Imagine a little cabin in the woods, loads of animal books on the shelf, each packed with pictures, information, or stories. Each Blog post is a little book for you to read and enjoy. So pull one off the shelf today and read about Exotic Pets, and Unusual, or Rare, Animals!
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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!
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
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
So how do you tell the difference
between a malamute and a 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
One of the online distributors for Blue Buffalo pet foods is
PetFoodDirect.com. 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
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
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Adult Dog – Turkey Dry Food
First Three Ingredients: Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, Potato
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
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.
PetFoodDirect has an auto-ship program which will reduce the cost of
your pet food even more... And... You can join the PetFoodDirect rewards program
where points can be accumulated and used to “buy” pet food for
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.
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
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