Popular Posts

How Bed Bugs Can Affect Your Pets

Monday, December 19, 2011 Comments

Remember that cutesy little rhyme you used to hear before you went to bed, prodding you to “not let the bed bugs bite”? For many people, unfortunately, bed bugs are a reality, affecting not only their homes and loved ones but their pets as well. Since your pets, especially cats and dogs, are probably warm-blooded mammals just like you, they are bound to attract insects such as bed bugs. And while a bed bug will prefer to feed on you, they will happily bite your pets if they get a chance. Here are a few ways that your pets might be affected by the nasty little buggers.

Bed bugs can affect your pets, too!
Your cat or dog probably has a preferred sleeping area that may contain a bed, pillow, or blanket. These are havens for bed bugs, who build their communities where we like to sleep. (It is important to keep in mind that bed bugs, unlike fleas or ticks, don’t actually live on their victims. They live in the environments where their victims reside, though they can easily be transported on clothing, in bags, or on bed-wear as it is carried from place to place. They can also be carried to different locations by riding along in your pet’s fur.)

You might not be able to see the bite marks on your pet if they have been attacked by bed bugs, especially on cats or dogs with long hair, but since the bites usually itch, you should watch to see if your pet is scratching more than usual. Bed bugs are often mistaken for fleas. They can be identified by their wingless reddish-brown bodies that are flat and about one-fifth of an inch long. Though the bites may be difficult to find, you can check to see if they exist on particularly sensitive areas of your pet, such as their stomach.

Once you have identified the problem, you can rid yourself of the infestation by washing and drying anything that your pet has come into contact with, particularly their toys or their bedding. Bed bugs will die when exposed to heat above 120 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure to dry whatever you wash on high heat. Flea and tick baths will not affect bed bug populations, so if you’re going to bathe them, use insect control shampoos that are pyrethrin-based. Be aware that these products may be harmful to cats.

Continue to practice bed bug control even after you believe that you have successfully destroyed the infestation. Even if you see improvement in your pets or in the rest of your home, remember that bed bugs are persistent, and colonies may regenerate if you aren’t careful. Continue to wash and maintain your pet’s living area with extra attention, and routinely vacuum areas frequented by your pet. Look for bed bug signs, such as blood on light-colored areas (like sheets, blankets, or the wall), or little brown specks that are actually bed bug fecal material. Keep an eye out for a bed bug resurgence and your pets (and you will) will sleep more tightly in the future.

Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California

Help Keep Madison-area Pets in Their Homes

Thursday, December 15, 2011 Comments

From DCHS:

A New Program to “Help Keep Pets in Their Homes”

Click to donate!
Hard economic times may result in tough choices regarding family pets for households struggling to stretch their limited resources. Families faced with the choice of purchasing pet food or providing for their family’s needs may have to make the heartbreaking decision to give up their pet. At a time when unconditional love from a pet is needed the most, some families need to make this tragic decision. Pets may be given to relatives or friends, surrendered to Dane County Humane Society or, sadly in some cases, abandoned.

To help families keep their pets at home, Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) is partnering with Community Action Coalition for South Central WI, Inc. (CAC) to supply pet food and cat litter to participating Dane County food pantries. CAC will facilitate the delivery and pickup of donation barrels with businesses participating in pet food drives. DCHS, acting as the county pet food bank administrator, will coordinate pet food drives, solicit business and private contributions, warehouse the donations and deliver them to food pantries with the aid of DCHS volunteers.

How Can You Help?

1. Donate pet food (dry or canned) or cat litter (clumping or clay) - bags 10 pounds or less to participating businesses between December 12 and 18. Click here to see a list of participating businesses. Click here to download a list of participating businesses.

2. Host a drive to collect pet food and cat litter in your business, school or organization. Contact DCHS for details.

3. Make a monetary donation to DCHS for food pantry food and litter. Checks should be made out to Dane County Humane Society, and include instructions to apply your donation to the “Help Keep Pets in Their Home” program. You can also donate online (include "Help Keep Pets in Their Homes" in the comment box).

What is our Goal?

With your help Dane County Humane Society and Community Action Coalition for South Central WI, Inc. want to support struggling families and prevent them from making the terrible decision to give up a loving pet when the family is faced with severely limited resources. Your donations will decrease the number of pets separated from their families - where their love, loyalty and enthusiasm for life are needed the most.

For More Information:

Contact: Patty Zehl, Volunteer Coordinator with Dane County Humane Society

Mail monetary donations to:

Attention: Patty Zehl
Dane County Humane Society
5132 Voges Road
Madison, WI 53718

Fun Internet Find: Cat Scratch DJ!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 Comments

DJ Cat busting out some dope tunes
Many thanks to my friend Maureen for pointing out this adorable cat scratcher from SUCK UK! The record is a cardboard scratcher, and it actually moves/spins when your cat uses it. You can customize it with the included kitty DJ stickers. Now you just have to convince your kitty to wear headphones...

Cat Scratch DJ is available for purchase from ThinkGeek for $34.99.

Also check out SUCK UK's foldable cat play houses.

A worthy cause: Help Sheba Heal

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 Comments

Dane County Humane Society's (DCHS) Animal Medical Services (AMS) provides outstanding medical attention and care to all of the homeless animals that come through their doors. Occasionally, an animal needs special care, and DCHS is there for them! A small, female Maltese mix, now named Sheba, arrived as a stray at DCHS at the end of September. Sheba was severely matted and was exhibiting strange behaviors that were very worrisome to the shelter medical and care staff.

Upon observation, DCHS’s Animal Medical Services thought that Sheba’s behavior, coupled with her high white blood cell count and the fact that she was an intact female, may be because of a medical condition, pyometra (infected uterus), which is treated by a spay surgery. Sheba received the much-needed surgery, but struggled with recovery and had the staff worried about her well-being. She slowly improved, but continued to exude behaviors that were concerning.

After several blood tests, the shelter veterinarians suspected that she had a congenital liver problem. They decided to send Sheba to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, where their suspicions were confirmed with a CT scan. Sheba was diagnosed with an extrahepatic portosystemic shunt, which is amenable to surgical correction. The shunt is producing a buildup of toxic ammonia in her blood thus causing the behavioral changes, urinary problems, and general malaise. Sheba also has kidney stones that will hopefully dissolve with the help of a specific diet and surgical repair. Surgery will be scheduled as soon as possible, but in the meantime Sheba is on several medications to help her feel better. DCHS hopes to give Sheba the chance to be a happy, healthy dog in a loving home, but they need your help!

