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How to Care for a Pet Wolf

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Wolves are intuitive and free-spirited creatures that, though independent and strong-willed, make great pets. The care and feeding of a wolf, however, is different from caring and feeding a domesticated dog. It is important to know a wolf’s basic needs in order to properly care for your wolf. Here are some suggestions for caring for a pet wolf.

Instructions

  1. Give them lots of space. The wolf that is your pet is a wild animal at heart. They are used to being able to roam and run for long distances and have a lot of open, natural space to live in. Planning to have your pet wolf live in a small, fenced-in yard suitable for a regular dog is not fair to them and will not make your wolf happy or fulfilled. Give your wolf a large space of at least an acre or two to call home. If you are not able to accommodate your pet wolf this way then a wolf may not be the right pet for you.
  2. Find a wild animal veterinarian. Wild animal and zoo veterinarians specialize in treating and caring for wild animals and their health. These veterinarians are knowledgeable about the differences between caring for exotic pets and domesticated ones and can address any concerns you have.
  3. Feed your wolf a proper diet. A wolf is not the same as a domesticated dog, so feeding it dog food from the grocery store will not be sufficient for maintaining proper nutrition. As with dogs, table scraps or “people food” are a bad idea to give wolves, but supplementing their diet with fresh raw meat is good. Raw meat not only gives them iron and other vital nutrients but also helps your wolf feel like they have acquired a fresh kill for themselves. Talk to your veterinarian about other dietary needs and supplements that can help keep your wolf healthy.
  4. Understand behavioral patterns. Wolves are independent creatures, and it is important to understand the differences between the behavior of a wolf and that of a dog. Wolves are family-oriented pack animals but are not necessarily as cuddly or friendly as a dog; they need time and space to themselves. If your wolf acts stand-offish or spends time on its own, don’t interpret this as a sign that your wolf is ill or doesn’t like you. This is simply its natural behavior and must be respected.
  5. Remember that the wolf is still a wild animal. Not everyone will appreciate living next door to a wolf, and you may not be prepared to handle all of the challenges presented to you in owning a wolf as a pet. Keep in mind a pet wolf is still a wolf, not a dog, but with love and respect it can be a fun and loving pet and companion.

How to Breed Your Pet and Sell the Litter

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If you have discipline, a passion for animals, and a willingness to do extensive research, breeding can be a fascinating way to earn money and a great way to be around animals. The mother and newborns will need round-the-clock care and, in most cases, cuddling. If profit is your only goal, you may become frustrated with all the work that goes into breeding pets.

Instructions

  1. Confirm that there’s a demand for the pet you intend to breed. Animal shelters are full of unwanted cats, dogs and other pets who will be put down if homes are not found.
  2. Calculate medical, food, equipment and other breeding expenses. Factor in the time and energy it will take. Will you be able to make a profit?
  3. Attend shows and join clubs or associations that specialize in your pet breed to stay abreast of news and to learn breeding guidelines. Talk to other breeders and get as much information as you can.
  4. Read up on the reproductive cycle, mating habits, gestation, birthing process, newborn care and weaning process of your pet.
  5. Advertise your intention to breed your bird, fish or other pet in newspapers or online before you begin the mating process. It is irresponsible to breed animals without finding prospective owners beforehand.
  6. Select your mating pair. Make sure both animals are licensed and pedigreed, if applicable. A veterinarian or pet expert can help identify the sex of birds, fish, amphibians or reptiles.
  7. Bring your mating pair to a vet for a prebreeding exam. The vet will check for genetic defects, sexually transmitted diseases and other health issues.
  8. Mate the pair according to your research and the vet’s advice. Provide attentive care to the mother and newborns.
  9. Screen potential owners thoroughly. Look for caring, responsible owners.

How to Keep a Mole As a Pet

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Moles are common animals in North America, Europe, and many other places. Although there are a large variety of breeds, all moles have most of their basic traits in common. Moles are mammals and live in elaborate tunnel systems created with their excellent digging abilities. Known commonly as a garden pest, moles are not good pets and often die quickly in captivity. However, if you discover an injured mole or a mole that cannot be released into the wild, there are ways you can provide for it.

Instructions

  1. Provide your mole with a large habitat, giving him at least two square feet of space. Glass terrariums are a good choice if they include a screen lid that does not easily come off.
  2. Pour dirt into the terrarium deep enough to provide your mole with digging space. Moles require very little above-ground territory, so fill the aquarium up about 2/3 of the way.
  3. Give your mole water. A water dish is the best way to begin, but moles may adjust to gravity-dispensing water supplies intended for pet hamsters or rats.
  4. Research your mole’s species to find out what its diet consists of. Many moles survive off of worms, some prefer other insects. Moles must eat every hour to survive, so providing the correct food is important to keeping your mole alive.
  5. Darken the room for your mole. Moles prefer dark, cool climates.
  6. Call an exotic animals specialist, rescue or vet for advice on caring for your mole or healing any injuries it may have.

Veterinary Hospital Manager Salary

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Veterinary managers play an important role in the success of a veterinary hospital. According to an article by Frank Richardson and Darren Osborne in “The Canadian Veterinary Journal,” research shows that veterinarians working in animal hospitals who can spend their time attending to more animals, rather than taking care of management concerns, can make as much as 13 percent more in terms of salary.

Average Salary

  • The average salary of a veterinary hospital manager was $42,000 per year, as of July 2011, according to Indeed.com. Richardson and Osborne cite 2006 statistics based on a report put forth by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA) indicating that office managers made average wage of $16.67 per hour or approximately $34,000 per year. However, hospital administrators made nearly double that amount at $30.52 per hour, or nearly $61,000 per year.

Location

  • Salaries for hospital managers vary by location. According to Indeed.com, the average salary of those working in New York was $49,000 per year, while those in Florida and Texas made average salaries of $40,000 per year, as of July 2011. Veterinary hospital managers in California made $45,000 per year, while those working in Michigan made below the average at just $38,000 per year. In a job post on the VHMA website, the Michigan City Animal Hospital indicated a pay range of $30,000 to $40,000 per year, at the time of publication. Noah’s Animal Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, reported a salary range of $25,000 to $36,000 per year at the same website.

Qualifications

  • To qualify as a veterinary manager it is not absolutely necessary to have a background working with animals since veterinary hospital managers tend to have limited exposure to the animals anyway. The Michigan City Animal Hospital indicates, however, that a strong background in financial management is needed, along with a background in sales and marketing. Veterinary hospital managers can help themselves and veterinarians earn more money by helping the hospital remain fiscally responsible while, at the same time, increasing revenue through advertising and marketing efforts.

Benefits

  • Veterinary hospitals tend to offer benefits packages as part of the compensation provided to qualified veterinary managers. Benefits typically include health insurance and paid vacation, as well as additional money for continuing education after a probationary period. This makes it possible for veterinary managers to increase their effectiveness in sales, marketing and management through additional formal education.

Preschool Pet Theme Activities

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If you want to teach your preschoolers math, reading and social skills, plan some activities around pets. Students can learn about how different animals live and what it takes to care for a domesticated animal. You can focus on math skills by helping students figure out how much to feed a certain pet, and of course, they learn how to look after another living thing. It takes the preschooler out of his “me” state of mind, helping him empathize with something less able than he to look after itself.

Classroom Pet

  • Having a classroom pet can help teach your students about nurturing and responsibility. It also teaches them about science, because they can observe the way the pet eats, sleeps, plays and even nurtures her own young. Take turns giving one or two students “zoo keeping” responsibilities for feeding, watering and cleaning. Preschoolers may need adult help with cleaning, especially larger pet cages. Fish tend to work well for preschool classrooms, since feeding is less involved, and you can help when it comes to cleaning out the bowl.

Learning About Pets

  • Introduce your preschoolers to the different kinds of pets people have by reading a book on pets. Teach about pet care with a trip to the veterinarian skit, having one student play the vet, and the other play a sick animal. Allow each student to take part. Discuss with your class what equipment the vet needs and what things he should look for when examining the pet. Have students write or draw about their own pets and what they or their parents do to take care of them.

Taking a Field Trip

  • Let your students see some animals up close. Contact the local pet store or animal rescue shelter to see if you can take your class on a trip to visit the animals. Pet stores typically offer a wider variety of animals, while going to a shelter teaches the kids about how people take care of abandoned or lost animals. Plan a trip to a wildlife rescue organization if you have access to one, so students can see the difference between animals that are appropriate to have as pets and animals that should be in their natural habitat.

Show and Tell

  • Plan a day where students and parents bring in their pets to meet the rest of the class. You’ll have to get permission from the school, and you may need to go to a park nearby instead of bringing animals into the classroom. Have each student say something about her pet and perhaps show a trick, if the animal knows any. Remember that some animals should be kept away from one another, so you may want to split up show and tell and have students bring dogs one day, and birds another, or have students bring pets one at a time.

How to Get Veterinary Care for Your Pet if You Don't Have the Money

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Veterinary care can get expensive. For example, the average cost of treating a torn ACL or cartilage is over $2,500, while liver cancer treatment can set you back over $8,500, according to the Veterinary Pet Insurance website. If you are faced with veterinary costs you can’t cover, there are organizations and companies out there that can help with grants, special credit cards for veterinary care and low-cost options through local foundations and rescues.

Ask for Help

A number of organizations around the country offer veterinary care assistance for owners who can’t afford their vet bills. However, many of these organizations are disease-specific or only serve their immediate geographical area. For example, The Riedel & Cody Fund and the Magic Bullet Fund offer assistance for pets suffering from cancer, while The Big Hearts Fund helps pets suffering with heart disease.

Other organizations focus on specific ages or on either dogs or cats only. An example is Top Dog Foundation “Bentley Grant,” which offers financial assistance to senior dogs. Others offer breed-specific help. You can also try your local pet store; Petco Foundation and Petsmart Charities also offer help with low-cost neutering and vaccinations.

You might be able to work out a payment plan with your vet or get a special, lower price by contacting local veterinary school clinics instead of using an animal hospital. This works especially well for small procedures, vaccinations and spay/neuter surgeries. If nothing works, you might consider using an online platform like GoFundMe to ask for donations and raise the money you need.

Search By State

If you need help with more routine care — such as spay/neuter, vaccines or checkups — there a number of local organizations and foundations that might help. For example, most Humane Society and ASPCA branches offer low-cost spay/neuter and vaccinations, while some might also offer veterinary care assistance for low-income pet owners.

Many of these state and local organizations are very specific on their requirements, and you might need to apply for assistance and be accepted before help can be offered. For example, The Acme Foundation in California helps senior and disabled pet owners who can’t afford veterinary care, while the Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA offers a low-cost veterinary clinic that includes dental procedures, small surgeries and health examinations.

Borrow the Money

CareCredit is a special credit card offered to cover health services, including veterinary care. The card offers financing options of anywhere from 6 to 60 months, with different interest rates based on how long your chosen financing period is and how much you’re spending. The card can be used for both preventative care — including vaccinations and check-ups — and special care, such as surgeries, emergency visits and more.

To apply for CareCredit, you simply fill out a form online that is very similar to other credit card applications. You must provide basic information about yourself, including your social security number, name and address and monthly net income from all sources. You also need to provide an “estimated procedure amount.” This is the amount you think you’ll need to cover the cost of your pet’s treatment. If your application is approved, you will receive a card in the mail that you can use immediately.

How to Attract New Customers to Your Veterinary Clinic

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Hundreds of new veterinary clinics are opened each year as more and more people consider their pets to be valuable family members rather than accessories. Most vet clinics thrive on a full customer base, although it can be a challenge for a business to draw in new clients. Attracting new customers to your veterinary clinic is not an impossible feat, although it will take a bit of time and effort.

Instructions

  1. Start a website for your clinic. The Internet has revolutionized the advertising industry and a website gives your clinic exposure. You can build the website yourself if you are knowledgeable with website design or you can hire a professional to design one for you. Make sure your page lists your location, services, hours and contact information so new clients can get in touch with you. Focus on attracting new clients from your area, and make sure to highlight any special services you offer or training you’ve completed.
  2. You can effectively use the Internet to focus your search for new clientele on pet owners in your area, using targeted advertising on Google and other search engines. You should also set up accounts with Facebook and Twitter and let your existing clients know about them – they can be invaluable way of spreading the news about special services or events, which also draw in new clients..
  3. Traditional media still deliver, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses in local markets. Place advertisements in telephone books, daily and weekly newspapers and other community publications. You can also visit places such as large local supermarkets, farm supply stores and churches, placing fliers or business cards on their public bulletin boards. Make sure to include feed lots and farm supply stores in your efforts if you’re in a rural area.
  4. Host an open house event to expose your clinic to the community. Send out business cards or fliers to residents in your area inviting them to your open house. Have your staff available to answer questions and schedule appointments if necessary. It is important to pet owners to know the veterinarians that will be treating their pets, so introduce your vets and make them available for questions during your open house. Be sure to provide refreshments and drawings or giveaways for free products or services to entice customers to visit.
  5. Offer incentives to existing patients if they refer a new customer. For example, if an existing client refers two new patients, offer them a free exam for one pet. Word-of-mouth advertising is free and very effective if your customers are satisfied with the treatment their pets receive.
  6. Set up booths at local fairs, rodeos and dog shows to advertise your clinic. If the event hosts seminars, have a veterinarian from your clinic give a talk in her area of expertise. Staying active in the animal community in your area exposes your clinic to many new clients and helps your business expand.
  7. Partner with local humane societies and animal control agencies. Spend one day a month giving dogs and cats their required shots at a discounted rate, either in your facility or the humane society.
  8. Become a participating vet in a pet health insurance program or establish your own discounted services program.

