The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : 2022 The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : 2022

Saturday, June 25, 2022

‘A SENSE OF RELIEF’: Meals on Wheels offers pet care assistance to clients

HANCOCK COUNTY — Peggy McConnell was moved to tears when she opened her Meals on Wheels delivery a couple months ago.

It wasn’t the sight of the food that made her emotional, but the flyer attached on top, announcing that Meals on Wheels of Hancock County would start offering financial assistance for pet food, veterinary care and pet boarding.

To read more on this story, click here: ‘A SENSE OF RELIEF’: Meals on Wheels offers pet care assistance to clients


Can cats have twins? We asked a vet!

Unneutered cats are prolific breeders when left to their own devices, with females often becoming pregnant from multiple fathers. One of our readers asked us whether kittens from the same litter can be twins, and we asked Dr. Hannah Godfrey for an answer. So, can cats have twins?

Twins in cats

Wikipedia defines twins as two animals born during the same pregnancy. If we go by their definition, all kittens born in the same litter are technically twins, so cats can indeed have twins. But this is not the end of the story ..

To read more on this story, click here: Can cats have twins? We asked a vet!


Trumpet the bloodhound wins best in show at 2022 Westminster Kennel Club dog show

Trumpet, a soulful-looking bloodhound with low-hanging ears and deep folds, won best in show at the 2022 Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

Trumpet’s victory sounded a clarion call of sorts for his breed Wednesday — the dog made history with his best in show win.

Bloodhounds have been competing at the long-running dog show since the 1800s, but Trumpet is the first bloodhound to take best in show.

The 4-year-old dog from Saint Joseph, Illinois — registered name GCHB CH Flessner’s Toot My Own Horn — won the hound group Tuesday alongside his handler-owner Heather Helmer to advance to the final. The dog is co-owned by Chris and Bryan Flessner and Tina Kocar.

To read more on this story, click here: Trumpet the bloodhound wins best in show at 2022 Westminster Kennel Club dog show


'No need to kill the dogs' | Humane Society wants beagle puppies used in medical experiments released, not euthanized

Beagles are bred for animal testing in part because of their docile and kind nature.

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — The Humane Society of the United States claims a biomedical company with ties to Rockville and Bethesda is using beagle dogs for animal testing. The Humane Society says the beagles in those cages were chosen for animal testing because of how trusting the breed is.

Hidden camera video from a Humane Society investigator working undercover inside a testing laboratory in West Lafayette, Indiana was recorded between August 2021 and March 2022.  The Humane Society says its undercover investigator was employed at the facility and assigned to work on more than 70 toxicity studies commissioned by over two dozen pharmaceutical companies involving more than 6,000 animals, including dogs, monkeys, pigs and mice.

To read more on this story, click here: 'No need to kill the dogs' | Humane Society wants beagle puppies used in medical experiments released, not euthanized


Galago Pet – Can I have a Bush Baby as a Pet?

The Galago, also referred to as a bush baby, or nagapie, are small nocturnal primates native to continental, sub-Sahara Africa, and make up the household Galagidae can also be a pet. They’re typically included as a sister taxon to the Lorisidae or Loridae. This article will discuss more of Galago pet.

Galago Pet facts

Both that or they need to have a human proprietor who can spend important quantities of time with them.

To read more on this story, click here: Galago Pet – Can I have a Bush Baby as a Pet?


Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Man Feeds 80 Street Dogs In Thailand Every Day

A few years ago, at the time a starving and injured dog showed up behind a restaurant in Thailand where Michael Baines worked, he used his immediate natural instinct to feed and take care of her. He didn’t think that this kind gesture would result at some point in the hungry dog being one of around 80 street dogs he now monitors and care for every single day. Noticing that she was only one of countless local dogs in serious need of nutrition, he turned his canine compassion into a powerful passion project.

To read more on this story, click here: Man Feeds 80 Street Dogs In Thailand Every Day


Oregon Zoo Names Its Baby Orangutan After One of Dolly Parton's Most Famous Songs

Dolly Parton is an inspiration to many around the world –– including the keepers at the Oregon Zoo in Portland who have named their new baby orangutan after the singer's big hit "Jolene."

According to zoo, Jolene the orangutan was named for her "flaming locks of auburn hair," which references the Patron's description of the sexy bank teller whose "beauty is beyond compare / with flaming locks of auburn hair."

Baby Jolene was born on April 13 to mother Kitra, the zoo's 20-year-old critically endangered Bornean orangutan. According to Kate Gilmer, who oversees the primate area, zookeepers were unable to determine the newborn's sex for weeks as they gave the mom and baby "plenty of room to bond."

To read more on this story, click here: Oregon Zoo Names Its Baby Orangutan After One of Dolly Parton's Most Famous Songs


Animals and COVID-19

What You Need to Know

  •  The risk of animals spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to people is low.

  •  The virus can spread from people to animals during close contact.
  •  More studies are needed to understand if and how different animals could be affected by COVID-19.
  • People with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should avoid contact with animals, including pets, livestock, and wildlife.

