost, wet, or misplaced. Have your sitter come over and go through the routine on the list so everyone is confident about what is expected. Stock up the food and necessities you use with your flock before you head out of town.

• • • •

that’s a relief. If you are going to be out of town and not available for your regular and scheduled daily chicken chores, I suggest you have someone nearby fill in for you. The schedule that you outline for your chicken sitter is dependent upon the season and age of your flock. The older girls will need clean water

and a quick scratch here and there in the yard for an hour or so, along with some treats. Collecting eggs and ensuring the flock is tucked in nicely at nightfall is a must-do. Chicks are more prone to thrashing pine shavings into their water on numerous occasions throughout the day, while the older mature hen is less

In conclusion, you’ll find that there is little adjustment needed to include chicks and chickens in your current lifestyle. A little planning, and some strategic bribes, and it is official!

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How It All Got Started

In 2005 my son, Jake, participated in a local 4H poultry project. Within months our household changed dramatically: feeders, fountains, shavings, baby chicks, brooder lights, brooders – everywhere (the garage, the house, the kitchen, the extra bathroom). To say that I personally became involved is a total understatement. Around 2007/8 I left my job as a Legal Secretary in San Francisco to care for my ailing grandmother and to open up our family barn to the public. We sold poultry supplies, taught how-to classes, took in abandoned roosters, and sold live chickens of all ages. At one time we had a menagerie of chickens, emus, ducks, horses, pygmy goats, Boer goats, roosters, chickens, and more chickens. We had a ball! The golden nugget that I heard from all my customers during that period was “what


else can/do chickens eat?” There was a great emphasis on organics – and with that I began to research and create healthy alternatives to chicken scratch; a boring and low-nutrient product consisting of corn, wheat, and milo. In 2009 Treats for Chickens “hatched” with our signature Worms’n Flakes (treat), Nesting Box Blend (non-toxic pest control), and Cluck’n Sea Kelp (supplement). In 2011 we first began selling wholesale and to online merchants and shortly thereafter had our first distributor. 2013 was exciting for us as we obtained USDA Organic Certification and launched a NonGMO line as well.

Our product lineup includes: ORGANIC Chicken Crack Cluck Yea Cluck’n Sea Kelp Pumpkin Seed Snacks Nesting Box Blends Worms’n Flakes

NON-GMO Here Chick Chicken Mealworm Delight Pullet Together

Treats for Chickens is a woman-owned and operated business. Our flock of chickens are our personal treat testers. NYP Dawn Russell Treats for Chickens, LLC President/Owner/Creative Director 877-598-4468


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Patchwork of local ordinances could affect you


ere in New York, it seems like lawmakers’ jobs are never done. Two-year legislative sessions mean that any bills that are introduced in an odd-numbered year like 2013 stay active until the end of the following year. We at the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) have been monitoring hundreds of pieces of legislation since their introduction, and we continue to watch for developments that impact you and your pets. On January 10, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed Assembly Bill 740 / Senate Bill 3753 into law. This law rejects consistent statewide standards of care by opening the door for municipalities to enact a patchwork of local ordinances regarding pet dealers. Whether restricting sources of pets, imposing new fees, or creating additional requirements for pet dealers, the ultimate result of these new local ordinances is likely to be felt by pet owners in the form of price increases and confusion as stores in neighboring towns find themselves governed by different sets of regulations. Several of the proposed bills we alerted you to last year are still on the docket and could be brought up for consideration. These include Senate Bill 694, which would require completion of obedience training prior to obtaining a dog license, and several bills that would impose surcharges on animal sales to fund animal shelter and wildlife rehabilitation. Again, these new fees and requirements would make it more expensive and more difficult to purchase and keep your animal friends. It’s not all bad news for pet owners, as some beneficial bills have carried over that could see a vote this year. Senate Bill 624 would prohibit insurers from discriminating

Senate Bill 694 would require completion of obedience training prior to obtaining a dog license, and several bills that would impose surcharges on animal sales to fund animal shelter and wildlife rehabilitation. against policy holders and applicants on the basis of the breed of dog they own. Insurers could not refuse to issue or renew a policy, nor could they cancel or charge additional premiums on existing policies because of your pet. And a pair of bills in the Senate and the Assembly (S 2795 and A 976) would provide a tax credit for owners who choose to spay or neuter their pets. New bills will continue to be introduced throughout the legislative session; it’s a safe bet that they will impact every aspect of your relationship to your pet, from purchase to

licensing, care, and grooming. Do yourself and your pet a favor and stay informed – talk to the staff at your local pet store and keep an eye out for issue alerts and calls to action, then get involved. We need your voice. NYP

Mike Bober Vice President of Government Affairs Contact: 202-452-1525


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Puppy Rules Top three things you can do to help your new pup THRIVE Whether puppies come from a shelter, a breeder, or a pet store, there is one thing they have in common – they deserve to thrive in their new homes. Lise Pratt

