DIY Tip Removes Cat and Dog Urine from Carpet. Mix 1 part water and 3 parts vinegar. Spray on carpet stain. Let it soak for 30 minutes. Mix 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 2 teaspoons of baking soda with a squirt of dish-washing liquid. Shake well. Spray and let soak. Caution: Peroxide may change the carpet color, so this tip works best on white or off-white carpeting.
Delicious, Heart Friendly Dog Treats. Wholesome Hearts get baked and shipped fresh to your door still smelling of cinnamon and the other nutritious ingredients. Good for dogs that can stand to shed a few pounds or if you just want to give your pup heart healthy treats.
- Heart shaped cookies, proudly handcrafted in the USA with high-quality, American sourced, low fat ingredients.
- No corn, wheat or wheat gluten, soy or soy gluten.
- No artificial colors and no artificial flavors.
- Fortified with L-Carnitine to help the body utilize fat.
- Contain multi-grains, fruits and vegetables.
A container full of love costs just $10.50.
Home-cooked goodness in every bite and formulated by Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM. “Whether your dog is experiencing a problem with weight, or if you just want to help your pup maintain a trim and healthy figure, you can’t do better than the nutrition of my Wholesome Heart treats.”
Ribbons not included.
Cool Stuff for Cats. 10 Best Products for Your Cat. Reviews of products sold on Amazon.
Save 20% on these adorable, healthy Valentine’s Day dog treats! USA made, USA ingredients, Wheat and Gluten Free. Vegan options available. www.pawsitivelyhomemade.com. Discount Code: FIFIANDFIDO save 20%. Expires Feb. 28th
These gifts will make your pet loving friends happy and their fur babies healthier.
#1 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: FOSTER! What’s better than a puppy or a sweet cat wrapped up in your family’s arms for the holidays? You give two gifts, one to the rescue workers and one to the animal. You can find a dog or cat near you to foster or adopt on Petfinder.com, the viral home to nearly 14,000 pet adoption groups.*
#2 Holistic Gift For Pet Lovers: GIFTS THAT KEEP GIVING.
Make a donation in your friend’s name to a rescue group you support or buy from a company that donates a share of the proceeds. We do! Every time you purchase a product from Fifi And Fido, a portion of the profits go to the Dr Jane Foundation to help rescue abandoned pets. You can also add a gift to your online purchase at check out. Together, we’re making a positive difference in the world, one animal at a time.
#3 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: HEART-SHAPED, REVERSIBLE FLEECE BED. This darling bed can be used for a small to medium sized dog or any cat. All beds approved by Leela, the cute princess in the photo above! Larger sizes available if custom ordered. This site is sure to become one of your fave Etsy shops, it sure is one of ours! Enter discount code FIFIANDFIDO at checkout to save 15%. Offer good until December 31, 2012. Ooh Leela!
#4 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: BE PREPARED! Gear up for safety with a plan from the book by Joyce Rheal, animal trainer. From how to make your own pet first aid kit to preparing for emergency evacuations, this book has tips to get you ready. Amazon.com
#5 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: MEOW BASKET. Keep your cat happy with a gift basket of holistically formulated treats and healthy toys. Reduce hairballs and feed super foods with these goodies. $21 on sale for $12.95. FifiAndFido.com
#6 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: An Adorable Labordoodle* from the reputable breeders at Trinity Doodles. All you have to do is read the rave reviews on their website or Facebook to see why people trust the reliability and integrity of this breeder.
#7 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: BASKET OF HEALTHY DOG TREATS. Our most popular treats for dogs: Life’s Abundance Wholesome Hearts (low fat heart-shaped sensations), Gourmet Dental Treats (honey peanut butter recipe), Antioxidant Health Bars (oatmeal and apple recipe), a bag of Tasty Rewards (savory jerky treats) and a Porky Puff (pork treat). All nestled in a lovely reusable basket with a colorful ribbon and a cute holiday card that you can personalize. On sale for $17.95 LifesAbundance.com.
#8 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: GIFT CERTIFICATES without hidden fees or expiration dates. Fifi and Fido is a proud distributor of Life’s Abundance holistically formulated pet products. Give the gift of pet health with a gift certificate from LifesAbundance.