Please help DCHS raise the $6,500 needed for this deserving dog to have the surgery she needs!

Sheba needs your help!
To make a contribution:

Select "Donate to: Help Me Heal" when donating online. You can also mail or drop off your donation at Dane County Humane Society's main shelter (5132 Voges Road, Madison WI 53718). When donating online, please state “Sheba Surgery” in the comment section.

Please help DCHS continue to help animals like Sheba heal. DCHS depends on your kindhearted donations to make miracles happen.

Guest Post: Backpack with your dog

Thursday, November 24, 2011 Comments

Have you ever considered going backpacking with your dog?

While it's not easy to cross borders with your beloved pooch, if you do manage to get clearance for your animal to travel with you, short trips with Fido are wonderful.

Imagine your dog, running wild and free through lush countryside, splashing about in rivers, chasing birds and curled around your feet enjoying the warmth of a campfire. How could you leave him at home?

Many people would be put off from taking their dog away with them on any holiday that involves carrying your own accommodation, food, clothes and other essentials on your back. However, instead of believing that taking the dog will add extra weight to your load, let your dog pick up some of the slack.

Unbeknown to many, a range of fantastic dog backpacks has hit the shops, a concept that may seem strange at first, but is actually ingenious. A canvas pack can be securely and comfortably strapped to the dog, featuring pockets that can be filled with dog essentials: his bowl, food, water, towel, toys and treats.

Don't worry that your dog will be laden down and overheat, the lightweight bag comprises water pockets that will keep him cool. The packs are typically very hard wearing, which is great for rugged or muddy conditions. The streamlined design will ensure your dog won't be slowed down, either.

For those who would like to keep a slightly tighter rein on their dog in certain situations, removing the backpack pockets will reveal a harness. Therefore lifting your dog over water or a stile will be much easier. In fact, the only problem you may encounter, is keeping up with your backpacked dog!

If you're wondering what to get your pet for Christmas, why not think about purchasing a dog backpack so that they can share in the great outdoors with you?
Rupert Brown as a freelance author writes articles on various topics. To learn more about dog backpacks and dog blankets he recommends you to visit Muddy Paws.

Guest Post: Canine Arthritis is Not your Dog’s Best Friend

Thursday, November 17, 2011 Comments

The signs, symptoms and treatment of canine arthritis

Degenerative disk disease (DJD) in dogs, otherwise known as canine arthritis or osteoarthritis, affects and causes the deterioration of joint cartilage in our pets. This progressive, debilitating disease causes the breakdown of cartilage and fatigue in cartilage-producing cells. As a result, joints that are supposed to be lubricated in order to glide over each other become rough, and our pet’s joint mobility can become painful and stiff. At this point only surgery or vet-prescribed painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), which can be purchased online via a Canadian Pharmacy, can provide pain-relief for the animal.

DJD can affect any joint in your dog’s body, but most often it inflicts the hips of middle-aged to senior dogs or young dogs who suffer from canine hip dysplasia, which is common in larger mixes and dog breeds.

The signs of arthritis in a canine include the following physical signs:

*Difficulty walking, jumping, playing
*Stiffness or difficulty rising from a resting position
*Difficulty or avoiding climbing stairs
*Creaking, crackling joints
*Decreased mobility or loss of interest in walks
*Lethargy or dragging of hind quarters
*Growling, yelping or snapping when picked up or touched

Treating arthritis in pets: take a pro-active approach

Canine arthritis can eventually lead to the permanent loss of mobility in the joint or joints that it afflicts. This means that proactive health and exercise are of vital importance. You can help your dog ward off or ease canine arthritis in the following ways:

1. Regular exercise: Your dog should not only go for a walk every day, he or she should jump, run, bound and play in a safe, controlled area (like a dog park or a fenced in yard). Just like humans, if your dog gets adequate daily exercise that doesn’t overtax his or her joints—it will ward off osteoarthritis and maintain good bone health, mobility and flexibility.

2.Keep the pounds off: Of course regular exercise and weight control work hand in hand. It makes sense really, the more your dog weighs; the harder the impact is on their joints. So that means dogs who are light weight experience less strain on their load bearing joints and are less prone to joint (especially hip troubles later on in life). If you’re dog is getting heavy, get him or her out for regular bounds of exercise and talk to your vet about switching to a weight-controlled diet

3. Supplement for bone health: The Arthritis Foundation recommends glucosamine for dogs with canine arthritis to help strengthen bones and relieve the symptoms of canine arthritis. Glucosamine, a chemical naturally produced in your dog’s body, also produces molecules that stimulate the production of synovial fluid (the lubricating substance that smooths the movement between joints and cartilage) when given in supplement form. Glucosamine has also been shown in numerous veterinary studies to benefit canine arthritis. Vets prefer it administered in liquid form on top of your dog’s food.

4. Other methods of arthritis relief: These include vet-prescribed painkillers and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)—including most common Rimadyl (carprofen), Adequan (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) and Palaprin6—all of which have risky side effects and only treat the pain, not the arthritis itself. It’s best to take a pro-active approach with glucosamine, exercise, rest and a healthy balanced diet. Remember: over-the-counter painkillers should never be given to a pet without first speaking to a veterinarian.

5. Regular veterinarian check-ups: The signs of canine arthritis can be identified by your veterinarian far before owners start to recognize the more drastic symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get your pet in for regular check-ups. An early canine arthritis diagnosis, mixed with recommended therapy, gentle exercise program, nutrition and diet may lessen the symptoms and pain and prolong the life and comfort of your pet.

Bernice Spradlin is an avid hiker and runner. She works at a gym in Brooklyn, New York, where she gets great inspiration for her freelance health-related articles and blogs. In her off time, you can often find Bernice jogging the East River path along the waterfront and enjoying the cool breeze.

Guest post: Why is hedgehog breeding restricted?