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e cles e n.

the primary and most important time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life. During this time puppies should be exposed to as many new people, animals, stimuli, and environments as can be achieved safely …


Get your puppy out into the world the day after you bring it home. The critical period for socialization in dogs ends at 16 weeks of age, so there is not much time. If your pup has had its first vaccine, get it out to meet the world. In 2008, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior released a position paper stating: “The primary and most important time for puppy socialization is the first three months of life. During this time puppies should be exposed to as many new people, animals, stimuli, and environments as can be achieved safely and without causing over-stimulation manifested as excessive fear, withdrawal, or avoidance behavior. For this reason, the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior believes that it should be the standard of care for puppies to receive such socialization before they are fully vaccinated.” Clearly veterinary behaviorists believe it is more important for puppies to be socialized than to be protected from the slight risk of disease. You can find the AVSAB’s position paper on Avidog’s Puppy College Resource Page (http:// If your veterinarian discourages you from taking


your puppy out until it is fully vaccinated, print out the position and have a conversation with your vet about the importance of getting your puppy out into the world during the important early weeks. Puppies are usually more curious than fearful of new things at this young age. Your window of opportunity to let your pup experience all the novel things in its life is limited, so get started today. Knowing there are risks, be smart and think about where to take your pup to avoid exposure to disease. • Keep your puppy away from other dogs and puppies unless you know they are vaccinated. • Avoid dog parks, pet stores, and potty areas at highway rest stops. • At the vet’s office keep your puppy out of the potty area and away from other dogs in the office. • Bring your puppy to home improvement stores or any dog-friendly store. • Walk around town or outside a mall. • Take your pup to a train station or kids’ ball game. Remember to be prepared to clean up after your puppy. You want to safely expose your puppy to

as many things as you can. If you live in the city, take your puppy for a long walk every day to let it absorb the sights, sounds, and smells of city life. Your pup should hear the noises of alarms, sirens, traffic, trucks being unloaded, and construction sites. Let it watch vehicles of all shapes and sizes moving past. Even though your puppy is small, let it experience all these things with feet on the ground. Find some gravel, cement, asphalt, and grass to walk on. If you live in the suburbs or the country, take your puppy to a wooded area for an off-leash walk. Young puppies instinctively follow their mothers, so your pup will follow you, the new “parent.” Go to a safe area, set your puppy down and start walking. Keep an eye on it and let it explore the great outdoors. Be sure to reward the pup when it checks in with you. Let it see horses and cows, although not close enough to get kicked or stepped on. Take your pup to the park to watch the kids play ball. If you have one, get out on your boat or plane. Take your new friend on errands with you. Let it experience car rides and meet all sorts of new people. You get the idea – do anything you can think of with your puppy, always keeping safety in mind. It’s important to remember whenever


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you take your puppy out that you should be watching what it is doing as you introduce the new world rather than drag it around at the end of a leash. You want to be sure these new experiences are really good experiences for your puppy. Give lots of treats when your pup is confidently exploring a new environment. Praise curiosity about things and encourage your pup when it is hesitant, but never force it to approach things it is fearful of. Most of importantly, have fun together.


Find a dog training school that offers a puppy class where they allow your puppy to safely play with other puppies. If your puppy has had its first vaccine it is ready for you to take it to class. Puppies aren’t born knowing how to “speak dog” so your pup needs to learn how to communicate with other dogs during this critical time. During the play sessions your puppy will be learning bite inhibition, how to read other dogs’ body language, barks and growls that say things like “play with me,” “back off,” or “chase me.” Letting your puppy interact with one or two other dogs in the family or neighborhood will NOT allow it to learn as much as it can by

enrolling it in a good puppy class. We cannot stress enough how important it is for you to give your puppy the opportunity to learn how to be confident and polite around dogs of all shapes and sizes, so if possible, look for a class with a wide range of puppies. If they also introduce lots of novel things to the pups in class, all the better. Introducing your puppy to adult dogs is important, but be absolutely sure that the adult dog is good with puppies. Some dogs are very tolerant of puppies while others want nothing to do with them. If you are not sure how to introduce your pup to an adult dog, ask the instructor at your puppy class for guidance. When puppies play, it often looks like they are fighting. Watch the puppies to see if one puppy is trying to get away from the other puppy. If so, rescue the fearful one. If you are just seeing a loud rough-and-tumble play style where both puppies keep coming back for more, let them continue playing.


