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FROM JIM’S DESK..4/14/2010—Find Pet-Friendly Vacation Ideas

It’s almost time for summer vacations. That means packing up the family and heading off on an adventure. If you’re like many families, you probably have a pet.

Some pets you definitely want to leave home. But many times you want to take them along. Don’t risk guessing if your vacation spot allows pets.

Go Pet Friendly can help you find pet-friendly vacation spots. You can also easily find pet-friendly activities. There are search functions for several types of vacations.

There is lots of information given about each spot. There is a road trip planner and pet traveling tips. You can also find pet services in your area. Go to www.gopetfriendly.com

Thanks to my good friend Kim Komando for supplying this great idea.

From Jim’s Desk~~4/01/2010~~~AKC Ranks the Nation’s Most Popular Dogs

The Labrador Retriever, has again been chosen by American dog fanciers as their favorite canine companion, according to the American Kennel Club, or AKC, as it is commonly referred to. Each year, the AKC compiles registration statistics to track which dogs are best favored by dog enthusiasts, and for the 18th time in as many years the Lab has ranked at the top throughout America. However, not all American cities favor the Lab. In Miami and Detroit, the German Shepherd outranks the Labrador in popularity. Meanwhile its cousin, the Golden Retriever, held its spot at number four, as the Rottweiler fell dramatically from its number four spot 10 years ago to number 14.

The AKC also categorizes popularity by major U.S. cities. Variations in preferences are interesting to note, as some cities prefer altogether different breeds than the rest of the country. In Chicago, for example, the Vizsla is one of the top ten most popular breeds, while it ranks at 42 nationally; and in Kansas City, the Belgian Malinois ranks at an impressively popular number eight, even as it stands at number 77 nationally. If you want to see which breeds are popular in your home town, see more at the AKC website.

Without further ado, here is the AKC’s Top Ten Breeds:

1. Labrador Retriever
2. Yorkshire Terrier
3. German Shepherd
4. Golden Retriever
5. Beagle
6. Boxer
7. Dachshund
8. Bulldog
9. Poodle
10. Shih Tzu

From O’Jim’s Desk: Happy St. Patty’s Day

May your Irish eyes be shining this week-end: The following should help keep them smiling…

A man stumbles up to the only other patron in a bar and asks if he can buy him a drink.”Why, of course,” comes the reply. The first man then asks: “Where are you from?”

“I’m from Ireland,” replies the second man.

The first man responds: “You don’t say, I’m from Ireland, too! Let’s have another round to Ireland.”
“Of course,” replies the second man.

Curious, the first man then asks: “Where in Ireland are you from?”
“Dublin,” comes the reply.
“I can’t believe it,” says the first man.
“I’m from Dublin, too! Let’s have another drink to Dublin.”
“Of course,” replies the second man.

Curiosity again strikes and the first man asks:
“What school did you go to?”
“Saint Mary’s,” replies the second man.
“I graduated in ’62.”

“This is unbelievable!” the first man says.
“I went to Saint Mary’s and I graduated in ’62, too!”

About that time, in comes one of the regulars and sits down at the bar.
“What’s been going on?” he asks the bartender.

“Nothing much,” replies the bartender. “The O’Malley twins are drunk again.”

From Jim’s Desk~~~Alsip Home’s Nursery’s PET-Tacular Pet Open House !

Something for all of you Southland pet owners to check out this week-end:  Alsip Home & Nursery’s Pet Open House.

It begins with a kick-off on Saturday, March 6th and Sunday March 7th–the “PET-TACULAR” will feature a

“Best Looking Pet Contest” and a “Most Unique Pet Contest.”  Enter to win a FREE 6 months supply of dog or cat food. They’re offering free nail trims and treats for your pet, too.

The PET-tacular sale continues through March 14, 2010 with savings on many of the most popular pet food and supplies.

