Sunday, September 8, 2013

The 2013 Telus Battle of the Breeds, Jeopardy Jumping

On September 5, 2013, attended the Spruce Meadows “Masters”, a horse show of international acclaim. Typically held the week after the September Labor Day long weekend there is plenty to see and do, and horse shows all day long.

One of the events was the Battle of the Breeds. This is where different breeds compete against each other in different events, earning points by proving their versatility. One of the classes was Jeopardy Jumping. In Jeopardy Jumping the riders direct their horse around a course of jumps, but unlike regular jumping events there are 2 jump choices, a lower one and a higher one. Each one is assigned points according to difficulty. If the jump is cleared the horse earns those points, if not no penalty is given.

Arabian, PA Sebastion

Immediately after completing the course the rider was given the option of attempting the Telus bonus jump, worth 100 points if successfully jumped, and penalized -100 if not. Most riders did not attempt this jump and of those who did only a few went clear. The jump was a vertical but had phone booths on either side and I think the reflection in the plastic walls might have distracted the horses.

Quarter Horse, Little Boy Blue

It was a real treat to watch and to see the different breeds compete. The small Shetland ponies proved how brave and hardy they were. While some of the larger breeds, such as the Friesian and Gypsy Vanner struggled.

The results for the Jeopardy Jumping event declared team Appaloosa as the winner, and team Arabian as second.

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Cat with an Open Wound on His Neck

I wanted to share something a little different with you today.  I just want to tell you about what happened recently to my cat Rilke.  Rilke was a cat we rescued a few years ago.  He had been born wild but now is a rather spoiled cat, one of five we currently have here on our little hobby farm.

Rilke on his favorite cat tower long before this happened.

One day Rilke was not acting himself, he seemed a bit more tired but we really did not pay too much attention as cats do sleep a lot (especially in the winter when they find a nice sunny spot on the floor).

The next day he wanted to go outside, but did not come in that night.  Again this is not unusual as the weather was warm and we have lots of buildings for a cat to explore and sleep in if they want to.  The following day was a Sunday and he came running in the house and disappeared just as I was going out to check the sheep. 

It was not until Sunday afternoon that I saw him again, and noted he had a large swollen lump under his jaw.  I examined it a few times before deciding to go to the veterinarian.

My veterinarian, Dr. Davis, kept the cat for a few days, putting him on antibiotics and draining some of the swelling down.  Dr. Davis was not sure if there had been a tooth problem or what, and was concerned that the cat might need surgery.

The wound broke and a large flap of dead skin was removed, leaving a huge open wound.  There was no skin loose enough to stitch the sides of the wound together, as such it was left open.

By Friday it was determined Rilke did not need surgery and could go home.  I was given medication to give him orally (he did not like that even though it was suppose to be yummy tasting) and medication to spray on the wound 3 to 4 times a day in addition to washing it gently once or twice a day.

The spray was Vetericyn VF Wound and Skin Care.  Of course Rilke did not care for getting sprayed but then again, he was not too happy about being forced to live strictly indoors only while is wound heals.

Here are is a photo I took a few days after we got the little guy home.

As you can see, he is a very fluffy cat with lots of fur.  In addition to washing the area I also had to cut more fur off as it kept getting stuck into his wound as he loves to roll on his cat tower.

That was two weeks ago and he is healing, I will try to get another picture of him after this is all over.

If anyone is interested I will say that Vetericyn is a very good product, there are several different formulas.  They help keep the wound clean and aid healing, so far I would certainly recommend this product to anyone who has a wounded pet.  Talk to your vet, or order it online.

Click here to buy Vetericyn Wound & Infection Pump Spray Vetericyn Wound Pump Spray 8Oz

Vetericyn Wound & Infection Pump Spray Vetericyn Wound Pump Spray 8Oz Vetericyn Wound & Infection Pump Spray Vetericyn Wound Pump Spray 8Oz

Remember if your pet has a serious health problem please talk to a veterinarian before treating it on your own.

Also do note that cats cannot tolerate some of the medications used on humans so make sure you use medications only for cats.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

How to Stop a Cat from Killing Birds

Cats are predators; they like to kill things. Cats naturally kill mice and birds. Nobody seems to mind to much when a cat kills a mouse, in fact cats are often kept as mousers, but people tend to be very upset when cats kill birds.

