Category Archives: Entertainment

How Microchipping Works:

Microchip Your Pet



Dog and cat microchipping is a simple procedure. A veterinarian simply injects a microchip for pets, about the size of a grain of rice (12mm), beneath the surface of your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a routine shot, takes only a few seconds, and your pet will not react any more than he would to a vaccination. No anesthetic is required.

A HomeAgain microchip is permanent pet ID. The microchip itself has no internal energy source, so it will last the life of your pet. It is read by passing a microchip scanner over the pet’s shoulder blades. The scanner emits a low radio frequency that provides the power necessary to transmit the microchips unique cat or dog ID code and positively identify the pet.

HomeAgain is the only dog & cat microchipping product on the market today that has the patented anti-migration feature to help ensure that the microchip will stay in place so that it may be easily located and scanned. If your pet gets lost and is taken to an animal shelter or veterinarian, they will scan the microchip to read its unique dog or cat ID code. This is the number used by HomeAgain to identify the pet and retrieve your contact information, which is used to contact you and reunite you with your pet.

Find a vet near you to get started today.


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Tips to Protect Your Pets on 4th of July

By Jessica Chitrabhiboolya

Fireworks + Scared Puppy

With 4th of July just around the corner, we start to prepare the celebration of our independence day with picnics, barbecues, and of course fireworks. But are our furry friends ready for the flashes and booms of this occasion?

Dogs get scared around fireworks and thunder. According to the PetMD, more pets go missing around the 4th of July than any other time of year.

The SPCA and other experts offer the following advice to protect our pets during this celebration and other events:

  1. Create a safe space
  • Indoors and quiet places would be ideal as 4th of July is the day most dogs run away due to the bang of the fireworks startling them.
  • Pay attention to where is your pets go to spot for comfort
  • Make that space as cozy as possible
  1. Prepare the house
  • Provide food, water, comfy bedding and any other toys your pet loves
  • Leave something fun to do, like a new toy or a Kong filled with treats
  1. Prepare your pet for dealing with loud noises by exposing them with other sounds
  2. Create a distraction
  • TV, White noise, or the radio works greats to help muffle the outside noises
  1. Calming and relax
  • Swaddle blanket
  • Canine calming scents
  • Items such as the thunder shirt or anti anxiety wraps
  1. Keep an eye on your pet.
  2. Stay with them or nearby if possible
  3. After the fireworks, make sure all debris and all other hazardous material are cleaned up and safe for your pet to enjoy outside.

Once all the celebration is over, make sure to show your pets lots of love and show them that everything is alright.


Happy 4th of July Everyone!

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The 9/11 Rescue Dogs: Portraits of the Last Surviving Animals

By Anna Edwards

During the chaos of the 9/11 attacks, where almost 3,000 people died, nearly 100 loyal search and rescue dogs and their brave owners scoured Ground Zero for survivors. Now, ten years on, just 12 of these heroic canines survive, and they have been commemorated in a touching series of portraits entitled ‘Retrieved’. The dogs worked tirelessly to search for anyone trapped alive in the rubble, along with countless emergency service workers and members of the public.

Moxie, 13, from Winthrop, Massachusetts, arrived with her handler, Mark Aliberti, at the World Trade Center on the evening of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, and searched the site for 8 days

Moxie, 13, from Winthrop, Massachusetts, arrived with her handler, Mark Aliberti, at the World Trade Center on the evening of September 11 and searched the site for eight days.

Tara, 16, from Ipswich, Massachusetts, arrived at the World Trade Centre on the night of the 11th. The dog and her handler Lee Prentiss were there for 8 days

Tara, 16, from Ipswich, Massachusetts, arrived at the World Trade Center on the night of the 11th. The dog and her handler Lee Prentiss were there for eight days.

Kaiser, 12, pictured at home in Indianapolis, Indiana was deployed to the World Trade Center September 11, 2001, and looked for people in the rubble

Kaiser, 12, pictured at home in Indianapolis, Indiana, was deployed to the World Trade Center on September 11 and searched tirelessly for people in the rubble.

