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My Pet World: Protect Your Dog from Summer's Heat

Pets / My Pet World /

Dogs can die in hot cars. And no wonder. According to the AAA Chicago Motor Club, when it's 85 degrees outdoors, and even with the windows open for cross-circulation, the dashboard of a car will heat up to 170 degrees in 15 minutes.

"How hot it can get in a car just blows me away," says Dr. Mike Cavanaugh, executive director and CEO of the ...Read more

Talking dogs: Use measures, even medication, to calm dogs during fireworks

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, many of us dog owners must begin to prepare for the inevitable: fireworks. The fact that our county and state are even allowing the sale of fireworks to the public during a severe drought is ridiculous, but, alas, that is a topic for another column.

The startling bangs, booms and whistles of ...Read more

Demographics, income feed rising trend in pet ownership in U.S.

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

What with Grumpy Cat and therapy goats, $150 granite cat food bowls and $2,600 Gucci dog carriers, it's easy to think that a society that has dedicated pet bakeries, canine-only cable channels and a cat with more Twitter followers than the Dalai Lama has (forgive us) seriously gone to the dogs in recent years.

Even a cursory look at the ...Read more

My Pet World: Preventing heartworm is the best 'remedy'

Pets / My Pet World /

Only about a third of all dogs, and likely less than 10 percent of cats, leave a veterinary practice with a heartworm preventive. No one knows how many ferrets are protected, but it's likely that number is very small. Dr. Stephen Jones, president of the non-profit American Heartworm Society, calls the situation "frightening."

Heartworm disease,...Read more

Quick, she's being cute again: How to capture those pet poses

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

Your pet is doing that thing again. It's the cutest thing ever, and it must be snapped, shared and forever immortalized on social media. Cats and Dogs of Instagram, here we come. But what happens? Just as you reach for the camera to compose the killer shot, your subject bolts. The moment is gone forever, as are your dreams of Instagram stardom. ...Read more

Rover on Twitter: Pets are social media stars, but how do they type?

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

The world has come a long way since 1993, when the New Yorker published Peter Steiner's cartoon of two canines above the caption: "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog," making us laugh at the absurd notion of household pets on the World Wide Web. Now, more than a dozen years later, your dog -- or cat or hedgehog or pot-bellied pig -- is a...Read more

Quasi Modo named 'World's Ugliest Dog' at California fair

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

PETALUMA, Calif. (UPI) -- A 10-year-old mutt with a variety of birth defects took home the top prize at Friday's "The World's Ugliest Dog Contest," held annually at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

The hunchbacked dog, named Quasi Modo, is part pit bull, part Dutch shepherd. Now he's part rich -- or his owner is, at least -- after taking home $1,500 in ...Read more

For some lucky dogs, chef-owners are creating and cooking meals to drool over

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

Chef Bryant Ng's chicken rice recipe calls for jasmine rice cooked in a ginger broth and poached free-range chicken. It's a minimalist dish, without any of the Singaporean-Vietnamese flavors, the fermented shrimp paste and sambal sauces that Ng used at Spice Table or that will load the menu at his new restaurant, Cassia. This is because Ng cooks...Read more

Service dogs help farmers with disabilities stay on the land

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

DeKALB COUNTY, Mo. -- As Alda Owen messes with cattle, Sweet Baby Jo plops down right in the middle of things.

On her belly, ears up, wide-eyed and ready to spring.

"She don't like 'em getting too close to me," Owen, 62, says of the border collie as the Angus herd crowds around in a farm lot in DeKalb County in northern Missouri.

It's almost ...Read more

Taking a lead from Paris Hilton, et al., owners seek the fashion-forward dog

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

Bruiser Woods (or his handler) might have been onto something in the 2001 movie "Legally Blonde." The fashionable Chihuahua companion to Reese Witherspoon's Elle Woods seemed to be in a new outfit as often as his mistress.

