Federal court rejects U.S. plan for restoring embattled Northwest salmon

By Eric M. Johnson SEATTLE (Reuters) – The U.S. government’s latest plan for offsetting the harm to migrating salmon from a series of dams in the Columbia River watershed violates the Endangered Species Act, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday. The ruling in a case stretching back 15 years marks a victory for environmental advocates, the Nez Perce Tribe, anglers and others who sued government agencies over their plan for aiding salmon and steelhead that travel between the Pacific Ocean and the upper reaches of the inland Northwest. The battle is centered on how the dams the federal government says generate electric power crucial for the region effects the more than a dozen groups of salmonids that are listed as endangered or threatened under U.S. law that must traverse the barriers along their arduous path to reproduce.
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Hawaii says “No More!” to wildlife traffickers

Wed, 05/04/2016

Hawaii was likely the biggest remaining market in the US ivory trade, and passage of this bill means that the top three markets are now crossed off the board.The Hawaii legislature has just passed a bill to restrict sales of ivory and other wildlife products from imperiled species, making it the f

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Bo and Sunny Obama Go Trick-or-Treating

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted local kids and the children of military families for trick-or-treating on the White House lawn Saturday — and first dogs Bo and Sunny joined the fun. White House photographer Pete Souza shared this photo of the Portuguese Water Dogs posing with a display featuring their doppelgangers, with the caption “Bo and Sunny. Bo and Sunny.” — See photos on Instagram
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Firefighters Save Kittens From Apartment Fire

Firefighter Vincent Martinelli saved the lives for four young kittens while responding to a 2-alarm fire in the Bronx on Sunday. “It was smoky in the apartment, and I heard noise coming from the bay of the floorboards,” said the FDNY’s Martinelli. “It was the kittens, they were crying. I found one, and then the others. They are so young. I’m glad we were able to get them out of there.” Martinelli happily held the little rescues outside the scene on Sunday. “God Bless all the firefighters who risk their lives everyday for other people and animals too,” said one Facebook commenter. — Read it from the FDNY via Facebook

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7 Signs of Submissive Behavior in Dogs

Dogs can’t wave a little white flag to surrender from a confrontation. Instead, they use their body language to say, “I’m not a threat.” For us humans, interpreting the signs of submission in dogs isn’t always intuitive. To help you better understand your dog’s submissive body language, we put together a handy visual guide of a few of the signs you should look for.

EmbeddableSlideshow: Signs of Submissive Behavior in Dogs EMBEDDABLE SLIDESHOW

Submissive Body Language
Lying Belly Up or Rolling Over: Peeing When Greeting: Moving Ears Backward or Flattening Ears Against the Head: Grinning Submissively: Tucked-In Tail or Wagging Tail Low and Fast: Avoiding Direct Eye Contact: Licking Another Dog’s Muzzle:

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What to Expect During Your Cat’s Senior Years

Image: close up of senior cat ThinkstockPhotos-483426531

Cats can live into their late teens and sometimes even early 20s, but you may notice some changes in yours as he ages.

Your senior cat may play less and be less willing to climb or jump. Part of that could be because of arthritic changes. Make sure he doesn’t have to jump or climb to get to his litterbox or food and water bowls. Also, consider getting a litterbox with lower sides and placing one on each floor of your house. You can also provide steps and ramps to make it easier for him to access favorite perches. Encourage him to exercise with moderate play, which can benefit his muscle tone, flexibility, circulation and weight.

Because of arthritis, obesity or other health conditions, older cats may groom less or be less effective when grooming. That can sometimes result in matted fur or increased odor. Claws may become more thick or brittle. These changes mean you may need to groom your cat, including brushing fur and cutting nails, more often as he ages. 

Some cats may wander aimlessly around the house, meowing excessively and sometimes acting as though they are disoriented. This could be age-related cognitive dysfunction or it could be caused by other physical changes that your veterinarian can diagnose and possibly treat. Any marked change in behavior, including increased sleeping (or increased activity), less family interaction or hiding and loss of litterbox training calls for a veterinary examination.

Older cats can be more stressed by boarding or traveling. If you must travel, consider asking someone to stay in your home and care for your cat or check in on him at least once a day.

Older cats may have some hearing loss. If your cat seems to be ignoring you or fails to notice when you enter the room, try talking more loudly and in a lower voice. Older cats may also have some vision loss. A slight haziness to the lens is usually normal in older cats, but a solid white appearance may indicate a cataract. Several diseases, including those associated with high blood pressure, can result in retinal detachment and blindness. If you suspect that your cat has lost some of his hearing or sight, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

Sense of smell may also diminish with age, which can in turn cause a decreased appetite. This can be serious in a very old cat, especially one that tends to be underweight. These cats may need a higher calorie diet with good quality protein, and they may need to be encouraged to eat. If your older cat is not eating as much as usual, it’s important to see your veterinarian as soon as possible. She can determine if there’s an underlying medical problem and recommend the right treatment or diet.

Often, a loss of appetite in an older cat may be the result of painful dental disease. Ask your veterinarian to examine your cat’s mouth. It’s possible that a dental cleaning and treatment of painful teeth can help improve your cat’s appetite. If your cat is missing a lot of teeth, consider feeding softer foods.

Older cats can be prone to kidney disease, which can lead to dehydration. If your cat is drinking and urinating more, see your veterinarian. In addition, you may need to place additional water bowls around the house and talk to your veterinarian about feeding your cat wet food.

Older cats are subject to other diseases like cancer, heart disease, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and inflammatory bowel disease. Your senior cat should have a veterinary check-up at least twice a year, and blood work is a necessity. Talk to your vet about your senior cat’s individual needs.

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¿Por Qué Mi Pájaro… Me Muerde?

Image: Why does my bird bite 186295384 335lc122413.jpg

Ya sea que tu pájaro mordisquee tus dedos ocasionalmente o te muerda descaradamente como si estuviera haciendo audición para la nueva versión de “Los Pájaros”, de Alfred Hitchcock, sus mordidas no siempre son lo que parecen, de acuerdo con Laurie Hess, médico veterinario y dueña del Centro Veterinario para Pájaros y Animales Exóticos, de Bedford Hilss, en Nueva York. La Dra. Hess explica que morder es el principal problema de comportamiento del que recibe quejas.

Aprendiendo “Lenguaje de pájaros"

Aunque algunos pájaros pueden morder por enojo, es más común que el pájaro use su pico por miedo. “El pájaro te está diciendo que tal vez no quiere hacer lo que tú quieres que haga, y morder es una de las pocas formas que tiene para comunicarlo”, dice la Dra. Hess. “Realmente, no puede hacer mucho más”.

En ocasiones tu amigo emplumado no está intentando morderte, sino que está usando su pico como herramienta para sujetarse y después lleva sus patas hacia el pico, explica la Dra. Hess. “De hecho, esto me sucedió una vez en un programa de televisión a nivel nacional, en el que el pájaro se fue hacia el brazo de una mujer”, dice, “y ella pensó que el pájaro la estaba mordiendo, ¡pero solamente se estaba impulsando!”

Y como los pájaros son criaturas orales, explica la Dra. Hess, en ocasiones picarán y probarán cosas, pero eso no quiere decir que el pájaro esté tratando de hacer daño.