To read more on this story, click here: Animals and COVID-19


Friday, April 22, 2022

Gimme Five! Five Animal Bills Pass The Maryland General Assembly in 2022

Five Animal Bills Pass the Maryland General Assembly in 2022

Thanks to YOU, our dedicated team of advocates, organizations, and legislators, 2022 was a HISTORIC year for animals in Maryland! FIVE bills passed that greatly improve the welfare of animals in our state. In a definitive show of support for animal welfare in Maryland and beyond, Governor Hogan has signed all five bills.

Cat Declaw Prohibition (SB67/HB22) Senator Cheryl Kagan/Delegate Lorig Charkoudian Maryland becomes the second state to ban this cruel and painful procedure except in medically necessary circumstances that involve the health of the cat. New York outlawed elective declawing in 2019. Fourteen US cities have banned the practice including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh. Elective declawing is illegal in most of Europe as well as in Brazil, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand.

To read more on this story, click here: Gimme Five! Five Animal Bills Pass The Maryland General Assembly in 2022


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Puppy Development From Newborn to One Week Old

The birth of puppies is an exciting time. It's beautiful to watch a mother care for her newborns, especially in the early stages of life.

A newborn puppy is completely helpless and dependent upon its mother. The first week of a puppy's life is mainly about sleeping and eating so it will grow.

Puppies should remain with their mother and littermates until about age eight to 12 weeks. However, it is most crucial to have a mother during the first few weeks of life. A puppy that has been separated from its mother will need human intervention. Raising a newborn puppy takes a lot of time and intensive care. This is not quite the same thing as caring for a young puppy.

To read more on this story, click here: Puppy Development From Newborn to One Week Old


Pufferfish Poisoning

The poison found in pufferfish, blowfish, balloon fish, toads, sunfish, fish, toadfish, globefish, and swellfish is a tetrodotoxin.

This is one of the most toxic poisons found in nature.

Most people who eat pufferfish do so intentionally as pufferfish are considered an Asian delicacy, served in some types of sushi and sashimi.

To read more on this story, click here: Pufferfish Poisoning


Adults Cringed At Kitty Too “Terrifying” To Look At So Little Girl Stepped Up

A tiny kitten was abandoned on the cruel streets of Istanbul. She eked out a living in an Istanbul alleyway, where she tried to survive as best as she could. Although other strays were able to benefit from passers-by, this kitten was completely neglected. The reason for this: She looked too awful to look at.

The kitten was born with facial abnormalities and one ear as a result of no fault of her own. She was malnourished and infested with parasites and skin illnesses. But because she was “too ugly” to rescue, no one did anything for her. But then, all at once, an angel appeared.

To read more on this story, click here: Adults Cringed At Kitty Too “Terrifying” To Look At So Little Girl Stepped Up


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Understanding Animal Ministers and Chaplains

Twenty years ago the idea of an animal minister or chaplain would have induced a fit of the giggles. These days if you say something about an animal chaplain, you are likely to be asked where a person might find one. Animals have become the cornerstone of many of our lives and these spiritual leaders don’t preach to pets, but rather assist others in finding meaningful way of living with animals.

What is Animal Ministry?

Animal ministry is actually about people and how we interconnect with the animals around us. Most religions have traditions regarding the spirituality of animals and that intersects with human life in a positive way. Some would argue that in American culture, this reverence for feathered, furred and scaled creatures has disappeared. This is where animal ministries step in.

To read more on this story, click here: Understanding Animal Ministers and Chaplains


Komodo Dragon

Komodo dragons, or Komodo monitors, are the largest, heaviest lizards in the world — and one of the few with a venomous bite. These stealthy, powerful hunters rely on their sense of smell to detect food, using their long, forked tongues to sample the air. They can spend hours waiting for a sizable meal to wander within range before launching a deadly attack with their large, curved and serrated teeth.

To read more on this story, click here: Komodo Dragon


US: This Gorilla Is Addicted To Smartphones, So Now His Screen Time Has Been Cut Down

Amare, an eastern lowland gorilla who is a resident at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo is apparently so fond of staring at a phone screen that he didn’t notice when another gorilla charged him. Now, his addiction to smartphones has cost him screen time. 

Till now we'd heard of teenagers being addicted to their smartphones, even parents at times. But imagine a gorilla having this addiction. 

The gorilla obviously doesn't have his own smartphone but zoo-goers keep showing the creature pictures and videos on their phones through the glass divider. That keeps him captivated.

To read more on this story, click here: US: This Gorilla Is Addicted To Smartphones, So Now His Screen Time Has Been Cut Down


90-year-old Woman who Loves German Shepherds Donates Over $32,000 to the Sheriff’s Office for K-9 Bulletproof Vests and Training New Dogs for the Force

90-year-old Pamela Mobbs, passed away in October 2020, donating over $32,000 to the Volusia Sheriff’s K-9 officers. The sizable donation was from the generous woman’s estate and was whole-heartedly given to the K-9 police force.

Half of the money donated will be for supplying K-9 bulletproof vests for the German Shepherds working in the field, and the other for training additional dogs who will be joining the force. The Volusia Sheriff’s Office was given two separate checks from Pamela’s estate, each for $16,428.16 (which totals to $32,856.32).

To read more on this story, click here: 90-year-old Woman who Loves German Shepherds Donates Over $32,000 to the Sheriff’s Office for K-9 Bulletproof Vests and Training New Dogs for the Force


Monday, April 18, 2022

Kitten Feeding Schedule: From Newborn to One Year

This chart shows you when, what, and how much to feed your fluffy bundle of joy.