Remember This Word – Consistency! When you bring your puppy home, it will have no idea what the rules are going to be. It is up to you to teach what it needs to know to become the com-

panion that you want it to be. To be fair to your puppy, however, everyone in the house has to enforce the rules. As a family, decide how you want your puppy to behave as an adult dog. Will the pup, as an adult, be allowed to: • Sleep in your bed • Jump on people • Sit in your lap • Pull on leash • Bark while you’re making her dinner • Have access to the whole house Every time you let your puppy do something that you don’t want it doing as an adult you are making it much harder for it to learn the rules. You may know the difference, but the pup won’t. So to be fair to your puppy, keep the rules consistent. Your puppy is learning every moment of every day – your job is to teach the things you want it to learn. Make a list of the rules you want your puppy to learn and hang it where everyone can see it. When training, your focus should be on rewarding the things you like it doing rather than correcting it for things you don’t like. The more you reward the things you do like, the more your puppy will give you those behaviors. It will help if your list of rules

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focuses on the things you want to reward. Here are some of the house rules my new golden retriever puppy, True, lives by: • Play quietly in the crate or ex-pen. • Keep four feet on the floor, unless invited to do otherwise. • When at any door wait for me to go through first. • Walk on a loose leash. • Chew only on appropriate things. • Lie on the mat while we eat dinner. • Take treats gently from my hand. • Sit quietly and wait for the dinner bowl to be placed on the floor. Each time my puppy is doing any of these things I reward him generously. I don’t expect him to get them right 100 percent of the time, but I do expect myself to pay attention to what he is doing and reward him when he does them. At just 12 weeks he’s getting the idea! So how do you teach your puppy these things? Look for a puppy program in your area, check online resources, and of course, you can join us for online training and coaching at NYP Lise Pratt has been teaching people how to raise and train their puppies for over 20 years. Feeling frustrated by of her inability to help all the people seeking her guidance because of time constraints, Lise, along with her two partners Marcy Burke and Gayle Watkins, started Avidog International. Through Avidog University, puppy owners can learn how to jump-start their puppies to become wonderful family companions, as well as competition and working dogs. Avidog’s multi-media format offers opportunities to learn through digital ebooks, videos, and live question and answer sessions where every week students talk with the experts to get answers to their individual questions. You can find Avidog online



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We invite you to support our neighbors distributing this magazine Pet related distribution CONNECTICUT Animal Fair 90 Danbury Road Ridgefield, CT 06877 (203) 438-2747 Choice Pet Supply 67 Newtown Road Danbury, CT 06810 (203) 792-5800 Choice Pet Supply 1947 Black Rock Turnpike Fairfield, CT 06825 (203) 334-4242 Choice Pet Supply 80 East Putnam Avenue Greenwich, CT 06830 (203) 869-4999 Choice Pet Supply 535 Monroe Turnpike Monroe, CT 06468 (203) 261-1222 Choice Pet Supply 63 Washington Avenue North Haven, CT 06473 (203) 234-1711 Choice Pet Supply 352 Westport Avenue Norwalk, CT 06854 (203) 847-4455 Choice Pet Supply 360 Connecticut Avenue Norwalk, CT 06854 (203) 853-2777 Choice Pet Supply 949 Highridge Road Stamford, CT 06902 (203) 968-2600 Choice Pet Supply 374 Post Road East Westport, CT 06880 (203) 226-1111 Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital 44 Mill Plain Road Danbury, CT 06811 (203) 743-9999 Pooch Paradise Dog Grooming Salon 18 Mill Plain Road Danbury, CT 06811 (203) 743-5400 Puppy Love 37 Lake Avenue Ext. Danbury, CT 06811 (203) 743-5400

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Bark At The Moon 1283 Springfield Avenue New Providence, NJ 07974 (908) 665-0029

Milburn Pet & Wild Bird Shop 378 Milburn Avenue Milburn, NJ 07041 (973) 376-4744

Bill’s Wonderland Of Pets 804 White Horse Pike North Magnolia, NJ 08049 (845) 435-0800

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Canis Minor Newport 31 River Drive South Jersey City, NJ 07310 (201) 626-5545

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Terry’s Pet Depot 1711 Route 10 East Morris Plains, NJ 07950 (973) 538-7387 The Hungry Puppy 1288 Highway 33 Farmingdale, NJ 07727 (800) 815-4316 Top Dog Urban Paws 26 Maple Street Summit, NJ 07901 (908) 277-9600 Westwood Pets Unlimited 15 Westwood Avenue Westwood, NJ 07675 (201) 666-7111 NEW YORK Aardvark Pet Supplies, Inc 58 Washington Avenue Pleasantville, NY 10570 (914) 747-4848 Accord Plaza Feeds 4739 US Highway 209 Accord, NY 12404 (845) 626-7675 All Paws 31 Purchase Street Rye, NY 10580 (914) 921-1690 Animal Appetites Ltd. 1918 Wantagh Avenue Wantagh, NY 11793 (516) 785-5142 Animal Fair, Inc 153 Prospect Park Southwest Brooklyn, NY 11218 (718) 853-5664 Animal Feeds 3255 Park Avenue Bronx, NY 10451 (718) 293-7750 Animal Kingdom USA 100 A Independent Way Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 278-6400 Animal Pantry 137-20 Cross Bay Boulevard Ozone Park, NY 11417 (718) 845-8400 Animal Pantry 190 Merritts Road Farmingdale, NY 11735 (516) 586-8665 Animal Pantry 620 Sunrise Highway West Babylon, NY 11704 (718) 845-8400 Animal Pantry 693 86th Street Brooklyn, NY 11228 (718) 680-2220 Animal Pantry 741 W. Jericho Turnpike Huntington, NY 11743 (631) 673-3666 u