Friday, November 11, 2011 Comments

The Restriction of Hedgehog Breeding

The hedgehog is an adorable little creature that has gained popularity as a pet in the last twenty years. The most common hedgehog found as a pet in the United States is the African Pygmy, though its cousin the European hedgehog has also gained interest. As cute as they are, this animal comes with some complications that have made it illegal in some states, while other states have restrictions for owning or breeding this animal. What are these complications, and how can hedgehog owners be sure their pet is healthy and well looked-after?

Picture: Mad About Pets' beloved hedgie Laika
There are a few states where owning a hedgehog is illegal. These include California, Hawaii, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York City, and all of Douglass County in Nebraska. Arizona makes it so hard to meet requirements that you practically have to have PhDs in animal care to afford one, and Maine is working out legislature to restrict them as well. Reasons for these restrictions vary wildly by state.

The first reason hedgehogs are restricted is because they are a non-native species. If enough escapes, they could displace the native species in the area and disrupt food chains. States that have unique environments, like Hawaii, are particularly susceptible to damage from non-native species, and will often ban exotic pets. The African Pygmy hedgehog is originally from Africa, which means that it falls into this category.

Another reason is because of the diseases that they can carry. Most hedgehogs are totally healthy, but they have been linked to several diseases over the years, including salmonella, foot-and-mouth disease, rabies, yersina, pseudotuberculosis, mycobacterium marinum and even hemorrhagic fever. Some of these diseases are able to cross the lines between species and cause disease in livestock or even humans. Infants and young children are most at risk, so hedgehogs are not good pets to have around the very young. Because of these viruses, hedgehog breeders are closely regulated to be sure that the animals they sell aren't carriers. That's why it's so important to get your hedgie from a licensed breeder, who can prove that they're healthy.

Hedgehogs are adorable, but high-maintenance pets
Photo credit: World's Most Amazing Things
Hedgehogs also have a lot of very specific environmental things they need. For example, their diets can be quite complicated, they need open cages but without wire bottoms, and lots of exercise—but only on closed wheels with at least 11” diameters. Plus, hedgehogs are designed for a warm climate, and must be kept in a room that is between 70F and 76F. If they get too cold, they will try to hibernate, which can easily kill an African pygmy because they are not designed for it. Getting too hot is just as bad, however, because they can easily overheat and die of dehydration in as little as 80F.

Because of all these special needs, hedgehog breeders are subject to much scrutiny, and it is very hard to get licensed to sell them. This is why it is so important to make sure that your breeder is licensed, and has made allowances for all of these things when breeding your hedgie! Plus, you have to make sure that you have built an environment that your hedgehog can happily survive in, but can't escape. They're wonderful pets, but they can be a lot of work, so it's important to do all of your research before buying one!

About the author: Brittany Lyons aspires to be a psychology professor, but decided to take some time off from grad school to help people learn to navigate the academic lifestyle. She currently lives in Spokane, Washington, where she spends her time reading science fiction and walking her dog.

News: New Site is Growing and Incredibly Pet Friendly

Thursday, November 10, 2011 Comments

USA (PR Web) Oct 30, 2011 - Researching health care options for pets is a phenomenon that is expanding in North America. More people are starting to realize the benefits of having a single veterinarian for their pet. This puts the vet in a more knowledgeable position and strengthens his/her relationship with the pet.

The site, which launched in October 2011, is known as The Veterinarian Directory (http://www.topveterinarians.org). It features a simple search box which allows you to locate nearby veterinary clinics by city, address or postal code. The directory currently has over 30,000 listings which users can view through the familiar maps provided by Google.

There are two reasons why it's becoming more popular to research veterinary clinics for your pets. For the conscious pet owner there is a better chance of finding a talented and knowledgeable vet who can keep your pet healthy. Secondly, people are discovering there are benefits of seeing veterinarians who specialize with specific types of animals.

The launch of the Veterinarian Directory is proof that a great idea can translate to an incredible community connecting veterinary practices directly with enthusiastic pet owners.

Amazing dog Halloween costumes!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 Comments

Free People has a dog costume parade for Halloween every year. These are some of the amazing dog costumes featured in the parade. Adorable! Maybe next year the Mad About Pets cats can have costumes...or not. ;)

These photos were shared with Mad About Pets by Free People, a leading boho clothing boutique. To keep tabs on all of their office pups, check out the Free People blog.

Adoptable pets in Wisconsin

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 Comments

“Pets are Priceless!” Name Your Own Adoption Fee for All Cats 6 Months and Older at DCHS

Thursday, October 27, 2011 Comments

From Dane County Humane Society:

MADISON, WI – For the next four days, Dane County Humane Society (DCHS) is removing the price tag on all available cats, 6 months of age and older, allowing adopters to pay what they are able to pay. The spring and summer months are always busy for DCHS, but a late surge of cats entering the shelter has caused DCHS to quickly near its max capacity. The economy is also putting a new slant on why people are giving up their pets. "It used to be because you are moving and can't keep the pet, or you don't have time for it, but now we really are seeing it trend toward people surrendering their animals because they lost a job, lost their home," said Gayle Viney, DCHS Public Relations Coordinator. "What's hard is these are animals we normally wouldn't see, because their owners really wanted to keep them.”

DCHS traditionally charges $40 to adopt an adult cat and $20 for a senior cat, but starting Thursday, October 27, and running through Sunday, October 30, DCHS is asking adopters to name their own adoption fee. People will be asked to fill in the blank when it comes to paying the adoption fees which include: spay/neuter surgery, distemper and rabies vaccinations, screening and/or treatment for fleas, ticks, mites, worms, ringworm, FeLV (feline leukemia) and FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), a microchip, a 30-day health insurance policy, and a free bag of cat food from Mounds Pet Food Warehouse; a total value of over $200!

“We’ve heard and read about similar promotions working in other communities,” said Gayle Viney, DCHS Public Relations Coordinator. “By asking people to pay what they think is fair, it encourages people to be invested in our mission to save pets beyond the mere price tag.” Recently published studies have shown that eliminating the adoption fees does not devalue the pet in the eyes of the adopter. Only the adoption fee is changing, all other DCHS adoption policies remain in effect.

