Sunday, January 27, 2013


This past week has been full of disruptions related to a renovation project Desperado and Helpful Buckeye have going on.  Then today, Sunday, AOL chose to have their software get corrupted beyond comprehension and I had to spend a lot of time with their online help trying to get things resolved...which I finally did.  However, the delay ate up a bunch of time that otherwise would have contributed to more creativity to this week's blog.  For that, I humbly apologize and promise that next week's issue will get back to more of what our readers normally expect.  A special thanks to our friends who have given us help, suggestions, a kind word, and/or a place to crash this past week...we really appreciated it!

Your pet's illnesses can be predicted
By Emmet Pierce,
As one of only a handful of full-time pet insurance actuaries in the United States, Laura Bennett's job is to determine what ailments or injuries are most likely to drive medical costs for your cat or dog.
Her goal is to use medical data to establish accurate policy risks for Ohio-based Embrace Pet Insurance, where she is CEO. Pet insurance rates, just like rates for humans, are determined by the mathematics of risk. Insurance companies must keep their rates low enough to remain competitive but high enough to cover claims and be profitable.
If insurance actuaries know your pet's breed, age and place of residence, they can estimate the cost of medical treatment during the animal's lifetime. They base predictions on medical data, but location also is important, since treatment is more expensive if you live in a large urban center.
One of the keys to saving money on pet insurance is to buy it while your pet is young and free of disease, Bennett says. "People should buy this when their dog is healthy."
With growing databases of information to work from, actuaries have become very important to pet insurance companies, says Carol McConnell vice president and chief veterinary medical officer at Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the largest and oldest pet health insurance provider in the U.S.  "It definitely is a niche," she says of pet actuary work. "We have a woman who came from auto [insurance] and has been doing it with us full time for five or six years. We work very closely with her."
Anticipating illness and injuries
Bennett, whose company insures only cats and dogs, uses breeds to determine the likelihood of certain illnesses and injuries, particularly among dogs. "Purebred dogs have a lot of breed-specific conditions," explains Bennett. "A Golden Retriever is prone to hip dysplasia. It is more common in a Golden Retriever than a Labrador. German shepherds are even more prone than Golden Retrievers."
If you were to count raw numbers of insurance claims for cats and dogs, "ear infections would be very high on the list," as would diarrhea, gastrointestinal issues and skin allergies, Bennett says.
VPI found that the most claims for dogs in 2010 were ear infections, followed by skin allergies, skin infections, gastritis and diarrhea. For cats, the top illnesses were lower urinary tract disease, gastritis, chronic renal failure, hyperthyroidism and diabetes.  Among exotic pets, the most frequent ailments were bowel obstructions, followed by gastritis, bladder infections, upper respiratory infections and eye infections.
Medical advances drive the demand for pet insurance
You might expect that recent advances in the treatment of animal illnesses would reduce medical costs, but the opposite is true. Pet insurance is becoming increasingly important for pet owners, says Bennett. As treatments once available only to humans are extended to pets, costs are rising.
Kristen Lynch, spokesperson for the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, agrees.  "Pets are living longer, healthier lives," she says. "They can do almost anything for a pet [that doctors] can do for a human. They can treat them for cancer. They can replace their hips and knees. Things that would have caused a pet to pass away at one time can be treated."
Medical doctors and animal care professionals are sharing knowledge, says McConnell. "Our medicine is much more sophisticated than it was even 10 years ago."
Before deciding that a pet insurance quote is too high, consider what your costs could be without pet insurance. Despite the financial risks that go along with having uninsured pets, "We estimate that less than 1 percent of pet owners [in the U.S] have their pets protected." says Curtis Steinhoff, a spokesperson for VPI.
The human factor
Although insurance actuaries are skilled at predicting veterinary costs, one thing they can't work into their calculations is the human factor, says Bennett.
For example, one of the most important things you can do to prevent pet injury is to secure your pets with harnesses when you drive with them in your car, she explains. How well you care for your pet plays a big role in its health.
"The ideal pet parent is someone who pays attention, feeds the pet well, keeps an eye on the pet's weight . . . and knows their pet well," she says.
Top 10 pet medical conditions