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Animal Rescue Ark PO Box 345 Patterson, NY 12563 (845) 319-7701

Canis Minor Gramercy Park 238 3rd Avenue New York, NY 10003 (212) 228-4848

Baldwin Place Animal Hospital 21 Miller Road Mahopac, NY 10541 (845) 628-0191

Canis Minor Tribecca 106 Reade Street New York, NY 10013 (212) 219-1632

Bark & Meow 9A South Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 (914) 524-7373

Carmel Animal Hospital 235 Route 52 Carmel, NY 10512 (845) 225-4200

Barking Zoo 172 Ninth Avenue New York, NY 10011 (212) 255-0658 Bee-Well Pets 791 State Route 17M Monroe, NY 10950 (845) 774-2244 Benson’s Pet Center 12 Fire Road Clifton Park, NY 12065 (518) 373-1007 Benson’s Pet Center 197 Wolf Road Colonie, NY 12205 (518) 435-1738 Benson’s Pet Center 3083 Route 50 Wilton, NY 12866 (518) 584-7777 Benson’s Pet Center 118 Quaker Road Queensbury, NY 12804 (518) 793-6655 Bob’s Tropical 5745 Myrtle Avenue Flushing, NY 11385 (718) 821-2872 Brewster Veterinary Hospital 3455 Danbury Road Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 279-5053 Brian’s Aquarium & Pets 29 Rocky Point Yaphank Road Rocky Point, NY 11778 (631) 744-9023 Brook Farm Veterinary Center 2371 Route 22 Patterson, NY 12563 (845) 878-4833 BQE Pet 253 Wythe Avenue Brooklyn, NY 112459 (718) 486-7489 Brooklyn Zoo & Aquarium 2377 Ralph Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11234 (718) 251-7389 Brusarah Pet Grooming 904 South Lake Boulevard Mahopac, NY 10541 (845) 621-2405 Camp Bow Wow Rockland 101 Route 304 Nanuet, NY 10954 (845) 507-0068


Chip Awee Pets 3043 Buhre Avenue Bronx, NY 10461 (718) 684-2800 Choice Pets Ossining 240 S. Highland Avenue Ossining, NY 10562 (914) 762-4848 Choice Pets Supply Baldwin Place 80 Route 6 Somers, NY 10505 (914) 628-8888 Choice Pet Supply 385 North Central Avenue Hartsdale, NY 10530 (914) 686-7222 Choice Pet Supply 241 North Central Avenue Scarsdale, NY 10583 (914) 684-1444 Cody’s Cozy Pals 328 Old Niskauna Road Latham, NY 12210 (518) 786-7257 Community Pet Shop 347 New York Avenue Huntington, NY 11743 (631) 421-0088 Coral Aquarium 75-3 Roosevelt Avenue Jackson Heights, NY 11372 (718) 429-3934 Country Critters 152 Route 112 Patchougue, NY 11772 (631) 758-6777 Crosby Pet Center 1626 Crosby Avenue Bronx, NY 10461 (718) 822-6900 Cross Bronx Pet 2064 Cross Bronx Expy. Bronx, NY 10472 (718) 597-5652 Dapper Dog 37 Route 59 Nyack, NY 10960 (845) 353-3599 District Dog 142 Driggs Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11222 (718) 290-7434 Emmanuel’s Pet-Agree Stone Ridge Plaza 3853 Main Street Stone Ridge, NY 12484 (845) 687-2500 Feeds Plus Inc. 4286 Albany Post Road Hyde Park, NY 12538 (845) 229-0648

Feeds Plus Inc. 19 Vassar Road Poughkeepsie, NY 12603 (845) 214-0777 Ferals In Peril Fluffy Puppy Dog Grooming 100A Independent Way Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 270-3175 Fred’s Pet Center 11 Spring Valley Marketplace Spring Valley, NY 10977 (845) 425-4848 Furry Fiends 630 West 207th Street New York, NY 10034 (212) 942-0222 Furry Rascals 3915 Broadway New York, NY 10032 (212) 923-0000 Fussy Friends 148 Newark Newark, NY 07302 (201) 333-6400 GE Masten Feed Store Inc Route 44 & West Road Pleasant Valley, NY 12569 (845) 635-2553 Goldens Bridge Veterinary Care Center 15 Anderson Lane Goldens Bridge, NY 10526 (914) 232-8800 Guchi Dog Grooming 114 Gleneida Avenue (Rte. 52) Carmel, NY 10512 (845) 225-5999 Happy Paws Pet Resort 316 Lafayette Street New York, NY 10012 (212) 431-6898