Travelling across nine states in the U.S. from Texas to Maryland, Dutch photographer Charlotte Dumas, 34, captured the remaining dogs in their twilight years in their homes where they still live with their handlers, a full decade on from 9/11.

Their stories have now been compiled in a book, called Retrieved, which is published on Friday, the tenth anniversary of the attacks.

Noted for her touching portraits of animals, especially dogs, Charlotte wanted ‘Retrieved’ to mark not only the anniversary of the September 2001 attacks, but also as recognition for some of the first responders and their dogs.

‘I felt this was a turning point, especially for the dogs, who although are not forgotten, are not as prominent as the human stories involved,’ explained Charlotte, who splits her time between New York and Amsterdam.

‘They speak to us as a different species and animals are greatly important for our sense of empathy and to put things into perspective.’

Bretagne and his owner Denise Corliss from Cypress, Texas, arrived at the site in New York on September 17, remaining there for ten days

Bretagne and his owner Denise Corliss from Cypress, Texas, arrived at the site in New York on September 17, remaining there for ten days.

Bretagne takes a break from work at the 9/11 site with Denise

Bretagne takes a break from work at the 9/11 site with his handler Denise.

Guinness, 15, from Highland California, started working with Sheila McKee on the morning of the 13th and were deployed to the World Trade Center for 11 daysGuinness works at the 9/11 site shortly after the attacks

Guinness, 15, from Highland, California, started work at the site with Sheila McKee on the morning of September 13 and was deployed at the site for 11 days.

Merlyn and his handler Matt Claussen were deployed to the on the 24th September, working the night shift for five days

Merlyn and his handler Matt Claussen were deployed to Ground Zero on September 24, working the night shift for five days.

Most of the search and rescue dogs are Labradors or Golden Retrievers and Charlotte feels that the title works across many aspects of the story.

‘I found the dogs, I retrieved them, they were there to retrieve the victims, it is nicely rounded,’ explained Charlotte whose work is being exhibited at the Julie Saul Gallery NYC opening on September 8, in time for the anniversary.

After working on a project about police canines and other working dogs, she was inspired to concentrate on the animals that played such a huge part in seeking survivors.

Contacting the NYPD, the New York Fire Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Charlotte discovered that out of the nearly 100 dogs among the first responders deployed by FEMA, there were in fact only 15 still alive last year.

Red, 11, from Annapolis, Maryland, went with Heather Roche to the Pentagon from September 16 until the 27 as part of the Bay Area Recovery Canines

Red, 11, from Annapolis, Maryland, went with Heather Roche to the Pentagon from September 16 until the 27 as part of the Bay Area Recovery Canines.

Abigail the dog and Debra Tosch were deployed on the evening of September 17 at the World Trade Center and then searching for 10 daysTuff and Tom Andert arrived in the city at 11:00 pm on the day of attack to start working early the next day the World Trade Centre

Abigail, left, was deployed on the evening of September 17, searching for 10 days while Tuff arrived in New York at 11:00 pm on the day of attack to start working early the next day.

Scout and another unknown dog lay among the rubble at Ground Zero, just two of nearly 100 search and rescue animals who helped to search for survivors

Scout and another unknown dog lie among the rubble at Ground Zero, just two of nearly 100 search and rescue animals who helped to search for survivors.

‘They were there for the first few weeks, they were trained to find people alive, although that is ultimately not what happened,’ said Charlotte, who will hold a fundraiser for the First Responder Alliance at Clic Bookstore in New York on September 29.

‘I traveled across the United States to meet with the owners and portray the dogs. They are all retired and I spent time with each of their handlers learning about their experiences.

‘It was moving talking to Denise Corliss, who is the handler and owner of Bretagne, one of the Golden Retrievers.

‘She told me a touching story of one fireman who was there in the rubble, and how taken he was with Bretagne who comforted him as he sat down to catch his breath.

Handler Julie Noyes and Hoke were deployed to the World Trade Centre from their home in Denver on September 24 and searched for 5 days

Handler Julie Noyes and Hoke were deployed to the World Trade Center from their home in Denver on September 24 and searched for five days.