1.      Ear Infection
2.      Skin Allergy
3.      Skin Infection/Hot Spots
4.      Gastritis/Vomiting
5.      Enteritis/Diarrhea
6.      Arthritis
7.      Bladder Infection
8.      Soft Tissue Trauma
9.      Non-cancerous Tumor
10.  Hypothyroidism
      1.    Lower Urinary Tract Disease
      2.        Gastritis/Vomiting
     3.        Chronic Renal Failure

     4.        Hyperthyroidism

     5.        Diabetes

     6.        Enteritis/Diarrhea

     7.        Skin Allergy

     8.        Periodontitis/Dental Disease

     9.        Ear Infection

     10.    Upper Respiratory Infection 

1.      Bowel Obstruction

2.      Gastritis/Vomiting

3.      Bladder Infection

4.      Upper Respiratory Infection

5.      Eye Infection

6.      Cancerous Tumor Requiring Surgery

7.      Arthritis

8.      Skin Inflammation

9.      Skin Abscess or Pressure Ulcer

10.  Inflammation of Hair Follicles
Source: Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., 2010 data  
Adapted from:

~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Before we get back to the second part of our current topic, How much do you know about dogs and cats?, Helpful Buckeye would like to address a question on a recent topic that was sent in by Sandra P. from Seattle.  Sandra asked whether currently available air purifiers are capable of removing second-hand cigarette smoke from the air.  That's an interesting question, Sandra...and I received 4 more like it after reading yours.  Here's the answer, from the Mayo Clinic:

Will an air purifier eliminate cigarette smoke?
  I'm thinking about buying an air purifier. Do
any of them work on cigarette smoke?
The answer from:  Richard D. Hurt, M.D. is this…
If you're considering buying an air purifier, you have a multitude of choices. But if you want an air purifier that will eliminate cigarette smoke, you're out of luck. Most air purifiers, also called air cleaners, are not designed to remove gaseous pollutants, which are a major component of cigarette smoke.
Mechanical air filters, such as high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, and electronic air cleaners, such as ionizers, target particles, but tobacco smoke particles are designed to be small enough to be inhaled into the outer reaches of the lungs and, thus, are not trapped by such devices.
Other air cleaners generate ozone, which is actually a lung irritant. At levels that don't exceed public health standards, ozone has little ability to remove air contaminants such as cigarette smoke.
The best way to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke is to not allow smoking in your home. If you smoke, this is another good reason to stop.
At the end of last week's issue of Questions On Dogs and Cats, you were able to take a couple of quizzes about dogs and cats.  Did you do OK on them?   I'll bet that most of you thought people had their dogs sleep with them under the covers to keep warm, huh?  OK, on with Part 2 of How much do you know about dogs and cats?

Not curiosity, rather innocuous stuff, nearly kills
our cat
Romantics are smitten with the notion that curiosity is what kills cats. Having grown up on a farm, I would compile a feline mortality list that ranks curiosity far behind a lackadaisical attitude about hay-balers, tractor tires, horse troughs, great horned owls, fan belts, augers, hungry pigs, dogs, shoddy electrical wiring, rat poison, angry tom cats, Bush Hog mowers and anything that threshes.

