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It's a Dog's Life
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Family Felines
Cats Rule and Dogs Drool

Won't You Be My Neigh-Bor?

Won't You Be My Neigh-Bor?
Ride 'Em Cowgirl(boy)

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather
Flights of Fancy

Horses, It's In Their DNA

Thursday, September 30, 2010

There are many questions that are asked everyday that no one knows the answer to. Some of these questions are more like riddles, for example, why do convenience stores that are open twenty four hours a day have bars on the windows and doors? These types of questions will get the wheels turning in a person’s brain. Then there are some questions that could cause a brain to explode. An example of this type of question is why do women love horses?

Girls Admiring a Horse by D. Sharon Pruitt
A person could easily spend the rest of their lives trying to figure this one out because there is not a clearly defined answer and the worst part is that if you were to ask a woman why they all seem to love horses so much, they will not even know the answer. Many people have tried to answer this question, but there is not a solid answer.

One theory that has been proposed is that a woman’s love for horses is simply part of their DNA. Many people will say that there is a tiny gene located somewhere in a woman’s DNA that programs them to love horses. This “horse loving” gene is similar to the “sport loving” gene that all men are born with; yes guys, this is why you are drawn to all types of sporting events.

Many times the “horse loving” gene will begin to express itself during a woman’s childhood. Anyone will be able to determine when the “horse loving” gene is starting to express itself because this is when a young girl will start to play with toy horses and ponies, but it is important to know that the “horse loving” gene will be expressed more strongly in some girls that in others.

The girls that have a really strong “horse loving” gene will want to own their very own horse. Anytime a girl has the opportunity to ask for a horse, she will. This means that parents can expect to always see a horse on their daughter's Christmas and Birthday lists.

Sometimes the “horse loving” gene will go into remission. This will usually happen about the time that a young woman turns sixteen and wants a car. Parents should keep in mind that it is often less expensive to purchase a horse for their daughters than it is to purchase a car.

Just because the “horse loving” gene has gone into hiding does not mean that it will stay there. There are many occasions when a woman’s “horse loving” gene will resurface. This is why you see many middle aged women buying horses for the first time. Now they do not have to rely on their parents to purchase a horse for them, instead, they now have the means to own a horse.

It is important to remember that all women are born with a “horse loving” gene. The only thing that differentiates all of the women of the world is at what point in their lives that their “horse loving” gene will makes its presence known.

Do you have Horse DNA? Stop on by our horse resource links below and join our community. We would love to hear from you and share some great stories.

About the Author
Ron Petracek was raised in southern Idaho with horses and the great outdoors. With this continued passion He now shares through a a vast equine network. Learn more by clicking the links below. Amazing Equine Network System - Buy Sell or trade anything equine related. Get More Horse Classified coverage and distribution with less cost and work. Award Winning Horse Forum

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The Kitten Who Could Write

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

One day, a man was on his way home from work when he saw a stray kitten walking beside the road. His 9 year old daughter had always been bugging him for a cat, so he figured it was about time to get one. He stopped, opened the door, and picked up the kitten, who immediately began nuzzling and purring loudly. The daughter squealed with delight when her father brought the kitten in the house, and she took the kitten, ran to her room and began playing with the kitten.

A week later, the man was doing work on his computer, when he looked in on his daughter and the kitten. The daughter was coloring in her books and the kitten was batting at the moving pen. The man chuckled warmly to himself, then a thought came to mind, "What a great idea it would be if I could teach the kitten to write!" Later that night, after the daughter went to bed, the kitten came into the office, jumped up on the desk and began batting at the pens scattered about the desktop. The man thought, "Hmm, there may be something to this idea after all." He placed a pen between the kitten's paws and watched, and the kitten simply sniffed at the pen, turned its nose up at it, and walked away.

The next night, the daughter was in her room again coloring in her books with the kitten playing with the tip of the pens. The daughter left the room to go to the kitchen for some cookies, and the man went into the room and once again placed the pen between the kitten's paws. Once again, the kitten sniffed the pen, then turned its nose up and walked away.

A few nights later, the father was working at the computer while the daughter lay on the floor of her room coloring once more in her books. The daughter left the room, and the man watched with delight as the kitten picked up a pink pen between its paws and began scribbling circles on the paper. Later that night, the kitten jumped up on the desk, and the man placed a pen between the kitten's paws, but the kitten simply sniffed at the pen, turned its nose up, and walked away.

The next night, the man looked in on his daughter and the kitten, and the kitten was once more scribbling circles with the pink pen. After the daughter went to bed, the kitten once more jumped up on the desk, and the man placed a pen between the kitten's paws. The kitten sniffed at the pen, then watched as it fell to the floor. The man rubbed his chin in thought, then went into his daughter's room and retrieved the pink pen. To the man's delight, the kitten laid down on the desk and began scribbling circles on the paper with the pink pen. The man took the pink pen and gave the kitten a blue pen. The kitten simply let the blue pen fall to the floor. The man tried a black pen, a red pen, a green pen, even a purple pen, and the kitten simply would not scribble with anything but the pink pen.

The Kitty Author by Matthew C. Wright
So the man began working with the kitten and the its pink pen. Within a week the kitten and its pink pen were forming letters. Within the month, the kitten and its pink pen were forming words. In a matter of two or three months, the kitten and its pink pen were forming sentences, then paragraphs, then complete essays. Within the space of one year, the kitten and its pink pen even finished a full length book. The man was so delighted over the achievements of the kitten and its pink pen, he sent the book in to be published. Bet you can't guess what name the kitten published its book under? Oh, come on, now! You know this one…It's…It's, Wait for it…… It's…….The Pink Penther!

About the Author
Written by Dean Boismier
Hello friends. I have always been somewhat of an open minded and "out there" kind of person. I like to look at things from, let's say, unconventional points of views. A lot of things can be learned and discovered if you just apply "outside the box" thinking. I am not afraid of a little controversy, I welcome it. My favorite thing to do is make connections that none would consider. Name any two objects, concepts, or other aspects, the more unlikely the better, and I will find a way to connect them. Go ahead, try me. I dare ya!

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Dog Snow Boots | Snow Boots For Dogs

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Until you live in a part of the nation that never views a flake of snowfall, you probably are aware that a snowy wintertime can in fact be pretty harmful for one's canine. Unfortunately, your pet almost certainly doesn't realize or care. He almost certainly loves their walks so much that it's difficult for you to say no even if you understand what snow, ice, and slush are capable of doing to a pet's feet.

Boy, I Can Run All Day in These Snow Boots by Hans Watson
Snow and ice can certainly get built up in those furry places between their paws and make him or her totally uncomfortable. Not only does it damage, but a great deal can get packed within that they lose grip, slipping and sliding around the frozen surfaces. One option would be to keep the hair between the pads trimmed. But really though, how many canines are going to sit down still when you snip around with a razor-sharp set of scissors?

When layer after layer of snowfall gets frozen atop the other, this may result in uneven, jagged, and sharpened areas which could perhaps scratch or cut your dog's paws. One of the most useful solution to many of these issues is dog snow shoes, particularly if you reside a region with lengthy, severe winters.

Perhaps the idea of snow boots for dogs appears like an odd idea for you, but surprisingly, these are one of the better solutions to these issues. Not only can well-made boots keep a dog's paws dry, comfy, as well as ice free, but take into account the many horrible chemical compounds that our cities use to de-ice and melt snow. Dog snow shoes or boots ensure that these types of hazardous chemicals keep off of paws and out of the home.