Searching for survivors: The dogs tirelessly worked to help find those who survived the horrific attacks

Searching for survivors: The dogs worked around the clock in the vain hope of finding anyone still alive at the World Trade Center site

‘Years later at a Remembrance Ceremony, the same fireman recognised Bretagne and her handler and they had a touching reunion.

‘It developed that even though the dogs couldn’t find people still alive, they could provide comfort for the brave firemen and rescue workers of the emergency services.’

Wishing to tell the other side of heroism from 9/11, each of Charlotte’s encounters with dogs such as Gabriel and Orion and Scout stayed with her.

‘The dogs are now old and they will soon pass away. Even during the time it has taken since my first work on the ‘Retrieved’ portraits to now, three of the final 15 have died,’ said Charlotte.

‘These portraits are about how time passes, and how these dogs and their portraits are offering us a way to deal with the things that happened as well as relying on them for comfort.’

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6 Labor Day Weekend Dog Activities

By Tamar Love Grande

Labor Day weekend is almost upon us. Although your idea of a fun late-summer holiday weekend might be drinking beer at a barbecue, consider planning an activity you can enjoy with your best friend.

Try one of these six Labor Day weekend Dog Activities.

1. Visit the Dog Beach

If you live near a lake, a river or the ocean, there might be a dog beach in the vicinity. In California, we are blessed with lovely off-leash areas at Huntington Beach and Long Beach.Your dog will have the chance to investigate all the ocean smells — and roll in a stinky pile of kelp or, perhaps, some seagull poop. If he likes to swim, he’ll be in heaven. If he does not like water, he can sunbathe on a warm stretch of sand. See this list of dog beaches in your area.

2. Host a Dog Party
If you have a large backyard, consider throwing a party for dogs. Short events that require little preparation, dog parties are the ideal way to get to know other dog lovers. Invite the neighbors you run into again and again while you’re walking your dogs, the folks you talk to at the dog park, and your friends and family who own dogs.

3. Explore New Hiking Paths
If you and your dog hike regularly, make the weekend special by visiting a new area. If you’ve never hiked with your dog, it’s an excellent time to start. Hike With Your Dog seems like a great resource for finding new trails. Look for a trail that is only as challenging as one you’d normally hike.

4. Go Camping
Going camping with your dog is a nice way to enjoy the bond you share. You’ll be (relatively) alone in the wilderness, with new sights, sounds and smells to check out. At night, you’ll sleep in a tent together, and during the day you’ll go on adventures.

Keep in mind, though, that you’ll be responsible for your dog 24/7, which can be a pain. He must be on a leash and in your sight at all times or crated in the tent or in the car for short periods of time. You won’t be able to go anywhere without him, which might limit your options for fun. If he has any behavior issues, they’ll be amplified by the excitement, and he’ll be more prone to acting out.

Although not every campground allows dogs, a great many do. Visit Reserve America for information about state parks and for national parks. You should be able to find campgrounds in virtually any setting: forest, lake, mountains, beach and grasslands.

5. Stay at a Pet-Friendly Inn
Dog-friendly hotels are convenient for travelers, but if you’d like to enjoy a relaxing weekend with your buddy, consider a small property, like an inn or bed and breakfast.

In California, the Cambria Shores Inn near Hearst’s Castle caters to people vacationing with their dogs, providing all kinds of nice amenities, like a guide to dog-friendly restaurants, resources for dog-sitting and treats for your four-legged friend. To find a lovely spot, check out TripAdvisor for a list of properties near you.

6.Visit a Dog-Friendly Resort/Spa
If your idea of a vacation is languishing poolside after a massage, book a weekend at a pet-friendly resort/spa, where your pup will be pampered as much as you are. You can both visit the salon for cuts, color, curls and a nice blow-out, or perhaps a pedicure for two?

This type of adventure will be incredibly expensive, but aren’t you and Fifi worth it? Most of these properties provide pet sitting, so you can leave your pup in good hands while you enjoy a five-star dinner. See this list of resorts near you.

