Showing newest 16 of 49 posts from September 2010. Show older posts
Showing newest 16 of 49 posts from September 2010. Show older posts

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Reader Ken Martin Shares A Great Article On Pet Nutrition

September 26th, 2010

By Kitty Holman

Your pet's nutrition is an important part of a healthy, happy, and active life. As a pet owner, it's your job to make sure that you've giving the animals in your care the best opportunity to eat good food, and with the right information, you can. Read on to find tips for offering your furry friends excellent nutrition to support a healthy life.


These nutrition tips apply to most pets.
  1. More expensive doesn't always mean better: Pet food isn't better just because it costs more.
  2. Feed the equivalent of two meals a day: Whether you allow your pet to graze on food all day or feed at regular times, be sure they are getting two square meals a day.
  3. Follow realistic serving sizes: Many pet food labels will tell you to feed a larger serving size than is really needed, so talk to your vet and consider your pet's lifestyle.
  4. Regularly check for recalled food products: Visit the American Veterinary Medical Association's list of recalled food products.
  5. Watch for symptoms: Keep an eye out for distress like increased urination, lethargy, drinking excessive water, and dehydration.
  6. An active and healthy pet is OK on nutrition: Experts assert that if your animal remains healthy and active, you shouldn't worry too much about the food you're feeding.
  7. Wash bowls regularly: Prevent bacteria by washing food bowls and water dishes on a regular basis.
  8. Measure food: Measure out food amounts before feedings.
  9. Feed dry food for dental problems: Wet and dry food is pretty much the same, except that canned food may promote tartar buildup.
  10. Limit treats: Treats can be an overindulgence, so be sure not to constantly offer them to your pet.
  11. Return or donate snubbed food: If your pet doesn't like a food, most pet stores will allow a return, or you can donate to a local shelter.
  12. Avoid table scraps: Table scraps can lead to poor eating habits and other problems.
  13. Be ready for change: A change of diet may offer relief for allergies, itchiness, and other problems.
  14. Store food in closed containers: Prevent food from getting stale, losing nutrients, and attracting pests with the help of closed containers.
  15. Check expiration dates: Ensure freshness by keeping an eye on expiration dates.
  16. Look for a good ratio of nutrients: Your pet's food needs to have proteins, carbs, healthy fats, amino acids, and the proper vitamins and minerals.
  17. Protect urinary health: Choose a food that offers the best quality for urinary tract health.
  18. Look for named meat: Beef, chicken, or lamb is better than meat byproducts and animal digests.
  19. Use a drinking fountain: Give your pet the freshest water possible with a cat drinking fountain.
  20. Talk to your vet: Your vet can recommend good nutrition for your pet based on their particular conditions and activity level.
  21. Food should be complete and balanced: Make sure that the food you're feeding is not a treat, and designed for the pet's sole nourishment.
  22. Plant eaters need more veggies: Cats who eat plants need more cat friendly plants in their diet. Consider a plant garden.
  23. Claims aren't necessarily backed up: There is no official definition of premium, human grade, gourmet, or organic pet food.
  24. Keep plenty of water available: Make sure that your pet can stay hydrated by providing lots of water.
  25. You can cut costs with homemade food: If you want to make your own pet food, look for nutritional guides to creating a balanced diet.

Pamper your pooch with these nutrition tips.
  1. Don't let your dog consume alcohol: Alcoholic beverages can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
  2. Feed age appropriate food: Follow guidelines for puppy, adult, and aging dog food.
  3. Avoid preservatives: Preservatives can be toxic to a dog's liver, so be sure to stay away from them.
  4. Give each dog an individual bowl: You can keep an eye on eating habits by giving each dog their own bowl.
  5. Don't feed too frequently: Avoid feeding your dog too frequently, or you can turn him into a picky eater.
  6. Stop poop eaters: When your dog eats poop, he's telling you he's not getting enough nutrients.
  7. Pay attention to size: Small breeds may need smaller food that can fit in their mouth.
  8. Know when to change to a senior diet: Small and medium breeds will need to switch to a senior diet at 7 years, large at 6, and giant breeds at 5.
  9. Don't hover: Don't stare at your dog while he eats, or you may make him anxious.
  10. Try feeding in several different places: Train your dog to eat anywhere by feeding them inside, outside, and in different rooms.
  11. Don't allow your dog to eat bones: Bones can cause obstruction or laceration of a dog's digestive system.
  12. Be tough on refused meals: If your dog refuses his meal, don't give in right away and offer something else.
  13. Minimize fillers: Corn and wheat may be allergens for your dog.
  14. Take food away after 30 minutes: If your dog doesn't finish his food in 30 minutes, remove it in order to train him to eat his food.
  15. Maintain levels of protein for older dogs: Senior dogs need just as much protein as younger ones do.
  16. Watch out for reduced intake: If your dog suddenly stops eating, it could be a dental or stomach problem.
  17. Make only gradual food changes: When transitioning your dog's food, make it a gradual process.
  18. Fat trimmings are not healthy: Don't give your dog fat trimmings, as it can cause pancreatitis.
  19. Watch carefully when making food changes: If you change your dog's diet in any way, watch carefully for any new problems.
  20. Help older dogs promote beneficial bacteria growth: Be sure your senior dog's diet includes FOS (fructooligosaccharides).
  21. Increase GLA intake with age: Older dogs may have diminished gamma-linolenic acid, so they need help with this nutrient.

