The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : March 2014 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : March 2014

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Do You Know These Cat Facts and Myths?

Cats have fascinated humans ever since the day, probably about four thousand years ago, the first domestic cat made himself at home on the hearth by the fire. From ancient times to our modern age, myths and superstitions have surrounded cats. The ancient Egyptians worshiped them as gods, but people in later centuries feared them as harbingers of witchcraft and evil.

In today's high-tech world, we may think we've outgrown such fables. Yet a surprising number of modern-day myths about cats persist.

Did you know that the following are feline fables, not facts?

Cats are "No-Maintenance" Pets:
Because cats are litter-trained, some people think that simply giving their cat food and water is enough. Not so. Cats also need regular veterinary care and, just as important, lots of love and attention.

Cats Always Land on Their Feet:
While cats can often land on their feet after a short fall, falling from heights is another story. Upper-level windows and porches, unless securely screened, should be off-limits to cats, particularly in high-rise buildings.

Cats Can't be Trained:
Cats will, of course, do things their way if left to their own devices. But most cats can be taught to obey simple rules like not scratching the couch, eating plants, or jumping up on the kitchen counter. Repeated, gentle, and consistent training gets results. Also, if a cat understands the rules and has an approved outlet for her scratching impulses, such as a sturdy scratching post, there will be no need to have her declawed, a painful and unnecessary operation.

Cat's Aren't Happy Unless They Can Go Outside to Roam and Hunt:
Cats like to play, prowl, and pounce, and they can do all those activities indoors with you and a few toys -- without being exposed to predators, disease, traps, poison, and traffic.

Cats Become Fat and Lazy After They are Spayed\Neutered:
Cats, just like people, generally become fat because they eat too much and don't get enough exercise. The fact is, cats who are spayed or neutered live longer lives and make better companions. And they don't contribute to the pet-overpopulation problem in this country, where millions of unwanted cats and dogs are destroyed every year. There's no need to wait until a female cat has had a litter to have her spayed; it can be done before her first heat cycle.

Cats Can See in the Dark:
Cats cannot see in total darkness any better than a person can. They can see better than other animals in semidarkness, however, because of their eyes' anatomy.

Cats Don't Need to Wear a Collar and Tags:
An identification tag is a lost cat's ticket home. Every cat, even an indoor cat, should wear a collar with an ID tag to help him come home if he is lost.  Many cat owners believe a collar can injure a cat. But a breakaway collar lets a cat escape if the collar becomes snagged.

Cats Who Disappear for a Couple of Days Are Just Out Hunting; There's No Need to Worry:
The prolonged disappearance of any pet is cause for alarm. Cats are no exception, and as domestic animals, they cannot cope with the dangers posed by the outdoors. For their own safety and well-being, cats should always be kept indoors, but if your cat does somehow become lost, he needs to be looked for immediately -- before it's too late.

Cats Will Suck the Breath from Sleeping Infants:
Curious by nature, a cat may want to climb into the crib to see what new manner of squalling creature her family has brought home. But she won't suck the baby's breath. She may feel a little jealous, however, so introductions should be gradual. Lots of lavish attention will also help reassure her that she's still an important member of the family. Cats can suffer from sibling rivalry, too!

Cats Are Aloof, Independent Animals and Don't Really Want a Lot of Attention from Humans:
Cats are domestic animals because they live in the home. They crave human companionship and establish loving bonds with their human families. They may not always show it, but that's just the feline way. If you toss the cat outdoors, or spend little time with him, you'll never know the rewarding -- and very special -- relationship that comes from making a cat a true member of the family.


Do You Know These Dog Myths That Can Lead to Mishaps?

Why is it that dogs are often at fault and take the blame for human ignorance and/or error? There are some commonly held myths that are simply old wives tales, urban legend, or perhaps a combination of both.