An excellent set of dog snow boots are not just water-proof and warm but the soles in many cases are made out of rubber that provides excellent traction force upon slippery areas. Several even have toe protectors. Many pet snow boots include cuffs that can be pulled up high on their legs for added warmth as well as support. These kinds of higher cuffs can keep the snow from balling up on the hair upon their legs if your puppy is long-haired.

Yet another issue with the snowball build up on the dog's feet is how to handle it when you arrive home. You may either allow it to melt normally, leaving puddles and soaked spots wherever your dog wanders, or try and pull them out. This is bound to hurt and make your puppy distrustful every time you touch his paws. Snow shoes for dogs slip off simply and can be placed outdoors on the porch right beside yours.

About the Author
Karen Luther is the proud mother of Cooper, a precious Morkie and Max, a beloved Yorkie and owner of unique pet boutique She is an animal lover and activist. Originally from New York, she currently resides in the New Orleans, LA area. The website carries all dog boots, dog shoes and dog booties from dog snow boots, dog rain boots, dog athletic shoes, orthopedic dog boots and even dog sandals and dog slippers. Please visit to shop for dog footwear for all seasons and reasons. From fashion to fitness to all weather protection, they've got your dog's paws covered.

Article Source: ArticleSnatch Free Article Directory

Are Your Fish Sick?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Keeping a fish tank is a wonderful and relaxing hobby, but it can turn stressful if your fish start to die off. The most common cause of fish disease is poor water quality, so it is vital that you perform regular maintenance on the tank, making sure you do a partial water change periodically and clean out any waste or uneaten food so it does not decay and poison the water.

Many fish diseases can be halted if you provide treatment as soon as you see any signs of your fish being sick. Therefore, it is important that you monitor your fish each day to see if there are any signs of illness.

Fish Habitat by cskk

Some common symptoms of disease are listed below:

White dots, sometimes fuzzy looking, almost like grains of salt on your fish. This disease is called Ichthyophthirius), or simply Ich. It is a rather common disease and is caused by poor water quality or can affect your fish when its immune system is not functioning up to par due to stress. It can be treated easily if you catch it in time. There is a special solution you can buy at the pet store to medicate your tank and, hopefully, get rid of this problem.

Gray patches on the skin, looks cottony and can be around the gills. This is a fungus also caused by excess fish waste and food decaying in the bottom of the tank. You can buy treatment for it and it should clear up easily unless you have let it go too far. In the future, remember to clean the tank each week so you do not have a re-occurrence.

If your fish seem like they are gasping for air, this could be simply due to lack of oxygen in the water and not necessarily a disease. You could add an airstone to see if that helps the problem. Make sure you do not overcrowd the tank with too many fish.

If you see your fish scraping itself against the bottom of the tank or the decorations, it’s possible that he has a parasite called Flukes. These attack the gills and skin and are rather difficult to get rid of once your tank is infected. Again, poor water quality will make this much worse. They do sell medication for the tank and you may be able to clear it up if you treat the tank at the first sign of trouble.

Rotting fins are sometimes seen if the fish is under stress and also if the water quality is substandard. It is a bacteria that is attacking the fins and you must treat the tank at the first sign of this problem. If possible, isolate the affected fish to another tank to prevent the bacteria from spreading.

To insure that you always have healthy fish, you should keep the tank clean and religiously perform partial water changes. This will not only keep your fish happy but will make for a better looking tank as well!

About the Author
Lee Dobbins is a pet lover and owner of where you can learn to setup your freshwater aquarium. Find out more about fish disease at

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Getting Your Back Yard Birds Through Wintertime

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Many factors combine to make the winter months tough ones for our feathered friends. Food can be hard to find, as there is less of it, and what there is may be covered by snow and ice. The bushes and plants are mostly dormant, and for those birds that normally feed on insects, these too are often hibernating or dormant, and certainly not available to eat. All this combines to make it hard for the birds to find food. Compound this with the fact that as warm-blooded creatures they need more energy to simply stay warm in the wintertime, and you can easily see that this can be a time of stress.

Bird on a Winter Feeder by JB-Photography203
A great source of high calorie, or high energy food is suet. Suet is raw beef fat, typically taken from the animal's kidneys and loins. Because of its high fat content it is very high in energy. It is often combined with some other high energy foods like nuts to make it very attractive to a wide range of birds, such as nuthatches, woodpeckers, wrens, cardinals, bluebirds. On the flip side, it can also attract squirrels and some pest birds as well, such as starlings. One thing many people use is a caged feeder to discourage the squirrels from poaching the suet. Another thing to try with starlings is a suet feeder that only has a cage opening on the bottom, as they will not usually feed that way but many other birds will.

Suet usually goes through a process called rendering, which gives it the lard like appearance and an almost waxy like texture. It is usually shaped like a small block, similar in size and shape to a simple sandwich. It can be mounted in a feeder that simply hangs on a tree, in cages that can be hung from tree branches, or there are some hopper type feeders that hold bird seed in the hopper, and have suet cages on the side, which can serve to feed several types of birds at one time.

Another popular approach is to use suet ball, which often have a string so they can simply be hung from tree branches. To keep pests away, one favorite trick is to flavor the suet with pepper. The pepper will discourage mammals like squirrel, but the birds are unaffected by the pepper.

The winter months also make it tough to keep water available to your outdoor wildlife. The cooler temperatures work quickly on devices like bird feeders since they are designed to be shallow, which means they will freeze up fairly fast. One way to deal with this is to buy a heated bird bath. But if you already have a favorite bird bath, another simple solution is to use a bird bath heater. This are simple coils, usually powered off the household current, and will have a thermostat built in so they will keep the water at a reasonable temperature will thawing it nicely for the birds to use.

Just a few simple ideas like this will help keep your local bird population healthy and ready to sing when the spring thaw eventually comes.

About the Author
Written by J. Ruppel
To learn more about suet bird feeders and to see the various types of bird bath heaters, go to

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Make Homemade Cat Food the Easy Way

Saturday, September 25, 2010

To make homemade cat food does not have to be difficult. In fact, it can be easy to do as well as economical, all the while being healthier for your cat too!

How to make homemade cat food the easy way:

Cats Enjoying Home Cooking by Lee Coursey
1. Plan ahead: Always create a meal plan for your cat like you would yourself. This allows you to look for the best option for ingredients. It also ensures that you are incorporating variety into your cat's diet.

You can't feed your cat the same cat food every day. It needs different protein sources, different vegetables, etc. A meal plan allows you to think out what the best way to have variety would be.

Also, when you plan ahead, you can match the cat food recipes plan to your own, unless you're a vegetarian of course. But, if you know you will be having chicken for dinner one night, plan to purchase a whole chicken and roast it off. Incorporate chicken into a few of your cat's dinners using one chicken for both of you.

2. Make ahead: Once you've planned out what to feed the cat, the way to make it even easier is to make more than one meal. How many cat food recipes you'd like to create at one time is up to you, but storing these extra meals is easy.

Fresh homemade cat treats must be eaten right away unless refrigerated. You can make extras of cat food and refrigerate them in airtight containers for 3-5 days. Your best bet for long-term storage is to freeze extras in containers or Ziploc bags. These frozen meals can be stored for 6 months-1 year without causing any harm to the dinner.

If you're an adept canner, you can also can some homemade cat treats for your cat. You will need to use a pressure canner and small glass jars, but these are shelf stable once done. You can keep these up to 6 months and are perfect for traveling, cat sitters, or emergencies.

It is very possible for you to take one day out of a week and either create homemade cat treats for that week alone or be really industrious and create homemade cat food for one month or more at a time.