Read these tips to find information for feeding the special cats in your family.
  1. Avoid feeding too much: Cats only need from 24 to 35 calories a day per pound each day to maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Offer a variety if necessary: Your cat may get bored eating the same food and quit eating.
  3. Don't let cats eat dog food: Repeated feeding of dog food can result in malnutrition and diseases affecting the heart.
  4. Cheaper may not be good enough: Cats will eat as much as they need to get their nutrients, so you may actually need to feed more cheap food to give them enough.
  5. Start a senior diet at 7 years of age: Your cat will need to be changed to a senior diet starting at about seven years of age:
  6. Feed cats meat: Although you may be vegetarian or vegan, your cat is a carnivore and must eat meat and animal organs to survive.
  7. Don't give cats milk or dairy: Some cats will get diarrhea from dairy products.
  8. Increase vitamin E for older cats: Support the antibody levels of your older cat by increasing the intake of vitamin E.
  9. Often, canned food has more meat: Wet food may be beneficial for your cat, as it usually has more meat and animal protein than dry food.
  10. Feed wet food: Cats don't voluntarily drink water like dogs do, so feeding wet food can help improve their intake of liquids.
  11. Make slow changes to feeding habits: Abrupt changes can cause sever stress for a cat.
  12. Preservatives can be good: Preservatives help slow the breakdown of food and hold its nutritional value-and they might even be antioxidants themselves.
  13. Don't feed homemade food: Most people do not have the nutritional knowledge to create a healthy homemade diet for their cats.
  14. Offer lots of water: Water deficiencies can have serious repercussions for pets, so be sure to make water available where you cat likes to drink it.
  15. Don't give garlic for tapeworms: Garlic can't prevent parasitic infestations, and too much can destroy a cat's red blood cells.

Enjoy feeding both wild and pet birds good nutrition with these tips.
  1. All seed diets aren't recommended: Feed more than just seeds, including fruit and vegetables.
  2. Offer a mineral or calcium block: Put a block of mineral or calcium in the cage.
  3. Replace your bird's food daily: Replacing your bird's food can ensure that your bird has fresh seeds.
  4. Vitamin supplementation is recommended: Powdered vitamins can be sprinkled over foods.
  5. Be careful about what you give your bird: You must avoid giving your bird avocado, iceberg lettuce, caffeine, chocolate, alcohol, and seeds from fruits.
  6. Clean tossed food: If your bird tosses or turns up food containers, be sure to clean it up quickly, as it will mix with droppings.
  7. Place bird feeders where you want to see them: Put your bird feeders in a location where you'll be able to see the birds you're feeding.
  8. Don't feed grit: Pet birds don't need grit, and it may lead to impaction or death.
  9. Offer a variety of fruits and vegetables: Food like corn, yams, apples, and grapes make good supplements to your bird's diet.
  10. Cooked foods may have bacteria: Cooked foods that have been left out can have bacteria.
  11. Expose your bird to the sun: Allow your bird to soak up UV rays to help with calcium absorption.
  12. Cut out high fat seeds for obesity: Cut down obesity by avoiding high fat seeds.
  13. You can create your own bird food: Follow recipes to make homemade bird food.
  14. Try alternative foods: Alternative foods like fruits, nectar, and mealworms may attract different species of birds to your feeder.
Fish & Small Animals

Check out these tips for feeding fish and small animals.
  1. Feed what can be finished quickly: Only offer as much as your fish will finish in 2 minutes.
  2. Give your rat something to chew on: Be sure that your rat can chew on wood, rawhide, dog biscuits, or cardboard to keep their front teeth in good condition and ready to eat.
  3. Automatic feeders can be useful: Automatic feeders will dispense exactly the amount of food you specify at regular intervals.
  4. Offer variety: Use a staple diet, plus a supplemental diet and supplements.
  5. Be careful about overfeeding: Overfeeding can lead to poor water quality, stress, and unwanted breeding.
  6. Offer two or three small feedings: A few feedings are better than one large daily feeding.
  7. Salt licks and vitamins are unnecessary for rabbits: Your rabbit simply doesn't need salt licks or vitamins.
  8. Give rats small amounts of fresh food: You can feed rats a bit of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
  9. Supplement hamster mix with fresh food: Seeds, buts, grains, fruits, and vegetables make a great hamster supplements.
  10. Feed premium or kitten food to ferrets: Look for ferret foods, or substitute kitten food for ferrets.
  11. Use an inverted bottle with a tube: Share fresh water with your pet using an inverted bottle and change it daily.
  12. Table scraps are OK for rats: Rats love people food, and occasional scraps are OK, as long as you avoid rat hazards including candy, onions, junk food, sticky food, caffeine, and carbonated beverages.
  13. Pellets should be limited as a rabbit reaches maturity: Pellets should make up a small part of the diet for a mature rabbit.
  14. Feed gerbils and hamsters differently: You should pick sunflower seeds out of the mix for gerbils and save them for treats.
  15. Give mice fresh fruit and vegetable treats: Every day, offer your mice small amounts of fresh vegetables and/or fruit as a supplement to their rodent chow.
  16. Ferrets can't have raw fruits or vegetables: Intestinal blockages can result from raw vegetables and fruits for ferrets.
  17. Allow rabbits to eat their own pellets: It might seem gross, but recycling nutrients by eating their own waste pellets is normal behavior and healthy for rabbits.
  18. Don't overfeed mice: Mice have tiny tummies, so be careful about the portions you're feeding.
  19. Guinea pigs are vegetarians: Guinea pigs are strict vegetarians, and need a diet of hay, pellets and vegetables.
  20. Feed rabbits vegetables: As early as 3 months of age, you can offer your rabbit vegetables to eat.
  21. Don't dump a gerbil's old food: Your gerbil will pick through and eat all of the best treats out and leave the rest, so you should have them finish a meal before giving more.
  22. Guinea pigs enjoy cucumbers: Guinea pigs love to eat cucumbers, so be sure to offer them.
  23. Use a heavy crock or hopper: Avoid letting food get tipped over by feeding in heavy crocks or hoppers.
  24. Avoid processed sugars: Processed sugars like bread and cookies are not good for rabbits.
  25. Feed grass hay, but not alfalfa: Grass hay is healthy for rabbits, but alfalfa can introduce ailments to a rabbit.

