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Fun Facts

Animal Sounds – Animals communicate with sounds that range from barks to whistles, chirps to grunts, and meows to screams.  Interestingly, the sounds made by very different animals have been given the same name to describe their communication, despite the diversity of the animals themselves:  Dogs and Frogs BARK, Magpies and Monkeys CHATTER, Calves, Giraffes, Penguins and Sheep BLEAT, Sparrows and Grasshoppers CHIRP, Ravens and Frogs CROAK, Loons and Wolves HOWL, Tortoises and Pugs GRUNT. 
Big Blue - Aquariums are a study in diversity and always a challenge as you find a unique fish to add to enhance that watery world.  If color is important, consider the Real Tang.  Found in the Indo-Pacific, this species has been called the bluest thing on Earth.  It has a deep blue body and a bright yellow tail.  This is a peaceful species but they will fight among themselves so it is wise not to keep them with other Real Tangs. 
Photo Magic – Taking pictures of pets is a favorite hobby of most pet owners.  In fact, surveys show that 69% of animal households have at least one photo of their pet on display.  Many people also carry pictures of their favorite pet in their wallets.  Experts offer these tips to taking great photos:
Be Ready.  Most of your animal’s antics are spontaneous, and that is often when he or she is the cutest.  Have a camera handy.  Even disposable cameras take adequate photos so having more than one n you home is not a bad idea. 
Get Down.  Everyone has seen pictures of animals where they are looking almost straight up at the camera.  It is not a natural pose or even their natural personality.  Get down to the level of your pet, eye-to-eye.  It is a unique perspective for the camera lens and creates some fascinating photos. 
Practice Patience.  Animals, like children, will rarely stay in one position for any length of time.  They are typically perpetual motion, so you have to be willing to wait for the pose, activity, or action you are looking for.  An animal’s spontaneous actions also make great pictures.  The secret to successful pet photos:  Keep the camera handy waiting for that perfect shot. 
Sleek Dog, Great Pet – Grace, speed and stamina, with a name that can be hard to pronounce.  The Weimaraner (WHY-muhr-ann-er) breed began in Weimar, Germany in the early 19th century.  These canines were originally raised as hunting dogs.  However through time, they have also evolved into great family pets.  Weimaraners measure up to 27” and weigh as much as 85 pounds.  They require room to run, time for exercise and space to thrive.  They are not happy if required to spend their time in a kennel. 
Their courage and scenting abilities make them valuable as hunting companions as well as guardians and watchdogs. These canines demonstrate tremendous intelligence.  It is also important to recognize their strength and that obedience training is a must. 
Most dogs respond best to positive reinforcement training.  This is especially true with the Weimaraner. 
Aviary Extras – No matter how small your pet birds are, choose the largest cage you can.  The most important measurement of the ideal cage should be the length since birds need space to fly. 
Cages with vertical bars are fine for Canaries and Finches.
The Hookbill enjoys climbing.  The best cage for these birds should be horizontal bars. 
Toys, bells and swings are added comforts for your birds’ cage.  Important necessities are perches of varying lengths and thicknesses and bowls for baths. 
Birds like an occasional splash.  Most birds love water; many will whistle and sing as they bathe.  

Big Attitude – Pomeranians were once so large that they were used to pull cars.  The larger version weighed about 30 pounds and was usually all white.  Selective breeding has created the petite Pomeranian of today, weighing just 3-7 pounds in colors ranging from sable to orange.  Although a small canine, most Pomeranians do not know that they are not large dogs.  They enjoy their view of life, looking at all things with their famous big dog perspective. 

Family Fun – Camping… Backpacking… Hiking… Regardless of the activity, each can be a lot of fun, great exercise and a bonding experience.  Bring your favorite canine along and the whole event is raised to another level. 
In addition to companionship, your dog may help you discover new sights.  Always keep him on a leash when hiking or backpacking. 
As he leads you, he will naturally explore unfamiliar sights and smells.  His attention to those areas will pique your interest also, allowing you to discover otherwise unnoticed scenery.
Prepare your human and canine family for the outing.  Licenses must be current.  Check with your veterinarian to confirm that your pet is in good health and that these outings won’t be too strenuous for him.  If your canine needs medication or special food, be sure to bring them with you.  Also, be sure to check with your vet to make sure all of your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date.  Never leave home without your canine first aid kit. 