Kittens, like human babies, start out life consuming liquid nourishment and slowly graduate to solid foods. Mother cats take care of a kitten’s nutritional needs through their milk from the day their kittens are born until they are around 4 to 6 weeks old. 

Feeding An Orphaned Kitten

But if you have a kitten without a mother, you need to provide food that’s formulated for kitten health. Whether your orphaned kitten is a newborn or one that's a few weeks old, you should bottle feed them. Bottle-feeding a kitten isn’t difficult, but it does take a little know-how to do it properly. These tips for how to bottle feed a kitten can help. 

To read more on this story, click here: Kitten Feeding Schedule: From Newborn to One Year


Dog With Infected Leg And Crooked Jaw Can’t Stop Kissing Her Rescuers

Several years ago, a small white dog named Delilah was abused and neglected to the point where she could’ve died. But luckily, the Mr. Mo Project stepped up and provided her with a safe environment where she could heal. Mariesa and Chris Hughes created the Mr. Mo Project to save senior dogs after their beloved rescue dog passed away.

Now, the couple has dozens of dogs in their home, both fosters and permanent residents. When Delilah needed a place to stay, they didn’t hesitate to welcome her to the pack. Her transformation from day one to the present day will melt your heart!

To read more on this story, click here: Dog With Infected Leg And Crooked Jaw Can’t Stop Kissing Her Rescuers


Taiwan Coffee Shop Creates Incredibly Realistic Latte Pup Portraits

Latte art is all the rage in coffee shops around the world, but you’ve never seen anything like the extraordinary portraits-in-foam created by the baristas at My Cofi café in Taiwan.

Many shops have invested in gadgets that allow them to turn your photos into intricate latte images, but the artists at My Cofi don’t need a machine to design their masterpieces. All of their three-dimensional portraits are created entirely by hand!

To read more on this story, click here:  Taiwan Coffee Shop Creates Incredibly Realistic Latte Pup Portraits


In Vietnam There Is A Dog That Looks Like A Cat, Meet H’mong

“Do you like dogs or cats?” is a common question when you meet someone, and it automatically puts you on one side. Like being left-handed or right-handed.

But you probably didn’t see this coming. It seems that in Vietnam there is a dog that looks like a cat, and it may be the answer to the eternal division between cats and dogs. The people of this subreddit immediately began to share their conspiracy theories about the breed of this animal. Some said that it looked like a cartoon, others explained that it was the H’mong breed, and still others said that they did not care what it was because it was so adorable.

To read more on this story, click here: This Puppy Looks Like A Hybrid Between A Cat And A Dog, And His Expressions Are So Funny


Hawks for Hire: Phoenix company using bird of prey to address pigeon problems


PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - They look harmless enough, perched on top of rooftops, soaking up some Arizona sun. But make no mistake, pigeons have a lot of friends and they don’t play nice. Pigeons are a serious problem in communities across the Valley. That’s where “Tony Hawk” comes in. The majestic bird is an expert in catching pigeons.

Bladen Benson is the owner of Desert Kings Falconry, a bird control business in the Phoenix area that specializes in removing pigeons from your property. “A lot of companies out here use poisons or cages, or other traps to catch them and remove them,” said Benson. “That’s all human work. It’s humane, but you can’t get more natural than this.”

To read more on this story, click here: Hawks for Hire: Phoenix company using bird of prey to address pigeon problems


Invasive species of giant, parachuting spiders spreading across East Coast, experts say


ATLANTA (TND) — An invasive species of spider has made its way to Georgia, and will likely spread out to more states along the East Coast, according to experts with the University of Georgia (UGA).

The 3-inch long "Joro Spider" is native to Korea, China, Taiwan, and Japan, according to Smithsonian Magazine. The spider thrives in Japan, which has a similar climate to the southeastern United States.

To read more on this story, click here: Invasive species of giant, parachuting spiders spreading across East Coast, experts say


April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month: Do You Have a Pet First Aid Kit?

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet's life until it receives veterinary treatment. Our handy checklist tells you all the supplies to have on hand for pet first aid. 

You can download, print and save the full checklist at  

                                    PET FIRST AID


Dog Surrendered to the Sonoma Shelter Near the End of His Life, Gets Adopted!

A 19-year-old dog named Ace was surrendered to the Sonoma shelter near the end of his life. And it was around that time that the California wildfires broke out. So he ended up at the SPCA over 150 miles away with little hope. But foster mom Bonnie noticed how full of life he acted and knew she had to at least get him out of the shelter.

So she offered to take the senior dog into her home until a forever home could be found. And over the first few days, Ace would become more and more comfortable and start to break out of his shell. He then bonded with the other foster dogs in the house!

Later on, the adoption applications started rolling in for Ace. Bonnie was feeling a bit sad knowing how much she’d miss him when he’s gone. But because of this, Ace “failed” as a foster pet! Bonnie decided to adopt him for good, and he couldn’t have ended up in a better situation for the rest of his days.

                                                    (Click arrow twice to start video)

Dog, Canine, Puppy, Dog Health, Pet Adoption, SPCA, Puppy Health,


Pandas Devour Ice Cake to Celebrate 50 Years at National Zoo

WASHINGTON (AP) — The “cake” was made from frozen fruit juice, sweet potatoes, carrots and sugar cane and it lasted about 15 minutes once giant panda mama Mei Xiang and her cub Xiao Qi Ji got hold of it.