Myth: Petting a Dog Because He’s Cute

Fact: Well, not always. I recall a dog trainer friend asking me one time if I liked strangers to hug me without warning. Apparently, dogs don’t like it very much either. I’ve gone so far as to ask someone if I can pet their dog or if he or she is friendly. Though dogs can behave differently if startled or provoked, one should never pet a dog without asking his owner first and only if the dog is exhibiting proper body language that being petted is acceptable. A dog whose ears are back or whose tail is tucked between his legs is clearly telling you to back off. If a dog feels threatened, he will bite.  Come to think of it, I might, too, if you extend an uninvited hug.

Myth: Letting a Dog in a Car Alone “Just for a Few Minutes” Is Safe

Fact: The key words of “dog in a car alone” speak volumes. Dogs should never be left alone in a car. In the warmer months, a car acts as a greenhouse and can cause harm and even death to pets. During the colder months, dogs can freeze to death even in a short period of time. Cars act as a refrigerator in cold months. A dog alone in a car, no matter the season, is a target for thieves. Just don’t do it.

Myth: Dogs do not absorb antifreeze or harmful chemicals on walks through their paws.

Fact: A dog’s pads are more resilient than other parts of his body, but chemicals can be absorbed through them. In turn, chemicals like antifreeze can be licked by dogs and cause severe problems. Wipe dog pads off thoroughly after a walk, perhaps using some warm water and a washcloth to melt any ice balls that may have formed on the feet.

Myth: I Can Tie My Dog Up Outside the Store While I Shop

Fact: You basically give your dog away to whatever stranger wants him. My grandmother used to say, “If all your friends are planning to jump from a bridge, should you do it, too?” Well, just because a pole is available in front of a store does not mean a dog should be tethered to it. You expose your dog to strangers, those with ill intentions, and those who will take your dog, run far away, and never look back. Just don’t do it.

Myth: Dogs in shelters who cower and seem afraid will not make for good pets.

Fact: If your life has been turned upside down at the hands of people, it makes sense that any creature would shy away from strange humans. Imagine being tossed in a kennel if you never knew the insides of one before. If you came from an abusive situation or fear loud sounds, cowering is likely. Dogs in shelters that exhibit fearful behavior just might need some TLC, proper training, to build trust, and gain confidence that not all human beings are simply bad creatures.

Myth:  I Don’t Have to Brush My Dog’s Teeth if He Eats Kibble

Fact: If you eat hard food, you don’t have to brush your teeth either, right? Wrong! Teeth are teeth no matter if they are attached to a dog or a human. Dental hygiene is as important to a dog’s overall well being as much as plenty of exercise, mental stimulation, and a good diet. Brush daily and never with a human toothpaste—ask your pet’s veterinarian for the one best recommended for your dog. Now and then, a professional dental cleaning may be warranted. At the very least, brush a few times a week. Kibble is not a toothbrush.

Myth: Rubbing a Dog’s Nose in Feces Teaches Him Not to Do it in the House

Fact: Not only is this disgusting and unsanitary, but it teaches the dog nothing except that excreting means his pack does a terrible thing to them. Dogs might start excreting in less apparent places of the home, and housebreaking turns into a nightmare. Positive reinforcement is key. Be patient, be kind, and be consistent but not at the expense of gross and bizarre behavior.


Twin Tibetan Mastiff Dogs Have Been Sold for $3 Million Dollars to a Property Developer in China

Tibetan mastiff dogs have been sold for 18 million yuan ($3 million) to a property developer, according to the dog's breeder. The Tibetan mastiff has become a status symbol for the rich in China.

A Chinese dog breeder said Thursday that a property developer paid him 18 million yuan ($3 million) for Tibetan mastifftwins, highlighting how the breed has become a status symbol for China's rich.

Breeder Zhang Gengyun said he sold the 1-year-old twin male dogs to a single buyer at a luxury dog fair Tuesday in wealthy Zhejiang province, located on China's east coast. The sales were reported by the local Qianjiang Evening News.

One of the twins — a golden-haired Tibetan mastiff — was sold for $12 million yuan, and his red-haired brother went for $6 million yuan.

Zhang said the buyer, from eastern Shandong province, paid him the 18 million yuan with his credit card.

Zhang denied the sale was a ploy by breeders to hype the price of Tibetan mastiffs and said he was reluctant to sell the twins. "It's a real deal," he said.