Hired To Eat! What A Concept! – The federal Bureau of Reclamation used  an innovative technique for vegetation control on Tiger Island in California, using about 1,600 goats on the project to clear the area so authorities could inspect it for a variety of defects.  This was the most environmentally  friendly method for clearing the land. 
The goats did not belong to the Bureau,.  They were eating on independent contractor status, rented from a local farmer. 
Let’s do a little math, shall we: There are 5.8 acres per mile.  It is a 26-mile levee.  The 1,600 goats munched an average of about 1.5 acres each day.  It took these goats about 100 days to clear the levee! 
California is not the only state to use goat-power.  They have been used in Washington, Idaho, Oregon… in fact 39 of the 50 states have reported success with this eco-friendly ground-clearing. 
Goats have been used to clear blackberries and overgrowth for generations.  Before chemicals were developed to clear weeds and other unwanted vegetation, pulling and digging were the most often methods until the voracious appetite of the goat was found to be less work for humans and much more effective. 

Unusual Conversations – Prairie Dogs are new as pets and not widely accepted yet, but scientists have been studying them in the wild for a very long time.  Researchers have determined that Prairie Dogs can talk.  They use over 100 different “words”, most of which are used to announce intruders and warn of predators.  These animals are able to communicate amazingly complex information through a relatively sophisticated language.  Although the basic language is the same, each Prairie Dog colony has its own dialect.  It is also believed that they can remember a specific person for up to two months. 

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall – When cats see their reflection in a mirror they try to touch it with a paw, or even hiss at it and seem to be fooled into thinking it’s another cat.  What excites the cat about his reflection is the motion he sees.  Each time the cat moves, so does the reflection.  (What matters most is how you see yourself.)  
Believe It Or Not – Unique characteristics of the animal world create fascinating tidbits of information:  White Shark – Teeth as hard as steel.  Chameleon – Tongue is as long as the body.  Pelicans – Have no nostrils.  Gila Monster – Can live off fat stored in its tail.  Cockroach – Has not changed for 275 million years.  Komodo Dragon – Teeth as sharp as a shark’s.  Flea – Its armor is tougher than an M-1 tank. 

Lots Of Work – there are about 40,00 – 75,000 bees in the average honey bee colony.  These insects really put in a lot of work.  It takes about 80,000 trips between flower and hive to make just a single pound of honey. 

Raisins and Grapes Are Poisonous To Dogs!  Fresh grapes, both red and white from grocery stores, vines in your yard and fermented from wineries can cause toxicity to dogs.  Four pounds of grapes equal 1 pound of raisins, fewer raisins need to be ingested to reach toxic levels.  Problems range from severe gastrointestinal signs to life-threatening renal failure or even death.  Vomiting occurs usually within the first few hours of ingesting.  Contact a Veterinarian immediately.  See ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at  

Did You Know -  The eyes of most fish are on the side of the head, rather than on the front, allowing it to search for food and watch for enemies on both sides at the same time.  

Loosely defined, amphibians are animals that live in water and on land.  They are usually hatched from eggs laid in streams or ponds and then will move to land as adults.  The word amphibian comes from Greek meaning “leading a double life.” 

If You Lived Like A Dog – What would humans learn if dogs were teachers:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

Take Naps

Run, romp, and play daily.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t pout.  Run right back and make friends. 

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.  Never pretend to be something you're not.

When someone is having a bad day, sit close by, nuzzle gently.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body!

Fun Facts…  The Hound group features the Treeing Walker Coonhound which barks up to 100 times per minute. 

