Taking care of a pet can be very time consuming and expensive. There are just so many things to consider before making a decision of getting a pet. In order to help you decide whether you should get one or not, I’ have made a 5 point “check list”. As the pets quality of life lies in your hands, it truly is a great responsibility and should not be taken lightly.
1: Do I have the time to care for my pet and give it a good quality life?
Some pets are more high maintenance then others. So if time is an issue, maybe you should get a goldfish instead of a dog. Let’s face it. To make a dog happy and care for it as you should, you need to take it for walks, feed it, play with it, pet it, talk to it, take it to a vet, coaming it, wash it, cut it’s nails, train it and lots and lots more. All this takes a great deal of time.
2: Can I afford to take care of a pet?
Pets cost allot of money. Food, accessories, the veterinarian bills etc. isn’t cheep. Again, some pets cost more than others, so consider what kind of pet you can afford. If you can’t afford to give a dog/cat the things it needs then you really shouldn’t get one either. Pets are like humans. They too get sick sometimes. Visits to the veterinarian is therefor necessary and potentially cost a whole lot of money.
3: Where am I in 5-10 years time?
Will I still be able to care for my pets? If I move, will I still be able to take my pets with me? Always plan several years ahead before getting a pet. Some pets live longer than others. Did you know that a parrot approximately will live for 80 years?
4: Do I have enough knowledge about caring for my pet?
You will be amazed how different similar dog breeds truly are. Did you for instance know that a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel snores like a grown man or that an Alaskan Malamute is very stubborn? It’s very important to know how to keep your pet happy and healthy. So please get the sufficient information before getting your pet.
5: Will my family grow tired of the pet?
Many kids really want to have a pet to cuddle with. We all know they truly love animals, but we also know how fast they get tired of them. Guess who will have to take care of it when that happens. That’s right, it’s you.
This “checklist” is just some of the things you have to consider before you decide to get a pet or not. Please do not take this lightly as the pets are counting on you to care for them.
If you are eligible for caring for a pet, congratulations, please go an animal shelter near you and see if you will find the perfect pet for you. There is no better feeling then the feeling you get from saving a neglected animal and giving it a good and safe home filled with lots and lots of love.
Many people can’t resist those sad puppy dog eyes staring longingly at them as they eat there yummy “human food”. Unfortunately, many of us give into the temptation of sharing food with our pets. If you are one of those soft hearted individuals, here are some guidelines to follow:
Avoid rich fatty foods.
Many of our pets are overweight which can lead to numerous health problems including diabetes and arthritis. In addition, many dogs are susceptible to pancreatitis caused by fatty foods. Pancreatitis can be a life threatening condition with acute onset of vomiting, abdominal pain and sometimes diarrhea. The worst of the fatty foods are pork (especially bacon and sausage), deep fried foods, turkey skin, fruit cake and desserts.
Chocolate is a common cause of toxicity in pets.
It contains theobromine, a compound that is a cardiac stimulant and diuretic. Symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, hyperactivity, irregular heartbeat and seizures. Large quantities of chocolate can even cause death. Cocoa powder and cooking chocolate are the most toxic forms. A guideline for toxic amounts are as follows:
- 1 ounce per pound of body weight for milk chocolate
- 1 ounce per 3 pounds of body weight for semi-sweet chocolate
- 1 ounce per 9 pounds of body weight for baker’s chocolate
Grapes and raisin can be toxic when ingested in large quantities.
The amount of grapes and raisins causing toxicity is between 9 ounces and 2 pounds, depending on the size of the pet. The initial symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. Signs of kidney failure occur within 24 hours of ingestion and death can occur is left untreated.
Onions cause hemolytic anemia, which is the rupturing of red blood cells.
This creates a shortage of healthy red blood cells available to carry oxygen throughout the body. Symptoms of onion toxicity usually occur a few days after ingestion. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, shortness of breath and dark colored urine. All forms of onions can be toxic including dried, raw and cooked. Onion poisoning can occur with the ingestion of one large onion or repeated meals with small amounts of onions.
Seeds and pits from peaches, pears, apples, apricot, cherries and plums contain cyanogenic glycosides which cause cyanide poisoning.
A few seeds or a pit or two won’t cause a problem. However, the effects can accumulate over time if eaten regularly or with ingestion of large quantities at one time your pet can get sick. Signs of toxicity begin 15 minutes to several hours after ingestion. Symptoms include salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, staggering, rapid breathing, muscle spasms and death.
There are several other human foods that can cause toxicity in your pet. If you suspect your pet has eaten any of the items on this list please contact your veterinarian immediately.
This article is written by Dr. Denise Funk, DVM, a leading vet in Gainesville GA with Animal Medical Care, where she has practiced since 1996. Dr. Funk received her Doctorate from the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. She also has a Master of Science degree from the University of Georgia.
We hope you have learned something from this article and that the information can help you to care even better for your pet’s. Remember that a healthy pet is a happy pet.