3. Keep it inexpensive: Sometimes people think that a homemade diet is very expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Here are a few tips to keep the cost down:

I'll Take Any Leftovers, Please by admanchester
  • Purchase the full meat item. For example, buy the whole chicken, not just the pre-cut breast, and either cut it yourself or ask the butcher to. This saves a lot of money!
  • Ask the butcher for special deals on "parts". Most people don't want the inner organs and parts that your cat will need as part of his diet, so there is a surplus of them. You can get these for a nominal amount or maybe even free.
  • Take advantage of hunting season. Many people enjoy hunting for sport and don't necessarily want the meat or they end up with too much. Use free internet listing services to ask for free unwanted meat.
  • Keep an eye out at the grocer for discounted or clearance products. All items must be thrown out if not sold, so big sales happen on produce and meat right before they can't be sold any longer. These items, if quickly cooked or frozen, are perfectly fine for your cat to consume.

How to make homemade cat food the easy way all comes down to planning ahead and making cat food recipes plans, creating extras and storing them, and finding the best deals for ingredients to save money. When you do this, making your homemade cat treats becomes not only easy but inexpensive as well.

To learn lots of yummy cat food recipes and how to make homemade cat food your cat will love visit

About the Author
Written by Alice Pizae
We know that the homemade cat food is better and healthier for the cat but the cat food industry has perfected the art of making commercial cat foods tasty to a cat.

Article Source: ArticleSnatch Free Article Directory

Which Horses Make the Best Barrel Racing Horses

Friday, September 24, 2010

When you look at horses for sale, you may be looking for a horse that will be good with the kids. You might be looking for a horse that you can bring into the racing world. But some of you will be looking for something more specific; those of you who have seen barrel racing at rodeos or even on television events might be thinking that barrel horses may be a great option.

Tana Counts on her way to a Second-place win with Dancing Diva at Northwest Rodeo Association Competition, Diva's First Rodeo

Contrary to what some people believe, not every horse is an ideal candidate for barrel racing. Though there are fewer particulars than there are when looking for a Thoroughbred that will be a winner on the race track, there are a number of different characteristics that will be found in great barrel horses. Temperament can play a role in the success of barrel horses just as much as the horse's skills, character, training and lineage.

You read that right - even with barrel horses, you'll find that one of the major considerations that many buyers have is the lineage of the horse. A barrel horse's bloodlines can help to identify how successful past generations in the line were, what the horse was bred for and can provide a sense of what the horse will be able to accomplish during the race.

Of course, more than the bloodlines, most buyers find that, with barrel horses, it is about the build and health of the horse. A good barrel horse has legs that are straight, and if you're buying a horse that's already been raced, you will want to be sure that its legs are free of any bumps or external scars. It's important to be sure that the horse's hooves are healthy, that its back is strong and that the horse is flexible and athletic.

To some extent, you will be able to tell whether or not horses for sale are healthy based on looks, however, before you make a commitment to making a purchase it is usually a good idea to have a veterinarian check to make sure that there's nothing underlying that cannot be seen by the human eye.

If barrel horses have been worked with by trainers to get them ready for the sport, you will want to gather information about the trainers and their experience. The trainers, much like the horse's lineage, can tell you a lot about whether the horse that you are looking at is going to be ideal when you're looking for barrel horses that you will be able to take around the country to ride at events with the hopes of - someday - competing in some of the sports' biggest competitions.

On the other hand, if you only plan to participate in a race or two during the local rodeo season, you're likely to find that you are looking for a very different horse. Yes, the animal's health and build will still be important to you, but you won't want to focus as much on professionally trained barrel horses. Choosing a horse that is good for overall riding as well as barrel racing can, quite possibly, save you $20,000 or more.

In either case, you are going to want to focus more on the health and build of the horse than on the coloring and markings - characteristics that those who are looking for a horse for afternoon rides can focus on a bit more. When you are looking at horses for sale and trying to find barrel horses, you'll want to focus your attention on Quarter Horses which are great at running at high speeds in short bursts, or, if you prefer, Pintos and Paints.

Whichever horse you choose as your barrel horse, it is important to recognize that you won't just be heading into the ring to compete. In order to keep barrel horses ready - and to get them ready if they haven't previously been used for barrel racing - you are going to need to focus on building the horse's lung capacity with long trotting on a regular basis. A good goal to set for barrel horses that you are conditioning is the ability to keep a fast pace for six to eight miles at least three days a week.

To that end, keep in mind that conditioning barrel horses is not just exercise for them; it's also exercise for you.

About the Author
Phil Wiskell is a writer for, popular classifieds of horses for sale, horse farms and horse trailers for sale.

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Top 4 Reasons Dog Owners Abandon Their Canines

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dogs make ideal companions. They're loyal, and will remain so throughout their lives, protecting you, your family, and your home. This is one of the reasons it is heartbreaking when owners make the decision to abandon their pets. In some cases, they'll leave them with animal shelters, consigning them to the possibility of being euthanized. In other cases, owners simply desert their pets, forcing them to find food and shelter on their own. This can lead to a fate even worse than euthanization.

Even though caring for a canine offers a rewarding experience that will enrich your life, ownership poses responsibilities. When times get tough, it's important to resist the temptation to set them aside. Below, we'll take a look at the 4 most common problems that spur people to abandon their dogs. We'll also offer a few alternative solutions.

I'm Innocent, I Tell Ya by Joe Duty

1 - "My Pet Is Too High-Maintenance"
Many people adopt puppies because they're cute and playful. But just as an infant develops into a toddler, and eventually a teenager, a puppy will become an adult. Along the way, he may pick up habits that irritate you. He may start to bark excessively, jump on people, or develop severe separation anxiety. Depending on the extent of the behavioral issues, many owners lose patience, and become willing to admit defeat. The next step is abandonment.

First, realize that your pet's annoying habits are nearly always a reflection of the training he received. Problem behaviors can usually be curbed or shaped with the right approach.

2 - "I'm Too Sick To Take Care Of My Dog"
Owners sometimes become too sick to properly care for their canines. So, they decide to give up their pets to animal shelters. Given the odds of a dog being euthanized due to lack of space at such facilities, there are usually better options available.

If you are ill and cannot take care of your canine, check with your family members and friends. They may welcome the chance to adopt your pet. Also, speak with your dog's veterinarian regarding whether other customers would be interested in adopting your canine. Some may be willing to do so since he will already be housetrained, and his veterinarian can vouch for his health.

3 - "Caring For My Dog Is Beyond My Budget"
To be sure, taking care of your pooch can be expensive. This is the reason you should make a list of the annual expenses related to ownership. Such expenses should include veterinary care, food, toys, treats, grooming supplies, and other essentials.

If you find that you are unable to afford the basics, look for less-costly alternatives before you decide to abandon your canine. For example, a low-cost veterinary clinic may be available in your area; you may be able to eliminate some nonessential items from your purchase list; and you might be able to save money by buying dog food, grooming supplies, and other items in bulk.

4 - "I'm Starting A Family"
A lot of people think they need to get rid of their canines when they are expecting a baby. They believe having a dog in the home in the presence of an infant is dangerous. With the right approach, however, your pet can play a valuable role in your child's early development.

The key is to provide plenty of supervised interaction. If your canine has exposure to your child, and understands your child has more authority than him in his "pack," he will yield. Plus, as the child grows, he'll likely form an unbreakable bond with your dog.

There are valid reasons to give up your canine. If you have a terminal illness, or an affliction that makes it impossible to provide sufficient care, there's little you can do except find a good home for him. But avoid making the decision lightly. After all, your dog considers you his best friend.

