CategoryPets and animals

Pet Doors Make Things Easier for Both Pets and Their Owners

Some people who live in the right situation find that pet doors can be a lifesaver. Dogs and cats can both benefit from having pet doors installed in a house because it gives them easy access to the outdoors. Owners benefit because it makes house training their animals easier and lessens the chance of carpet accidents.

Sometimes one of the hardest parts about house training animals is being available all the time. Animals need to go to the bathroom at unexpected times. This can be especially troublesome when individuals are forced to leave their animals alone for lengthy periods while they work. Sometimes pet doors are the perfect solution in this situation.

A pet door can also be very helpful for animals who don’t respond to normal house training. A lot of house training methodology is built around trying to establish a routine based on predicting the timing of the animal’s digestive system. Some animals can have very unpredictable bathroom habits, which makes this approach relatively ineffective. Having access to a pet door means that owners don’t have to rely so much on guesswork.

Animal doors also give animals access to outdoor exercise whenever they need it, which can potentially be beneficial to their health. This can be especially true for older pets that can be prone to muscle atrophy if they don’t get enough physical activity.

Animal doors aren’t necessarily appropriate everywhere, but for people with fenced in yards they can be extremely beneficial. They’re often easy to install, and relatively inexpensive. In the best scenarios, a pet door can add a bit of convenience to people’s lives, while making things easier for their pets at the same time.

Estate Planning For Pets and Domesticated Animals

Companionship animals play an important role in the lives of humans. Cats keep us company on the couch. Dogs play Frisbee with us at the park. Pets can even prolong a person’s life, lowering the risk of heart attack and rates of depression. Despite these beneficial effects in the lives of humans, more than 500,000 pets are euthanized in animal shelters throughout the United States annually because of the death or disability of the owner. How can pet owners prevent such a disaster from occurring? In this article, the author explores three ways to provide for financial support and care for your pet when you no longer can.

1st Solution: Give your Pet to a Friend or Relative Under California Probate Code, Section 6102, an outright gift to an animal is void. However, you can give your pet to a close friend or relative, along with funds to provide for their care. An attorney can help you draft language in your will or trust so that the gift will be valid. There are many downsides to giving your pet to a friend or relative. First, the friend or relative may not want to take care of your pet. Even if they express a desire today, your friend or relative may move away or face new life circumstances, making them unable or unwilling to provide proper care and support for your pet. Second, once your friend takes legal ownership of your pet, there is no guarantee that they will fulfill your desires, whether expressed orally or in a will. A worst-case scenario is an immediate euthanization of the pet upon a change of ownership, regardless of your best intentions.

2nd Solution: Give your Pet to an Animal Protection Organization The second solution is to give your pet to an animal protection organization. Many organizations exist throughout California, which provide either permanent care or adoption services. A lawyer can help you add language to your will or trust to legally give your pet to an organization like the San Francisco SPCA or Pets in Need of Redwood City. Many of these organizations may also enable you to specify the type of home that would be suitable for your pet. Others require a planned gift to be made along with your pet. Organizations include the SPCA, the Humane Society, the National Cat Protection Society, Pet Pride, Pets in Need, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and the California Feline Foundation. A gift to an organization like the SPCA is an excellent solution for many pet owners. Yet, for many, such a gift may not be sufficiently personal. Moreover, it cannot be guaranteed exactly how money for long term financial support will be provided and whether proper placement of the pet can be achieved.