The National Zoo’s most famous tenants had an enthusiastic breakfast Saturday in front of adoring crowds as the zoo celebrated 50 years of its iconic panda exchange agreement with the Chinese government.

Xiao Qi Ji’s father Tian Tian largely sat out the morning festivities, munching bamboo in a neighboring enclosure with the sounds of his chomping clearly audible during a statement by Chinese ambassador Qin Gang. The ambassador praised the bears as “a symbol of the friendship” between the nations.

To read more on this story, click here: Pandas Devour Ice Cake to Celebrate 50 Years at National Zoo


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Man Finds Baby Squirrel On His Bed, And It Grows Up To Be The Cutest Pet

Let’s just say that Thumbelina was special from the beginning. Because of her unusual birth and the loss of her sister, she had to grow up alone without interacting with other squirrels.

Everything was slow with her. Other babies have no interest in milk as soon as they taste real food, but Thumb was a big baby with a bottle. She wasn’t interested in jumping and climbing, she walked instead of running and sat instead of climbing.

To read more on this story, click here: Man Finds Baby Squirrel On His Bed, And It Grows Up To Be The Cutest Pet


The Joys of Owning a Cat

Owning a cat can bring unconditional love and companionship to your life. Having a feline friend can also help to relieve stress and improve your heart health.

Owning a cat can be an extremely rewarding relationship. A cat has the ability to both calm your nervous system and provide an immediate outlet for fun and play. Although cats are independent animals who like to scavenge and explore on their own terms, they are also very affectionate with their owners and people they trust.

To read more on this story, click here: The Joys of Owning a Cat


Do Parrotlets Make Good Pets? (Here’s The Truth)

Parrotlets are a tiny species in the parrot family Psittacidae, and yet they carry the same temperament as a large-sized Amazon. Not too noisy, but certainly very active, these curious birds pack a walloping punch in a pint-size body. 

But do they make good pets?

Often referred to as “pocket parrots” — parrotlets are loving and affectionate companion birds towards responsible and caring owners. These tiny feathered creatures are good pets that continue to attract many new adorning human owners.

To read more on this story, click here: Do Parrotlets Make Good Pets? (Here’s The Truth)


Vomiting and diarrhoea in cats

Cats often vomit or develop diarrhoea, when should we treat? The reason for the vomiting or diarrhoea may be simple, such as a hairball, however the cause could be more serious. Whether the symptoms stop on their own, or whether your cat needs to see a vet, will depend on how he or she is in themselves and what the vomit or diarrhoea looks like.

To read more on this story, click here: Vomiting and diarrhoea in cats


Caracals as Pets

When it comes to breeds, cat lovers have their pick of the litter with common types like the Persian and Maine Coon. What about more exotic cats? While lions, tigers, and leopards are generally confined to zoos and nature preserves, residents of certain states can keep smaller wildcats as pets.

In Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and South Dakota, it’s legal for licensed individuals to purchase and own caracals, a distinctive-looking wildcat.

To read more on this story, click here: Caracals as Pets


Friday, February 25, 2022


Monitor lizards are popular pets for reptile lovers. They are fiercely territorial and spend their time eating, sleeping, and patrolling their turf. There are several species of monitor lizards, including the Komodo Dragon. Native to several of the Indonesian islands, Komodo dragons are the largest lizards still in existence. Their large size, fierce claws and prehistoric appearance make them quite an intriguing lizard. This leads many reptile lovers to wonder, can you have a Komodo dragon as a pet?

To read more on this story, click here: CAN YOU HAVE A KOMODO DRAGON AS A PET?


Teacup Dogs Facts

They say that good things come in small packages, but that isn’t the case at all for teacup dogs. You may have thought of getting one, but it’s likely that you just don’t know how they’re created. Behind their cute compact size, teacup dogs suffer from many health issues brought by inhumane breeding methods. Find out more about these animals with these facts about teacup dogs.

To read more on this story, click here: Teacup Dogs Facts


What are Teacup Dogs? - Everything You Need to Know

They may look cute and practical to take out in your handbag, but these genetically modified dogs have more health problems than you may think. There are many breeds that have their version of teacup dogs, such as the Maltese, the Yorkshire Terrier and the Chihuahua. Although they may be confused with toy dogs, breeders have gone one step further to create even smaller versions of these animals. If you're thinking about getting a teacup dog, please read this AnimalWised article: What are teacup dogs? And please reflect on the facts that we're about to expose.

To read more on this story, click here: What are Teacup Dogs? - Everything You Need to Know


Average Lifespans of Popular Pet Birds

Birds can make amazing pets, but one factor that you should consider before bringing one home is the average pet bird lifespan. Smaller birds can live as long as 10 years or more, while larger parrots can live up to 50 years, which means you'll need to have a plan in place for their care should something happen to you.

Pet Birds With Shorter Lifespans

Smaller birds tend to live shorter lifespans compared to other common pet birds. Birds in this group live anywhere from 5 years up to 15 years.