Greyhounds are majestic looking dogs that can run up to 72 kilometres per hour (45 mph), and is therefor considered to be the fastest dog in the world. For that reason there are being held many greyhound racing events every day, especially in the UK, but also in many other countries including the US. With racing is where the problems starts. We all know that in betting there are much money in play, which means that the breeders/owners can earn big, depending on the “quality” of their dogs. The better the dogs and the more good greyhound racers they can produce, the more money they will make. The industry have been around for many years, but as more and more Internet betting sites offers greyhound betting, the problem has increased. The more betting opportunities, the more people are willing to bet.
Because the dogs only have a racing career for about 18 months, the breeders need to produce large quantum’s of high quality dogs each year. This is just to meet the supply demands on the different tracks. In order to get the fastest and “genetically superior” greyhound dogs, the breeders need to breed far to many puppies. They will then see which ones are worth the effort of training them and which ones they can get rid of. Only an estimated 10 per cent will be good enough to become a great racer. What will happen to the dogs not suited for racing? The lucky ones will be sold or adopted into good homes with loving owners, some will be caged for the rest of their lives, but the faith for many of them is certain death. There is no exact answer to how many puppies are being killed every year, but in the UK marked alone there is an estimated 9912 greyhound puppies unaccounted for.
Greyhounds start training when they are 10-12 months old. The training facilities are just like on the tracks. The dogs are chasing a long mechanical drag lure with a fake bait attached to it. Some trainers are convinced that using live animals instead, such as rabbits, will make them run even faster when competing. I’m happy to say that this is occurring very seldom. Some trainers have also been caught drugging the dogs with anabolic steroids. Just like humans, this will make them stronger and run faster. At the training farms the dogs are very often locked inside a small cage for up to 18 hours a day. This will continue throughout the rest of their racing career.
When reaching 18 months of age, the greyhounds are ready to start racing. They now need to show they are worth the expenses by getting some good results. You can say they are running for their life’s. When racing, the dogs often suffer injuries like broken legs, open soars, cardiac arrest, paralysis and broken necks. When the dogs no longer are profitable they will either be killed, caged or adopted. Unfortunately it’s much cheaper to kill them by shooting them, hanging them, drowning them etc, then letting the vet inject them with a lethal dose. In 2003, the estimated greyhounds killed in the US alone was 5000.
Want to help?
- Greyhound adoption: Greyhounds are one of the nicest and affectionate pet one can wish for. They are pack-oriented, they don’t bark much, they are friendly to strangers and as they don’t have undercoats they are less likely to trigger people’s dog allergies. Please visit http://www.adopt-a-greyhound.org/ for information on how to get/rescue one.
- Don’t gamble on greyhound racing: Every time you put some money on a race, you are contributing in making the greyhound industry more popular. This is almost the same as saying that you don’t mind the dogs being abused as long as you have a chance of winning a few bucks.
- Share the information: Share this article with people you know, especially with those who are gambling on greyhounds. Just copy and paste the link and send it to their e-mail inbox using the subject “important you read this” Believe me, it works. You can also spread the word by writing on all kinds of online forum sites, writing your local paper or simply by talking to friends and family.
- Apply Pressure: The final and only solution is to get the politicians to band all greyhound racing. This is difficult to achieve as the governments gets paid from the profits of the betting industries and dog tracks. This is where we have to involve the media. Maybe you are or know someone who’s a journalist and are willing to write a piece about it.
I hope I’ve managed to open your eyes to the abuse the greyhound industry are afflicting these poor creatures, and I hope you will try to help them however you can. Even the smallest contribution helps. Please start by commenting on this article and sharing your wiews and suggestions on how we can make a difference.
Remember that not all greyhound breeder abuse their dogs. This article is about the Greyhound industry in general.
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Here are some links to Animal Organizations that speaks up for all animals. Click on the links if you want to join or simply just want to learn more about them.
Caution: There may be some disturbing pictures of animals being objected to cruelty/abuse on the linked sites.
PETA: PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is the largest animal rights organization with more than 2 million members world wide. PETA focuses its attention on the four areas in which the largest numbers of animals suffer the most intensely for the longest periods of time: on factory farms, in laboratories, in the clothing trade, and in the entertainment industry. They also work on a variety of other issues, including the cruel killing of beavers, birds and other “pests,” and the abuse of backyard dogs.
ASPCA: The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) works to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide (US). If you see an animal in need of rescue or help of some kind, the ASPCA is the one to call.
WSPA: WSPA’s (World Society for the Protection of Animals) work is focused on four priority animal welfare areas such as companion animals, commercial exploitation of wildlife, farm animals and disaster management. WSPA has 13 offices and hundreds of thousands of supporters worldwide (They always could use some more).
IAFC: IAFC (International Anti-Fur Coalition) gathers over 60 Anti-Fur organizations worldwide, working to bring an end to the horror of the fur industry. Their main objective at the moment is China, who have the largest fur production in the world.
This is just a few selected of hundreds of large animal rights organizations out there. In addition there are thousand of local organizations that needs your support. Go to Wikipedia list of animal rights groups to see more.
If you should see an animal that needs to be saved or some sort of animal cruelty, don’t be afraid to let your local, national or worldwide animal organizations know about it. Remember that the first step is to raise awareness around the issues.