As the recent owner of a kitten named Maggie, I need to update my list of potential cat-killers for the suburbs. Shattering my belief that an indoor cat was a safe cat, Maggie used up one of her nine lives.
Our sixth-grader, Will, heard the familiar Flintstone-esque cartoonish sound of Maggie's feet rapidly running in place on a hardwood floor. When that was followed by the sound of choking, Will's curiosity saved the cat.
Maggie had managed to wind a laptop cord around her neck and start down the stairs. Freaked when the cord, which was plugged in, started to restrain her, she leaped through the banister railings. Will found Maggie stuck in mid-jump, her hind legs on the stairs and the cord growing tighter around her neck. Figuring that "9-1-1 probably wouldn't come for a cat," and thinking he had to act fast, Will climbed atop an ottoman, lifted Maggie's head and lessened the tension to the point where he could unwind the cord from her neck. Will and Maggie seemed a bit shook by the incident, but both recovered fully.
I never dreamed a laptop cord and a staircase could form a life-threatening combination to our cat, but the experts aren't surprised that something so innocuous can be so dangerous.
Even the iconic image of a cat playing with a ball of yarn can be a tragedy in the making if the cat starts chewing, says Michael San Filippo, a spokesman for the American Veterinary Medical Association, which has its headquarters in Schaumburg.
"If it (the yarn) gets into their system, it can cause injury to their intestines and could be fatal," San Filippo says.
Cats, dogs and other pets often fall prey to medicines (both animal and human) and plants that are left within their reach, he says. Foods and alcoholic drinks left out after parties can injure pets. Cords on drapes or blinds, or strings of holiday decorations, can be fatal. Search the Internet for animal X-rays and you'll find everything from a dog that ate a stop watch to light bulbs inside a snake.
Even toddlers who drop grapes, raisins or chocolates from a high chair are threats, as those foods are toxic to pets.
Easter provisions, from chocolate bunnies to the highly toxic lily plants, can kill cats and dogs, San Filippo warns. Even homes that have been pet-proofed might still contain dangers such as dryers, washing machines, ovens, recliners, sewing kits, irons and heavy objects that might fall from a shelf.
"You can't plan for everything. Accidents can happen," says San Filippo, who urges people to keep emergency numbers handy and visit for safety hints.
"Every month, we're getting claims we've never seen before," says Grant Biniasz, a spokesman for the Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., which sponsors a monthly contest for the most unusual insurance claim as a way "to raise awareness of the accidental injuries."
The most recent entry is a cat named Eddy, whose pursuit of a house fly led him to leap onto a hot wood stove, blistering all four of his paws.
"Last month we had a cat that got a plastic bag stuck on its head and ran around the house bumping into things and it tore off a nail," Biniasz says of the March entries. "We saw a claim for shamrock toxicity."
Cats often hurt themselves by eating plants, toxic foods or more unlikely dangers such as hearing aids, dental floss or sewing needles, Biniasz adds.
"Cats are curious," Biniasz concedes, but he notes that they also "sometimes make poor judgments."

Speaking of judgment, I think all the humans in our household are going to have to be more careful with cords, foods and the other potential dangers facing Maggie. If the cats of my youth couldn't appreciate the pending peril of a hay baler or approaching John Deere, Maggie can't be expected to grasp the potential pitfalls of a laptop cord.
Adapted from:

So much for "curiosity" killing the cat, huh?

10 Surprising (and Helpful!) Secrets Excerpted
From "Your Dog: The Owner's Manual"

By Dr. Marty Becker
 When I say my book offers "hundreds of secrets, surprises and solutions for raising a happy, healthy dog," I'm not kidding. In my work, I balance decades of real-world experience as a practicing veterinarian with insights gained from access to the leaders in the veterinary and pet care world. The result: an insider's view of what's tried and true. 
Here are 10 of my top insider's secrets from "Your Dog: The Owner's Manual." Surprises? You bet. Solutions? Absolutely.
Secret No. 1: Shedding is a top complaint of dog lovers, but when people choose a low-shed pet, they're usually barking up the wrong tree. The kind of dog who sheds the least? A small one (less dog, less fur) with long fur (long fur stays in longer than short fur) who's kept clipped short (less left on to clean up when it does eventually fall out).
Secret No. 2: Preventing accidents can save more than your pet — it saves money, too. By keeping all human and pet prescriptions as well as all over-the-counters safely locked away, you'll protect your pet from the No. 1 poisoning hazard.
Secret No. 3: Stop the post-bath shake from getting water all over your bathroom — and you. It's simple: That water-spraying shake starts at the nose, and if you hold your dog's muzzle until you can get a towel over him, you'll prevent him from shaking.
Secret No. 4: New training tools like head halters and front-clip leashes make walking your dog a pleasure. These tools are like power-steering for your dog. (In the book, I also share how to develop an exercise program that will improve health for human and animal alike.) 

Secret No. 5: Getting old doesn't have to be a miserable time for your dog. Working with your veterinarian to provide an old dog "neutraceuticals" such as omega-3 oil and glucosamine, along with prescription pain medications, can put the bounce back in an old dog's step.
Secret No. 6: Learn why every pet owner needs to keep several over-the-counter remedies on hand, such as hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting), and when your veterinarian may direct you to use them. Never give your dog any medication unless directed to do so by your veterinarian.
Secret No. 7: Most people want to take advantage of the incredible advances in veterinary medicine, but some simply can't afford it. The solution for many is pet health insurance. The surprise? While there are several credible companies offering pet insurance, fewer than 2 percent of dog lovers protect their pets this way.
Secret No. 8: Your dog doesn't have to hate going to the veterinarian. If you work with your veterinarian to keep early experiences pleasant — such as not having nails trimmed at your vet's place and having your pet given pats and treats on every visit — your dog will love going to the hospital.
Secret No. 9: It's easy to save money on care without short-changing your pet. You can save money by price-shopping for prescription medications, buying in bulk, keeping your pet thin and even bartering for your pet's needs.
Secret No. 10: Many veterinarians now recommend vaccinating dogs every one to three years. There is no longer any "one size fits all" when it comes to vaccines. Talk to your veterinarian about the right vaccinations for your dog.
Adapted from:

Anything there that helps you?