To read more on this story, click here: Average Lifespans of Popular Pet Birds


Thursday, February 24, 2022

California wildlife agency trying to capture and kill 500-pound bear that damaged dozens of homes

California's wildlife agency is trying to capture and kill a 500-pound black bear that officials say is responsible for breaking into homes while looking for food in the scenic Lake Tahoe area, CBS Sacramento reports. An animal advocacy group opposes the agency's plans and wants the bear moved to a sanctuary.

To read more on this story, click here: California wildlife agency trying to capture and kill 500-pound bear that damaged dozens of homes


Image of 1 million Florida mosquitoes chills social media. ‘Makes me itch to look’

A photo of one million dead mosquitoes is giving people the willies on social media, but the scariest part may be that all of them came from one section of a Southwest Florida neighborhood. The pile stands 8 inches tall and about 18 inches across ... and amounts to about 5 gallons of dead bugs. Multiple photos of their little corpses were shared Feb. 16 on Facebook by Lee County Mosquito Control District in Florida. The coastal county is about 150 miles southeast of Tampa.

To read more on this story, click here: Image of 1 million Florida mosquitoes chills social media. ‘Makes me itch to look’


Saturday, February 12, 2022

Cat Has Very Own Custom Fish Tank with Inside Viewing Box

Look, we’ve all watched cartoons. So we all know one indisputable fact: you can’t own both fish and cats. Otherwise, at some point your feline friend will dive into the tank and eat all the fish. The cat will then get the bowl stuck on their head. It’s hilarious, yes. But it’s also dangerous, for all of the animals. If you want to keep both pets in your home though, one animal-lover has found the perfect way for them to coexist. Jasper the cat has his very own custom-made aquarium. It features a built-in viewing box that lets him safely get up-close and personal with his aquatic siblings.

To read more on this story, click here: Cat Has Very Own Custom Fish Tank with Inside Viewing Box


Koalas declared an endangered species as disease, lost habitat take toll

In 2020, a parliamentary inquiry warned Koalas might become extinct before 2050 without urgent intervention. 

CANBERRA, ACT — Koalas were declared officially endangered Friday in eastern Australia as they fall prey to disease, lost habitat and other threats. Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley downgraded their conservation status across the country’s east coast, in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, on a recommendation by the government’s Threatened Species Scientific Committee. 


Information about COVID-19, Pets, and Other Animals

A number of animals worldwide have been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, including pets like cats and dogs, farmed mink, and large cats, gorillas, and otters in zoos, sanctuaries, and aquariums. Reptiles and birds have not been affected by this virus. The risk of animals spreading the virus to people is low, but people with COVID-19 can spread the virus to animals during close contact. The information linked to below provides guidance for pet owners, public health professionals, animal health and wildlife officials, veterinarians, and others on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between people and animals.

To read more on this story, click here: Information about COVID-19, Pets, and Other Animals


Our Pets Can Feel the Daylight Savings Shift More Strongly Than We Do

While pushing the clocks back only one hour might seem like business as usual for us, our pets’ are sometimes not as amenable and might act up!  Just by switching the clocks to Daylight Savings Times, our dogs and cat’s schedules can be completely off-kilter!  Our fur children are so in tune with when they are going to be fed, what time to go to sleep and eat, that we need to be prepared!

Dogs and cats have internal clocks that affect their rhythm

Just like humans, animals have internal clocks that tell them when to eat, sleep and wake up. This biological timekeeper, also known as circadian rhythm, is set in motion by natural sunlight. However, for pets this effect is minimized by the artificial environment they live in, where light comes on not with the rising sun but with the flip of a switch.  Household pets might get grumpy when they show up to an empty food dish at their perceived dinner time.

Our dogs and cats are used to their routine so we need to ease them into the new time

A dog or cat’s daily routine is something they would prefer to be written in stone. Unfortunately, things happen that can alter schedules and a simple time change can be perplexing for some pets. When we gain an hour and can sleep in, our pets are still on daylight savings time and don’t understand why we’re still in bed when they are up and ready to go. Their internal clock is saying morning has arrived and it’s time to get moving (and get fed!).

Our dogs and cats are more affected by daylight savings than we are

Our pets, however, might feel the daylight savings shift more strongly than us. Pay attention to them this week; they might be cranky themselves. Sleepy dogs might not want to end their naps to go out on a walk earlier than expected. Or some cats might turn their noses up at food if that comes an hour before the normal time.  In the wild, animals pattern their lives around the phases of the sun, but domesticated pets follow their own versions of our schedules. Daylight savings can really mess with our pets internal rhythms for a few days, or even a week, until they readjust.

Try to change their schedule in increments and they will adjust quickly

The good news is most pets will adjust to the time change fairly quickly.  A few things you can do to make the transition easier is to keep them on their normal schedule and slowly begin to change their daily routine by 5-10 minutes each day.  Keep doing this until you make up for the hour change adjustment. Moving their feeding times, play time and walks back a little each day can make it easier for dogs and cats to adjust.

Most cats won’t be as affected as dogs will while some pets won’t even notice.  
But, don’t be surprised if your dog or cat wakes you up earlier to be fed and might be a bit cranky this upcoming week!