Hudson Highlands Veterinary Medical Group 222 Lime Kiln Road Hopewell Junction, NY 10512 (845) 221-2244 Hudson Valley Animal Hospital 4 Old Lake Road Valley Cottage, NY 10989 (845) 268-0089 K-9 Caterers 75-16 Woodhaven Boulevard Glendale, NY 11385 (718) 894-2416 K9 Korral Dog Run 85th Street and Park Lane South Woodhaven, NY 11421 (917) 337-7613 K-9 Express 687 Glen Cove Road Glen Head, NY 11545 (516) 676-5282

Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center 546 N. Bedford Road Bedford Hills, NY 10507 (914) 241-7700 Le Pitou 107-25 71st Road Forest Hills, NY 11375 (718) 674-6496 Le Pitou II 113-24 Queens Boulevard Forest Hills, NY 11375 (718) 896-3333 Liberty Agway Home Garden/Pet 11 Bon Jovi Lane Liberty, NY 12754 (845) 292-1255 Llittle Acres Aviary 2235 Route 208 Montgomery, NY 12549 (845) 457-1617

Hartsdale Veterinary Hospital 193 East Hartsdale Avenue Hartsdale, NY 12533 (914) 723-4006

Little Creatures 770 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10025 (212) 932-8610

Have Dog Walker Will Travel, Inc Valley Cottage, NY 10989 (845) 608-4522

Little Creatures 525 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10025 (212) 877-4300

Haverstraw Animal Hospital 153 Route 9W Haverstraw, NY 10927 (845) 429-3693 Healthy Pet Center 154 Delaware Avenue Delmar, NY 12054 (518) 487-4587 Healthy Pet Center 235 N. Greenbush Road Troy, NY 12180 (518) 283-4027 Heritage Feed & Supply 2812 Route 17K Bullville, NY 10915 (845) 361-4081 Hometown Pet & Supply 48 Ronald Reagan Blvd Warwick, NY 10990 (845) 987-9444

Little Creatures 575 Columbus Avenue New York, NY 10024 (212) 799-4800 Lucas Pet Supply 30 Joys Lane Kingston, NY 12401 (845) 331-2469 Mac’s Farm & Garden World 145 Route 32 North New Paltz, NY 12561 (845) 255-0050 Mac’s Farm & Garden World 68 Firehouse Lane Red Hook, NY 12571 (845) 876-1559 Mahopac Animal Hospital 540 Route 6 Mahopac, NY 10541 (845) 628-2700 u


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Millerton Veterinary Practice 199 Route 44 Millerton, NY 12546 (518) 789-3440

Pawling Animal Clinic 550 New York Route 22 Pawling, NY 12564 (845) 350-0443

PETQUA 2604 Broadway at 98 & 99 Street New York, NY 10025 (212) 865-7500

Moriches Dog Grooming 333 Main Street Center Moriches, NY 11934 (631) 878-9496

Pet Ark 595 10th Avenue New York, NY 10036 (212) 564-3030

Pets NYC 594 Ninth Avenue New York, NY 10036 (212) 757-2924

Pet Ark 700 Columbus Avenue on 95th Street New York, NY 10025 (973) 808-1128

Pets Place II 120 East Route 59 Nanuet, NY 10954 (845) 623-5565

Pet Ark 3450 Broadway New York, NY 10031 (212) 368-8200

Pets On The Run 2920 Hoyt Avenue Astoria, NY 11102 (718) 545-0430

Mt. Kisco Veterinary Clinic 474 Lexington Avenue Mt Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 241-3337 Mutts & Butts 2076 Merrick Road Merrick, NY 11566 (516) 379-3456 New England Equine Practice 2933 New York 22 Patterson, NY 12563 (845) 878-7500 Nikkis Pet Salon 961 Route 6 Mahopac, NY 10541 (845) 621-7387 NYC Pet 218 5th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11217 (718) 230-8224 NYC Pet 241 Bedford Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718) 387-2220 NYC Pet 300 Graham Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718) 387-4700 NYC Pet 317 Knickerbocker Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11237 (347) 770-8688

Pet Ark 5008 Broadway New York, NY 10034 (212) 544-2300 Pet Ark 5662 Broadway Bronx, NY 10463 (718) 543-7300 Pet Ark 2959 Riverdale Avenue Bronx, NY 10471 (718) 708-6500 Pet Connection 6275 New York 25A Wading River, NY 11792 (631) 929-7387 Pet Country 6830 Route 9 Rhinebeck, NY 12572 (845) 876-9000 Pet Food City (Animal Pantry) 477 N. Burgher Avenue Staten Island, NY 10310 (718) 273-2900

