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Are guinea pigs the newest fad pet to own?

guinea-pigThanks to Disney’s new movie, G-Force, guinea pigs may be the next fad pet to own.

After the debut of popular movies including “Marley & Me” and “Beverly Hills Chihuahua”, public demand has skyrocketed for the movie’s pet stars. Then, sadly, after a few months, countless said “it” pets are surrendered to shelters because they don’t automatically act like the well-trained actors of the silver screen.

The new Disney movie “G-Force,” which opened last week, stars a squad of specially trained, computer-generated guinea pig spies. Some guinea pig rescue groups have already posted pleas to parents to “just say no” when their young children beg for a furry little rodent of their own. It’s a common misconception that guinea pigs make good starter pets; in reality they are simply too fragile for young children.

Read the rest of Guinea pigs: the next “it” pet? at

[tags]guinea pig, G-Force movie, pets[/tags]

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The Dog Museum of America

Founded in New York, the Dog Museum of America is now in St. Louis, and boasts some of the most famous works of art depicting dogs.

The Dog Museum of America is not only the only fine arts museum devoted to the dog in the United States, it is the only such museum in the world dedicated to man’s best friend.

It was founded in New York in 1982 and was moved to St. Louis in 1986. It is housed in the historic Jarville House (1853) in Queeny Park.

The museum owns close to 2,000 works of art — paintings, sculptures, ceramic figurines, pastels, prints, drawings and photographs — fewer than half of which are on display at any given time, director Barbara Jedda McNab says.

Several works are by major 19th century artists, including canvases by Sir Edwin Landseer, Queen Victoria’s favorite painter, and sculptures by Antoine-Louis Barye, the leading French animal sculptor.

For more, visit the Dog Museum of America website.

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Make preparations for traveling pets

If you’re traveling with your pets rather than leaving them with a pet sitter, it’s important to make sure they’re ready to hit the road. Here are some things to have ready before and during your trip…

Water and water bowl
It’s a good idea to bring a few gallons with you, rather than risk your dog getting sick from water he’s not used to. If you run out, bottled water is an option as well.

Take along enough of your pet’s usual food with you. When you’re on the road is no time to run out or try out new foods. Many pets suffer a bit of stomach upset when going on long car rides, and adding a new food on top of that may cause some pretty smelly results!

Up-to-date rabies certificates
Some campgrounds and other accommodations will want to see up to date rabies certificates before allowing you to bring a dog into the campgrounds.

An extra leash and collar
Believe me, it’s a real pain when a dog’s leash breaks and you’re camping 20 miles from any store! Take an extra leash & collar so you won’t have to spend time hunting for a leash when you could be out hiking.

Read the rest of Hit the road, doggie: Tips for traveling pets.

[tags]traveling with pets, cats, dogs[/tags]

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The pet sitting business is growing

In spite of the economic issues, the pet industry is still going strong, and pet sitting is one business that continues to grow.

Christie Joy goes to work every day in jeans and a T-shirt and works with some real animals. “The best part of pet-sitting is it’s something you can be proud of and passionate about,” says Joy, of Treasured Pets, Tyler, Texas. She takes care of all types of pets and enjoys getting to know the pets and their families. “It’s an intimate business because not only are you taking care of what some people feel are their children but you’re going into their homes,” says Joy.
It’s Raining Cats and Dogs

People spent more than $43 billion on their pets last year, according to Pet Sitters International (PSI) and the American Pet Products Association.


Pet sitters do more than show up to pour out a few scoops of food and refill the water bowl. Joy says they also might administer medications, walk dogs, play with cats “and, my favorite, give out treats.” Most pet sitters also perform house-sitting duties such as bringing in mail or taking out trash, opening and closing blinds and turning alarms and lights on and off.

Read the rest of Top jobs: Pet sitter


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From military officer to pet sitter

Former military officer now owns pet sitting businessThe former Corporal Wendy Waghorn, of Canada, is now Pet Sitter Wendy Waghorn. She’s traded in her military life for one that includes plenty of dogs, cats, and other pets.

When former military Corporal Wendy Waghorn was deployed overseas in Turkey, she never thought she would miss her dog so much. Little did she know then that missing her dog would soon bring thousands more into her life.

Now running one of the largest pet sitting businesses in Kingston, Waghorn never suffers a dull moment.

“I honestly havn’t even missed the military,” she says. “I am so busy with all of these animals, I’m now busier than I ever was.”

Waghorn has been all over Canada and has now chosen to stay put, here in Kingston. She says it was hard not knowing exactly what she wanted to do when she stepped out of the military.

“I actually had to wait two years to fully support myself but my business, Kingston Pet Sitting, took off quick.”

Much of Waghorn’s business has been through word of mouth and online. With over 600 customers and over 1,000 animals a year, she couldn’t be more pleased with the success.

Read the rest: Former military corporal produces Kingston’s largest pet sitting business.

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Passengers on these planes are animals

puppy-on-a-planeThe world’s first pets only airline is off the ground.