Friday, February 11, 2022

The Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Dog

Picture of dog
Billions of dollars are spent annually on companion animals - we buy toys, treats, food, leashes, collars, food bowls, beds, crates and pay veterinarians, trainers, groomers, pet sitters, dog walkers, professional poop-scooping companies, pet psychics, pet masseuses, and pet health insurers thousands of dollars over the course of a single pet's life.

We do all these things because animals make our lives better. Most pet owners would agree that the money we spend on pets pales in comparison with the amount of joy they bring us.

All of these expenditures are directly related to improving the lives of the animals we share our homes with. While it is important to care for your pet in the best manner that circumstances allow, it is also important that we remember the one simple thing each of us can do to improve the lives of not only our own dogs and cats, but dogs and cats throughout the nation and internationally - spaying and neutering dogs and cats.

Why You Should Spay Or Neuter Your Pet
There are many benefits of spaying or neutering your pet. One of the most important is that spaying dogs and cats ensures that your own pet will not contribute to the pet overpopulation crises. Unaltered cats and dogs can be prolific breeders, and there are many more cats and dogs needing homes than there are homes for them. Pets without homes are often euthanized in shelters or left to fend for themselves, often unsuccessfully, in the search of food and mating opportunities.

Others spay/neuter pets for health reasons. Here are some of the benefits of neutering male dogs:

  • Eliminates the small risk (probably <1%) of dying from testicular cancer
  • Reduces the risk of non-cancerous prostate disorders
  • Reduces the risk of perianal fistulas
  • May possibly reduce the risk of diabetes

And here are some benefits of spaying female dogs:

  • If done before 2.5 years of age, greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors, the most common malignant tumors in female dogs
  • Nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra, which otherwise would affect about 23% of intact female dogs; pyometra kills about 1% of intact female dogs
  • Reduces the risk of perenial fistulas
  • Removes the very small risk (.5%) from uterine, cervical, and ovarian tumors
  • Spaying and neutering also can reduce roaming behaviors, territorial marking behaviors, intersex aggression, etc. in dogs.

The Spay/Neuter Debate
As with any major surgery, there are both benefits and risks associated with spaying and neutering. While spaying and neutering pets seems to reduce the risk of many cancers and illnesses, there is evidence that it can contribute to others, and there is research that indicates that spaying and neutering can decrease some behavioral problems while contributing to others.

Most veterinarians advise spaying and neutering around six months of age. Some dog owners, particularly those with large breed dogs, prefer to wait until the dog has physically matured until neutering or spaying. Dogs that are neutered/spayed after reaching full maturity tend to be more muscular than early spay/neuter dogs, which is important in working dogs.

Some dogs may have health problems which might prohibit spaying or neutering. Educate yourself about the behavioral and physical health benefits and risks associated with surgery and have a discussion with your veterinarian about what is best for your dog.

If You Decide Not To Spay Or Neuter Your Pet
As of right now, the law cannot force you to spay or neuter your pet (although legislation to this effect has been proposed). If you choose not to spay or neuter your pet, it is imperative that you do not allow your pet breeding opportunities. If you have an unspayed female, she must be on leash at all times during a heat cycle and not be given the opportunity to interact with intact males. If you have an intact male, it is your responsibility to contain him safely so that he does not run through the neighborhood creating the next batch of puppies that will end up dying in a shelter because there are no homes for them.

Dogs should only be bred intentionally to other similarly accomplished purebred dogs if they have conformation championships, all health testing appropriate for the breed, are over two years of age, in top physical condition, display no behavioral problems (shyness, aggression, reactivity), if the breeder is prepared to spend a LOT of time and money whelping and socializing the litter, carefully interviewing potential adopters and educating them on the breed. Breeding should be left to those with a good working knowledge of canine genetics, the history of the breed and their goals for improving the breed.


Be Careful What You Share on Facebook: A Picture of a Dog that Said it Had Been Badly Burned and Disfigured While Trying to Save his Family from a Fire…Was a Hoax

In these days of instant viral news, be careful what you share. In the past few weeks, many users have fallen victim to the story of Mark Zuckerburg giving you his money for copying and pasting a status (it's a hoax). A new one popped up in the days before Christmas and it is spreading quickly.

Stephen Roseman posted the picture of a dog that said it had been badly burned and disfigured while trying to save his family from a fire. He included the text "One like = one prayer, one share = ten prayers.”

The picture was shared 110,000 times in a week and has over 54,000 likes. But here's the deal: that's a piece of ham.

The dog was not badly burned in a fire. He's just got a piece of ham on his face. Hopefully, the pup got to eat the ham after being embarrassed online.

Inevitably, the photo was shared with people writing comments like 'poor baby' or 'bless his heart' or asking Jesus to heal the dog.

No healing necessary. It's a piece of ham.


The National Zoo Has A New Ostrich Named Linda

As the National Zoo mourns of the loss of one long-necked lady (R.I.P. Betty the flamingo), keepers are welcoming a new towering bird into the family.

Meet Linda the ostrich.

According to Jen Zoon, a communications specialist for the National Zoo, four-year-old Linda arrived at the zoo in November 2021 from Hemker Wildlife Park in Merkel, Texas. While Linda is still adjusting to her new digs, keeper Tallie Wiles writes that some parts of her personality are already apparent; she’s social, observant, curious, and apparently, a bit of a wildcard.

“She keeps us on our toes,” Wiles writes in a National Zoo press release. “Just when we think we know what she’s going to do, she changes her routine and does something a little unexpected!”

