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October 27, 2007

10 Halloween Safety Tips

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The American Society for the Prevention of Cruely to Animals (ASPCA) is suggesting 10 common sense cautions to help keep your pets safe and happy this upcoming Halloween.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowlful of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous for dogs and cats, and tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially dangerous substance, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, yet they can produce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them. Intestinal blockage could even occur if large pieces are ingested.

3. Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise extreme caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their “birthday suits,” however, wearing a costume can cause undue stress.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe or bark. Keep a look out for small, dangling, or easily chewed-off pieces on the costume that your pet could choke on.

7. Take a closer look at your pet’s costume and make sure it does not obstruct her vision in any way. Even the sweetest animals can get snappy when they can't see.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and become lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you.

Courtesy of ASPCA.

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October 23, 2007

Visiglo Lighted Dog Collars and Leashes

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We love pet safety products here at Super Cool Pets, particularly ones that make walking and playing with your pets after dark less hazardous. We recently posted on Reflective Collars for cats. A good one to consider for dogs is the Visiglo Fashion Bones Collar. The collars are powered by two replaceable high capacity CR 2025 batteries.

Features:

* Lighted Dog Collar keeps your dog safe.
* Perfect for joggers.
* Available in a variety of colors.
* LED Technology.

Sizes: 1" wide. Small (10 - 14" Neck), Medium (13 - 20" Neck), Large (16 - 26" Neck)
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Pair with a Visiglo Lighted Dog Leash - Red, White & Blue LED. 1' wide and 4 ft. long. Visiglo leashes are powered by two AA batteries.

Visiglo illuminated leashes and collars are available in 3 categories; Fashion, Sport, and L.E.D. Variety of styles and colors at Amazon. Product site.

[via Popgadget]

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October 20, 2007

Halloween Safety for Your Pet

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We all want Halloween to be a safe time for our family. It is easy to forget about the pets, or assume they will be "all right". Here are two sources of tips to think about to prepare your pet for the busy and perhaps scary holiday.

From: Steve Dale's Pet World - Halloween and Pets: How to Be Safe


Dog trainer Peggy Moran of Lemont, IL says, “I realize that some dogs and cats are very social and enjoy people coming to the door. It’s a calculated risk, what if that kid in the Freddie Krueger mask sneezes, scares the dog and the dog lunges at the boy in the costume? Or if the cat bolts outside? Personally, I don’t like taking risks. You can minimize the risk by keeping your dog on a leash and the cat on a harness.”

Of course, you can further minimize any risk by keeping the pets off in another room all together. But don’t keep the dog in the yard on Halloween. It’s a no win situation. Moran says. “If the dog loves kids, the dog will bark and bark. If the dog is anxious because of the kids, the dog will bark and bark.”

Indoors/outdoor cats should absolutely never be allowed to roam outdoors in the days leading up to Halloween, or especially on the holiday itself. “It seems some cats are used for satanic purposes or just pranks,” says Kari Winters, an author and dog and cat rescuer from Los Angeles. Some shelters and humane societies don’t adopt black cats from mid-October through Halloween.

Veterinarians offer some more great tips here for Halloween safety. Things you may not have thought about. Don't let your pet be the victim of any Halloween pranks!

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October 17, 2007

Ear Clens Pads for Cats and Dogs

Ear Clens Pads for Cat 90 ct and Ear Clens Pads 90 ct for Dogs

Features:

* Wipes away infection-causing debris and dirt easily
* Pads are perfect for visible ear cleaning
* Contains both antibacterial and antifungal ingredients
* Super gentle solution and soft pads get the job done

At Drs. Foster & Smith.

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October 15, 2007

Beef-Flavored Aspirin

Every morning we give our Golden Retriever, Jessie, an aspirin to dull the pain from hip dysplasia. She will leave it in the bowl unless I dissolve the tablet in water first. Bet she would like beef-flavored Vetrin Aspirin.

Features:

* Chewable roast beef-flavored aspirin for dogs
* Helps reduce inflammation from dog arthritis
* Buffered to prevent gastrointestinal upset

For large and giant breeds and for small breeds--a top seller at Drs. Foster & Smith. Check site for recommended dosages. Always consult with your vet before administering any meds.