The Working Dog group the Samoyed is known for the Samoyed smile.  His “smile” dominates his cute face with his white fur and black mouth and eyes.  In addition the Samoyed is also famous for his almost cat-like self-grooming habit of keeping its coat clean.   The Komondor was bred to guard sheep by looking like one.  Their fur is long, heavy, white cords that make him look like a huge mop! 

Herding dogs include the Puli.  Owners of this breed describe washing a Puli as much like washing a sweater.  “It can take several days to dry naturally, and several hours with a hairdryer.”  By the way, the plural of Puli is not Pulis, but Pulick. 

In the Non-Sporting Group, there is a Coton du Tulear, the royal dog of Madagascar.  The name is very descriptive:  Coton meaning cotton, refers to their coat that feels like cotton and is one of the most unusual canine fur textures; and Tulear refers to an area of Madagascar, their place of origin.

Just a Thought – I wonder if my dog always follows me into the bathroom when I have to go potty because I always follow him outside when he does and he just thinks that’ how it works!

Dog Bites – Each year up to one-million people require medical treatment for dog bites, and millions more bites go unreported.  Dog bites are the number one public health problem of children. 

Any type, size, or age of dog can bite.  There are several steps dog owners can take to work with their dog and help avoid biting situations, regardless of the environment:

Socialize your pet.  The more comfortable he feels around people and other animals, the less stressed he will become.

Train your dog to understand and obey the basic commands.  “Sit,” ”Stay,” and ”No” will help you control his actions. 

Don’t allow your dog to be teased or taunted.  Aggression often occurs when animals are harassed. 

Obey leash laws.  In addition to potential fines for unleashed pets, dogs roaming freely are obviously not easily controlled. 

Keep your dog healthy, fleas under control, and vaccinations up-to-date.  Dogs may become agitated when they are ill, and certainly are stressed when fleas take over. 

Old Dog, New Favorite  -  Known as the American Gentleman among canines, the Boston Terrier is again gaining in popularity among dog lovers.  This canine was originally called a Bull Terrier.  He is the product of the English Bulldog and the White English Terrier, creating a high spirited dog with a pleasant disposition. 

Effortless – The Chameleon’s tongue is sort of a cross between a slingshot and a No-Pest Strip, unfurling at 13 miles an hour, so the chameleon can dine without lifting a claw.  Even drinking is a no-brainer.  All the animal has to do is breathe in some moisture-rich air or inhale a dewdrop. 

Too Lonely – Never leave dogs alone in the yard while you are vacationing.  Dogs are pack animals and need companionship.  They get frustrated at being left alone, they may chew and damage outdoor furniture, etc., and regardless of the quality of fence you have, they can dig out of your yard.  You wouldn’t leave your children alone for extended periods, don’t leave your dogs alone either!  If pet sitting is not your best solution, check out the many quality kennels available.  Many veterinary clinics will also board animals. 

There are about 700 hairs in a Walrus’ mustache.  The walrus uses his mustache to help find food under water by feeling the food with those hairs.  He can also use his mustache like a fork to hold shellfish while eating. 

