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SPRING/SUMMER 2013 | $4.95


WINNING PRODUCTS Six items that can enhance your pet’s life

DOGGY CATWALK Fashion can raise your dog’s self-esteem

Sandra Lee

At home with her beloved cockatoo Phoenix PURRFECT PRESENT The things that cats love NEW PET Bringing home baby—fur, feathered, pawed or scaled GOOD DOGS ARE GOOD MEDICINE Therapy uses the love of animals

A moment of recognition from BIG APPLE CAR to FERALs IN PERIL

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Ferals in Peril

Improving the lives of homeless cats. Finding common ground with residents and homeowners. Ferals In Peril is a 501 [c] [3] not-for- profit organization. We are located in Brooklyn and primarily serve the Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge communities. The primary objective of Ferals In Peril is to provide free spay/neuter clinics for un-owned and feral cats in order: • to greatly reduce the number of these cats and mitigate their suffering from starvation and disease,

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• to relieve local animal control facilities of the financial and psychological burden of euthanizing healthy but homeless cats.

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• to create an economically feasible way for communities to humanely reduce the population of stray cats, thus easing neighborhood tensions and fostering compassion, and

table of Contents


NYpets Publisher Alan Luff

NY PETS VolumE 1, NumbEr 1 (SPriNg/SummEr) 2013


AssociAte Publisher Doreen Luff contributing Writers Dominick Botte III Robyn Bright John Carlin Jennifer Dickman Dr. Suzanne L. Fox Michelle Harding Sarah Hodgson Amy Hopkins Rachel McPherson Laura “Peach” Reid Doug Staley Lucas Stock Dr. Andrew Thayer


stAff Writer Lisa Acton PhotogrAPhy John Carlin The Good Dog Foundation Roy Timm


Advertising sAles Alan Luff distribution coordinAtor Kimberly McCowen Production The Magazine Shoppe editor Steve McNeill creAtive director Eric Pezik Art director Amber Routten-Mitchell director of develoPment & neW PublicAtions Sarah Freeman Production coordinAtor/ trends editor Katya Sniderman Published by NY Pets is published four times a year by AKUSA Publishing Inc. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Phone: 845-721-5765 Fax: 845-268-7844 Email: Advertising:

Features 8


Why animals make ideal therapy partners

26 CORAL RESTORATION Replenishing the oceans with life

29 ENCHANTING PHOENIX A visit with Emmy-winner Sandra Lee and her cockatoo


THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE LOVEY Tough challenge for volunteer rehabbers

Departments 4 WINNING PET PRODUCTS Six items that can enhance the life of your pet 11 PET CARE Bringing home your new pet 15 CATS The purrfect presents for cats 20 CRITTER CHATTER Answers to your pet questions 21 FISH How to spruce up your aquarium 24 VET Plant toxicity and your pets 33 HORSES What you need to know before you buy 42 SNAKES Why reptiles are becoming more popular 50 SMALL ANIMALS The essential components of a small herbivore’s diet 56 DIRECTORY LISTINGS Where you can find copies of NY Pets 60 LEGISLATION New regulations that affect you and your pets Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine




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Welcome pet Lovers SPRING, a time of new beginnings and new life. There could not be a better time for the launch of NY Pets Magazine. WELCOME! We, at NY Pets, wanted to make this a fun and informative magazine for pet lovers of all kinds; sort of a “go-to” publication for your pet queries and for fun stories. We hope to have you laugh with us, learn with us, and maybe even at times, shed a tear with us. If you are interested in dogs, there will be some great articles by leading authorities, if you love small furry critters, we will have information on them; if you love horses, NY Pets will be a good read. So, as you can see, we will have it all. We will even keep you updated on important legislation and items trending in the pet world. By picking up this magazine, you are supporting our partners distributing this publication. They are located throughout the New York area and are all interested in making sure you are giving your pet the healthiest and most entertaining options available. We hope you continue to support them, as well as others, as you travel through the State. Check out the directory for the best veterinarians, groomers, trainers and stores located in our vast area. And, don’t forget the wonderful manufacturers and businesses making this magazine possible. Whether you are interested in purchasing a snake, cleaning your aquarium, learning about therapy dogs or investing in a piece of cat furniture, check out this first edition. And, if you don’t already own a pet, you may be tempted. Please enjoy this magazine, enjoy the spring and we will see you in a few months time with a brand new edition of NY Pets.

TOP PHOTO: ChameleonsEye /


Doreen Doreen Luff

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY peTS magazine


PET ProducTS

Winning Pet Products

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

As someone who caters to the needs of many pets, my own as well as those of my clients, I am constantly asked to make product suggestions. I try to make useful suggestions that will not only enhance a pet’s life, but products that would also make a great gift idea for anyone who owns a pet. My belief is that more people will be inclined to purchase an item if they truly see the benefit it can provide. This article will discuss a few of these items and how they can enhance the life of your pets.

Snuggle PuPPieS and Snuggle KittenS For the new puppy, kitten or adult pet. This product eases separation anxiety, comforts and soothes you pet. It is a cozy dog or cat shaped toy that has a heartbeat and a warmer. Think of it as a snug cozy friend that will keep your pet happy and content. I have used them extensively with puppies and orphaned kitties. My macaw even wants to preen it when he gets the chance. If you need a pet gift; this is a great item that is useful for a pet’s well-being throughout the year. Also a great choice for that cold winter night.


NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013

Nupro SupplemeNt Nupro is made using quality health food ingredients and contains a full range of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and essential omega fatty acids; all in their natural raw form. By supplementing your pet’s diet with Nupro, you are assured of giving your pet all the goodness needed for optimal health. Your pet will shed less because of the fatty acids which help produce healthy hair. Nupro does not contain wheat, corn, grains, byproducts, glutens, sugar, fillers or preservatives. Nupro also makes a joint support formula which uses Glucosamine, MSM and Ester-C. I have used it with amazing results on many arthritic pets. You simply sprinkle Nupro over your pet’s food, or add a touch of water to make gravy. A guaranteed winner and dogs love the taste. You may also use it on cats. I have even used it on my birds to enhance the colors of their plumage. This product is great for your pet’s health. You may also consider it as a “well-meaning gift” for any pet lover when you need a special present. u

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY peTS magazine


stella & Chewy’s A line of freeze dried and frozen foods for cats and dogs. Stella & Chewy’s commitment to quality starts with their ingredients. Take, for example, the Chewy’s Chicken Dinner which contains raw, farm-raised chicken as well as organic cranberries, carrots, apples, spinach, broccoli, beets, squash and pumpkin seed. This company does not use grains, fillers, artificial preservatives, colorings, etc. – just “goodness” in a bag. You can use this food as a topper to your pet’s normal food, feed it as a daily food or offer it as a treat. This is a product for dogs and cats but I have given it to my own birds. Yes, birds enjoy it also. Try some on your own pet. Everyone will thank you for it.

Pet Fairy Noshers This product is a satisfying treat to smear in your dog’s hollow toy or in a sterilized bone. This is a great way to keep them entertained and out of trouble. Pet Fairy Noshers is made from a simple blend of seven human-grade ingredients packed with antioxidants. It is gentle for tummies and the calming soothing properties of lemon balm will also help your pet to relax. This product also stays away from preservatives and chemicals found in some lesser-quality products. Your dinner parties need not be a disaster if you offer your pet a favorite bone or toy stuffed with a smear of Pet Fairy Noshers. This is also a great product for a dog that needs amusement while being crated. Sometimes I even add a few pieces of Stella & Chewys to the mix to keep it interesting, or you can add some pieces of your favorite kibble. This product just keeps them licking away. Remember, a happy entertained dog is a well-behaved dog.

Gourmet Cookies When it comes time to give your dog a nice treat, you want something that your best friend will enjoy. But, you also want it to be healthy. Preppy Puppy and Tail-Bangers treats are all natural dog treats that are both healthy and flavorful. They are home made with all natural ingredients. They have great holiday-themed treats as well as all occasion. Cannoli, crullers and whoopee-pies are big hits with my pack of dogs. I have even tried them and they are delicious; the peanut butter bon-bons are to die for! Both companies offer a wide selection and some even have some great packaging at different holiday times. This is also a great idea for a pet’s birthday.


NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013

JW Pet toys Every toy is designed with intelligent ideas built right in; from their Hol-ee Roller which is based on the geodesic dome, to their invincible rings seamlessly molded without glue. JW squeaker toys are even molded so that the squeakers don’t fall out. All of their ideas are 100 percent “home grown.” They design their own toys because they know what pets want in a toy. They currently hold over 125 patents for their pet-focused ideas. Some of their newest additions, and ones which I highly recommend, are the Crackle Heads, Stretchin Fetchin, and treat toys and balls for dogs. JW Cataction cat toys are a home run as well as the Activitoy for birds and Petville habitats for small animals. I also love their line of grooming tools. This company is a smart company when it comes to pet products and any pet lover would appreciate a gift made by JW. (As of this writing, JW Pet was just acquired by Petmate; I hope and trust that this high quality continues.) NYP Doug Staley aka “dPetguy” is a Groomer, Breeder, Pet Sitter, Pet Retailer and a multiple pet owner. A graduate of the Nash Academy of Animal Arts, his passion for animals has spanned almost four decades. Doug may be contacted at

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY peTS magazine


Good doGs

are Good Medicine Therapy uses the unconditional love of animals Rachel McPherson | Photos Courtesy of Good Dog Foundation

At a supportive housing program for previously homeless individuals, the residents endure an emotionally difficult transition period. Some choose never to leave their rooms. Enter Cubby, a West Highland white terrier with an adorably scruffy and charming demeanor that no one can resist. Cubby is a certified therapy dog with The Good Dog Foundation and he, along with his owner and handler, Erika Searl, visit people in need of unwavering support and love provided by dogs performing animal-assisted therapy. u 8

NY Pets MagaziNe | sPriNg/suMMer 2013


n countless visits, Cubby draws the residents from their rooms to relieve some of their pain and suffering; allowing them to temporarily escape the stresses of their current situations. Most people would be hardpressed to find anything that matches the unique joy one feels from receiving the love of a dog. Whether it is a sloppy kiss on the face, a warm head in your lap after a rough day or a wagging tail when you come home; the love that is provided by man’s best friend is truly unique. Researchers have confirmed that the humananimal bond has medical and psychological benefits beyond the scope that we previously knew. Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field, and certified therapy dogs offer a number of health benefits that improve quality of life. The Good Dog Foundation, which has provided therapy dog services for nearly 15 years, is the largest certifying animal-assisted therapy organization on the East coast. Based out of Manhattan, Good Dog professionally trains and certifies all-volunteer therapy dog teams that

each consist of a family dog with a love for people, and it’s handler. The organization then coordinates visits to hundreds of thousands of people in need of the healing power of animal-assisted therapy at over 300 partner facilities in four states and disaster sites across the country. The teams visit cancer patients, children on the autism spectrum, first responders, disaster victims, wounded veterans, PTSD sufferers, and many others whose quality of life is greatly enhanced by the unconditional love only therapy dogs can provide—all free of charge. Good Dog is also committed to promoting awareness of and advancing research in the field of animal-assisted therapy. The organization is currently partnered with Pfizer Animal Health and Continuum Cancer Centers of New York at Beth Israel Medical Center on a research study to assess the benefits of therapy dog visits to cancer patients undergoing treatment. The study will be released in the next few months and the early results show marked positive quality-of-life benefits in participating patients. u