There are several ways a cat owner can prevent their cat from killing birds.

Preventing Outdoor Cats from Killing Songbirds

Cats that go outside are a major threat to songbirds. While some cats do not bother birds, and others are quite inept at catching them, a clever, and patient, cat can kill a bird every day that it is outside. There are several things you, as a cat owner, can do to reduce the risks of your cat catching and killing birds.

Provide your cat with a collar and bell. A clever cat will learn how to move without ringing the bell but at least it is better than nothing. Birds are good at seeing colors so try to buy a collar that is easy to see on your cat.

Safe Cat Breakaway Collar Zebra

Click here to see Safe Cat Breakaway Collars

Do not encourage birds in your yard, do not have a bird bath or feeder that would attract them.

Build your cat an outdoor cat enclosure so when your cat is outside it is enclosed. Not only will this make it harder for your cat to catch birds, but also keeps your cat safely within your yard.

Let your cat out on a harness. Cats must be trained first for this and ideally not left tied outside without supervision.

Keep the cat indoors, or at least indoors more often.

Training Your Cat Not to Kill Pet Birds

If you have a cat and have pet birds you may be concerned about your cat going after them and killing them.
Small and flighty birds are the ones that a cat is most likely to attack. Larger birds, and those that are not as nervous, will not behave like prey and as such the cat is less likely to go after them. Large birds such as parrots can bite back if threatened.

Cats can be discouraged from attacking pet birds through consistent training. When a cat shows any interest in the bird the cat should be given a quick squirt with a water bottle. Never squirt the cat after it leaves the area as this is just tormenting the cat and it will not understand the relationship to the bird.  Until the cat is fully trained and shows no interest in your pet bird they should not be allowed together. 

Offer the cat treat rewards when in the room with the bird and is ignoring it.

Your pet bird must have a safe, and secure bird cage (one that will not tip over), just in case!

A and E Dometop Bird Cage with Shelf Black

Click to see A and E Dometop Bird Cages

If you do not already have a cat, but do have a bird and are considering getting a cat, you may want to select a kitten.  Kittens are easier to train rather than a mature cat that perhaps has already enjoyed chasing birds. Or you might try to adopt a cat that has already lived with birds and is good with them.


Please note declawing does not prevent a cat from killing birds; cats kill with their teeth. Remember that cats are natural predators, to punish a cat for being a cat is unfair, a good owner would find other ways to prevent their cat from killing birds.

Other Reading

How to Build a Cat Enclosure

Article has been republished on Full of Knowledge

Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to Tell a Husky and a Malamute Apart

The Siberian husky and the Alaskan malamute are commonly confused. Both dogs are somewhat similar in appearance (they can have the same color patterns), they are spitz breeds; and both have a somewhat similar personality; they love to run/  But is always good to know how to tell Huskies and Malamutes apart, or know what traits either is more likely to have especially if you are considering getting either dog as a pet.

Please note that there are many different breeds of husky, in general we will refer to the Siberian Husky.

So how do you tell the difference between a malamute and a husky?

Alaskan Malamute

  • Malamutes are quite a bit larger than huskies with some males weighing in at 90 pounds (41 kg).
  • Have a wider head and ears are set further apart.
  • Malamutes have brown eyes.
  • Tend to carry their tails over their backs.
  • Malamutes are noted for digging out of yards to escape the boredom of confinement.
  • The average lifespan is 12 years.

Siberian Husky

  • Huskies are considered medium sized dogs, with males weighing around 60 pounds (27 kg).
  • The shape of a huskies head is narrower and the ears are set closer together.
  • Huskies can have brown eyes, blue eyes, or one eye of each color.
  • Tend to have a more relaxed way of carrying their tail, although they sometimes carry it high they will often hang their tail down.
  • Huskies are noted for jumping fences and will often climb a fence to get out of a yard.
  • The average lifespan of a husky is 14 years.

Both huskies and malamutes are high energy dogs who need a lot of exercise. They are considered to be “northern breeds” and enjoy colder weather and in warm weather care should be taken to keep the dogs cool.