3rd Solution: Pet Trusts The third solution is to provide for your pet under a pet trust. Under Section 15212 of the California Probate Code, trusts for pets are allowed for an animal’s lifetime. A pet trust is the best way to provide for one’s pets, offering greater certainty and provision than an outright gift to a friend or charitable organization. First, you can provide specific instructions on how your pet should be cared for. The trust may nominate potential caretakers, giving the trustee discretion to provide a suitable guardian and home. The trust can delineate how medical expenses, pet care, pet visits, and other duties are handled. Second, the Probate Code’s requirement that principal and income be paid out only for the pet’s benefit provides added certainty that money will go only for the pet. Third, the pet trust is more easily enforced than an outright gift. A regular accounting of expenses can be required, whereby a person designated in the trust, or a beneficiary, ensures that principal and income are paid for a pet’s benefit. Finally, a pet trust prevents your pet from falling through the cracks. Under the probate code, any nonprofit charitable organization that cares for animals, or a beneficiary or person designated by the trust, may make reasonable inspections to ensure that the pt, the books and records of the trust, and where the pet is living are proper. Pet trusts are not for everyone. Unfortunately, a pet trust that leaves a remainder to charity is not eligible for an estate tax charitable deduction. Moreover, the expenses associated with administering a pet trust may rule out their use unless they are funded with a relatively large amount of money. Finally, while enforcement mechanisms under a pet trust are better than the alternatives, there is still no guarantee that the trustee will act completely in the pet’s interest.

This article is intended to provide general information about estate planning strategies and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified attorney. Treasury regulations require a disclaimer that to the extent this article concerns tax matters, it is not intended to be used and cannot be used by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.

Safety For Your Pet and Yourself


One fallacy many people have is that all dogs are good swimmers. This is not the case. Although swimming is great exercise for your dog, a great way to spend some time with your pet, and a relaxing day of leisure, it also can be dangerous. Many breeds of dogs are built to swim and many are not. Often those that are not, are the dogs that have short pushed-in noses like Pugs, Bulldogs, and Shih-Tzus. Ones with short legs like Papillons, Basset Hounds, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, and Pomeranians are not good in the water either. Dog breeds that love to swim include, Labrador Retrievers, Irish Water Spaniel, Spanish Water Dog, Irish Setter, Golden Retriever, Chesapeaske Bay Retriever and others. But do not assume that your dog is a good swimmer even he is one of these breeds. It may not come naturally to them.

Life jackets are available for dogs and are a very good way of assuring your pet to be safe.


There has been way too many times I have noticed a parent buckling their child into the proper car seat, yet the family pet jumps in and parks itself on the seat beside. I suppose the parent is assuming in an accident the child and she would be safe and that dogs are basically invincible. Not so.


a. Fender-bender in the city: The jar from the vehicle behind sends “Rover” flying into the seat ahead not only injuring (or worse) mom but as well as the dog.

b. Major Accident: Vehicle they are riding in is hit on the driver’s side. Mom belted in is jarred but will be fine, the crash has sent “Rover” flying into baby. Not fine!

c. Even Just Quick Maneuvering Around Something on the Road: Many unforeseen things occur putting everyone and your pet in danger. No one plans for this!

Be safe and remember not only to care for yourself and your children but the safety and comfort of your pet while traveling in a vehicle. Remember he is an integral part of your family too.


a. Consider the possibility of using a restraint whether it be a pet seat belt, car harness, pet car seat or a wire cargo barrier for your SUV. This looks after “Rover’s” safety while in the vehicle with you.

b. Another very important safety precaution is to not let your dog ride in the box of your pick-up truck unless they are in a cage/kennel. This has been noted as the primary cause of animal deaths in accidents.

c. Please don’t let your pet stick his head out the window while traveling. Although I am sure it is a great way to cool off it is similar to riding a motorcycle without a helmet and face guard. Debris on the road can quickly be thrown up. I’m sure we all have had rock chips in our windshield or worse.

The Loss of a Pet and the Role a Memorial Can Play

The death of your pet can, for many people, be equivalent to losing a family member. The resulting emotional turmoil is often not recognised in a western society that largely shuns grief, especially when it comes to the loss of an animal.

It is important to accept that for you the grief of losing your pet is very real and is something that you need to work your way through, as with any loss. There are many articles available on the 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.

Memorialisation forms an important part of the acceptance stage of the grieving process. This is true even if the pet has been cremated and its ashes scattered. Memorialisation gives a focus and reference point for the happy memories of your pet that are so important to moving through the grieving process. Time can be spent at a memorial reflecting on your relationship with the pet and re-enforcing the positive memories you have of your pet. This act of re-enforcing positive memories is a well accepted coping strategy when it comes to death and loss.