Urban Cat Relief Hosting A Fall Garage & Bake Sale This Saturday!

If cats can brave Canadian winters, those who want to help cats, can make a difference by braving the fall weather on Saturday.


Urban Cat Relief,,  cordially invites you to our Fall Garage and Bake Sale.
Date:  Saturday, October 2, 2010  Time:  8:00 am (until 3pm unless the weather shuts us down!)
Place: 7 Carscadden Drive, Toronto, M2R 2A6

Lots of great new and gently used items and many baked treats.  100% of the proceeds will be used to fund veterinary care for our rescued cats and kittens.

Presenting The Toronto Pet Daily's "Best Of 2010" Awards!

It is with great excitement that the Toronto Pet Daily announces the first annual "Best Of" awards for pet businesses throughout the GTA.  Beginning now until November 15, blog readers will be able to submit any local business they feel goes above and beyond the call of duty with regard to  the welfare of our pets. On November 16, the top businesses from each category (the ones with the most reader suggestions) will be posted on the blog, and readers will then have ONE MONTH to vote for their favourites. The winners of the top three awards will be announced on December 15th. Every  day,  hundreds of local (and loyal) readers check out the Toronto Pet Daily, and who better to judge your fantastic service than your fellow Torontonians!  The winning businesses will be published on the site, and each winner will receive decals that they can proudly place in their place of business or on their website.

Here's what to do :

Send an email to [email protected] nominating your favourite local business in the appropriate category. You may submit nominations for each category you see fit. In addition, feel free to write a short explanation of why you feel the particular business deserves to be nominated (some of these write-ups will be published along with the winners names). Make sure to spread the word and have your friends & loyal clientele nominate you for the "Toronto Pet Daily : Best Of 2010" awards. Good luck to all, & keep up the great work that you do!

Categories :

1. Pet Food And Supply Store (can be either independent, or a chain. If you are nominating a store from a chain, please include the address of the store you are nominating).

2. Groomer

3. Veterinarian

4. Pet Sitting/Boarding

5. Dog walking/daycare

6. Pet Photographer 

7. Trainer 

8. Pet Rescue/Shelter

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Entry In The "Pets And Kids" Photo Contest

Stella & Leah (as the scarecrow)

A Terrific Article On Pet Photography Tips By Reader Carol Brown...Just In Time For The Photo Contest!!

52 Tips for Better Pet Photography

 Whether you love pets, photography, or both, pet photography is a fun hobby or profession to take on. Of course, photographing pets offers a unique challenge, with difficult subjects, lots of action, and the need for lots of patience. Read on to find 52 tips that will make you a better pet photographer.


From patience to always being ready to shoot, these tips offer the basics in better pet photography.
  1. Practice patience: You'll probably have to wait and take lots of images to capture the perfect photo, so be patient.
  2. Get organized: Your pet may have a short attention span, so be ready before you get started.
  3. Don't delete: Wait to see what photos look like on film or on your computer.
  4. Always have your camera ready: Get impromptu shots by always having your camera ready to shoot.
  5. Spend time experimenting: Try lots of different shots with experimentation until you find what you love.
  6. Don't hold back: Using a digital camera, you will be virtually unlimited in how many photos you can take.
  7. Use treats: Have treats ready to entice your pet.
  8. Be enthusiastic: Pick up your camera with the same enthusiasm as a leash.
  9. Start taking photos early in life: If you get a puppy or kitten, get lots of great photos while they're still young, and you'll get them better used to the camera.
Setting & Timing