#9 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: ANTLER CHEWS. Beautiful, premium antlers or tines for any pups chewing pleasure. Montana Mountain Chews
#10 Holistic Gift for Pet Lovers: DOG BREED T-SHIRT. Pick your breed from an image by pop artist, Dean Russo.
“Healthy” to us means helping pets live not just longer, but healthier lives–in these specific ways:
- Holistic. What’s good for Mother Nature is usually good for our pets. We chose gifts from companies that use recycled or with low/no-impact packaging and natural or organic ingredients that can be shipped right to your door. And we skipped products from big-box stores or China and went for those proudly made in the U.S. by indie business owners (like us!).
- Super Foods. Antioxidants and other ingredients that protect pets from cancer and boost their immune systems.
- Sustainable. Gifts that increase meaning and connection, not just the amount of “stuff” we own. We define sustainable as something ripe with the seeds of new life.
Healthy also means avoiding top toxins:
- Contaminated, recalled food producers with lax safety or quality controls
- Preservatives, fragrances, artificial colorings
- Petroleum based products and plastics (they contain BPA and other endocrine disruptors and carcinogens)
- Phalates found in foam bedding and plastic toys.
*We do not advocate giving an animal as a surprise gift. A pet is a forever friend. All adults in a household should be aware of and support any gifts of a living animal.
Labordoodle photos courtesy of Trinity Doodles and Kristen Campbell, all rights reserved.
by Dr. Jane
One of the most amazing things about canines is the astounding range of sizes and shapes they come in. From Saint Bernards to Chihuahuas – and everything in between – there’s a dizzying array of physical variations. This explosion of varieties has happened extraordinarily quickly in terms of evolutionary timescales due to relentless selective breeding by humans and, as a result of our genetic meddling, the dog is now the physically most diverse land animal on the planet.
With the multitude of shapes and sizes in the canine kingdom, you may be surprised to note that only six or seven locations in a dog’s genetic code can explain about 80% of the differences in height and weight among dog breeds. In comparison, in studies on humans, like those conducted by Carlos Bustamente, professor of genetics at Stanford, differences in height and weight in humans are controlled by hundreds if not thousands of genetic variations.
It’s obvious that pet parents of large and small dogs have some very different experiences with their companions. For one, everything costs more with big dogs, from food to medication. Practically speaking, when a tea cup poodle – weighing in at a mere 5 pounds – doesn’t want to get in the car, the pet parent has the option of just picking him up. However, this seemingly simple solution is not feasible when dealing with a 150 pound Great Dane. Also, people play games like “fetch” more and are more likely to take big dogs out running and biking (Arhant, et al). But there are some significant similarities as well – dogs of all shapes and sizes love human interaction and playtime, need walks, are trainable to different degrees and wag their tails or stumps. They also chew on shoes, can be afraid of thunderstorms, can have fear or dominance aggression, bark, dig in the flowers and jump on people. While we know that people treat big dogs differently than little ones, do these variations in height and weight actually account for real variations in behavior between large and small dogs?
Research published in 2010 reported some interesting findings when comparing the perceptions, behavior, and training of big dogs versus small dogs (Arhant, et al.). Scientists compiled and reviewed 1,276 questionnaires completed by pet parents about their perceptions about the behavior of dogs of different sizes. Researchers found that smaller dogs (under 40 pounds) are seen as less obedient, more aggressive and excitable…and more anxious and fearful. Note that this doesn’t mean that small dogs necessarily are, but are, as a rule, perceived as such.
The researchers also found that pet parents of small dogs not only reported doing significantly less training and play activities, but also a lower level of consistency in their interactions and enforcement of rules than did those with larger canines. An aggressive Chihuahua won’t elicit the same terror as a feisty Doberman, even though another study (Guy, et al.) confirmed that the average “biter” tends to be a smaller dog. Is it possible that a greater tolerance for aggression in so-called ‘mini-mutts’ allows behavioral genetic tendencies to persist?
In general, pet parents often teach larger dogs behaviors that inhibit impulsiveness and lead to emotional control, such as ‘sit’, ‘down’, and ‘stay’. A Maltipoo who lives in a purse usually does not learn these commands: small dogs may indeed be perceived to be more excitable than big dogs because they receive less instruction in emotional control. As one can easily imagine, a 120-pound English Mastiff dances, leaps and charges through the house and 6-pound Affenpinscher doing the same thing are two very different experiences.