Worst Thing About Owning a Dog

A few weeks ago we conducted a poll asking dog lovers - What Is the Worst Thing About Owning a Dog? The response to this poll was very good with over 3,000 dog lovers responding very quickly with their comments. We would like to share some of those comments with you today.
Here are the top 7 things on the "Worst" list:
1. Having to board / Get a pet sitter when traveling
2. Pet hair
3. Cost of medical care
4. Inappropriate urination
5. Barking or whining
6. Aggression
7. Pet odors
I'm sure most dog owners will agree with this list, even though you might also have a few pet peeves about your dog.

10 New Year Resolutions for Your Dog

By: Alex Lieber
The impending arrival of the New Year brings the inevitable resolutions: Trim your girth, be nicer toward your in-laws, spend more time with the family. We're all familiar with the promises we make to improve ourselves in the coming year.
As you make this ironclad list (you mean it this time – really!), have you wondered what resolutions your pet may be thinking of? Your dog also vows to improve himself (and he means it this time – really!). We conducted a survey of the resolutions pets may want to make for the coming year and found some surprises. Here are the top 10 New Year's Resolutions from the dog's perspective.
(Just don't say anything if he falls a little short of the goal. You keep his secrets and he'll keep yours.)
Resolution #1: I will eat less and exercise more.
Too many nights on the couch, too many dog biscuits and too little time running around the local dog park has made me a little, well, fluffier. I don't think the old "I'm-just-big-boned" excuse will work anymore. I resolve to bug my owner to take me out to the doggy park several times a week.
Resolution #2: I will beg less
I've got begging down to a fine art – he's putty in my paws – but it sure is demeaning. I promise to reserve the begging for worthwhile things, like going out to the park and T-bone steak.
Resolution #3: I will recognize the difference between furniture and fire hydrants.
I promise not to treat the furniture and walls the way I do fire hydrants. It drives my owners batty and has no lasting benefit for me (they clear away the scent almost as fast as I can "deposit" it.)
Resolution #4: I'll stay out of the cat's litter box.
I vow to resist the urge to snoop around the cat's private lavatory – even though it's a lot of fun and really makes her go nuts.
Resolution #5: I won't bite the vet anymore.
I'll remember that the vets and their staff are just trying to help in their own, inscrutable way, although they really know how to push my buttons with those needles!
Resolution #6: I won't steal food as much.
I won't go out of my way to steal food, although all bets are off if they make it really easy for me.
Resolution #7: I'll introduce myself in more appropriate ways.
In other words, I'll focus above the waist when introducing myself to humans. Somehow, I get the feeling my normal greeting methods invade their private space.
Resolution #8: I'll do better "holding it" until morning.
When nature calls, I'll steel my resolve to wait for my normal morning walk, unless special considerations apply. I'll decide what those special considerations are.
Resolution #9: I'll bark at the mailman less.
Even though it works to put him in his place, I'll try not to exercise my authority over him and other delivery people, although my self-esteem does get a boost when they retreat.
Resolution #10: I'll tolerate those homemade bandannas more.
My owner has gone to a lot of trouble to make these things, so I'll just put up with the way they feel and the taunts of the other dogs.
Adapted from:
Some dogs are apparently smart enough to make their own resolution lists.

Here's a very interesting and comprehensive web site that might give you some information and/or answers you can't find anywhere else:

Resource Center for Canine & Feline Lovers
Adapted from:

When you get to this web site, click on "Pet Health" which will take you to another page.  On this page is a small box that advertises Helpful Buckeye's blog, Questions On Dogs and Cats.

