Hello...and welcome to the 2010 edition of Questions On Dogs and Cats, your free subscription to learning about taking better care of your pets and understanding their needs. Helpful Buckeye would like to thank all of you who took the time to join us in 2009 as the blog was getting through its second year of publication. As you can see, our dog and cat are staring into the future, wondering what 2010 will have to offer. The folks at The New Yorker have decided that the best way to approach the "New Year" is:
Since this is the first weekend of the New Year and most of our readers are gradually getting back into the reality of everyday life after the holidays, Helpful Buckeye has decided to offer a light-hearted potpourri of topics for your reading pleasure. Let's all work our way through this miscellaneous grouping of ideas before getting back into the more involved areas of dog and cat health concerns next week.
The beginning of any "New Year" can't be complete without a mention of resolutions, right?
1) The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) offers this list of 10 resolutions that would be smart for all pet owners to adopt:
Your pet gives you a lifetime of unconditional love, loyalty, and friendship. In return, it counts on you to provide it with food, water, safe shelter, regular veterinary care, exercise, companionship, and more. Take care of these 10 essentials, and you'll be assured to develop a rewarding relationship with your canine and feline companion.
2) The American Kennel Club has also contributed their list of suggestions for New Year's resolutions:
As the end of the year approaches, the American Kennel Club (AKC) urges pet owners to remember the family pet while pondering potential New Year’s resolutions. "Eighty-one percent of dog owners buy gifts for their dogs," said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "But what you should really be giving them is consistent exercise, training and stimulation. Try to start the year off right by resolving to do more with your dog in 2010." So if your Beagle isn’t being walked briskly, your Terrier getting trained, your Rottweiler racking up ribbons in the ring and your Great Dane’s not a canine good citizen, consider these suggestions from the dog experts at the AKC:
3) In addition to your own New Year's resolutions for your pets, your dog might have a few of his own. The AKC reflects on some resolutions your dog might be thinking about for 2010.
If Dogs Could Talk: A Dog's Top Ten New Year's Resolution List
4) For those of you who might have received a gift certificate for a new puppy or kitten or are simply contemplating getting a new pet, the HSUS provides this description of your choices:
Which is Right For You: Pure or Mixed Breed?
Dogs and cats fall into one of two categories: purebreds or mixed breeds. The only significant difference between the two is that purebreds, because their parents and other ancestors are all members of the same breed, generally conform to a specific "breed standard." This means that you have a good chance of knowing what general physical and behavioral characteristics a puppy or kitten of that breed is likely to have.
The size, appearance, and temperament of most mixed breed dogs can be predicted as well. After all, mixed breeds are simply combinations of different breeds. So if you can recognize the ancestry of a particular mixed breed dog or cat, you can see how a puppy or kitten is likely to look as an adult.
Whether you're thinking about adopting a dog or cat, purebred or mixed breed, it's important to make sure your favorite type of animal fits with your lifestyle. You may love border collies, for example, but these active dogs likely aren't a good match for busy apartment dwellers living in a city. So first become knowledgeable about what kind of animal you want and about what it takes to be a responsible pet caregiver.
There are several types of organizations from which you can adopt a companion animal, whether purebred or mixed breed. Not all sources are the same, however, so it's important to learn as much as you can, and then choose carefully. Your veterinarian will be glad to discuss your options with you.
5) If your choice of new pet is a kitten, the SPCA International has this advice for you:
10 Tips for a Happy "Mew" Kitten
When a new kitten has joined your family, it's good to get things started off on the right paw, and the food and care you choose can make all the difference in the health and happiness of your growing kitten. Here are 10 starter tips for you and your "mew" companion:
PRODUCT OF THE WEEK
Helpful Buckeye has received many e-mails asking about the easiest way to give medicines to your dogs and cats. As with many other things in life, there really isn't an "easiest" way to do this, but rather, it would be whatever technique works best for you. Your veterinarian would be the best person to talk to about giving medicines to your pets. They can show you how to work around your pet's mouth without being too afraid. If that doesn't work for you, then you should consider Greenies Pill Pockets, for dogs: http://www.greenies.com/en_US/Products/Dogpillpockets.aspx and for cats: http://www.greenies.com/en_us/Products/FelinePillPockets.aspx
1) On a list of the strangest pet stories of 2009, Helpful Buckeye found this account of a chihuahua in Michigan that got literally blown a mile away from its owners during a storm: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30448774/ns/health-pet_health/
2) Not to be outdone (at least, on the flying angle), a 5-lb. Pomeranian in Iowa was recently picked up by a Great Horned Owl and miraculously survived a 3-mile flight, only to be dropped to the ground. The Pomeranian survived with only a broken tail and some scrapes: http://www.startribune.com/blogs/79446022.html Check out these talons of a Great Horned Owl (these would explain the scrapes, huh?): 3) Perhaps if the Pomeranian in the story just mentioned had learned to jump rope like these dogs, it wouldn't have been carried away by the owl. Enjoy 5 videos of different dogs jumping rope: http://www.pawnation.com/2009/12/29/video-dogs-jumping-rope/
4) Another nice example of agility in the canine world is this dog that started out being trained as a service dog, but then switched to riding a surf board...go to this site and click on the video: http://petsaresmart.blogspot.com/2009/12/service-surfer-dog.html 5) The lists for most popular pet names in 2009 have just been released. It seems a little strange that Lucy, Daisy, Charlie, Bella, and Molly make the Top 10 for both dogs and cats. To read the whole lists, plus the Top 10 Most Unusual Names, go to: http://www.pawnation.com/2009/12/31/most-popular-pet-names-of-2009/
6) The state of Arizona has set a record for the most animals found rabid during the 2009 year. We surpassed our previous record of 176 set in 2008 by 85. Not all of these, of course, are dogs and cats. For the rest of the story from the Arizona Republic, go to: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/2009/01/02/20090102B1-talker0102.html
The Ohio State Buckeyes delivered a resounding defeat of Oregon in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. The coaching staff finally decided to let the guys play a more wide-open game and the results were very gratifying. Enjoy a few rousing rounds of "Across The Field" by the OSU band: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ktKvjKY0qI
Helpful Buckeye was able to add a few more miles to his biking record for the year. The final total for 2009 was 5025 miles....
Among the nice diversity of gifts Helpful Buckeye received over the holidays were a very tasty assortment of coconut treats, a beautiful hand-made pen (incorporating desert ironwood), and an interesting book, Gentlemen, Start Your Ovens (Killer Recipes For Guys)...in which I found a recipe for...Wedgie With Croutons! That one sounds provocative....
From one of my favorite singers, song-writers and book-writers, Jimmy Buffett, comes this quote that should help us all as we make our way into the New Year: “The best navigators are not always certain where they are, but they are always aware of their uncertainty.” Billy Cruiser, in Where Is Joe Merchant?, by Jimmy Buffett
For all of our pet-owning readers, this quote by "Anonymous" should give us all a good start for 2010: "Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened."
~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~