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October 8, 2007

petFINDER™ Pet ID Tag -- Review

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We are back visiting the rather stressful but important topic of recovering a lost pet. This post is relatively long, but someday the read may pay off for you. The importance of planning ahead to ID your pet cannot be stressed enough. If you have ever searched for a missing pet, you know what we mean. Our pup Jessie, frightened by an early morning hot air balloon visit overhead, broke through our electric fence and was missing all day. Having searched far and wide, a neighbor called late afternoon having found us through her embedded microchip.

In a previous post, Super Cool Pets covered the possible cancer connection with the micro-chip. We decided to leave the micro-chips embedded in our own Golden Retrievers' necks, weighing the misery of a lost pet against the relatively small cancer threat.

We have found a product that can be paired with the micro-chip, or simply used alone if you have not yet embedded your pet with a chip. Those engraved metal tag IDs available in your neighborhood pet mart have very limited space for all the necessary contact info. With petFINDER™ the pet owner calls a toll free-number and programs in pertinent pet information: pet's name, up to 3 phone numbers so owner will be reachable 24/7, and any vital concerns. Tag is secured to pet's collar. When the pet is found, the Good Samaritan simply pulls out their cell-phone and calls the toll-free number on the petFINDER™ tag, enters the ID on the tag, and voila--owners pick up on the first ring and pet returned home. No computer access is required. Of course, the collar must be secured, because lost collar = lost tag, a reason to strongly consider pairing the ID tag with the embedded micro-chip.

We tested this product ourselves at Super Cool Pets. Setting up was a breeze, very similar to programming your voice mail. After set-up, we played the role of pet-finder and called the number on the pet's tag. We listened to our message and discovered the service would automatically dial the owners' phone numbers, simply by pressing #1, #2 or #3. User-friendly.

According to FINDER™ Products president Barry Steifel, the collar tag is made from a high tensile strength material called Teslin, a higher density version of the same material as used in credit cards. They are fade-resistant so that the info remains readable at all times, waterproof/weatherproof and light-weight. The company is also about to launch a metal tag program in the next couple of months.

The very affordable Teslin tags sell for between $10 to $15. The metal tag package will retail for around $19.99 and includes one designer tag, a set of 4 metallic covered system label tags in 4 different colors. Tag $20, returned pet priceless.

Good customer service can be hard to come by these days, as we all know only too well. In this department FINDER™ Products excelled. In researching the petFINDER™ tags, Mr Steifel was unfailingly courteous, professional and informative. We received rapid response to our emails which reflects very positively on the company.

Features and benefits from petFINDER™:

Why It's a Better Solution
Built-in flexibility to meet the owners' needs
Unlike traditional pet tags, petFINDER™ allows an owner to make unlimited changes to their numbers and message at no additional charge.

• Moving or Change In Numbers: When phone numbers change there is no need to buy a new tag; just dial into the system and enter the new numbers.

• Traveling: When traveling with a pet the owner can simply reprogram the numbers where they are staying (relative, friend or hotel) and change back the numbers when they return.

• Pet Sitters: When leaving the pet with a sitter it's easy to enter the sitter's number, and then change back the number when the owner returns.

• Emergencies: petFINDER™ is an "everyday" ID tag that is indispensable when owner and pet are separated during emergencies because the owner can make instant changes to update contact information from anywhere.

* No Call Centers
No operators acting as a go-between between the owner and pet's finder. The caller is connected directly to the pet’s owner.

* Secure
No personal information is given to callers. No addresses or personal phone numbers are ever given out without the owners' permission.

Pet Finder is unlike any other solution – Other toll-free tag "systems" lack petFINDER™'s built-in simplicity and security.

* Privacy
petFINDER™ automatically connects the caller directly to the preprogrammed numbers without revealing the owners’ personal contact numbers to the caller (and vice versa).

petFINDER™ is the only tag approved and endorsed by The American Humane Association.

petFINDER™ is currently available throughout the US (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, Mexico, US Virgin Islands, British Islands, Central and South America. The system is now operational in Europe--starting in January 08, versions for each country are scheduled to be gradually rolled out.