Funny Dog Video: Doggy Pool Shark

See him over there? That's "Fast Puppy" Felson. Yeah, I know you've heard of him. He's hustled pool in every cheap, crummy billiards joint in the country. Fast Puppy, yeah, he had nuthin', then everything, then nuthin' again. I heard one time he hustled the wrong pool shark, got himself into some trouble. The guy was gonna break Fast Puppy's thumbs, but there was one problem: Fast Puppy's a dog, ain't got no thumbs. But they ran 'im outta town on a rail and he didn't even collect the cabbage he'd won square. One thing's fer sure: he shoots a great game of pool.
Just click on the video to see "Fast Puppy" in action.  If you don't understand the significance of the "Felson" part, let me know.  This dog can play on my team any time he wants!
OK, let's turn the tables a bit and finish up with some crazy things that dog owners do:
The Dumbest Things Dog Owners Do
Most dog owners are great. But sometimes even the best dog owners will make mistakes. Most of the time, the people involved are well intentioned but misinformed.

Here are three mistakes dog owners often make - the mistakes might seem small but the results can be quite serious.
1. Self-medicating your dog - When your dog is sick, NEVER give your dog ANY medication without speaking to your veterinarian. This is really dangerous. Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen and aspirin are toxic to dogs in relatively small doses. Don't medicate your dog without the advice of your veterinarian.
2. Using flea medications improperly - Flea medications are a great way to control fleas - but you must be careful to use the product only as directed. Follow the safety guidelines and NEVER EVER give dog flea medications to cats.
3. No ID tag - Dogs can run out the door, break free from their leash, or escape through an unlatched gate. My friends' dog ran out the front door a few months ago. They searched and searched for hours and eventually they found him - but they were lucky. Did you know less than 5% of all lost pets are reunited with their owners? It may even be a low as 2 or 3%. This is a terribly sad statistic - especially because many of those poor pets could have been returned to their owners if only they had been wearing an ID tag.

Remember - don't give any medications or flea products to your dog without your veterinarian's approval and keep an ID tag on your dog at all times. You just never know what can happen.

The Ohio State Buckeyes have always had a problem winning at Michigan State and yesterday was no exception.  Our guys kept the game close and almost pulled it out at the end.  Our only offense came from the conference’s leading scorer…he scored more points than the rest of the team.

Regular readers know that Helpful Buckeye's favorite sport is baseball and I am already getting chills thinking about spring training...not that the sub-zero temperatures overnight aren't contributing to that just a little.  Anyway, the baseball world lost a gem yesterday, with the death of Stan "The Man" Musial.  Musial was just about the perfect player, in all respects--talent, character, and decency.  In fact, it was the loyal fans of the old Brooklyn Dodgers who gave him the nickname, Stan "The Man", because he played so well in their ball park, Ebbets Field.  Musial came from Donora, PA, just a few miles from Helpful Buckeye's hometown and shared that location with Perry Como, Bobby Vinton, Joe Montana, Ken Griffey, Shirley Jones, and Demi Moore.  Rest in peace, as "The Man" in the big Hall of Fame in the sky....

A further note about Stan Musial: when asked to describe the habits that kept him in baseball (remember, this was back in the 1940s) for so long, Musial once said: "Get eight hours of sleep regularly. Keep your weight down, run a mile a day. If you must smoke, try light cigars. They cut down on inhaling...make it a point to bat .300."

Pretty good advice for just about anybody, huh?

~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~

Sunday, January 13, 2013


In a few months, Questions On Dogs and Cats will be having its 5th birthday.  Many of you have been with us from the beginning and you all know we have covered a lot of different topics in that time.  As I was looking over my files of information on topics to be covered in this blog, I wondered if there was any way for me to determine if my readers have really benefited from our diverse range of information over the years.  So, that's how I arrived at the question we're asking this week...How much do you know about dogs and cats?

This isn't going to be like a home work assignment, with studying, taking notes, and preparing for a big test.  Think of it as a general review of a lot of things we've presented, with a few new things thrown into the mix.  I hope you'll enjoy the mixture, while you also realize that you have absorbed a bunch of information on dogs and cats over the years.  Here we go....