From Jim’s Desk~~~2/27/2010: Destructive Behavior in Dogs

It is normal for dogs to chew on things, dig, and be protective over their territory. Dogs are diagnosed with destructive tendencies when they destroy things we don’t want them to, such as furniture, shoes, doors, or carpets. Not all destructive behavior is the same, however. When a dog chews on the wrong things or digs in the wrong place but does not have any other symptoms, this is considered a primary destructive behavior. Dogs that have other symptoms like anxiety, fear, or aggression in combination with their destructive behavior are diagnosed with secondary destructive behavior. Both types of destructive behavior can lead to problems with other organs, such as teeth, skin, the stomach, or intestines, if left untreated.

The experts at PetMD state that the causes of some of these behaviors might be obsessive-compulsive disorders, or

  • Not enough supervision
  • Not enough, or the wrong kind of chew toys
  • Not enough exercise
  • Not enough daily activity

Prevention of these behaviors needs to begin at a very young age.   It is important to start early and to be consistent with training. Early, intensive training, beginning at puppy age, will help your dog to understand what it can and cannot chew on, where it can go, where it can dig, etc. Your veterinarian can help you develop a training program to teach your dog what it is allowed to chew on and where it is allowed to dig. It is also important to expose your dog to all kinds of people, animals, and situations while it is still young. This will help your dog learn how to behave in all situations. Waiting until your dog is older could bring on excessive shyness, anxiety, and/or protective behaviors that are not appropriate for public places. It is also important to watch your pet carefully for any changes in its behavior and to address the changes immediately. Treating medical or behavioral problems quickly makes them easier to prevent and eliminate.

From Jim’s Desk~~~2/20/2010~~~ Sudden On-Set of Vomiting in Dogs

From Jim’s Desk~~~2/20/2010~~~
Sudden On-Set of Vomiting in Dogs

It is not uncommon for dogs (and cats) to vomit from time to time. They might have eaten something that upset their stomachs, or just have sensitive digestive systems. However, it becomes acute when the vomiting does not stop and when there is nothing left in the stomach to throw up except bile (a yellow fluid). It is important you take your pet to a veterinarian in these types of cases.  These important health tips for your dogs are courtesy of our friends at PetMD.

While vomiting may have a simple, straightforward cause, it may be an indicator of something far more serious. It is also problematic because it can have a wide range of causes, and determining the correct one may be quite complicated.

Some symptoms to watch for:

  • Vomiting that will not stop
  • Pain and distress
  • Weakness
  • Bright blood in the vomit or stool,  or
  • Evidence of dark blood in the vomit or stool (melena)

Causes can be:

  • Dietary indiscretion
  • Change in diet
  • Gobbling food/eating too fast
  • Intolerance to a particular food (i.e., be careful feeding pets food intended for humans)
  • Allergic reaction to a particular food
  • Obstructing objects
  • Acute inflammation of stomach (gastroenteritis)
  • Parasites (e.g., whipworms, roundworms, giardia)
  • Dislocation of the stomach (prone in deep-chested dogs; very critical)
  • Tumors
  • Metabolic disorders (e.g., kidney disease)

Your vet can diagnose a cause & offer a treatment regimen, such as:

  • Dietary changes
  • Medication to control the vomiting (e.g., cimetidine, anti-emetic)
  • Antibiotics, in the case of bacterial ulcers
  • Corticosteroids to treat inflammatory bowel disease.

Finally, always follow the recommended treatment plan from your veterinarian. Do not experiment with medications or food. Pay close attention to your pet and if it does not improve, return to your veterinarian for a follow-up evaluation.

Quick Scoop Offers the “Quick Referral” Program

Quick Scoop Pet Clean-Up Service Offers Our Current Customers the “Quick Referral” Program…

With the onset of the spring-thaw just around the corner (hopefully!),  Quick Scoop Pet Clean-Up Service wants to remind our loyal clients that we love referrals of your friends, neighbors and relatives! You have most likely heard that word-of-mouth advertising or network referrals are important to a business’s success.  Quick Scoop has grown over the years due in large part to customer recommendations and referrals.