To read more on this story, click here: The National Zoo Has A New Ostrich Named Linda


The Terrible Dog Food Ingredients You Need to Avoid

You want the best for your dog, so you likely worry about the quality of your furry friend’s food. Every pet owner wants to feed their dog the most nutritious and delicious food possible.

Unfortunately, many of the most popular dog foods are full of dangerous ingredients – and poor-quality food with these ingredients can seriously affect your dog’s health. To keep your pup healthy, you need to know which ingredients to avoid and which to seek out.

Stay Away from These Ingredients
Different dogs may have different nutritional needs, but certain ingredients are harmful for all canines. Many common dog food brands use ingredients that can cause lifelong health problems for dogs of all kinds, which is why it’s important to carefully read the ingredients list before you choose a particular dog food. Here are the ingredients you absolutely need to avoid:

To read more on this story, click here: The Terrible Dog Food Ingredients You Need to Avoid


Does Your Cat Have Peculiar Bathroom Habits…Like Bolting, and Zooming?

Cat lovers know that their feline family members can have very peculiar bathroom habits.

Arguably, the greatest mystery of these behaviors is when cats use the litter box.

Bolting out of the litter box is a bizarre phenomenon, and the theories aiming to explain it are quite varied.

Some say post-poop freak-outs, or "zoomies," are a carryover survival instinct, so that predators can't trace the smell back to the kitty responsible for it.

Others, including a veterinarian, say that it can be a sign of discomfort stemming from food allergies or even an infection.

Still others, including another veterinarian, say that using the litter box might lend some fresh energy to cats, and they burn off the high with a favorite exercise: running frantically around the house.

It could also be that cats run to cast off any remnants of waste. Or perhaps kitties sprint, some cat lovers speculate, because they can't stand the smell of their own droppings.

Or maybe it is just exactly what it often looks like: a sign of happiness and exhilaration.

In humans, the vagus nerve, which descends from the brainstem to the colon and is stimulated during defecation, can cause all kinds of reactions, even feelings of exhilaration, according to gastroenterologist Dr. Anish Sheth, who wrote "What's Your Poo Telling You."

A similar phenomenon could be occurring in cats and could explain why cats seem elated and happy, running around and scratching their scratching posts with joy, Erin Willis, animal physiologist at Oklahoma State University, told The Dodo.

"Dr. Sheth calls the pleasurable sensation with defecation 'poo-phoria.' Good name for humans I guess, but the term 'poop crazies' is much better for cats, in my opinion, since they essentially run around like crazy cats afterwards," Willis said, adding that there is very little research on the matter.

Whatever the reasons are, we just keep scooping — and sweeping up the litter.


When Petting Your Dog Always Check for Lumps and Bumps

There are very few surprises that will startle you more than discovering a lump or bump on your dog. As your hand wanders over your canine pal in affectionate scratching or petting, your fingers just may chance upon a lump that “was not there before."

It will scare the biscuits out of you ... that nagging "C" word drifting about the back of your mind, your first fear is that your dog might have cancer. Setting in motion your search for an answer as to what this lump is you make a quick trip to the…I hope that lump isn't serious.

"How long has this been here?" the veterinarian asks. "Just found it yesterday, doctor," you respond.

"Let’s see if we can find any others," says the doctor as experienced and sensitive hands work the dog over.  Sure enough, "Here’s another one just like it!" says the doctor as she places your hand right over the small, round, moveable soft mass under the skin of the dog’s flank.

"I think these are what we call Lipomas, just fat deposits under the skin. They are very common and usually present no problems," says the doctor. Your relief at hearing the good news is cut short as the doctor continues …

"However, we honestly do not know what these lumps truly are unless we examine some cells under the microscope. So I’d suggest that we do a simple needle biopsy, place some cells on a slide and send the slides to a veterinary pathologist for a definite diagnosis."

The doctor in this case is being thorough and careful. How true it is that a definitive diagnosis of "what it is" simply cannot be made without microscopic examination of the lump’s cells. A veterinary specialist in pathology is the final authority and judge when it comes to shedding light on these lumps and bumps that we too often find on our canine pals.

The lipoma is one of the most commonly encountered lumps seen by veterinarians during a physical exam. These soft, rounded, non-painful masses, usually present just under the skin but occasionally arising from connective tissues deep between muscles, are generally benign. That is, they stay in one place, do not invade surrounding tissues and do no metastasize to other areas of the body. They grow to a certain size and just sit there in the tissues and behave themselves.

Most lipomas do not have to be removed. Occasionally, though, lipomas will continue to grow into huge fat deposits that are a discomfort to the dog and present a surgical challenge to remove. And even more rarely, some lipomas will be malignant and spread throughout the dog’s body.


And therein lies the true challenge in dealing with lumps and bumps on dogs -- we simply cannot predict with 100% accuracy just what any of these foreigners will do. So we do the best we can by removing them when indicated or keeping a close guard over them so that at the first sign of change they can be removed.

Not every lump or bump on your dog will be a tumor. Some superficial bumps are due simply to plugged oil glands in the skin, called sebaceous cysts. Skin cysts can be composed of dead cells or even sweat or clear fluid; these often rupture on their own, heal, and are never seen again. Others become chronically irritated or infected, and should be removed and then checked by a pathologist just to be sure of what they are. Some breeds, especially the Cocker Spaniel, are prone to developing sebaceous cysts.

