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No kill animal shelters?

No kill animal shelters?
Did you know that there are animal shelters with a "no kill" policy? Shelters such as the NSW Animal Rescue at Toongabbie (02-9896 3287) or the Animal Welfare League on the Gold Coast (07-3807 3782) have a strict no kill policy. If you believe that shelters should operate this way, please support them with donations or check with them first when you, your friends, or relatives are looking for a new pet.

How do citronella anti-barking collars work?

ABS Anti-Barking Collar
A harmless Citronella spray collar that conditions your dog to stop nuisance barking, 100% safe and painless for all Dogs, Humans and the Environment.

How does it work? Every time your dog barks, the electronic bark-sensing unit releases a painless spray of citronella in front of the dog's snout. Your dog hears it, sees it, feels it, and smells it! At the first spray of citronella, your dog's natural curiosity will be to seek the origin of the new odour. The dog will very quickly learn that when he or she barks, ABS Anti-Barking Collar Sprays! Through this harmless conditioned reflex, ABS Anti-Barking Collar discourages your dog from barking. In a few days, the dog learns to keep quiet while wearing the collar and concentrate on more normal activities. No more trouble with the neighbours!

ABS Anti-Barking Collar, a self-sufficient product, requires no human intervention; it will work even if you are not there. Should you want to reverse the effects of ABS Anti-Barking Collar, just stop using the device. Ultimately, the animal can be trained to cease barking without having to wear the device. ABS Anti-Barking Collar is the only humane solution to the problem of nuisance barking.

Fireworks, thunder and pets

Thunderstorms and fireworks may provide an entertaining sound and light show for humans but for pets they can be terrifying. Sadly, the reaction of many dogs and cats is to try and out run the noise – and they run, and run and run. In their frantic efforts they may get hit by a car or end up in a strange environment suburbs away and not be able to find their way home.

Many dogs will damage themselves and surroundings as they try to chew their way to freedom to escape the noise.

After every thunderstorm or fireworks display "Lost and Found" columns will list many lost dogs and cats and animal welfare shelters know their admittance figures will climb steeply.

Owners should plan how to keep their pet safe in advance of any advertised fireworks display or forecast thunderstorm activity.

Ensure that your pet wears a collar and tag with contact details and/or is microchipped. This enables your pet to be quickly re-united with you if it escapes.

Keep your dog and cat inside in familiar surroundings. The pet needs to feel safe and is less stressed if you remain with it.

Do not console the pet as this can make it believe you are also worried. Remain calm and cheerful and act normal.

Never chastise your pet for being scared. Close the curtains or blinds to hide the flashes from fireworks or lightning.

Play music or put the radio or tv on to help drown out the noise.

Play games with your pet to distract it.

If you have a dog with a thunder storm phobia it can be difficult to manage at times when you are absent and, as we all know, weather forecasts are not 100% accurate and unexpected storms happen.

Ensuring that your pet is identified and that your yard is escape proof helps minimize risk to your pet.

Your local veterinarian may be able to suggest behaviour modification techniques to help overcome thunder or fireworks fear but these are a long term strategy and not an overnight fix. De-sensitizing the pet to fireworks and thunder saves it from suffering a great deal of distress.

Never take your dog to a fireworks display or to areas in proximity. Noise from fireworks can be heard over a long distance and fireworks displays in other suburbs may upset your pet.

If the worst happens and your pet goes missing check all the nooks and crannies first to make sure it isn't hiding somewhere. Cats are very clever at hiding away and ignoring your calls. Once you are sure the pet is missing, door knock your neighbours and ask them to check their yards, sheds and under their houses.

Phone your local Council and animal welfare shelters and ask them to record details of your missing pet. Phone your local veterinarians as if it has been injured it may be taken to their surgery.

Having taken these initial steps to see if the pet is in your immediate neighbourhood it is time to widen the search if it hasn't been found.

A "flyer" with a description of the pet and a photo if possible, should be drawn up, photocopied and distributed. Dogs can run quite a distance in a few hours so expand your search into neighbouring suburbs. Place advertisements in Lost and Found in the newspapers. It is better to put only a description of the pet and the date rather than the area in which the pet is lost. A finder may believe it is not your pet if they have found it in a different suburb.

Visit all the animal welfare shelters and Council pounds in surrounding areas every few days and ask to look through the pens. Do not depend on phone calls to ascertain whether your pet is in the shelter or pound. Your description of the pet may be quite different to how someone else views it.

Article printed courtesy of Petnet

Keep the backyard safe for your pet

Backyards and pets are part of the Australian lifestyle. The majority of Australians live in the suburbs in a home with a backyard and almost two-thirds of Australians also own a pet. Keeping the dog secure in its own backyard protects it from the dangers of vehicle accidents on the street and the number of pets presenting to veterinarians with road accident injuries has dropped significantly over the years. Sadly however, accidents in the backyard still occur.

Pool safety for children is at the forefront of most pool owners and parents minds but many pet owners do not recognize the danger pools may be to their pets. Dogs and cats which fall or jump into pools are often unable to find their way out again, or if there are no steps, unable to get out and finally become exhausted and drown. Just as with young children, young puppies and kittens drown very quickly. While pool fences are made with verticle rails to prevent children climbing, often the rails are far enough apart to allow a small family pet to squeeze through.