How to Start a Veterinary Hospital

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If you’ve always dreamed of starting a veterinary hospital and are in a position to do so, you should know a few things before getting started. Extensive preparation will determine how well your business operates. Here are a few tips on how to start a veterinary hospital.

Instructions

  1. Write a business plan for the veterinary hospital. Include things like anticipated costs and income projection. You will use this to show lenders and potential investors.
  2. Choose a legal structure for your business. Decide whether it will be a limited liability corporation (LLC), partnership, incorporated or another structure. A lawyer can help you determine into which category your business fits.
  3. Find a facility or land to operate your veterinary hospital. Find a location that is easily accessible to clients.
  4. Hire a lawyer and a certified public accountant. Both of these people will help you get your business started on the right path. They can save you time and money when dealing with problems.
  5. Find vendors from whom to get supplies and equipment. You will need a place to get large equipment and small items that you will use everyday.
  6. Hire employees for your business. You can’t run a veterinary hospital on your own. You will need a licensed veterinarian, a veterinarian technician and at least one secretary to keep track of clients and appointments.
  7. Advertise your veterinary hospital. You can’t just open your door and expect clients to come in. Begin advertising before you are open for business and continue for the life of your business.

Rabbit Care

       Responsibility involves providing proper housing, nutrition, grooming and veterinary care

       Domestic rabbits are delightful companion animals. They are inquisitive, intelligent, sociable and affectionate, and well-cared-for indoor rabbits can live for seven to 10+ years. Adopting a rabbit, therefore, is a long term commitment.

Rabbits and Children

       Our culture is so filled with images of children and rabbits together (the Easter Bunny, Peter Rabbit, etc.) that many parents see rabbits as low-maintenance starter pets for kids. Nothing could be further from the truth. Rabbits are physically delicate and fragile, and require specialized veterinary care. Children are naturally energetic and loving. But “loving” to a small child means holding, cuddling, or carrying an animal around precisely the things that frighten most rabbits. Rabbits can’t cry out when distressed. Instead they may start to scratch or bite to protect themselves from well-meaning children. Thousands are abandoned to animal shelters for this reason. Many rabbits are also dropped accidentally by children, resulting in broken legs and backs. While rabbits may be appropriate family companions, an adult should be the primary caretaker.

Housing and Exercise

       Many people think that rabbits don’t require much room for housing or exercise. Not so! Rabbits have powerful hind legs designed for running and jumping. They need plenty of out-of-cage exercise time, as well as a cage that allows them to move freely. The minimum recommended cage space for a single rabbit is 2’ x 2’ x 4’. Although wire-bottom cages are common, they can ulcerate a rabbit’s feet. If you have a wire cage, cover the bottom with a piece of wood or corrugated cardboard. Better yet, buy a cage with a floor. Your rabbit needs a safe exercise area with ample room to run and jump, either indoors or out. Any outdoor area should be fully enclosed by a fence. Never leave a rabbit unsupervised outdoors even for a few minutes! Cats, dogs and even predatory birds can easily get around fencing material. Also, rabbits can dig under fences and get lost. You can rabbit-proof an indoor area by covering all electrical wires and anything else your rabbit is likely to chew. Recommended exercise time for indoor rabbits is several hours per day.

Diet

  • The most important component of your rabbit’s diet is grass hay (such as Timothy or Brome), which keeps the intestinal tract healthy; feed it free-choice, daily. 

  • In addition to hay, rabbits are also fed commercial rabbit pellets and fresh, darkgreen leafy vegetables. Until they are fully grown (around 6 months), rabbits can have all the pellets they want. After that, assuming the animal is also getting hay and vegetables, pellets should be limited to 1/8 to 1/4 cup per day per 5 lbs. body weight. Pellets should be fresh and plain, without seeds, nuts or colored tidbits. 

  • Fresh water (bottle or bowl) should always be available.

Litter Training

       Rabbits are very clean by nature, and will do their best to keep their living quarters clean. Most rabbits will choose one corner of the cage as their bathroom. As soon as your rabbit’s choice is clear, put a newspaper- lined litter box in that corner; fill it with Timothy hay (or any other grass hay not alfalfa). Pelleted-newspaper litters are also acceptable. If the litter box is changed daily, your rabbit’s home will stay fresh and odor-free. Don’t use pine or cedar shavings! The fumes may affect your rabbit’s liver enzymes, which can cause problems if the animal needs anesthesia for surgery. Avoid using clay cat litters (both clumping and non-clumping); these may result in respiratory or gastrointestinal problems.

Indoors or Outdoors?

       Many people think an outdoor hutch is the best way to keep a domestic rabbit. Rabbits, however, are highly social animals, and a backyard hutch forces them to live in unnatural isolation. Furthermore, rabbits can die of heart attacks from the very approach of a predator or vandal. Domestic rabbits do best indoors where they have plenty of interaction with family members.

Handling and General Care 

  • Pick up your rabbit by supporting his forequarters with one hand and his hindquarters with the other—failure to do so can result in spinal injuries to the rabbit. Never pick up a rabbit by his ears; this can cause very serious injury.

  • Brush your rabbit regularly with a soft brush to remove excess hair and keep his coat in good condition. Ask your veterinarian how to clip your rabbit’s nails. 

  • Rabbits should be spayed or neutered by a veterinarian experienced with rabbit surgeries. Spaying or neutering prevents breeding, spraying (males) and uterine cancer (females). To find a qualified rabbit veterinarian, search the House Rabbit Society web page atwww.rabbit.org.

  • Rabbits should not be housed with other rabbits unless all are spayed/neutered and they are introduced in neutral territory under careful supervision. Introductions are often difficult and injuries can result.

  • If your rabbit stops eating or moving his bowels for 12 hours or longer or has watery diarrhea, seek expert veterinary care immediately.

How Does a Chia Pet Work?

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Chia Pet

  • A chia pet is a clay animal figurine covered with sprouting seeds. The chia pet name is owned by Joseph Enterprises, Inc., a California company that developed the collectible animal figures in the 1980’s.

    The Mexican clay animals are covered with chia seeds from the salvia plant. The animals have grooves in their terra cotta bodies. Chia seeds are moistened and patted into the animal grooves. Seeds absorb water. They sprout and–as the chia grows–look like hair on the animal. The animal shape changes as the chia grows.

Growing

  • Start the chia pet by soaking the clay animal in water for 24 hours. At the same time, soak chia seeds in water. The next day, pat the seeds evenly on the animal planter and fill the hollow planter with water. The planter sits in a drip pan. Water seeps through the planter to water the seeds. The planter is kept full of water, and the drip pan is emptied daily. In 3 to 5 days, the seeds sprout.

    After sprouting, the animal is placed in the sun so the seeds develop green growth. The Chia Pet eventually looks shaggy, or the seed sprouts die off. The seeds are scrubbed off, and the chia pet is replanted.

Problems

  • When air is dry, seeds do not sprout because they do not get enough moisture. A plastic bag is propped over the animal–not touching the seeds–for a greenhouse effect. After the seeds sprout, the pet is placed in filtered sunlight as the seeds need sunlight to grow. When the seeds first sprout, they have white fuzz or root hairs. If the fuzz continues after a week–and the seeds are not sprouting–mildew has probably developed. The solution is to scrub off the seeds and soak the planter in a bleach solution. Replant.

Seeds

  • The pet lasts indefinitely, but the chia seeds do not. More chia seeds can be purchased. Substitute different seeds. Basil, alfalfa and other seeds that form a slick gelatinous coat when soaked in water can be used. Some people put the seeds on other objects; they spray them regularly to make the seeds sprout.

Culture

  • Chia pets became famous with the “Ch-ch-ch-chia” singing commercial in the 1980’s. The slogan is, “Watch It grow.” The company introduced a variety of chia pet animals, but the collectibles became a fad over time. The chia pet is still sold, and new varieties are marketed as consumers rediscover the green seedy novelty. Today chia pets are available in licensed cartoon characters and other products.

How to Avoid Internet Pet Scams

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Buying a new pet on the Internet is never a good idea. In addition to unscrupulous dealers and puppy mills/brokers selling their “stock” to unsuspecting buyers–online scammers use elaborate websites and fabricated stories to bilk substantial amounts of money out of people for pets that don’t even exist. And the pets that do exist, very often have serious health problems. Here are ways to keep from getting duped by online pet sellers.

Instructions

  1. If buying a dog from a breeder, always visit in person to see how the animals are living and to ensure that it’s not a puppy mill or irresponsible “backyard breeder.” Puppy mills are inhumane factory-style operations that churn out puppies to be sold for a quick profit to pet stores and over the Internet. Puppy mill puppies are often sickly and may have a host of inherited health disorders due to their mothers spending their entire lives in cages being bred over and over. When dogs are constantly pregnant they can’t pass on the proper nutrients to the next litter. Buying dogs from pet stores or over the Internet only serves to keep cruel puppy mills and other irresponsible breeders in business.
  2. Don’t buy pets from a distant buyer, seller or adopter. Often times, buyers aren’t aware that their puppies were born overseas in a puppy mill, then sold to a U.S. broker. Tens of thousands of dogs are shipped into the United States from puppy mills in countries such as Russia and China.
  3. Check references, which can include veterinarians and others who’ve purchased pets from this breeder. And make sure you deal directly with a breeder, not a broker.
  4. Don’t deal with anyone who promises a free puppy for just the cost of shipping. Scammers in these types of transactions often ask you to send more money because the nonexistent dog is “stuck at the airport” for various reasons such as customs complications or problems with the crate.
  5. Don’t fall for claims that the seller represents an animal shelter or is a “good Samaritan” offering the pets for “adoption.” Reputable shelters do not place animals by sending out mass emails and then shipping them to people.
  6. Never purchase a puppy with the promise of getting the AKC (American Kennel Club) papers from the seller at a later time. It takes 6 to 8 weeks for puppies to be ready for a new home, which is ample time for the breeder to receive the papers. It takes a couple of weeks through the mail and only a week if registration is done online. The AKC cannot help you get papers after the sale. In other words, if the seller tells you the dog is “register-able”-run the other way.

How to Care for a Pet Chipmunk

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Though typically wild creatures, a pet chipmunk can be a rewarding companion. They are just as feisty indoors as they are outside, but they have an affinity for humans when hand-raised. Unlike some other small pets, chipmunks will not be happy to be confined. So expect to have a chipmunk scurrying up furniture and racing about the house if you decide to adopt!

Instructions

  1. Build suitable housing for your pet chipmunk. Chipmunks are very active creatures and will not be happy in small spaces. The best home is a large outdoor run completely fenced in fine mesh, with attached indoor housing. There should also be fencing sunk down into the ground because chipmunks can dig.
  2. Create a home-like environment for your chipmunk. A few inches of peat should be placed on the floor of the run so chipmunks can cache their food. Provide logs as gnawing surfaces for your chipmunk and nesting boxes for privacy, a necessity for chipmunks.
  3. Provide a varied diet. A standard seed-based rodent diet is the best base food for chipmunks. From there, experiment with different vegetables and fruits at least once a week so you can learn your chipmunk’s favorite foods. To encourage your chipmunk to engage in foraging behavior, don’t feed him every day. If you withhold food, he will dig up his food caches and eat them-a natural chipmunk behavior.
  4. Find a good veterinarian and take your pet in for regular checkups. Call around when you first get your chipmunk to make sure you know who can treat her if she needs medical attention. A veterinarian who specializes in rodents might not be able to effectively treat your chipmunk, so ask specifically about chipmunks when you call.
  5. Handle your chipmunk often, especially after you first bring her home. A chipmunk needs constant human contact when young to become a tame and loving pet.
  6. Allow your chipmunk to run freely around your home for some part of the day, if he is friendly and tame. This is especially important if you aren’t able to provide a large home for him. Chipmunks love to climb and explore, so make sure that there is nothing that can hurt your pet.