Small dogs can also elicit the ‘awww factor’. Anybody who has seen a Pug puppy – well, any puppy, really – knows what I’m talking about. We are evolutionarily hardwired to find baby-like qualities, such as big eyes, tiny statures and proportionally large heads endearing. These babyish features actually engage an emotional response, shifting us into a primal caretaker mode, which is why we find it difficult to resist the puppy in the window. Some scientists propose that dogs with pronounced baby features (Chihuahuas, Boston Terriers, Pugs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Japanese Chins, Shih Tzus, French Bulldogs, etc.) actually affect our hormones – raising the levels of oxytoxin, which is nicknamed the ‘love hormone’ and plays a role in monogamous relationships and the mothering of newborns. With all that oxytocin-inducing adorableness, who can fault pet parents for letting their itty bitty pups misbehave?
I’m interested in your experience. If you’ve had both large and small dogs, do you find that you treat them differently? Expect different behaviors from them? Are there any other ways you think of them differently? I encourage you to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Thank you so much for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.
Dr. Jane Bicks
Arhant, C., Bubna-Littitz, H., Bartels, A., Futschik, A., Troxler, J. Behaviour of smaller and larger dogs: Effects of training methods, inconsistency of owner behavior and level of engagement in activities with dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 123, Issue 3, March 2010: 134-142
Guy, NC et al. Risk factors for dog bites to owners in a general veterinary caseload. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 2001 74(1):29-42.
Nagasawa M, Kikusui T, Onaka T, Ohta M. Dog’s gaze at its owner increases owner’s urinary oxytocin during social interaction. Horm Behav. 2009 Mar;55(3):434-41. Epub 2008 Dec 14.
Westgarth C. et al. Dog-human and dog-dog interactions of 260 dog-owning households in a community in Cheshire. Veterinary Record. 2008 162(14)436-442.
- The increase in activity causes most pets to go into red alert–door bells ringing and knocks on the door combined with more activity in the house can rattle many pet’s nerves.
- The spooky altered appearance of friends, family members and strangers startles many pets who may have a high drive to protect the home and your family.
- Halloween decorations and goodies can be toxic–candy wrappers, candles and chocolate are dangerous for dogs.
- Not all pets enjoy dressing up for Halloween. You can tell if they’re stressed by the costume if they look uncomfortable, sheepish, or resistant. Best not to force them to wear a costume.
Tips for keeping pets safe:
1. For Scardy Cats. Keep pets in a quiet and secured room away from the festivities. Check on your pets regularly and offer comfort them when they seek it. Forcing attention on your pets may add to their stress. Allow him or her to approach you on their own terms.
2. Playing Dress Up. For fur babies who enjoy costumes, choose the materials with care. Costumes with elastic can get a dog or cat tangled or pinned, pulling out hair, digging into the skin, or cutting of circulation. Many costumes are made of highly flammable materials or have toxic dies and coatings. Do not allow pets to chew on or ingest any part of their costume.
3. No Tricks. Protect black cats. Superstitions and myths about black animals being the bearers of misfortune and evil make black animals the target of torture at Halloween. Some black animals have been maimed, abused, and even killed at Halloween by people acting out for or against devil worship.
Keep your animals inside the night before Halloween and during All’s Hallow’s Eve to keep them away from pranksters. Make sure the information on their tag and micro-chip is up-to-date in case they get loose. Better safe than sorry.
4. It’s Shocking! Keep extension cords and all other electrical cords away from pets so they don’t chew them. An unfamiliar item make be seen as a toy or something to get rid of.
5. More Treats, Mom! Many pet parents treat their pets at Halloween and that can be a good thing. Just be sure to keep it healthy. Avoid tainted treats from big box stores like Target. Click here to read more about recalled pet products, including dangerous chicken treats from China.
Healthy treats from US companies with safe ingredients are available online from companies we have researched or you can make your own using pet-friendly foods like pumkin.
If you plan to make treats for your pets, check out the 13 Scary Ingredients you’ll want to leave out of your dog and cat treats. Things that are okay for humans, like wheat and chocolate, are often not good for pets. Enough chocolate can actually cause death in dogs. And glutens can cause allergic reactions and other health problems for both cats and dogs.