Huskies and malamute have strong prey drives and have been known to kill cats, chickens, rabbits, and so forth. If you have other pets and are thinking of getting a Husky or Malamute, make sure to get one from a breeder that has other pets and has socialized the puppy well. 

Both are noted for being escape artists who then run, and run, and run. They are more independent than most dog breeds.

Huskies and malamutes were both bred to pull sleds. Huskies were often used in larger teams with more dogs, and are often used in sled races, while malamutes were used in smaller teams of fewer dogs, and were used to pull heavier at slower speeds.

Both the husky and the malamute dog can travel 35 miles a day and as such they need an owner that can provide them with lots of physical exercise.

Neither breed is particularly suited for being a guard dog, but both tend to love people in general.

Malamutes and huskies rarely bark but both will howl. They sometimes learn to bark if around other dogs that bark.

Both the Malamute and the Husky are independent breeds, as noted they will often run with no interest in turning around. They can be trained but are not necessarily obedient.

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Training Guide for a Husky
Pet Wolf

This article has been republished at Full of Knowledge.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Can Pets Be Claimed as Tax Expenses?

Who among us that loves their pet would not want to be able to write off pet expenses on their taxes?   Everything from pet food to vet care, in the eye of a pet owner, would be deductible from taxes, sadly in most cases this is not allowed.  While an attempt at having veterinarian expenses allowed as deductible in the USA, has still not passed (The Happy Act, HR 3501), there are a few cases where animals, and their expenses, can be deducted.

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What Animals can be Claimed on Taxes?

Most pets and their expenses cannot be claimed.  Generally what determines if a pet, and pet expenses, can be claimed, is if the it is used to make money, is a “working” animal, or if the animal is a service animal.

Pets Used as Service Animals

Animals, such as seeing eye dogs, are often considered to be medical needs. This is only the case when the animal has been assigned as such. In many cases the animal needs to be prescribed as a service animal by a doctor.

Pets that are Working Animals

Guard dogs are a good example of working animals, specifically when they are used for guarding a business. The business claims the dog as an expense.  Only a portion of a guard dog's expenses may be claimed, specifically in ratio to the time they spend "guarding".  Some dogs might only be used to guard a business at night, so 50% of the expenses may be claimed on taxes, as the animal is living as a "pet" for the other part of the time.  A dog that lives outside with sheep, and guards them all the time, could be considered fully deductible as a farm expense. 

Cats who are used for mousers may be considered working animals if their mousing is at a business (such as a cat kept at a warehouse or on the farm).  A pet house cat would not qualify.

Herding dogs are considered working animals and would be claimed as a farm expense.

Pets that are Used to Make Profit

This often applies more to livestock, and pets who are treated as livestock. If income from the animals is claimed, expenses can be as well. As an example, if a person is a rabbit breeder, with several hundred rabbits breeding for the pet store (or food) industry, they can claim expenses, as this is a business, but they must also report the income derived from sales.

The same would apply to dog breeders when they claim a profit, this is typically limited to mill breeders who breed pups for pet stores.  Most other dog breeders do not make (or claim) a profit and keep the dogs more as a hobby, or passion, than an income source.

When pets are used to make a profit they are claimed as a business expense, with the breeding operation being the “business".  There must be reasonable belief that the business will be profitable; a person keeping only a few hamsters or a few breeding dogs, is not an actual business and would really be just a hobby. 

Livestock animals used on a farm for the farming business can be claimed, but if the farmer also has a pet dog that stays in mostly in the house (and is not used for herding or guarding), then that dog cannot be claimed.  Horses kept as pleasure riding mounts, and their expenses, could not be claimed, however if the horses were used regularly for hire (trail rides and so forth) they could be claimed, or a percentage of their expenses could be claimed against the trail riding business that would have to be licensed as such.

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Remember if you are in doubt check with a tax specialist in your area.  Laws can change at any time and may be different in different countries.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Feliway Helps Stop Behavioral Urination Problems in Cats

There are many reasons why cats do not use their litter box. Some of the common cases are:
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Type of litter the cat does not like
  • Dirty litter box
  • Cat not neutered
  • Too many cats, not enough litterboxes
  • Bad choice of placement for the litterbox
  • Declawing
  • and so forth.