“It’s an education in the check-out line -- what is a pet worth,” said Viney. “We believe our community values their animals and we are betting we can make matches that will last.” Stop by any of our six adoption centers and pick the price of your new feline friend today! ·  

-DCHS Main Shelter – 5132 Voges Road, Madison WI·
-Adoption Center West – 7475 Mineral Point Road #42, Madison WI ·
-Sun Prairie Mounds Satellite Adoption Center - 2422 Montana Avenue, Sun Prairie WI·
-Fitchburg Mounds Satellite Adoption Center - 5352 King James Way, Fitchburg WI·
-Middleton Mounds Satellite Adoption Center - 8311 University Avenue, Middleton WI·
-East Mounds Satellite Adoption Center – 2110 South Stoughton Road, Madison WI

Guest Post: Five Tips for New Dog Owners

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 Comments

Photo Credit: rburtzel
Welcoming a dog into your house can be a very exciting experience for new owners. However, there are many steps to take to ensure that your dog is fully acclimated to his new environment. Whether you’ve chosen to adopt a dog or found your new companion from a breeder or local shop, keep in mind these tips to help prepare for welcoming your dog into his new forever home.

1) First day nerves.

Often, very young puppies will have a difficult time adjusting to new surroundings and being without their mother. They may express their uneasiness through barking, whining or howling when they should be sleeping. Rest time was when they were closest to their mother and they still crave the nurturing she bestowed upon them. To help ease their homesick pains a warm water bottle wrapped well in towels, or a ticking clock can mimic the security their mother provided them.

2) Decide on crate training.

Many find that crate training is one of the quickest methods for teaching boundaries. Crating does not have to be a negative experience; many dogs love their crate as they know it is their own secure, quiet spot to rest. Also, crate training gives owners peace of mind to know their dog will not get into trouble when they aren’t available to oversee their exploring. For those who are welcoming an adopted dog home it is recommended to find out from the shelter what methods were used to train him, as it may be difficult to crate train a dog that is unfamiliar with this process.

3) Know his nutritional needs.

A veterinarian can help recommend food and nutritional supplements for your dog based on age, breed and build. Typically, many prefer to research all-natural dog products that are gentler on a dog’s system than store-bought canned items. Speak to a professional and find out what products are available, and that fall within your price range!

4) Train them.

Outside of the traditional “sit” and “stay” commands, puppies need to understand how to control their playful energy. Often times an abundance of energy can lead to negative behaviors such as jumping, nipping and stealing of food. These actions can be controlled with some training, which will help them develop into a pleasant companions and social pets. There are a variety of do-it-yourself training methods available, or perhaps a professional dog trainer would be of use to your dog’s needs.

5) Socialize your dog.

This is a critical part of your dog’s development. Dogs that are exposed to many different types of people and animals are more comfortable roaming in the outside world. They will learn how to greet others and not fear other dogs.

Liz Demcsak is a writer from Wet Nose Guide, a nationwide dog care directory for owners on the go. When you’re on the road, let Wet Nose Guide help you find everything from dog vets to dog runs to make your pup feel right at home wherever life may bring you.

Tabby & Jack's Howl-o-Ween Party October 22, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 Comments

Join us for a Spooktacular time!

Howl-O-Ween Party
Saturday October 22nd


At Tabby & Jack's Capitol Square
14 W Mifflin ● 608-271-7888

Benefit for PAWWS to Heal

$5 Donation at the door includes entry into the evening drawing

We use interaction with our specially-trained therapy animals as a healing tool for children to work through emotional, physical and behavioral problems. When conventional therapy isunable to reach a child, animals and their unconditional love, trust, patience and support areused to assist in healing and to reachgoals,which have been set by therapists, special education teachers, counselors, parents, and guardians.


Treats for 2-legged and 4-legged attendees

All well-behaved leashed pups are welcome.

Costume Contests :

-Most Original Pet Costume
-Best Pet/Owner Duo
-Cutest Little Creature

With photography by Trina K. Images. All photos taken through out the day will be entered into the costume contest.

$5 suggested donation at the door. Donation automatically enters you in the drawing. Drawing has prizes from many local vendors and stores!


Guest Post: Just what is a Pet Psychic?

Friday, October 14, 2011 Comments

Pet psychics have come to be more than just another source for entertainment value on television and in movies, and have in fact reached a point where they are easily accessible to the average pet owner for communication purposes with your furry friend (or otherwise) of the household. These gifted individuals assist in meeting the unspoken needs between a human owner and their animal counterpart. Let’s take a look at a few reasons you may want to take a leap of faith with a pet psychic:

The idea of a pet psychic may seem far-fetched to some, but pet psychics
can successfully help pet owners with many behavioral issues, health issues, etc.
Image credit: tvrage.com

1. Obtaining relevant knowledge pertaining to recent pet behaviors. Consider your pet psychic the public relations pro for animal whispering. Pet psychics are trained to be able to speak with animals through mental images and with the tactful intention of drawing out information about your pet’s recent behaviors. This can be helpful for both practical purposes (i.e. your cat has been clawing at your couch more than usual), or long-term relationship purposes (i.e. your dog snaps when you come near). Negotiations between a pet psychic and the animal are timely and effective in part because a psychic is not required to see the animal in person. Following a brief visual description, a pet psychic is able to talk to the animal via phone.

2. Understanding your pet’s health issues. Having a solid grip on what your pet is feeling is often very difficult for pet owners. For the empathetic pet owner, this can be an incredibly frustrating lack of knowledge; a veterinarian can tell you what health issues a pet may have, but he/she cannot tell you exactly what they feel. A pet psychic offers a direct line of communication that can lead to a better understanding of what pain an animal may be feeling, and recommendations on what can be done about it. This is especially useful in the case of pets that have a terminal disease and may wish to experience an end to their suffering.

3. Relocating a missing pet. Not knowing the whereabouts or the fate of a missing pet can be stressful and even devastating; a pet psychic can help locate how many miles away an animal is or draw out a description of their location through a simple phone session.

4. Easing the pain of grief. Some pet psychics specialize in communicating with animals that have already passed, easing the grieving process for mourning pet owners. Understanding what a pet experienced in its last moments and accomplishing mind-easing closure can be priceless for the weary of heart.

The most important takeaway is that pet psychics are able to get us more in touch with our animal loved ones. Any owner will know that if you truly love your pet, you will do anything to work through an issue. If your animal’s problem is more complex than something barking a few commands can fix, a pet psychic may be the right path for you.