Quick Scoop’s Referral program is fairly straight forward:  for every new customer referred to us by you–our loyal current customers for an initial/seasonal first time clean-up and/or weekly service–we will credit you with a month’s free service…following the referral.  The new customer has to agree to one month’s pet clean-up service by Quick Scoop;  the referring customer gets the next month’s service free of charge!! Referral  can be made by the existing customer directly to us by furnishing the contact info needed to get the ball rolling.  The new clients can contact us directly–simply stating that they were referred specifically by a current customer and mentioning that existing customer by name–almost like saying, “Joe sent me…”

Remember,  mention our dependable, affordable service to anyone you think would love to be free of the bothersome chore–and let Quick Scoop Pet Clean-Up Service help your friends as we “pick up what their dogs leave behind…!”

From Jim’s Desk~~2/12/2010~~Make Valentine’s Day Safe for Your Pets, Too…

With Valentine’s Day this week-end, it may be helpful to note a few precautions for all of us pet-owners to take:
**We all know that chocolate causes abnormally high heart rhythms in dogs, but not everyone is aware that baking chocolate is especially toxic. It is essential to keep all chocolates out of your pet’s reach. Yes, even that last raspberry-filled nugget from the assorted box of chocolates no one ever seems to want to eat.
**Sugar-free candies and gums often contain large amounts of xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to pets, especially dogs. If ingested, it may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure.
**The aroma from your floral arrangement may be too enticing for your dog or cat, and it only takes a nibble to cause a severe reaction. Even small amounts may lead to cases of upset stomachs or vomiting, particularly if the plant or flower is toxic. Be extremely careful if your arrangement contains lilies, as these lovely flowers are fatally poisonous to cats.

[Thanks to PetMD for the reminders on how to keep the little guys safe…]

From Jim’s Desk–2/5/2010: Winter Health Tips for Our Canine Friends

We still have a good deal of winter left and we want to remind all of our loyal readers of some vital precautions to take to keep our dogs (and cats) healthy. Courtesy of our friends at PetMD, I want to stress the following:
1. Anti-Freeze Spills are Poisonous
*The worst of all the wintertime chemical spills are auto antifreeze spills, which often leak from a car’s radiator. It may taste delicious (it’s kind of sweet to the taste and smells attractive) to your cats or dogs, but it is extremely deadly — even the smallest sip can be fatal. If your pet starts acting “drunk” or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately. Better yet, keep all pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage. You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Who knows what dangers lie in your neighbors’ driveways?

2. Salty Solution
*Given the amount of salt and ice-melter we use in a normal winter season, we are accustomed to salt on the sidewalks and roads. However, the types of salt (typically calcium or sodium chloride) used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh on delicate paws — not to mention they corrode concrete and damage the beautiful vegetation. Protect your pet’s paws, and keep him warm during walks, by outfitting him with booties. If that’s not possible (I know we could never get our dogs to wear boots–kid’s either, come to think of it…) be sure to at least try to wash and rinse your pets’ feet once they are back indoors. Animals licking their paws with salt or ice-melter on them could be a health hazard. Try to enjoy the rest of the winter….JimV

From Jim’s Desk–1/29/2010: PETA Wants a “Robo-GroundHog”

We have breaking news from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania [it’s taken me several minutes trying to spell that town correctly]. As reported by the SouthTown Star….
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants organizers of Pennsylvania’s Groundhog Day Festival to replace Punxsutawey Phil–known to many as America’s Official Groundhog-in-Charge-of Predicting-the date-for the arrival of Spring each February 2nd–with a ROBOTIC STAND-IN.
PETA said it’s unfair to keep the groundhog in captivity and subject him to the huge crowds and bright lights that accompany the tens of thousands of revelers each February in Punxsutawey, an hour’s drive northeast of Pittsburgh.
PETA is suggesting the use of an animatronic replacement.
However William Deeley, president of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawey Groundhog Club (you think these guys really take this stuff seriously…) stated that the animal is “being treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania.”
The groundhog is kept in a climate-controlled environment and is inspected regularly by the Department of Agriculture. (There’s a patronage position if I ever heard one.)
Deeley said PETA isn’t interested in Phil from Feb. 2nd on and is just looking for publicity.
Punxsutawey Phil had no comment for this story and this reporter was referred to the groundhog’s agent for any further questions on this matter (I just made that last part up…LOL…)

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