For pet owners that are weary of checking their travel companions into the cargo hold, there’s now a first-class option for fur flying the friendly skies. Pet Airways, the first pet-only airline, had it’s maiden flight out of Farmingdale, N.Y on Tuesday.

Started by husband and wife team Alysa Binder and Dan Wiesel, the airline will fly dogs and cats between New York, Washington, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles with tickets ranging from $150-$299 each way. The fare is comparable to pet fees on major U.S. airlines, and all pets fly in the main cabin of a Suburban Air Freight plane.

Read the rest of Pet-only airline takes flight.

[tags]pets, pets only airline[/tags]

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Pitbulls seized in dogfighting raids

More than 400 pit bulls were seized from dogfighting operations in six states face an uncertain future.

ST. LOUIS – Many of the 400-plus pit bulls seized in multistate dogfighting raids appear happy in their new digs at a temporary shelter in St. Louis, where one volunteer described them wagging their tails in seeming gratitude for newfound human contact.

But animal welfare officials say it may be hard to find the dogs permanent sanctuary.

Fair or not, the stigma attached to the American Pit Bull Terrier, coupled with the sheer number of those seized this week in federal raids in at least seven states will hurt their chances of adoption, animal welfare groups say.

Unlike the dogs taken from NFL star Michael Vick’s BadNewz Kennels, the roughly 450 pit bulls being kept at shelters in several states have no celebrity owners to pay for their upkeep. Vick, who pleaded guilty to operating a dogfighting ring in August 2007, was ordered by a court to pay nearly $1 million for his dogs’ care.

The raids this week resulted in the arrests of 26 men, who face federal criminal charges related to dogfighting in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas.

The pit bulls’ seizure comes as U.S. shelters are inundated with abandoned dogs and cats, 3.7 million of which are euthanized each year because they can’t find homes.

You’ll also find more here: Fighting Pit Bulls Rescued — But What Will Happen to Them?


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Study shows pet supplements lacking

Testing by shows that many pet supplements don’t contain as much of the medicines they claim.

Arthritis supplements bought by millions of pet owners for their dogs, cats and horses sometimes skimp on the ingredients the makers claim can help aching paws and aging joints, and some contain high amounts of lead, an independent laboratory found.

Four of the six joint supplements for animals tested by lacked the amounts of glucosamine or chondroitin promised on their labels or had other flaws, such as lead. Wider testing by a trade group of 87 brands found that one-quarter fell short.

Over-the-counter dietary supplements for humans do not have to be proven safe or effective before they are sold, and pills for pets get even less scrutiny.

“There is and there always has been” a quality problem, although many companies do a good job, said Mark Blumenthal of the American Botanical Council, which tracks research on herbal products.

Even when these supplements contain what they claim, there is little evidence that they work, veterinary experts say. A large government study of people with arthritis found that glucosamine and chondroitin did no better than dummy pills in easing mild pain. Testing these supplements on pets is more difficult.

The Associated Press has the rest of Tests reveal some pet supplements skimp on meds.


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New restrictions on NYC dog owners has some worried


New restrictions on the size and type of dogs allowed in New York City Housing Authority buildings has pet owners and the ASPCA worried that more dogs may end up in shelters.

A tougher city Housing Authority pet policy is causing confusion among dog owners and concern among rescuers who fear more homeless animals will linger in shelters.

“There’s been a lot of misinformation out there,” said Debora Bresch, a lawyer in the ASPCA’s government relations department.

As of May 1, tenants who live in New York City Housing Authority buildings are barred from owning pit bulls, Rottweilers and Doberman pinschers. In addition, the new policy bans any dog that weighs more than 25 pounds.

NYCHA residents who already have dogs can keep them – as long as they weigh under 40 pounds, which was the previous weight limit.

In addition, all current owners now have to register their dogs with NYCHA management.

Confused? So are the dozens of people who have called the ASPCA for advice in recent weeks, unsure about whether they can keep their beloved dogs.”

Read the rest of ASPCA fears NYCHA dog ban in city housing will fill animal shelters from the Daily News.

[Tags]ASPCA, NYC pets, dogs[/Tags]

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New Yorkers come to kitty’s rescue

Animal loving New Yorkers came to the rescue to help Maggie, a cat that got caught in an elevator shaft.

Daily News readers raised more than $20,000 to save a curious East Harlem cat who spent a week in the hospital after getting stuck in an elevator shaft.

Maggie, the mischievous feline, went back to owner Primotivo Hernandez, 70, who said he “called her name every night” while doctors at Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists in Union Square healed her wounds.

Cops pulled Maggie from a elevator shaft at the Jefferson Houses on E. 115th St. last Tuesday after her hind right leg got stuck between the elevator and the door on the second floor. She suffered a dislocated knee.

The wheelchair-bound Hernandez couldn’t afford $3,600 to fix “his only companion.”

Read the rest of Daily News readers raise $20,000 in kitty to save injured East Harlem cat from the Daily News.

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