Fourteen years later, the dog fashion industry is intent on making sure your pet is pampered in style. A Google search ...Read more

Alaskan black bear falls off porch when confronted by 'fraidy-cat'

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

EAGLE RIVER, Alaska (UPI) -- An Alaska woman shared video of her "fraidy-cat" house cat rallying her courage to scare a black bear off her owner's porch.

The video, posted to YouTube by Eagle River resident Darlis Elliot, shows 2-year-old Savannah cat Nani facing down a black bear through the home's glass back door Sunday afternoon.

"The bear ...Read more

Are owners listening? Overweight pets are unhealthy pets, vets warn

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

Garfield is not the only fat cat around.

According to the Assn. for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than 50 percent of the nation's cats and dogs are overweight. And just as concerning, more than 90 percent of their owners don't recognize that their pet is carrying around extra pounds.

"People automatically think a fat cat is a happy cat," says ...Read more

My Pet World: Artificial sweetener can be toxic for dogs

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: You've mentioned many times in your column that dog owners can keep their pets occupied by stuffing peanut butter into toys. Recently, I read that some peanut butter contains Xylitol, an artificial sweetener you've reported is harmful to dogs. How dangerous is it? -- L.D., Buffalo Grove, IL

A: It's true that some newer peanut butter products...Read more

Trained guide dogs often welcome, but emotional support animals may get 'no-no'

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

LOS ANGELES -- Your sidekick is loyal. Clever. A great comfort to you and others. But does that mean your animal companion deserves access in public places that other people's pets don't get?

Maybe. The law is murky and the answer depends heavily on your animal's skills, your frailties and your conscience.

The good news for your furry friend ...Read more

Meow power: Must. Watch. Cat. Videos. But why?

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

No member of the animal kingdom has conquered the Internet like Felis catus, the humble house cat.

YouTube is home to an estimated 10 million cat videos, which, to put it in perspective, works out to an upload rate of roughly two cat-related pieces of content every minute over the last decade. There's a blue-shirted keyboard-playing cat ("...Read more

Oklahoma family hails St. Bernard as gas-smelling hero

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

OKLAHOMA CITY (UPI) -- An Oklahoma family is hailing their St. Bernard as a hero after the canine's acute sense of smell alerted them to natural gas.

Jack Damrill of Oklahoma City said he and his family were sleeping recently when the 160-pound dog, Doree, alerted them that something was amiss.

"Probably about 2 o'clock in the morning Doree ...Read more

What to do when the man of your dreams comes with a nightmare dog?

Pets / Cats & Dogs News /

LOS ANGELES: You're not sure it's going to happen for you, but it does: You find the mate of your dreams. He has an enviable Pacific Palisades, address and you both have top journalism jobs. So can a galoopy mutt named Eddie -- granted, one whose antics prompted the post office to put the house on a "do not deliver" list -- really rain on your ...Read more

My Pet World: Chocolate can, indeed, be toxic for dogs and cats

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: Is it true that chocolate is really bad for dogs? My dog got into some chocolate cookies several years ago but didn't seem to suffer any ill effects. Is this chocolate thing a myth? -- G.D., Miami, FL

A: Chocolate is indeed toxic to both dogs and cats. Chocolate is made from cocoa, and cocoa beans contain caffeine and a related chemical ...Read more

My Pet World: Can Some Pets Really Predict Mother Nature's Wrath?

Pets / My Pet World /

Q: During Hurricane Sandy, our Labrador-mix acted agitated, crying at times, too. It was really our dog who convinced us to evacuate, which turned out to be a wise decision because our street flooded. What did our dog know? Was the dog warning us? -- V.D., Rehoboth Beach, DE

A: Some dogs are anxious during any thunderstorm. They are fearful, or...Read more

My Pet World: These pedigreed cats have top billing

Pets / My Pet World /

The Exotic, for the second year in a row, is the most popular cat breed in America, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association registry of pedigreed cats. In 2014, the Exotic knocked the Persian off its long-time perch as top cat.

Despite the breed's popularity, few outside the 'cat world' even know what the Exotic is. Think 'Persian look.' The...Read more