Walk On The Wild Side – Spring… Summer… Fall… Winter… Regardless of the season, outdoor activities are fun for the entire family, human and animal alike.  Heading for the hills this spring and summer with your dog can be a wonderful experience allowing you to spend some quality time together.  Simple planning can make your hikes safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Use A Leash – Even areas allowing dogs usually require they be kept on a leash.  Keeping your dog on a leash is safer for your pet. 
Water – Not all water is safe to drink.  Your dog is just as susceptible to illness from bad water as you are.  Bring plenty of water for your outing.  Remember, exercise creates thirst.
Visit The Vet – Hiking can be strenuous exercise.  Check with his veterinarian to make sure your dog is in good physical shape.  Your vet can also help customize your pet’s first aid kit. 
Check If Dogs Are Allowed – pets are not allowed in all areas.  Check with local rangers and other appropriate officials for the rules in the area you will be hiking. 
Identification – An ID collar is always important so that your dog can be easily identified if he gets lost.  Capsule tags are available for his collar with room to write a temporary contact while away from home. 
Clothes - Not a frivolous matter.  A bright orange vest on your dog while hiking will stop an accidental shooting by a hunter.  Your dog can also be seen from a greater distance wearing that bright color. 
Light Weight – Doggie backpacks are popular, but don’t weigh him down with a heavy load. 
Keep Cool – Heat Exhaustion can affect everyone in your hiking party, animals included.  Give him plenty of water and lots of opportunities to cool off in shady areas. 
Shape Up – If your dog is not used to much exercise, begin conditioning long before your hike to get him in shape.  Your vet can suggest an effective program.
Snacks – Exercise burns calories.  In addition to your munchies, be sure to bring snacks for your dog.
Rushing Water – Rivers and fast running streams can be treacherous for animals.  Even in shallow water, the current may be too much for him to maneuver.  Definitely put your dog on a leash when crossing streams. 
Bugs – Fleas and mosquitos can bother your dog as well as you.  A pet-safe repellant should be included in your first aid kit.  Ticks are always a threat.  A good brushing each day should eliminate ticks before they have a chance to transfer disease.  After arriving home, a thorough mild bath and combing is best.  If you find ticks and are unable to remove them completely, take your dog to the veterinarian to do the job.  Ticks can cause serious illness, including potentially fatal Lyme Disease.

Lickity Spit – Mother cats lick their kittens to clean them.  The tongue of all felines is coated with hard barbs called Papillae which face toward the animal’s throat, like tiny scoops.  These are not taste buds for the cats; their taste buds are at the tip, sides and base of the tongue.  These papillae cover the surface of the cat’s tongue, helping him to lap liquids, an important trait.  Just for fun try to lap some water from a saucer.  It’s tough!  Your nose gets in the way, you splatter the liquid all over, and very little (if any) gets into your mouth. 

Touchy Toes – As the weather turns warmer and outdoor activities increase, it is important to remember canine sensitivities, especially their footpads.  Hot pavement can work like a blast furnace.  Walk your dog in the morning or evening when the ground is not as hot.  Carry your small dog over hot pavement to a grassy area.  Walking over coarse gravel or on a running track can also damage footpads.  
     Each Thanksgiving, there are reports of dogs who are injured and even die after being given turkey bones to chew on. Dogs love to chew, but turkey bones should never be given. They are very brittle and can splinter easily. If swallowed, the sharp ends may cause internal bleeding. As a treat, give your dog a beef bone to chew.
     Overindulging during the holidays is an American tradition, but too much “human” food can make your pet sick.
     Holiday food is typically richer than usual. It is definitely much richer than your pet is accustomed to eating. Even when those big, expressive, loving eyes are staring at you, pleading for just a little taste of your food, remember that the healthiest meal for pets is their own quality foods.

     As the season changes and the cold weather dominates our lives, special attention must be paid to pets who spend even a short time outdoors.
     Diet: Pets may require as much as 50% more energy to maintain a normal body temperature in colder weather. Extra portions of high-quality food may help on the coldest days.
     Water: Be sure there is always fresh drinking water available. Check the water bowl often to make sure the water has not frozen.
     Antifreeze: Cats are attracted to antifreeze because of its sweet taste, but it can be deadly if swallowed. Watch out for spilled antifreeze or leaking radiators.
     Fan Belts: Because cats seek warmth under car hoods, more cats are injured by fan belts during cold weather months than at any other time of the year. Always honk your horn and check under the hood before starting your car.
     Sore Paws: Snow, ice, road salt, and mud can irritate your pet’s paws. Clean their paws and pads often, checking for cuts and sores.
     Outdoor Housing: Be sure your pets always have an optional refuge to use when the weather turns inclement. Put a sturdy box in a sheltered area like a porch, garage, or barn. Add a towel or rug inside and check it regularly to make sure it remains clean and dry. A deep box with some old clothes inside can be a great shelter.
     Only squirrels are able to lower their body temperature to below freezing while hibernating, and yet no ice crystals form in their blood. No other mammal can do this.