If you’re too busy, lazy, disorganized and/or financially strapped to try one of these activities, go ahead and enjoy your barbecue — but at least throw a steak on the grill for your best friend.

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More and More Pets Joining the Halloween Costume Parade

By Steve Dale

Don’t be surprised if you’re greeted by a werewolf barking at your front door on Halloween. According to Alice Lerman, of Chicago’s Barker and Meowsky: A Paw Firm, the Twilight movie series has influenced popular Halloween costumes for dogs. She adds, “Owls are also popular, and bat wings are a perennial favorite; they’re easy, even for pets who don’t like costumes.”

Increasingly, dogs do get dressed up for Halloween. According to the American Pet Products Association 2013-2014 National Pet Owners Survey, 17 percent of all pets have some sort of Halloween wardrobe. Americans now shell out over $300 million on Halloween costumes and accessories for pets, according to the National Retail Foundation, a 40 percent increase from 2010.

Some neighborhoods swarm with little ones trekking from house to house on the big night. Along with adults, family dogs often tag along today.

“It’s the way it should be,” says Lerman. “After all, pets are a part of the family.”

For purists who say dressing up a pet is undignified for the animal aren’t alone. No doubt, many pets squirm at the idea. Some even appear to be humiliated while in costume. However, others enjoy being doted upon, particularly if they began wearing Halloween costumes as puppies or kittens.

“It’s another way to include our pets in family activities,” Lerman adds.

However, inclusion doesn’t come without concerns. Dr. Mark Russak, of Berlin, CT, says he’s worried about the costumed ghouls who appear at the front door on Halloween.

“Some pets may freak out, not understanding why people now look so strange,” he says.

Russak recommends keeping pets in a secluded part of the house on Halloween night, such as the basement or a second bedroom with the door closed, with the radio or TV turned up to drown out the door bell. For predictably anxious pets, plug a pheromone diffuser into a wall to lower the level stress. Adaptil (for dogs) and Feliway (for cats) diffuse copies of naturally-occurring calming pheromones into the air.

Keeping pets away from the front door also insures they won’t bolt for friendlier territory. Many pets are lost on Halloween.

“Take no chances, and microchip your pets,” suggests Russak, immediate past president of the American Animal Hospital Association. “I think any dog or cat should be microchipped anyway, but if you haven’t done it, now is a good time. It’s not very expensive, and it’s the only permanent form of ID. If you do microchip, be sure to also register so your contact information is associated with the chip.”

More tips for keeping pets safe on Halloween:

1. Jack-o-lanterns: The aromas from scented candles can cause respiratory distress, even death, in birds, due to their sensitive respiratory systems. Pumpkins with candles inside can also be knocked over by playful pets, which could cause a house fire. Electric or battery-operated lights are far safer.

2. Candy: Hide any chocolate, which is toxic for dogs and cats. Other dangers lurking in goodie bags: gum or candy artificially sweetened with Xylitol. When trick-or-treating, don’t let anyone give your dog treats unless you see the goodies. What if a well-meaning friend offers your pup a chocolate bar? Bring treats from home that you can give your pet along the route.

Dog and Human Genomes Evolved Together

From by Jane J. Lee

Evolution shaped genes in humans and dogs that correspond to diet, behavior, and disease, according to a new study.

The bond between dogs and humans is ancient and enduring. Dogs snuggle up to us at night, gambol by our side during daily walks, and flop adoringly at our feet when we crash on our couches. But new research shows that the connection runs deeper than you might think. It is embedded in our genes.

Researchers from the University of Chicago and several international institutions found that several groups of genes in humans and dogs—including those related to diet and digestion, neurological processes, and disease—have been evolving in parallel for thousands of years.

This parallel evolution was likely driven by the shared environments of humans and dogs, wrote the authors in a study published May 14 in the journal Nature Communications.

“As domestication is often associated with large increases in population density and crowded living conditions, these ‘unfavorable’ environments might be the selective pressure that drove the rewiring of both species,” the authors surmise.