Intenta hablar su idioma

Incluso cuando un pájaro sea considerada erróneamente como agresiva o enojada, cuando solamente tiene miedo, la mordida duele igual y puede afectar la felicidad de un hogar. Por suerte, existen formas para reducir este comportamiento. La Dra. Hess recomienda aprender el lenguaje corporal de tu pájaro y su significado, para que cuando tu pájaro te dé una señal de que no está listo para salir de su jaula, por ejemplo, puedas darle un poco más de tiempo.

La Dra. Hess sugiere dar al pájaro algo mejor de lo que obtiene al morderte. El morder, como otros comportamientos, se hace, ya sea para obtener algo bueno o para evitar algo malo, y persistirá si se fomenta, a menos que se ofrezca una mejor alternativa. Pone a su propio pájaro, Dale, como ejemplo de cómo recibir un premio especial es más atractivo para el pájaro, que hacer que su dueña lo deje solo cuando llegue a casa. “Si voy a la jaula de Dale tan pronto llego a casa, y le abro la puerta y me muerde y me alejo”, dice la Dra. Hess, “entonces continuará mordiendo mi mano porque sabe que me voy a alejar”. Sin embargo, si la Dra. Hess se acerca a la jaula de Dale con una almendra en la mano, “y le pido al pájaro que se suba en mi mano y toma la almendra, que le encanta y no va a tener en otro momento”, explica, “entonces va a saber que ‘si me subo a la mano, obtengo una almendra’. Y eso es algo por lo que vale la pena subirse en la mano”.

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Expert Advice for Trimming Your Kitten’s Nails

Image: Trimming Kitten Claws ThinkstockPhotos-479790712

As kittens grow, they discover all their fighting tools, including their nails. They also discover how much fun it is to climb furniture and bat at toys. But what they really need to discover is how to accept you cutting their nails so you can help protect them from the pain of overgrown nails and prevent damage to your furniture and flesh.

Kittens normally have their claws retracted so they have some control over whether they are scratching. But don’t count on training your kitten to keep his claws retracted — you’ll have better luck clipping his nails every few weeks.

Accustom your kitten to lying on his back in your lap facing you or in another position that is comfortable and calming for him. You can start when he’s sleepy and give him some treats for remaining still for increasingly longer periods. Practice holding each paw in your hand, rewarding him for being cooperative. Then gently press on the tops of each toe until the claw is exposed. Again, give him treats for being good.

Finally, after several days (at least) of such practice, it’s time to clip his first nail. For a kitten, you can use human fingernail clippers or small nail trimmers made for pets. Just make sure they’re sharp, as dull clippers can crush the nail, which may be painful. For now, just cut off the very tip of each nail. Avoid the pinkish quick you can see within the nail. The quick contains both blood and nerve supplies to the nail, so be prepared for a bit of bleeding and protesting if you cut it. But don’t panic. Stop the bleeding with some styptic powder, and if you don’t have that, you can use flour or cornstarch. Make sure to apologize with treats and promises not to slip up again!

Give a treat after each nail and don’t feel you have to cut them all this first time. It’s better to stop before your kitten starts struggling than to push things to that point. Instead, give him a break and do a few more nails later. Just remember which ones you’ve already done! Cats have five toes (and five claws) per front foot and four toes (and four claws) per back foot — although polydactyl cats can have many more. One of the nails on each front paw is actually up on the wrist, so don’t overlook it.

When your kitten learns early that nail trimming can be a positive and rewarding experience, he’ll be more likely to cooperate with it later on in life. It’s also important to provide your kitten with scratching posts or platforms so that he learns to sharpen his nails there, rather than on your furniture.

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Woman Adopts Dying Dog and Brings Him on Adventures

When Nicole Elliot adopted Chester, she knew they wouldn’t have a lot of time together — and she wanted to spoil him rotten in his final days. The dog had been surrendered to a Georgia shelter with a large tumor on his head in April. Elliot brought Chester home on June 27, and started planning little adventures for him, including playing in a stream, eating a hot dog lunch and going on a shopping trip where he got a bed, toys and treats. She documents Chester’s fun times on his Facebook page. “He is just very sweet and he soaks up any love that you give him,” Elliot said. "He deserves it … His past life didn’t seem too well." She hopes Chester’s story will help inspire more people to adopt older and terminally ill shelter animals — something she plans to continue to do in the future. — Read it at ABC News

The before and after of Chester after being saved from deathrow at the pound in Columbus. I want to thank Animal Ark…

Posted by Chester’s final journey on Sunday, June 28, 2015

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Wellness Simple Healthy Weight Salmon & Peas Formula

Wellness Simple Healthy Weight Salmon and Peas Formula are specially formulated to maintain a healthy weight. It is grain free and has no artificial additives or fillers. It contains Chondroitin, Glucosamine, Prebiotics and Probiotics and helps support overburdened joints and hips. Due to the increased levels of fiber it naturally satisfies hunger. The high quality […]
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We Found Our Spirit Animal… In The Form Of A Food-Loving Corgi

This little Corgi loves food so much, we’ve basically decided she’s our spirit animal.
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Ever Wonder Why People Wear Fur?

Ever Wonder Why People Wear Fur?

By now, you’ve probably seen the viral video that PETA posted on social media about coyotes who are killed for the fur trim on Canada Goose jackets. (And if you haven’t, check it out and share!) Dedicated activists (like Rob, Len, and you!) have decided that they’ve had enough—and so the #FurChallenge was born. More than half of the fur in the U.S. comes from China, where millions of animals, including dogs and cats, are bludgeoned, hanged, bled to death, and often skinned alive for their fur. Fur is often deliberately mislabeled, so if you wear any fur, there’s no way of knowing for sure whose skin you’re in. To the animals killed for fur, your #FurChallenge could mean life or death.

If you’re fed up with animals being tortured and killed for fashion accessories, follow these steps and take the #FurChallenge:

1. Find a fur wearer.  

If you come across people wearing fur or a Canada Goose jacket with fur trim, calmly approach them and politely ask if you could have a minute of their time to talk about fur.

Fur-Image-

2. Tell them that #FurIsDead.

Animal Rights Activists Handing Out Leaflets

  • If they tell you that they’re wearing fake fur, thank them for not contributing to the electrocution and killing of animals on fur farms.
  • If they become upset or hostile, it’s important to remain calm. Politely tell them that you hope they’ll reconsider wearing the skins of animals who suffered and were killed.

How to Hand Out Leaflets

3. Ask them to ditch fur.

Once you discuss the cruelty of the fur industry, ask them if they would consider donating their fur to PETA or to a local homeless or animal shelter. If they’re wearing a Canada Goose jacket, ask them to stop promoting fur by removing the fur trim from the jacket.

Fur-Coat-Donation-3-small-min-770x514

4. Post your #FurChallenge.

Make sure to record your interaction or take a photo of your discussion. Post your results on Facebook with #FurChallenge and tag PETA.

5. Challenge your friends.

Tag at least three of your best anti-fur friends, and ask them to take the challenge as well. Keep the peer pressure on, and make sure that they complete the challenge and pass it on!

Here’s The Rest of Your Fur Coat PSA

Millions of animals are killed by trappers every year for clothing companies such as Canada Goose. Some fur traps, like steel-jaw traps, can cut into the flesh of an animal, often down to the bone, mutilating the animal’s foot or leg.

Body-painted 'coyotes' brave 25° weather to show shoppers how they suffer & die for @CanadaGooseInc fur trim.