Pets On The Run 989 Manhattan Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11222 (718) 389-0656 PetScentrix Grooming & Supplies 69 Lake Road Congers, NY 10920 (845) 268-4817 Pet-Topia 17 North Center Street Millerton, NY 12546 (518) 592-1379 Pine Bush Agway & Home 105 Depot Street Pine Bush, NY 12566 (845) 744-2011 Pleasantville Animal Hospital 479 Marble Avenue Pleasantville, NY 10570 (914) 769-3700 Pleasantville Grooming 53 Wheeler Avenue Pleasantville, NY 10570 (914) 449-6836 Progressive Animal Hospital 149 Route 202 & Lovell Street Somers, NY 10589 (914) 248-6220

NYC Pet 385 7th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215 (718) 768-3954

Pet Goods 1895 South Route 9 Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 (845) 297-3600

NYC Pet 464 Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11205 (718) 636-3848

Pet Goods 1125 Central Park Avenue Scarsdale, NY 10583 (914) 472-6050

Puppy Paradise 2082 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11234 (718) 252-7877

Pet Menu 191-15 Northern Boulevard Flushing, NY 11358 (718) 939-4738

Puppy Resources 1021 Bruckner Boulevard Bronx, NY 10459 (718) 378-7877

Pet Menu 743 Hillside Avenue New Hyde Park, NY 11040 (516) 352-4738

Puppy Resources 814 Westchester Avenue Bronx, NY 10455 (718) 842-4141

Pet Nutrition Center 115 E. Route 59 Nanuet, NY 10954 (845) 623-3214

Purrfect Pet 19-15 Mott Avenue Far Rockaway, NY 11691 (718) 868-4949

Petopia 29 Avenue A New York, NY 10009 (212) 353-2863

Putnam Humane Society 68 Old Route 6 Carmel, NY 10512 (845) 225-7777

NYC Pet 475 B Driggs Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211 (718) 218-7101 NYC Pet 667 Manhattan Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11222 (718) 383-3603 Pampered Paws Inc 811 Chestnut Ridge Road Unit N Spring Valley, NY 10977 (845) 350-0443 Pamper Ur Pets 225 West 16th Street New York, NY 10011 (212) 255-5523 PatterPaws Animal Hospital 76 Route 22 Pawling, NY 12564 (845) 319-9331

Pet Palace Groomerie 174 South Main Street New City, NY 10526 845-638-1378 Pet Palace of New City 174 South Main Street New City, NY 10526 (845) 638-1378

Rockapup 145 Beach 116th Street Rockaway Park, NY 11694 (347) 619-5369

Rockland Holistic Veterinary Care 626 Route 303 Blauvelt, NY 10913 (845) 348-7729 Roosevelt Veterinary Center 385 Main Street Beacon, NY 12508 (845) 202-7129 Roosevelt Veterinary Center 1515 New York 22 #3D Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 279-6578 Rye Harrison Veterinary Hospital 170 North Street Rye, NY 10580 (914) 921-2000 Sand Creek Animal Hospital 130 Wolf Road Albany, NY 12205 (518) 446-9171 Sarah Hodgson (914) 241-1111 Save More Pet Supply 23 Avenue B New York, NY 10009 (212) 253-5665 Shake a Paws 285-11 South Broadway Hicksville, NY 11801 (516) 938-7877 Shake a Paws 1 Atlantic Avenue Lynbrook, NY 11563 (516) 825-7877 Shirley Feed 675 Montauk Highway Shirley, NY 11967 (631) 281-2152 Somers Animal Hospital 352 Route 202 Somers, NY 10589 (914) 277-3686 SPCA of Westchester 590 North State Road Briarcliff, NY 10510 (914) 762-8312 Spoiled Brats 4 Bennet Avenue New York, NY 10033 (212) 543-2202 Spoiled Brats 340 West 49th Street New York, NY 10019 (212) 459-1615 Spring Valley Animal Hospital 151 Route 59 Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 356-8616 Sun Que Healing Animal Sanctuary P.O. Box 606 Pine Bush, NY 12566 (845) 268-0403 Steve’s Wonderful World Of Pets 5397 Sheridan Drive Williamsville, NY 14221 (716) 634-3397 u

SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | NY Pets Magazine

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Sue’s Zoo 18 New Paltz Plaza New Paltz, NY 12561 (845) 255-5797 The Barn Yard Feed & Pet Supply 462 Route 28 Kingston, NY 12401 (845) 339-2287 The Complete Aquarium 736 N. Bedford Road Bedford Hills, NY 10570 (714) 244-9174 The Dog Obedience Girl (D.O.G.) (914) 419-8958 The Natural Pet Center 609 Route 208 Gardiner, NY 12525 (845) 255-7387 The Pet Pub 717 Bedford Road Bedford Hills, NY 10507 (914) 241-3059 The Pet Stop Mid Valley Mall 39 N Plank Road Newburgh, NY 12550 (845) 562-5158 The Vet At The Barn 790 Chestnut Ridge Road Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 (845) 356-3838 Towne & Country Canine 3 Colonel Ferris Road South Salem, NY 10590 (914) 815-0098 www.towne& Total Pet Care 780 Broadway Avenue Holbrook, NY 11741 (631) 218-7680