About the Author
Written by Lawrence Reaves
Find the best dog products at and check out the Dog Chews from
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Caring For Rabbits As Pets

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Raising rabbits as pets can be quite a bit of work, the same as with any pet. They are good natured, gentle pets, but somewhat aloof. They do get scared very easily, as is part of their nature. The more time you spend with them the more responsive they are to you, and will respond to their name. They do need some gentle handling in the beginning but become part of the family within weeks. Rabbits can live up to 10 years.

When you first bring your rabbit home try to keep things as quiet as possible. They are skittish and do not like change, so will need to be gently introduced to their environment so they can become accustomed to it and you. Each new noise will be a source of fear. During the first few days after bringing them home, try not to touch them much. Sit on the floor and let them come check you out instead of approaching them. Try to keep it quiet during those first days. Do not introduce to other pets in the home right away. When you do, this needs to be done slowly as well.

A Bundle of Love by Rebecca Leatham
They will need to get used to your touch. To pick them up properly, use one hand to pick them up by the back of their neck. Use your other hand to hold their paws close to their body while holding them close to you. This will keep you from getting scratched by the back paws and they will feel safe. You will also want to train them to be held for grooming. Hold them on their back as you would an infant for a short amount of time each day.

Rabbits can be kept indoors or outdoors. If you keep them outside you will need a fenced in the yard. This is to keep them inside and to keep predators outside. You will need to keep a careful watch as rabbits can dig themselves out under the fence. Keep the fence maintained as predators will smell them and attempt to gain access. When you are not with them, they will need to be kept in a habitat or cage. The size should be five times the size of the rabbit. Put in hay for them to sleep upon.

If your rabbits are kept indoors you may allow them to roam but they will still need a private space just for them. You can buy enclosures specially made for rabbits. A cage is not a home as it just doesn't provide enough space. Electrical cords will need to be taped to the wall. Rabbits will chew them. Socket covers will work to keep them away from those. If you have heat registers in the floor you will need to cover them in whatever room you let your pets roam in. Their feet can become stuck in them and cause them to injure themselves.

Rabbits can be litter trained. It will take just a few weeks for them to get used to it. You will need to watch them carefully at first and each time they appear ready to relieve themselves, take them to the litter box. To keep them from chewing the things you hold as valuable they will need chew toys, lots of them. Your pets will also enjoy pushing a ball around, if it makes noise even better. They are susceptible to fleas, mites and ticks. Colds can be a problem as well. Consult your vet on the best way to handle these.

Water is important. It should be clean and cool. If they do not get enough water it can cause health issues. A sipper bottle is ideal. If it is a bowl, use one made from metal or ceramic. These do not scratch easily. The rabbit's nails would scratch a plastic bowl. Keep that bowl clean; anything in the home can end up in the bowl. They can also turn them over. Wet food or hay can turn to mold. For these reasons the sipper bottle is the better option.

Your rabbits should be fed mainly pellets. Be consistent with the food they are fed as they do not like or adapt to change in diet well. Vegetables are necessary as well. Serve one to two cups of them for every five pounds of your rabbit's weight. Clean them thoroughly to rid them of chemicals and pesticides. There should be three varieties of vegetables each day. Do not introduce more than one new vegetable a day. This will give them time to get used to it and you a chance to see how they respond to it.

Some foods to avoid are corn, potatoes, iceberg lettuce and cauliflower. Carrots should be considered a treat only. Treats will be normally be a small piece of fruit. A treat is good as a training tool. Don't give them frequently because your pet may not want to eat anything else. Consult your pet shop or your vet about what is best for the rabbit you have. These are just the basics to care for rabbits as pets.

About the Author
Written by TW Bell
If you are looking for more information on pet rabbits and cages then be sure to check out TW Bell's site. TW Bell has been involved in small animal business for 20 years. Stop by to see our multi level cages to see if they work for your home.

Article Source: ArticleSnatch Free Article Directory

How Cats Communicate

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bet you would like to know what your cat is trying to tell you? You might not, if you haven't been around felines a lot.

Of course, cats meow. And the type of meow they use gives you a good idea of what they're trying to communicate with you. This is especially true if your pet is a Siamese cat. This type of cat is very vocal. One Siamese owner had a cat that meowed loudly - and persistently - whenever it wanted to play a game of hide and seek. Every time the cat used his "special meow", which the owner recognized, she knew that he was "hiding" and needed to be "found". She dutifully played.

Your Talking Cat by Rusty Sheriff

In fact, Siamese cats have a voice that's often mistaken for a human voice. When a Siamese cat is in heat, she sounds very human-like. Don't be surprised if your cat almost seems to be saying "hello". It's eerie to hear in the middle of the night. Many individuals also think that the meow of a Siamese cat is similar to a human baby crying.

But all cats use their voices at one time or another. And there are a variety of ways in which the voice of a cat indicates what the feline is trying to convey through "cat chat". The differences in pitch, intensity, frequency and even the pace and cadence of the cat's voice all leave clues about his feelings. The quicker the meows, for example, the more anxious or even frightened your pet may be. The slower the sounds, the more confident and relaxed he is. In addition to the occasional meow, cats more than likely will talk to you through a variety of other behaviors.

A favorite method of communicating is the cat's purr, which is unique to the feline species. You may already know that a cat purrs when he's content. Animal behaviorists now believe that they also purr when they are in the mood to be sociable.

However, if you pay close attention to your cat, you'll notice that he also purrs when he's nervous, feeling a little uneasy or even if he's in great pain. Some experts think it's a feline form of "meditation" and that this action comforts them. If this theory is at all correct, the "purring" sound of the feline is the equivalent of our "Ohm" when we meditate.

Photo Credit: Jstar1223
When your cat trusts you enough, she'll eventually roll over on her back, exposing her stomach. This, in cat behavior, is the ultimate form of submission. You should be impressed. It does not necessarily mean though that he wants his tummy rubbed. So be careful how you try this. To discover your cat's true feelings, watch how he holds his tail. The way in which he switches his tail is also a subtle form of communication. Cats are not dogs. When a dog wags his tail, he's a happy animal. You can tell if a cat is annoyed because its tail is flicking rapidly back and forth - the equivalent of a wag . . . or the least confused.

You probably are already aware that a "puffed up" tail indicates fear. You'll recognize this signal as soon as you see it. Your pet's tail will be at least twice the size it normally is. Could mean that he's been fighting with another cat, or he's just encountered something unexpected that startled him. A cat who is feeling "good about himself" will hold his tail high. A tail held a little lower indicates that he is feeling relaxed and relatively content. Cats possess something called a "third eyelid". This is a layer of skin that you can sometimes see that surrounds the cat's eyes. If you can see this, then you cat is either ill or extremely content and sleepy. The eyelid shows especially if your cat is running a fever.

You'll be able to tell if your feline friend is ill by other behavior. She won't be acting her normal self. If this lasts for more than several days, take your pet to the veterinarian if at all possible. Cats are very good at trying to disguise their true feelings. They may try to hide the fact that they are ill. Why? Because when their ancestors were out in the wild, many thousands of years ago, an ill cat did not live very long. So, cats try to keep a "stiff upper lip", as it were, in order to be able to survive as long as possible.

Your cat's third eyelid may be showing on the other hand because he's very content and near the point of sleeping. Again, by paying some attention to his other body language, you'll be able to read the signals.

Does your cat "head-butt" you? That's the cat's standard affectionate greeting. Try "head-butting" him back. Seriously. Not very hard of course. You'll discover that he really enjoys this. You'll also soon discover that you've got a bond forming with this feline.