Body-painted ‘coyotes’ brave 25° weather to show shoppers how they suffer & die for Canada Goose fur trim.

Some animals, especially mothers who are desperate to get back to their young, attempt to chew or twist off their trapped limbs. Are you ready to take the #FurChallenge?

 

Want to find more ways to speak up for animals?

Already part of the Action Team? Speak out against humane meat.

The post Ever Wonder Why People Wear Fur? appeared first on PETA.

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PETA Statement: Solitary Chimpanzee Finally Freed From Stump Hill Farm

PETA Foundation Deputy Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement Brittany Peet released the following statement in response to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s seizure today of numerous exotic animals from the notorious Stump Hill Farm:

Today, Ohio authorities gave numerous exotic animals a chance at a great future, including the chimpanzee Tootie, whose freedom from solitary confinement PETA has demanded for years. The Ohio Dangerous Wild Animal Act is clearly working, and PETA won’t stop pushing until no more animals are left suffering and neglected in Stump Hill Farm’s exploitative, filthy facilities.

PETA’s motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment,” and more information about Stump Hill Farm is available here.

The post PETA Statement: Solitary Chimpanzee Finally Freed From Stump Hill Farm appeared first on PETA.

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Viral Photo: Kitten and Police Officer Have Matching Mustaches

JD isn’t the only animal to find a new home thanks to law enforcement. In Spartanburg, South Carolina, a police officer with a soft spot for animals has made a tiny kitten his partner. “Another officer had found her in the rain under a trash dumpster and brought her into the department,” said Officer Cody Garrett, 28. “I offered to take her because I have another rescue at home who is currently nursing her four kittens.” Now, a selfie Garrett shared on Instagram of Squirt perched on his shoulder in his patrol car — with the two sporting matching mustaches — has gone viral. Squirt joined seven other pets at the animal-loving officer’s home. — Read it at ABC News

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Study Reveals Why Labs Crave Food

Researchers found Labs sometimes have a mutation of the POMC gene, which leads to more food-motivated behaviors.
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As Global Temperatures Reach Record High, Climate Action Breaks Records of its Own

In response to data released today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) declaring December through February as the warmest on record globally, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) issued the following statement from vice president, climate and energy, Lou Leonard.

“Only two months after world governments agreed in Paris to limit planetary warming to no more than 1.5 C, monthly average temperatures crossed that threshold for the first time in February. Now in March, another disturbing record falls.

“Extraordinary warmth in the Arctic has limited the winter sea ice extent to the lowest level ever; and record high sea surface temperatures have fed devastating rains in the southern U.S. and elsewhere. The threats of climate change have never been more clear.

“As our planet sends stronger and stronger signals, climate action is breaking records of its own. On Saturday, 178 countries and territories will participate in the largest Earth Hour to date – sending a signal that, for the first time, momentum for action is on our side. This marks the beginning of a pivotal year of progress to make real on the gains made in Paris and scale up the even greater action needed to save the Arctic and communities around the world.”


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Collaborating to Count Arctic Seals and Polar Bears

Trying to count the number of seals and polar bears on sea ice in the northern Arctic Ocean’s remote Chukchi Sea is no simple task. But scientists are finding answers by looking skyward — 1,000 feet in the air in fact — to record populations of these iconic Arctic species in this remote waterway between Russia and Alaska.

American and Russian scientists have now teamed up, with some support from WWF, to develop the region’s first comprehensive and reliable population estimates of ringed and bearded seals and polar bears. For the past several weeks, scientists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Russian State Research and Design Institute for the Fishing Fleet have been using high-resolution and heat-detecting infrared cameras mounted on an airplane to collect information on these species in the Chukchi Sea.

“When US and Russian scientists work together to improve our understanding of wildlife populations, we get a better picture of the range-wide status of these keystone species across the Arctic landscape,” said WWF’s Senior Biologist for Wildlife Conservation Dr. Sybille Klenzendorf. “Wildlife does not recognize international boundaries, so it’s critical that the science supporting their management crosses those borders as well.”

And the technology is better for wildlife too. Not only does this equipment make detecting these animals easier, but it also helps reduce the chances that they will be disturbed by low-flying planes, which were used in previous surveys.

“High resolution cameras enable us to collect color images that we use to identify seal species. This approach allows us to fly at a much higher altitude than previous surveys that relied on human observers looking out the windows to detect and identify animals by eye. We can now fly surveys at about 1,000 feet rather than 400 feet,” said Peter Boveng, Program Leader for NOAA’s Polar Ecosystem Program.

Bearded seals, ringed seals and polar bears, all of which live on sea ice at times of the year, are considered vital resources for northern coastal Alaska Native communities and are key species in Arctic marine ecosystems, yet no reliable population estimates are available for vast portions of their ranges.

These new data will help scientists evaluate long-term population trends and how these populations are responding to climate change. It will then be used for decision-making about management, conservation, and permitting of activities in the Arctic that could affect these species or their habitat. Surveys are being conducted during April to mid-June when each species is mostly likely to be seen.

“This is an exciting project that expands an innovative technology — successfully trialed on seal populations — and expands it to polar bears for the first time,” said Klenzendorf. “As this technique is tested and refined, we’ll have another powerful tool that allows us to better understand and protect the Arctic ecosystem and fill urgent knowledge gaps on the population status of polar bears.”


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WWF’s Ginette Hemley Testifies Before US Senate on Global Poaching Crisis

Today at a hearing on wildlife poaching before the Senate Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, WWF’s senior vice president of wildlife conservation Ginette Hemley attested that wildlife crime is an urgent crisis that must and can be stopped.

Hemley testified that if we are to save the world’s rhinos and elephants, the US must help build stronger capacity to stop the killing on the ground in Africa, dismantle transnational organized crime syndicates by strengthening information networks, s, support community based resource management programs that benefit both people and wildlife and halt the demand for wildlife products in key markets.

She urged the subcommittee to continue the momentum of the current Administration to tackle this global threat.

“We’re talking about transnational organized crime as applied to wildlife, and to that end, WWF strongly encourages support for the legislation…to make large scale wildlife trafficking a predicate offense to other major crimes such as money laundering, racketeering and smuggling, and provide critical tools for enforcement,”

Hemley also advocated on behalf of the heroic rangers on the frontlines of protecting wildlife, and advised that the U.S. put more resources supporting on the ground efforts. 

The evening prior to the Senate hearing, Hemley moderated in a briefing about the global poaching crisis for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. This was in support of The Global Poaching Act, HR 2494 “to support global anti-poaching efforts, strengthen the capacity of partner countries to counter wildlife trafficking, designate major wildlife trafficking countries, and for other purposes.”

Wildlife crime has reached unprecedented numbers in recent years. 1,215 rhinos were killed in South Africa for their horns in 2014, and already 700 have been slaughtered in 2015.