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


ways in need of more teams looking to Animal-assisted therapy is an imchange lives. portant field that utilizes the natural To learn more about The Good Dog relationship between humans and aniFoundation and how to become a thermals to provide a simple and effective apy dog team visit www.thegooddogform of therapy for many individuals. NYP Just ask Cubby, who constantly turns Rachel McPherson, a native Mississipfrowns into smiles and brightens some pian, is the Founder and Executive Director of the darkest days. The love of a Good of The Good Dog Foundation (Good Dog). Dog is the perfect medicine. She brings her experience as an entrepreIf you are a dog owner, you already neur and community activist to Good Dog. know that the human-animal bond Prior to founding Good Dog, she was a provides a special kind of security and • Donate to the Good Dog Foundation: A Gift of Love; donate in your name or the name producer for film and television. Her comhappiness that should be shared. To beof someone else. pany, Southern Voices, produced dramatic come a volunteer with your dog through adaptations of southern literature, includThe Good Dog Foundation, the process • Promise to get involved this year and seek out ing The Wide Net, an adaptation of a Eubegins by filling out a simple questioninformation to become a volunteer dora Welty short story, in 1985. In 1984, naire on the organization’s website. Afher film Signals through the Flames, a ter an initial meeting with one of Good • The largest therapy dog services on the east coast for over 15 years feature-length documentary on the history Dog’s professional trainers, approved of Julian Beck and Judith Malina’s Living teams undergo up to 11 weeks of train• Coordinates visits to hundreds of thousands of Theatre Company, received an Academy ing. Upon graduating, each dog bepeople in need of the healing power of animalassisted therapy. Award nomination for documentary film comes a certified therapy dog, and each of the year. It was featured in film festivals, team works with the Good Dog staff to • Exceptional training to volunteer teams was broadcast on Canadian and European visit Good Dog’s partner facilities. television, and enjoyed theatrical release in There are no breed restrictions, and the United States and in Europe. the program allows dogs as young as four months to enter classes. Good Dog currently has over 1,000 active volunteer teams and is al-

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NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013


Bringing home baby – fur, feathered, pawed or scaled Sarah Hodgson

Adopting a new pet ranks with life’s most memorable moments, although it often presents a different rainbow of emotions depending on your life stage. For kids, pets are often lobbied for and absolutely transformative. They fill the home with a feeling of unconditional acceptance and camaraderie. u Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


In our household, the kids start campaigning as we near each holiday season. Two of our four pack, Hootenanny and Bamboozle, were brought in as fosters over the Christmas season. We failed them as foster parents, in the best way possible. Then Rocket, the Bearded Dragon, arrived who was purchased in celebration of my four-year-old’s birthday. And, we can’t forget our big lop-ear bunny, Butterscotch, who arrived in an Easter basket. While I don’t recommend pets be gifted, the addition of a pet makes any day all the more special. Suddenly there is a new and dependent family member who will recognize and adore all the people who nurture it. Are you considering bringing a baby home? The first impression of your home and family will go a long way in making your new addition feel safe and welcome, no

matter what the species. As a dog and cat trainer, I relish my pre-pet sessions as I help arrange supplies and coach families on making a smooth transition. As an equally petobsessed mom of a multi-species household, I’ve found the same rules apply no matter the species. Prepare. Organize. Arrange. And, do it all ahead of time.

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Take some time to learn and study your new pet’s habits, as well as its daily routine and passions. Activity will keep your new pet mentally challenged, emotionally stimulated and alert. A happy pet delights a household. Your pet will have five basics to attend to each day, which are to eat, drink, play, sleep and eliminate. Even a herp (reptile, amphibian and snake) has personal desires; enjoying a heated surface, a branch or stone to navigate. If you have any questions, ask them ahead of time. Pet stores are run by pet-care professionals, who will be more than eager to guide you through the process of bringing your baby (or older pet) home. Next, create a list to help you organize and manage for your pet’s daily care. My list consists of four columns: Diet, Housing, Cleaning, Activity and Play.

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NY Pets MagaziNe | sPriNg/suMMer 2013

Diet Nutritional requirements vary depending on your pet’s species, age and size. Pet stores now stock special formulated foods. You should not feed a chinchilla cat food, nor raise a goldfish on a tropical-fish fare. If your pet does not get his nutritional requirements he will get listless, ill and could potentially die. While you can often embellish your pet diet with people food, learn what is digestible and manage the portions. Housing Many pets are considered prey animals in their natural environments and will startle easily to unpredictable noises and events. Though you know they’ll be safe from predators, centuries of genetic encoding will demand they be on alert. Rodents will need to burrow, cats will need to climb, and herps will need a branch, box or structure to creep, slide or slither on. Consider your pet’s history and purchase your enclosure ahead of time. Next designate a quiet room or a spot to the periphery of foot traffic. Each pet will have its own ideal in terms of cage type and footing. Herps do well in a

pared for options. There are many substrates available—from wood chips to sand to carpeting. Small burrowing animals will need soft material and a nesting box. A knowledgeable pet-store professional will guide you as to what is best for your lifestyle and pet. Finally, if you’re buying a young animal, determine its adult size and think ahead. Certain pets can triple their size in a few months—a baby ball python will grow from inches to feet in five months and a large breed dog like a Newfoundland will quadruple in size during the first year. Many enclosures offer dividers to tailor the floor plan to the size of your new pet. well-lit terrarium, as do small rodents. Large pets need a bigger, ventilated wire cage to thrive. If you choose a wire pen, ensure the slats are narrow so heads cannot fit through. Many tropical pets demand constant temperature regulation to survive and can become ill or die if too cold. Lights, heaters and humidifiers can be purchased, as well as a thermostat to gage fluctuations. Next, consider the flooring and be pre-

Cleaning Everyone poops. The golden similarity between all babies. A build up of fecal matter can lead to illness, as you can well imagine, so devise a system to clean your pet on an as needed basis. Most pets eliminate daily and some may carry salmonella (herps and rodents), which is transmittable to people. Since your pet can’t flush his own toilet, purchase a pet-friendly disinfectant spray and/

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


or a species-specific poop scooper. If your pet is permanently housed in an enclosure, get a second enclosure, perhaps smaller, to relocate him when you tidy up. And don’t forget your pet’s footpads. Since they are sensitive to chemical cleaners like bleach, thoroughly dry all surfaces before returning your pet to his home. InteractIon/Play Look to your pet’s natural habitat and habits to determine what additions will spruce up your pet’s living quarters. All creatures have a desire to move and explore and many will look to you for companionship and play. For herps, a heated surface with plants, rocks and/or branched cavern will satisfy, while rodents, with their continual growing teeth and curious minds, will need activity props like a running wheel and teething sticks to satisfy their impulses. Other mammals like rabbits, ferrets, cats and dogs have a human’s oral set-

up, loosing a set of teeth as their permanent teeth grow in. They need a steady supply of bones and toys to engage their teething desires. These pets as well as birds need engagement and play to stimulate their bonding affections and will turn to you again and again for activity and adventure. The fun never ends. Last but not least, find a veterinarian to

guide and watch over your pet. Search for a doctor who specializes in your species and speak to them ahead of time to determine preventative care and signs of potential illness. When the big day comes, keep the family calm. Young pets are impressionable. A change of address, no matter how positive, is jarring. As most pets are considered prey animals in the wild, handle them gently, asking your pet-care professional how to pick them up. Your new pet has a long happy life ahead, with you as their number one fan and advocate. And, nothing could be better…happy pet, happy people! NYP Sarah Hodgson is an expert in group and private dog training and does phone and email consultations. Her website is WhenDogsTalk. com, The Lifestyle Coach for Dog Lovers. Sarah is an author, NY Pets Columnist and has a Blog in The Huffington Post. She can be reached at or 914-241-1111.

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NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013

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The things that cats love

Robyn Bright

Cats, like money, may not grow on trees, but there are cat trees available. Anyone who owns a cat or two should know the intrinsic value that these carpeted play stands can offer. We often think about what we can give our furry feline friends and should consider items that not only entertain, but also keep the kitties out of trouble. u

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine



henever we think of cat toys, the first that come to mind are the ever-popular catnip mice. Of course, it is not the mouse shape itself that is of interest to the cat; it is the intoxicating catnip smell. Not all cats will be attracted to this herb, but most are; although kittens may not show an interest until they are six months or older. Catnip is available not only in cat toys, but it can be purchased loose, in a spray or even be freshly grown. Another popular toy for cats is the long wands or flexible poles made with feathers or strings attached to one end. On the other end is a handle. It is the perfect toy for owners to use with their cats so they won’t get hurt by claws. Cats love these toys so much that some will jump to amazing heights just to get to the feathers or strings. These toys can also be used on the ground to let the cat chase. It can be whipped back and forth on the floor in front of the cat who will watch


with eyes wide open. Technology has permeated our world in many places and cat toys are no exception. While others may be building a better mousetrap, pet manufacturers have been making better and more sophisticated mouse toys for cats. Pull a tail string or rev up a mouse on wheels and watch it take off‌.a kitty will

NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013

be in hot pursuit. Some toys have batteries so they just need to be turned on to make them go, while others will move only when touched by a paw. There are even cat toys that squeak, twitter or chirp when touched to keep your cat thoroughly amused. The old ball of yarn has given way to toys that have strings attached to battery-

operated tracks so an owner never has to run around the house again pulling a piece of string with a cat hot on their heels (unless they want to). These tracks can be attached to a door or can be used on the floor (usually inside is a donut shaped toy thatAThas NUTRITION ITS BEST, NATURALLY. cut outs). Cat toys with this shape may also wholesome ingredients have balls placed inside that the cat can bat et food incorporates : around and around, reaching into the cut outs to get to the ball. Fruits Grains Laser pointers can be absolutely fascinating to many felines. Some will follow the red life stage – puppy, adult and dotkitten, so closely that they will literally run into a cat, look no further. Our Innova PRIME couch or wall to get to it. Some manufacturova, minus the grain. Both contain: ers have taken this a step further by having lasers on a pedestal or stand with a rotating disc on top. The laser dot goes round and round and stops suddenly. Then it goes back in the other direction and keeps changing when SATISFACTION it stops and goes. It is fun to watch a GUARANTEE cat try so very hard to catch the lighted dot. It is also great fun and exercise for them. Cat toys allow your friends to chase, © 2012 P&G pounce and play which is important in keeping a cat both physically and mentally healthy and stimulated. One other important cat behavior that should be addressed is

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Cats also scratch to mark their territory since they have scent glands in their paws. For a domestic cat, their house is their territory.

the need to scratch. A cat’s claws are like our nails; they are constantly growing. To keep the claws short, a cat must scratch. Cats also scratch to mark their territory since they have scent glands in their paws. For a domestic cat, their house is their territory. Cat items that help keep a cat from scratching furniture and walls should be considered a necessity. Years ago, only cat posts were offered and they were usually covered with carpet, but times have changed. Now, there is everything from the simple, inexpensive yet destructible cardboard blocks to the more expensive but fairly indestructible large cat trees with caves, hammocks and platforms which can expand from the floor to ceiling. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, but for most cat owners they should own at least one cat-scratching piece per kitty (unless they get one very large item such as the “tree”). Cardboard flats are the least expensive but also the most easily destroyed. For many years, a simple rectangle filled with natural colored cardboard was available. This has changed with more cardboard flats being made with designs and colors that are fun

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Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


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NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013

but still practical. This type of scratching unit is inexpensive enough to keep a few around the home. The “deluxe model” of cat scratchers is cat “furniture” with the “mansions” being cat trees. These are usually made up of poles, cylinders, boxes with holes and platforms that the cats can climb, hide, sleep and scratch until their hearts are content. Some cat furniture is short, usually around two to three feet high and may be simplistic. Larger pieces that go from the floor to ceiling are called trees and usually are very stable. These trees are a cat’s dream in terms of being able to do so much on them. You can tell they know this furniture is for them. Recently, innovative manufacturers have been making units that have separate pieces bolted to the wall so a cat can literally go and “climb the walls” if it wants. This also keeps the cat furniture off of your floor. No matter what type of scratching device and furniture you give your cat, they always seem to know it is for them. Of course, most manufacturers will put the catnip smell into the materials to attract a cat. If you find that your cat scratches your furniture, be sure they have some “furniture” of their own made of different material. Also, use some repellent on your own furniture to help drive cats to their own stuff. This should teach them quickly what is okay and not okay to scratch. So, if your cat has a birthday coming, or if you just want to keep it happy, it is important to treat pets to some presents – we all love presents. Once your cat gets its claws into a new toy or piece of cat furniture, you will swear your feline is smiling like a Cheshire cat. Or, maybe a child who just got exactly that they always wanted. NYP Robyn Bright has worked in the pet industry for over 35 years in retail, wholesale, writing and photography. She has a Master’s degree in animal behavior and has written and produced photos for magazines, products and websites. You can contact Robyn at

QueSTionS & anSwerS

Critter Chatter

our human friends ask the following questions

Q a

Trisha from Mahopac asked:

“Should I micro-chip my dog?”