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October 1, 2007

LED Armband

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Now that the nights are getting longer here in the norther hemisphere, we are more likely to find ourselves outside in the dark with our pets. This convenient LED-Lit Armband can be seen over a mile away, so it could be another way to make yourself visible to passing vehicles, while walking, jogging or playing with your pets after 4 or 5 pm. The LED lights flash or glow red at the push of the power switch.

LED lights have a life of about 100,000 hours. Includes 150-hour replaceable batteries. Elastic strap adjusts from 11-18". Quick-release buckle. Could even be used as a dog collar or clipped to a belt or backpack.

At Amazon. [via Book of Joe]

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Kooga Pet Flash Drive

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Apropos the recent cancer concerns over the implanted micro-chip, there is another flash drive ID to consider as an alternative offered over at KoogaPet.com.

How It Works:

  1. The KoogaPet slides security into any USB port on any computer.
  2. Just click the link stored in the KoogaPet tag to start filling in your information.
  3. Remove USB Tag
  4. Clip Your Pet's Collar

How KoogaPet helps Veterinarians:

  • Gives any veterinarian important information at anytime
  • Avoids potentially fatal medication errors
  • Keeps medical information with your pet 24/7
  • Avoids vaccination expirations and missed appointments by automatically emailing reminders
  • If a pet runs off and is injured Koogatag will allow veterinarians to treat your pet more effectively and safely

For more info, FAQ.

Courtesy NYTimes.

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September 29, 2007

4 Reasons to Keep Your Pet Out of Your Trash

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Garbage can be extremely hazardous to our pets' health, especially important to remember around the holidays, times when we accumulate lots of extra trash. A sad story in a comment posted to Talkin’ Trash:’ Why Your Garbage Could Be Harmful to Pets on the ASPCA Blog:

Garbage was harmful to our pet in a way that I couldn't have ever imagined.
We had a 5 year old Miniature Pinscher who loved to receive people food and would often get into the garbage. One day I came home to find her behind the couch with a Pringles can on her head. I quick tried to pull it off but her head had swelled up as she had gotten it stuck and suffocated. I would never imagine losing a pet this way! I can't say I buy Pringles anymore. The first reaction people have when I tell them this story is to laugh. Its such an odd, odd thing to happen.(our vet told us things like this are alot more common then we think)
We now put our garbage can in the garage when we leave the house.
Who would have ever thought a Pringles can could do so much harm?

This informative ASPCA article lists 4 major threats your pet may suffer from your trash and garbage:

1. Physical Obstruction Hazards.
2. Bacteria.
3. Toxin-Producing Molds.
4. Poisonous Household Items.

The best solution is the common sense one -- keep your pets out of your trash:

1. Use wastebaskets that are covered, and not easily tipped over.
2. Dispose of potentially poisonous materials properly.
3. Contact your vet or local emergencyanimal clinic immediately if your pet ingests hazardous material or call call the APCC (Animal Poison Control Center) hotline at (888) 426-4435 (a fee applies).

Read entire article.

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September 15, 2007

How to Buy a Puppy

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Adding a new member of the family is not something to be taken lightly. Anyone who has ever raised a puppy knows they require a huge investment of time, patience, money and most important love. Hopefully you will share your life and home with the dog for at least 10 (if not many more) years. In a follow-up to our Pet Scams post of last week, there is good infomation on How to buy a puppy at bankrate.com

Using the Web to find a local breeder is OK, but she recommends physically going to visit the puppy and seeing its living conditions before making a purchase. Reputable breeders will always require that personal meeting -- they're going to want you to come and see it, she says. They won't send you a puppy as soon as you send payment. Consider it a red flag if you are discouraged from coming to see the puppy first.

Other red flags:

• You aren't allowed to spend time with the parent dogs or see where they are kept.

• You are told to stay put while the breeder disappears to get the dog.

• The puppy acts fearful or shows signs of sickness.

• The seller focuses on getting paid.

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