Give yourself the best situation for pet photos using these tips.
  1. Follow your pet's routine: Know when your animal likes to eat, nap, and play and schedule your session for playtime.
  2. Pay attention to contrast: Be sure that your background offers a good contrast on your pet's fur or skin.
  3. Stay out of bright sunlight: Direct sunlight can blow out your photos.
  4. Use natural filtered light: Cloud cover will help you get flattering light.
  5. Avoid on-camera flash: An on-camera flash will reflect from your pet's eyes, so use lighting that is natural or off camera.
  6. Make it a surprise: Get candid photos by catching your pet when they are unaware you are shooting.
  7. Use comfort items: Use your pet's favorite toys and treats.
  8. Pay attention to your background: Carefully choose the setting of your photos and think about what's on display in the background.
  9. Go outside: Natural, outdoor light typically looks best.
  10. Go somewhere familiar: If you take your dog somewhere new, he will most likely be distracted and want to spend time exploring rather than taking photos.
  11. Capture your pet's unique personality: Take photos when your pet is doing its regular activities.
  12. Think about uniqueness: Consider what makes your pet unique.
Perspective & Mood

Check out these tips to create a unique perspective or mood.
  1. Get lower: Shoot from the floor or place your pet higher up for perspective.
  2. Tell a story: Tell a story long or short with your pet photos.
  3. Get silly with props: Have fun with props for a silly mood.
  4. Wait for funny expressions: Keep an eye out for emotional faces.
  5. Be friendly: Give your animals love and attention during the session (and beyond!).
  6. Try different angles: Experiment with different angles for a new perspective.
  7. Capture action: Don't try to get your animal to sit still for every photo-action shots are fun too!
  8. Be playful: Make your photo shoot fun for your pet.
  9. Capture your pet in their element: Catch your pet doing what they love to do, whether it's catching a ball or lying in front of a window.
  10. Move yourself: Bring yourself to your pet, not the other way around.
Behavior & Look

Follow these tips to influence your pet's behavior while shooting.
  1. Experiment with attention: Use several different methods for getting your pet's attention.
  2. Let your pet play: Instead of making your pet sit still, allow them to play a bit.
  3. Groom your pet: Before you take photos, be sure to clean and groom your pet.
  4. Use an assistant: Get help from an assistant for good behavior.
  5. Use the "stay" command: Train the stay command to get a still subject.
  6. Use owners: If you're photographing someone else's pets, ask the owner to join in for good behavior and a fun moment.

Here are some great tips for improving your composition.
  1. Take abstract shots: Close-ups of parts like paws and noses are fun.
  2. Fill the frame: Capture expressions, details, and more by filling the frame with the subject.
  3. Mix it up: Mix up your framing, getting close-ups as well as large shots.
  4. Don't always be dead center: Put your pet on one size of the photo for more interest.
  5. Keep it simple: Make your pet the focus on the photo.
  6. Shoot a close-up: Get a good look at your pet with a close-up and eyes looking at the camera.

Gain a better technical understanding of pet photos through these tips.
  1. Focus on the eyes: Be sure the eyes are sharp by focusing on them.
  2. Use continuous shooting: Capture sudden movements and split seconds with the continuous shooting mode.
  3. Be ready for sudden movements: Be ready to be on the move and use a fast shutter speed.
  4. Use a shallow depth of field: With a shallow depth of field, you can put more focus on your pet.
  5. Use optical zoom: Avoid blurriness by using optical instead of digital zoom.
  6. Freeze with flash: Using your flash can help freeze a pet in motion.
  7. Use macro: Get close up shots with macro.
  8. Sports mode works for active pets: You can capture quick snapshots of your pet using sports mode.
  9. Use your zoom: Getting up close can give away your presence-so use your zoom instead.
*Article taken from Online

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Reader Submitted Video On The OSPCA Situation


Loyal Reader Shannon Lambe Shares Her Adoption Story With The TPD!

I recently became the adoptive mom to a 9 month Chihuahua.  He integrated into the household great.  He is good with the kids and with the cats, although they have their moments of skepticism about him still.  I had noticed one really terrible trait that would be a deal breaker with a human companion--he had the worst breath.  Kind of like raw sewage.
I decided after checking out all the other possibilities of tooth decay, and anal glands ( I know- eww) that I was going to switch him to a Raw Meaty Bones diet and I did.  I can not tell you in the month that he has been on it how much better his breath is overall.  That's only one benefit to the diet.  He gets plenty of roughage with this diet and it is very efficient in his body so it reduces the overall volume of feces he produces everyday (Just less poop is a 5 star benefit).  He also has to strain more to do his business so it helps to really flush out his anal glands on their own.  No more expressing them hopefully!

He is energetic but not as hyper as he was.  There are variations like the BARF diet (Bones and Raw Food)  but many do not believe that dogs are omnivores so they should not be given raw vegetables or fruits.  The RMB diet is feed in proportion of 80% meat-10% bones and 10% offals (innards like kidneys etc)

It might sound time consuming and complicated but it's not.  I buy the meat from the grocery store and portion it out based on his weight which is 3-4% of his total weight.  I can freeze it and thaw it out to give to him at dinner time.  

The biggest problem I have had so far is that he likes to hide his dinner for late night snacking and I can usually find it by the smell, so I have had to have him eat dinner in his box with the door locked.

I have even switched my cats to the RMB diet and they are a little more reluctant but they are adapting to it fairly well.