Absolutely! Every responsible pet owner should have a dog, cat or bird micro-chipped. This does not hurt the pet or cause lasting discomfort. Micro-chipping is the best way to have your pet identified. It involves an RF (radio frequency) chip about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted usually between the shoulder blades or wings. This is a relatively inexpensive procedure which your local veterinarian can perform using a special needle. A unique number, similar to a social security number, is stored on the chip and is activated when a special scanner is used to read it. In the event that your pet is lost or stolen, the local police, veterinarians or animal shelter personnel can use the scanner to identify your pet. Now this is very important—they can identify your pet only if you register the chip. The registration is what returns the owner’s information to the person scanning the chip. The sad truth is, many owners do not take the time to get their chips registered. Without the registration process, the number stored on the chip is useless. Your owner’s information can be registered with your local police, area veterinarians, dog pound, owners of animal shelters or online. Micro-chipping is far superior to any other method of pet identification. A tag can be removed or lost. A band around the leg of a bird can also be removed. Trying to rely on photographs is never sufficient if there

is a dispute about ownership. If your pet is micro-chipped, you simply have it scanned and, if properly registered, the owner’s information will be proof-positive.

For your own peace of mind, please make an appointment with your local veterinarian to have your pet micro-chipped—and be sure to register the chip. u

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY peTS magazine



Kaci from Brewster asked:

“Can I litter train my bunny?”


Yes! Many rabbit owners have litter-box trained their pets. It allows for easier cleanup and a more sanitary cage. Here are some helpful tips for training your furry friend. 1. Make sure you have a cage that is sufficient in size to accommodate a litter box and one that will fit your adultsized rabbit. 2. If you have just purchased your bunny, for the first two days or so, try to leave it inside the cage. You will see that there is a “special” spot it will use to relieve itself. This would be the perfect place to position your litter box. (If it is not a “new” pet, you are probably already aware of this “special” spot.) 3. Put the cage bottom-bedding that you are already using inside the litter box. Your rabbit should be attracted to it. Leave the rest of the cage bare bottom, or put in a soft towel or blanket to keep your friend cozy. 4. You may also put a few of your bunny’s pellet shaped droppings into the litter pan for further encouragement. 5. Once your friend has started using the litter-box, make sure you clean it on a regular basis. You may also find that you might be able to set up another litter box outside of the cage for your rabbit to use when it is out at play.

Please continue to submit your questions to We will try to answer them in our next edition. 20

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for your Tank A few easy steps will keep your fish happy and healthy Laura “Peach” Reid

Soon all our attention will be focused outdoors and indoor activities will become a thing of the past due to the attractive weather outside. Even a hobby like fish will get a little ignored. It might likely get replaced by ball games, swimming, taking the dog for walks, etc. So, let’s get our aquarium in tip-top shape for the upcoming season. This deeper cleaning and sprucing up will keep it attractive and healthy for the upcoming months and your fish will thank you for it. u

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine



deep cleaning need only be done just a couple times a year if all is running well. It means siphoning and a large water change. One must be prepared with enough aged water to replace about half of that in the aquarium. A good siphon hose along with a five-to-tengallon bucket is also needed. Having an old towel handy to wipe up any drips or small spills is a good idea too. “Aged water” means water that’s been sitting in a clean, safe and preferably never used container (such as a decent-sized plastic waste pail). This water should reach room temperature and be sitting long enough to de-chlorinated (requiring aeration). Optimally, you should have a product to adjust this water to the approximate pH of your tank water, which is hopefully in the acceptable range of 6.5 to 7.5. If you have an extra heater, you can bring the temperature of this water up more quickly, and ideally, bring it up to the water temperature in the aquarium. Also, instead of aerating the water you’re aging, you can use a special product obtained


from your local pet store which immediately removes chlorine and/or chloramine, which regional water authorities use to curb bacteria growth in municipal drinking water, especially during warmer months. If possible, position this “aging” water right next to your aquarium, to make it easier to fill your aquarium after cleaning. The next step is removing debris, also called detritus (organic matter from fish

and rocks in the aquarium. These items may also be cleaned at this time (important note: do not use soap or cleaning products on anything going into your aquarium – for ornaments and rocks, just use water and a little scrubbing with a new scrub pad or brush). You may also want to remove live plants, if you have any, just set them aside in some water to keep moist until the aquarium is filled again. Secure one end of the siphon hose in the empty bucket with a clip, a hand or a helper. Once you start the siphon, you will want to very slowly and carefully siphon the water to about one inch over the gravel bed. Holding the other end of the siphon hose in the tank with one hand, use your fingertips to disturb and stir the gravel bed while at the same time siphoning as much of the debris as you can get. Avoid stirring the debris up so much that it spreads into the rest of the aquarium water, though some undoubtedly will disburse. You will also want to avoid siphoning the gravel and fish (though if a fish does ac-

Do not use soap or cleaning products on anything going into your aquarium – for ornaments and rocks, just use water and a little scrubbing with a new scrub pad or brush. waste, uneaten food, decomposing plants, etc.), which is both on top of and inside your gravel bed. Removal is done using the siphon hose and the empty bucket. Before you begin, it is best to first remove any ornaments

NY Pets MagaziNe | sPriNg/suMMer 2013

cidentally go up the hose and into the bucket, you can simply net the fish, which will probably be fine). If you’ve secured the other end of the hose with a clip, or you have a helper, your other hand can also be in the tank to gently wave the fish away, as well as assist in the spot stirring of the gravel bed while you siphon. Depending on your aquarium size, you may have to empty your bucket several times. Once you’ve removed about half the water and as much debris as you can, this is a good time to also gently scrape any algae or other material off the sides of the tank, wiping it off with a paper towel. This method ensures the material being scraped is pretty much removed from the aquarium altogether. It’s important NOT to clean the filter or change the filter media while you’re doing such a big water change and cleaning. The good nitrifying bacteria (convert toxic ammonia from fish waste, extra food, and plant decomposition, to nitrite and then nitrate) live in the filter, filter media, as well as in the gravel bed, and even on the sides of the tank. Wait a good two to three weeks before changing the filter, which will give your aquarium enough time to grow some more good bacteria. Once you’ve cleaned the tank and made sure that the water you’ll be adding is the ideal temperature and pH level and is dechlorinated, it’s time to put back the rocks and ornaments. Because we’re entering the spring/summer season, you may want to change your background, or consider adding a layer of (cleaned) brighter gravel, and/or other appropriate ornaments.

After your ornamentation has been placed, it’s time to put the aged water into your aquarium. The purpose of aging and conditioning this water is to minimize stress on your fish. If they are used to a low pH of 6.0, for example, they will be a little stressed if there is a significant change, so it’s advised to raise it slowly to the acceptable range. Too big of a swing in water temperature can also cause problems, most notably an outbreak of “ick” or “ich”, small white parasites. Chlorine or chloramine will kill fish. If you’ve used a product which removes this from the water, the product probably also contains salt, which is good for fish health and well-being. Add salt up to a teaspoon per gallon if you aerated your water without such a product. Depending on how well stocked your aquarium is, you may have the opportunity to add a few more fish. Let the tank settle for a week or so first, but then consider slowly adding some fish that are compatible with the fish you already have. For a community tank, you may be able to add some Platies, Swordtails, Fancy Guppies, Tetras or Barbs - again, all depending on what you already keep. There are so many fish options: Silver Mollies, Angels and Tetras look great against a blue background or on blue gravel. Be creative and have fun with your decorating and your hobby. NYP Laura “Peach” Reid is owner and President of Fish Mart Inc., the Northeast’s largest wholesale distributor of aquatics and small companion animals, reptiles and birds to retail pet stores in the region. She is also on the PIJAC Board of Directors.

Fresh Water, Salt Water & Ponds

Tri State


Full Service

Aquarium Company • Residential/Commercial • Sales, Service, Installation • Fully insured • Available 24/7 • Emergency Service

845-918-1707 Cell: 917-742-6492

11. If you are thinking of giving a fish as a gift to someone (birthday, Mother’s/Father’s Day, graduation), get a gift certificate instead. A sudden surprise of a living creature is not usually appropriate, especially for the well-being of the animal.

22. If you’re planning to go away for more than a couple of days, prior to your leaving, do about a 20 percent water change and get an automatic feeder for your fish (make sure you try out the feeder before you leave).

100 Independent Way, Brewster, NY 10509

(845) 279-0112

33. Be prepared! Power outages have become more commonplace

and an outage means the life support system of your fish is not working. Purchase a battery operated pump to have on hand in case of emergency.

SuN: 12 pm - 5 pm moN - Sat: 10 am - 8 pm

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


plant Making your home safe for your pets Dr. Andrew Thayer

Our beautiful Spring season is here, and with it potential dangers for your pets. One of the more common reasons a dog or cat is brought to a veterinarian during the warmer months is for ingestion of a plant or flower. Dogs and cats are extremely curious creatures and indiscriminant eaters. This combination can wind up causing some problems. There are many plants that are safe to have around your pets but there are also many that can be extremely dangerous. 24

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ending a floral bouquet or a plant to someone is a common way to show you care. With pets in the household selecting the right bouquet or plant can be tricky. It is always best to send a “pet friendly bouquet”. A pet friendly bouquet is a bouquet consisting of plants and flowers that are not considered to be toxic to pets. While most plants that are ingested cause nothing more than mild digestive upset manifesting as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, some can cause severe health issues. If a cat ingests members of the Lilium genus, including Easter and stargazer lilies, this can cause serious kidney problems. For households with cats, non-toxic Alstroemeria (Peruvian lily, but not a “true” lily) can be substituted for Lilium (true lilies). For bouquets, request ferns (most ferns are nontoxic) as greenery in place of baby’s breath. It is always a good idea to let your florist know

While most plants that are ingested cause nothing more than mild digestive upset manifesting as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, some can cause severe health issues. what plants you are trying to avoid and why in case substitutions need to be made. To find out if a particular plant or flower is toxic the internet is a good resource. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website has a list of both toxic and non-toxic plants. It is very helpful to know the scientific name of the flower or plant as common names can be shared among many plants. Other resources would be university websites or books. If you think your pet has ingested a plant or flower, the safest course of action is to bring them to your veterinarian. While some plants and flowers only cause mild gastrointestinal upset your pet may benefit from supportive care. With other plants and flowers, time may be of the essence in terms of treatment. A “wait and see” approach is never advised. Besides causing gastrointestinal (GI) upset the plant bulb itself can act as a foreign body and cause an obstruction, especially if ingested whole. The various parts of the plants – bulb, leaves and flowers – can cause varying toxic effects. In addition to GI signs, several plants can cause a contact dermatitis. Examples are Hyacinthus (Hyacinth), Narcissus (daffodil, jonquil, narcissus and tulipa). Clinical signs of contact dermatitis generally resolve by eliminating exposure. Bathing in a mild shampoo is beneficial. Plants that can cause moderate to severe GI signs include Cyclamen spp. (cyclamen-GI and Cardiac signs, Gladiolus spp. (gladiola)GI signs, Iris spp. (iris)-GI/death, Narcissus spp and Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit)GI/death. Ingestion of any of these plants is likely to cause GI signs but the severity of the signs depends on the amount and part of the plant consumed. Examples of plants that can cause severe multisystemic signs are Colchicum autumnale (autumn crocus, meadow saffron) and Gloriosa superba (glory lily). All parts of both plants are toxic. Clinical signs change over time. Initially there is diarrhea often with

blood. Severe abdominal pain, vomiting, depression and hyper salivation may also be present. These initial signs may not develop for 12-24 hours after ingestion. Next, signs of weakness, ataxia, paresis or collapse may be seen. Multiple organ failure may also take place. Death may occur up to several days after ingestion. The effects of your pet ingesting flowers or plants range from mild to potentially life-threatening. Effective treatment is based on knowing the plant species involved. With most plants the prognosis is good with symptomatic treatment. NYP

Here is a brief list of “pet friendly” flowers and plants: Common Name


Scientific Name

African daisy ....................... Arctotis stoechadifolia African violet....................... Saintpaulia spp. Alyssum .............................. Allysum spp. Bachelors buttons................ Centaureaa cyanus Begonia .............................. Begonia spp. Celosia ................................ Celosia spp. Common Snapdragon........... Antirrhinum majus Eater Daisy .......................... Townsendia sevicea Orchids................................ Barbrodia, Sophronitis, etc. Peruvian lily, Brazilian lily .... Alstroemeria spp. Rose.................................... Roas spp.