Seedlings are a smorgasbord for snails and slugs and avid gardeners are very keen to protect their plants. To be appetising to snails and slugs, the snail bait must be more appetising than the seedlings, and it is unfortunate that the same ingredients that appeal to snails also appeal to dogs.

All manufacturers of snail killers print on the packets warnings of the danger of the products to pets. Unfortunately every year many pets still die from snail bait poisoning. Gardeners who own pets should take every care to ensure that their pet, or their neighbour's pet, does not have access to the areas where the bait has been placed.

Placing the bait inside an upturned terracotta pot with a small "doorway" broken into it to allow the snails access, or placing the bait down a narrow terracotta pipe placed on its side can also lessen the chances of a pet eating the bait. None of these methods should be relied upon as a safeguard against poisoning.

Gardeners who wish to keep their pets safer and at the same time as kill snails would be better to adopt one of the non toxic methods. Snail traps can be built by placing a terracotta saucer of beer in the garden patch. The snails are rather partial to a drop of ale and will climb the sides of the saucer to reach the beer, drink their fill and then fall in and are unable to climb the sides to get out again. Pets which are suspected to have eaten snail bait should be taken immediately to the nearest veterinary clinic. Prompt veterinary attention is essential if the pet is to have any chance of surviving.

Gardeners must also take care to keep poisonous chemicals, such as insecticides and fertilisers, away from pets. Pets are best restricted from sprayed areas of the garden, including lawns which have been chemically fertilised.

Most people are aware that the beautiful oleander is a deadly poison but so are many others. Bulbs often prove an attractive toy for puppies and or adult dogs, particularly those who love to play with a ball. Daffodils, Jonquils, Tulips, Spider Lilies, Nerines,and Crocus bulbs are all poisonous.

Burning Bush, Castor Oil Plant, Daphne, Foxglove, Golden Chain, Ivy, Larkspur, Lily of the Valley, Mock Orange, Monkshood, Mountain Laurel, Rhododendron and Sweet Peas are among other plants which are poisonous.

If the dog or cat eats a plant which you suspect may be poisonous contact your local veterinarian immediately. If you are unsure of the identity of the plant your local nursery will be able to assist.

Article printed courtesy of Petnet

Pets: The key to elderly health and happiness

The role of pets in alleviating loneliness and preventing illness will become more significant as our population ages and pressure on the healthcare system mounts.

According to Dr Joanne Righetti, Animal Behaviour Consultant, caring for a pet has scientifically been proven to alleviate loneliness and depression, reduce illness, lower the risk of heart disease, relieve stress and aid recovery from illness and surgery.

Some of the ways in which the 'golden' touch of pets is currently being used in Australia to benefit the elderly is through visiting or live-in pets in hospitals and nursing homes and a program that helps elderly people look after their pet in their own home.

"While these health and well-being benefits extend across all age-groups they are particularly important in the burgeoning elderly population where the likelihood of living without human companions increases, and with it, loneliness and illness" Dr Righetti said.

It is evident that in this age group pets have a significant role to play in increasing quality of life.

Centre Manager at the Villa Maria Society's O'Neill Age Care Residence in Prahran, Victoria, Mrs Jill Segan, cannot imagine life at the centre without their resident canine friend, one-year old Labrador Retriever, Sally.

Sally was trained at the Royal Guide Dogs Association of Australia for the Pets As Therapy program.

"Having Sally at O'Neill has dramatically increased the quality of life for many of our residents" Mrs Segan said.

"She has a lovely nature and is wonderful at drawing the residents out and getting people, who are generally not very interactive, smiling and talking to her and to other residents as well. For others, she provides activity and exercise with ball games and grooming, or simply pleasant, nostalgic companionship" Mrs Segan said.

Sally is the Centre's second dog, their first dog, Brandy, died at the age of ten, after eight year's loving service.

"When Brandy died, one of our more introverted residents, who hardly ever spoke to anyone at the Centre, walked-up to reception and surprised everyone by demanding, "Where’s the dog?" Mrs Segan recalled.

To assist the elderly in caring for their pets at home Victoria's City of Port Phillip council last year launched Petlinks as part of their Home and Community Care Program. The program helps elderly people gain the full benefit from animal companionship while remaining in their own home.

Petlinks matches volunteers with elderly people who need assistance in looking after their pet. The program has been so successful in the Port Phillip area that a training and implementation manual has been developed and is now available to other councils.

"Numerous international studies have found that animals can effectively intervene the process of ageing and increase the physical, social and psychological quality of life in old age. They can also significantly reduce the stress and grief associated with losing a spouse or loved one" Dr Righetti said.

Australia is currently home to 3.8 million dogs and 2.7 million cats but the 65+ age group is the least likely to own a pet.

A recent study found that the annual national health cost savings resulting from the health and well being benefits pet owners gain could be up to $1.5 billion.

Article printed courtesy of Petnet

Links to Pet and Pet Care Web Sites

Pet Direct - www.petdirect.com.au

Petnet - www.petnet.com.au

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