Here is some good reference if you are thinking of the switch to a RMB diet:

*Editor's Note : Visit Shannon's Stylist Shop at stella & dot.

A Great Guest Post On Pet Nutrition By Brandon Forder Of Canadian Pet Connection

Organic, Holistic, Natural - what does it all mean?

I am often queried by clients who have become overwhelmed from the myriad of pet food terminologies, and get completely lost trying to figure out what all these terms actually mean. Manufacturers don’t make it any easier by playing with these words, and in many cases giving false impressions of the product. I have seen: Organix, Organik, Holistik, Organics, and many other terms that suggest the product is something it may not necessarily be. So what does it all mean? Let’s break it down.

What is Organic?

The USDA‘s (United States Department of Agriculture) National Agricultural Library lists Organic as:

  • “Organic agriculture is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity. It is based on minimal use of off-farm inputs and on management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological harmony.
  • “‘Organic’ is a labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole.
  • “Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water.
  • “Organic food handlers, processors and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people.”

Like human food, organic ingredients need to be certified by the USDA, or whichever governing body oversees the process in their respective country.

This is what you’re looking for.

The USDA has developed strict product labeling rules to help consumers know the exact organic content of the food they purchase. Essentially, there are four labeling categories based on the amount of certified organic ingredients in your pets food: 

100% Organic 

All products labeled in this manner must contain only certified organically produced ingredients. Generally, these are single ingredient products.


All products labeled in this manner must contain 95-100% certified organic ingredients. Some essential vitamins and minerals may not be available in organic for which prevents using the 100% label.

Made with Organic Ingredients

Must contain at least 70% certified organic ingredients. A third party certifying agency’s mark may also be shown on the principle display panel. The USDA symbol cannot be used on the packaging.

Less than 70% Organic Ingredients

These products cannot use the term “organic” anywhere on the package except in the ingredient list. The government approved organic certifying agency must be displayed. The USDA symbol cannot be used.

What is Holistic?
This is a tricky one since there really isn’t a government body certification for holistic ingredients.
According to the dictionary, this is what holistic means:

a. Emphasizing the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts.
b. Concerned with wholes rather than analysis or separation into parts.

Google image search result for “Holistic” - no wonder consumers are confused.

Using this term for pet foods is most misleading because there is no reference as to how your dog’s food ingredients are sourced.

What is Natural?

According to AAFCO (the American Association of Feed Control Officials), the definition of “natural” is as follows:

A feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subject to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices.

This definition is pretty self-explanatory, but essentially any “natural” ingredient is free of any avoidable chemical interference.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter!

Brandon is a Pet Health Professional with Canadian Pet Connection. Based out of Oakville, Ontario, Canadian Pet Connection is an industry leader in pet nutrition, behaviour and lifestyle.  

photo credit: photo credit: photo credit:

Friday, September 24, 2010

Another Sweet Rescue Story From Reader Nicole Krug

North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee & Georgia.
Tesla is about 4-5 months, a Shepard mix (maybe Doberman?).  She came home with us about 6 weeks ago and is madly in love with her big brother Mousa (rescued about 4 years ago in NC). She’s sprung up from 14 lbs to 21 in the time we’ve had her and though she’s still half Mousa’s size she holds her own in a wrestling match. We’re a two-animal house, and we lost a cat a few months ago, so after settling from NC to the DC area we had just started looking for a new playmate for Mousa.  We found K-9 Lifesavers, and Tesla and a few others had actually just been sent up from rural NC.  She was in a foster situation out in farm with a number of other dogs, so more or less crate trained, but knew nothing about being inside a house nor even what a toy was, but she’s loving life now!

*Editor's note : k9 Lifesavers rescues dogs from high kill shelter south of the border, mostly in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee & Georgia.So if you have any friends or family in those regions looking to adopt, spread the word of this great resource!

A Happy Rescue Story From Reader Rohan Jayasekera

We'd known a veteran street cat (whom my wife Yvonne called Elvis because his mouth was crooked in an Elvis-like sneer) for quite some time and fed him frequently. One day in summer 2004 Elvis showed up together with an neutered orange and white cat, perhaps two years old or so (we couldn't really tell, but he was a young adult for sure), who was clearly out of his element on the street and so Elvis was letting him tag along and leading him to food sources etc.  This new cat was very scared and would look out from behind a fence when we tried to give him food.  He gradually got used to us and started spending most of his time in our back yard, unlike street veteran Elvis who continued to roam.  Yvonne built him a little house, a cardboard box that she reinforced etc., and he settled into it.  She called him Orange Kitty because she didn't want to get too attached to him, but that got shortened to Orange and when it started to get cold late in the year we took him in (he had to endure the stares of our existing four cats, but they got over it) and he's been with us ever since.  Yvonne is sure he had once been with a couple and got lost or something (there were no lost-found cat notices that I could find, and he's not microchipped), because he loves being with the two of us together.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Children With Dogs Tend To Be Healthier