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, CT as well as at emergency veterinary facilities. Dr. Thayer established the Hartsdale Veterinary Hospital in 2002 and has been the head of medicine for the last 10 years. Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


Ocean Lifesaver

How the Coral Restoration Foundation is re-populating reefs Written and photographed by John Carlin

What started as a way for reef aquarium keepers to share their favorite corals with one another has grown into a program to re-populate the coral reefs off the coast of Florida and beyond. u 26

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Boyd Enterprises owner and CRF board member Jeff Turner holds a piece of live rock collected for a CRF demonstration aquarium.


scuba diver drifts to the bottom in the crystal clear blue water just a few miles off Key Largo, Florida. As the bubbles rise to the surface, an unusual, underwater landscape emerges. What was once a featureless, sandy bottom is now home to 30 thousand pieces of coral – pieces that may represent the future of coral reefs that are so critical to all ocean life. The scene however, is unlike any actual coral reef. Instead of outcroppings of rock covered by gorgonians gently waving in the current, there are what could be to the casual observer, submerged Christmas trees with hand-sized corals for ornaments. It’s the work of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation, and the unusual scene may be the key to the future of coral reefs across the Caribbean. “We looked at how aquarium keepers were growing corals in their tanks so they could share them with other hobbyists and thought we could do it in a much bigger way,” says Ken, sitting in a white, center console boat with a single outboard motor and cluttered with scuba equipment. In 2001, Ken began taking fragments or corals or “frags” and managing them in open water. The idea was to grow a small coral into a big one that could be transplanted onto nearby reefs where environmental pressures have caused a serious decline in corals with hard, calcium based skeletons – the so called “stony” corals that created the reefs in the first place. The idea worked. Ken and his organization, the Coral Restoration Foundation, backed by a $732,000 grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Program, began systematically fragging and growing various genotypes of staghorn corals (Acropora cervicornis) and then out-planting them to nearby reefs where they prospered after being attached with simple epoxy, not unlike the type used by aquarium keepers. Over time the CRF improved the growout process. “We were always facing setbacks from storms, which would stir up the sand, covering the corals on the bottom,” explains

Ken. “So we evolved a new system where the corals could be suspended.” That’s where those “Christmas trees” come from. Divers figured out that they could anchor an underwater buoy and create a “tree trunk” using PVC pipe. They attached more pipe to form the “branches” of the tree and dangled coral frags from the branches. The frags prospered as never before. “We can grow a finger-sized frag into something larger than your hand in about nine months, says CRF Science and Education Director Stephanie Roach. “After that, it’s ready to be out planted on the reef.” In 2009, the CRF began working with the

other stony coral indigenous to the Caribbean, the elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata), a stubby cousin to the staghorn and considered more difficult to propagate. Using techniques pioneered with the staghorn nursery, Ken and his team cultivated 900 elkhorn frags until June of 2012 when they were ready to see if they could begin to duplicate the results they had enjoyed with the staghorns. With the help of volunteer divers from two aquarium-based companies, Ecotech Marine, manufacturers of advanced power head pumps and LED lighting systems, and Boyd Enterprises, makers of a line of filtra-

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


The corals after harvest and before being transplanted onto the reef.

tion products and aquarium supplements, Ken and crew were ready to first harvest and then plant some of the elkhorn stock. “These are my babies,” Ken beamed aboard his boat after about 20 of the frags had been brought to the surface. “I’ve been waiting three years for this day.” The corals would be epoxied to selected spots on Molasses Reef, a popular tourist diving and snorkeling location. Ecotech and Boyd both sponsor sections of Molasses in order to help pay for the project. “We in the aquarium trade need to give back. We need to take care of the oceans,” said Tim Marks, one of Ecotech’s founders. That thought was echoed by Boyd’s Jeff Turner who recently joined the CRF’s board of directors. “This is important stuff out here,” said Jeff, still clad in his wet suit. “The CRF is saving the reefs while conducting valuable research as well. The aquarium industry has an obligation to help.” With the corals collected, Ken’s boat followed by Jeff’s, made the 15-minute trip to Molasses reef where an army of divers including Jeff, Tim, and Tim’s Ecotech co-founders Justin Lawyer and Patrick Clasen, went to work attaching the frags to the reef. By late summer, Ken’s team concluded

Ken agrees. “We’ve proven that this is a system that works. Other people have adopted our techniques and reefs in other parts of the world are the beneficiaries. But it’s not enough to prove it works, we have to go out and actually do it. That takes manpower and effort, and all of that requires funding,” he said. Ken praised Boyd and Ecotech as aquarium based businesses that recognize the value of what he does. He’s hoping additional aquarium-based companies and those from sectors such as tourism, industry, the scuba trade and others will see it as well. To associate your company or business with the Coral Restoration Foundation, visit: The CRF is also building grass roots support from individuals, who can donate on line to Adopt-a-coral program. If you would like more information about the work that the Coral Restoration Foundation is doing, visit their website at NYP John Carlin is Peabody and four-time Emmy Award winning journalist who just happens to own an aquarium maintenance business. He is based in Roanoke, Virginia.

“We have seen extensive coral growth already. One hundred percent of the Elkhorn frags have survived and most have grown significantly.”


Ken nedimyer

that the experiment was working. “We have seen extensive coral growth already. One hundred percent of the Elkhorn frags have survived and most have grown significantly,” he said. While the procedures are working, less certain is funding for the program. The board is applying for a second government grant, and taking the CRF story to the public. Ken himself was profiled in 2012 as one of CNN’s “Heroes,” and more recently on the CBS Evening News. But Jeff and the board are looking for additional long-term funding opportunities. “We’ve created a foundation to sustain the reefs, now we need to ensure the sustainability of the foundation,” said Jeff.

NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013

Enchanting Phoenix A visit with Emmy-winner Sandra Lee and her beloved cockatoo Sandra Lee is best known as a multi-Emmy and Gracie award winner, best-selling author and an internationallyacclaimed expert on all things home, food and style. It has been a journey fraught with struggles and daunting challenges that Sandra has overcome through dedication and perseverance. u

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LEFT PAGE: Sandra Lee and Phoenix spending quality time at home.


Butternut SquaSh MaSh 1 Banana Butternut Squash (½ usually works well)

two tablespoons of almond Milk Cut up squash and remove seeds, boil until soft. Mash the squash with the almond milk then blend with ½ banana in a blender. Let cool but can serve at a slightly warm temperature. You can freeze extra and serve at another time.

andra’s remarkable story began with a difficult childhood and an entrepreneurial spirit that helped her turn a fledgling business into a vast enterprise , catapulting her into the spotlight where she caught the eye of producers from the Food Network. It was on television that her celebrity status rose rapidly; her Semi- Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee was one of the highest-rated shows in Food Network history when it launched in 2003. But when NY Pets sat down with Sandra in her beautiful home in upper New York, it wasn’t to talk about her well-documented challenges and successes as a businesswoman, television celebrity and author of 27 books, including her memoir, Made From Scratch. We were here to get a personal glimpse into the relationship she has with her pet cockatoo Phoenix. Cockatoos are very lively and affectionate birds. They are quite “cuddly” and bond very closely with their owners. They are intelligent, playful, mischievous, sociable and need affection, which means they demand a great deal of time from their owners. Phoenix is all of that. Especially the bond he has with Sandra. It was quite apparent as he followed Sandra’s every cue and movement around the room as the photographer was snapping their pictures. His eyes widened and he got excited whenever Sandra was near. And he was just as comfortable with the cameras and strangers as Sandra. Once out of one of his “homey” cages, he pranced around to meet everyone, had a snack of his favorite butternut squash mixture, and then it was time to settle down with Sandra for the interview and a few more photos. In the wild, cockatoos can be quite gregarious, and so in captivity they need to be surrounded by activity – to feel part of the action in the home. They love companionship. Cockatoos do best when their cages and playstands are in the busiest areas of the house – even if that requires more than one cage or playstand. In fact, if they are kept too far from

the action, they can feel left out and become desperate for attention. “You could say cockatoos are high maintenance, but it is all worth it.” Sandra had owned pets in the past – a parakeet as a child and later a dog named Aspen, an American Eskimo. Sandra spent 16 wonderful years with Aspen and still misses her every day. So, deciding to bring home a cockatoo seems to be something right out of the blue. Cockatoos are known to be noisy, can be destructive and certainly have a mind of their own. Anyone considering a cockatoo should do some research and talk to responsible bird owners to fully understand their characteristics and the level of care that is required. Sandra, however, was convinced during a trip to a tropical location with Andrew Cuomo and his daughters where she came upon a cockatoo at a large aviary they visited. The cockatoo took a liking to Sandra and followed her persistently around the exhibit. They were quite taken with this intelligent little fellow, so much so Sandra and Andrew even thought about trying to adopt him. But because of the intense quarantine laws and the stress it would cause the cockatoo, the idea was quickly abandoned. One Christmas, Andrew and his daughters purchased a little fluff ball of a bird for Sandra from celebrity pet keeper Marc Morrone. “I had no idea. I did not ask or plan for a bird, but now I could not ever imagine living without him” Sandra says today. Phoenix’s arrival earned him a special bassinet with its own heating pad and Sandra kept a close eye on him throughout those first few nights. Now at the age of two and a half, Phoenix insists on affection and attention and he gets plenty of it. He will run up and down Sandra while she relaxes on the sofa and is always looking for her hand to scratch his head or bows down to be cuddled. Sandra believes this is Phoenix’s way of saying he loves her. On the other side of the coin is his naugh-

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TOP: (Left) Phoenix as a baby; (Middle) In his bassinet; (Right) Phoenix had a hand -or a wing - getting that Emmy. BOTTOM: Halloween segment on the Food Network that garnered an Emmy.

ty habit. Phoenix loves to run around on the floor like a dog. “He is so curious and wants to know everything that’s going on,” Sandra laughs. She recalled one day when she turned her back on him for only a moment while he was on the kitchen floor and then he was gone. She frantically searched the house until she heard the pitter patter of little feet on the upper level. He had found the stairs and up he went. Now this climb has become his daily exercise routine. What is Phoenix’s favorite food? Sandra’s “little man” loves a warm butternut squash recipe. (You can find it listed on the side of the previous page.) We asked Sandra if Phoenix is moody. “Some days he is quiet, some days he is loud, and some days he likes what he likes and wants what he wants.” Anyone considering a cockatoo should keep in mind that they are emotional, excitable, sensitive creatures that often react to situations much differently than you might expect. You have to understand and accept a cockatoo’s natural behaviors. Then an Emmy arrived… Sandra won an Emmy in the beauty and makeup category for her over-the-top Halloween special on the food network. As her costume, Sandra chose “Queen Anne Revenge” – the eight-times-removed grandmother of Blackbeard. Coincidentally, she also owned a cockatoo. The story is told that when Queen Anne passed, her cockatoo passed away at the same time. So, now she and the cockatoo return to haunt the castle


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every Halloween – and, while there, they make ghost cupcakes. Sandra was in costume with Phoenix who helped bake the goodies. It was a highly entertaining segment and garnered Sandra an Emmy. (We have included a link to this episode.) What has Phoenix taught Sandra? Sandra believes “it is easy to understand dog and cat people, but bird owners are a different breed. Originally, I did not have the greatest love or understanding of birds but Phoenix has taught me that all animals are thoughtful, loving and emotional and that people need to stop being so dismissive of animals, of the Earth, and of one another. Animals are very emotional and if people would just take the a few minutes to watch, listen, and learn from them, the world would be a better place for everyone.” On the subject of bird ownership, Sandra confides that Phoenix takes up much of her time, and she wants people to know that they should “be prepared.” Anyone intent on purchasing a bird should “make sure they read up, discuss ownership with responsible bird owners, and ask as many questions as possible.” She feels owning a bird is a different type of pet ownership, but she could not imagine Phoenix not being in her life. “Birds are enchanting. They give you a ton of joy and are truly mesmerizing. Yes, that is the only way to describe it. They are a commitment for sure; the good news is you get what you give – with cockatoos that equals pure love.” NYP



Ask yourself some tough questions before you buy Suzanne L. Fox

If you are considering buying a horse, there are some extremely important factors to consider. On the surface, it is an exciting prospect. It could be the best decision you ever made, or the one you’re going to regret for years to come. Today, many horses wind up in unfavorable situations because people did not realize the level of responsibility it takes to be a horse owner. Hopefully, this article will help you decide if you are ready for a horse and how to start on your journey towards horse ownership. Giddy-up, here we go. u Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


TOP 10 1

Riding ExpERiEncE It is common for people to buy horses before they have ample experience. Sometimes, they are so excited about riding and love being around horses so much, that they decide to purchase a horse right away. Often, these are the people who regret buying a horse because they didn’t realize the level of commitment required. Also, some instructors interested only in profit will push riders to purchase a horse before they are ready. It is not necessary to buy a horse if you’ve only been riding for a short period of time. Take at least one year of lessons, at a minimum of one time per week, before you make the decision to buy. There are always other options such as half or full leasing, which will introduce you to the horse ownership experience, without the full commitment and financial risk.