Another form of an affectionate greeting is "the lick". Hard to believe, isn't it? But from the very moment he was born, his mother licked him. In his mind it's associated with love. In fact, this is the only way his mother had to clean him. When your cat takes that sandpaper-rough tongue and licks your skin, fight the first impulse to jerk your body part away. You really don't want to hurt his feelings, now do you?

Make no mistake about it. Cats are smart creatures. Some animal behaviorists even theorize that some cats possess the intelligence of a two-year-old human. So just be patient - and pay attention. Soon you and your cat will have your own subtle form of communication. And it'll be most enjoyable and satisfying.

About the Author
Written by Jim Moore
Jim Moore appreciates that you should take care and give loving attention to your cat. Jim owns and maintains

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It's a Monkey, It's a Rooster .. No, It's Einstein

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Before there was "America's Got Talent", there was "Pet Star". Maybe it should have been called "America's Got Animal Talent". Einstein, an African Grey Parrot, is extremely good at imitating other animals on demand, even a spaceship. Along with an intelligent bird, the people who trained the parrot must have had quite a bit of patience and persistence. I don't know if Einstein won the competition or not, but if she lost, it could only have been to a cat that cooked up some Chicken Cordon Bleu!

Hamster Care - How to Assure Good Hamster Health

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hamster by cdrussorusso
Hamsters are adorable, small creatures which create a smile on the face of nearly everyone who sees or owns one. They are in fact one of the original "pocket pets" and there are very few people who have not owned one or wanted one.

Dwarf hamster care is relatively easy, but there are a few things that are necessary in order to assure that they are healthy and well-nourished.

Your dwarf hamster needs adequate room in his or her cage. They need room to spread out, to exercise and to move around. A cage with one room will suffice unless you're breeding hamsters, in which case you really need to give the mom hamster somewhere to hide.

Keeping your cage clean is imperative. At least twice a week you will need to change the bedding and nesting materials in order to assure that your hamster stays healthy and your cage stays odor free.

Hamsters are gnawing animals. They are a member of the rodent family. One thing that is very uncommon about hamsters is that they need to chew, very literally, in order to stay healthy. Provide them with chew sticks or tough wood that can grind their teeth down to size. They will grow continuously over their lifespan and if you don't provide a way to grind them off, the teeth of your hamster can actually grow down through their lip and cause severe problems for the hamster.

The hamster normally lives in desert conditions. This means that they sleep most of the day and will be awake most of the night time. They like warmer climates and really depend on their warmth. Keeping your hamster in a cage that is too close to a cooling area or an air conditioning vent may result in a cold for your hamster that they won't recover from.

Photo Credit: cdrussorusso
Hamsters normally live in burrows when they are in the wild. This means that you need to give your hamster some cover area in order to permit them to feel safe when they are sleeping. Add some extra bedding materials in order that they can cover themselves up and get beneath the bedding.

Feed your hamster a good diet of hamster food that is rated for small rodents. Typically you can supplement it with vegetables and other items but pay attention to anything that may cause a loose stool in your hamster. When hamsters have loose stools it can cause great problems because they dehydrate very rapidly being so small.

Keep an ample supply of fresh water for your hamster and don't use a bowl to supply it. You need to use a hanging water bottle in order to assure that the bowl doesn't tip and wet your small friend.

If you pay attention to what your hamster is telling you and watch to be sure that you are offering him a healthy clean environment in which to live, your hamster will live to a ripe old age of about 2 to 3 years and you will have provided great dwarf hamster care.

About the Author
Written by Robert Sands
These are just a few tips but if you want to learn more about what is proper hamster care then you need to Click the blue link to learn more about dwarf hamster care. If you want the healthiest, happiest, and best behaved little Hamster around then click the blue link hamster pets info
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A Dog's Tale

Friday, September 17, 2010

My name is Shadrach, and I am a dog - a BIG, handsome, elegant, and intelligent dog. No, I am not vain at all, that is just what my mom always tells me so I assume it's true. I am now 4 ½ years old and live a great dog's life! I get exceptional quality food - my mom and dad believe in giving me organic food, with fresh vegetables and meat every day - so I can't complain. They're always buying me toys which I LOVE to terrorize, because that's what dogs do. I have my own big bed in my own bedroom and I love that. I have a big yard and I like to bark at and chase the pigeons and cats who dare to tread into my space.

The only thing I don't like is having to take a bath UNLESS it with the garden hose in the yard - that is great fun! The best thing is I get LOTS and LOTS of love with hugs and kisses from my mom everyday. My favorite games are tug-o-war and chase. I am the champion of tug-o-war in my house. Chase is so much fun because I am very fast and my people rarely can catch me!

Mastiff Puppy by Claudio Gennari
The best part of my day is going to the park where I can meet up with my dog friends and people friends. However, this great dog's life wasn't always mine. My mom and dad have no idea who my dog mom was or how I came to be with the bad people. My mom's cousin (whatever that is) rescued me from the bad people. She found out I was left alone in a dark garage to just die. The bad people didn't want to feed me or care for me anymore - not that they ever gave me much food to begin with.

Mostly, they left me alone in the yard, garage, or even a dark bathroom sometimes. My mom's cousin knows them and that is how my mom and dad know all this. The bad man hit and kicked me a lot and I don't even know why. I guess that's why I still don't like very many men. I LOVE my dad though and some other men I know from the park that live with my girlfriends. My mom's cousin took me home and fed me but I had to live with her other dogs. They didn't like me very much and beat me up every chance they got - which was usually every day! I was so skinny and little that I just couldn't fight back and it was too cold for me to be outside all the time. Thank God, my new mom and dad came and got me the week before Christmas four years ago.

They spoiled me right away. They gave me good food several times a day. My mom wouldn't let me eat a lot at once because my stomach was too little to handle a lot of food at once. I wanted to though! I kept my tail tucked between my legs while eating for a long time because I was always scared. After a while though, I knew I could just eat and it would be safe. I got my own little bed in a kennel where I could stay and feel safe at night - in the house!

Now, life is so good. I am big and strong now and tough. Men are more afraid of me now since I am so big and tough-looking. My coat is shiny and clean and not dull and dirty like before. My mom even gives me a special supplement that I suspect is a treat really. She puts it in a bowl and I drink every single drop because it is so good. My mom and dad really love me and I'm happy now. My only wish is that when people get a dog that they would take care of them and love them. Otherwise, it's better if they don't take us home with them. We depend on our people to love us and take care of us and not to hurt us. We want to live with our people forever - not just until they get bored of us. So, please, only take us home if we can always stay with just you.

Thank you, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

About the Author
Copyright© 2004, Kim Bloomer, VND. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Author. This article is for educational purposes only. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. Dr. Kim Bloomer is a veterinary naturopath. She also is the host and creator of Animal Talk Naturally Radio show which she hosts together with her like-minded colleague and friend, Dr. Jeannie Thomason, and a proficient blogger and writer on natural pet health. Dr. Kim is also co-author of the book Whole Health for Happy Dogs and author of the book Animals Taught Me That. Dr. Kim’s articles have been featured in various publications such as Animal Wellness Magazine, Natural Horse Magazine, and Dogs...Naturally! Magazine. She is adjunct professor with Kingdom College of Natural Health. Dr. Kim lives with her husband of many years and they are owned by a rescued Neapolitan Mastiff named Shadrach. Visit Shadrach's blog at and Dr. Kim's website at

Have You Heard Of People Who Have Pet Turtles?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

You’ve heard of people who have pet dogs, pet cats and people who also have pet birds. If you go out on a limb you might even find that you’ve either heard of, or know of, people who have pet spiders, iguanas, and pet snakes. But have you heard of people who have pet turtles?

