Positive side effects of pet ownership for children

Dogs and other animals can help children cope with a variety of ailments — depression, emotional disorders, and even poor immune function. Pets are also good preventive medicine for healthy children to help them avoid developing allergies, increasing weight, or becoming social outcasts.  Pets can also teach children empathy and compassion. “Children in dog-owning families have more traditional values, better academic achievement, and greater respect for their parents,” said Elizabeth

Your Dog's Destructive Chewing Habit

Dogs, especially puppies, explore their environment by sniffing, tasting, and often chewing on objects throughout the home. Dogs that chew may also be scavenging for food (as in garbage raiding), playing (chewing apart a book or pillow), teething (puppies 3-6 months old), or satisfying a natural canine urge to chew and gnaw (which may serve to help keep teeth and gums healthy).  Some dogs chew because they receive attention (even

Obesity in cats and dogs

It is estimated that nearly half of the dogs and many of the cats in the United States are overweight, or obese, which indicates a serious weight problem. Pets generally love to eat, and, just like in people, this love of food can pack on the pounds. An easy way to estimate the proper weight for your dog is to feel the ribs and points on top of the backbone. These

Orphaned Baby Birds

What should you do if you find a baby bird that appears to have fallen out of the nest? If the bird appears to be uninjured, the best thing to do is to return it to its parents, so look around for the nest in all the surrounding trees.  Birds often try to build their nests where they will be hidden from view, so look carefully! If you can find

Toxic homes: Are our pets becoming polluted?

The danger posed by toxic chemicals in the environment  has been a widely recognized and extensively studied public health issue for decades. But only recently have the possible effects of these chemicals on pet health been seriously studied. A new report raises new concerns The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit research organization, recently issued the results of what it describes as “the most comprehensive investigation of the

Vital Statistics: Gerbils

Body length (no tail): 3-6 inches (7-15 cm) Total body weight: 50-80 grams (females), 80-130 grams (males) Age of sexual maturity: 65-85 days Average life span in captivity: 3-5 years Related posts: Vital Statistics: Rabbits

Most common disorders of Rats

Respiratory disease (mycoplasmosis, secondary infections, viruses) Congestive heart failure Mammary tumors Cancer Ectoparasitism Pituitary tumors Abscesses Obesity Pododermatitis (foot infection) Malocclusion Sudden death/trauma Nephrosis Overheating/chilling/heat stress Paraplegia in geriatric rats The most common health problem in rats is respiratory disease. Visiting your veterinarian for routine health checks will help prevent many diseases and support you in having a fun, satisfying relationship with your pet rat. For help in finding a

Birdwatching in Urban Areas

Andrew Redden is an avid backyard birdwatcher. From his rear window, he has, on various occasions, spied doves, robins, cardinals, blue jays, three varieties of sparrow, finches, mockingbirds, catbirds, and juncos. He’s even spotted a group of parrots that make regular visits to a neighbor’s tall mulberry tree, squawking up a storm as they gorge on the sweet, sticky fruit. His “yard,” by the way, measures 30 by 20 feet