Things to consider Before Buying a Horse


FinancEs Horseback riding is the sport of kings. In other words, if you’re looking for a cheap sport, you’re in the wrong barn. Most people in the horse world say that buying the horse is the inexpensive part of horse ownership. Can your budget comfortably allow for all of the extra expenses that your new horse will bring? At the very least, you’re going to need to pay for board monthly, the farrier every four to six weeks, the vet at least twice a year, the dentist once a year, and your lessons. Can you “hack” it?


TimE Everyone has a schedule that they live by in one way, shape, or form. If no one has told you yet, horses are addictive. The more time you’re with them, the more time you want to spend with them. These loveable

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animals are very time consuming. In order to keep your horse healthy and fit, exercise is a necessity. Also, if you want to improve your riding skills, or at least maintain your riding skills, plan on taking at least four trips to the stable each week. Will a horse fit into your schedule?


pRoFEssional insTRucTion Horseback riding is considered a higher risk sport when it comes to extent and frequency of injuries. Consequently, riding with a professional instructor is critical. A well trained instructor can be trusted to tell you when you are experienced enough to own a horse, what type of horse would be suitable for you, and can help you in the purchasing process. Quality instruction will dictate your future experiences with your horse.


Achieving Your riding goAls Everyone who rides horses has a picture in their mind of how they would like to ride. If you are going to buy a horse, it is important to understand how far this horse can take you on your path towards achieving those goals. One very important scenario to steer clear of is buying a “green” or inexperienced horse, for an inexperienced rider. This combination usually results in injury and frustration. Does the horse have experience doing whatever it is that you want to do? This is a simple, yet essential question to ask yourself. Is he or she going to be a true partner for you? For example, how long do you want to own this horse? Is this going to be a horse that you want to hold onto forever or for a couple of years until you need a more advanced horse?


Finding Your horse Who is going to find this perfect horse for you? Where do you go to get a horse? How you find a horse is really going to depend upon your experience level. The more experience you have, the more options

you have for finding a suitable mount on your own. If this is your first horse, it is essential for you to follow the advice of a trusted, reputable instructor. There are a lot of horse dealers out there that are just looking to make money and will be unethical during every step of the transaction. Please make sure that you have done your homework before trusting someone with this major transaction. Most instructors will charge commission for finding a horse. Today, the internet is obviously a fantastic resource for looking at many different horses. Please consider rescuing a horse, as there are many excellent horses looking for good homes.


home sweet home What location will your horse call home? Finding a safe, clean, and well managed facility is critical if you plan on boarding your horse at a stable. You want to be able to sleep at night knowing that your horse is in good hands. The following are critical questions to ask before choosing boarding facility: How often do the stalls get cleaned and how often do they add new bedding?

How long will my horse go outside each day? Will my horse get turned-out alone or with other horses? Do they charge extra for taking on and off your horse’s equipment (ex. blankets & boots)? How often do the horses get hayed and grained? Do they charge extra for adding vitamins or supplements to your horse’s feed? How often do the water buckets get cleaned? Another consideration should be the quality of instruction available at the stable. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of the stable atmosphere. The stable usually becomes a home away from home for most “horse people.” Is this an enjoyable environment where you would want to spend your time? Keeping your horse at home is always a very nice option if you have appropriate stable management consulting. However, this is not recommended if this is your first horse and you are a beginner rider.


the test ride NEVER BUY A HORSE WITHOUT A TEST RIDE! There are a few options when trying a horse before you buy him or her. You can go to the farm where the horse is kept

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


and try the horse at that location. The current owner or instructor can trailer the horse to the farm where you ride, or you could try the horse at a neutral location, such as a horse show. It is very common, and advisable to try a horse more than once and at more than one of the above locations. Additionally, some owners and instructors will allow you to take the horse to your farm for a couple of days for a longer trial. Don’t skip this step because it is essential that you feel as comfortable as possible with the horse you choose.


The Pre-Purchase exam NEVER, EVER BUY A HORSE WITHOUT A PRE-PURCHASE EXAM! This is a thorough exam performed by a veterinarian in order to determine if the horse has any pre-existing conditions or health issues. This is essential because you could wind up with a horse that is unable to meet your needs and/or is unable to be sold to someone else. It is often a good idea to use a third party veterinarian who is not associated with anyone involved in the transaction.



The Final Decision You and your instructor decided that you were ready for a horse of your own that will help you pursue your riding dreams. The boarding facility has been chosen and you have been looking at horses with your instructor. Finally, one horse really stands out and you decide to have a pre-purchase exam performed. At the end of the day, you’re left with a lot of information and a HUGE decision. With the information gained, try to determine if there are going to be other costs

NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013

associated with the maintenance of this horse. For example, is extra training required for the horse by a professional rider, vitamins or supplements, or other minor issues that add extra expenses? Then ask yourself if you can afford those extras. Lastly, follow your heart. If the information you received from all of the above steps was positive, and you’re feeling strongly that you should buy the horse, or that you shouldn’t buy the horse, follow your heart. It usually will always lead you down the path that’s right for you! NYP As an avid equine lover, Dr. Suzanne L. Fox has enjoyed the company of horses and the privilege of riding them, for over 25 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 Diplomate in Nutrition. Dr. Fox currently practices with her husband, Ryan, in their Chapel Hill, NC office. They have a two-year old son, Evan, who also shares her love of horses.

The Good, The Bad


and The

Tough challenge for volunteer rehabbers Lisa Acton

Well, where do I begin? Lovey was the first swan I ever rehabilitated. The experience was amazing, physically challenging, emotional, educational and expensive. But, years later, when I think of him I still cannot help but feel so much emotion. Let me start at the beginning. u Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine



y friend Lia called me early one day to tell me about an injured swan on Seven Lakes in Kent, NY. She asked me if I could go check it out. Since I was never really close to a swan, I grabbed a large crate and headed over to the lake. I was greeted by two lovely women who led me to the water’s edge. They explained that Lovey and Beauty have been returning to this lake for years and that the community loves them. But, they were very concerned about Lovey. The two women kept the swan named Beauty and her three cygnets busy with food while I tried to get closer to Lovey, the injured male.


NY Pets MagaziNe | sPriNg/suMMer 2013

One of the first things I realized was WOW – he is HUGE! I needed a larger crate and some time to organize; this was going to be a serious production. I could see that half of his foot was missing and I could not get very close. As I approached, he swam off, but, hey, I love a challenge. I left to acquire a much larger crate, one that was made for an adult great dane. I ended up strapping it to the back of my pick-up truck. I managed to recruit my daughter, Emily, along with the local fire department cold water rescue team. I have been a member of the fire department for some time, and I guess membership has its’ advantages.

Joe and Lisa Acton carefully release Lovey back to the wild after his recovery.

Five firefighters, my daughter and I were now at the edge of the lake trying to come up with a game plan. Two neighbors appeared with boats and asked if they could help which I, of course, graciously accepted because I still had no clue how we were going to catch him. Long story short; five hours, six boats and a team of firefighters later, we finally caught the swan. Even though Lovey was injured, he still knew all the hiding spots and could still swim very fast. I brought him home and we were both exhausted. It was after six at night and the veterinarian was no longer in. I resigned to take him first thing in the morning, but, before I was able to rest, I needed to feed this fellow. So,

I began making what I now call Swan Stew: a variety of greens, veggies and live fish. I made the stew and put it in front of him. He would not eat and had his head tucked back into a sleep position. He was now ignoring me. Seriously? Being new to this rehab game, I did what came naturally; I sat down next to him and started talking in a hushed tone. I told him he needed to eat and that all would be okay. Well, what did I know? I thought it would calm him down and make him feel safe. Now, after many years of doing rehab, I learned that talking to wildlife increases stress levels. I was just making him more scared. Another “no no” is petting wildlife, which is exactly what I did next. But it gets worse, while I was chatting with this HUGE beautiful animal, my husband walked in to find me and the swan on our kitchen floor. He, with his big heart, sat down next to us. We splashed our hands in the stew mix and continued petting him. And, I am now sure it was nerves, but, alas, he started eating. So, we kept on petting. The next morning Lovey looked terrible. His normally bright orange beak was pale and he was very weak. I was freaking out and on the verge of tears. I called Lia and she told me to “calm down, we can only do so much.” She then called a Dr. Randell to see if he could see Lovey right away. Thank goodness for her calmness because I was in a state of panic. Lia called me right back to tell me that Dr. Martin Randell would see the swan immediately. Lia informed me that she would meet me at the vet’s office to help out. Dr. Randell is a wonderful, caring veterinarian who spends a lot of his time assisting wildlife rehabbers. He has been so much help to me and I am eternally grateful. He and his awesome staff met me and helped me get Lovey inside. He told me he must clean the wounds and the necrotic tissue and that MAYBE we can help this swan. They would also sedate him, take X-rays and told me to call in a few hours. Lia and I sadly made our way home. As I learned over the years, another big “no no” for rehabbers is getting emotionally attached to wild animals, which is really hard not to do. I was already attached to Lovey at this point and so was my husband. Yikes!! I could barely focus while I waited. At 4 p.m. I got a call from Dr. Randell; he told me it was iffy, but I could pick the swan up. Excited and optimistic, I called the two women from the lake area to update them. Then, I headed to the vet’s office to get Lovey. I was determined to fix and release the swan. The long road to recovery started and over the next few weeks Lovey was doing quite well. He was happily eating, swimming in his pool, standing and walking with a limp. One Saturday I headed off to work and left my husband on “swan duty.” My husband, who rarely uses texting, sent me some photos of him and Lovey hanging out with a message of “just chillin.” How cool! Over the next month Joe (my husband) and I breathed and slept swan. Between laundry, swan stew, medications and vet trips we were getting nothing else done. The phone was constantly ringing with swan questions from locals wanting to know how Lovey was doing. He became an instant star and was featured in many of the local newspapers. When they say “it takes a community to raise a child,” it apparently Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


also takes one to rehab a swan. Release day finally came. Joe and I packed up Lovey and headed to the lake. Wow, there were so many people. Local families, reporters, the firehouse crew and many many more lined the lake. We asked everyone to be quiet so as not to scare the swan. Beauty and her cygnets were there too! We brought the crate to the water’s edge and opened it. Lovey was excited and called to his family. He then walked out of the crate and went straight to his family. It was breathtaking and I was crying like a baby as reporters were trying to interview me. We were all so happy. Over the next month, Joe and I went to visit Lovey and his family at least once a week. It was literally like “empty nest syndrome” the way we were missing him. The following month we made the trip a little less often. About eight weeks later we received a phone call from the ladies at the lake asking us to come quick because something was wrong with Lovey. He was lying at the shore and would not get up. Without a crate, and in a frantic rush, Joe and I ran to the lake and found him ill again. This, however, was very different. His family was not near him (which is a very bad sign). When a swan is ill or injured to the point of endangering the flock, the rest stay away. They cannot allow themselves to become prey to other animals. We took Lovey to our home and once again he was on our kitchen floor. We stayed up all night coaxing him to eat and to stay alive until morning when the vet could seem him. Dr. Randell was off the next morning, so I had to call another vet; Dr. Laurie Hess. (Dr. Hess has also been a great help to me as a rehabber and has helped out more times than I can count.) Laurie agreed to see him so we travelled to her office. She did a full exam and determined kidney failure. My heart started to break and I will never forget the love and concern that Laurie had for Lovey and me. We all sat on the floor and I cried my goodbyes. My heart was broken and so was Joe’s. Laurie and her staff made Lovey as comfortable as possible and he passed away. She sat with me the entire time. I left the office, barely able to drive, and was convinced that I would never rehab again. That evening Laurie called to check on me and to assure me that we had done the right thing. Lovey was at peace now. The following spring I went to the lake to find that Beauty had returned with a new male in her life. And, of course, there were three cygnets. I, of course, went on to rehab other animals, but every time I see a swan, I think of Lovey! NYP Lisa Acton is a happily married mother of three, in addition to being VP of marketing and special projects for a technology company. She somehow finds the extra hours to pursue her passion as a rehabber. She obtained her state license and later her federal license and has rehabbed at least 700 birds since 2008.


NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013


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Life with a Why reptiles are becoming more popular as pets Dominick Botte III

I have been fascinated with snakes and have been keeping and raising them for almost 26 years. I still can remember finding a garter snake in the woods of Pennsylvania when I was 12 years old and being captivated by its movement, its beautiful colors and the way the light reflected on its skin. I am now 38 and still as fascinated and captivated by snakes as I was back then. The question is: Do snakes make good pets? And, is a snake a good pet for you? u 42

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hen you think about a pet, usually the first thought that comes to mind is a dog, cat, tropical fish or even a parrot or parakeet. Snakes and reptiles, in general, are usually not the first thing that pops into a person’s head when thinking about a pet. Today, this is changing by leaps and bounds. For over the past 20 years, snakes have become more popular as pets. According to an American Pet Products Manufacturers Association survey of pet owners, reptiles are among the most popular pets being kept in the American household today. Even though snakes are not warm, fuzzy and cuddly like a kitten; nor do they come running to you for affection like a puppy or dog, they can still make very rewarding and interesting pets. They can actually have more advantages than owning a dog or cat. For example, snakes are hypoallergenic – they do not have hair or produce dander that can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. And, if there is anyone in your family who is sensitive to fur, a snake can make an ex-

cellent pet. Snakes are very easy to keep in captivity and are very low maintenance. They only need to be fed and cleaned about once every week on average. The water should be changed on a daily basis. So, if you are planning a trip or vacation, there will not be much that has to be done while you are away. Another advantage is that keeping a snake in your home takes up very little space. Some people who really love snakes have a small room dedicated to keeping a snake collection. But, if you are keeping only one snake, it can be placed basically anywhere in your home. Some families even keep their snakes displayed in an attractive terrarium in their living room which will make for interesting conversation when entertaining guests. As far as your snake enclosure is concerned, a snake requires very little space and actually does prefer smaller quarters as it provides them with a sense of safety. I have found from experience that keeping a snake in too large of an enclosure may lead to stress and keep the snake from thriving and doing well. When decorating your snake enclosure, you can keep it very simplistic, providing the bare essentials a snake requires. Some of you may prefer to provide a very naturalistic looking environment; mimicking what the snake would like in its natural outdoor habitat. Depending on the species, the habitat will change. A nice selection of enclosures, supplies and husbandry equipment can be found at your local pet store. Snakes will do very well in captivity and there is a wide variety to choose from. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors. With selective captive breeding for different colors and patterns, you can basically choose almost any color of the rainbow and beyond for the snake species you would like to keep. Also from experience, I can tell you that there are certain species that make great “first” pets. The corn snakes and king snakes from the Colubridae family are fantastic firsts. These snakes range from three to four feet at adult length making them a perfect small-to-medium sized snake. The housing, temperature and feeding requirements are very simple and their temperaments are great which makes them very easy to handle. Your hardest decision would be to decide which color to choose from as there is a mind-boggling variety of different color Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


and pattern morphs. These snakes are great for children and adults alike and there are many websites, books, magazines and hobbyists from which you can get an abundance of information on their care. Although keeping snakes is a low maintenance and relatively simple hobby, it does require a certain level of dedication and commitment. This will ensure that your snake remains happy and healthy. Most snakes can be expected to live 15 to 20 years and so their longevity should be taken into consideration before choosing one as a pet. Snakes are cold-blooded animals; which means they cannot control their body temperature. The body temperature of a snake is determined by the outside environment. For instance, a snake will bask in the sun to raise its temperature and will then retreat to the shade to cool its body down. In captivity, it is up to us to replicate this environment for our snake pets. Fortunately, you can find products such as specific heating pads, heat lamps and light fixtures available at many pet stores. Housing requirements are also very important since snakes are

amazing escape artists. They are considered the “Harry Houdinis� of the animal world which is why you should always provide an escapeproof environment. Snakes are able to squeeze through the smallest hole and opening. Any weakness in your cage system that provides a means of escape will be utilized by your pet. As well as being great escape artists, they are also known to be able to hide very well in small spaces. This is a natural instinct for snakes in the wild. It is their essential means of survival against predators. In simple terms, try to remember that if your snake does escape, it will be tough to find. Keeping your snake in an enclosure with locking doors, latches or clamps, will help to ensure that your friend remains safe and secure. Feeding requirements for your snake are also important. Although snakes can be fed very infrequently, every one to two weeks, and don’t require a large amount of food, they require whole animal foods. All snakes are carnivorous. This means they will eat lizards, other snakes, small mammals, birds, eggs, fish, snails or insects. In captivity, most snakes will readily feed on rodents. Having a favorite pet store that can provide mice and rats of different sizes

Snakes are able to squeeze through the smallest hole and opening. any weakness in your cage system that provides a means of escape will be utilized by your pet.


NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013

depending on the size of your snake is very important. For example, baby corn snakes will eat “pinkie” or newborn mice and adult corn snakes will eat a full-grown adult mouse. Most snakes are constrictors, which means they will grab their prey with a lightning-fast strike, hold on to it, wrap around it and squeeze it. Even though you can feed your snake live rodents, it is potentially harmful to your snake, as the rodent can bite and injure your snake. For this reason, live food should never be left for a long period in your snake’s enclosure. Feeding live food to your snake should always be supervised. Most snake keepers, including myself, prefer to feed defrosted frozen mice or rats. Many snakes readily eat defrosted rodents and will keep your snakes from being injured by live food. Pet stores that specialize in reptiles will be able to provide frozen rodents in bulk and all you have to do is find the proper size to feed your snake. The rodent should be no wider than the widest part of your snake’s body. Your frozen rodent can be defrosted either by leaving it out overnight or by defrosting in warm water. It is not recommended to use a microwave for defrosting. Giving water to your snake is very simple. Keep the water clean

and fresh. It should be changed on a daily basis to stop bacteria from growing. If you must go away for a day or two, it should be fine. If your snake uses the water bowl as a toilet, please ensure to wash and scrub the bowl. Also make sure to wash your hands well after handling the bowl. It is also a healthy practice to wash your hands before and after handling any reptile. By following these simple guidelines, and by doing some research before purchasing a snake, it can make an extraordinary pet for your entire family – one that I think you will enjoy for many years to come. A day does not go by where I don’t find myself staring at my snakes in their enclosures with the same interest, excitement and passion that I have had since finding that first garter snake in the woods when I was 12 years old. NYP Dominick Botte III lives in Carmel, NY, and has been keeping and raising different species of snakes for 26 years and breeding snakes for the last four years. His captive breeding program includes ball pythons, boa constrictors, corn snakes and western hognose snakes. His business is called Big Wheel Reptiles and can be found on Facebook. You can contact Dominick with any questions or info by email

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


Bird Food Facts A new resource helps you choose the right balance of feed Amy Hopkins

Have you ever wanted to know more about what you feed your bird? And what would happen if you adjusted the diet? ZuPreem has come up with a great new site called that calculates the content of your bird’s diet for you. 46

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n the home page, first you pick the species of your bird. This is important since different species have different nutritional requirements. While the list of birds is far from comprehensive, it does include most of the common species or species groups, such as cockatoos, macaws, Amazons, African greys, cockatiels, budgies, and others. After selecting a species, you select a food category. The first menu has fruit, meat/ eggs/protein, miscellaneous, nuts/beans/ seed, packaged bird food, and vegetables. You add the category, and then a submenu appears. There are 30 types of fruit, 15 types of meat/eggs/protein, 64 types of miscellaneous items, 38 types of nuts/beans/seed, and 27 types of vegetables listed currently. The list of packaged bird foods is enormous, with products from 17 major bird food companies. I presume these lists are being expanded over time. If you feed your bird something not on the list, pick something close. For example, I feed my birds Swiss chard, which is not listed, so I chose kale as a close approximation. There’s a link to click on if you want them to add a food not already listed. I’ve shown screenshots here of a sample diet for my cockatiels. (Note - after writing this article, I asked them to add Swiss Chard, and they did.) After you pick a food item, it asks you to enter the percentage of the diet this item represents. Once you’ve entered one item, go up to the main menu and pick the next item to add. Repeat this until you’ve entered

the bird’s total diet. Your birds may not get the exact same diet each day, so try to pick a sample diet. Not all treat items are listed (though you can always request that they be), but these should not represent a significant portion of the diet or they wouldn’t be treats. There are many things on the miscellaneous list, in particular, that shouldn’t be part of any bird’s diet, such as cheese puffs (salt), donuts (sugar), and iced tea (caffeine), but are included so that you can honestly evaluate your bird’s diet. Once you have a list that adds up to 100 percent, click on the Analyze Nutrition button. The screen gives you comparative diet results and implications. There are four sets of bar graphs analyzing your bird/s diet for protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. These are compared against the ideal diet range for that species. Below that is a description of the role these four factors play in a bird’s diet. If you click on “learn more”, even more information comes up, with tips on how to increase or decrease that dietary element, as needed. Also included under Frequently Asked Questions are a variety of diet topics, including common medical problems caused by feeding, advice on food diets, seed versus pellets, foods to avoid, information on vitamin and mineral supplements, and how to deal with picky birds. Additional information available includes tips and directions on converting your bird’s diet, find a pet food store/breeder/club/retailer near you, and learn more about avian health and nutrition. A disclaimer advises you that this information is only for adult, non-breeding birds. There is an “edit diet” button so you can make adjustments to see how revising your bird’s diet can affect these numbers. While this site is sponsored by ZuPreem, that is not obvious, and only one little comment on the side mentions that they are the “No. 1 selling pelleted bird food brand in the U.S.” The site is surprisingly free of commercial bias, with most major bird food brands represented. It would be nice to see vitamin and mineral analysis also in addition to the four categories provided, but the information on this site is quite useful. Perhaps this will be

there are four sets of bar graphs analyzing your bird/s diet for protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. these are compared against the ideal diet range for that species. Below that is a description of the role these four factors play in a bird’s diet. coming down the line. I strongly encourage everyone to try analyzing your bird’s diet so you can see what you’re really feeding your bird. Keep in mind that the percentages you enter are what the bird is actually eating, not necessarily what you provide. Also, with seed mixes, your bird may be picking out certain seed items selectively, so the analysis may not be totally accurate. And while that almond or grape may not look like much, it could be a bigger part of your bird’s diet by percentage than you think it is, so try to be honest about what you enter. One of the best uses of this site is to compare diets so you can see what effect a change has, rather than just looking to see if the diet falls within range. For example, if I edit the diet above to be 80% Avi-Cakes

with 10 percent French fries and 10 percent grapes, the diet is still within range, but the fat went up from 4.1 percent to 5.23 percent, and the protein dropped from 11.56 percent to 10.45 percent, indicating a diet going in the wrong direction. But if I had just entered this as the only diet, I might believe that this is a healthy diet, which is not true. So the lack of information on overall health of the diet, particularly with regard to salt, vitamins, and minerals, can be misleading. Still and all, this is a great new resource provided by the people at ZuPreem which will help all of us be more knowledgeable about what we are feeding our birds. I encourage everyone to give it a try. NYP Amy Hopkins,, The Parrot Club.