The memorial also provides a place that communicates in a real way the importance that your pet had to you and the strength of your relationship to your pet. This can assist, without the need for verbalisation, in communicating the loss you feel to your loved ones. In doing this they are more easily able to recognise and accept the feeling of grief you have as being real and significant in your life and so provide to you the love and support that you require.

Memorialisation adds a sense of permanence to a pet’s life by ensuring that memories are perpetuated. A pet forms an important part of your life and history and a memorial lasts through time to future generations, helping them to understand your life and what was important to you in your journey.

In summary, in what seems to be an ever hardening world it is vital for you to recognise the emotional role that your pet can play in your life and therefore the sense of loss and grief that are natural when it passes. You may also like to consider if for you a memorial to your pet may provide you with a focus point and testimonial to your pet that may assist in your journey through grief to acceptance.

You, A Pet, And Apartment Living

There is an old saying, “Look before you leap”. This is a very true statement when you live in an apartment and you are considering pet ownership. Ask yourself, “Am I really ready to take on the commitment of pet ownership and the responsibility while living in an apartment?”

Both dogs and cats need exercise and they need to enjoy fresh air. Outdoor DAILY exercise is a must for dogs. Cats need a scratching post and/or a cat tree. Exercising your pet is not just a good suggestions, it is a must.

You need to realize that you are taking on at least a 12-15 year commitment if you want a dog or cat. They need daily care, not just when it is convenient for you to take care of them.

The first thing you need to do is check with the apartment management to see what their rules and regulations are regarding pets. If they do accept pets, read the contract thoroughly. There will be fees attached to dog or cat ownership. There may be just a one time pet deposit, or their may be the deposit plus an additional monthly assessment.

When looking for a pet friendly apartment, check the location of the individual apartment for pet safety, and for outdoor space. If the apartment is high with a balcony, could your dog or cat fall off or jump from the space? Are their pet friendly walking trails for dog or dog parks near by? Always take poop bags with you. There is nothing more disgusting that seeing dog poop right where you want to enjoy being with your dog.


Dogs cannot and should not be crated all day, no matter their age, no matter if it is a home or apartment. Crates should not be used as punishment. You need to consider where they can eliminate. Puddle pads can be used in an apartment, but you also need to find space outdoors for them.

Dogs need both mental stimulation and physical exercise. If they don’t get both, they will get bored. A bored dog is not a good dog. He will become destructive. You will consider this bad behavior, which it is, but you can be part to blame for not meeting their needs.

A dog’s energy level is most important and this can vary within breeds and litters. Their size is also of importance. Too large of a dog in a small confined area is not showing kindness to them, and it will give you frustration. Also, your apartment management may have dog breed requirements.

Dogs instinctively need to chew. You need to provide them with something acceptable on which to chew. If they aren’t given anything to chew, he may find cords, furniture legs, or shoes to enjoy this craving.

If you have to be gone for long periods of time during the day, you may consider two options: (1) a doggy day care where they can become socially adjusted; or (2) a dog sitter. Your 3rd choice could be to wait until you time is freer to care for a dog.

Obedience training is another commitment to consider. Again this will take your time and consistency, but the time and effort will result in a pet that you will enjoy being around. It will be well worth your effort.

Dogs need companionship, human love, and interactive play time and exercise time. They do not want and should not get ignored. That is not the object of pet ownership.


Cats make an ideal indoor, apartment pet. They like to play, and are very curious creatures. Many like to climb on shelves, in drawers, or hide in closets.

Cats like heights, especially when young to middle age. Older cats often cannot jump as high as they once did. However, they can still climb. That’s another reason a cat tree is so ideal.

Cats will scratch. It is as natural for them to scratch as a dog is to chew. If you don’t provide a place for them to scratch, they are innovative, they will find their own place to scratch. However, you may not appreciate what they find to scratch on. They will find furniture, drapes or carpeting. Don’t force them to upset you; provide for their needs.