 

 


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Kenya Ivory Burn Demonstrates Need for the Oregon Ballot Initiative to Save Endangered Animals

In a strong warning to elephant poachers, Kenya sent 105 tons of ivory up in flames this past Saturday, April 30.
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The Best (and Worst) Toys for Your Teething Puppy

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Rainy Day Game to Challenge Your Dog: The Tray Trick

This is an easy and fun activity to play with your dog on a rainy day.
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Dangers Of Xylitol

Cases of xylitol poisoning have increased 10 times in the past six years, according the Pet Poison Helpline, and many dog owners don’t know what it is.
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15 Reasons To Love Siberian Huskies

Siberian Huskies are a popular, lovable breed with a ton of character. These 15 images shine light on why you should love the Husky.
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4th Grader with Cerebral Palsy Leans On His Great Dane Service Dog

Hunter VanBrocklin, an active 10-year-old with cerebral palsy, relies on his Great Dane, Wendy, to live a life as close to normal as possible.
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Congressional Resolution Designates May 1st as National Purebred Dog Day

The day highlights the crucial role that purebred dogs and breeders of purebred dogs have played in United States history and spotlights the many ways purebred dogs have served U.S. citizens.
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PetSmart® and Arizona Diamondbacks Team Up to Set GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ Title for Most Dogs Attending a Sporting Event

1,000-Plus Dogs Expected at Chase Field for D-backs vs. Rockies Game This Sunday       WHAT: PetSmart, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Nylabone® and AvoDerm® Natural Pet Foods have teamed up with D-backs fans to set a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for the most dogs attending a sporting event — 1,000 dogs needed to set world record. The attempt will be officiated by a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS adjudicator and takes place Sun., May 1, when the D-backs host the Colorado Rockies. This Sunday is also the national kick-off of Bark at the Park, a traveling 12 game dog-friendly program where dog-loving fans can bring their best friends to a baseball game at stadiums across …
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Senator Lesniak’s Trophy Hunting Import Bills Conditionally Vetoed by Governor Chris Christie

Two bills banning the importation of hunting trophies, S. 977 and S. 978, were conditionally vetoed on Monday, May 2.
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Gene mutation explains why some dogs work for treats

Scientists have discovered a gene associated with canine obesity after studying Labrador retrieversScientists have discovered a genetic mutation that appears to make certain dogs, like Labrador retrievers, extra motivated by food and treats and also more likely to be obese, a study said Tuesday. "We've found something in about a quarter of pet Labradors that fits with a hardwired biological reason for the food-obsessed behavior reported by owners," said lead author Eleanor Raffan, a veterinary surgeon and geneticist at the University of Cambridge. Researchers first identified the variation, which occurs in a gene called POMC, in a group of dogs that included 15 obese and 18 lean Labrador retrievers.



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WATCH: Kenya burns ivory from 10,000 poached elephants

Tue, 05/03/2016

Bearing witness to the destruction of 105 tonnes of elephant ivory in Kenya this past weekend was a moving experience.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare is wholly committed in the fight against the decimation of elephants for their ivory on a number of fronts. And we were proud to support the government of Kenya and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on this somber occasion.

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WATCH: Six Russian bear cubs progress to open air enclosure

Wed, 05/04/2016

Now that the bear cubs have made the transition from bottle feeding to eating from a bowl and the temperatures are milder in Russia, they’re ready to move to a new phase of life in the open-air enclosure.

Before the move the bear cubs were bathed, which was much needed after the long arduous process of training them to eat porridge out of bowls.

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Videos: Impossibly Cute Kittens at Play

In need of something cute to give your day a little boost? We bet these videos of kittens playing will do the trick. It’s OK if you feel compelled to watch them multiple times — we sure did.

Abyssinian Kitten Plays With Cat Toys

We just can’t get enough of this sweet 3-and-a-half-month-old Abyssinian kitten playing with his favorite toy — a feather.

Rosie the Kitten Won’t Let Lilo the Husky Sleep

Rosie, an adorable kitten, really wants to play. Her buddy Lilo, a Husky, really wants to sleep. Frankly, we can relate to both of them.

Milo Plays Fetch

Milo, a young Highland Lynx, loves playing fetch with crunch balls and proves he’s just as good (or better) at retrieving things as dogs are.

Ernie the Ocicat Plays in the Sink

There are some cats who might shy away from water, but Ernie, a playful Ocicat, isn’t one of them. He’s made this sink his own personal fountain.

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How I Did a 180 and Became a Cat Person

Image: Nox the Cat

There’s something about cats that tends to inspire passionate emotions. Many times, folks who love cats really love cats. Those who don’t love them, though, often admit to downright despisement for the feline kind.

Cats are often misunderstood, but those who take the time to get to know cats are usually surprised by how wonderful cats really are (not to mention all the life lessons those feline friends can teach). In fact, sometimes the people who are now most passionate about their cats are the very people who swore they’d never share a home with one.

Bye-Bye Stereotypes

Connie Kwon of Los Angeles admits she once disliked cats immensely. “I used to fear cats, avoid them, run the other way on the street when I saw one and wouldn’t dare pet one,” she says. “I think I saw too many videos of cats attacking and scratching people,” she explains. Plus she adds, she couldn’t read cats’ expressions, “So I didn’t trust them.”

That’s why she was surprised when her boyfriend brought home a stray kitten one day. “I was livid at first,” she says. “We had a bit of a fight over it.” But, the little cat had nowhere to go, so Kwon relented and soon she fell in love with the kitten they named Nox.

Right away, she couldn’t believe how affectionate and social Nox was. “He completely demolished every bad stereotype I had about cats!” Now Kwon dotes on the cat, even taking him for walks on a leash (much to her boyfriend’s chagrin!). And, Nox has changed Kwon’s mind about all cats, not just her favorite feline. “Now I want more!” she says with a laugh.

Image: Izzy the Cat


Never Say Never

Eve Henson of Columbus, Ohio, says she never liked cats after a family friend’s cat hissed at her and tried to bite her. “I had a negative thing in my head about cats,” she confesses. “I used to say, ‘I love all animals, but I don’t really like cats.’”

Fast forward to years later, when Henson’s daughter begged her for a cat. “I said, ‘No, no, no.’ Then, I’m not sure why I caved, but I did.” Henson agreed to adopt a cat on two conditions: Her daughter would have to take care of the cat, and if the resident dogs didn’t like the new feline, the family would find another home for the cat.
It turned out that Izzy the cat didn’t warm up to Henson’s daughter’s affectionate ways. Izzy did, however, prefer Henson, the one person in the household who didn’t pay her much attention at all. Henson was shocked by how quickly she grew fond of the cat. Now, they’re inseparable.

“She’s my Izzy Kitty,” Henson says with a laugh, as she explains how Izzy loves to crawl into her lap and roll on her back for tummy rubs.

Her friends and family who knew how Henson felt about cats previously are amused by her new status as a cat person. But, Henson knows they, too, could be converted. “Cats get a bad rap, and people’s opinions might change if they’d open their minds,” she says. 

Image: Yin-Yang and Artemis


Worth the Work

“I am a convert!” exclaims Gisela Hausmann of Greenville, S.C. Although she never hated cats per se, Hausmann was raised to believe dogs and cats were a lot of trouble and work.

She carried that belief into adulthood. After her husband died, her heartbroken kids begged for a pet. “I kept saying, ‘Not now.’” But, she says, her daughter in particular really wanted a pet. Then, Hausmann had a moment of truth. “By the time my daughter was 15, it occurred to me that if I did not adopt a cat right now, my daughter would be moving out before I’d show the guts to deal with the trouble.”

So, she adopted Dixie from a local shelter, and from that moment on, she was a bonafide cat lover. After the kids moved out, Dixie remained with Hausmann until the cat died. Then, Hausmann adopted a new cat, Artemis, and soon after, Yin-Yang as a playmate for Artemis.