This post was written by Psychic Source, an online psychic network where you can find anything from a clairvoyant who can read your senses just be talking to you, or a tarot reader who can provide an enlightening tarot reading.

Tabby & Jack's: BIG SALE OCTOBER 8, 2011!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011 Comments

From Tabby & Jack's:


Capitol Square Store 9-5 ~ Fitchburg Store 9-6

Every purchase made receives a chance at FREE items. Pick a spider off of the web for your chance to win:

~ 6lb bags of Lotus Dog or Cat Food ~ 2.2lb bags of Nature's Variety Instinct Cat Food ~ Plato Thinkers Treat Bags ~ 1lb Deli Fresh Chubs ~ Canned Dog or Cat Food ~ A 10lb box of Zeal Honest Kitchen Dog food ~ Mighty Treats Flavor Booster for Pet Food ~ Tickets to our Howl-O-Ween Party ~ And More!

This sale is going to be spooktacular!

-ALL Bulk Chews - Buy 3 Get 1 FREE

-All Tucker Raw Bones - 20% OFF
-Vital Essentials Raw - Buy a 6lb bag of Chicken or Beef Patties get a FREE 12oz Bag of Vital Essentials Frozen Tripe

*** Introducing OC-Raw*** 30% OFF

-Purchase any Deli Fresh Item, Get a 1lb Deli Chub FREE
-ALL Large Bags of American Natural Premium - $2 OFF
-Felidae 4lb Bags - Buy 1 Get 1 FREE
-ALL Felidae 8lb and 15lb Bags of Food 50% OFF
-Canidae Canned Dog Food - Buy 1 Get 1 FREE
-ALL Canidae Grain Free Bags of Dog Food 3,4,6 Special
-$3 Off Small Bags
-$4 Off Medium Bags
-$6 Off Large Bags
-NutriSource Buy a 6.6lb Bag of Dog Food, Get 1 FREE (Valid on same size and variety)
-NutriSource 18lb or Larger Bags of Dog Food - $2.00 OFF
-NutriSource Pure Vita 15lb Bags of Dog Food - $3.00 OFF
-Native 20lb or Larger Bags of Dog Food - $4 OFF
-Nature's Logic 4.4lb Bag FREE with purchase of Halloween Item (While Supplies Last)
-Nature's Logic Canned Food - Buy 2 Get 2 FREE
-Healthy Bones Bags of Treats 25% OFF
-Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Treats 30% OFF
-Pure Vita Hip and Joint & Skin and Coat Treats 20% OFF

-ALL Tabby & Jack's Cookies sale $4.99
-ALL Pet Winter Apparel 20% OFF (Boots, Coats, Sweaters)
-ALL Novelty Items - 10% OFF
(Pictures, Key Chains, Treat Jars, Mugs, Planters, Books, Magnets, etc.)
-All Halloween Items 20% OFF
-ALL Closeout Items Take an EXTRA 10% OFF

Trina K. Images will be at our Fitchburg Store from 3:30pm-5pm on Saturday taking pictures for the Howl-O-Ween Costume Contest! Stop by in costume, or get yours at the sale!

All sittings are FREE!

Capitol Square Store
14 W. Mifflin Street
Madison, WI 53703

Fitchburg Store
2990 Cahill Main
Fitchburg, WI 53711

Guest Post: Tips for traveling with a bearded dragon


One of the challenges of owning a pet is making sure that there is someone appropriate who can care for your beloved pet. This is true no matter what kind of animal you have. However, if you own a bearded dragon, you may find that it’s not that easy to get someone to pet sit your animal for you, especially if your neighbor has other animals in the home. Reptiles can be quite intimidating for many people so if you’re planning a trip, you can be faced with a dilemma whether you should leave it at home or take it along.

This decision will be based on where you are going and how long you are leaving for. If you’ll be out for a few days and you can manage to get a friend, neighbor or someone else to pet sit your animal, then you may want to consider leaving your bearded dragon behind. Bearded dragons can be quite sensitive to their environment so having it moved around and jostled can be quite upsetting for it. Having a warm and familiar environment is less stressful for your pet rather than having it moved around, even if you are there for the ride.

Now if you can’t leave your bearded dragon and you must or want to take it along, there are some things you need to do to prepare for the trip. First, make sure that the airline you will use knows that you are taking an animal with you. It’s very likely that you have to check in your pet with cargo as other passengers on the plan may not take well to having a reptile on board. Also, the hotel or place where you will be staying at needs to be made aware of the added guest. The last thing you want is to get kicked out or refused stay because you brought a pet along. Choose pet friendly hotels. If you are staying at a friend’s house, give them a head’s up so he isn’t freaked out by a surprise visitor.

Prep your pet for a car ride if you’re going by land. Place it in a cat carrier for a few days to accustom your pet to the traveling case. If you plan to drive, you need to keep your pet warm. It’s a good idea to place its cage or by the window where it can get a lot of sunlight. Bring your own water and food to keep things familiar.

These simple tips can go a long way in ensuring the comfort of your beardie whether you decide to leave it at home or take it along for the ride.

Mario Ross is the author of the free eBook "Bearded Dragon Quick Start". His blog will provide useful bearded dragon care sheets and he is offering his eBook free of charge to anyone interested in keeping bearded dragons as pets.

Guest Post: Newborn Babies and Cats Can Live in Harmony

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 Comments

The old wives' tale that cats sometimes maliciously kill newborn babies by sucking out their breath has been around since at least 1607. How is it possible that more than 400 years later, some people still believe the story has merit? It's difficult to fathom, but many people still give up their cats when they find out they have a baby on the way.

This is not only unnecessary, it can cause grief, both for the cat, and the ones who love it. Before you give up your feline friend in favor of your baby, take a look at the myth, the things you really need to be concerned about, and how to keep harmony in your home with both a cat and a newborn baby.

Cats and babies can live in harmony
Photo credit: blisstree.com
The Myth

Think about it for a moment. How could a cat possibly suck the breath out of a baby's lungs? It's physically impossible as any reputable pediatrician or veterinarian will tell you. Not only that, the cat has no motivation to do such a thing, even if it could. While there is a possibility your cat may experience some jealousy when you bring your new baby home, he's unlikely to take it out on the baby in such a violent way.