For example, living in crowded conditions with humans may have conferred an advantage on less aggressive dogs, leading to more submissive canines and eventually to the pets whose puppy-dog eyes gaze at us with unconditional affection. (Related: “Opinion: We Didn’t Domesticate Dogs. They Domesticated Us.”)

The study authors suggest that dogs were domesticated 32,000 years ago; that’s much earlier than current estimates, which place domestication at around 15,000 to 16,000 years ago. (Related: “Ancient Dog Skull Shows Early Pet Domestication.”)

“Thirty-two thousand is a little bit old,” said Bob Wayne, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. Although he does acknowledge that the timing of a split between wolves and dogs has varied widely—ranging between 6,000 and 120,000 years ago.

The study authors also proposed that dog domestication originated in Southeast Asia, rather than the Middle East, as others have suggested.

A Canine “Missing Link”?

The scientists involved in the study sequenced the genomes of four gray wolves from Russia and China, three Chinese street dogs, and three domesticated breeds—including a German shepherd, a Belgian malinois, and a Tibetan mastiff.

They were then able to figure out which genes were associated with domestication and how far back that shift may have occurred. The team also looked at the dog genes selected for during domestication and compared them with human genes.

“The history of dog domestication is often depicted as a two-stage process,” wrote Weiwei Zhai, a genetics researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and a study co-author, in an email. “The first stage is from wolves to dogs. The second stage is from dogs to breeds.” (Read “How to Build a Dog” in National Geographic magazine.)

Southeastern Asia street dogs, including the Chinese street dogs in the study, may be an evolutionary bridge between wolves and purebred dogs due to their greater genetic diversity when compared with other street dogs from around the world, Zhai explained. This would make the Chinese street dogs a kind of “missing link” among canines.

Evolving Together?

When Zhai and colleagues took their canine sequences and compared them with the human genome, the team found that sequences for things such as the transport of neurotransmitters like serotonin, cholesterol processing, and cancer have been selected for in both humans and dogs.

Though selection in the same gene in two different species, known as convergent evolution, is rare in nature, said Zhai, their results weren’t too surprising. After all, humans and dogs have shared the same living environment for years.

In addition to sharing genes that deal with diet and behavior, dogs and humans also share diseases, including obesity, obsessive-compulsive disorder, epilepsy, and some cancers including breast cancer, wrote Ya-ping Zhang, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Kunming (map), in an email.

This might be due to the fact that genes often have multiple effects, explained Zhai. “Some of the effects will be beneficial, while others can be deleterious. When the selective advantage outweighs the deleterious cost, the gene can still be selected [for].”

The cancer-related genes the research team found evolving together in both dogs and humans could be the result of processes like this, said Zhai.

Far From Over

“This is nice that [their study is] based on complete genome data,” said UCLA’s Wayne, who provided reference data the study authors compared with their genetic sequences. Other studies have used only snippets, such as mitochondrial DNA.

But he cautioned that comparing human and canine genomes can be tricky, adding that the evaluation of canine sequences from other places in addition to China and Russia would have helped in the dating of domestication and in establishing its location.

Furthermore, Wayne said, without further comparisons between humans and other domestic animals like goats or horses, it’s hard to know whether the parallel evolution in the genomes of humans and dogs is unique or not.

Even so, he added, the study adds another chapter to the story of dog domestication—a story far from over.

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Sesame Street Themed Pooch is Extreme Dog Grooming Champ

Sesame Street Themed Pooch is Extreme Dog Grooming Champ by Rosemary Jean-Louis

When it comes to Extreme Dog Grooming, Kobe the poodle is the top dog. Transformed into a tribute to Sesame Street – one part Big Bird, another part Elmo with his own Oscar the Grouch in a trash can to keep him company, he won the Extreme Dog Grooming competition in Pasadena, FL earlier this year.

 photo dog-nightmares-2-061913-580x435_zpsbae59506.jpg

Yes there is such a thing! Several of them of them in fact as some contests are held in Hershey, PA, Secaucus, NJ, Chicago, Atlanta and Las Vegas.