Hausmann, an author, says when she’s writing a book, she reads the drafts to her cats. “Today, it is clear to me that Hemingway knew what he was doing,” she muses. “Cats help authors, who have to work alone sitting at a desk…, to be balanced.”

Image: Lily the Cat


You Had Me at Meow

Ann Pryor of Queens, New York admits she, too, used to hate cats. “I had been scratched by cats, had cats walk across me like I wasn’t there. I thought their litterboxes stank and that they were evil,” she explains.

That all changed when her mom decided to get a Siamese kitten named Lily to keep her company. “One afternoon Lily, still a baby, crawled into my lap and fell asleep. For the first time I experienced a strong love toward this tiny, helpless, sleeping creature!"

After that, Pryor says, she and Lily bonded. “We adore each other,” Pryor says.

What’s more, Pryor says she’s developed a love for all cats, frequenting the local cat cafe, Koneko Cat Cafe, and even regularly feeds the feral cats in her neighborhood.

Despite these cat lovers’ preconceived notions, their first cats won their hearts. So, the next time you hear someone say, “Oh, I don’t like cats,” ask them: “Have you ever really known one?” It’s likely they haven’t. 

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Derek Jeter Opens Up About His Puppy

Image: Derek Jeter’s puppy Kane

Former New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has revealed who he’s been spending his retirement with: Kane, an Italian Mastiff. Jeter’s fiancée gave him the puppy last Christmas, and it was the ballplayer’s first dog ever. “I’ve been scared of dogs almost my entire life. I blame Cujo,” Jeter admits in an essay about Kane published Tuesday in The Players’ Tribune. “When I first got Kane, I panicked a little. I’m lying. Actually, I panicked a lot. We had some epic standoffs at the beginning. He was energetic, thought he was king of the house, and I was a nervous owner … My panicking was probably making him panic.” But as Kane turns 1 year old this month, things are different. Jeter says he’s learned a lot in the last year, and Kane has “more of a routine than I do.” They’re both a little calmer now — and they looks quite relaxed in a photo of the now 100-pound pup sitting on his owner’s lap. — Read it at The Players’ Tribune
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5 Reasons a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Might Be the Right Dog Breed for You

Image: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel AP-KHUGZ3 335

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is quite noble: He’s a re-creation of the Toy Spaniels often found in Europe’s royal courts from the 15th to 19th centuries. He can be a good companion dog and has become increasingly popular. Learn more about this Toy breed and whether he might be the right dog for you.

They usually like to chase things.

The Cavalier often has the same “birdy” nature as his larger Spaniel cousins. He often enjoys playing fetch and flushing birds. However, because of his chasing instincts, it’s important to always walk him on a leash, so he doesn’t run into the street after a ball or disrupt the neighborhood birds.

They generally get along with children.

Generally a family-friendly breed, the Cavalier tends to get along with kids and can do particularly well with older children who will throw a ball for him, teach him tricks or just hang out with him. Although the Cavalier is one of the larger Toy breeds, typically weighing between 13 and 18 pounds, he’s still small enough that he should be protected from toddlers who might fall on him or pet him too hard.

They’re a favorite breed among celebrities.

In Sex and the City, Charlotte York has a Cavalier named Elizabeth Taylor. Real-life celebrities Claire Danes, Teri Hatcher, Mischa Barton, Diane Sawyer and Jerry O’Connell have also all owned Cavaliers.

They tend to be easygoing.

The typical Cavalier tends to be loving, trusting and a friend to just about everyone he meets. However, some Cavaliers can be hard-charging or even have a stubborn streak.

They tend to be adaptable.

Hanging out on the couch? The Cavalier will probably be happy to chill out on your lap. If you’re ready for action, he likely will be, too. He can be flexible that way.

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Diet Plans and Treat Tips for Overweight Pets

Image: Pudgy Dog iStock_000039975524

Got a pudgy pet? Those rolls might be cute, but they also might be deadly. Excess weight can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. It can also cause or worsen existing conditions, including arthritis and other degenerative joint diseases. All of these health problems add up to decreased longevity and a lower quality of life for many overweight pets.

The Root Cause of Obesity

Just like people, animals have individual metabolic rates that help regulate whether they maintain average weight or become fat. Some breeds also have a natural propensity for either a svelter or heftier shape. As a group, however, our pets face the same problems of weight gain that people do. Overeating and not getting enough exercise are usually to blame.

In the same way a human body does, your pet’s body is designed to store energy as fat as a precaution against lean times. If allowed to eat as much as they want, many pets consume food as if they were out in the wild hunting, eating as much food as possible, when all they’re actually doing is lying around all day. When we feed them the proper amount of food and exercise them regularly, pets tend not to put on weight.

Often, pets’ weight issues reflect the health and lifestyle choices their owners have made in their own lives. In other words, people who are very active and athletic don’t often have overweight pets because they tend to include their pets when they exercise, but people who don’t exercise don’t always think about the exercise their pets need.

Tipping the Balance

If your pet is overweight, visiting your veterinarian is the first step toward helping him get back to a healthy weight. Your veterinarian will usually perform a physical exam and order a full diagnostic workup (including blood tests) to rule out any medical factors. He or she may also use a scoring system to gauge your pet’s body condition on a scale from 1 to 9 or 1 to 5. Referred to as a body condition score (or BCS*), scores of 6 to 9 or 4 to 5, respectively, indicate that a pet is overweight or obese. A typical body condition scoring system based on a scale from 1 to 5 uses these guidelines:

1. Very thin. Ribs are easy to see or feel. When viewed from above, there is an accentuated waist.
2. Underweight. Ribs are easy to feel. When viewed from above, there is an hourglass shape.
3. Ideal (Fit). Ribs can be felt. There is a slight waist when viewed from above.
4. Overweight. Ribs are difficult to feel. There is no waist when viewed from above.
5. Obese. Ribs are very difficult to feel. When viewed from above, there is no waist and a broad back.

After determining the extent of your pet’s weight problems, your veterinarian will create a weight-reduction plan. Such a plan will allow your pet to lose weight safely.

Getting Back on Track

The weight-reduction plan will usually include increasing the amount of exercise your pet receives. Your veterinarian can help you come up with a customized exercise program that will work for both you and your pet.

A pet’s diet also plays a large role in weight gain and will be just as important when trying to take those pounds off. Depending on the desired result, your veterinarian may recommend a certain type of diet:

  • A weight-loss diet strictly regulates a pet’s nutritional intake to help him stay healthy while losing weight.
  • A maintenance diet helps a pet maintain his weight once he’s achieved the desired weight.
  • A therapeutic diet enhances a pet’s quality of life by supplying a specific balance of nutrients to alleviate health issues (for example, a joint-health diet can help enhance joint function and mobility if your pet has arthritis).

With any of these diets, you’ll need to consistently follow instructions and feeding schedules. Your veterinarian may modify the diet as your pet loses weight. It can take months to achieve an ideal body condition, so don’t be discouraged if the pounds don’t come off right away. Besides, getting your pet back in shape isn’t just about getting rid of excess weight. It’s about helping your pet be healthier.