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


The herbivore dieT The essential components for a healthy small animal Lucas Stock

As any pet owner of a small herbivore will tell you, animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas make exceptional companions with personalities full of warmth and constant surprises. Once considered “throw away� pets, a concerted, collective effort by leading manufacturers and top veterinarians to educate consumers has led to exponential increases in the lifespan of these animals. When properly cared for, animals such as rabbits can live many years, bringing endless joy into the lives of those who care for them. 50

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here are some basic, yet important nutritional guidelines to follow in order to ensure the long-term health and wellbeing of your herbivore. Oxbow Animal Health (Murdock, NE) recommends the following nutritional percentages for a healthy daily diet: • High fiber hay – 75% • Complete, fortified food – 20% • Treats/Greens – 5% • Water available at all times Hay—all day, every day Due to their unique digestive systems, small herbivores require the constant motion of high fiber food through their gastrointestinal tracts for optimum health. High fiber grass hays help animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and chinchillas maintain intestinal balance, helping to prevent digestive problems common among small herbivores. Additional benefits of hay include proper dental wear on your pet’s teeth, which continuously grow and can easily become problematic during the adult years. For these reasons, small herbivores should have unlimited access to quality grass hay. Hay should be fed “free choice” (available at all times) and should make up at least 75 percent of a small herbivore’s daily diet. As a general recommendation, rabbits should eat a pile of hay approximately the size of their body every day. Guinea pigs, meanwhile, should consume a pile of hay approximately twice the size of their body. In reality, a pet owner cannot offer too much hay to their pet herbivore. Hay that is not immediately eaten will be used for foraging, burrowing and general enrichment. aLfaLfa VS. GraSS Hay Young pets (one year or under) require more energy than their adult counterparts. This energy should come primarily in the form of alfalfa; a legume hay with the same long-strand fiber found in grass hays, but with more protein, energy and calcium. Pregnant or nursing pets will also benefit from the inclusion of alfalfa in their diets. When animals reach adulthood, they should be transitioned to grass hays with lower protein and calcium. Popular grass hay options for adult herbivores include Western Timothy, Oat Hay, Orchard Grass, USDA Organic Meadow Hay (hay blended with fragrant herbs, and others). While young animals and animals that are pregnant or nursing require the added energy offered through alfalfa hay and an alfalfa-based

pellet, animals of all ages can benefit from the inclusion of grass hay in their daily diet. Offering grass hay to young pets encourages variety and makes the eventual alfalfa to grass hay transition easier when the time comes. Purchasing hay through a trusted manufacturer is the first step toward assuring a pet is receiving “the best of the best.” Because hay is a product of Mother Nature, a certain level of variability is inevitable from one crop to the next. For this reason, it’s important to understand your hay supplier’s quality assurance measures. While purchasing bulk hay in bale form can provide a good value up front, assuring the quality of such hay is not entirely possible. A branded, packaged hay is more likely to have been inspected to meet high quality standards. Variety – the Spice of Life Much like their human caretakers, small herbivores can benefit from a certain amount of variety in their daily diet. Every animal is unique, Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


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NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013

and many will develop favorites when it comes to different varieties of hay. Because all grass hays are nutritionally similar (alfalfa hay is excluded here, as it has a different nutritional make up), it’s safe to mix and match amongst grass hay varieties. Pet owners are encouraged to experiment to find out which combinations of hay their companion enjoys best. By keeping a pet’s mealtime interesting, owners can help ensure the necessary intake of hay, thereby helping prevent potential health problems (such as gastric stasis and dental disease) which may arise as a result of decreased consumption. When offering hay to your small herbivore, you may notice a tendency by your pet to eat the most tender parts of the plant first, leaving behind the stems. Avoid the temptation to remove the stems from your pet’s cage. Instead, mix the stems in with new hay to encourage your pet to eat them and thereby consume the valuable fiber contained within. FortiFied Foods Valuable vitamins and minerals in pellet form While unlimited hay provides the fiber necessary to keep a small herbivore’s digestive system moving properly, vitamins and minerals are supplied in the form of a complete fortified food. Approximately 20 percent of a small herbivore’s diet should come from a measured amount of a high quality fortified food. As with hay, it’s important to keep in mind a pet’s physiology when choosing a fortified food. Many conventional feeds contain fats, sugars, starches in the form of nuts, corn, seeds, and fruit. Pet owners should avoid these items, as small herbivores such as rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas are not designed to digest them. Instead, choose an all natural food which contains an ideal amount of fiber, carbohydrates and proteins. A uniform feed will help avoid selective eating habits associated with mixes. An alfalfa-based pellet is appropriate for young, pregnant and nursing pets, while a timothy hay-based pellet is best for adults.

TreaTs and Veggies Tasty enrichment in moderation Offering your pet treats is a great way to bond with your companion. The most important thing to remember when shopping for treats is that they should never make up a significant part of a pet’s diet—less than 5 percent. Offering too many treats can lead to your pet refusing basic foods. When choosing treats, look for all-natural options that don’t include any added sugar. Instead, opt for healthy treats made with high fiber hay, herbs and freeze-dried fruits and veggies rather than fat, added sugars, or starches. Making a healthy choice in the treat aisle ensures that you can always offer your pet a healthy option you can feel good about. Many pet owners enjoy offering their companions fresh veggies as a part of their daily diet. Appropriate veggies are a great addition to a pet’s diet, but should be given in only a specific amount each day. Good options include greens such as romaine, bib and red leaf lettuces. Iceberg lettuce should be avoided, as it might cause digestive upset. For an extensive list of healthy, appropriate greens, visit the House Rabbit Society’s website (

supplemenTs Supplements are designed to do just as their name implies – to supplement a pet’s diet with beneficial nutritional components. While some supplements (such as stabilized Vitamin C for guinea pigs) are essential to a pet’s daily health, others are designed to support wellness in pets. Pet owners should always consult with their veterinarian prior to introducing a supplement into their pet’s diet. When feeding a supplement, it is important to always follow feeding instructions. For more information about appropriate nutrition for small herbivores, visit NYP Lucas Stock, Oxbow Animal Health; 29012 Mill Road, Murdock, NE 68407 USA; Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine



Doggy Catwalk

How fashion can help raise your dog’s self-esteem By Michelle Harding Did you know that dressing your dog in some fashionable outfits can actually raise their self-esteem as well as yours? It is no surprise that the average American adores our four-legged furry friends so much that they may sometimes go to extreme lengths to show affection by purchasing extravagant outfits. More and more, we are seeing dogs in movies, on reality shows, shopping with their companions, driving in car seats, and even walking the Red Carpet. It is no surprise that we are living in a society where dogs are being viewed as fashion icons. Do you know that dogs actually enjoy wearing clothes? They might not tell you outright, but surely you would understand by the way they jump around and walk proudly, especially when you’re outdoors in public view. People use clothes to show off their personality daily, why shouldn’t your pet? Dressing your dog comfortably for different weather patterns can actually reduce anxieties and make your pet feel snug and secure. It also allows them to maintain body temperature, especially in the cooler months. In doing so, we, as natural caretakers, have our maternal needs met as well. When we care for another, it’s no surprise that our natural maternal well-being gets a boost.


NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013

Spending time with a pet can lower anxiety and stress levels. Why do you think there are therapy dogs that are now being used to treat certain psychological disorders? The love and devotion you receive from a dog is the best “woof medicine.” For an animal to bring such unconditional support, it’s no wonder we strive to treat them as equals. They are our endlessly devoted and faithful friends to the end. Our dogs just want to spend time and do what we humans do. So when you are picking out an outfit and feeling good about yourself, make sure you take time to pick out one for your pooch as well. The unconditional love creates a bond that will be treasured for a lifetime. Social connection in society is equally important to raising self esteem. Dressing your dog could actually promote a better, happier lifestyle for both you and your pooch. It’s a well-known reality that dogs draw extra attention when in public view. Dressing your pooch is a sure sign that you will grab the publics’ attention. Now what

Dressing your dog comfortably for different weather patterns can actually reduce anxieties and make your pet feel snug and secure.

pet does not like to be the center of attention? They like to be petted, hugged, praised, and cuddled. They thrive on being shown affection. The proper outfit will make your dog feel like a million bucks and raise self-esteem. When our dogs feel good and display behavior such as jumping, licking, and wagging of the tail, naturally our esteem raises. Allow your pooch to show their cuddly kind nature by dressing them and taking them out in the public’s eye. Did you know that having a pet breaks social barriers and feelings of isolation for people who are shy or having trouble making friends? Much like children, dogs thrive on routine and structure. However, sometimes we all get stuck in a “ruff-spot” with our lives. The majority of days in a pet’s life are quite predictable; i.e., eating, napping, going for walks and potty breaks. Let your pup show off their personality by choosing clothes that show off their inner diva. Whether your pup is tough, flirtatious, or sassy, have them dress the part. Staying active and pursuing positive physical health is critical for good self esteem. When you get

Did you know that having a pet breaks social barriers and feelings of isolation for people who are shy or having trouble making friends?


ready in the morning, your dog wants to also. Everyone yearns for someone to be envious of them and it might as well be a dog. Believe it or not a dog wants to do many activities that you take part in. Think about eating dinner, wouldn’t your K-9 companion enjoy joining you at the table eating your delicious food? When you go for a walk, does your favorite pooch wag with excitement at the pure thought that you might be reaching for a leash? A tired happy dog is more content and less emotional. The more time you spend outside, the more energy we, as humans, burn. In addition, it is less likely your dog will misplace its energy on mischievous acts. So, try doing it in a trendy way with matching jogging outfits. All in all, dressing your pampered pooch in some stylish clothing is a win win for both of you. Life is meant to be enjoyable and what better way to enjoy life than by spending time with your lovable companions and pampering them. It will boost your psychological well-being and aid in bonding time. You will stay socially connected with others while keeping you and your “fashionista” active. Whatever outfits you choose for your K-9 companion, enjoy the benefits of raising their self-esteem as well as yours in an upscale, fashionable way. NYP Michelle Harding is owner of Celebipaws.

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We invite you to support our neighbors distributing this magazine Aardvark Pet Supplies, Inc. 58 Washington Ave. Pleasantville, NY 10570 (914) 747-4848

Big Apple Car Brooklyn, NY 718-236-7788

Accord Plaza Feeds 4739 US Highway 209 Accord, NY 12404 (845) 626-7675

Brewster Veterinary Hospital 3455 Danbury Road Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 279-5053

Animal Kingdom USA 100 A Independent Way Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 278-6400

Brook Farm Veterinary Center 2371 Route 22 Patterson, NY 12563 (845) 746-9333

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

Brusarah Pet Grooming 904 South Lake Blvd. Mahopac, NY 10541 (845) 621-2405

Earth Angels Veterinary Hospital 8 Nancy Court Wappingers, Falls, NY 12590 (845) 227-7297

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

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

Emmanuel’s Pet-Agree Stone Ridge Plaza 3853 Main Street Stone Ridge, NY 12484 (845) 687-2500

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


Cat Care Clinic 127 South Broadway South Nyack, NY 10960 (845) 353-5343 Cefola’s Clarkstown Auto Lube 143 Route 303 Valley Cottage, NY 10989 (845) 268-3138 Chip Awee Pets 3043 Buhre Ave Bronx, NY 10461 (718) 684-2800 Chris’ Automotive Center 349 New York 52 Carmel, NY 10512 (845) 225-3054 Codys Cozy Pals 328 Old Niskauna Road Latham, NY 2210 (518) 786- 7257

NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013

DeCicco Family Markets 50 Independent Way Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 278-8036 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

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 Fred’s Pet Center 11 Spring Valley Market Place 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 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 Days Kennels Inc. AKC Registered #0216 1395 Route 6 Carmel, NY 10512 (845) 225-2463 Happy Paws Pet Resort 316 Lafayette Street New York, NY 10012 (212) 431-6898 Hartsdale Veterinary Hospital 193 East Hartsdale Avenue Hartsdale, NY 10530 (914) 723-4006 Heritage Feed & Supply 2812 Route 17K Bullville, NY 10915 (845) 361-4081 Hudson Highlands Veterinary Medical Group 222 Lime Kiln Road Hopewell Junction, NY 12533 (845) 335-4180

Leichter Chiropractic 155 South Liberty Drive Stony Point, NY 10980 (845) 942-4355

New England Equine Practice 2933 New York 22 Patterson, NY 12563 (845) 878-7500

Liberty Agway Home & Garden Center 11 Bon Jovi Lane Liberty, NY 12754 (845) 292-7220 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 Midway Wine & Liquors 973 Central Park Avenue Scarsdale, NY 10583 (914) 874-5444 Mike’s Feed Farm 90 Hamburg Turnpike Riverdale, NJ 07457 (973) 839-7747 Millerton Veterinary Practice 199 Route 44 Millerton, NY 12546 (518) 789-3440

NickBee’s Eco Store 56B South Center Street Millerton, NY (518) 592-1177 Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital 44 Mill Plain Road Danbury, CT 06811 (203) 743-9999 PatterPaws Animal Hospital 76 Route 22 Pawling, NY 12564 (845) 319-9331 Pawling Animal Clinic 550 Route 22 Pawling, NY 12564 (845) 350-0043 Pet Nutrition Center 115 E. Route 59 Nanuet, NY 10954 (845) 623-3214 Pet Palace of New City 174 So. Main Street New City, N.Y. 10956 (845) 638-1378 Pets Place II 120 East Route 59 Nanuet, NY 10954 (845) 623-5565 u