     November is designated as Diabetes Awareness Month. Pet owners should know that not only humans can have diabetes. Cats and dogs who are otherwise apparently healthy can develop this disease and they need your help.
     Diabetes occurs frequently in overweight animals. If your pet has been putting on a few extra pounds and his food intake has not increased, his health could be in jeopardy. There may also be a diagnosis of secondary diabetes.
     When detected early, many cases may be managed with diet alone. Some animals, however, will need insulin injections, careful monitoring of food intake, and controlled exercise.
     Once blood glucose levels are stabilized, regular veterinary visits to monitor his progress are important to his continued health.
     Signs of diabetes include excessive thirst and urination, increased appetite, and even weight loss. These symptoms may also indicate other illness or disease. If you notice any of the symptoms, a veterinary check-up is important so that appropriate treatment can be initiated.
     There was a time when an animal diagnosed with diabetes would routinely be euthanized. However, it is important to know that even if your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, with medicines and veterinary knowledge, your pet can lead a long, healthy, happy life with your care.

     Cats are often thought to be solitary animals. Actually, cats, like other animals, will give love and affection once a bond has been formed.
     Cats learn to love from their mothers. They pick up behaviors as kittens, just as human children do. When a kitten is nuzzled by his mother, he learns affection, and will later nuzzle his siblings and friends. Just as they will snuggle and lick their human friends, they will also snuggle and lick each other. They also have other, more subtle ways of showing affection. Sleeping in each other’s beds and eating from each other’s bowls are sure signs of affection.

     Always a holiday favorite, here are a few tidbits about this month’s featured bird, the Turkey!
•  When you hear that gobble, gobble, gobble, it is only the tom turkey. Hen turkeys do not gobble.  They make a  clicking noise (yes, clicking, not clucking) noise.
• Think turkeys can’t fly? It all depends on whether they are wild or domestic. Domesticated turkeys can’t fly, but wild birds are able to fly short distances. They can actually fly up to 55 mph and can run up to 25 mph.
• The turkey was nominated as the official bird of the United States by Benjamin Franklin, but the bald eagle got the nod.
• Mature turkeys have about 3,500 feathers at maturity.
• The red bumps on a turkey's head are called  caruncles.
• Turkeys are not smart. When it rains, they look to see what is hitting them, and they can actually drown from inhaling the falling rain.

 Birds sleep, half the time.  Most owls nests in trees, but the Burrowing Owl digs a nest in the ground.   While sitting, Hummingbirds will breathe 250 times a minute .  A Woodcock’s eyes  are behind its ears.

 On average, cats can jump five times as high as their tail is long.   The domestic cat is the only feline species able to hold his tail vertically while walking.  A cat’s brain is more similar to a humans’ than a dog’s, both having similar areas responsible for emotion.

     The Old English Mastiff is one of the heaviest canine breeds. Males can weigh as much as 200 pounds but most are about 160.  Females weigh about 150 pounds. Eighteenth Century authors have a unique and graphic description of these canines: "As a lion is to a cat, so is a mastiff compared to a dog."

     Celebrating Thanksgiving means many things to many people. The animal that almost everyone hears about at this time of year is the turkey. We have some fascinating facts about these unique birds, sure to entertain, enlighten, and simply inform:
• Turkeys have been roaming North and South America for over 10-million years.
• The largest turkey on record weighed 86 pounds.
• There is a festival honoring turkeys, the Eldon (Missouri) Turkey Festival which is held each October. It includes a Turkey Egg Toss, Turkey Calling Seminars and a 5-K Turkey Trot.
     Many areas remember these birds by naming their cities after them. In fact, there are at least 60 cities in the U.S. named Turkey.
     For equal time to other poultry, there are about 10 cities called Chicken.