Healthier Treats

If you’re following a weight-loss plan for your pet, it’s important to rein in treats. Often, pet owners don’t realize how many treats they’re giving their pets, but those calories can add up quickly. Here’s how to cut back:

  • Reserve a percentage of your pet’s daily food allowance to use as treats. This will help ensure that your pet stays within his recommended caloric intake but will still allow you to treat him occasionally.
  • Stuff food puzzles with morsels of food. Pets will work off energy while trying to get the food out of the toy. Just make sure you’re accounting for these calories as part of your pet’s daily intake.
  • Use cooked or raw carrots or green beans, cut into small pieces, as rewards for your pet.
  • Don’t give treats for every behavior. Keep goodies (diet treats or veggies) for the important — or amazing — tricks or behaviors. Consult with your veterinarian to determine how many and what types of treats your pet can have in a day.
  • Reduce the size of the treat; even a big pet will enjoy a tiny tidbit. If you can’t break the treat habit, break the treat into a smaller size, when possible.

*BCS scale adapted with permission from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.

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5 Cat Adoption Mistakes to Avoid

They’re sweet, snuggly and sometimes a little sneaky. Adopting a cat can be wonderful — as long as you don’t make some common missteps.

We want to help ensure you’re set up for many years of happiness when you bring home your new feline. We’ve come up with a list of five mistakes people often make when they decide to adopt a cat, so you can be sure to avoid them.

EmbeddableSlideshow: 5 Mistakes People Make When Adopting Cats EMBEDDABLE SLIDESHOW

Cat Adoption Mistakes to Avoid
1. Adopting on a Whim: 2. Considering Only Kittens: 3. Overlooking Black Cats: 4. Not Considering Your Current Pets: 5. Not Making a True Commitment:

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Orphaned Puppy Adopted Into Litter of Cats

A tiny Chihuahua puppy was just days old when his mom was fatally hit by a car in Detroit. Bobby was taken in by the Michigan Humane Society, which quickly found a surrogate mom for the orphan: a new mama cat who was nursing her litter. The puppy fit right in with his new mom, Gwen, and siblings. The young family is living with a foster family, where they’ll get the care they need. Once he starts eating solid food, Bobby will head to a new foster home with other dogs so he can be socialized. He and his littermates will all be available for adoption when they’re big enough. — Learn more at the Detroit Free Press

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Duck Family Waddles Through Elementary School

For the last 13 years, Vanessa has known exactly where to go to lay her eggs: the courtyard of the Village Elementary School in Michigan. Since her ducklings are too young to fly when she needs to leave the courtyard, the school has made special accommodations for the mama duck. Vanessa waits by the courtyard door for it to be unlocked, then leads her family through the school on a path created by the staff. “It’s so unusual, but everyone gets so invested in this duck because how cool is it that she comes back each and every year,” said Elizabeth Krause, a parent at the school who’s watched Vanessa and her ducklings for many years. — Read more at Michigan’s Livingston Daily


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The 10 Most Water-Shy Dog Breeds

Earlier this summer, we shared with you a photo gallery of 10 dog breeds who tend to love the water. We wondered, too, about the other side of the coin — which dog breeds typically prefer to stay on dry land?

So, we polled 249 veterinary professionals (such as veterinarians, veterinary technicians and office managers) with this question: "Which dog breeds do you consider to be ‘water shy’ — never wanting to get wet?" The results are in, and you can check them out in the gallery below!

EmbeddableSlideshow: Water-Shy Dog Breeds EMBEDDABLE SLIDESHOW

Experts Rank Water-Shy Dog Breeds
10. Papillon: 9. Chinese Crested: 8. Pekingese: 7. Greyhound: 6. Pug: 5. Shih Tzu: 4. Maltese: 3. Bichon Frise: 2. Yorkshire Terrier: 1. Chihuahua:

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Google Reveals the Most Searched Dog Questions of 2014

Image: Dog Digging Thinkstock 163740818

If you have a dog, we bet you spend a lot of time Googling questions about why they do the things they do. And you’re not alone! Today, Google released its annual list of the most searched dog questions — and we’ve got the scoop on the top queries of 2014. Here they are.

10. Why do dogs bury bones?

Your dog buries bones just as his canine ancestors did thousands of years ago. The reason? He is following an instinctive urge to hide surplus food from scavengers so it will be there when he returns later to eat it. 
Find out more: Why Does My Dog… Bury Bones and Other Objects?

9. How to introduce dogs.

Can you guarantee that your dog and your friend’s new puppy will become best buddies? Probably not, but there are some things you can do to help the introduction go smoothly. You may be surprised to learn that your dog can pick up on any tension you feel about the introduction, making her more anxious. According to Dr. Marty Becker, your best bet is to stay calm and pay attention to the body language of all dogs involved. 
Find out more: Should My Dog Meet Other Dogs On-Leash or Off?  

8. How to stop dogs from digging.

This is probably your least favorite of your dog’s most favorite hobbies. The good news is there are plenty of things you can do to help keep your backyard from looking like a minefield. Trainer Mikkel Becker recommends you redirect your dog’s digging to one specific (and small) section of your yard or even buy a kids’ sandbox that you can fill with dirt that you don’t mind your dog digging in.
Find out more: Why Does My Dog… Dig?

Image: Closeup of Dog Wet Nose Thinkstock 98164441


7. Why are dogs’ noses wet?

Wet noses actually serve a purpose — they help a dog’s sense of smell. Their noses secrete a thin layer of mucous that helps to absorb scent chemicals. We bet you’ve also heard that a dry nose is a sign of a sick dog. Dr. Marty Becker weighs in on that common thinking.
Find out more: Why Does My Dog… Have a Wet Nose?

6. How to clean dogs’ ears.

Do your dog’s ears need to be cleaned? You should use two senses to determine whether your dog’s ears are healthy: sight and smell. If you see or smell something off, first talk with your vet to see if this this something you can handle with regular home cleaning or if your vet needs to be involved in a medical solution. An important thing to remember: If your vet recommends that you clean your dog’s ears at home, never use a cotton-tipped applicator — that can drive dirt and debris deeper into your dog’s ears.
Find out more: How to Keep Your Dog’s Ears Clean and Healthy

Image: Dog Chasing His Tail


5. Why do dogs chase their tails?

This has to be one of the more classic, endearing dog behaviors. For some, this is simply a way for them to have fun and expend playful energy. But for others who do it excessively, it can be a sign of obsessive compulsive disorder. Dr. Patty Khuly shares a trick for how to tell if your dog needs an intervention.
Find out more: Why Does My Dog… Chase His Tail?

4. Why do dogs have whiskers?

Your dog’s whiskers can do amazing things. Did you know that they extend about three times deeper into the skin than dogs’ other hairs? There, they connect to nerves that make whiskers a very powerful tool for detecting air currents and knowing the position of prey. So is it OK to trim your dog’s whiskers to neaten her face? Dr. Marty Becker shares his thoughts.
Find out more: How Dog and Cat Whiskers Work

3. Why do dogs howl?

Dr. Patty Khuly puts it this way: A bark is like placing a local call, while a howl is more of a long-distance dial. On one level, a howl can simply be rewarding for your dog, but if you look deeper, it has lots to do with canine bonding and even the enforcement of rank within a pack.
Find out more: Why Does My Dog… Howl?

2. Do dogs dream?

We bet you know the answer to this one, especially if you’ve ever seen your dog whine, twitch or move his legs like he’s chasing a rabbit while he’s asleep. But what do dogs dream about? And is it OK to wake them if they seem like they’re having bad dreams? We’ve got answers for you.
Find out more: Does Your Dog Dream?