How to Write a Contract for Pet Sitting Services

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Teen Chat Rooms

Chat rooms are often popular among teenagers as an online social gathering spot. Some chat rooms are focused on specific ages, backgrounds and interests. Other teen chat rooms are general purpose and attract a large number of teens of all ages. Teen chat rooms can be a useful way for teens to meet others of like interests, as well as network with individuals from around the world. However, teen chat rooms have also been critiqued as being a haven for online predators. Teenagers need to know how to interact safely within a chat room.

History

  • Teen chat rooms have evolved slowly over the past decade, though the overall idea of chat rooms has been in place for more than 30 years. One of the first online chat rooms was created in 1974 and named Talkomatic. This was followed by the release of the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) system. IRC quickly gained popularity among young adults and teenagers. In fact, it is still in use today. While IRC was the main chat room network with a largely teenage demographic, teen-specific chat rooms were developed in the 1990s based on Java and Flash technology. Unlike IRC and instant messaging, these teen chat rooms did not rely on a specific piece of software or program, such as MSN Messenger, to operate. This effectively allowed any teenager to access a chat room without having to download a program, increasing the popularity of such teen-focused chat rooms.

Types

  • Teen chat rooms can largely be divided into text-based chat rooms and video-based chat rooms (which generally also allow users to interact via text). Text-based chat rooms limit teens’ chatting to text as the title suggests. Examples include MSN Zone and most Flash- and Java-based chat rooms, such as Chatpit and Chat-Avenue. Video-based chat rooms have overtaken text-based chat rooms in terms of popularity among teenagers. This is largely due to the willingness of teens to become early adopters of web technologies. In this case, many teens started using web cameras connected to their computers to interact via streaming video. Several of the most popular teen chat rooms, such as Stickam, are focused on video chat rooms.

Features

  • Teen chat rooms feature much of the same functions as general chat rooms. Most users are required to register a screen name through which all of their chat interactions are carried out. In text-based chat websites, teens choose a room (usually organized by interest or age) and are able to converse with anyone in the room. The features of a video-based chat room are slightly more complex. Such sites feature streaming video technologies that connect several web cam feeds and display them in a single chat room. Due to the bandwidth and complexities of such technologies, video-based chat rooms generally limit the amount of individuals allowed to chat at once. For example, Stickam (one of the largest video chat websites for teens) only allows nine individuals to chat at once. Both text- and video-based chat rooms allow teens to block other users and send private messages. Some also include other social networking features, such as email systems and message boards.

Warning

  • A PBS/Frontline documentary reported that some teenagers are harassed or receive inappropriate solicitations in teen chat rooms. Oftentimes, the parents of these teenagers are not aware that their children chat with other teens online. For this reason, teen chat rooms are often criticized for not protecting underage users from digital bullying. Various consumer groups have also raised concern that sexual predators may use teen chat rooms to talk to minors, and that teenagers are not always aware that the individuals with whom they chat with may not be who they claim they are. Parents must warn their teens about the potential pitfalls and dangers of chatting online. Teenagers should also be vigilant and aware of warning signs of improper chatting, such as the request for inappropriate pictures or phone calls.

Considerations

  • Many of the larger, more popular teen chat rooms require the latest computer and web-based technologies for teens to take full advantage of their features. Most chat rooms require a broadband or high speed Internet connection for best results. Such an Internet connection is essential for video-based chat rooms, as a dial-up Internet connection would not be able to stream web cam feeds at a high enough bit rate. However, dial-up is generally sufficient for text-based chat rooms. Also, the latest version of Adobe Flash is required for most chat room websites.

Feline High-Rise Syndrome

One foot precisely placed in front of the other, displaying a balancing act rarely surpassed, Serafina navigates the narrow two-inch walkway high above the ground. She leaps over obstacles in her way, landing solidly beyond them, determined to reach her destination. Olympic gymnast? Circus high-wire artist? No, Serafina is a common house cat.

       Few mammals can outshine the cat in balance, leaping ability and depth perception — all talents needed for a predator who, for thousands of years, had hunted at least some of her meals from trees. The single-tracking foot placement of the cat allows her to move across thin tree branches as well as the narrow back of a sofa. Powerful rear leg muscles and relatively large hind feet enable her to explode in a forward or upward thrust, while keen depth perception ensures that the cat seldom misses her target, be it windowsill or morsel of prey.

       Should the bough break or the counter prove too slippery, do not fear — the cat comes equipped with a righting mechanism. The feline’s fast-working nervous system and flexible spine enable the cat to right herself to a feet-first position before falling twenty-four inches. Spongy paw pads cushion the landing. In falls from fairly high places, the cat will extend her spine and stretch out her limbs in a sort of “flying squirrel” likeness that slows the fall’s velocity. This allows some cats to survive plunges from twenty-plus floors. But these capabilities too often give pet owners a false sense of security regarding a cat’s safety.

Balance isn’t enough

       In warm weather, cats frequently are spotted snoozing in open windows or sunning themselves on fire escapes. Their caretakers are unconcerned because they believe that their cats are creatures of good sense and uncanny balance. If that is the case, why are the cat wards of urban veterinary hospitals filled with felines suffering shattered jaws, punctured lungs and broken limbs and pelvises? Why do these acrobatic daredevils come crashing down to the ground with such frequency that the veterinary profession has named the complaint — High-Rise Syndrome (HRS)?

       One reason for HRS may be that napping cats, like humans, experience both REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and deep sleep. The muscle twitches and dreaming associated with REM sleep can result in enough movement and disorientation to knock a cat off a narrow ledge. The intense prey drive of some cats also may be their undoing, causing them to leap out at a passing bird or insect before considering the consequences. And in a few cases, cats may fearfully flee out of an open window to avoid unusual or sudden goings-on in the house or apartment. More than one cat has escaped out the opening left by an air conditioner removed for servicing. All of these scenarios lead to HRS, which results in medical expenses and a cat’s intense pain and suffering — or death.

Why take chances?

       With a little forethought, calamity can be avoided. Make sure all windows have been fitted with snug, sturdy screens before opening them. Adjustable screens should be tightly wedged into window frames. Use your air conditioner instead of taking a chance on flimsy screens that can be nudged out of the way by a determined cat. Before allowing your cat out on a balcony or terrace, check that she cannot fit through ironwork or lounge on the balustrade. If a cat can fit her head through an opening, her body usually can be worked through as well. Use deck netting or wire mesh to insure safety, and only allow the cat access when properly supervised. If construction or service work leaves an open hole in a wall, keep your cat out of the area.

       Let’s insure that Serafina’s feline acrobatics will be wowing her appreciative family audience for years to come.

How to Write a Pet Care Agreement Form

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Take extra steps to safeguard your pet in your absence by making a Pet Care Agreement Form. Whether you’re joining the armed forces, taking a vacation or leaving for an unknown period of time, making a pet care agreement form ensures your pet gets the necessary care. Read on to learn how.

Instructions

  1. Entitle the new document, “Pet Care Agreement Form.” Prepare the introduction to the form by stating that it is legally binding. Add the signing date of the agreement.
  2. Identify the parties making the agreement. Label one the “Owner” of the pet and the other the “Caregiver.”
  3. Reserve a separate section on the front page for identifying the subject animal. State the animal’s name, species, breed, gender and if the animal has been neutered or spayed. Add an additional description of the animal, such as color and special markings.
  4. Explain why the owner is making the agreement. Specify that the owner requests the caregiver to keep the animal during the owner’s absence.
  5. Indicate the dates of the foster care. Clarify that the caregiver must deliver the animal when the owner returns. Make arrangements for extended care if the owner does not return as specified.
  6. Itemize the caregiver’s duties towards the animal during the foster care. Identify the food, water and specific shelter for the animal that the caregiver must provide. Refer to any specific oral or written care instructions from the owner.
  7. Stipulate that the owner does not hold the caregiver responsible if the animal sustains an accidental injury or dies during the foster care. Include a signature page following the form that asks both parties to provide their full names, street addresses, phone numbers and signatures.

Guidelines for Responsible Horse Guardianship

Physical Health

       The foundation of good horsekeeping is basic husbandry and health care. All horse owners should know their horses, understand what is normal and abnormal, and establish a relationship with an equine veterinarian for everything from health maintenance to emergency care.

Emotional Health

       Horses evolved as social animals grazing on the open plains, ever watchful for danger. They need companionship. If your horse is alone most of the time, you should consider getting a second horse or other animal, such as a goat, for company. Horses in the wild may walk great distances and spend most of their time eating grass. Horses with insufficient opportunity to socialize, move, and graze are more likely to have behavioral problems, and there are health consequences as well. Given a choice, most horses prefer to be outside under most conditions, even when we’d be uncomfortable. Whenever possible, horses should be allowed on pasture with other horses every day.

Training & Handling

       Humane training is based on a thorough understanding of the nature of horses. By any name, it is not a recent discovery. The basic principles were espoused two thousand years ago in ancient Greece by Xenophon who explained that nothing graceful can be forced.

       A good deal of learning, experience or guidance is needed to be an effective teacher of horses. On a very fundamental level, it involves applying and releasing pressure to tell the horse what to do and if he is doing it. Too often, horses are punished for being frightened, confused, or unable to do what is asked, or because the human half of the partnership does not recognize that the horse is trying. The more refined the art, the more subtle the cues, corrections, and rewards.

      There is no place for fear, “flooding” the horse with stressful overstimulation, or physical punishment, except possibly to prevent a horse from injuring himself or someone else. Many horses, however, suffer not from punishment but excessive “rewards.” Spoiling your horse can have health and behavior consequences and turn him into a horse nobody can handle. Give your horse love, care, guidance, patience, and understanding for free. Save the treats for a purpose and use them wisely.

      It is irresponsible to have a completely untrained horse who can’t be handled if someone else will ever have to take care of him. Every horse should at least learn to accept being caught, haltered, led and loaded on a trailer. It may save his life.


Disabilities & Old Age


       Plan ahead for when your horse gets older, or otherwise becomes incapable of doing the things you once did together. He can be a valuable companion for another horse, yours or someone else’s. He can be a valued companion for you, and a reminder that we must follow through on our responsibilities. He still needs good care and attention, probably more than before, a diet appropriate to his age and condition, mental stimulation, and exercise.

Transfer of Ownership


Do not sell your horse at auction, or to a horse trader you don’t know well. There are alternatives. Be wary of people overly willing to take a “problem horse” off your hands. Be honest and forthcoming, ask a lot of questions, check references, and visit his potential new home if possible. Consider a contract giving you “right of first refusal” should the new owner be unable to keep him. Be realistic about the value someone else will place on your horse, and what his quality of life is likely to be.

End of Life Decisions


       In most cases, there is no easy answer to the question of when living on would be worse than a quick and painless death. Your horse’s veterinarian should explain the problems and prognosis, give you an idea of how much he may be suffering, and help you make a decision, but can not make it for you. It may be the hardest decision you have to make. Don’t become paralyzed waiting for the “right time” or worrying that you missed it. Horses live in the present, and that is your primary concern.

How to Talk to a Vet Online

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Pet owners who have nonemergency questions regarding their pet’s health issues can contact licensed veterinarians online. There are a variety of “Ask a Vet” websites available to choose from. This convenient form of communication is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Licensed veterinarians are available to chat online and are ready to answer questions and provide advice.

Search Online

  • Begin your journey to chatting with a licensed veterinarian online by searching for a website. Use search keyword phrases such as “chat online with a vet” and “talk with a veterinarian online.” Look for a reputable website that provides confirmed medical information for pets. You will want to make sure it has specific credentials; review the “About Us” page of the website. You should find detailed information regarding the veterinarians who are providing the medical advice via the chat session linked to their website.

Enter Your Question

  • Locate the chat box typically on the home page. It will prompt you to ask your question about your pet. Type your question into the box and submit the question by clicking on the submit button. You can ask any type of question relating to your pet’s health. Common questions include: Can dogs eat human food? Why does my pet have a skin rash? Why is my pet vomiting? The questions are endless. Make sure you communicate clearly by wording your question carefully.

Provide Details

  • Usually the veterinarian will ask you a series of questions relating to your pet’s health. Carefully answer each question as truthful as possible. Your dog’s history and previous health conditions are important for the veterinarian to know so they can provide the best answer to your specific situation.

Receive Veterinarian Response

  • The online veterinarian will examine your answers to their questions regarding your pet’s history, breed, health and medications by providing medical advice relating to the situation. Most reputable sites that offer online veterinarian chat options charge a fee for the service. Depending on the situation, the online veterinarian may suggest that you bring your pet to your veterinarian. If you are contacting an online veterinarian for an emergency health scare such as a severe injury or constant bleeding, you will be directed to bring your pet to the nearest emergency animal hospital or veterinarian office for help. Keep in mind that the online veterinarian chat is for nonemergency questions only. Always get your pet immediate help during an emergency situation.

How to Grow a Chia Pet

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Chia pets are entertaining for all sorts of ages. Developed in the 1980s, this ceramic pottery comes in a wide variety of animal shapes. This is an indoor plant that actually has a chia plant that grows on the surface of these ceramic animals. Growing a Chia pet is fast, easy and economical. This ceramic pet is an excellent way to teach kids how to take care of a growing plant.