10 Things You Didn't Know About Dogs
Doggie Facts
Dogs and humans have been living side-by-side for about 15,000 years, so you might think we know each other pretty well. But there's more to dogs than fetching and playing dead. Here are some little-known facts about man's best friend.
Dogs get our diseases ...
Humans and canines aren't so different after all, at least regarding what makes us sick. About 6 million dogs are diagnosed with cancer each year, and dogs get canine versions of rare human disorders like the brain-wasting neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis that leads to the inability to walk or control their muscles. While illness is sad for humans and pets alike, sharing diseases benefits both species. Clinical trials are easier to run on pets, giving doctors an animal model of human disease -- and Fido a chance for a cure.
... And they can smell our diseases, too
 If you have cancer, diabetes, or epilepsy, your dog might be the first to know. Studies have shown that dogs can be trained to sniff out cancers of the lung, breast, skin, bladder and prostate. Researchers suspect the canines are picking up on extraordinarily faint scents given off by the abnormal cells.
Dogs are also being increasingly used as service animals for people with diabetes, whose health can be harmed when their blood sugar peaks or drops. Specially trained dogs can detect the scent of these fluctuations (sweet for high blood sugar, acidic for low) and alert their owners before they even feel symptoms.
Most mysterious of all are scattered reports that dogs can predict an epileptic seizure 45 minutes before it begins. No one knows what the dogs might be picking up on, but theories range from an unknown smell to subtle behavioral changes.
See Spot think
Dogs can be as smart as 2-year-old children, according to research presented in 2009 at a meeting of the American Psychological Association. Border collies are the top dogs in the intelligence category, with some in the breed capable of understanding up to 200 words. Poodles, German shepherds, Golden retrievers and Dobermans round out the top five smartest breeds. (The most popular breed in America, the Labrador retriever, comes in at number seven.)

Older breeds like hound dogs, bulldogs and beagles are among the slow learners of the doggie world, the researchers reported. Unlike newer dog breeds, which are designed for companionship and sociability, old breeds were bred to sniff and hunt, perhaps giving them more brawn than brain.
Your furball can make you sick
We've all heard the canard that dogs' mouths are cleaner than humans (they're not), but in reality, dogs can carry pathogens that harm humans. Rabies, a fatal neurological disease, is the most famous (remember Old Yeller?), though vaccines, mandated by law in most states, can stop the spread. In a few cases, dog food has been known to cause food poisoning in humans, thanks to contamination by Salmonella bacteria. Perhaps creepiest of all is a 2003 study published in The Veterinary Record, which found that humans could contract the parasitic roundworm Toxocara canis just be stroking an infected dogs' fur. The roundworm, which grows in dogs' intestines, can grow in the back of the eye in humans, causing blindness. They also sometimes take up residence in human livers and lungs.
Roundworm infections in humans are rare, and proper veterinary care can ensure that dogs stay worm-free. Still, British veterinarian and study co-author told New Scientist magazine in 2003, hygiene is important for dog owners. "Wash your hands before meals," he told the magazine, "and after a good cuddle."
Dogs feel envy ...
Dogs know when they're not getting a fair shake. A 2008 study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that when dogs saw other dogs getting treats for a trick they'd been performing unrewarded, the unrewarded dogs became agitated, scratching themselves and avoiding the gaze of the rewarded dogs. They also stopped doing the trick much faster than if they were alone and not getting a reward.
The dogs' version of jealousy wasn't as sophisticated as a human's: The animals didn't seem to mind if other dogs got sausage while they just got bread, and they didn't care if another dog got food for nothing while they had to do tricks for a snack. But, the researchers wrote, the findings were good evidence that being green with envy isn't just a primate thing.
... But not guilt
 Those puppy-dog eyes Fido gives you when you scold him over knocking over the garbage can for the umpteenth time aren’t a sign of guilt, researchers say. He's just responding to your rebuke.
When dog owners thought their dogs had eaten a forbidden treat and reprimanded them, the pooches looked just as "guilty" regardless of whether or not they had actually eaten the treat. In fact, dogs who were wrongly accused of snack-snatching often looked more guilty than dogs who had really eaten the treat. Turns out those soulful eyes don't reflect any soul-searching, after all.
Docile dogs live longer
 On the other hand, if your dog stays out of the garbage, it may be in for a longer life. Obedient, docile dog breeds live longer, according to research published in June 2010 in The American Naturalist. The study compared the energy use, personalities, growth rates and life spans of 56 dog breeds. After controlling for factors like body size, the researchers found that bold, aggressive breeds lived fast and died young. They grew faster than obedient, eager-to-please breeds, and also had higher energy needs. The findings suggest that in selectively breeding for personality, humans inadvertently tapped into linked traits like metabolism and longevity.
Dogs are the most diverse-looking mammals around
 From the droopy Bassett hound to the sleek-and-slim Weimaraner, dogs show an amazing diversity in body shape. A study published in The American Naturalist in 2010 found that the differences between dog breeds' skulls are as pronounced as the differences between completely separate mammal species. A Collie skull, for example, is as different from a Pekingese skull as a cat's skull is from a walrus's.
All of this diversity makes dogs a great species for studying how genes work, allowing researchers to link genes to certain traits -- like what makes Shar-Peis wrinkly and dachshunds so stubby.