1. Why do dogs eat grass?

We’re not at all surprised that this very common canine behavior is Google’s No. 1 most asked dog question of 2014. Plenty of pups eat grass, but in the interest of your dog’s health, you should know how to tell when a simple sample of the lawn turns into a bigger problem that could indicate a medical or behavioral issue. Read on to learn what to watch for and the three questions your veterinarian may ask when you talk with her about this habit.
Find out more: My Pet Won’t Stop Eating Grass. What’s Going On?


Have more dog questions? Visit our Why Does My Dog hub for the answers to tons of common dog behavior questions, or leave your questions in the comments below.

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3 Lifesaving Commands Every Dog Should Know

Pet owners usually invest in dog training to fix problem behavior or brush up on manners, but training can do more than promote polite behavior. A few key commands could one day save your dog’s life.

I love it when people ask me about the most important commands a dog should know. There are three go-to commands that I believe every dog needs to know — for his own safety and the safety of other people and canines he comes into contact with. Click through the gallery to see what these commands are and why it is so important to teach them.

EmbeddableSlideshow: Lifesaving Commands to Teach Your Dog EMBEDDABLE SLIDESHOW

Lifesaving Commands to Teach Your Dog
3 Crucial Commands: Down Stay: Drop It: Come When Called:

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What You Need to Know About Food Toys

Image: cat using food puzzle D94CXN 335

Food bowls are a convenient way to feed pets, but they may not be in every pet’s best interest.

The bowl may allow pets to eat too quickly, which can cause vomiting. Since it takes time for a meal to trigger “I’m full, stop eating” signals from the brain, it can also lead to obesity. Further, if the amount in the bowl isn’t controlled, it can become a 24-hour buffet, which can contribute to obesity and the health problems it can cause, such as decreased quality of life and reduced longevity.

While we’d all like our pets’ days to be full of fun activities and mental stimulation, the reality is that many of them spend their day simply waiting for us to come home from work. Making mealtimes longer and more interesting through the use of a food toy is one way to provide enrichment for pets waiting for their favorite people. You may think that since your pet has access to toys or a yard while you’re away, he may be thoroughly entertained without you. However, most pets don’t engage in much play on their own. A pet activity monitor can tell you for sure, but many pets appear to experience boredom and sleep the day away. While sleeping helps pass the time, it doesn’t burn many calories or provide mental stimulation. Some pets appear to experience anxiety without their people, and some can be destructive when left alone — whether as an expression of that anxiety or as simply a way to entertain themselves. Though a food toy may not be a good option for every pet — and a talk with your veterinarian can help you determine whether or not you should try one — many pets seem to find them highly entertaining.

Much to Choose From

Regardless of why you may consider an alternative to the bowl, there are multiple options. Food-dispensing toys come in many shapes, sizes, textures and degrees of difficulty (for both you and your pet). Pet preferences and the ability of your pet to “solve” the puzzle and access food, along with the toy’s safety, cleanliness and ability to maintain interest, are all important to consider when choosing a food-dispensing toy. Here are the main types:

  • Dispenser-type toys dispense dry food or treats through an opening when the toy is turned, rocked, pulled or otherwise manipulated in just the right way. These are usually made of harder plastic materials and are taken apart by the owner to fill. Give it to your pet in an area where toy flinging, rolling and bashing won’t cause damage or annoy your neighbors, as some of these can be quite loud on hard surfaces.
  • Chewing-type toys can be filled with dry or canned food (some of them even come with commercial paste-type fillers), and the pet’s chewing action releases the food. Give these to your pet in an area where making a mess is less of a concern. Freezing the food after the toy is filled can sometimes help to further slow meals down and reduce cleanup.
  • Feeding stations require a pet to interact with a larger, non-mobile object to release (usually dry) food. These include puzzles that require pets to figure out how to lift flaps, open doors, flip switches or spin knobs to access food. Also, while not truly toys, if you’re really looking to just slow your pet’s food intake, there are bowl replacements with deep grooves for food that make it harder for him to inhale a meal.

Toy Transition Tips

Each of these types may require some teaching, though chewing-type toys don’t seem to require as much figuring out. Pets, especially dogs, just seem to know what to do with them. Regardless of which type you are trying, when you’re first introducing a food-dispensing toy, start just before a regular meal and show your pet how it works. Some pets may need you to just hold a dispenser-type toy so that food comes out easily, or for you to help them manipulate the feeding station, so they can see that it is a new food source. For toys where the difficulty of access can be adjusted, start with the easiest setting and gradually provide less help. If your pet has difficulty with the transition, give him some time with the toy and then offer his usual meal (minus the portion that he’s already eaten) so that he doesn’t associate the toy with being hungry and frustrated. Make sure to reduce the bowl meal’s size as your pet gets more experienced with the toy. Here are a few other things to think about as you transition from bowl to toy:

  • As you can imagine, these toys see a lot of nose poking, licking and rolling on the floor, so getting them clean is important, especially if you’re using canned or frozen food. Pick a toy that can be disassembled and/or washed thoroughly, since crusty old food isn’t in your pet’s best interest (and you don’t want ants). Make sure the food is consumed before it can spoil. Canned or frozen food should be eaten within a few hours, while uneaten dry food should be thrown out at the end of the day.
  • Supervise your pets with these toys, at least until they (and you) know what to expect. Pets can also knock toys under furniture where they can’t reach them, which is frustrating and will leave them hungry. It also means that there’s food lying around waiting to spoil. If it’s a problem, either block access to that room or block off any areas under the furniture where the toys could get stuck. 
  • If you have multiple pets, use the toys when they are separated to avoid having a more dominant pet hoard or monopolize the toy or station. This can lead to weight loss in one pet and gain in the other, as well as fights between them.
  • Chewing-type toys are constructed of more flexible material and, if they are broken or improperly sized, can pinch the soft tissues of the mouth, get stuck over teeth, or be swallowed and cause obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract. This is rare, but when it happens, it’s dramatic. Consequences can be serious, so make sure any toy you offer your pet can’t get stuck in his teeth or throat and that there are no cracks or tears in the material. Discard broken toys and avoid any toy that your pet can chew aggressively enough to tear or break.  
  • If your goal is to help prevent boredom, don’t use the same toy for every meal. In this case, use several in rotation, preferably different types or toys that require different manipulations to work, so that your pet stays mentally engaged. Some feeding stations are available with interchangeable modules so that the pet can have different tasks to perform for each meal. 
  • Monitor your pet to make sure he is using the toy. If you’re still finding food in it at the end of the day, or your pet loses weight (unintentionally) after changing to food-dispensing toys, do some investigation. Make sure the food you put in the toy actually fits through the dispenser opening and that the device is working properly. It’s been reported that some pets associate the toy with anxiety and being left alone, so they avoid it. If you suspect this is the case or you have questions or concerns about using food-dispensing toys, talk with your veterinarian.

By putting some thought into it and taking a few extra steps, you can use feeding time as one way to provide more for your pet than just food!

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Vet Removes 62 Hair Bands and Lots of Underwear From Labrador’s Stomach

In Mars, Pennsylvania, a black Lab is recovering after surgery to remove quite a few unusual items from her stomach. When X-rays showed a mysterious mass in Tiki’s stomach, Dr. Hisham Ibrahim performed exploratory surgery, where he discovered she’d eaten 62 hair bands, 8 pairs of underwear and several other smaller items, including bandaids. “I found this hair band attached to another hair band to another one to another one and to other things again," Ibrahim said. “Thank God, we were able to pull through, and Tiki’s recovered very well." — Read it at Pittsburgh’s WTAE


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Guess Who Is Sick & Needs Medicine But Has No Medical Coverage?

