April 30, 2012

PetScoop: Assess If You Can Afford It, Before You Adopt a Pet


We love our pets and regard them as family members. But many of us were raised in an era when pets were exclusively animals, and they were cheap to live with.

It's heartwarming that we value our pets so highly these days, but it can cost us big-time, as this cat-lover discovered in Regrets of a Cat Owner | The Billfold:

What I'm trying to say is, before you get a pet, it's worth it to genuinely assess whether you can really, actually afford it. Think about it: $5,500 in three years. That averages out to about $150/month. More than a cable/HBO/high-speed Internet bundle!

...As I said, this all adds up to about $4,550 in vet- and health-related bills in just under three years. The remaining grand was spent on travel to and from the vet and/or general cat things, like kitty litter, generic dry cat food, cat bed, scratching post, things like that. Fun fact: $1,000 over 36 months actually comes out to $27/month, which is pretty much what I initially guessed, way back in 2009, when I was predicting how much owning a cat would cost me. Sigh.

via Consumerist

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April 26, 2012

PetScoop: Dog Breeds Reflect the Owner's Personality


Researchers have established links between owners' personality traits and the breed of dogs they preferred. The Press Association reports that the Kennel Club assisted the research conducted by scientists at Bath Spa University. Their findings:

Breeds were split into seven groups: gundogs (eg golden retriever), hound dogs (eg greyhound; beagle), pastoral (eg German shepherd; border collie), terrier (eg Staffordshire bull), toy (eg Chihuahua), utility (eg bulldog) and working (eg Doberman).

In particular, owners of pastoral and utility breeds were more extroverted, gundog and toy dog owners were more agreeable, and owners of utility, toy and gundogs were more conscientious. Owners of hound dogs turned out to be more emotionally stable, while owners of toy dogs were more open to new experiences.

To find out what kind of dog matches your lifestyle and personality, read more at Dog Breeds

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April 10, 2012

PetScoop: Lifehacker's Tips on Becoming a Pet Owner


If you are reading this, you may already be a pet owner and you know that owning a pet is not something to do on impulse. It is a huge responsibility and time commitment.

But if you are on the fence about bringing home a pet, or know someone considering the commitment, check out 7 Factors to Consider Before Becoming a Pet Owner | Lifehacker. There are also many affordable books on pet care available.

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March 20, 2012

PetScoop: Chicken Jerky Treats from China -- Cautionary Update


Check your home for any dried chicken jerky products, intended for dogs, that are imported from China. They may also be sold as tenders, strips or treats and are on alert from the FDA as causing kidney and liver problems.

Our local vet here has one dog in the hospital now being treated after eating Waggin Train (WT) Chicken Kabobs. Signs of toxicity include vomiting, lethargy, and anorexia.

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March 7, 2012

PetScoop: 2011 Pet Owners Spend Highest Amount in History


Recession, what recession? Annual pet spending passes $50 billion mark | CharlotteObserver reports that Americans spent $50.96 billion on their pets in 2011 according to the American Pet Products Association.

As with humans, survival expenses such as food and health/vet costs accounted for about 65 percent of the pet budget. The service category--grooming, boarding, pet hotels, pet-sitting and day care--grew more than any other, rising 7.9 percent from $3.51 billion in 2010 to $3.79 billion in 2011.

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February 20, 2012

PetScoop -- Pet Airways Purportedly in Trouble


Pet Airways, the pet air transport service which once held so much promise, is having financial difficulties. The airline is reportedly still taking reservations, but no longer offering flights. Since their service began, Pet Airways claims to have flown more than 7,000 cats and dogs, and one potbellied pig. The NY Times has the story.

Now, Pet Airways has fallen on tough times. The carrier -- which based on its recent schedule typically offers two eastbound routes a month and two westbound ones -- did not have any flights between Dec. 16 and Jan. 16, according to a regulatory filing, and it is unclear if it has had any flights since then. A New York Times reporter looking into the airline had reservations canceled twice, once in January and another last week. Her credit card company canceled the charge.
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September 29, 2011

Bret Michaels Pets Rock Collection Coming Soon to PetSmart


By now you are probably familiar with the line of Martha Stewart Pet and Halloween Products established in 2010 at PetSmart. News is out that she will be joined by super cool rock musician Bret Michaels ("pets rock"), who will introduce his own line of pet products there in the summer of 2012.

The Bret Michaels Pets Rockicon collection will be available in all of Petsmart's 1,197 stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and online at PetSmart.com.

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August 15, 2011

PetScoop -- Annual and Monthly Costs of Pet Care


It's probably gotten to be a cliche now to say that pets are part of our families. They are, at least for most of us, and along with the love comes the bills. ASPCA | Pet Care Costs has calculated that first year costs for pet food and supplies run between $1,300 and $1850 for a dog, depending upon size, and around $1,000 for a cat. Fish are by far the most economical, coming in at $35/year.

These figures include pet health insurance, an investment which relatively few pet owners actually make. Considering Pet Ownership? Here's How Much to Budget | MintLife Blog has taken their numbers and created a nifty graphic, breaking the annual and Mint-user monthly costs down by category. They don't include the initial capital investment such as cage, cage, carrier, leash, aquarium.

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August 2, 2011

PetScoop: Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ Dry Cat Food Recall


Nestle Purina PetCare Company (NPPC) has issued a press release that they are voluntarily recalling a limited number of their 3.5- and 7-pound bags of Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ Dry Cat Food from a single production run and shipped to customers in 12 states in December 2010. Some bags of the product have been found to be contaminated with Salmonella. Only Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ Dry Cat Food with both the "Best By" date and the production code shown are included in this voluntary recall:


No additional Purina cat or dog products are involved in this voluntary recall and no other Purina ONE brand products are involved.

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August 1, 2011

Great Whale Conservancy -- Heartwarming Ocean Rescue of Humpback Whale

This beautiful video isn't so much about pets but is a lot about love. The animal's joy at the end is quite touching.

This reminds us of the fabulous and revolutionary CD Songs of the Humpback Whale by Various Whales.

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