Instructions

  1. Fill a deep bowl with enough water to cover the whole Chia pet. Take the Chia pet out of the box and submerge it in the water for 24 hours.
  2. Moisten about a third to half the package of seeds with water until they become paste-like. Take the Chia pet out of the water and place the seeds in the grooves of the ceramic figure.
  3. Set the Chia pet on a plastic shallow container. Place it someplace where it will receive a lot of sunlight.
  4. Locate a cup or container to fill with water. Keep the plant moist with water, but empty the excess water from the drip pan daily.
  5. Trim the Chia pet with regular household scissors or small plant trimmers. Adding a funky hairstyle to this ceramic friend will give him a more personalized look. Get as creative as you want.

How to Make a Pet on Meez

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A Meez is a three-dimensional, animated avatar that teens can create to interact with other members in virtual neighborhoods, chat rooms, gaming tournaments and other social networking communities on the Meez website. Although you can get certain clothing items, Meez backgrounds and animations for free, you need to purchase a Meez VIP membership to access certain site features, such as the Meez Petmaker, which you can use to create and design your own personal Meez pet.

Instructions

  1. Log in to your Meez account. Click the “Shop” tab and select “Meez VIP.”
  2. Review the different monthly or annual VIP packages and click “Buy” to purchase a package.
  3. Pay for your VIP package. You can use a debit, credit or pre-paid American express card to pay for your membership. Select your payment method and follow the onscreen instructions to complete the transaction. When finished, a VIP banner will appear in the corner of your avatar’s icon window.
  4. Hover over the “Shop” tab and scroll to “Petzmaker.”
  5. Browse through the gallery of pets until you find a pet that you like. You can choose from a variety of pets, such as dogs, cats or rabbits. Click the picture of the animal and it will appear in your avatar window.
  6. Personalize your pet. You can keep the current body and color of your pet, or you can mix and match different parts to create a completely different creature. For example, you can add wings to your cat or give your dog a neon-colored tail; the possibilities are endless. Scroll through the different body parts and click “Save” to keep the changes.

Free Virtual World Games for Kids

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In a virtual world, you can create an online character called an avatar and then use it to safely explore the environment and achieve goals. You can become a knight in a medieval fantasy, an astronaut traveling to the far reaches of the galaxy or a fashion maven designing the latest haute couture. Worlds created for kids offer the same challenges and imaginative play but protect the younger ones from negative influences through parental controls and limits on chats.

Barbie Girls

  • Though the cartoon avatars of this world look more like Bratz dolls than Barbies, Barbie Girls is free, though girls get additional benefits from owning Barbie devices. They can create and clothe their own characters, fill their pads with furniture, shop for goodies in town, play games or chat with friends.

    A special section, Parents’ Place, encourages mom and dad to monitor all activities. Kids never share personal identifying information beyond their parents’ email addresses. Parents can control the chat levels: B Chat is the default, allowing communication only through preset phrases. Secret B Chat is only available in the child’s virtual room and only with real-life friends using words approved by filtering software. Super B Chat is similar to the previous chat level but with all girls of the same chat level. Furthermore, all activity is monitored by the website.

Secret Builders

  • Secret Builders hides learning and culture in activities that involve famous people like Shakespeare, Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes. Participants can explore different lands, uncover quests, raise a pet, build the world with their ideas and imagination, and publish their writing in an online magazine.

    Postings in private and public spaces are reviewed before going live. No information is collected from the children, though contact information must come from the parents. Restricted chat for those nine and under involve preset phrases, and free chat screens out inappropriate language. Finally, additions to a kid’s chat buddy list require parental approval.

Teen Second Life

  • Designed for kids ages 13 to 17, Teen Second Life requires a download to create an avatar and explore a three-dimensional world where landscapes, buildings, items and clothing are under the total control of the user. Users can create their own objects using three-dimensional shapes, program them with the built-in language, and import creations from other programs. Unusual for virtual games, the in-game currency can be traded for U.S. dollars, allowing the budding designer, virtual club owner or store manager to make real cash for their play.

    Though the game is free, paying a monthly charge allows ownership of land to build permanent structures and environments. Activities are monitored but otherwise uncensored, though teens can report terms-of-service violators to roaming company staff known as Liaisons. Any warnings issued to the participants are automatically sent to the parents as well.

How to Care for a Pet Opossum

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The two types of opossums generally kept as pets–short-tailed opossums and Virginia opossums–are quite different in their natures, though both need a veterinarian willing and able to effectively treat them should health issues arise. Both also require patience to appreciate their unique personalities. Armed with some basic information on opossum care, you should be able to create an ideal home for one of these shy and curious pets.

For Short-Tailed Opossums:

  1. Understand your short-tailed opossum’s natural tendencies. A short-tailed opossum is a solitary animal in the wild, and adults will hurt each other when confined. Opossums are nocturnal creatures, so they need to be allowed to sleep during the day.
  2. Be patient with your pet. Let your opossum smell you before you pick him up. Some opossums will immediately enjoy climbing on their owner, while others will be shy. Provide treats to increase your opossum’s trust. If your opossum seems irritable or scared, come back later.
  3. Provide an appropriate home for your opossum. You will need at least a 20 gallon home furnished with a nesting box, soft nesting material, an exercise wheel and branches to climb on. Keep the humidity at about 50 percent so your opossum does not get painfully dry skin.
  4. Locate your opossum’s home in a quiet and safe place. Your opossum should be out of direct sunlight and drafts, and in a place where other household pets will not try to interact with them. Even birds or large snakes may make opossums nervous.
  5. Choose the right diet. A low-fat, high-protein dry pet food should be used, supplemented with additional protein, such as insects, and fruits and vegetables. Provide fresh water at all times. See the related eHow article “How to Feed a Pet Opossum” for additional details.

For Virginia Opossums:

  1. Understand your Virginia opossum’s natural tendencies. Virginia opossums are nocturnal, so you will not see much activity from them during the day. They enjoy a slow-paced, calm household because they are naturally timid and easily frightened.
  2. Allow your Virginia opossum to have run of the house, just as you would a pet cat. If caged, opossums will pace and can become aggressive. Your pet can be confined to a single room when you are not home, if necessary.
  3. Opossum-proof your home! Virginia opossums are curious creatures, and surprisingly agile. They will open cabinets and explore any area of your home that they can. Take the same sort of precautions you would if baby-proofing your home, but also make sure that all windows and doors are securely fastened.
  4. Discipline your pet opossum gently. Let her know when she is misbehaving by using a firm tone of voice, a spray of water or a light tap on her noise. Any sort of physical discipline will create an aggressive pet.
  5. Train your opossum to use a litter box. Most opossums will naturally take to using a litter box if you introduce it to them as babies. Be patient as you litter train, placing your opossum in the box until she uses it and praising her when she does. After she is trained, she will need a litter box near her bed and in each room she spends time in.
  6. Choose the right diet. A zoo-quality omnivore diet is best, supplemented with additional protein, such as insects, vegetables, fruits and grain foods. Provide fresh water at all times. See the related eHow.com article “How to Feed a Pet Opossum” for additional details.

How to Organize Your Veterinary Clinic

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Maintaining a high-quality veterinary practice requires keeping up with the latest innovations in veterinary medicine and technology while sharing open and caring communication with pet owners, say veterinary management advisors Maggie Shilcock and Georgina Stutchfield in “Veterinary Practice Management.” Vets and veterinary technicians must inform, educate and obtain owner compliance to medical protocol to assure the best outcome for their animal patients. To become a profitable, service-oriented business, veterinary clinics need to offer the highest possible level of care in an organized, cost-effective manner.

Instructions

  1. Maintain the outpatient area — that is the reception area, examination rooms, laboratory, pharmacy and public restrooms — in a clean, quiet, organized and odor-free condition. Ensure that exam rooms are cleaned after every patient and fully-stocked with the syringes, vaccines, bandaging materials and stethoscopes needed during veterinary checkups.
  2. Establish a routine so that vet techs and kennel workers clean the inpatient areas — consisting of treatment areas, patient wards, the isolation ward, exercise yards, bathing and grooming areas, and kitchen — on an on-going basis. Organize all towels, newspapers and bedding in closets adjacent to both the kennel and wards and set a schedule for washing linens. Replenish the treatment areas daily with necessary bandage materials, blood-collection tubes, needles and syringes, and cleaning supplies.
  3. Prepare the surgical area — the operating room, radiology, the surgical prep and recovery rooms — for patients prior to the clinic opening. Turn on the oxygen, set up anesthesia machines, start the X-ray developer, lay out surgical packs and check for all emergency medicines before the first scheduled procedure.
  4. Create a working traffic flow so that client care is efficient, professional and personalized. Each appointment needs an assigned time limit depending on the procedure involved; this should be established during the initial phone booking. Make certain the front-desk personnel pull the patient files before each appointment, they call the client and patient by name, and the client gets the bill in a timely manner after leaving the exam room.

How to Advertise My Pet Care Business

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You’ve got the nitty-gritty of your pet care business started, but if you want to succeed, you need to get customers. Advertising a business can be a large expense. Target your advertising as much as possible to get the greatest return on your investment. Identify your target customer and advertise through the mediums that they are most likely to encounter.

Instructions

  1. Place fliers in local hot spots. Many stores and parks offer bulletin boards where people can advertise their service businesses. Look first for bulletin boards where pet owners are most likely to go–pet stores, dog parks and vet offices, for example. However, you may also find success by posting at the laundromat or the grocery store. Include basic information about your business, with tear-offs listing your business name, phone number and website.
  2. Advertise in pet-related publications. Purchasing an ad in a citywide newspaper will be expensive and may not reach your target market. However, a local publication for pet owners will reach the exact people that you need.
  3. Encourage word-of-mouth advertising. After you’ve gotten a few customers, ask them to tell their friends about your services. Offer a special discount to those customers that refer you new customers.
  4. Network with other local pet business owners. For example, if you offer pet sitting services, you could connect with the local pet groomer–you offer to refer your customers to her and she places your business card near her register.
  5. Optimize your website for the search engines. If potential customers in your area use the Internet to find their services, you need your site to come up in the listings. Submit your site to the search engines, use words that relate to your business and town–such as “dog sitter in San Francisco”–and if necessary, purchase advertisements in the search results.

How to Teach Children to Care for Pets

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Making the decision to allow your child to get his first pet can be a tough one. Adding a pet to the family is a huge undertaking, requiring time and responsibility on both yours and your child’s part. When you feel the time is right and your child is mature enough to start caring for a pet of his own, you’ll need to teach him how to properly care for it.

Instructions

  1. Discuss getting a pet with your child to ensure he knows how much care is involved. Talk about what type of pet your child would like. For example, a cat tends to be less work as your child doesn’t have to take it for walks and cats are less needy than other animals. Cats require little grooming and normally litter-train well, notes Animal Planet. A dog is usually more social, which means it will require more attention and energy, but it can be more playful. If you’re looking for something smaller, consider a guinea pig, lizard, hamster, rabbit, fish or bird. Take your time to think about what type of pet you’d like, then make the decision as a family.
  2. Show your child how to provide his pet with fresh food and water. Create a feeding schedule and post it where your child can easily read it. Generally, most pets need fed one or two times per day and need access to fresh water at all times. Encourage your child to replace his pet’s water twice per day. Assist your child with feeding time until he gets the hang of it.
  3. Teach your child how to safely scoop out waste from his cat’s litter box every day. His cat may refuse to use the litter box if it’s left dirty, according to Petco. Help him replace the litter weekly. Remind him that washing his hands is very important after this chore, to prevent him from getting sick.
  4. Instruct your child to clean his pet’s cage weekly with water and a mild soap. Bedding will need to be changed a minimum of once a week. Your child must clean a fish tank once per week.
  5. Show your child how to properly groom his pet, if necessary. Your dog or cat may need regular brushing and dogs need an occasional bath to keep them clean. Some pets will need to be taken to the groomer’s for a haircut, ear cleaning and nail clipping.
  6. Encourage your child to give his pet the love and attention it needs. For example, dogs need plenty of exercise to keep them healthy, stimulate their minds and to burn calories, according to the ASPCA. Help your child take his dog for a walk or to the dog park to run and play. Provide your child’s guinea pig, rabbit, lizard, hamster or other small pet with an enclosure big enough to allow plenty of exercise.
  7. Assist your child in making appointments for regular checkups for his pet. A veterinarian can ensure your child’s pet is healthy and his vaccinations are current. He can also address any concerns you or your child might have, according to PBS Kids.

How Do I Take Screenshots in "World of Warcraft" Without the Action Bars in the Way?