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Download the free ACRX pet discount prescription card today at http://www.acrxnews.com and save up to 80% of all pet (human equivalent) medicine at the pharmacy today!

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Senior adults can see health benefits from dog ownership

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Guess Who Is Sick & Needs Medicine But Has No Medical Coverage?

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Download the free ACRX pet discount prescription card today at http://www.acrxnews.com and save up to 80% of all pet (human equivalent) medicine at the pharmacy today!

How Your Change Can Help Chained Dogs

How Your Change Can Help Chained Dogs

Chained dogs struggle through bone-chilling snow, harsh winds, relentless rain, and blazing heat, sometimes with little or no shelter. They’re also commonly deprived of adequate food, water, veterinary care, and exercise, and their needs for companionship are ignored.

Chained Dog Before PETA Doghouse Delivery

But you can help them by supporting PETA’s doghouse delivery program. PETA constructs and delivers hundreds of sturdy, custom-built doghouses and fills them with straw bedding in the winter for dogs whose owners won’t let them live indoors but insist on keeping them. Meet some of the dogs we’ve helped, thanks to the support of caring people like you. Did you know that you can help dogs like the one pictured above simply by collecting change?

How to help chained dogs with PETA’s free “Change for Chained Dogs” fundraising supplies:

1. Create Donation Jars

change for chained dogs

Change-for-Chained-dogs-fundraising-imagePrint several “Change for Chained Dogs” labels to tape onto empty jars, and set them out at your workplace, business, gym, or library. Color in the thermometer to track your goal as you go—$ 265 provides one doghouse for a needy dog.

2. Get Brochures on Chained Dogs

Write to ActionTeam@peta.org with your full name, mailing address, and the subject line “Change For Chained Dogs,” and we’ll send you 20 free chained dog brochures to spread the word. (You can always request more as needed.)

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3. Collect Money for Chained Dogs

Get creative: You can make posters or even set up a table with brochures and your donation jars during lunchtime at your workplace. After your fundraiser, make a donation at PETA’s doghouse donation page for the total amount that you raised. For more ideas, check out PETA’s fundraising tips, and start creating change for chained dogs!

You can make a difference—one dog at a time. 

Get Started Now!

Want to do more?

Use PETA’s blueprints to build a doghouse for a needy dog.
Learn what you can do to help an individual chained dog.
Share this video and spread awareness of chained dogs:

The post How Your Change Can Help Chained Dogs appeared first on PETA.

Action – PETA

Guess Who Is Sick & Needs Medicine But Has No Medical Coverage?

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Download the free ACRX pet discount prescription card today at http://www.acrxnews.com and save up to 80% of all pet (human equivalent) medicine at the pharmacy today!

Calling All Kind Teachers for TeachKind’s Teacher Appreciation Contest!

Calling All Kind Teachers for TeachKind’s Teacher Appreciation Contest!

The post Calling All Kind Teachers for TeachKind’s Teacher Appreciation Contest! appeared first on PETA.

PETA

Guess Who Is Sick & Need Medicine But Doesn’t Have Coverage?

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Download the free ACRX pet discount prescription card today at http://www.acrxnews.com and save up t0 80% off of pet (human equivalent) medicine at the pharmacy today!

Pet Scoop: NYPD Cop Adopts Kitten She Saved, Spooked Dog Found Weeks After Storm

May 3, 2016: We’ve scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it’s all right here.

Image: NYPD officer adopts kitten


Three Rescued Kittens Get Homes

In March, we told you about how NYPD officers saved the lives of several kittens who were cruelly abandoned in a suitcase in Brooklyn. Now, there’s sweet news to report: one of the kittens has been adopted by NYPD Officer Nicole Piridis, who fell for him the day she saved him and his littermates. When Pirdis initially brought the kittens to the apartment of the woman who’d called 911, little Apollo kept coming to her. “I picked him up, and he fell asleep,” Piridis said. “We locked eyes … I’m like, ‘I’m taking him. He’s mine.’” First though, Apollo and his young siblings had to be treated by the ASPCA. Sadly, two of the seven kittens found in the suitcase didn’t survive. Two females, Oxsana and Albina, are still being treated and aren’t yet ready for adoption. But three of the kittens, who are now three months old, went to new homes over the weekend. Apollo went home with Piridis; her close friend adopted Inessa and re-named her Persephone; and Ilyo was also adopted on Sunday, reported NYPDNews.com. “This is an incredible outcome for these vulnerable kittens who were callously discarded,” said the ASPCA’s Howard Lawrence. — Read it at the New York Daily News

Colorful New Frog Found in Amazon Rain Forest

A bright yellow frog with orange feet was discovered in a tree in the protected Floresta Nacional de Pau-Ros in Brazil. Pedro Peloso, a herpetologist with the American Museum of Natural History in New York, said he could hear the frog’s call and pulled back tree branches while standing in his boat to find it. He named the new 22-millimeter frog Dendropsophus mapinguari, after a mythical rain forest beast called the mapinguari. He describes the frog in South American Journal of Herpetology. — Read it at National Geographic

Rescued Dolphin Released Off Louisiana Coast

Six months after he was found on a beach, a dolphin named Octavius has become the first dolphin to be rescued, rehabilitated and returned to the wild off the coast of Louisiana. The 6.5-foot, approximately 3-year-old dolphin was likely washed onshore by high waters and rough seas from Hurricane Patricia in October. He was named after a veterinarian who cared for him at the Audubon Nature Institute, where he was treated and nursed back to health. He swam off into the wild last week, and will continue to be closely monitored. — Read it at Inside Edition via Yahoo

Image: Pluto reunited with family


Spooked Dog Reunited With Family

Last month, a violent hailstorm hit Wylie, Texas, leaving the McCaffrey family’s home unlivable. While they were examining the damage and clearing debris from their backyard, their scared dog ran through an open fence gate and disappeared. They spotted him several times over the next few weeks but Pluto kept running off. The desperate family shared photos of him on social media and a rescue group put out traps. Finally, their lucky break came when Pluto was spotted playing with Walter, another dog in the neighborhood. He stuck around long enough for his owners to get there. “Once he finally realized who I was, he leaped into my arms,” said Trevor McCaffrey. “He was ready to finally go home.” — Watch it at Dallas’ WFAA

Duck Family Waddles Through Elementary School

For the last 13 years, Vanessa has known exactly where to go to lay her eggs: the courtyard of the Village Elementary School in Michigan. Since her ducklings are too young to fly when she needs to leave the courtyard, the school has made special accommodations for the mama duck. Vanessa waits by the courtyard door for it to be unlocked, then leads her family through the school on a path created by the staff. “It’s so unusual, but everyone gets so invested in this duck because how cool is it that she comes back each and every year,” said Elizabeth Krause, a parent at the school who’s watched Vanessa and her ducklings for many years. — Watch it at Michigan’s Livingston Daily

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Pet Instruction Updates:

Officer Adopts Kitten She Saved

Apollo the kitten now has a home with the NYPD police officer who rescued him from a suitcase in Brooklyn.
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