You might have, and be wondering what’s so strange in that, after all your college roommate had a pet cockroach. Then there was that guy who had a pet frog. Really none of these are strange in and of themselves because different people are drawn to different things, but I still found it strange when I heard that some people had pet turtles.

I was intrigued and went down to my pet store to find out what about these little creatures was so fascinating. Absolutely nothing. The one that I saw did absolutely nothing for the half hour that I spent staring at it. A pet store clerk wandering over to me asked me if there was anything that I needed. I smiled and shook my head. I certainly didn’t want one of those!

The clerk sidled closer and asked again if I didn’t need anything. Probably he was wondering what I had been doing for half an hour in the pet store staring at a turtle if I didn’t want anything. The light finally dawned on me and I lifted my head from my intense contemplation of the pet turtles in their display cabinets and gave the clerk a sheepish smile.

Telling him the reason that had led me here in the first place, I waited for him to give a look of superiority which would firmly put me in my place, but I was to be pleasantly surprised. The clerk gave me a grin and told me quite frankly that at first he hadn’t been able to understand either why people took for their pet turtles.

Then he took me over to a side case that wasn’t as visible to the whole room and indicated that I should bend down, which I obligingly did. Imagine my astonishment when I was confronted by a large confined area in which there was a big turtle. This chap, as the clerk told me, had been abandoned after its owner had passed away a short while ago. The family had brought it over here because they knew the owner and knew that he could be trusted to look after it.

This then was why people bought pet turtles. The sheer majesty of the creature awed me, and I was struck speechless. This fellow had been around for a lot longer than even I had been. I now understood the compelling pull that made people to get pet turtles. There was nothing in a dog or cat, to beat the turtle.

About the Author
Written by Pertic Brendon
Author's Sites Homemade Cat Foods, Homemade Dog Foods, Essential Oils Recipes & Remedies
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Horses and Sunburn

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

As humans we are aware of the danger of staying in the sun too long. We know that if we spend too much time out in the sun we run the risk of turning a nice tan into an ugly sunburn. In addition to being unattractive and painful, we are also aware that sunburns can lead to skin cancer. We use all sorts of tricks from sunscreen to light weight covers to prevent our skin from frying.

Because they are big and appear to be infallible (a trait that every horse owner knows is an illusion), we often forget about the affect that the sun has on our horses.

Horses, just like people, can sunburn. Sunburn is most frequently seen on horses with a light colored hair coat such as Appaloosa's, Lipizzans, Paints, Pintos, Andalusian, and grays. Horse owners who own horses with white noses and a lot of pale skin around the eyes often find themselves treating their equine partners for sunburn. A sudden change in hormones, like horses that have been bred, can cause a horse to develop sunburn. Although dark horses aren't typically irritated by sunburn the sun often bleaches the dark hair. In some cases severe sunburn is believed to lead to some liver damage.

Horse owners should also be aware that some medications can also trigger sunburn in horses. Tetracycline is one medication that has been known to cause sunburn in some horses.

Equine sunburn looks just like human sunburn. The skin turns an angry shade of pink or a violent red. If the skin is left untreated long enough it starts to chap and crack. Horses that are suffering from severe sunburn will start to blister. Sunburn can cause hair loss.

Treating sunburned eyes is fairly simple. All an owner needs to do is purchase a fly mask for their horse. When using a fly mask it is extremely important to make sure that the fly mask is kept clean. Simply use a hose and a sprayer to rinse the dirt and eye gunk from the mask. After rinsing the fly mask hang it in the sun to dry.

Some fly masks have an extension that protects the end of the nose from getting sunburned. If you do not own a fly mask that covers your horse's nose all you need to do is rub your horse's nose with sunscreen that you can purchase at your local drugstore.

Some horse owners, especially ones who are interested in showing, try to prevent the sun from damaging their horse's coat by keeping them inside during the daytime hours when the sun is the most damaging. Other owners prefer to keep their horses covered with a light weight turn out blanket or fly sheet to protect their horse's hair coat. One of the reasons some owners prefer a blanketed horse to one kept inside is that they feel that keeping a horse stalled and completely free of sunlight can lead to depression.

About the Author
Theresa Truscott has loved horses since early childhood and enjoys sharing her passion for horses with other horse lovers. She finds useful information and products and circulates it on about horses and horse riding blankets. For a free report on "How to Improve Your Riding" see Theresa's Horse Aficianado blog at

Article Source: ArticleSnatch Free Article Directory

How to Keep Cats Off of the Counter

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It's infuriating! You are trying to prepare a meal, you don't have much time and your beloved cat insists on jumping up onto the counter. For one thing it's downright unhygienic, for another it's not exactly a safe place for your cat to be, for a third your pet being there will not in any way help you to turn out a culinary masterpiece.

Photo Credit: PJ Lewis
It's a very common problem. How do you keep a cat off of the counter? Let's take a look at some of the reasons cats like to jump up there.

Food. Okay, you keep your work surfaces clean and you don't generally leave food out. But the area smells of food. Not to you maybe, but to your cat it does, animals generally have a far better developed sense of smell than we do.

Add to this that there just might be a tempting morsel left up there, no matter how well you clean.

Altitude. Yes, counter tops are not high for humans, but to your furry friend they are a good step up from floor level. Way back in time your domestic feline's ancestors used to perch up high on a branch waiting to pounce on prey, or keeping safely out of the way of their predators.

Attention. If your cat jumps on the counter while you are working on it then there is a strong possibility that she needs a bit of fuss.

Independence. Because it's there! Your cat picks up the message that you don't want her up there, so she is going to jump up there, just because...

Alright, those are some of the reasons cats jump up there, but that does not tell us how to keep cats off of the counter.

Here are some things to try.

You have probably done this, gently lift your cat down from your work top and place her on the floor telling her firmly 'No!'. Obviously you cannot leave your pet up there while you cook, but don't get angry with her when you take her down, don't make a fuss of her either. Just tell her firmly 'No!'.

For this to work, it has to be said that you may go gray before it works, you have to be consistent and persistent. More persistent than your cat is and as you know those darling creatures can be extremely persistent.

Try a smell your cat does not like. Many cats are repelled by smells. Some cannot stand the smell of citrus, and the aroma of lemon, orange or lime in your kitchen is not unpleasant for you, so give it a try. However that's only some cats, others are not repelled by citrus at all. Other smells that some felines don't like are, apple, vinegar, lavender, cinnamon, and eucalyptus.

Give them all a try. Of course you may not want your home smelling of some of those things, no matter how well they keep cats off of the counter. Moth balls are said to work well, but don't try those, they could prove toxic.

There is a plant that is said to be very effective in keeping animals out of gardens. It is called Coleus Canina, (the scaredy-cat plant), if it grows in a pot indoors it may do the trick.

Try the ol' spray bottle. Every time you catch your mouser jumping up on the counter give her a squirt. No need to soak her, it's to discourage her actions not to punish her. This works best if your cat does not see you using the spray. Tricky, but if she gets the impression that every time she leaps up there she inexplicably gets sprayed, your work surface might just lose its attraction.

Likewise the coins in the can. Every time she jumps up where she should not go, shake that can! The noise will likely send her skedaddling away like... well like a scalded cat!

Give her some height. If your cat is on the counter to give herself a high vantage point, then supply somewhere higher for her. A cat condo or perch may be all she needs. Situate the perch near a window and your cat can happily watch the world go by.

So, how to keep cats off of the counter? Keep trying.

Try different things. When you find something that seems like it might be working don't give up. Be consistent and persistent.