The more expensive golden-haired dog was 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) tall and weighed 90 kilograms (200 pounds).

"His hair is bright and he has a dead-drop gorgeous face," said the breeder. "Usually he's quiet and gentle, but when a stranger shows up, he could bark endlessly and bite."

Zhang said the unnamed buyer might start breeding Tibetan mastiffs himself.

"The Tibetan mastiff is as treasured in China as the giant panda, so people consider it a symbol of higher social status," he said.

Liu Na, organizer of a Tibetan mastiff fair in Beijing, said the average price for one of the dogs is several hundreds of thousands of dollars. The price tag usually depends on the breeder's expectations, the buyer's appreciation of the dog and the bargaining between the two, she said.

"It's just like deals done when buying antiques," Liu said. "But it isn't uncommon for a breeder to hype a price in order to raise his profile in the industry, just like a celebrity can inflate his or her appearance fee."


Giant Angora Rabbits

 The Giant Angora is the only 6-Class animal in the breed. It is to have a commercial type body with a very dense coat of wool. The head will be oval in appearance that is broad across the forehead and slightly narrower at the muzzle. The Giant Angora will have forehead tufts (head trimmings) and cheek furnishings. The head trimmings are to be noticeable, however, does are not as heavy in trimmings as the
bucks. The ears should be lightly fringed and well tasseled.

The Giant Angora is also the only breed of angora that is only shown as a ruby-eyed white.

The Giant Angora coat contains three fiber types for its texture. The underwool is to be the most dominant over the other two types of hair. It should be medium fine, soft, delicately waved and have a gentle shine. The Awn Fluff has a guard hair tip and is a stronger, wavy wool. The Awn Fluff is found between the Underwool and Awn Hair. The Awn Hair, also known as guard hair, is the third type of fiber. The Awn Hair is a straight, strong hair that protrudes above the wool and must be present and evident.

The classification of the Giant Angora is different than the other three breeds due to the fact it is a 6-Class animal. The junior buck and junior doe must be under 6 months of age and have a minimum weight of 4 ¾ pounds. The intermediate buck and intermediate doe are 6-8 months of age. The senior buck and senior doe are 8 months of age or over. The senior buck must weigh at least 9 ½ pounds. The senior doe must weigh at least 10 pounds.

In judging the Giant Angoras the majority of the points are based on the wool, which includes density, texture, and length. The points for ‘General Type’ include the body type, head, ears, eyes, feet, legs and tail.

Additional information may be found in the ARBA Standard of Perfection.


House Votes To Hold Dog Owners Liable For Bites

Annapolis, Maryland - The Maryland House has joined the Senate in passing a compromise measure on dog bite liability.

The House passed Del. Luiz Simmons' bill unanimously on Wednesday. The Senate passed a parallel bill from Sen. Brian Frosh last month. Now one chamber must adopt the other's bill before it can go to Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley for a signature.

The measure would hold dog owners liable for biting "innocent victims" unless they could prove they had no way to know their dogs were dangerous. It also overturns a 2012 court decision that designated pit bulls as "inherently dangerous."

Both chambers passed an amendment to hold the owner liable anytime a dog bites someone while it's running at large, unless the person was trespassing or provoking the dog.

Simmons told WBAL News that with passage of this bill, "the issue is done," in the Maryland General Assembly.

In a special session in 2012, and during last year's session lawmakers could not come to an agreement on the issue.

Please Share!


Friday, March 7, 2014

The Humane Society of the United States - Victory! Big News! Canada Has Enacted a National Ban on the Lifelong Confinement of Pigs in Cruel Gestation Crates!

Millions of pigs are confined inside gestation crates—cages so small they're unable even to turn around.

The pork industry's leadership continues to defend the indefensible: Locking animals in these tiny, cramped cages. It's hard to imagine a more miserable existence than being immobilized day and night.

TAKE ACTION - Say NO to Cruel Crates for Pigs
Please join us in calling on the pork industry to get animals out of these iron maidens: write to the National Pork Board and let them know that you say “NO” to gestation crates for pigs.

Please Share!