The Real Risks

More than expressing feelings of jealousy, your cat may feel the need to defend its territory from this little interloper in the crib. The most likely way he's going to do this is by urinating in the crib. It's called "marking," and nearly all cats—both male and female—do it if they feel their turf is being encroached upon. A cat may also urinate someplace besides the litter box if they feel stressed, and bringing a new baby home can certainly be a source of stress for other members of the household, including your pets.

A greater risk is, in fact, suffocation, but it's not intentional. As a cat owner, you know your furry friend likes to cuddle up against you to sleep. Doing this provides both warmth and security. But a cat doesn't know that a baby is vulnerable, and can possibly snuggle up against the baby's face, impeding its breathing. A newborn that can't yet turn its head will have no way defense against a cuddling cat. Remember that this danger is just as prevalent with pillows, or too many blankets or stuffed animals in the crib.

The Better Solutions

You don't have to give your cat away. Behavior issues may occur from time to time. It's all part of owning a pet, and addressing those issues is part of being a responsible pet owner. For some people, the immediate response is to try to give the cat pet meds, like sedatives, to calm the cat and stop the marking behavior. This may be a viable treatment, but it's likely a last resort. Only your vet can determine whether your cat needs any medication. Before you go that route, try a few other solutions.
Properly introducing your cat to the baby is essential
Photo credit: essentialbaby.com.au

Introduce Your Cat to the Baby

When you first get home with the baby, take a few minutes to give your cat some uninterrupted one-on-one time. Play with her, pet her, give her a treat, cuddle her if she tolerates it. Let her know she's important to you.

Your cat will naturally be curious about the newcomer. While you're holding the baby, allow your cat to approach, sniff, and generally check things out. The more you try to keep them apart, the greater lengths your cat will go to in order to get a peek at the weird, noisy thing, including possibly jumping into the crib or onto the changing table, possibly startling or scratching the baby without meaning to. Let her see the baby, and get used to the new scent. Chances are, she'll become bored pretty quickly, and move on to other things.

As your baby grows, remember to keep the kitty safe, too. Babies will be just as curious as cats, and will want to grab and pull at their tails, ears, and fur, or poke their shiny eyes. This can provoke the cat to scratch or bite to defend itself. It's up to you to keep them both safe, and as he grows, teach your child to respect your pet.

Make time to play one-on-one with kitty
Photo credit: rextalkingdog.com
Keep The Cat Out of The Crib

You'll undoubtedly set the crib up well in advance of bringing the baby home. In the meantime, don't let the cat sleep in it. A crib can be a nice hiding place for kitty, but don't let him start thinking it's his territory or you run the risk of him coming in to mark it when he finds a baby in there.

To avoid any mishaps with the baby, like the cat lying too close to the baby's face, keep the nursery door closed when the baby is napping. If you're keeping the crib somewhere that can't be closed off, put up a crib tent to keep the cat from jumping into it.

Make Time For Kitty

A new baby will demand nearly all your attention. But try to make a few minutes every day for your cat. Most cats are very independent, but this doesn't mean they do well being completely ignored. They still need attention and care.

Try not to let your hectic baby-feeding schedule cause you to forget to fill up the cat's food and water dishes. Above all, make sure you're keeping the litter box clean. Letting it get out of hand because you're short on time is a sure way to cause the cat to start urinating in other places, like the sofa or your bed.

With a little planning, some education, and a lot of patience, you can bring your baby home to a loving family that includes your beloved cat.

Jackie is a writer for 1-800-PetMeds and loves to help and support the pet community. You can follow PetMeds on Twitter or connect with PetMeds on Facebook.

Giveaway: Win a hardcover copy of "Following Atticus" by Tom Ryan!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 Comments

by Tom Ryan

"In the mountains Atticus became more of what he’d always been, and I became less—less frantic, less stressed, less worried, and less harried. I felt comfortable letting him lead, and he seemed to know what I needed. He always chose the best route, if ever there was a question, and my only job was to follow.”

Middle-aged, overweight, and acrophobic newspaperman Tom Ryan and miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch are an unlikely pair of mountaineers, but after a close friend dies of cancer, the two pay tribute to her by attempting to climb all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s four-thousand-foot peaks twice in one winter while raising money for charity. In a rare test of endurance, Tom and Atticus set out on an adventure of a lifetime that takes them across hundreds of miles and deep into an enchanting but dangerous winter wonderland. Little did they know that their most difficult test would lie ahead, after they returned home. . . .

At the heart of this remarkable journey is an extraordinary relationship that blurs the line between man and dog, an indelible bond that began when Tom, following the advice of Atticus’s breeder, carried the pup wherever he went for the first month of their life together. Following Atticus is ultimately a story of transformation: how a five-pound puppy pierced the heart of a tough-as-nails newspaperman, opening his eyes to the world’s beauty and its possibilities. It was a change that led to a new life among the mountains; an unforgettable saga of adventure, friendship, and the unlikeliest of family; and an inspiring tale of finding love and discovering your true self."


“Lyrical. . . . rivetingly portrayed . . . [a] touching chronicle.” (Kirkus Reviews )

“Exceptionally evocative writing and [an] engaging story . . . this is a book that can be read more than once. Inspirational and heart-warming.” (Library Journal )

“Heartwarming, surprisingly suspenseful. . . . Part adventure story, part memoir, but most important, a love story . . . [an] entertaining and joyous book.” (Publishers Weekly )

Want to win a copy?

Mad About Pets is giving away (1) hardcover copy of "Following Atticus" by Tom Ryan to a lucky reader. Enter using the form below; enter as many different way as you'd like!:

The winner will be randomly drawn. GOOD LUCK!

Burracho's Fiesta Night: Oct. 4, 2011. Help Dane County K9 Unit!

Monday, September 19, 2011 Comments

Help Support the Dane County Sheriff’s K9 Unit!

Fiesta Night
October 4, 2011

2691 Windsor St. – Sun Prairie

20% of sales will be donated to Dane County K9, Inc. which is a non-profit group who raises funds to support the Dane County K9 Unit. Funds are used to purchase dogs, equipment and training.

Come and meet the K9 Teams and browse their selection of new 2011 apparel.