About the Author
Larry Chamberlain is a life long cat lover and writes about all things cat related for the Best Cat Art website. Read what he has to say about Cat Behavioral Problems
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How Can I Get My Cockatiel Back?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Accidents happen all too easily, and your cockatiel could escape. You need to react quickly in order to get him back. If your cockatiel does fly away, it is highly unlikely that you will get him back, because cockatiels are so aerodynamic and very strong fliers. They can travel a long way without realizing it, and then not be able to find their way home again.

Just because your cockatiel has shown no interest in flying or leaving his cage, anything could happen. He could get a fright, or even get chased. If you don't believe it can happen to your bird, check the lost and found adverts in the newspaper for proof. There are usually more cockatiels in the lost column than the found column.

The reasons that cockatiels get lost and don't come home are plenty. Cockatiels could easily get eaten by predators or join up with flocks of wild birds. Some get a fright and fly for miles before stopping, so if found, it could be in another city.

To prevent your cockatiel from becoming another statistic, make sure that for one his wings are kept trimmed. Remember to trim the wings regularly and especially after a molt. Also make sure that the cockatiel's cage is secure and the doors lock firmly. Make sure the food dishes are secure, as some birds can slide them out and escape in this manner.

If despite your best efforts your bird does escape, react quickly for best results. I remember as a child one of our birds flew away, and we chased him around the neighborhood for five hours, but we did eventually coax him back into his cage.

Here are some more things you could do to prevent the loss of your cockatiel.
  • Make a recording of his voice. Playing this loudly will help lure him back home.
  • Place the cage in an open spot where the bird will see it with lots of tidbits and treats on the floor of the cage to lure him back inside.
  • Post fliers in your and surrounding neighborhoods and offer a reward for his return.
  • Try using another caged bird to attract his attention.
  • Let your local vets know that your cockatiel is lost.
  • Last but not least, do not give up hope.

For more information on cockatiels, visit:

About the Author
Written by Michel Maling
Love your pet cockatiel and learn how to care for him.

Official State Dogs of the United States

Sunday, September 12, 2010

As of September 1, 2010, eleven of our fifty states have Official State Dogs or officially recognized state dogs. Listed below, in alphabetical order, are the states, their state dog and the year it was made official, along with a little bit about each dog breed. To see a larger picture of any of the dogs, just click on its picture. Photo credits, where applicable, can be seen with the larger pictures. This list will be updated as more states recognize our furry friends.

Alaska, Alaskan Malamute, 2010
Descended from the dogs of the Mahlemuts tribe of northwestern Alaska, Malamutes are equipped with a dense double coat, making them much more suited to a colder climate than a warm one. While still used for sledding, heavy pulling and the sport of mushing, the majority of Malamutes are now family pets or show or performance dogs.

Louisiana, Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog, 1979
Named after the Catahoula Parish in Louisiana, it is believed the Catahoula cur is the oldest breed of dog that still remains in North America, not counting those dogs descended from Native American-created breeds. This very intelligent and energetic dog needs at minimum an hour's worth of exercise each day. A social animal, Catahoula's will not tolerate isolation. These dogs are at their best when active and occupied with a task or chore, making them excellent hunting and tracking dogs.

Maryland, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, 1964
Developed during the 1800's in the Chesapeake Bay area, this breed's love of water contributes to its heavy use in retrieving waterfowl. Chessies are intelligent dogs, with a happy disposition and protective, affectionate nature. If socialized from an early age, they can make excellent family dogs. More solitary Chessies can be somewhat assertive and pensive around strangers, making those dogs better suited for guard dog duty.

Massachusetts, Boston Terrier, 1979
The Boston Terrier, also known as the "American Gentleman", is a highly intelligent and lively breed. Bostons were initially bred for fighting, then bred down for human companionship. When properly socialized, Bostons get along well with young and old, canine and non-canine alike. Because of the shortened muzzle of the Boston, extreme temperatures are difficult for the dog to tolerate and demanding exercise in severe extremes can bring harm to Bostons.

New Hampshire, Chinook, 2009
This rare breed of sled dog was developed in the early 20th century in New England. Being muscular and well-balanced, some Chinooks are used for search and rescue and sport trials, such as skijoring, where two dogs pull a person on skis. As for temperament, it's hard to beat a Chinook - they're friendly, calm and non-aggressive. They're good with children, strangers and other animals. With this laid-back personality, though, they might not be the best watchdog.

North Carolina, Plott Hound, 1989
A little known breed in the US, these wild boar hunting hounds were brought to the States from Germany by Johannes Plott in 1750. They are intelligent, active, courageous, fast and alert. Their treeing instinct is superb, they love the water and fight viciously on game. They enjoy human companionship and make good family pets for those without small children, due to their innate hunting instincts.

Pennsylvania, Great Dane, 1965
Great Danes, the "Apollo of all breeds", are best known for their massive size. Currently, the largest dog of this breed and the tallest ever according to Guinness World Records is George, who measures 7.2 ft (220 cm) from head to tail. George weighs in at a svelte 245 pounds. His sleeping quarters are a queen-sized bed. He rides around his Tucson neighborhood in a golf cart. While a Great Dane's shear size may intimidate some people, they are typically docile, referred to frequently as Gentle Giants.

South Carolina, Boykin Spaniel, 1985
Boykin Spaniels, bred for wild turkey hunting, are similar to Cocker Spaniels, but are more dense body weight-wise. Their color will only be chocolate or liver. Boykins are excellent swimmers; however, like most Spaniels, they are prone to ear infections and care must be given to their ears after time in the water. The Boykin's stamina in hot weather makes it a preferred waterfowl hunter in the Southeastern states. Easily carried in a small boat or canoe, Boykins have been called "the dog that doesn't rock the boat".

Texas, Blue Lacy, 2005
Although called blue, the Lacy can be brown or cream or a tri-color with a blue base. The Lacy is the only dog breed to have originated in Texas. Strong and fast, Lacys are an excellent choice for running trap lines, herding livestock and treeing game. Having a short, tight coat, Lacys need little in the way of grooming. Although eager, intelligent and easy to train, the Lacy's natural energy may be too much for small children to handle.

Virginia, American Foxhound, 1966
As the name implies, these dogs were bred to hunt foxes. As is typical with hounds, they need plenty of exercise and socialization. A bored foxhound can quickly wreak havoc in a house if left alone and restless. The hunting instinct of the foxhound is so strong it is not wise to allow him to be off-lead. A foxhound will follow a scent he has picked up regardless of commands given.

Wisconsin, American Water Spaniel, 1985
The American Water Spaniel could well be called the Triple Hunter. The AWS hunts feather, fur and even, yes, fish. Competent at retrieval, the breed also excels at flushing. This dog will take to the alpha of the household and needs to be trained consistently, with a fair hand. With a reputation for having its own mind at times, it is up to the owner of an AWS to let the dog know exactly what is expected of it.

Article Resource: Written by Starr Hendon

Selecting Saltwater Fish for Your Aquarium

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Some fish will turn your aquarium into a beautiful and peaceful biosphere while others into a chaotic boxing ring.

There are many factors to consider when selecting fish. You need to ensure that you have the experience to look after the fish you select, that the fish you buy are healthy, and that they are compatible with the fish you currently have.

As a starting point, it is very import that you only buy very healthy fish because the best way to keep strong healthy fish is to start with strong healthy fish. Buying a fish because it doesn't look well or happy and you feel sorry for it and want to give it a better home in your display tank is not a very good idea. An unwell fish can introduce diseases into your tank that can infect your other fish, and may even cause them to die. It helps to become familiar with a species of fish before you buy it as this will allow you to be clear on exactly what it should look and act like. Ensure the fish looks alert with clean clear eyes, fins and scales. It is also important that the fish appears eager to feed and can maintain its position in the water column. And finally, as a precaution, only buy from a clean healthy store that you trust.