Treat Your Pet 4397 Austin Boulevard Island Park, NY 11558 (516) 670-0470

Whitestone Pets 12-49 150 Street Whitestone, NY 11357 (718) 767-7445

Eye Adventure 118 Maple Avenue New City, NY 10956 (845) 639-1200

Tropical Pets 308 E. 204th Street Bronx, NY 10467 (718) 798-2283

Yorktown Animal Hospital 271 Veterans Road Yorktown Heights, NY 10598 (914) 962-3111

Midway Wine & Liquors 973 Central Park Avenue Scarsdale, NY 10583 (914) 874-5444

Yorktown Pet Grooming, Inc 1903 Commerce Street Yorktown Heights, NY 10598 (914) 962-4464

NickBee’s Eco Store 1 John Street Millerton, NY 12546 (518) 592-1177


Pine Grove Dude Ranch 30 Cherrytown Road Kerhonkson, NY 12446 (845) 626-7345

Tri-State Aquarium 191–8 Rt. 59 Suffern, NY 10901 (845) 918-1707 Trixie’s Pet Food 575 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11225 (718) 282-4499 Valley Cottage Animal Hospital 202 Route 303 Valley Cottage, NY 10989 (845) 268-9263 Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics 709 Bedford Road Bedford Hills, NY 10507 (914) 864-1414 Wags & Whiskers 392 King Street Chappaqua, NY 10514 (914) 238-0244 Walden Animal Deli 145 Hepper Street Walden, NY 12586 (845) 778-5252 West End Veterinary Office 41 Fullerton Avenue Newburgh, NY 12550 (845) 565-0804

Big Apple Car Brooklyn, NY (718) 236-7788 Big Daddy’s Wine & Liquor 174 South Main Street New City, NY 10956 (845) 638-9463 Cefola’s Auto Lube 143 New York 303 Valley Cottage, NY 10989 (845) 268-3138 Chris’ Automotive Center 349 New York 52 Carmel, NY 10512 (845) 225-3054 DeCicco Family Markets 50 Independent Way Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 278-0836 Depot Wines And Liquors 100 Independent Way Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 279-0112 D’s Bagels & Brunch 49 Lake Road Congers, NY 10920 (845) 589-0777

Wings Over Water 1511 New York 22 Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 279-9525 Wine For All 516 Route 303 Orangeburg, NY 10962 (845) 680-9463 PENNSYLVANIA Bensalem Aquarium & Pet Center 1909 Street Road Bensalem, PA 19020 (215) 639-3474 Dogs & Cats Rule 30 West Road Newton, PA 18940 (215) 497-7477 Dogs & Cats Rule 1969 Norristown Road Maple Glen, PA 19002 215-619-7775


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14-06-02 6:15 PM

Made for TV

Does your pet have star power? Cathryn (“Cat”) Long


ight after I hang up the phone, it rings; yet again. I pick it up to hear what I have heard a thousand, maybe a million, times before: “I know you must hear this all the time, but I really have the cutest dog in the whole world! I can’t walk down the street without people stopping me and telling me that my dog should be on television. So, I am calling you so I can find an animal agent!” I smile to myself and say, “Great, can you tell me a little about him or her?” Her name is Buttercup and she is a mutt. We adopted her last year. I think she is about three years old but we are not sure. She is so cute and everyone loves her! I further inquire, “That’s super, what kind of training does Buttercup have?” The voice on the phone goes silent, “Training? Well, she’s really cute and really smart but she’s not really trained.” I say, “It’s great to be cute, but in the world of animal modeling and acting, unfortunately, it is not enough to be just cute; pets have to be well trained to work.” “Ohhhh, well how do we get started?”Buttercup’s mom asks. I then give her the information our company shares with everyone: “Please email us one picture of your dog along with your contact information. We will email you our initial information sheet, which is a way for us to collect information about you and your pet. It includes background


questions, what training and skills they have, and your availability for doing shoots in and around the New York City area. It also tells you the specific pictures we will need. We will review your pet’s pictures and information. If we believe he/she has potential we will schedule you and your dog for an interview.” Here is some helpful advice in selecting an animal agent: 1. Seek out an agent with a long and reputable history. Credentials are key; look for a zoology degree or a professional dog trainer on staff. Experience in advertising, production, or the television industry is key too. 2. Find an agent who has actual, handson experience training and handling animals – not just a broker. 3. Be wary of an agent who asks for money, makes you sign up for photos or training or requires a fee for listing your pet with their agency (it is most likely a scam and they are probably not legitimate). 4. Make sure the agent goes with you or sends someone to assist you on set. You should not be sent alone and they should give you detailed information before a shoot so you can prep for the scene and actions. 5. Make sure you know the terms of the job upfront.

Find an agent who has actual, hands-on experience training and handling animals – not just a broker.


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7. 8.