Lassie may have saved Timmy’s life in more ways than one. Owning a dog can make children more active and in turn less fat, two new studies report. While the social, psychological and physical benefits a pooch can provide have been well documented, less known outside of children’s literature and movies is what they can do for kids. Add 357 steps or subtract 11 minutes of sitting for dog owners over the petless, a study of 2,065 English children found. And an Australian analysis of 1,145 children found girls and boys with dogs 50 per cent less likely to be fat.
“If you’re a kid and a dog, you chase balls, you play soccer with them, you rumble with them, wrestle them on the carpet even if you’re watching TV,” said Jo Salmon of Deakin University in Victoria, Australia. “It’s activity and it’s a mind thing as well.” Children whose families owned dogs were more active, with increased light, moderate and vigorous physical activity, regardless of race or gender, reported Christopher Owen, an epidemiologist at St. George’s, University of London, who led the English study. “The more active lifestyle of children from dog-owning families is really interesting,” he said. “Is it that owning a dog makes you more active or active families choose to have a dog? It’s a bit of a children and egg question.” Owen’s study concentrated on 9- and 10-year-olds in London, Birmingham and Leicester. Salmon’s followed children 5 to 6 and 10 to12. Nearly one in four smaller children and 37 per cent of the older children walked a dog at least once a week, Salmon reported. Parents who caved in to their children’s pleas for a dog won’t be surprised, however, to learn that adults in dog-owning families ended up getting far more exercise on the end of a leash than their offspring. Owen’s study was published in the American Journal of Public Health; Salmon’s for the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research.

*Taken from

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pet detective knows all the tricks to getting your dog back

Lorna Marion is a real life pet detective. Although, if you ask her, she’ll say she’s not.
And then she’ll laugh at the thought of it.
The unassuming mother of three is adamant she’s no Ace Ventura. Connecting the dots between worried owners and their lost pets is simply a hobby, one she’s been doing quietly for the past three years.
“Sometimes when I call people they’re very suspicious of me or think I’m crazy,” she says with a laugh. “They say, ‘Well, who are you?’ or ‘Have you got my dog?’ ”
Marion doesn’t have their dog. But if she calls, she’s got a good idea who might.
About 10 times a day, the animal lover — who has a sheltie and bichon poodle — sifts through the lost animal sections of the Toronto Humane Society and the city’s Animal Services websites. And then, for good measure, craigslist and Kijiji.
When frantic pet owners post about a lost pet she’ll take note.
A little detective work comes next.
Because all the sites operate largely independently of one another, Marion noticed gaps where information could easily get lost or missed.
So she began to act as the aggregator. The unofficial Google of Toronto pets gone AWOL.
“Sometime people think if they make a post about a lost pet on the Humane Society that covers it,” she says. “But their pet could also be safe somewhere else.”
The Humane Society only takes in lost animals for up to 24 hours. After that, Toronto Animal Services keeps them at one of four city sites. If they go unclaimed for five business days, the city starts looking at adoption options.
“After a while, they might get put up for adoption and there is somebody’s loving animal that’s missing,” says Marion. “I can’t have the heart to just ignore it.”
Whether it’s mere hours or a few days, for a pet owner, waiting for news is agonizing. Something Portia Wade knows well.
On Saturday, her 11-year-old greyhound, Marcello, escaped from the backyard. She immediately created a post on the Humane Society’s website describing the dog.
Within an hour, Marion called. The Toronto Animal Services website posted that a whippet (not far from a greyhound) was found. It was around the same time Marcello went missing. And the age lined up as well.
Wade soon found herself at the Exhibition Place shelter, reunited with Marcello.
“They were closing for the day and I wouldn’t have known where he was,” says Wade. “I wouldn’t have been able to sleep.”
She admits that at first she thought Marion was a bit nuts. “But she was completely genuine so I heard her out.”
When the pair met Tuesday for a photo, Wade brought a bouquet of flowers. She gave Marion a big hug and whispered, “Thank you for finding my dog.”
Marion doesn’t get any money for her efforts. She’s never collected a reward.
“One time a woman was so happy she offered to buy me a drink, but I said, ‘No, you have your dog back now, buy him a treat.’ ”
She even had to be coaxed into an interview and photograph with the Star.
Her 15-year-old daughter, Baylee, is proud of her mom. “I think what she does is amazing. She doesn’t think she deserves to be recognized for it but she’s reuniting owners with their pets and she’s done it a lot more than once.”
By her modest estimates, Marion says she’s connected at least 15 people with their dogs. But the number is likely higher because most people don’t email back. “I just notice the post goes down off the site so I figure that it must have been their dog.”
The Toronto Humane Society is impressed. Executive director Garth Jerome admits the websites could be better. A collaboration is in the works and Animal Services has been posting some pets on the Humane Society’s site.
It’s not enough though, Jerome says, adding he sees someone like Marion as a “catalyst” for improvements.
Marion plans to keep on doing what she’s been doing. She’s never lost a pet herself, but can imagine what it must be like.
“The pets are already found,” she says, rebuffing the notion she’s a bit of a pet detective. “All I do is check the Internet.”

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pawsway - Model With Your Dog October 2

On Saturday October 2nd, 12 noon till 5 pm, we are looking for dog owners willing to model (and sign a model release) WITH their pets in exchange for copies of the photos. 