Check us out online and Facebook!

Guest Post: Caring for Pets When You Travel

Friday, September 16, 2011 Comments

Pets are more than precious possessions; they are our companions in life, and as such must be given all the consideration we would accords to human friends. When we travel, the dilemma of whether to take our pets or leave them in someone else's care can be a difficult one. But with a little planning, we can make our journey a good experience for our animals as well as ourselves.

Photo Credit: Rates to Go
Given the choice, it is always preferable to take our pets with us, so this option should be explored thoroughly. Having a pet along for the ride and during the vacation almost certainly means extra work and some change of schedule, but the benefits often greatly outweigh the drawbacks. When our pets are with us, we know that they are safe and happy, and we can keep an eye on them. Many pets love to travel and enjoy their "car time" as much as the vacation destination!
Before embarking on any long trip with your pets, make sure their veterinarian confirms that they are healthy and fit to travel. Be sure to pack any medications for your pets where it is close at hand, and tuck in some extra toys, treats, and other diversions. Familiar objects can mean a lot to a pet away from home, so take care to bring your animals' favorite toys for playing, chewing, and napping.

If your pets do not already have them, purchase or make identification tags for their collars. The tag should include the pet's name and a contact number -- preferably a cell phone, since you will be away from your landline during your travels. This simple precaution can prevent tragedy, and contributes greatly to your peace of mind, too!

Carrying a first-aid kit along on the trip is a sensible measure. Be sure that it contains bandages, antiseptic lotion, tweezers, and scissors for pet injuries. Always carry plenty of water for your pet, and pack it in such a way that it is easily available in case you make an unscheduled stop. And if your pet is traveling in a carrier or crate, take extra time to make his environment homey and comfortable with soft blankets and his favorite toys. For car travel, make sure that the crate is not in direct sunshine, and that your pet has enough room to stretch out and turn around comfortably.
Most important of all, schedule extra time with your pets. During a vacation we can be so caught up in the excitement of our new surroundings that we forget the loneliness or uncertainty our pets may be feeling in a strange environment. Make time to toss a ball, stroke, or scratch your pet every day, speaking to him in a cheerful, soothing voice. Pets rely on you to set the mood, and they will feel much less anxious if you are upbeat and calm.

Photo Credit: Casa Canine
Of course, it is not always possible to take our pets with us on vacation, and with a little effort we can make their time away from us easy and pleasant. If you must leave your pets behind, see if you can find a trustworthy person to stay with them in your home. Pets are always happier and more secure in their own environment, and remaining at home while you are gone is the best option for most dogs and cats. If this isn't possible, investigate the background of the kennel or other boarding situation thoroughly before you place your pet. Personal recommendations from people you can talk to are the most reassuring "background checks" of all, but take the time to tour the kennel and observe the pets being boarded. Do they look calm, well-fed, and content? Are the pet minders friendly and competent, and do they seem to be enjoying their job? Your instincts are your best guide to the quality of any kennel, but back them up with research.

Whether you bring your pets along on vacation or leave them in care until you return, their safety and happiness are essential to everyone having a great trip. Plan ahead, and the entire family will have a wonderful vacation!

Mike Hill works in the vacation rentals industry and run his own blog, Pet Friendly Vacation . His blog will provide useful tips on pet friendly vacation rentals and make your travel with pets easier.

Review: Neko Flies Kittenator

Thursday, August 25, 2011 Comments

Mad About Pets was lucky enough to try out the Neko Flies Small Kittenator, which is a wand toy for cats. Also included was a Kragonfly attachment which can switch up the Kittenator's furry mouse attachment for a little variety. The Small Kittenator package includes the wand and  realistic furry mouse that you can make scurry along the ground or fly about for your cat to chase.

Neko Flies Small Kittenator
 In my opinion, wand toys are one of the most important types of toys to include in your cat's toy-arsenal. They encourage instinctual stalking and chasing behavior, get your kitty up and active, and also allow you time to interact and bond with your cat. You may have noticed that some kitties like to play with a stationary mouse, throwing it around the room and stalking it as though it were real...yet others will stare at it as if to say "What the heck should I do with this thing?" Wand toys are the perfect solution for kitties that just don't grasp the idea of playing with a traditional mouse toy; I've yet to meet a cat who can resist a scurrying mouse or waving feather that seemingly moves on its own. In our home, we refer to it as "fishing for cats"; just throw out the line, and you're basically guaranteed to snag a cat or two.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I figure that must make a video worth, like, a million or so. I captured on video each of the Mad About Pets test cats to show you just how much they appreciate the Neko Flies Kittenator. (Sorry for the weird black bar on the sides of the videos...I taped these on my phone, which I've never tried before!)

This video features our Birman named Andromeda. She is the bully and the brat of our feline trio, and she is incredibly enthusiastic about her play. Here she shows us how spastic she can get when she plays. Andromeda posed a bit of a challenge when she played with the Kittenator, as she wanted to hold onto the mouse and shred it. This is why cats should always be supervised when playing with wand toys! Well, that and the fact that they may also consume the entire string connecting the toy to the wand...cats and string are a bad combination.

Our next video features Gabe, the elderly gent of the household. He is well-behaved and relaxed most of the time, but when playtime comes, other cats beware--he becomes a kitten again! Here he can be seen doing a very enthusiastic barrel roll. If you look carefully, you will also see that his tail is fluffed up like a bottle brush due to the sheer excitement of "the hunt". The look he gives at about the 5 second mark of the video is positively hilarious--he looks possessed (pull the video up on YouTube and you can see it better). One would never guess he is 11 years old!

Last but certainly not least is Rory. He is our shy and subdued Siamese, who often takes a backseat during group playtime due to the spirited play of his comrades. He does enjoy playing and will sometimes watch from the sidelines, but he doesn't like to get in the middle of things until the others have tired themselves out. I think he enjoys feeling like he's part of the gang, even if he doesn't always take center stage. I always make sure to give him plenty of one-on-one time when the others have zonked out for the day.