     Trumpeter Swans are the rarest swan in the world. They are also the largest, averaging 26½ pounds for males, and 21 for females. Their wingspan is also an impressive sight, ranging up to eight feet across.
    These birds migrate to North America in April. Their return flight south starts as the temperatures drop to freezing, typically in October and November. They do not fly far south, however, usually just far enough to find an area of shallow lakes and streams with food and open water.
     Their habitats are becoming protected areas. By the early 1900’s, they were nearly extinct.
An international restoration program began in the 1930’s to save the Trumpeter Swan, and they have responded well.
     In captivity, they can live up to 35 years. In the wild, their life expectancy is about 12 years.
     Trumpeter Swans usually mate for life. 
     The nests of these birds are made of reeds, roots, and grass, and are lined with their own down. Females lay 5-6 eggs, averaging 13 ounces each.  Trumpeter Swans carry their babies on their backs. 

     Many people keep too many fish in their aquariums. Experts recommend keeping only 2-3 fish for every five gallons of water to keep them healthy. A ratio higher than that and the fish will not grow to their fullest size potential and their life span can be considerably shorter.

     Experts have determined that the average Pig squeals at a level of 100-115 decibels. When compares to a supersonic jet, pigs win! The jet’s engine only reaches about 112 decibels at takeoff.

WORKING DOGS -   Canines are amazing animals, as any dog lover will tell you. In addition to making wonderful pets, they can also be trained as valuable working animals.
     Their sense of smell is at least 100,000 times better than humans. With this extremely keen sense, they can be trained to detect a variety of things, including illegal drugs, gas leaks, hidden explosives, and even insects. Of course, dogs are also trained for search and rescue to help find lost adults and children. Many fire departments across the country use specially trained dogs to locate the sources of suspicious fires. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a Beagle Brigade that is used to find pests that damage crops.

RIGHT SIZE -   When fitting your dog for his collar, use a tape measure to determine the circumference of his neck.       Next, add two inches to the measurement for the proper collar size for cloth, leather, etc.  Finally, add 2½-3 inches for chain-slip collars.

GALLUP PETS -  Surveys are taken for almost everything these days, so why should our pets be any different? The following are results from a recent Gallup Poll:

* 9 of 10 pet owners talk to their pet.   
* 32% let pets sleep in their beds.   
* 30% leave the TV on for animals to watch.   
* 17% keep photos of their pets in their wallets.   
* 62% give their pets Christmas gifts.

INTERESTING -  Here is a fact that surprises even the most dedicated animal lovers and proves how popular pets truly are:
• 58% of U.S. households have pets.
• Only 35% of U.S. households have children.

REAL TALENT -   The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe.  The Great Pyrenees  may not a mountain range, though they can do a mountain-worth of work!
     These dogs have bred for centuries to guard herds. A single well-trained Great Pyrenees can protect at least 1,400 sheep in his first year of work.
CHOCOLATE CAUTIONS -  The approaching holiday season means special attention for our pets. Halloween is an event with creative costumes, giggling children collecting their goodies, and dogs and cats being poisoned. The culprit of that poisoning is often chocolate.
     Chocolate can be highly toxic to dogs. It contains varying amounts of caffeine and a similar compound called theobromine, which can have serious effects on a dog’s heart and nervous system.
     How much chocolate is too much? It depends on the type of chocolate and on the dog.
• A single chocolate bar (11⁄2 oz.) eaten by a 10-pound dog could cause adverse reactions.
• The same amount of baker’s unsweetened chocolate, which contains 10 times as much caffeine and theobromine as milk chocolate, could kill the same dog.
     Dogs are especially susceptible, though cats should be kept out of the goodies, too.
     If tempted to share some treats with your pets, give them a toy instead, always safer than those chocolate bars!