Then, there is the litter box issue. This is a very necessary need. True, you don’t have to take her outside for her to relieve herself, but keeping her litter box extremely clean DAILY, will eliminate unpleasant odors, disease, and accidents around the apartment because she doesn’t want to use a dirty litter box.

Do you like using a dirty public bathroom? She won’t like to use a dirty, unpleasant, smelly litter box either. I’m sure you keep your bathroom clean, and she wants the same. Cats are very clean animals.

All dogs and cats shed, so vacuuming frequently will maintain a healthy place for you and your pets in which to live. Maintaining cleanliness will also be a welcoming place for family and friends.

As a courtesy, tell your neighbors you have or are going to get a dog or cat. Introduce your pet to your neighbors, if they are interested. When they know you have a pet, and should your pet escape the confines of your apartment, they many help you find them.

Pets can be confining to you. You may not have the time necessary, so be realistic when approaching the decision of pet ownership. Too many pets are abandoned or given to shelters because they just don’t work out, because they just weren’t what the pet owner expected.

Pets, however, can be one of the best decisions you ever make. They can help reduce your stress and sometimes even help to reduce your blood pressure. Developing love and companionship with a pet may even allow them to become a very good friend, one with whom you can share your inner most thoughts. Pets have a very good listening ear, and they don’t gossip.

Love your dog or cat. Show them every consideration by meeting their needs. Meeting their needs will eliminate a lot of frustration. And, do not overlook obedience training for a new puppy.

Spirituality and Animal Connection

It is said that cats play a specific spiritual role in the lives of the people who own them.Their mission in life is to heal and comfort. I believe that all animals are spiritual and are here to rescue, assist and guide us in our journey of life. They help their people take on stress, worries and trauma of their owners to heal and comfort and that may be why they sleep so much… to recover from stress they have taken on for us from us.The bond between humans and their pets can be as deep and meaningful as human relationships. On a spiritual level I believe that animals are magnificent beings in their own right with emotional and spiritual lives; I believe that animals have souls.

I read somewhere once about people having out-of-body near death experiences and how individuals reported approaching a “tunnel of light” leaving behind their physical existence as the near death individual reported being greeted by their deceased family and friends and also their deceased pets which are a comfort to those of us that have lost a beloved pet.

As I am writing this today, something came to mind to me just today about my spiritual cat Joey. It has occurred to me just how safe and unconditional Joey’s love is. Our pets make it safe for us to give and receive love deeply. It seems that sometimes over a person’s lifetime we start building walls at a very young age. It happens without us even realizing it. With very little thought or effort the walls become higher and thicker each time we experience hurt and betrayal. Subconsciously we think that those walls will protect us from getting hurt: Actually what it does is cut us off from the flow of life and all its’ goodness.. If we are not living from the heart and our Divinity within, we are living with thoughts of the mind and giving external circumstances power to affect our life which cut us off from loving ourselves and others.

For me, it has been a time of grieving and letting go. It seems I didn’t have time to do that the first year of recovery from our fire. I am so amazed at the amount of grieving I have done since then. I realize now that I hardly cried those first 12 months after the fire. Now I cry a lot. That is a good thing, of course, as I go forward on this journey. Tears are said to be sacred. Through all of the trials and tribulations that have occurred, one thing that has become evident to me during the recovery and even now, is that Bob and I are closer in many ways. We are closer now than we have ever been in the first 23 years of marriage. I couldn’t exactly say that it was because of just one thing. I think that it has been a combination of many things during the recovery process. There were many bumps in the road during the recovery and there are bumps in the road now: but not so many as we use to have. Little petty things do not matter much anymore. We are grateful for what is right in the moments of each day.