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Taking a screenshot in “World of Warcraft” is a way many players preserve their memory of events in-game. Whether you take a screenshot of a defeated boss your group has slain or of all your in-game friends together, screenshots allow you to save and share your memories. When taking a screenshot, it is advisable to clear your screen of the interface, including the chat box and your action bars, before you take the picture.

Instructions

  1. Press the “Alt” and “Z” keys simultaneously to hide your interface, including chat box and action bars.
  2. Press the “Print Screen” key to take your screenshot.
  3. Press the “Alt” and “Z” keys simultaneously to turn your interface back on.

About an Animal Care Technician Career

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Animal care technicians work in veterinary offices, animal shelters, zoos, circuses, marine life parks, kennels, farms, pet salons, mobile animal care units and private residences. They provide specialized care to support the growth, well-being and health of animals. Depending on the work environment, animal care technicians may care for a variety of animals or a single species or breed. Their jobs can be unpleasant, physically and emotionally demanding and sometimes dangerous but professionally satisfying nonetheless.

Job Profile

  • Animal care technicians provide caring and nurturing environments for animals of all species and sizes. Their duties vary depending on job type and animal species. In general, technicians tend to the diets and habitats of animals. They interact with animals, give them companionship and manage their care and feeding. Common tasks include training animals, providing them with food and water, grooming, bathing and exercising them, as well as cleaning and sanitizing their environments.

Work Environment

  • Caring for animals can be physically stressful. Animal technicians are regularly exposed to hazardous situations and infectious waste in their cleaning of animal facilities and general handling of animals. Their work involves a lot of kneeling, crawling, repeated bending, long periods of standing and lifting of heavy objects. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, animal care technicians experience work-related injuries, illnesses and emotional duress at a rate higher than the national average.

Education and Job Experience

  • Although a high school diploma or GED equivalent qualifies a person for an entry-level position in animal care, many employers prefer individuals with related experience and love of animals. Many animal care workers learn and improve their skills through on-the-job training and experience. More senior or specialized animal care positions, such as equine trainer or marine life caretaker, require additional training. A bachelor’s degree in biology, animal science or related field is usually required for zookeeper and marine life caretaker positions.

Career Growth

  • Job opportunities are stable for some animal care positions, according to the 2010 Occupational Outlook Handbook. With experience and training, animal shelter technicians may move on to roles as adoption coordinators, animal control officers or animal shelter directors. Some pet groomers go on to open private pet salons or mobile pet care units. Job prospects for zookeepers include senior zookeeper and animal curator, but openings are small in number and occur infrequently.

Salary

  • Wages for animal care workers are relatively low. Median annual wages of non-farm animal caretakers were $19,360 in May 2008, according to the 2010 Occupational Outlook Handbook. SalaryWizard.com estimates 2010 annual earnings of $31,043 to $35,902 for animal technicians in the United States. The median expected salary for an animal care technician in the United States is $32,230.

How to Obtain an Exotic Pet License in Florida

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Pets provide companionship and entertainment. To add novelty to the mix, some pet owners go for the more exotic ocelot over the common house cat or upgrade from a dog to a wolf. Keeping exotic pets in Florida requires a license issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to ensure the safety of both your animal and the public. Florida rules also protect indigenous wildlife from nonnative species. Some animals, not surprisingly, are prohibited for personal possession — such as lions or tigers. Meet the FWC license requirements and enjoy the Florida sunshine with your exotic pet.

Instructions

  1. Check the FWC’s list of Captive Wildlife Categories for your potential exotic pet. Class I covers the most dangerous carnivores and primates, such as lions, tigers, chimpanzees and gorillas. Florida prohibits owning Class I animals as pets. Class II animals include smaller carnivores and primates, such as monkeys, wolves and coyotes. Class III animals are not specified. Consider any animal not on the Class I or II list as Class III. Florida allows personal possession of Class II and III animals for qualified individuals. Certain reptiles, such as certain species of pythons and anacondas, pose a threat to native Florida wildlife, so the FWC prohibits use of these animals as pets.
  2. Complete the Florida Captive Wildlife Critical Incident/Disaster Plan. You need to provide information about yourself, emergency contacts and your veterinarian. Describe your plan for the exotic animal in case of a natural disaster — such as a Florida hurricane — or a fire or other emergency.
  3. Fill out the FWC Class III Personal Use Application and Questionnaire if your exotic pet falls into Class III — any animal that does not fall into Class I and II. The questionnaire assesses your knowledge of your exotic pet. Return the completed application and questionnaire to the address specified on the application.
  4. Complete the PPL — License to Possess Wildlife for Personal Use form if your exotic animal is a pet that falls into Class II. The application requires that you attach proof your exotic pet does not violate current zoning laws. FWC rules require that you have sufficient knowledge and experience with your animal, and you will also need to document this on the application. Current Florida exotic pet license fees and FWC contact information can be found on the application.
  5. Post a Florida surety bond if required to obtain the license for your exotic pet. Contact a certified surety company licensed to do business in Florida. You will need to complete an application with the surety company, possibly post collateral and pay a fee for the bond. Forward the bond along with your other completed license paperwork and the applicable fees to the address specified on your particular application. If approved, your license will then be issued

How to Write a Pet Care Agreement Form

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Take extra steps to safeguard your pet in your absence by making a Pet Care Agreement Form. Whether you’re joining the armed forces, taking a vacation or leaving for an unknown period of time, making a pet care agreement form ensures your pet gets the necessary care. Read on to learn how.

Instructions

  1. Entitle the new document, “Pet Care Agreement Form.” Prepare the introduction to the form by stating that it is legally binding. Add the signing date of the agreement.
  2. Identify the parties making the agreement. Label one the “Owner” of the pet and the other the “Caregiver.”
  3. Reserve a separate section on the front page for identifying the subject animal. State the animal’s name, species, breed, gender and if the animal has been neutered or spayed. Add an additional description of the animal, such as color and special markings.
  4. Explain why the owner is making the agreement. Specify that the owner requests the caregiver to keep the animal during the owner’s absence.
  5. Indicate the dates of the foster care. Clarify that the caregiver must deliver the animal when the owner returns. Make arrangements for extended care if the owner does not return as specified.
  6. Itemize the caregiver’s duties towards the animal during the foster care. Identify the food, water and specific shelter for the animal that the caregiver must provide. Refer to any specific oral or written care instructions from the owner.
  7. Stipulate that the owner does not hold the caregiver responsible if the animal sustains an accidental injury or dies during the foster care. Include a signature page following the form that asks both parties to provide their full names, street addresses, phone numbers and signatures.

How to Find the Best Orthopedic Veterinarian

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Orthopedic veterinarians diagnose and treat problems involving an animal’s musculoskeletal system — anything involving the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. For your pet to remain active and pain-free, all of these systems must work together in harmony. When a pet suffers an injury or develops a degenerative disease affecting these structures, good orthopedic care can get him on the proper road to recovery.

Start With Your Veterinarian

  • There’s a good chance your search for a good orthopedic veterinarian will begin and end with your own veterinarian. Many practicing veterinarians can perform orthopedic procedures. Depending upon the nature and severity of the injury, the prescribed course of treatment and your pet’s prognosis, you may not need to search any further than your pet’s regular doctor. If, however, either you or your veterinarian think that your pet requires more advanced care than your own vet is able or qualified to administer, you may need to expand your search for a veterinary orthopedic specialist.

Get a Veterinary Referral

  • Your pet’s veterinarian already works with or is aware of orthopedic veterinarians in your area. He will be familiar with the qualifications, abilities and even the bedside manner of these individuals. He will have had personal interactions with them at conferences, or he will have heard feedback and comments from other clients who have used these specialists in the past. Ask your own veterinarian for his recommendation based upon his personal experiences, then follow up with your own due diligence by checking the orthopedic veterinarian’s qualifications and client reviews.

Ask the Board

  • If your pet requires orthopedic surgery, contact the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Setting the standard for the highest level of excellence in veterinary surgery, the ACVS has more than 1,700 certified veterinarians. More than 60 percent of these veterinarians work in private or specialty clinics and accept referrals from a pet’s primary care veterinarian. The remainder are involved in education and research. The ACVS provides referrals of qualified surgeons to pet owners.

Go to College

  • Many well-known veterinary colleges, such as the University of California Davis College of Veterinary Medicine, provide specialty treatments for pets upon referral from a primary care veterinarian. Generally, the pet owner can make the first phone call to the university’s animal clinic and schedule an appointment, and treatments typically cost the same as if the procedure was performed by a veterinarian in private practice.

What to Pack

  • If your pet will receive treatment from a specialty veterinarian or university animal hospital, you will need to bring several items to your appointment. The orthopedic veterinarian will need all available information on your pet’s injury as well as any diagnostic tests such as X-rays, blood tests or ultrasound readings. You will need to provide the orthopedic veterinarian with a list of all medications and supplements your pet is taking, and you will want to bring food for your pet if he is on a specialized diet. Finally, if you have received a referral from your primary care veterinarian, you will need a copy of the referral.

Ideas to Promote Veterinary Service

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Like any other business or independent entrepreneur, a veterinarian needs to bring in business to survive financially. This doesn’t mean that vets are hoping that pets become ill, only that, when the inevitable complications do arise, each vet wants to be the one you call, and wants to persuade you to come back again through superior service to you and to your pet.

Pet Products

  • Since pet products, by definition, are used by pet owners, they are the ideal place for a veterinarian to advertise her services and make animal owners aware of her existence. Everything from cat food can lids to leashes to chew toys can be emblazoned with the vet’s name, logo and contact information, and sold from the veterinary clinic itself or distributed to local pet shops and animal shelters. As a vet you can also create low-cost items that you can give to your clients for free that will help them to remember you and know how to contact you when they need you.

Special Events

  • Organizing a special event in your community is a major undertaking, but it can pay off in the long run with a higher public profile and more business from pet owners. Events can include the practical, such as immunization clinics, or the whimsical, such as a pet parade in which pet owners dress themselves and their pets up in crazy costumes and take a walk through town. You can also take part in larger events that have been organized by other people, such as a county fair, harvest festival or plowing match.

Eye-Catching Ads

  • Money spent on colorful and creative postcards, posters and newspaper or magazine advertisements is an investment in future business. The graphics for a veterinary business should always feature healthy and beautiful animals being doted on by their owners. The message should be that, while you make your living as a veterinarian, you are also a genuine lover of animals and are sincerely interested in their health and well-being. This attitude, conveyed in a graphically interesting, light-hearted manner, will go far toward earning you the trust and business of animal lovers in your area.

Public Service

  • Performing volunteer service in your community, when possible as an official representative of your business, will contribute needed expertise to important causes and also present you and your business in a positive light to potential clients. Taking in homeless animals and rescuing them from euthanasia, and performing spays and neuters for free or at a reduced rate are two acts that can reduce the suffering of animals and earn you a lot of gratitude among animal lovers. Other community service that isn’t directly related to the care of animals can also help you to make connections with different sectors of your town.

Preschool Pet Theme Activities

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If you want to teach your preschoolers math, reading and social skills, plan some activities around pets. Students can learn about how different animals live and what it takes to care for a domesticated animal. You can focus on math skills by helping students figure out how much to feed a certain pet, and of course, they learn how to look after another living thing. It takes the preschooler out of his “me” state of mind, helping him empathize with something less able than he to look after itself.

Classroom Pet

  • Having a classroom pet can help teach your students about nurturing and responsibility. It also teaches them about science, because they can observe the way the pet eats, sleeps, plays and even nurtures her own young. Take turns giving one or two students “zoo keeping” responsibilities for feeding, watering and cleaning. Preschoolers may need adult help with cleaning, especially larger pet cages. Fish tend to work well for preschool classrooms, since feeding is less involved, and you can help when it comes to cleaning out the bowl.

Learning About Pets

  • Introduce your preschoolers to the different kinds of pets people have by reading a book on pets. Teach about pet care with a trip to the veterinarian skit, having one student play the vet, and the other play a sick animal. Allow each student to take part. Discuss with your class what equipment the vet needs and what things he should look for when examining the pet. Have students write or draw about their own pets and what they or their parents do to take care of them.

Taking a Field Trip

  • Let your students see some animals up close. Contact the local pet store or animal rescue shelter to see if you can take your class on a trip to visit the animals. Pet stores typically offer a wider variety of animals, while going to a shelter teaches the kids about how people take care of abandoned or lost animals. Plan a trip to a wildlife rescue organization if you have access to one, so students can see the difference between animals that are appropriate to have as pets and animals that should be in their natural habitat.

Show and Tell

  • Plan a day where students and parents bring in their pets to meet the rest of the class. You’ll have to get permission from the school, and you may need to go to a park nearby instead of bringing animals into the classroom. Have each student say something about her pet and perhaps show a trick, if the animal knows any. Remember that some animals should be kept away from one another, so you may want to split up show and tell and have students bring dogs one day, and birds another, or have students bring pets one at a time.

What’s the Problem With Classroom ‘Pets’?