ANTIFREEZE: THE ABSOLUTE TOXIN -  As the weather continues to change and winter approaches, preparing for cold weather is an annual activity for humans as well as animals.
     Antifreeze is an important additive for all vehicles, but it is a highly toxic element for animals.
     Ingesting even a small amount of antifreeze can be deadly. This is an even more dangerous situation because most antifreeze has a sweet taste that attracts cats and dogs.
     Remember, most antifreeze is absolutely toxic to animals, and it doesn’t take much to make the animal violently sick or kill him.
  √ One teaspoon can be fatal to a 10-pound cat.
  √ One tablespoon can be fatal to a 10-pound dog.
     When adding the solution to vehicles, be careful that none is spilled or left where pets will have easy access.
     If your pet should drink any antifreeze, get him to your veterinarian immediately.
     It is important for pet owners to know that there are a few brands of antifreeze now available that have been developed which are animal-friendly.
     Although they claim not to be toxic to animals, it is safer to keep all antifreeze products away from pets.

LUCKY CATS -   For the superstitious, a black cat is not a welcome sight, especially if it crosses your path. That superstition holds true primarily in North America.
     In Europe, black cats are symbols of good luck. They are often brought to special events to guarantee good fortune. Sailor’ wives once kept black cats to ensure their husband’s safe return.
     In this month of Halloween, black cats are very popular. They make great models for window displays and as companions to ride on the witch’s broom.
     If you have a black cat, protect him by keeping him indoors and away from strangers on Halloween!

RAISING THEM -  Devotion between a female dog and her pups is an education in personalities.
     The care and attention most dogs pay to their litter should be a guideline for all moms and kids. However, unlike human moms, this devotion usually lasts only about six weeks. Until that time, every need of the litter is taken care of, including feeding them, cleaning them, and defending them if necessary.
     After the pups reach six weeks of age, most moms will back off and let the pups begin to fend for themselves.

BIG FEATURES -   The tallest of animals, the Giraffe, has a very large heart. At about 2-feet long, this organ is able to pump up to 20-gallons of blood per minute. These animals also have very large hooves, measuring about the size of a dinner plate.
NEED A HAIRCUT -   Sea Otters may not look like it, but they are very hairy animals. Their underfur is estimated at 170,000-to-1,000,000 hairs per square inch, more than any other animal on Earth.

      Use A Leash - Even areas allowing dogs usually require they be kept on a leash.  Keeping your dog on a leash is safer for your pet, even in off-leash areas.  You can help control his interaction with other dogs who may not be as friendly as your puppy.  Retractable leashes give him extra freedom while allowing you to keep him under control and safe. 
      Water - Not all water is safe to drink.  Your dog is just a susceptible to illness from bad water as you are.  Bring plenty of water for your outing.  Remember, exercise creates thirst. 
      Clothes - Not a frivolous matter.  A bright orange vest on your dog while hiking will stop an accidental shooting by a hunter.  Your dog can also be seen from a greater distance wearing that bright color. 
      Keep Cool – Heatstroke can affect everyone in your hiking party, animals included.  Give him plenty of water and lots of opportunities to cool off in shady areas. 
      Bugs – Fleas and mosquitoes can bother you and your dog.  Include a pet-safe repellant in your first aid kit.  Ticks are always a threat.  A good daily brushing should eliminate ticks before they have a chance to transfer diseases.  After arriving home, a thorough mild bath and combing is best.  If you find ticks and are unable to remove them completely, take your dog to your veterinarian to do the job.  Ticks can cause serious illness, including Lyme Disease. 
      It’s Spring and time to look forward to warm weather, flowers and animals. 
      There is a legend that applies specifically to this time of year.  If the first butterfly you see in the Spring is white, legend holds that you will have good luck for the rest of the year!

      The Border Collie is well known for his intelligence, temperament and loyalty.  Herding is a specialty for Border Collies.  Their powerful herding instincts have been well known for centuries since they were first introduced in the British Isles.  Unlike most other herding dogs, the Border Collie works silently. 