A group of 16 photographers will be on site at PawsWay. They organize large photo shoots with the purpose of selling them exclusively on iStock Photo ( which is the largest stock photography website in the world. 

The reason we want you to model "with" your pet, is so we can have "real" people interacting with their own dogs. This way, we can capture that true love and companionship that happens only between your and your dog. We have give-away gifts and baskets for draws for those who sign model releases.

There will be make-up artists there to make you look your best, please dress in casual clothing and shoes without logos, and bring toys, dog outfits, and anything you think will enhance photos of your pet.

The photographers will help set up most shots, and weather permitting, we can spill outside onto the walkways of Harbourfront.

So far we have Dachshunds and Chihauhaus in the the first heat, but we would love to have other breeds or mixed breeds and some BIG dogs too in the later part of the day. Space is limited, so don't delay!

Small dogs - 12:00 to 2:30 pm NOW FULL!
Large dogs - 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Registration - please email Penny at [email protected] (no need to register if you have already RSVPed on the Meetup groups. Penny will respond to RSVP by Sept 27th.
Model releases to be signed at the door.

Another Entry In The "Pets And Kids" Photo Contest!

Symbah, Saturn, & Tyler

Monday, September 20, 2010 Launches Its Website and New Line of Eco-Friendly Caskets & Funeral Products for Pets: Redefining Dignity for Precious Pets

Pets are important members of the family, and nothing can replace the years of love, dedication and companionship they provide. The staff is committed to helping pet owners find the most appropriate method for laying to rest a beloved friend. offers a complete line of pet funeral products, including caskets and other items. Monuments, markers, urns, memorials and a line of jewelry will be available soon.

Toronto, Canada, September 20, 2010 --( For most people, the death of a beloved pet means losing a family member. Pet owners face particular challenges when it comes to laying the pet to rest in a manner that provides dignity to the pet, and comfort and solace to the pet owner.

With a commitment to offering a dignified farewell to those cherished animals that share our homes and our lives, has launched online to introduce its new eco-friendly pet coffins, each individually sized and customized to accommodate all pets, from small to large.

Every pet caskets is made from a seamless, thermoformed acrylic composite containing no fiberglass, toxic resins or non-recyclable components. Double walled and ergonomically designed to accommodate the pet in its most natural resting position, each pet casket comes complete with interior fitted mattress, pillow, shroud and attached photo frame. Choose from a selection sized to provide a peaceful and secure casket for virtually any pet.

“Losing a pet is difficult for anyone,” said Desmond Kendall, President of parent company Castek Environmental Products Inc. “We believe that burying a pet responsibly and with dignity can be a healthy way to grieve the loss and achieve a sense of peace and closure.

“Our goal is to provide pet owners with an ecologically sound option to accomplish this,” Kendall said.

Pets are important members of the family, and nothing can replace the years of love, dedication and companionship they provide. The staff is committed to helping pet owners find the most appropriate method for laying to rest a beloved friend. offers a complete line of pet funeral products, including caskets and other items. Monuments, markers, urns, memorials and a line of jewelry will be available soon.


A division of Castek Environmental Products Inc., (CASTEK),’s coffins are manufactured in the company’s state-of-the-art Toronto factory. All design work, fabrication and decoration is performed in-house, and shipped ex-factory to anywhere in the world. Each pet casket is individually packed in a heavy-duty carton produced from recycled paper fibers and ships complete including specialized double-sided tape for a secure seal.

Incorporated in October 29, 1997, Castek is a related company of Swedcan Lumican Plastics Inc., a leading Canadian plastic distributor since 1980 specializing in high-performance plastic sheet and proprietary thermoformed products.

Just as Castek focuses on sustainable and environmentally safe products, continues this tradition with its pet funeral products and superior customer service. With Castek’s solid history of supplying high quality consumer products, leads the pet funeral industry by offering ergonomic and personalized caskets holding true to its commitment of “Dignity for Precious Memories.”


Contact Information
Desmond Kendall
[email protected]

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Very Interesting Article On Alternative Wellness By Guest Blogger Don Lorusso Of I Help Toronto Pets

Alternative Wellness for your Pet

By Don Lorusso, Certified Quantum Biofeedback Technician

My dog Rosie, a 160 pound Old English Mastiff, developed a limp in right leg about a year ago. She did have an accident, falling down the stairs, which may have caused the limp. Over the year the limp became very bad and she couldn’t even go for walks. We took her to the vet, she was x-rayed on the shoulder, lower leg, and mid leg (the knee). Results? They found nothing. I started to work with Rosie, more about what I do later, and although she showed some results they weren’t fast enough for me. Through one of my devices, I discovered that there was tremendous stress in her cervical spine at the 4th, 5th and 6th vertebrae, and also in her nerves in that area. I concluded (I am not a vet or a doctor), that it was probably a pinched nerve. I phoned back the vet and asked if a pinched could be the problem. The answer was no, that would not cause the pain and limping. Now, I have suffered from a bad back and also from neck problems and I know from experience about pinched nerves. You might feel a pain in your leg, but the problem is in the spine. I immediately looked for a certified dognchiropractor and made an appointment. Diagnosis: problems with the 4th, 5th, and 6th vertebrae causing a pinched nerve. She is now getting two adjustments a week, and improving rapidly.