9. 10.

a. What scene/actions are required of your dog? b. The address of the shoot? c. The time and number of hours? d. Where it is being shot? e. The name of the client/product? f. What the shoot is for: print, television, film, or the web? g. What the pay will be? h. Is parking reimbursed? Be wary of an agency that wants to take your pet without you. (Would you send your child off with a stranger?) Only send a pet if you fully trust the agent and have a long relationship with them. Make sure the agent has insurance and workers’ compensation. Ask what you will be paid and when. (The policy at our agency is to compensate the pet owner/parent within one to two weeks of the shoot, or even on set, where possible.) Ask friends if they have worked with an animal agency and what their experience has been. Don’t expect to retire off your dog. Animal pay is nominal and it is a one-time session fee whether the spot is aired once or 10,000 times. There is no union for animals.

The bottom line is: this should be a fun and enjoyable experience for you and your pet. It is a great way to train together and to learn new skills and tricks. This should

be a unique bonding experience and one that will bring happiness to you both! I invite you to follow the next edition of NY Pets where we find out the answers to our questions: How did Buttercup’s interview go? Was she accepted into the animal talent agency? Did she need to do any training or learn new skills? And, did she get a job? NYP Cathryn (Cat) Long is a principal of All Creatures Great & Small. She is a lifelong naturalist and animal trainer and handler. She grew up in a home where her mother was a zoologist and wildlife rehabilitator. They cared for, raised, and handled all kinds of animals. Ruth Manecke (her mother) started Cathryn on her career path which now spans over 30 years. Having also worked at the Bronx Zoo and having supplied animals that were featured on the children’s television show Captain Kangaroo, Cathryn has tremendous experience/passion in advertising and production in the animal-talent world. Cathryn has featured some animals from a local pet store in ads and on television. She has used turtles for Clinique and a parakeet, Mr. Bo-Jangles, is in a current edition of Real Simple magazine.

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POWER Fluval, trusted by aquarists worldwide for nearly 40 years, proudly introduces an all-new perfomance food series, featuring stabilized vitamins, no artificial colorants and highlypalatable proteins for unparalleled quality and results.

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14-06-02 7:20 PM

Pet Trends Our roving reporter found these new and upcoming products at a recent industrywide pet show. These products might make caring for your pet a little easier. Katya Sniderman

iCPooch Hate being away from your pooch? Then check out this new product. iCPooch is an internet-enabled device that allows you to two-way video chat with your dog. It also allows you to dispense treats to your furry friend from anywhere using your smartphone, tablet, or computer! iCPooch will be available for purchase early June 2014 and the MSRP will be $149.99. Visit www. to order or learn more.

DOGSFOOD DOGSFOOD by Dog for Dog has been making a big splash in the pet world since it launched this year at one of the biggest Pet Expos in the United States. This all-natural premium kibble is made in the USA using only high-quality meats, fruits, and vegetables. It is also corn, soy, and wheat-free. This food comes in three varieties: lamb and brown rice, pork and brown rice, and grain-free with salmon and ocean fish. This dog food is not only great for your dog, it’s great for dogs in need. For every bag of DOGSFOOD you purchase, the company will donate a bag of their top-quality food to dogs in shelters or rescue groups. It is part of their philosophy: “You buy one, we give one.”

SPRING/SUMMER 2014 | NY Pets Magazine

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Back on Track Over the last few years, the pet industry has been moving away from medication-based symptomatic therapy and towards more preventionbased holistic and naturopathic approaches. Back on Track products generate far infrared radiation (FIR) to help prevent injury, promote wellness, and manage pain for horses, dogs, and people. Back on Track works by combining modern textile technology and traditional Chinese medicine. Once the ceramic particles embedded in the textile are heated (by body heat), they radiate FIR towards the body. FIR has many documented biological effects including increasing blood circulation in tissues. This helps warm up muscles before physical activity as well as relieve pain and muscle tension. This spring, Back on Track Canada will be introducing WellTex Kennel Liners. This lightweight and durable kennel liner has been proven to “provide medication-free pain relief, possibly ease anxiety/stress, and promote in general a greater sense of health and well-being for your pet.� - Dr. Jodie Santarossa, BSc DVM

LifeMate pH Health Alert Scoopable Litter This is one multi-tasking kitty litter! LifeMate pH Health Alert Scoopable Litter is the first of its kind. This is the first clumping cat litter that contains a pH indicator that will change color to identify common health problems before symptoms appear. Different pH levels will result in different colors. This is a great way to monitor the health of your cat as many feline problems are accompanied by a change in pH levels. If you do see a change in the urine pH, keep an eye on your cat. If the pH color does not return to normal within three days, you should consult your local vet.


NY Pets Magazine | SPRING/SUMMER 2014

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14-06-02 6:51 PM

NY Pets Magazine - Spring /Summer 2014  
NY Pets Magazine - Spring /Summer 2014  

We are so happy to have Bruce Littlefield with us in this issue. Besides being “the great modern-day Erma Bombeck,” he has a great story to...