One of the other reasons why a cat might not use its litter box for urine is behavioral. Cats, as laid back as they look, are actually fairly high strung, and sensitive. They often suffer from anxiety issues and stress. 

Cats can be stressed by many things; a new baby, new house, chaos in the home, or even other cats hanging around.

Feliway is a product made for cats with stress related concerns, or those who spray to mark territory. It has been proven to help reduce urination around them home as when brought about by stress or normal marking behavior sometimes seen in cats that are fixed (not other problems) and has also been shown to reduce clawing and scratching. 

How Does Feliway Work?

Feliway mimics a cat's pheromones (scent hormones) to calm them. When a cat is calm it does not feel as much of a need to mark its territory with urine (yes female cats do this too, even neutered males). It is a spray that is applied after cleaning any urine soaked areas.

Humans cannot smell Feliway but cats can. Feliway encourages a cat to rub its face on the areas that have been sprayed, in this way the cat puts its scent in areas so will not feel the need to spray those areas. It is important that owners do not wipe clean the area after the cat has wiped its face there.

Typically after a month's use, Feliway has shown a 95% success rate. It should be sprayed once or twice daily to problem areas. Feliway is never sprayed directly on the cat.

To calm a cat before a trip, spray the carrier the night before you take the cat in it. Leave the carrier open so the cat can go in. Give another spray just prior to putting your cat in the carrier. In an emergency situation where you cannot spray the carrier the night before, one spray just before putting the cat in is still effective to help calm the kitty. 

Feliway Spray 75 ml Feliway Spray 75 ml
Feliway spray is an effective medication to prevent urine marking and scratching and also control stress related behavior in cats. This pet care product prevents cats from urinating where they shouldn't by duplicating the smell of a cat's natural scent glands. Feliway mimics the feline facial pheromone, which have a general calming effect which helps neutralize the urge to urine mark.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Where to Buy Blue Buffalo Pet Food Online?

One of the biggest killers of pets, second only to accidents, is cancer. While it is hard to pinpoint the cause of all cancers in pets a good many of them can be linked to what we feed our pets or other chemicals we expose them to.

Did you know that some of the ingredients in commercial pet foods have been linked to causing cancers. BHT, and BHA, are low quality, and cheap, preservatives used in some of the lower quality pet foods. They have been suspected of causing many health problems in pets, including cancer. Ethoxyquin (used to preserve by-products) is a chemical pesticide so risky that it is highly regulated in livestock feed, and banned in some countries, yet is fed to pets in other nations, having been suspected of also contributing to health problems in pets.

Concerned pet owners are looking for natural products, and natural ingredients in their pets food and treats.
What many pet owners do not realize is that you won't find good pet food easily in most stores. Most of the pet foods sold commercially in grocery stores contains cheap filler, grain, and by-products. They are priced cheap because the ingredients used are “cheap”.

Many pet owners simply assume that AAFCO approval means a pet food is good, when in fact AAFCO means no such thing, and a concerned owner would do better to read the ingredient list to study what goes into the food itself.

Blue Buffalo is one of many high quality pet foods and is sold in some pet food stores, however many owners find it just as easy to order their pet food, treats, and supplies, online and have them delivered.
One of the online distributors for Blue Buffalo pet foods is Pet Food Direct sells over 16,000 pet products and supplies, including more than 150 Blue Buffalo healthy pet treats, foods, and products.

screenshot from PetFoodDirect

Let us look at why Blue Buffalo is a good quality food by looking at two of their products.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Kitten - Chicken Dry Food
  • First Three Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal
  • Contains NO chicken or poultry by-product meal, NO artificial preservatives or colors and NO corn, wheat or soy.
  • Also contains Cranberries, blueberries and carrots support antioxidant-enrichment. Contains yucca for odor control in the stool.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Adult Dog – Turkey Dry Food
  • First Three Ingredients: Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, Potato Starch
  • Sweet potatoes and potatoes provide healthy complex carbohydrates. Blueberries, cranberries and carrots support antioxidant-enrichment.
  • Contains no grain, no artificial preservatives or colors. Great for dogs who have grain allergies.
Click on the coupon below to get $5 off Blue Buffalo Pet Foods, or any product!