      Your pets can keep you healthy.  Physicians often encourage their patients to have a pet.  Whether it is a cat, a dog or even a fish, your animals can contribute to your overall health.  Studies have found that heart attack patients are eight times more likely to be alive one year after their episode if they have a dog or a cat.  Blood pressure and cholesterol are also lowered in heart attack patients as well as for otherwise healthy individuals. 
      Having a dog in the family will make people more likely to stay with an exercise program.  The dog needs to go for daily walks and this requires their human family member to walk also. 
      Physical health is important, but so is your mental health.  Your pet can help in this area as well.  Loneliness is not an option when you have a dog.  Researchers have found that people with pets will meet three times more people over a five-day period than those without a pet. 

Cows can be lead upstairs but not down stairs.
The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds. 
The Duck is the only bird that lays its eggs only in the early morning. 

      70% of the time that a cat sleeps, he is in a light slumber.   The remainder of the time he is categorized as being in a “deep sleep,” similar to how humans sleep the majority of the night. 

      The Giant African Leaf-Nosed Bat has a major shortcoming.  Unlike most species of bats, if this large bat lands on the ground, it is virtually helpless.  This animal cannot walk, crawl or take flight. 

      The average cat is able to understand 25-50 words.  Dogs can understand many more. 

      Zebras are one of the only true wild horses in the world today. 
      Like horses, zebras have long faces, big eyes and a strong body.  However, zebras have several differences from their equine cousins:  zebras are shorter than most horses, they have smaller hooves, their manes are stiffer and their ears are longer.  
      Poodles are famous for their unusual haircuts.  One easily- recognized cut is the pom-pom.  Before becoming one of the most popular breeds during the 60’s and 70’s Poodl es were originally used as water dogs and retrievers.  The pom-pom cut was developed for dual purpose.  The shaved body helped to streamline the dog and improve his swimming abilities.  The pom-poms were typically on the dog’s angles, which aided in keeping the joints warm. 

      Taking a trip with your pet?  Whether on the road with your cat or your dog, be sure to pack a pet travel kit to make their travel as comfortable as possible for them and you:
Food and water dishes - Familiar dishes make travel less confusing for pets. 
Supply of food and water - Water from home is important when traveling to areas with poor water quality.  Also, pack special food required that might be hard to find, especially prescribed foods that are available only through veterinarians. 
Sleeping pad - Your pet can sleep in a familiar bed by bringing it along with you. 
Brush/comb - Daily grooming is important, especially when walking in unfamiliar areas.  Also helps clear burrs, and watch for fleas and ticks.   
Favorite toy - Important to entertain and appease. 
Medications - Always bring prescription medications along with you. 

      Fleas are those nasty little critters that come out and stay as soon as the weather begins to turn warm.  Even indoor pets are plagued by these insects that leap through open doors and screen meshwork into homes. 
      The ctenocephalides felis clan, the cat flea, is the most common of the 2,000 species that affects dogs and cats.  It doesn’t care who it bites, often nibbling on humans if pets are temporarily removed from the environment. 
      Female fleas may lay up to 25 small, white, oval eggs after each meal.  During her lifetime, she lays up to 500 eggs.  The eggs go through three larval stages, hatch within 12 days, then emerge as adults within 20 days. 

Q: Can raisins and grapes really poison dogs?
A: YES – fresh grapes of both red and white varieties from grocery stores or vines in private yards and fermented grapes from wineries.  In the cases reported, the estimated amount of ingested raisins or grapes to cause toxicity ranged from 0.41 to 1.1 oz./kg.  Because 4 pounds of grapes equal about 1 pound of raisins, fewer raisins need to be ingested to reach toxic levels. 
      Dogs can exhibit problems ranging from acute gastrointestinal signs to life-threatening renal failure or even death. 
      Vomiting occurs in all dogs and begins within the first few hours of ingestion.  Because there are still many unknowns about the toxic potential of grapes and raisins, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center  had advised that grapes, raisins and any food containing grape extracts not be given to pets in any amount.  If ingestion should occur, owners should seek veterinary assistance immediately to initiate aggressive medical management.  For more information on the toxicity of grapes or raisins, see the ASPCA APCC web site ( 

      Stranded on a deserted island, which would you prefer, human or animal companionship?
      More than half of the pet owners surveyed would choose a family pet rather than another person.