6. I Got Your Number. Keep the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center number handy (888) 426-4435.
These simple precautions can help to ensure that you and your pets avoid potential dangers and enjoy this holiday together. Happy Halloween!
By Joyce Rheal, the Emergency Planning Committee chairwoman of the National Association Professional Pet Sitters and Pets-life. Joyce is federally certified in the FEMA, Animals in Disasters program, the author of several books and a certified pet care consultant based in Southern Illinois. More at her blog website http://cedarbreezeconsultants.com.
Pet Talk by Dr. Sarah Wooten
Are you one of those pet parents who postpones grooming until the coat builds up foul odors, or dog-hair tumbleweeds are rolling across the floor? With her four-legged assistant, Alma, Dr. Sarah Wooten offers information for home grooming.
Guess who was on the Red Carpet last night for the premiere of the new Disney film, Frankenweenie?
Cats are enigmatic creatures. Having an appreciation for their motivations will not only help you to develop a deeper bond, it could make your cat healthier, too.
Feeding your feline optimal nutrition not only requires an understanding of your cat’s unique nutritional needs, but also of their feeding behavior. In fact, understanding the nuances of feline consumption can help combat one of the most common feeding disorders in cats – obesity.
When it comes to feeding behaviors, domestic cats aren’t vastly different than their wild cousins. Felines are so fundamentally predatory that they will actually stop eating a meal to initiate a new hunt. This instinctual strategy evolved in the wild over the course of millenia to maximize food availability. This is why, if a cat even sees a mouse, she feels compelled to catch it. Domesticated cats exhibit this same hunting impulse, and sometimes pet parents mistake feline hunting behavior as an expression of hunger. However, it’s simply a manifestation of their predatory instinct.
It might amaze you to learn that cats in the wild consume 10-20 small meals per day! And 40% or more of the diet of feral domestic cats consists of small rodents, but the typical mouse only provides a tiny amount of the daily energy requirement of an adult cat. In order to obtain enough calories, a cat must hunt throughout the day and night. Generally speaking, domesticated cats demonstrate similar behavior, ‘snacking’ throughout the day on their kibble and canned food. The significant difference here is that prepared food features substantial calorie counts, especially compared to a field mouse. With many indoor kitties adopting the couch-potato lifestyle, a sizable portion of the U.S. cat population is overweight or obese.
A major concern that affects overall health, obesity was nearly unheard of in cats 100 years ago. In a relatively short period of time, cats have gone from outdoor predators, constantly searching for small prey, to indoor loafers with a nearly constant supply of freely available food! No longer subjected to the daily hardships of environmental dangers (such as predators, rampant disease, increased risk of traumatic injury and at the mercy of the elements), cats are not only falling prey to obesity, they are suffering from collateral disorders like arthritis and diabetes.
Simply by adopting new methods of providing sustenance, pet parents can not only help their indoor cats avoid obesity but also boredom … talk about a win-win scenario! Unless your cat is hyper-vigilant at regulating her caloric intake, the amount of food for the day should be measured out to prevent overeating. Resist the temptation to ‘feed the empty bowl’. A good reality check is readily available in the form of the Suggested Daily Amount listed on the back label of Life’s Abundance food bags.
It’s important to note that neutered and sedentary cats have lower energy requirements than outdoor hunters or extremely active kitties. Food intake should be adjusted according to a cat’s activity level, to help maintain an optimal body condition. Remember, a cat is at a good weight when you can feel ribs, but not see them. It’s always a good idea to discuss weight management issues with your veterinarian.
Feeding your cat in a manner that mimics hunting can result in positive health benefits. Doing so will decrease boredom and increase exercise levels, helping to trim fat and build muscle tissue. We encourage you to employ some of the following suggestions, provided by from the American Association of Feline Practitioners (www.catvets.com):
*Use a puzzle feeder or food ball to dispense food as a challenge. Or make your own homemade puzzle feeder by cutting holes into a taped-shut shoebox or empty two-liter bottle, either with holes large enough that she can paw kibble out, or kibble-sized holes that will dispense food as she bats the container around. Begin with easy-to-solve puzzles … as your smart kitty works out the chow challenge, introduce new, more difficult mealtime mystifiers.