And yes, the sebaceous glands in the skin do occasionally develop into tumors called sebaceous adenomas.  According to Richard Dubielzig, DVM, of the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine, "Probably the most commonly biopsied lump from dog skin is a sebaceous adenoma. This does not mean it is the most commonly occurring growth, just that it is most commonly biopsied." Fortunately this type of skin growth rarely presents trouble after being surgically removed.

So how are you to know which lumps and bumps are dangerous and which can be left alone? Truthfully, you are really only guessing without getting the pathologist involved. Most veterinarians take a conservative approach to the common lipomas and remove them if they are growing rapidly or are located in a sensitive area.

However, caution needs to be observed because even the common lipoma has an invasive form called an infiltrative lipoma. For example, when a nasty looking, reddened, rapidly growing mass is detected growing on the gum aggressive action is indicated.  Also, keep in mind that not all lumps and bumps are cancerous, and some are fairly innocent and do not warrant immediate surgery.

Non-cancerous lumps

Cysts, warts, infected hair follicles, hematomas (blood blisters) and others do cause concern and can create discomfort for the dog, though non-cancerous lumps have less health impact than cancerous growths.

Cancerous lumps

Cancerous growths can be either malignant or benign, and occasionally even share characteristics of both.  Malignant lumps tend to spread rapidly and can metastasize to other areas of the body. Benign growths tend to stay in the place of origin and do not metastasize; however they can grow to huge proportions (see such an example of inoperable tumor pictured on the right).

Mammary gland tumors, mast cell tumors, cutaneous lymphosarcoma, malignant melanoma, fibrosarcoma and many other types of tumors with truly scary names command respect and diligent attention on the part of dog owners and veterinarians.


Below are the most common methods of finding out "what it is" …

Impression Smears

Some ulcerated masses lend themselves to easy cell collection and identification by having a glass microscope slide pressed against the raw surface of the mass. The collected cells are dried and sent to a pathologist for staining and diagnosis. Sometimes the attending veterinarian will be able to make a diagnosis via the smear; otherwise, a specialist in veterinary pathology will be the authority regarding tumor type and stage of malignancy.

Needle Biopsy

Many lumps can be analyzed via a needle biopsy rather than by total excision. A needle biopsy is performed by inserting a sterile needle into the lump, pulling back on the plunger, and "vacuuming" in cells from the lump. The collected cells are smeared onto a glass slide for pathological examination. Usually the patient isn’t even aware of the procedure. Total excision of the mass is attempted if the class of tumor identified warrants surgery.

CT Scans

Superficial lumps and bumps do not require that CT Scans be done, so this procedure is usually reserved for internal organ analysis. If a superficial malignant tumor is diagnosed, however, a CT Scan can be helpful in determining if metastasis to deeper areas of the body has occurred.


As with CT Scans, X-ray evaluation is generally reserved for collecting evidence of internal masses. Most lipomas are superficial and reside under the skin or skeletal muscles. There are other lumps that can be palpated by the veterinarian via manual examination; however, the extent and origin of that mass will often be best revealed via CT Scanning.


Since every type of cell in the body potentially could evolve into cancerous tissue, the types and ferocity of tumors that develop in the dog are numerous and highly varied. Each case needs to be evaluated on its own circumstances and variables. For example, should surgery be done on a 16-year-old dog with what appears to be a 3-inch wide lipoma? Maybe not. Should that same dog have a quarter inch wide, black, nodular mass removed from its lower gum. Probably should! That small growth may be a melanoma that could metastasize to other areas of the dog’s body.


An important basic tool in eliminating a nuisance or dangerous lump is to surgically excise it.


Chemicals that are highly toxic to rapidly dividing cells make up an important mode of treatment for fast growing tumors. A combination of surgery and radiation/chemotherapy can help the veterinarian gain the upper hand in achieving a cure. Chemotherapy is often employed as an additional precautionary procedure after a mass has been "removed" via surgery.


For invasive tumors that do not have well defined borders and for tumors that tend to spread rapidly, radiation therapy can be a lifesaver. Available at most veterinary medical schools and some veterinary specialists in radiology, radiation therapy is appropriate for certain types of tumors. Radiation is often employed in addition to surgical excision.


Emerging science such as gene therapy and immunotherapy hold promise for some amazing ways to combat tumors. The future looks promising for these new methods of dealing with tumors.

According to Dr. Dubielzig, the best approach to understanding what to do about a lump or bump on your dog is to be vigilant and treat each situation individually. "In cases where vigilance for tumors is part of the animal’s care, such as in animals where a malignant tumor has been removed and the veterinarian wishes to keep abreast of the stage of disease, then every lump should be submitted for histopathology," Dubielzig said. "In other cases where the clinician is sure of a benign diagnosis such as lipoma or a wart-like skin mass then it might be understandable to use discretion. The clinician also has to take into consideration the risk of surgery compared to the risk of health problems from a particular lump or bump."
Take a good surface inventory of your dog today, then at least once a month from now on. If you find any imperfections, take heart in knowing that modern veterinary medicine has some very effective remedies for almost all of these lumps and bumps.