I have tremendous respect and appreciation for veterinarians, and they have helped my dogs tremendously on numerous occasions. My vet is the greatest. But, they don’t know everything, and there are always alternatives to conventional treatments besides our vets.

What is Alternative Wellness? Well my vet took an acupuncture course, I just spoke about veterinary chiropractors and VOM, Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation, And on a recent Doctor Oz show he said that energy medicine is the future, and sited a practice called Reiki which is one of many energy wellnes alternatives that works with many pets. A bold statement for a conventional doctor. There is pet massage, There is the Tellington Touch, There are homeopaths, naturopaths.and holistic practitioners.

In my practice I help Toronto pets (and people too!), with biofeedback, a low level or cold laser, and another device called an Alpha-Stim. About two years ago I began to research and learn about biofeedback. Biofeedback simply is “feedback from the body”. If you have used a scale, or ever had an EKG, or EEG, or anything that measures certain electrical impulses in our bodies. Our bodies and animals bodies are made of energy and electricity. A lie detector measures our physiology exactly that way. So biofeedback isn’t new, it has been around for 50 or more years. The biofeedback that I practice is called Quantum Biofeedback, and the device is called the SCIO.

The SCIO Quantum Biofeedback System, now entering the third decade of its development journey, and leading the field of Bio-Energetic and Bio-Response measurement, is the accepted standard for the application of Quantum Biofeedback

The SCIO - Quantum Biofeedback System, the latest and most up-to-date technology, takes a multitude of different stress reduction programs, methods, and techniques, and merges them into a more simple - best overall - well rounded approach. Quantum Biofeedback, working through sixteen different electrical factors of the body, calculates combinations of impedance, amperage, voltage, capacitance, inductance, and resistance for Electro-Physiological Reactivity (The Xrroid Process). The body is indeed electric; therefore reactivity in the body can be measured electrically.

E-P Reactivity results are based upon the ability to establish a "Tri-Vector" connection for an energetic "3-Dimensional" view of the client's current reactions to over 10,000 different items. All accomplished completely independent of user influence to help avoid bias or error. The picture painted by the reactions may help to create a better understanding of the individual factors pertinent to lifestyle and wellness. Once established, the Quantum Biofeedback auto- focus program, designed to monitor a client's reactions, helps optimize the quality and quantity of the stress reduction results. How did I get the clues about Rosie’s pinched nerve? Quantum Biofeedback using the SCIO.

Another device that I have had great success with is the Quantumwave Laser. Cold lasers are a class of low level lasers which are often referred to as soft lasers, therapeutic lasers, healing lasers or low level laser therapy. They are low powered lasers which do not cut or burn the tissue, rather they work to gently donate energy or waves of photons to rejuvenate the cell. Cold lasers or healing lasers work in much the same way that sunlight on a garden works. The sunlight donates energy in the form of photons which in turn stimulates plants and vegetables to grow faster and more efficiently. Low level lasers work in the same way of donating photons or energy which in turn regenerates tissue and cells. Soft healing lasers are being used in all facets of health care from doctors and physicians to alternative health providers such as chiropractors, acupuncturists, naturopaths, osteopaths, massage therapists and healers. Along with Quantum Biofeedback these are powerful tools that help to balance stress, manage pain, and re-educate the muscles.

And finally the Alpha-Stim. The Alpha-Stim 100 is a prescription medical device in the US. It is available to anyone in Canada, and has been rated by Health Canada. It is a combined microcurrent electrical therapy (MET) and cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES) device used to treat pain, anxiety, insomnia and depression. I have also used this to help aggression in dogs. Over 126 research studies on CES have been done with humans. A peer reviewed published outcome study has shown improvements in pain in 94% of patients studied. An additional 29 studies were conducted with animals to ensure safety and efficacy. The relief from Alpha-Stim is residual and cumulative, resulting in less frequent use. And while Alpha-Stim works well with other treatment protocols, it is proven effective as a stand-alone therapy, and does not require any drugs or create addiction.

An animal’s body is made up of trillions of cells. Each cell has electrical properties, much like that of a battery,(The Body Electric: Electromagnetism and the Foundation of Life, by Robert Becker and Gary Seldan). Alpha-Stim generates a unique, proprietary electrical wave-form that allows the animal’s cells to operate naturally and bring relief from pain, anxiety, insomnia or depression. This proprietary waveform moves electrons throughout the animal’s body and brain at a variety of frequencies, collectively known as harmonic resonance. Alpha-Stim was introduced in 1981 and has since provided millions of people around the world relief, even when nothing else has worked for them. Extensive work with animals - there are 29 published animal studies - shows positive results with no significant lasting side effects.

This is a lot of information and I will give you a link to my website There are also tons of videos on YouTube. I can tell you that all of these devices work. Read the testimonials on my website www.IHelpTorontoPets. com, where you can also learn more about these technologies.

My practice is one of many Alternative Wellness practices as I said in the beginning of this article. I hope I have opened many of your minds, to some of the ways you can help your pets to manage their pain and and to get healthy.

I would be happy to answer any questions you have. You can reach me at [email protected]