*Hide food throughout the house … be creative and change up locations frequently, effectively recreating a ‘scavenger hunt’.
*Throw kibble for your cat to chase, to mimic pursuit of prey.
*If you feed treats, make sure the calories for those treats are reflected in the total daily counts.
*Make sure all the members of your family are on the same page when it comes to curtailing feline obesity. That means, no duplicated feedings or treating.
*If your kitty stares at you with longing eyes during meal time, then feed the largest meal during that time to prevent begging.
*If your kitty pounces on you at night demanding to be fed, then feed the largest meal right before bedtime.
If you feed your cat Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food and Instinctive Choice Premium Canned Food, you obviously care about improving the health of your cat. Just keep in mind, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I truly believe that if you make the commitment to alter your feeding habits, you can make a big difference in the long-term health of your furry best friend.
Thank you so much for all you do to make the world a better place for companion animals.
Dr. Jane Bicks
1. Caveat emptor–let the buyer beware–while it may seem like a scare tactic, it is a reasonable approach for consumers to take when buying toys, treats, beds, and food for pets in a global marketplace.
Sarah Pinneo points out in a recent Huffington Post article, “Here’s [a] fact that startles consumers: all recalls are voluntary. That’s because the FDA does not actually have the power to force a recall. It has the power to inspect, and to shut down, but not to recall products. Yet many of the press releases on the FDA website say “the recall was voluntary,” leading some readers to potentially assume that the problem is not serious.”
Health Tips: DIY. Don’t rely on the store to investigate product safety, do it yourself. There are no laws requiring companies to test any chemicals before using them in pet products. Keep in mind that big box stores sell on the basis of price, they want to make the sale. It’s up to you to read and understand the ingredients.
Skip Big Box Stores. When possible, buy your pet products from small businesses with a long, track record of meeting high safety and quality standards. Find a family run business with a quality fanatic like Dr. Jane Bicks, someone who is passionate about setting and monitoromg systems and procedures to protect pets. If you don’t know where to find small businesses, look online, ask us, or ask friends who are into health and fitness.
- Chemicals in pet foods. Potential sources of exposure: BPA in canned pet food; by-products; preservatives BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin, mercury in seafood.
Health Tip: Use fresh food free of chemical preservatives, it will probably be more nutritious as well.
- Plastics (may cause reproductive issues and cancer). Potential sources of exposure: veterinary medicines, plastic containers and toys, shampoos, and a huge range of other consumer products containing phthalates (softeners).
Health Tip: Avoid plastic chew toys and food storage containers.
- Flame Retardants (disrupt the thyroid and brain development in young animals). Potential sources of exposure: foam furniture and bedding manufactured before 2005, contaminated air and house dust, and food contaminated with PBDEs that pollute the environment, especially seafood.
Health Tips: Replace furniture with exposed or disintegrating foam. Cover bedding where flame retardants are found. Replace all pet bedding more than five years old with natural bedding fibers.
- Teflon. Potential sources of exposure: food contaminated with PFCs leaching from dog food bag coatings, as well as house dust, and stain-proofed furniture, dog beds, and carpets.
Health Tips: Avoid nonstick pans. Overheating nonstick pans can kill pet birds and gives off chemicals that maybe bad for pets and people. Don’t get optional stain-proof treatments on bedding, furniture, carpet, and car upholstery–it is loaded with toxic perflourochemicals.
- Pesticides and Arsenic. Potential sources of exposure: parks, lawns, common areas in housing developments with grass, decking, or mulch.
Health Tips: Don’t let pets play, sleep, breathe, or even walk on lawns or grass treated with insecticides. It may cause nervous system damage. The same goes for arsenic-treated wood on decks. Seal the deck every six months and don’t let pets sleep underneath it.
3. Encourage law makers to modernize 30+ year-old public health laws. Learn about and support nonprofit organizations like Pets For The Environment.
4. Remove contaminates from water. Use filtered water for pets–either reverse osmosis or pitcher filter.
–Dana G. Mayer Copyright 2012.
Photo Credit: Girl with Heart Copyright Dreamstime http://www.dreamstime.com/free-photos