It amazes me how life could change on a dime. Life as we knew it prior to the fire will never be quite the same. We have worked past the fears, the stress, and the pressure of recovery and somehow made it to the other side together. This experience was full of blessings, gifts and miracles. We work together, we cry together, we conquer together and we love together as we go forward. My cat Joey was instrumental in this healing process

Dog Portraits and Animal Paintings

Whether you choose to paint pet dog portraits or furry cat paintings or maybe even put other wild animals onto canvas, Artists are as distinct and mixed as these people come, possibly not only in expertise (or lack thereof), nevertheless design and mind-set, yet several things are shared, through positioning our creativeness plus goals on to a piece of paper or canvas. The particular elegance of artwork is it can be acquired at ages young and old. If art looks wonderful to somewhat of a beginner then that is probably since they never put in any real time portrait or simply sketching since coming out of schooling.

The entire process of noticing is generally acquired by many, and witnessing is the vital thing to painting and sketching, and drawing/sketching the important thing to working with any methods. Drawing basically amounts to measuring, directing the brush to translate a rendering seen with the eyes. The more perfect the proportions, the greater like the topic that painting will be like (yes, it may be much simpler said than done!). The primary knowledge realized accurately can lead a person toward ones desires.

Irrespective of whether you desire to paint a new wildlife picture or represent a scene filled with rare birds within a canvas, art deer could very well be at the same time enjoyable in addition to restful. You may not have to be considered a high quality painter to paint wildfowl. On the other hand, you can easily practice it as being a enjoyable craft.

1. Commence with a diagram of the animals you want to paint. This is used in the form of personal reference and that means you will keep the characteristics reduced. When you’re piece of art a location, sketch in the landscaping as well. You would possibly discover it beneficial to make use of a photography to be a research thing or simply to provide a projection to assist with ratios.

2. Paint the field first of all. Through acrylic paints, you’ll be able to incorporate normal water to weaken the coloring and mix colorations. Additionally if you ever desire a sturdy background, an individual need to use a mix of of two paints similar in colour. This is what offers your piece of art a further specialist visual appeal as well as includes mood to the idea. Certain views need one to block out the backdrop depending on your own design.

3. Create coatings when a person shade hair. You create fur that looks full and soft by blending the colors of the fur and providing ones color to dry out fully. Shade further coatings running the fields of lighter as well as deeper dog’s fur on each one layer. Employ your brush to establish strokes in the path of the dog’s fur.

4. Concentrate on the wildlife inside of the front of your art work.creatures in your the background really should contain less details and will want to just indicate the occurrence of alternative creatures. It is easy to utilise a wash developed by including a great deal more waters to ones paint to cover over significantly less necessary wild animals as an easy way to combine these in to your backdrop.

5. Provide yourself time so that you can try things out. Certainly, there are hardly any artists people who design a wonderful creature portrait the first occasion these people try. Show patience and attempt many ways in order to determine what design performs the best in your case. You are able to as well come up with abstract wildlife and indulge in the process of piece of art animals from your own private exclusive portrayal.

Painting Gestures in Humans and Animals

Painting gestures is sometimes also known as gesture drawing. The two are similar subject areas in art but they are not exactly the same thing.

Painting gestures in humans and animals has a lot to do with how you intend to depict motion in your artwork. If it is a very realistic painting then you are in for a real labor of love. Many people use photographs and wooden artist’s models to get the posture just right. Then they faithfully replicate it on the paper as they see it.

Realistically capturing human poses is also known as mechanical drawing. The more faithful a drawing is to real life, the more mechanical it is. However even mechanical drawings are sometimes sketched quite fast. Many mechanical drawings are also used as the basis for the paintings that feature depictions of active humans and animals.

However true gestural drawing is also known action drawing for obvious reasons. It is all about capturing motion. This can be quite a difficult discipline to learn, especially in realism, because it is not really about representing something truly but rather drawing body movements. Your intention is to not really paint what something looks like but what something is doing.

A popular exercise for practicing painting gesture in humans is to get a model. The model should change poses every sixty seconds while you attempt to quickly capture what the model is doing on a sketch pad. You don’t have to use models for this. You can use pets or family members. You can also just sit in a public airport and sketch away.