About Switching to Blue Buffalo Pet Foods

If you are use to buying cheap, low quality pet food, Blue Buffalo (and other good pet foods) might seem expensive. In truth many pet owners find they save money when feeding a better food, such as Blue Buffalo, because your pet does not need to eat as much. The food contains more nutrition and less filler so is easier to digest. You will also notice fewer stools too, and hopefully fewer diet related health problems.

Switching to a new pet food should always be done slowly. In fact if this is a big step up in quality (as if the current food your pet is eating has “corn” as the first ingredient) you can stretch out switching to Blue Buffalo so it takes two weeks or more. Switch by mixing in the new food, Blue Buffalo, with what ever food your pet is currently eating, increasing the % of Blue Buffalo and lowering the % of current food until the switch is complete.

If your pet seems reluctant to switch at first it may be because they have become addicted to the flavorings and fillers the lower quality foods use to get the pets to eat them, much the same way people have a difficult time putting down cake to eat something more healthy. You can put the new food in the microwave for a few seconds to bring out the oils and make it smell stronger so your pet will be interested in eating it. Once they try it they are usually hooked.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Natural Remedy for Dogs who Eat their Own Feces

Coprophagia is the name given for when a dog that eats its own feces. This is a disgusting habit in the eyes of many pet owners, but perfectly natural among dogs. Some breeds, such as the Dachshund, seem more prone to engage in eating their own stools.

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A long standing myth has been that dogs eat their stools because their food is low quality. We now know this is not true, dogs eating poor quality food are not going to get any additional vitamins or nutrients in their stool. However there has been a link made between dogs with vitamin B deficiencies and coprophagia.

A dog fed a good quality food is likely to engage in coprophagia simply because there can be some undigested bits in their poop, and quite honestly, their poop might even smell yummy!

A dog with worms might be getting fed enough but the worms are eating their share of the dog's food and making digestion difficult, as such the dog may still feel hungry and eat its feces as a result.

Mother dogs eat the stools of their pups as a way to keep the den area clean. In the wild dogs might also eat their own feces around their den as a way to keep the area clean. In puppy mill situations a bored dog might even eat its own stools as something to do, or as a way to fill its empty stomach if underfed.

Owners who leave their dog out in a dirty backyard with very little mental stimulation, may find that their dog picks up coprophagia as a habit.

How to Stop a Dog from Eating its Stools

The first thing an owner can try to do is to be more proactive in regards to cleaning up after their dog. As coprophagia sometimes starts when the dog is a puppy, while house training an owner can pick up after the pup immediately and give the pup a small treat reward so that it never even thinks about turning around to eat its poop.

Some people have found that adding canned pineapple or meat tenderizer to the dog's food can help as they may make the dog's stool taste bad after the fact. This is a home remedy that works for some dogs, but not others. Dogs that have been eating their own stool for some time will have

There are also products available in stores and online that can help with this nasty behavior. Not all of these products are any good, and some use questionable ingredients, so always look for an “All-Natural” product when dealing with any sort of concern like this.

Save 5% on your first order at Only Natural Pet Store! Coupon code CJ15.

Only Natural Pet Store has a terrific product, Only Natural Pet Stool Eating Deterrent

screen shot from only natural pet

The Only Natural Pet Stool Eating Deterrent product is a pill that contains:
  • digestive enzymes (to help improve digestion so fewer yummy bits are left in the stool), 
  • cayenne pepper (to make the stool taste bad), 
  • vitamin B (to combat any deficiencies), 
  • yucca (to reduce the smell of the stool),  
  • and a few other natural ingredients. 

This product is made in the USA, and contains human grade ingredients. One bottle contains 90 pills.

Click here to learn more about this great product or to get it.

Concerned pet owners will always look for all natural solutions to any pet problem they have, noting that second to accidents, cancer is a leading killer of pets.

Read other articles on products from Only Natural Pet

What are Holistic Pet Products
Natural Ways to Control Fleas and Ticks
Vegetarian Dog Foods