Many teachers consider bringing animals into their classrooms as a way to teach students about responsibility, pet care, animal science, and more. We know that many teachers who keep classroom “pets” do so with good intentions, but the classroom simply isn’t a suitable home for an animal. There are many issues that come along with having class “pets,” so we hope that you’ll keep the following in mind before choosing to keep an animal in your school.

Here are six reasons to say NO to getting a classroom “pet”:

  • It supports breeders and the cruel pet trade. Many small animals used as class “pets” come from awful breeding facilities where they’re kept in horrific and filthy conditions, deprived of proper veterinary care, and left vulnerable to abuse. Breeders also directly contribute to the severe overpopulation crisis and destroy shelter animals’ chances of finding good homes.

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  • It’s unnatural. When sensitive animals are confined to a small cage or tank in a classroom, their needs and natural instincts are almost always ignored. For example, mice and other small mammals are nocturnal, yet they’re regularly kept in brightly lit classrooms and removed from their cages throughout the day. Imagine how stressful it must be for an animal to be frequently handled by children who have no experience doing so.

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  • They’re left alone and left behind. Class “pets” are vulnerable to illness and neglect, as they’re regularly left unmonitored at night and on the weekends without care or interaction. During school breaks, it’s a scramble to find students who can take the animals home. More often than not, if a student does volunteer, their homes aren’t screened and they and their families are unprepared for the comprehensive care that small animals require (which can lead to tragic consequences). If no students or teachers can take the animals in, they often end up in already severely crowded shelters.
  • It’s a health risk. Keeping animals in the classroom is a huge risk for the animalsand for the students. Many kids have allergies, which can be exacerbated by the presence of certain animals. Bacteria such as salmonella can be spread by the handling of reptiles and frogs, and rodents such as hamsters can carry transmittable diseases, too.
  • They’re at risk of abuse. Sadly, some classroom “pets” aren’t just suffering because of unintentional neglect. PETA has received many reports of awful cruelty to animals who are kept in schools, including the following incidents:
    • A snake was stolen from his classroom enclosure and cooked to death inside a school microwave.
    • Two chinchillas were beaten and left for dead.
    • A rabbit in a daycare showed symptoms of illness but was never given any veterinary care—and he died without receiving treatment for his condition.
    • Four pigs had a caustic chemical poured onto them—resulting in painful burns to their backs, ears, and necks.
    • A lamb was stolen from a school’s agriculture building, spraypainted, duct-taped to the outside of a building, and left overnight in freezing temperatures.

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  • There are better ways to teach. Kids can learn responsibility and develop respect for animals in countless ways that don’t put a single animal at risk. Teach responsibility through community service projects and by caring for plants and/or a school garden. Teach children about the life cycle and animal behavior by observing local wildlife, watching high-quality documentaries, or using computer programs. Children should never be misled into thinking that animals are classroom tools—there’s never an excuse to put an animal’s well-being at risk.
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So What Can You Do?

  • Pledge NEVER to keep animals in your classroom, and share information with your students and staff about why you choose to do so.
  • If your school is keeping animals—either as “pets” or as teaching “tools”—voice your disagreement! If you’re comfortable with doing so, write a letter to or have an open conversation with the involved staff members explaining the cruelty inherent in the pet trade and in keeping animals in the classroom, along with the many risks that are involved and the message that keeping animals in the classroom sends to students.
  • You can even write a letter to your principal and school board asking them to implement a policy regarding keeping animals in the school. Be sure to include all the pertinent information, and contact us if you need any assistance!
  • If you already have an animal in your classroom, please make the compassionate decision either to take the animal home or to find a sanctuary where he or she can live peacefully and with appropriate care.

How to Get a Job at a Veterinary Clinic

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Each veterinary clinic job has its own set of education requirements, which range from a high school diploma to graduate level degrees. However, every position tends to have similar basic prerequisites, including experience working with animals and a warmhearted nature. As you work to meet the requirements, utilize every opportunity to work with different animals. For example, you might train your neighbors’ dogs, help out on a farm or volunteer at an aquarium.

Go to College

  • The extent of necessary education depends on the position in which you’re interested. Veterinarians need a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree; veterinary technologists usually have a bachelor’s degree; and technicians will typically have an associate’s degree. Certain positions may only require a high school diploma or the equivalent, with an emphasis on courses associated with science and math. In addition to education, employers tend to seek candidates with certain skills. Most jobs require workers to have compassion, patience and effective communication skills.

Get Trained Hands-On

  • Employers frequently require experience, but everyone has to start somewhere. Find internship or volunteer opportunities at shelters or zoos, or search for jobs that are open to inexperienced candidates. For example, the Monroe Veterinary Associates Affiliated Practices in Rochester, New York, hires part-time kennel attendants, as long as they have finished at least two years of high school. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that certain positions, like those for shelter caretakers, may provide training for new hires through the American Humane Association or the Humane Society of the United States.

Acquire the Credentials

  • Veterinarians must be licensed, and technologists and technicians must be either certified, registered or licensed by their state. According to the BLS, the majority of states require technologists and technicians to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination to earn state recognition. Other optional credentials include certificates in a variety of fields, from dog grooming to animal research. For example, those interested in working for research organizations can obtain certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. The AALAS offers three different certificates for technologists, technicians and assistant technicians.

Work for Promotions

  • From entry-level positions, veterinary clinics offer several opportunities for advancement. Banfield Pet Hospital, for example, reports that certified vet techs may become lead vet techs or practice managers. Vet clinic careers are also expected to continue expanding through 2022. According to the BLS, opportunities for veterinarians, as well as for animal care and service workers, are projected to open on par with all careers between 2012 and 2022. It notes that vacancies for veterinary technologists and technicians should grow by 30 percent, which is more than double the average of all occupations, during that time.

How to keep your companion canine happy and healthy

Before You Bring Your Dog Home

       You will need food, water and food bowls, leash, collar, training crate, brush, comb and canine chew toys.

Cleaning Up

       Keep your dog on a leash when you are outside, unless in a secured (fenced-in) area. If your dog defecates on a neighbor’s lawn, the sidewalk or any other public place, please clean it up.

Feeding

       Puppies 8 to 12 weeks old need four meals a day. Puppies three to six months old need three meals a day. Puppies six months to one year need two meals a day. When your dog is one year old, one meal a day is usually enough. For some dogs (such as larger ones or those prone to bloat), it’s better to continue to feed two smaller meals. Premium-quality dry food provides a well-balanced diet and may be mixed with water, broth or some canned food. Your dog may enjoy cottage cheese, cooked egg, fruits and vegetables, but these additions should not total more than 10 percent of your dog’s daily food intake.

       Puppies should be fed a high-quality brand-name puppy food (avoid generic brands) two to four times a day. Please limit “people food,” however, because it can cause puppies to suffer vitamin and mineral imbalances, bone and teeth problems and may cause very picky eating habits, as well as obesity. Have clean, fresh water available at all times. Wash food and water dishes frequently.

Exercise

       Every dog needs daily exercise for mental and physical stimulation. The proper amount depends on the breed type, age and health status of your dog. Providing enough exercise will improve your dog’s health and prevent household destruction and other behavior problems common in underexercised dogs.

Grooming

       You can help keep your dog clean and reduce shedding by brushing her frequently. Check for fleas and ticks daily during warm weather. Most dogs don’t need to be bathed more than a few times a year. Before bathing, comb or cut out all mats from the coat. Carefully rinse all soap out of the coat, or dirt will stick to soap residue.

Housing

       You will need to provide your pet with a warm, quiet place to rest away from all drafts and off of the floor. A training crate is ideal. You may wish to buy a dog bed, or make one out of a wooden box. Place a clean blanket or pillow inside the bed. Wash the dog’s often. If your dog will be spending a great deal of time outdoors, you will need to provide her with shade and plenty of cool water in hot weather and a warm, dry, covered shelter when it’s cold.

What Are the Treatments for Yeast Infection in Dogs?

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Yeast infections (candida albicans) in dogs are fairly common. Yeast overgrowth leads to ear infections, skin irritation and rashes, digestive upset and secondary medical problems like staphylococcus (staph) dermatitis, gas and bloating. Prevention may be the best medicine, and in most cases, yeast infections can be prevented. In many cases, allergies are the cause. In the event of a flare-up, there are several effective treatments available from your veterinarian and several home remedies.

Causes

  • Yeast infections are triggered by an underlying cause. The most common is airborne allergies. These are usually seasonal and triggered by pollens and dust. As the dog’s immune system fights the allergens, his skin produces excess oils, which can lead to yeast infections of the ears and skin.
    Allergies to yeast itself may also cause yeast infections, often including gas, diarrhea and stomach upset, along with overall itching. Dogs with food allergies often lick their feet obsessively.

Prevention/Solution

  • Prevention and treatment involves determining the exact underlying cause. Ask your vet about tests to identify allergens.
    If the yeast infections are due to an allergy to the yeast itself, feeding a yeast-free diet will resolve all symptoms. Talk to your vet about prescription dog foods. You may also consider switching to a grain-free kibble,or feeding a home-cooked or raw diet.
    Yeast infections in the ears can be prevented by regular cleaning.

Treatment

  • Infections of any kind need antibiotics. If the skin is infected, your vet may want to do a skin scraping and culture to determine exactly which yeast bacteria is responsible for the infection and to choose the best antibiotic.
    Oral antibiotics are usually only part of the treatment regimen. Prescription shampoos containing benzoyl peroxide or salicylate are applied several times a week.
    For the intense itching that accompanies many yeast infections, your vet may prescribe a short-term course of prednisone.
    Treating yeast infections in the ears generally requires antibiotic ear drops for 10 to 14 days. If the infection is severe and painful, pain medication might also be prescribed.

Considerations

  • Yeast infections can be stubborn to treat. Often they will disappear with a course of antibiotics only to recur as soon as treatment has stopped. While a visit to a veterinary dermatologist seems expensive, it may be cheaper in the long run if an effective treatment is found quickly.
    A veterinary dermatologist will have a wider range of diagnostics and medications available than a general practitioner.
    Some treatments for yeast infections include azole antifungal medications and hormone therapy, because it has been found that spayed and neutered dogs are more susceptible to allergies and skin infections (see Resources for a dermatologist and more information on current treatments).

Expert Insight

  • While you should never attempt to treat or medicate a dog without guidance from your vet, there are several things you can do at home to prevent or treat yeast infections.
    Vinegar will kill the yeast organism and prevent further growth by altering the pH level of the skin. It should be mixed 50:50 with pure water.
    Fish oil capsules provide omega-3 fatty acids and are good for the skin and coat. According to Holly Nash, DVM, MS, it has been shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory and useful for itchy and allergy-prone dogs (see Resources).

Veterinarian Assistance for Low Income

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A low-income person with a sick or injured pet that may die without proper treatment can get help with paying the emergency costs, and she may be eligible for reduced-cost routine care for her pet. Charity agencies, local groups and veterinary trade associations provide financial assistance and grants for financially distressed pet owners who need help paying for an animal’s care.

IMOM Financial Aid

  • IMOM is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping abused, ill or homeless animals. A person experiencing financial hardship can apply to IMOM for assistance in the event his pet is suffering from an illness or injury that will result in death if not treated within 10 days. A pet owner who wants to apply for emergency assistance from IMOM must complete the online process outlined on the charity’s official website.

AAHA Pets Helping Pets Fund

  • The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has a grant program for low-income or financially distressed pet owners who need veterinary care. A veterinarian working at an AAHA-accredited hospital submits the grant application to the organization on behalf of the pet owner. AAHA pays part or all of the services needed — upon approval of the application — directly to the provider.

Local Cruelty Societies

  • Local SPCA and humane societies offer a variety of programs for low-income pet owners. Some humane societies network with smaller, local charity groups, while others have dedicated programs or offer reduced-cost care for eligible pet owners directly. Information about programs is usually found on the society’s official website. The assistance available commonly ranges from basic preventive services, such as well visits for the animal, to emergency treatments and medications.

Veterinary College Clinics

  • Some veterinary colleges have animal clinics with veterinary care offered at a reduced cost for low-income pet owners. Proof of income is needed, such as copies of the owner’s pay stubs, but the exact criteria for eligibility and the services offered vary by clinic. The American Veterinary Medical Association maintains a list of accredited colleges across the United States on its website.

How to Make New Friends Online With a Free Chat Room

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It’s easy to make new friends online using a free chat room. However, in order to make friends through chat rooms, it is important to choose a chat room that fits your lifestyle. By doing this, you will meet others with similar interests and lifestyles who have the potential to become lifelong friends.