To break this down I simply refer to all fish as number 1, number 2, or number 3 fish. I refer to number 1 fish as fish that most people can easily keep in regular aquarium conditions. Number 2 fish are fish that from my experience work for some people and not for others and number 3 fish being those which don't work for most people.

Some examples of number 1 fish are Damsels, Clownfish, Dottyback, Triggerfish, Pufferfish, Foxface, Rabbitfish, most Wrasse, most Tangs, Blennies, Cardinal fish, lionfish. Some examples of number 2 fish are , most Tangs, Boxfish, Angels, Gobies, Sweetlip. Some examples of number 3 fish are Moorish idol, Powder Blue Tang, Achilles Tangs, Anthias, Filefish, pipefish, Mandarin fish, Butterfly fish.

Many people select marine fish by wandering into aquarium stores and looking around until they see a fish that catches their attention at that time, they will them ask the staff member closest to them if this fish will go with the few of their fish that they remember to name. If the staff member says yes then that is a green light to buy the fish. This approach takes very little into consideration and will as often as not result in the person purchasing a fish that was not likely to work from the start.

After a considerable amount of time and money, the person will start to understand which fish work in their aquarium, mind you most will have given up marine fish before this time has arisen. Instead of the impulse approach where you slowly learn the hard lessons of fish selection, I strongly recommend starting with a wish list.

A wish list is simply a list of fish that you wish to keep together in your tank. The beauty of a wish list is that you are able to show it to other experience aquarists to get their opinions on how these fish are likely to go together. If you have fish already you can add them to the top of the wish list to reduce the chance of adding other fish that won't work with the fish you have. If you have a wish list you are likely to seek out experts to ask in order to gain the right advice. With the impulse approach you are far more likely to ask the nearest sales person and hope that they know. With the wish list you are able to use the opinions of a range of experts to save you a lot of time and money learning hard lessons on paper instead of with real fish. This is a very responsible and economical approach.

When selecting fish for your aquarium there are several things to consider before purchasing it e.g. diet, aggression, territoriality and whether it will nip at your corals.

A simple thing that you need to remember is that fish don't want to die. They will only die if you don't provide them with at least their basic minimum requirements. By researching a fishes basic minimum requirements first and asking a few people for their experiences keeping that fish you can massively increase the amount of success that you have when keeping marine fish.

The use of the wish list is going to help you make sure you are mixing fish that will commonly work together. Regardless of where you are at it is worth asking the right person the right questions to ensure that the fish you add are likely to work together. Regardless of how qualified the advice you get, fish are fish and in the end they do what they want how they want. Just because 10 experts tell you something is likely to happen, it doesn't mean that that will happen. Understand that the fish you buy are your responsibility and your responsibility alone. So if the fish you buy don't seem to be mixing well, it is up to you to separate them, before too many fish become affected by the troubles.

It is important to consider aggression when selecting fish. Monitor the aggression of the fish you keep and only add fish that will be able to compete with the fish that you have and not over-compete. If you add a fish that is too aggressive for the fish you have, it is likely to act boisterously and eat all the fish food and attack the other fish in the tank, even killing them. When you see this type of activity remove the trouble maker before it is able to cause you any more problems. The key is just as much in the monitoring and the action you take once a problem is identified as it is in initial selection.

Some fish are more territorial than plain aggressive, an aggressive fish will attack fish for seemingly no reason. A territorial fish will drive fish out of their territory but leave them alone when the fish is out of its territory. It is worth considering territorial behaviour when selecting fish. Some fish like the Dottyback is territorial and can often be housed safely with many fish because its territory is small, leaving room for the other fish in the tank, while some other fish like coral trout can get so large that its territory can be the whole tank.

There is a big difference between territorial, aggressive and predatory. Territorial fish drive fish out of their territory, aggressive fish attack other fish for what can seem like no reason but to show dominance and predatory fish eat other fish. Predatory fish don't have to be aggressive or territorial. Predatory fish are primarily concerned with their belly, what can fit in their mouth is what they will eat. A perfect example of a predatory fish if the lionfish. This fish is not aggressive or territorial but it will eat any fish that will fit in its huge mouth, which is about the same size as it body. When selecting fish it is worth assuming that all fish are predatory.

When creating you wish list also include when you intend to be adding the fish, because you also want to gather comments on this. Most groups of fish are best added at the some time to reduce territoriality, e.g. any tangs should be added together, any clownfish should be added together, this is also true for many fish, even Wrasse and angels.

Many fish take about 3 days to settle into a new tank, in this time it is common for them not to feed and they may act differently. It is important to monitor new fish extra carefully for the first week for stress, behaviour, aggression and feeding habits. Always watch for changes in behaviour, action must be taken when it is required.

Some fish live in large schools in the wild and do tend to fret with being kept in aquariums singly or in small groups. These fish are used to having a lot of their own kind around them as an instinctual form of security, when they are placed in aquariums lightly stocked with fish they stress thinking there is danger because the rest of their school is absent. This can be the case when all the other fish appear fine but an individual seems to be jumpy and breathing quickly, some examples of these fish are Blue Tangs, green chromis and anthias.

If you are going to introduce fish to a tank with Coral and invertebrates it is important to identify which are likely to be a threat to them. These could be identified as A, B and C fish. Some fish e.g. C fish will eat coral like Butterfly fish and Angelfish. While others e.g. B fish will nip at it sometimes like Triggerfish, Pufferfish, Foxface, Rabbitfish most Wrasse, most Tangs Moorish idol. Others are mostly safe with coral e.g. A fish like Damsels, Clownfish, Dottyback, Blennies, Cardinal fish, lionfish, Anthias. Filefish, pipefish and Gobies.

Your wish list is a way of reduce the risk of introducing a coral eater to a coral tank. If you get a fish that only nips a particular type of coral you can consider avoiding that piece in the future. Hungry fish are more likely to graze on coral , even if your fish is not eating the coral it may stress it by nipping it regularly, causing it to often become closed, depriving it of light.

Most fish need similar amounts of nutrients but the way they process the food means that not all foods are appropriate for all fish. You must consider what you will be feeding that tank when you buy fish for the tank. Herbivores have long digestive systems and are designed for consuming green food stuffs while predators have a short digestive system for eating fish meat. Some high quality pellet and flake foods can be fed to all fish but many natural foods like fresh fish and seaweed are not suitable for some fish e.g. Meat is not good for herbivores and seaweed is not good for predators, this is because of the way that the fish processes that food.

It is very important not to introduce new fish unless your aquarium is running perfectly for the last month. You will increase the chances of problems like Whitespot if the fish are introduced more regularly than once a month, so add some fish then wait a month, then add some more then wait a month. It will also help to ensure that you are running a lower salt level e.g. 1.020 when you introduce new fish, this will help lower osmotic stress on the fish and also help reduce the chance of problems like Whitespot.

A quarantine tank is a very good idea to help protect your display tank from disease outbreak.

All fish can thrive as long as their basic minimum requirements are met. I go into this further with my Instructional Marine Aquarium DVD available at

Good luck and enjoy
Paul Talbot

About the Author
Paul's interest in fish species and aquariums started early in life. He has worked in the aquarium industry all his working life and has been able to transfer his passion as a hobbyist to his customers. His wealth of experience is an advantage to corporate and hobbyist customers alike. Paul has written many articles for both international and local magazines. He has bred many types of fish and propagated many types of coral. His Instructional Marine Aquarium DVD can be found at

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