In Extreme Dog Grooming contests, dog groomers come up with the wackiest, most creative styles for their dogs. They use dyes (a controversial practices), chalk, extra fur and other accessories to turn their pooches into characters from Star Wars, half tiger/half elephant creatures and other mythical figures – in other words works of pop art.

For her artistic talents, Kobe’s groomer, Catherine “Cat” Opson won $5,000.00. Some contests offer as much as $30,000 is cash prizes.

We have renowned animal photographer Rene Netherland to thank for these photos. He crisscrosses the country snapping pictures of these competitions to share with the world.

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5 Earth Day Activities for You and Your Pet

5 Earth Day Activities for You and Your Pet by Amanda Kelly

Looking to get involved this Earth Day? Why not bring your pet along with you? Petside has come up with five suggested activities for both you and your pet to partake in together to help the environment and go green this Earth Day.

1. Attend a Pet Friendly Earth Day Event

There are plenty of events to get involved in this Earth Day, so why not bring your pet along? Events such as a beach clean up or a park clean up are great ways to volunteer to beautify the community and may also be great pet friendly events. Check out a list of events in your community to find out which will find furry friends acceptable volunteers for their events.

2. Organize a Neighborhood or Dog Park Clean Up

Take the initiative and organize your own event. A neighborhood or dog park clean up is a great event to organize as a pet owner because every pet deserves a safe and clean place to play in. Talk to your neighbors, your family and your friends in order to build a volunteer group to undertake the project. Look here for tips on how to organize your own neighborhood/park clean up.

3. Take a Walk

Going somewhere within walking distance? Skip the car, grab your pet and embark on the journey together. Not only will walking prevent the pollution caused by cars, but it is also a great source of exercise and a way to get outside and enjoy our beautiful Earth. Don’t forget to keep your pet on a leash, though. Pets on a leash are less likely to go after—and possibly harm—native wildlife such as birds and they are less likely to run away from their companions.

4. Snuggle!

Don’t touch that thermostat! Instead of turning up the heat, employ snuggle power. Snuggling with your cute cats and dogs will not only keep everyone warm in potentially chilly spring weather, but it is always great to show your pets how much they are loved with a spontaneous snuggle session!

5. Adopt a Pet

Adoption is one of the best and most rewarding green options for loving pet owners! In addition to recycling your bottles, cans and newspapers, why not recycle a pet this Earth Day? Help to reduce the number of unwanted pets by visiting your local shelter and taking a new furry friend home.

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Resolutions for your Dog

Resolutions for your Dog by Groomers Online

1. Give your dog a healthier diet. Eating healthier is a typical resolution for us humans, but many dogs could do with a better diet. Resolve to provide your dog with a healthy diet, well balanced and with plenty of nutrients. Try to keep treats to a minimum, and use a food measuring scoop to ensure you are giving your dog the same guideline amount of food daily. Remember to consult your vet if you are particularly concerned about your dog’s weight.

2. Give your dog more exercise. Twice daily ten minute constitutionals are simply not enough for many dogs. Resolve to take your dog for long walks on the weekend, and for a game of fetch in the evenings at your local park. If the weather is wet, play inside with your dog as much as possible.

3. Groom your pet regularly. Maintaining a regular grooming routine is vital for your dog’s skin and coat health, and helps promote bonding between you and your pet. Invest in a suitable, good quality brush for your dog, and try to use it a few times a week. While you groom, use this time to check your dog for fleas, over-grown toenails and mats in the coat. Professional grooming is also an important consideration.

4. Maintain good oral health. Bad breath, plaque, tartar and food debris are unpleasant for both you and your dog, and in time can lead to more serious health issues. Resolve to brush your dog’s teeth at least a couple of times a week (or daily ideally), and invest in a toothbrush and toothpaste designed specifically for dogs. Supplement this with dental chews and treats.

5. Update ID information. Have your contact details changed in the past year, or have you moved house? If so, it is important you resolve to update these for your pet. Ensure you update your pet’s ID tag, and contact the online database your pet’s microchip is registered to as well.

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