Mt. Kisco Veterinary Clinic 474 Lexington Avenue Mt. Kisco, NY 10549 (914) 241-3337

K-9 Caterers 82-02 Cooper Avenue Glendale, NY 11385 (718) 894-2416 Katonah Bedford Veterinary Center 546 N. Bedford Road Bedford Hills, NY 10507 (914) 241-7700

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


Pine Bush Agway & Home 105 Depot Street Pine Bush, NY 12566 (845) 744-2011

Sand Creek Animal Hospital 130 Wolf Road Albany, NY 12205 (518) 446-9171

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

Sarah Hodgson Katonah, NY 10536 (914) 241-1111

Pleasantville Animal Hospital 479 Marble Avenue Pleasantville, NY 10507 (914) 769-3700

Somers Animal Hospital 352 Route 202 Somers, NY 10589 (914) 277-3686

Pooch Paradise, Dog Grooming Salon 18 Mill Plain Road Danbury, CT 06811 (203) 748-6668

SPCA of Westchester 590 North State Road Briarcliff, NY 10510 (914) 762-8312

Puppy Love 37 Lake Avenue Ext. Danbury, CT 06811 (203) 743-5400

Spoiled Brats 4 Bennett Avenue New York, NY 10033 (212) 543-2202

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

Spoiled Brats 340 West 49th Street #1 New York, NY 10033 (212) 459-1615

River & Reef Aquarium 973 Main Street Fishkill, NY 12524 (845) 896-7555

Spring Valley Animal Hospital 151 Route 59 Monsey, NY 10952 (845) 356-8616

Rockland Holistic Veterinary Care 626 Route 303 Blauvelt, NY 10913 (845) 348-SPAY Email: Roosevelt Veterinary Center 393 Main Street Beacon, NY 12508 (845) 202-7129 Roosevelt Veterinary Center 1515 New York 22 #3D Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 207-5153 Rye Harrison Veterinary Hospital 170 North Street Rye, NY 10580 (914) 921-2000


Stephanie’s Pet Services (914) 270-3175 Serving Putnam County 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

NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013

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 10570 (914) 241-3059 Tri-State Aquarium 191-8 Route 59 Suffern, NY 10901 (845) 918-1707 Veterinary Center for Birds and Exotics 709 Bedford Rd Bedford Hills, NY 10507 (914) 864-1414 Walden Animal Deli 145 Hepper Street Walden, NY 12586 (845) 778-5252 Westchester Champion Dog Training 914-224-6110

West End Veterinary Office 41 Fullerton Avenue Newburgh, NY 12550 (845) 565-0804 Wings Over Water 1511 New York 22 Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 279-9525 Yorktown Animal Hospital 271 Veterans Road Yorktown Heights, NY (914) 962-3111

Talking to Animals Communication and Reiki: perfect together

Jennifer Dickman


As a professional animal communicator, I’m often asked the question: “Just what is animal communication?” Quite simply, animal communication is intentional telepathic communication between a person and an animal.

say “intentional” because all of us who have companion animals communicate with them telepathically at a subconscious level without even realizing it. A great example of this is when you “suddenly” realize it’s time to give your cat her food. Nine out of 10 times it’s not that you “realized” it, but that your cat thrust that idea into your head. Cambridge biologist Dr. Rupert Sheldrake has done a great deal of scientific research proving that animals communicate telepathically with their families, which you can explore on his website at http://www. Professional animal communicators have developed this telepathic ability to the extent that they are able to communicate back and forth with animals at will. It’s much like having a conversation with another person, except animals communicate more in images and feelings than in words. This is why it takes training and experience for an animal communicator to be able to give and receive clear and accurate messages. But, it’s also a great help, in that language is not a barrier. I recently did a session with a dog from a

Spanish-speaking home, but had no trouble communicating with the dog and relaying the information to his “Mom” in English. I also once did a session with a dog in Saudi Arabia who had originally only been spoken to in Arabic. There are many reasons one might want to consult an animal communicator. I’m often called in to mediate between animals that aren’t getting along, to get to the bottom of inexplicable or “problem” behaviors and to find out about past histories of adopted animals. While I’m not a veterinarian and never

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


allow myself to be used as a substitute for veterinary care, I’m able to get an animal’s perspective as to whether or not he or she is ready to cross over, and can also help explain symptoms and behaviors from the animal’s point of view. A large part of my practice consists of communicating with animals on the “other side” which provides a great deal of comfort and closure for both the animals and their families. While every animal communicator works slightly differently, I’ve chosen to employ my own technique, combining animal communication and the energy healing technique Reiki, which I’ve aptly (and not so creatively) named “Animal Communication Reiki”. I’ve found that employing Reiki during my animal communication sessions both enhances the level of communication and increases the benefits of the sessions for the animals. I also offer distance Reiki sessions on their own for both animals and people. While many people are already familiar with Reiki and its benefits, perhaps an explanation is in order. Reiki is an ancient and widely-practiced form of energy healing. During a Reiki treatment, a trained Reiki practitioner transmits Reiki energy (life-force energy, e.g. chi) to the person, animal, or situation receiving the treatment. During an in-person session, this energy is transmitted through the laying on

of hands. During a Distance Reiki session, the Reiki practitioner uses specific techniques learned in Reiki training to transmit the Reiki treatment to the subject. Reiki has become increasingly wellaccepted by the medical mainstream in recent years, and is currently offered in many respected hospitals, including The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the National Institutes of Health Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center. While not a direct cure for illness, Reiki can profoundly assist the body’s natural

Reiki provides the same benefits for animals as it does for people. Additionally, Reiki treatments can help animals adjust to new environments, assist in overcoming behavioral problems, and help animals to overcome traumas such as abuse, neglect and the loss of an owner or animal buddy. Reiki can also be sent to the relationship between a pet and a person, or the relationship between two pets. Reiki can ease an animal’s transition to the next life, both physically and emotionally. While both Reiki and animal communication are valuable and effective on their own, I’ve found the combination of the two to be unparalleled in its benefits. The next time you are facing a difficult situation with your animal companions, or would just like to obtain information or assistance, I hope you’ll contact an animal communicator and/or animal Reiki practitioner. Most practitioners offer distance services, so even if you live in a remote area, finding someone to help you should not be a problem. NYP Jennifer Dickman is an Animal Communicator, Reiki Master-Teacher specializing in Animal Reiki, and Intuitive Counselor. She is available for phone sessions worldwide and can be reached at 215.817.0833 or More information is available on Jennifer’s web site:

Reiki treatments can help animals adjust to new environments, assist in overcoming behavioral problems, and help animals to overcome traumas such as abuse, neglect and the loss of an owner or animal buddy.


healing process, as well as support emotional and spiritual healing. Reiki promotes relaxation and stress reduction. Many people who receive Reiki treatments report reduction in pain, reduction in the severity of their symptoms, faster recovery from injuries and surgery and increased energy and feelings of well-being. In addition to achieving all of the above, Distance Reiki can be sent to past events and traumas and to future events, such as job interviews.

NY PETS MagaziNE | SPRiNg/SuMMER 2013

peT LegiSLaTiOn

Pet LegisLation

new regulations affecting you and your pets


he 2011-2012 session was very busy for the State of New York with respect to companion animals. The Empire State saw more than 230 pieces of pet-related legislation introduced at the state and local level. The most notable statute enacted affecting pets and pet owners in the state are the amendments to New York’s Pet Dealer Act. The Act—supported by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and others—was amended to strengthen standards of care requirements for pet dealers and requires the implementation of an appropriate plan for the exercise of animals in their possession. Doing so protects animal welfare and ensures consumers are able to buy happy, healthy pets. The 2013-2014 legislative session is shaping up to be just as busy with regard to pets. Dog owners in New York may soon be required to successfully complete obedience training in order to obtain a dog license (Senate Bill 694), adding an additional expense to being a pet owner. Senate Bill 342 would require pet owners to have a microchip implanted in their dog by the age of four months for identification purposes. The proposed legislation also calls for the establishment of a state registry to maintain records for each dog microchipped. While providing an appropriate means of identifying a pet dog is part of being a responsible pet owner, consumers should be concerned since micro-chipping would be the only acceptable means of identification to satisfy this mandate should the bill pass. Senate Bill 334 would institute a 5% surcharge on any animal sale from pet dealers, while Senate Bill 1028 seeks a 12% surcharge. Both bills dictate that funds collected from the surcharge would then establish a newly

Dog owners in new York may soon be required to successfully complete obedience training in order to obtain a dog license (Senate Bill 694). created “New York animal shelter and wildlife rehabilitator account” to subsidize animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation. Consumers should be aware that, while funding shelters and wildlife rehabilitation is an important and worthwhile cause, such a mandate places an unfair burden on the consumer in the form of higher prices on pet products they purchase. nYP

Contact: 202-452-1525

Spring/Summer 2013 | nY peTS magazine


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

dogpaCer - dogpaCer Let’s face it, not everyone loves the rain and snow. Many of us try to avoid it as much as possible. But one thing you should not avoid is providing your dog with exercise, especially as obesity is becoming a serious problem in the canine world. dogPACER is a pet lifestyle and wellness brand, which has launched two sizes of treadmills for your dog: the MiniPacer for dogs under 55 lbs. and the LF 3.1 for dogs under 179 lbs. dogPACER has recently launched a new line of treadmills, the Elite Dog Treadmill, which aids veterans and military dogs by donating $50 of every treadmill sold as well as matching that donation for a total of $100.

Green -The Company of animals Green is a new, fun way to feed your dog. Not only is it entertaining for you, it is mentally stimulating and challenging for your dog. You pour in the desired amount of dog food and off they go. The design also slows down how quickly your dog eats. This reduces gagging, gas, and the risk of ‘bloating’, which can be fatal in some cases. The Green is dishwasher safe and can be used for multiple sizes of dog.


NY Pets MagaziNe | sPriNg/suMMer 2013

Dart Duo- Frolicat Move over old school cat toys, it’s time for an upgrade. The Dart Duo is a sleek, modern looking rotating light with two lasers to keep your cat (or dog) active and entertained. There are 16 different speed and timer combinations to keep your kitty on the prowl. u

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Our wholesome foods are full of natural goodness. Every ingredient is chosen with care for the health and happiness of your furry friend. Our foods are 100% free of corn, wheat, soy, chemical preservatives and artificial colors and flavors. Each diet is rich in meat, poultry or fish proteins to give your pets everything they

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& Visit our Testimonials to read real experiences from pet parents just like you. Spring/Summer 2013 | nY petS magazine


sElf-clEanIng BEtta aquarIum no clEan aquarIums This self-cleaning Betta aquarium is perfect for the home, office, or an introduction to aquariums. There are no cords, filters, or spills. Simply pour clean water into the tank and the “hydrostatic equilibrium self-cleaning system” (and physics) forces the dirty water up the tube and out of the tank. That whole process also takes only 60 seconds. Another benefit of this tank is the fish never have to be removed from their environment, which can be stressful on your finned friend.

tracErz- InnovEt One to two percent of pets worldwide will lose their vision, so Innovet came up with a clever solution to help guide blind cats and dogs around your home. Small, scent-based location markers can be placed throughout the home to help your blind pet “smell” their way around. Each marker is made up of safe, pleasant, distinctive scents that are not noticeable to humans unless held up close, but are very distinctive to your cat or dog.

Earth ratEd PooPBags - Earth ratEd We love our dogs, but there is one thing no one is a fan of – cleaning up after them. It’s something you have to do, so why not make it a little more amusing and help the environment out while you’re at it. Earth Rated PoopBags are biodegradable, lavender scented (or unscented), and affordable. The bags are extra-strong, which is great for those of you with larger pooches or for those days when your dog does not have a happy tummy. They also come in recyclable packaging. NYP


NY PETS MagaziNE | SPriNg/SuMMEr 2013


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NY Pets Magazine - Spring/Summer 2013  

We, at NY Pets, wanted to make this a fun and informative magazine for pet lovers of all kinds; sort of a “go-to” publication for your pet q...

NY Pets Magazine - Spring/Summer 2013  

We, at NY Pets, wanted to make this a fun and informative magazine for pet lovers of all kinds; sort of a “go-to” publication for your pet q...