Instructions

  1. Find a free chat room that represents something about your lifestyle: the place where you live, a hobby, a club membership, a school you formerly attended or another option. Choosing a chat room where you have something to discuss will allow you and others to open up and get to know each other.
  2. Introduce yourself honestly. Be truthful about who you are. Like any other relationship, a relationship created in a chat room needs to be based on honesty to be successful. However, do not reveal private details about yourself. Only provide your first name or an alias, and do not discuss personal details like your address and phone number.
  3. Open a dialogue within the chat room with people who seem interesting to you. Ask questions about their lives, and provide information about yours. Build a relationship based on shared interests through the chat room.
  4. Chat privately with people from the free chat room that you would like to get to know better. Continue having private online dialogue until you feel comfortable moving further, or let the person know that you only intend to be friends through chat. Exchange pictures with each person you are talking to, if you think it will enhance the friendship.
  5. Speak to people that you met through chat on the phone. This dialogue will either determine that the friendship can progress, should be moved back to chat only, or should end entirely.
  6. Meet with people you met through the chat room in person. Meet in a public, open place. Let a friend or family member know where you will be. If possible, bring a friend or family member with you, and ask the people you are meeting to do the same.

How to Care for a Pet Wolf

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Wolves are intuitive and free-spirited creatures that, though independent and strong-willed, make great pets. The care and feeding of a wolf, however, is different from caring and feeding a domesticated dog. It is important to know a wolf’s basic needs in order to properly care for your wolf. Here are some suggestions for caring for a pet wolf.

Instructions

  1. Give them lots of space. The wolf that is your pet is a wild animal at heart. They are used to being able to roam and run for long distances and have a lot of open, natural space to live in. Planning to have your pet wolf live in a small, fenced-in yard suitable for a regular dog is not fair to them and will not make your wolf happy or fulfilled. Give your wolf a large space of at least an acre or two to call home. If you are not able to accommodate your pet wolf this way then a wolf may not be the right pet for you.
  2. Find a wild animal veterinarian. Wild animal and zoo veterinarians specialize in treating and caring for wild animals and their health. These veterinarians are knowledgeable about the differences between caring for exotic pets and domesticated ones and can address any concerns you have.
  3. Feed your wolf a proper diet. A wolf is not the same as a domesticated dog, so feeding it dog food from the grocery store will not be sufficient for maintaining proper nutrition. As with dogs, table scraps or “people food” are a bad idea to give wolves, but supplementing their diet with fresh raw meat is good. Raw meat not only gives them iron and other vital nutrients but also helps your wolf feel like they have acquired a fresh kill for themselves. Talk to your veterinarian about other dietary needs and supplements that can help keep your wolf healthy.
  4. Understand behavioral patterns. Wolves are independent creatures, and it is important to understand the differences between the behavior of a wolf and that of a dog. Wolves are family-oriented pack animals but are not necessarily as cuddly or friendly as a dog; they need time and space to themselves. If your wolf acts stand-offish or spends time on its own, don’t interpret this as a sign that your wolf is ill or doesn’t like you. This is simply its natural behavior and must be respected.
  5. Remember that the wolf is still a wild animal. Not everyone will appreciate living next door to a wolf, and you may not be prepared to handle all of the challenges presented to you in owning a wolf as a pet. Keep in mind a pet wolf is still a wolf, not a dog, but with love and respect it can be a fun and loving pet and companion.

How to Open a Pet Store & How to Find Animals

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Owning a pet shop is fun and challenging. Helping people find that perfect pet or supplying them with the food and supplies they need is fulfilling work. The challenge is finding quality pets and caring for them until they find their homes.

Opening a Pet Shop

  1. Decide what type of animal and pet supplies you would like to sell. This decision will affect your location. For example, a pet shop that sells dogs needs more space than one that sells only fish. But a pet shop that sells fish needs excellent plumbing, heating and cooling.
    Choose a niche for the pet shop and focus on that animal or even breed for a specialty feel. This is the best option for a small shop. Focus on the best pet food and treats for that animal. Offer the best bedding and kennel options. Choosing a niche market will also allow you to get to know your customers better. Take this information and write a business plan.
  2. Find a good location for a pet shop in a residential community. It’s easier to sell pets from an independent building rather than a mall, because there may be noise or odor involved. Find a location near good traffic flow, but not on an extremely busy street if animals are to be carried in and out.
  3. Hire professionals to go over all of the paperwork. Apply for all necessary sales tax licenses, and make sure the zoning in the building you want to use allows a pet store. Check the livestock and pet laws in your area and draw up a pet adoption agreement accordingly. Draw up any return policies at this time. Contact the department of agriculture in your state to set up an inspection for licensing to sell and kennel animals. Purchase business insurance.
  4. Hire adequate help for the amount of livestock you will offer as pets. Offering pets for sale is an excellent customer draw but requires a lot of cleaning and handling. Make sure to hire staff old enough to understand the responsibilities of working with animals. Look for assistants with expertise in the type of pet they are hired to care for and have the ability to answer customer questions.
  5. Find dry stock vendors for pet supplies and food. Look online as well as locally. Some online distributors offer deep discounts and free shipping on large orders, so consider this for initial orders. Find local dealers for all fresh food needs, or visit farmers markets.
    Find local artists or crafts people willing to sell their goods through your shop to show support for the community and unique pet supplies.

Finding Animals

  1. Help a rescue in need of store space and adoption help. This is the most community-oriented way to stock a pet shop with livestock. You can either lease part of the shop to the rescue at a discount or write it off as a tax donation. The shelter provides veterinary work and pet guarantees to adopting families. The benefit of this is the release of liability for the pet shop owner. No covering of expensive vet bills or dealing with pet returns.
  2. Find reputable local breeders. Look online and talk to other pet owners about where they got their pets and if they would recommend the breeders. Tour any breeder before making any commitments to purchase animals. Personally inspect all areas where animals are kept. If a breeder refuses to let you see an area or tour at all, choose a different breeder.
    Check with the top breeders clubs in your area. Generally speaking, the smaller the breeder the better. Smaller breeders have more time to handle animals, a big plus for pet livestock.
  3. Find pet distributors for livestock delivery of exotic pets or large fish orders. There are some larger pet distributors that have excellent customer service and livestock guarantees. These are for the hard-to-find small animal, reptile or fish. Keep in mind these animals will likely not be well handled when arriving at the shop. Daily handling will be required to ease the pet’s anxieties. Check off-site customer reviews of any major pet distributorship before ordering livestock.

How to Teach Children to Care for Pets

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Making the decision to allow your child to get his first pet can be a tough one. Adding a pet to the family is a huge undertaking, requiring time and responsibility on both yours and your child’s part. When you feel the time is right and your child is mature enough to start caring for a pet of his own, you’ll need to teach him how to properly care for it.

Instructions

  1. Discuss getting a pet with your child to ensure he knows how much care is involved. Talk about what type of pet your child would like. For example, a cat tends to be less work as your child doesn’t have to take it for walks and cats are less needy than other animals. Cats require little grooming and normally litter-train well, notes Animal Planet. A dog is usually more social, which means it will require more attention and energy, but it can be more playful. If you’re looking for something smaller, consider a guinea pig, lizard, hamster, rabbit, fish or bird. Take your time to think about what type of pet you’d like, then make the decision as a family.
  2. Show your child how to provide his pet with fresh food and water. Create a feeding schedule and post it where your child can easily read it. Generally, most pets need fed one or two times per day and need access to fresh water at all times. Encourage your child to replace his pet’s water twice per day. Assist your child with feeding time until he gets the hang of it.
  3. Teach your child how to safely scoop out waste from his cat’s litter box every day. His cat may refuse to use the litter box if it’s left dirty, according to Petco. Help him replace the litter weekly. Remind him that washing his hands is very important after this chore, to prevent him from getting sick.
  4. Instruct your child to clean his pet’s cage weekly with water and a mild soap. Bedding will need to be changed a minimum of once a week. Your child must clean a fish tank once per week.
  5. Show your child how to properly groom his pet, if necessary. Your dog or cat may need regular brushing and dogs need an occasional bath to keep them clean. Some pets will need to be taken to the groomer’s for a haircut, ear cleaning and nail clipping.
  6. Encourage your child to give his pet the love and attention it needs. For example, dogs need plenty of exercise to keep them healthy, stimulate their minds and to burn calories, according to the ASPCA. Help your child take his dog for a walk or to the dog park to run and play. Provide your child’s guinea pig, rabbit, lizard, hamster or other small pet with an enclosure big enough to allow plenty of exercise.
  7. Assist your child in making appointments for regular checkups for his pet. A veterinarian can ensure your child’s pet is healthy and his vaccinations are current. He can also address any concerns you or your child might have, according to PBS Kids.

How to Own a Pet Bobcat

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Owning a bobcat can be a rewarding experience, but it requires a lifetime commitment to responsible ownership. By nature, bobcats are not domesticated animals, so owners must cater to this creature’s natural predatory instincts and habitat.

Prepare to Own a Pet Bobcat

  1. Learn everything you can about owning a bobcat as a pet. Talk to others who own bobcats for insight. Research habits, behavior, needs and care requirements before bringing home your pet bobcat.
  2. Research the laws and regulations for the area. While most homeowners can bring home a domesticated housecat or dog anytime they please, bobcats are an exception. Local laws and regulations may prohibit the containment of an exotic animal.
  3. Visit the town zoning office for information on housing a pet bobcat. The residential area where you reside may not be properly zoned for such an animal. Check with zoning prior to making arrangements to bring home your bobcat.
  4. Secure the licenses required for owning a pet bobcat prior to brining him or her home.
  5. Prepare proper housing for your bobcat. Unlike a dog or housecat, bobcats cannot be given a 4 foot by 2 foot area and live happily ever after. Bobcats like to climb trees and need room to exercise. Since you will not be walking your bobcat, there needs to be plenty of room within the housing you provide for your bobcat to stretch its legs.
  6. Be ready to make a lifetime commitment. Once obtained, you may not be able to find a new home for the bobcat if necessary. With the increase in exotic animal ownership in the past several years, animal rescues and sanctuaries have become unable to help owners who no longer wish to own their bobcats.
  7. Secure a food provider and set up storage. Whether you decide to feed prepackaged commercial food, live prey or a combination of both, you need a supplier and storage for food deliveries. Storage may require a large freezer or a holding cage for live animals.
  8. Arrange care with a veterinarian who is willing to treat your bobcat. Be ready to provide transportation to and from the veterinarian clinic, or make provisions for the veterinarian to visit your bobcat.

How to Ask a Veterinarian a Question Online for Free

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Pets are part of the family, and when there is a health problem with a pet, the immediate response is to ask a veterinarian what should be done. Asking questions online can sometimes save a trip to the vet and get the pets the help they need without worrying about the costs. Asking vets questions online should never be used during an emergency situation, but for simple questions about pet health or ways to ease normal pet problems, asking online is a good option.

Instructions

  1. Go to a veterinary website that allows asking the vets questions. Sites like Online Veterinary Advice, Ask My Vet, or eHow Now have options available for talking to a vet, submitting questions or getting diagnosis based on the pet’s symptoms.
  2. Locate the button for talking to a vet. The button will typically say “Submit Question” or “Get an Answer” or a similar phrase. Click on the button.
  3. Type the question in the box provided on the website. If the vet is available at the moment when the question is submitted, an answer can be given within a very short time. If the vet is not online, an email is sent to the vet with the question.
  4. Wait for a reply to the question. Depending on when the vet is online, the answers can take a while. Free sites usually take longer than paid sites because the vet is volunteering to give information for free and the demands on time and questions can result in a long wait.

Requirements for Pet Sitters

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Pet sitters provide a valuable service to pet owners who need help caring for their pets. Due to busy lifestyles and vacations, pet sitters are in demand year-round. In addition to being knowledgeable about pet care, pet sitters need to be friendly and patient, able to handle both difficult humans and animals. Pet sitting can be very profitable for people willing to work hard to promote their services.

Function

  • Pet sitters care for animals when their owners are away or working. Pet sitters do more than provide fresh food and water for pets. They clean litter boxes, walk dogs, give medications and even bring in the homeowner’s newspaper and mail. While pet sitters sometimes temporarily live with the pets in their care, pets usually stay in their own homes and are visited by pet sitters during the day.

Time Frame

  • A pet sitting job can last for one day or be an ongoing job performed every day while the owner works long hours. If you are pet sitting while the owner is on vacation, you can expect to work for one or two weeks. Dog owners who can’t get away from work may hire you for an indefinite time period to walk their dogs during the day. Because the majority of your jobs will have an ending date, advertising your services in local newspapers, fliers and veterinary offices is a must if you want a constant influx of new clients.

Features

  • As a pet sitter, you should have some background in caring for animals. Although many pet sitters have worked in veterinary offices, you only need to have a genuine love for animals and knowledge about the care of pets.

    Pet sitting is not a 9-5 type of job. You will be working early in the morning and in the evening and will need to be able to work weekends and holidays. Before you begin your business, you’ll need to purchase automobile and liability insurance for your business. If you plan on hiring employees, your insurance coverage will need to include them and you’ll also have to provide workers’ compensation coverage.