What I liked about Neko Flies' wand toys more than some of the others I've tried is the durability. I didn't feel like the rod was going to snap in two or the line was going to break, even when the cats were attempting to yank it out of my hand with all their might. In the past the kitties have successfully torn the toy from the line after just a few vigorous play sessions, but so far no one has managed to detach the mouse or the dragonfly. I also like that the toy at the end of the wand can be switched out. With this feature, if the toy gets beat up or mangy a new one can be bought without having to replace the whole wand. You can also add variety to the toy by changing up the "prey". Some cats may prefer to chase a lighter toy like the dragonfly through the air, while others may prefer stalking a heavier toy on the ground like the mouse. This makes it a very versatile toy for multicat households with different feline personalities.

I would certainly recommend Neko Flies for anyone with a cat (or several). Play is one of the most important things you can do for the well-being of your cat! Check out the full line of Neko Flies wand toys online, or look for them in a store near you!

Guest Post: Are Dog Parks Dangerous?

Monday, August 22, 2011 Comments

Dog parks have quickly gained popularity over the past few years. In the beginning, the standard dog park might have consisted of an open field, some sort of path, and a puddle known as the puppy pool. Oh, how things have changed. Don't be surprised to see a full blown swimming pond, jungle gyms, and even doggy showers.

Dog parks should be places where dogs can run wild, get dirty, and make new friends. However, you might find some cause for concern—not with the elaborate play structures, but with the dogs themselves. Bad things can happen in parks crowded with potentially dangerous dogs. That being said, when you take the appropriate safety measures, there shouldn't be anything to worry about. Take note of the following tips:

Supervise Their Playtime 

Watch your dog closely when they're at play. You should always be able to spot your dog. Accidents often happen with your back turned. Feel free to socialize with other dog owners—just be mindful of your dog's location in the park.

Interact With Your Dog

Play tends to be the best form of bonding time, so be part of the action. When you're an active part of your dog's life, both of you will benefit.

Stick to Weight Classes

Put simply, Great Danes shouldn't play with Chihuahuas unless they have the same owner. Many dog parks have designated areas for different sized dogs. Use your best judgment if your dog could be in danger.

Photo Credit: AnimalAidClinicSouth
Leave Your Puppy at Home

Puppies often have a difficult time acclimating to new situations. They're also vulnerable to attack and to disease. Play it safe and let them socialize in more controlled settings until they reach six months of age.

Watch for Signs of Stress

If your dog appears stressed, you may want to throw a leash on them and call it a day. Excessive panting, barking, and shaking are all sure signs of stress.

This blog post was provided by HowToPayMyVet.com, a website dedicated to vet bill assistance. Whether you need help with vet bills for a dog, cat, or other pet, howtopaymyvet.com can provide the assistance you need to pay your bills on time.

Catapalooza 2011- Friday, Aug. 19th to Saturday, Aug. 20th at DCHS

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 Comments

From the Dane County Humane Society:

Join the cool cats! During the 29-hour adopt-a-thon, you can adopt an adult cat (6 + months) for $29. The special pricing is good at DCHS main shelter, DCHS West and Mounds Satellite Adoption Center, however only the DCHS main shelter is open the entire 29 hours.

Main Shelter: 5132 Voges Road, Madison, WI
West Shelter: 7475 Mineral Point Road #42, Madison WI
Click here for a list of satellite adoption centers

Kick-off August 19th

To kick-off the event, join Patricia McConnell in an informative and entertaining overview of the behavior of the felines in your family August 19 at 7:00pm. We'll explore who cats are, where they came from, and how to send them memos (in cat-speak, of course) with requests for behavioral improvements! DCHS is recommending a $5 donation at the door to attend. Please register ahead of time to secure your spot.

Celebratory Fundraiser August 20th

As our Catapalooza adopt-a-thon comes to an end on Saturday, join us at 7:00 pm at Monte's Grill and Pub in Verona for a celebratory event! Band in a Box will keep the karaoke tunes spinning and there will be great prizes, food and FUN! See you Saturday night!!

Fundraiser Location : Monte's Pub & Grill, 608A West Verona Ave, Verona, WI
Contact : Jan Viney, janviney [at] giveshelter [dot] org

Guest Post: Unusual gifts to give animal lovers

Friday, August 12, 2011 Comments

Ever found yourself wondering what to give as a present to a member of your family or a special friend that is obsessed with animals? Wonder no more because here are six unusual gift ideas available from companies like Wish that’ll give you some much-needed inspiration!

Adopt an Animal

Photo Credit: WWF
Do your bit to help out an endangered species by adopting or sponsoring an animal of your choice. There are a whole range of different animals available, from a brown bear to an elephant, a dolphin to a penguin and a tiger to a turtle and your money will be well received by animal charities that are doing what they can to help preserve and protect a variety of species.

Bee Kind to Somebody in Need
Photo credit: Oxfam America Unwrapped
Animal gift ideas don’t come much more unusual than the ones available through Oxfam America. For example, a donation of $18 will give rural farmers in some of the poorest countries in the world the means to make and sell their own honey, which is fair trade. These are life-changing presents with a difference.

Book a Pet Photo-Shoot
Photo credit: Wish
More and more people are having a photo-shoot done with their pets and it’s a great way of creating a series of special pictures that capture the close bond that exists between animals and humans. These images become even more poignant over time and can act as a perfect keepsake for years to come.

Enjoy a Birds of Prey Experience

Photo credit: Wish
One of the best hands-on approaches to getting up close and personal with a few prominent members of the animal kingdom is to have a birds of prey experience, which is extremely exhilarating. Learn about all manner of different birds and what makes them such wonderful creatures and then put on a protective glove and witness them in flight.

Go Whale Watching

Photo credit: Alesail
Observing whales – or any big aquatic creature for that matter – in their natural environment is something very unique. Take to the water and watch the giants of the sea in all their glory or even get into the water and swim amongst them if you’re particularly fortunate. Either way, you’re guaranteed to be blown away by the sheer size and splendour of these magnificent animals.

Shadow a Zookeeper

Photo credit: Jon Ross
Zoos and safari parks have a vital role to play in conservation and educating members of the public of the plight of rare species. Shadowing a keeper will give you a fascinating insight into what must be an incredibly rewarding job. Find out what it takes to be a zoo keeper and how they go about keeping so many different animals safe and secure.

This article was provided by Wish.co.uk – providers of the best experiences that can be found anywhere and everywhere in the UK. From driving days to pet photography, Wish have just about everything.

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