Gesture drawing is based on the principle that movement is intangible. When you do gesture drawings you are trying to go beyond mere appearances and capture the very essence of your subject. Working very quickly is also very essential to doing this properly.

Some people do gestural drawing of inanimate objects to give them character and personality. In fact some of the best artists in the world are able to give human qualities to things that are not human at all using the principles of gesture drawing.

Most drawing masters suggest drawing what you love, whether it is nudes, cars, cats, flowers or monsters. This is the best way to master the complications of creating realistic gestural or mechanical drawings.

Boxer Dogs Make Great Pets and Friends

How many times have you uttered the phrase “good dog”? As pet owners, sometimes we underestimate the role our dogs play in our lives. We have a four-year old white boxer dog named “Blizzard” in our family. Blizzard was rescued from a breeder who had the shameful idea to euthanize the less financially rewarding members of the pack. From that day on, Blizzard became a beloved family member. This article is a tribute to all the countless number of Blizzards out there for which the phrase “good dog” just doesn’t do the trick and for the parents, who know that boxer dogs make great pets and friends.

Getting Away With Everything

Now I take pride in the appearance of my home, but I cannot count the number of times I have happily washed thirty dollar throw pillows that I proudly display on our leather couch. A small sacrifice made for the love of a “good dog” who just isn’t comfortable anywhere else but perched upon these “must have” items. In my travels as a stay at home mom, I often glance over at him just in time to see a happy drool escaping his mouth. “Good dog”? I think not.

In our family, we all eat dinner together. This nightly ritual involves cleaning up after the toddlers- and Blizzard of course. As such, Blizzard gets his face wiped after a meal in the same manner as the kids. This habit developed in response to another pleasant surprise we stumbled upon a few years ago- catching him in the act of cleaning his own mouth on the kitchen tablecloth! Nothing says lovin’ like a ninety pound dog running his yuck mouth up and down expensive linen.

Unconditional Love

For me, what really opened my eyes to the love I feel for this animal was my experience during the last few weeks of my first pregnancy. As any woman who has ever had kids can relate to, there are more than a few long, monotonous bed retreats. And don’t you know Blizzard never left my side? It is with great pride that I dare say I owe my sanity to the dog. If I had to do another crossword puzzle without adoring glances from my boxer, I can honestly say I might not have made it.

Blizzard is more than a “good dog”. He is a member of our family. He has been a support system, a friendly ear, an audience, a trickster. My boxer, like many other boxer dogs out there deserves more than a simple “good dog”. And maybe, just maybe, he thinks of me as more than a “good human”.

Flea Control Tips For Pet And Home Owners

If you have read somewhere that getting rid of and keeping fleas at bay is easy, it is suggested that you treat it with levity. Contrarily, it is a task that calls for your utmost attention, especially if you love your pets dearly. It a task that require all arsenals to fight as it can cut short the lives of your lovely pet.

The source of flea’s infestation include but not limited to climatic changes, surroundings and lots more. Where you live is very important. Fleas love and desire a dirty environment to thrive. But when you take time to get your environment clean – both outside and inside, fleas find it hard living in such an environment. This is because you have goner against their main goal which is to feed and breed on fresh blood.

There are so many flea control methods out there that you can make use of in order to get rid of and keep the fleas at bay from your home and animals. You can either go for the natural methods or the chemical methods. You should know that these methods have their weakness and strength. Hence, it is advisable for you to see your vet before making use of any of the methods. But if you don’t want to spend more money with experts, you can try out any of the methods until you discover the best methods for you and your pets.

If your lovely pet has been infested with fleas, it is suggested that try out advantage flea control. Sure, a lot has been written on this method, but I need to say that many of the writers have not really tried it out. I have and it works. I want you too to try it out and you will be glad you did. It has the ability to kill fleas on adult and little pets. However, I will suggest that you read and understand the manufacturer’s instruction before using it. This is highly necessary. Don’t think you know how to go about using it. Read the instruction and it will save you a lot of headache in the process of eliminating the fleas.

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