    Before agreeing to pet sitting for a new client, you will need to meet the client and go over the type of services you offer. Ask new clients to fill out a contract and questionnaire about the animal and its schedule. Ask for payment before pet sitting to avoid the problem of nonpaying customers.

Considerations

  • As a pet sitter, you don’t have to work with all types of animals, but can choose to specialize. If you like cats but aren’t comfortable with dogs, you may want to offer a pet sitting service that only cares for cats. If you specialize, you can use this fact to your advantage in your advertising efforts.

    Find out what other pet sitters in your area charge and use that information to help determine your fees. After subtracting all of your fixed costs, determine how much you would have to charge to make a profit. If you’ll be offering services that require special skills such as giving injections, you’ll be able to charge a higher amount.

    While pet sitting might sound more like fun than a business, you’ll need to operate your service in a professional way. Invest in a voice mail system or answering machine and return client calls as soon as possible. Use your computer for your scheduling and bookkeeping needs. Consider joining a professional pet sitting organization such as the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters or Pet Sitters International. You can list your service on these sites, obtain certification and keep updated on trends and practices.

Potential

  • As a pet sitter, you will have the opportunity to make your own hours, choose the focus of your business and work only for quality clients. With a solid marketing and advertising plan, you can draw customers and attain a prominent position in the pet sitting market in your area.

How to Grow a Chia Pet

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Chia pets are entertaining for all sorts of ages. Developed in the 1980s, this ceramic pottery comes in a wide variety of animal shapes. This is an indoor plant that actually has a chia plant that grows on the surface of these ceramic animals. Growing a Chia pet is fast, easy and economical. This ceramic pet is an excellent way to teach kids how to take care of a growing plant.

Instructions

  1. Fill a deep bowl with enough water to cover the whole Chia pet. Take the Chia pet out of the box and submerge it in the water for 24 hours.
  2. Moisten about a third to half the package of seeds with water until they become paste-like. Take the Chia pet out of the water and place the seeds in the grooves of the ceramic figure.
  3. Set the Chia pet on a plastic shallow container. Place it someplace where it will receive a lot of sunlight.
  4. Locate a cup or container to fill with water. Keep the plant moist with water, but empty the excess water from the drip pan daily.
  5. Trim the Chia pet with regular household scissors or small plant trimmers. Adding a funky hairstyle to this ceramic friend will give him a more personalized look. Get as creative as you want.

How to Get Custody of Your Pet in a Divorce

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Animals are often treated like children in a family. Here’s how to get custody of this “child” when you face divorce.

Instructions

  1. Understand that no matter how much your pet may seem like a family member, to a court it is just another possession to be divided at divorce.
  2. Know that if the animal was yours before the marriage or if you have been the primary caretaker of the animal during the marriage, you are more likely to be awarded possession.
  3. Tell your lawyer how important your pet is to you and make sure he or she treats this as a priority.
  4. Realize that if you have children, it makes the most sense for the pet to live where the children will live, since they have probably formed an attachment.
  5. Try to talk to your spouse about the pet and see if you can work something out. You might be able to make visitation arrangements.
  6. Avoid separating pets if you have two or more of the same species. This could cause depression or anxiety for the animals.
  7. Recognize that if you have a valuable pet, such as a show dog or show cat, the animal will be carefully considered by the court as a valuable asset – and possibly as a business if, for example, you show the animal and/or collect stud fees.
  8. Show the court that you are the person best able to care for the animal – you have time to play with it, exercise it and groom it. Show that you have space in your home for the animal. If necessary, have your vet testify about your ability to care for the animal.

Information About Chat Rooms

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A chat room is an Internet destination for people to meet and talk to other users. Many have a specific topic of interest, antique cars for example. Chat rooms can be rewarding places to spend time: many friendships, and even some romantic relationships, get started on them.

Access

  • Most chats require an account to access. Signing up is a quick process requiring at least your desired screen name, a password and an email address, and you will have to agree to a Terms of Service (TOS). Chat sites usually require some kind of software, such as Java, and will include instructions on how to set up any required software, and installations are usually minimal. Be suspicious of websites with an overly complicated installation process. It shouldn’t take more than five minutes to get in.

Features

  • Most chats have a common layout: a main panel with the messages, a users panel to the right and text input across the bottom. Some users in the user info panel will have special icons or characters next to their names. This denotes their status as a chat moderator: someone who is paid or volunteers to watch over the chat and respond to any unwanted behavior.

    Once you’re in, many sites have several rooms available to users, many will be by location or subject. Select one appropriate to your tastes and chat away.

Benefits

  • The best thing about a chat is that it can connect users from all around the world with common interests: Anything from home repair to Harry Potter. There is a chat out there for everything, and even people with esoteric tastes are bound to find like-minded others from around the world. They are the coffee shops of the Internet’s global village: places to meet, talk, and share information from anywhere. Used correctly, someone could find homework help or answers to specific questions for a work-related project from someone else who has run into the same issues.

Safety

  • Staying safe in a chat is about awareness. All users currently in the room case see anything you type, even if some haven’t said anything in a while. Even if the few users who are responding seem trustworthy, they or others may not be. Keep personal information to yourself; never give out passwords or credit card information and be vague if asked where you live–mention a city or surrounding area.

    After logging in, figure out how to report users and save chat logs. Be aware of behavior like trolling, which is when a user will say things merely to begin an argument–called flaming or a flame war. The best way to deal with suspected trolls is to ignore them.

Misconceptions

  • Popular culture has picked up on the few potential dangers of chat rooms and has run away with them. Some TV shows, crime dramas especially, and news exposés warn of the potential dangers of chat rooms without get into prevention or benefits. While chat rooms can be used by pedophiles to locate children, bear in mind that only 3 percent of teenage users report having witnessed this type of behavior, according to GuardChild.com.

How to Become a Free Member on Club Penguin

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Club Penguin is a popular site for children that promotes online activity in a safe and monitored environment. The site contains games geared toward children as well as a filtered chat program and staff members keeping watch over the exchanges. Although you get access to more features with a paid membership, you can still sign up as a free member on Club Penguin.

Instructions

  1. Go to the home page of Club Penguin. Select the “Play Now” option in order to navigate to the login screen. From here, you can choose the “Create a Free Account” link.
  2. Read through the rules before you become a free member of Club Penguin. Rules include no swearing, bullying or giving out personal information. You are also not permitted to cheat at the games. You must place a check mark in the appropriate box in order to agree to the terms and continue registering.
  3. Design your penguin. To continue, you need to choose a name for your penguin as well as her color. You cannot use your own name, and you must choose a unique name that has yet to be entered into the database.
  4. Decide on a password in order to protect your account. You also need to provide a valid email address for one of your parents.
  5. Activate the account. To finish creating a free Club Penguin account, your parent must click on the activation link provided in an email sent from the site. The email will also contain the login name and password associated with the account.
  6. Set chat restrictions on Club Penguin. After activation, the parent can choose whether to allow the child to communicate through Standard Safe or Ultimate Safe Chat. The child needs to use preapproved phrases for Ultimate Safe Chat, while Standard Chat merely filters any attempts at writing curse words or giving out personal information.

Safe Travel Tips

Whether the voyage is by plane or in an automobile, traveling can be stressful for both owners and their pets. But with some preparation, pet owners can ensure a safe and comfortable trip. Always keep your companion animal’s welfare in mind with these tips:

       The ASPCA wants pet owners to think twice about flying their pets on commercial airlines, especially if they plan on checking them in as cargo. The Air Transport Association has reported in the past that approximately 5,000, or 1% of the companion animals that are flown on commercial planes have been injured, lost or killed during transport. Although Congress has passed a law that requires the airlines to establish a separate reporting system if an animal is lost, injured or killed and will investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident, the conditions in which animals are shipped have not changed. 

       Animals continue to be shipped in cargo holds that are not temperature controlled.  “Unless your animal is small enough to fit under your seat and you can bring them in the cabin, the ASPCA recommends pet owners to not fly their animal,” says Lisa Weisberg, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy. If pet owners have already committed to transporting their pets on commercial airlines this holiday season, the ASPCA is offering the following safety guidelines.

       Make an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian for a checkup and make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date. Obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian within 10 days of departure.

  • Make sure your pet is wearing a collar and an identification tag. Breakaway collars are best for cats. The collar should also include destination information in case your pet escapes.

  • Book a direct flight whenever possible. This will decrease the likelihood of your pet being left on the tarmac during extreme weather conditions or mishandling by baggage personnel.

  • Purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate that is large enough for your pet to stand, sit and change position in comfortably.  Shipping crates can be purchased from many pet supply stores and airlines.

  • Write the words “Live Animal” in letters at least one inch tall on the top of the crate and on at least one side. Use arrows to prominently show the upright position of the crate.

  • On the top of the crate, write the name, address and telephone number of your pet’s destination point, whether you are traveling with them or someone else is picking up the animal.

  • Affix a photograph of your pet to the top of the crate for identification purposes if the animal should escape from the carrier. Also carry a photograph of your pet.

  • Line the crate bottom with some type of bedding – shredded paper or towels – to absorb accidents.

  • Freeze water provided for your pet so that it will not spill during loading, and will melt by the time the animal is thirsty. Tape a small pouch (preferably made of cloth) of dried food outside the crate. This enables airline personnel to feed your pet in case it gets hungry on long-distance flights or a layover.

  • Do not lock the door of the crate. Make sure it is securely closed, but not locked, so that airline personnel can open it in case of an emergency.

  • Tranquilizing your pet is not generally recommended as it could hamper their breathing. Check with your veterinarian first.

       Tell every airline employee you encounter, on the ground and in the air, that you are traveling with a pet in the cargo hold so that any additional considerations or attention can be provided.  If the plane is delayed, or you have any concerns about the welfare of your pet, insist that airline personnel check the animal when feasible. In certain situations removing the animal from the cargo hold and deplaneing may be warranted.


If you are planning a road trip, driving with a pet usually involves more than putting the animal in a car and driving off, especially if you will be driving long distances or will be away for a long time. The ASPCA offers the following tips to help you prepare for a safe and smooth car trip.

  • Acclimate your pet for a long trip by taking him or her on a series of short drives first, gradually lengthening time spent in the car.

  • Start your pet on a travel-feeding schedule with a light meal two to three hours prior to departure. Never feed your pet in a moving vehicle.

  • In addition to travel papers, food, bowls, leashes, a waste scoop, plastic bags, grooming supplies, medication and a pet first aid kit, pack a favorite toy or pillow to give your pet a sense of familiarity.

  • Make sure your dog has a flat (never a choke) collar with an ID tag imprinted with home address, as well as a temporary travel tag with your cell phone and a destination phone number (and any other relevant contact information).

  • Harness, rather than leash, your dog inside the car.  For smaller animals, a well-ventilated crate is recommended.

  • Don’t allow pets to ride with their heads outside the window as it subjects them to flying objects, inner ear damage and lung infections.

  • If you travel frequently with your pet, consider cargo-area pet barriers, waterproof seat covers or rubberized floor liners sold by auto product retailers.

How to Become an Animal Caretaker

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Animal caretakers take care of animals wherever they are housed. This includes zoos, stables, aquariums, shelters, kennels, and parks. Some caretakers look after pets in people’s homes, or in vets’ offices.

Instructions

  1. Take several courses in high school that are related to this position, if possible. Some suggested courses include biology and chemistry. These courses will help provide you with the foundation you’ll need.
  2. Apply to a college or university to obtain a degree in either zoology, biology, veterinary technology, or another animal-related subject. Most zoos require individuals who are working with animals to have some sort of post-secondary education. Experience with animals is often a requirement for employment; you can gain this experience through volunteering or part-time positions.
  3. Participate in a co-op placement or internship if it is available at your college or university. With this program, you get to work alongside an animal caretaker and experience first-hand what they do. You will get to assist the animal caretaker, allowing you to get a feel for the environment. You can also put this work on your resume. You can receive on-the job training through the American Humane Society or other animal rescue organizations.
  4. Enroll in a certification or other qualification program. The National Association or Professional Pet Sitters offers a two-stage, home-study program for those who want to become a pet care professional. Topics range from business management to animal care and animal health issues. The Pet Care Services Association offers a three-stage at-home study program for individuals who want to learn pet care. Levels I and II focus on animal care and customer service, and Level lll focuses on the pet care business.
  5. Apply for the animal caretaker job of your choice — whether in a kennel, a veterinarian office or a stable. If you’re applying for an entry-level position, such as in a kennel, a high school diploma and experience with animals may be sufficient. If you have post-secondary training or a degree, ask your teachers if they can recommend you for jobs suitable to your skills — for example, with a small-animal vet or a zoo. Also use your volunteer or internship experience as a pathway to regular employment. For example, ask the internship supervisor if she can hire you as a regular employee or recommend you for other jobs.