Lassie, religious icon or social glue?
 In ancient times, people saw dogs as more than useful animals; dogs also had a spiritual role. The three-headed hound called Cerberus guarded the underworld in Greek myth, while the ancient Egyptian embalmers took Anubis, the jackel-headed god, as their patron. In Mayan folklore, dogs were believed to lead the dead to the afterlife. In Nepal, the autumn festival of Tihar sets aside a day to honor dogs with flower garlands and food.
Nowadays, dogs are more likely to be seen as pets than religious figures, but people are still crazy about canines. According to a 2009-2010 survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, 39 percent of American households have at least one dog for a total of over 77 million pet dogs hunkered down in American homes. In one recent survey, 80 percent of dog owners reported interacting with their dogs for more than two hours a day. Many reported viewing their pets as their children. 

Man's best friend may even net you more human friends. A 2000 study published in journal of The British Psychological Society found that walking with a dog at least tripled the number of social interactions a person had. Unfashionable pet owners take heart: The dogs elicited positive social contact even when the animal looked fierce or the owner dressed in shabby clothes.

5 Facts About Cats You (Probably) Never Knew

Meow Monday
It’s Monday and that means it’s meow time. Today, we have some fun and interesting cat facts you probably never knew. So read on and afterwards, impress all your friends with your new found knowledge of cats. 
#5 Windows to the Soul
A swishing tail is not the only way to tell the mood of your cat. Watch the eyes. If her pupils are large then she’s either scared or excited about something (if you’re holding fish or some other delicious treat, it’s probably the latter). But if her pupils are narrow slits then watch out -- she’s angry.  

#4 Feather-Weight Champion of the World
The world’s smallest cat is the Singapura. This tiny kitty from Southeast Asia usually weighs in at no more than four pounds, which might be light enough for a career on the catwalk (no pun intended).  
#3 Vocally Gifted
While you shouldn't be holding your breath for a hit song from a cat anytime soon (though you never know with YouTube mania), there is a reason why cats are so talkative: their ability to make over 100 different sounds. Dogs, on the other hand, can make only 10 different vocalizations. 
#2 Fear and Loathing ...
But Also Love Both Julius Caesar and Napoleon were scared of cats! But not Abraham Lincoln. He loved them, and had four cats during his time as president.  
#1 Working Hard for the Money
In 1879, Belgium came up with the idea to use cats to deliver their mail. This didn’t last long, though, as the 37 feline mail carriers proved to be too undisciplined to carry out the job. You have to give them credit for trying. Cats just don’t believe in working. That’s for peasants (ask any cat). 
So there you have it. Five fun and interesting cat facts.  
Meow! It’s Monday. 
Dog Behavior Myths
Dr. Stu Robson
A Humane Society survey says Americans own 78 million dogs. So what do you really know about owning a pooch? Veterinarian Dr. Stu Robson from Fox-Creek Veterinary Clinic talks about some of the most common myths about dog ownership.
1. An old dog can’t learn new tricks.
 ((False. Old dogs not only learn new tricks but they thrive when trained.))

2. A dog shouldn’t sleep with you or be allowed on furniture, or she’ll think she’s the boss and will misbehave.
 ((False. Just like humans, dogs simply want a comfortable place to lie down.))

3. When your dog has a potty accident, it’s important to rub her nose in it to let her know what she did.
 ((False. When you rub a dog’s nose in her own mess, she often sees no association between that and her having had a potty accident.))
4. A dog who cowers from people was likely abused in the past.
 ((False. There are various reasons for dogs cowering, and not all of them are because a dog was abused.))
5. Shelter dogs have too much baggage. It’s better to adopt a puppy to start with a clean slate.
 ((False. Many shelter dogs are well-behaved pooches who, for an endless list of possible reasons))
6. All dogs should enjoy being around other dogs. It’s essential for dogs to go on outings with other dogs, such as at the dog park. If a dog doesn’t enjoy other dogs, there is something wrong with her.
 ((False. Not all people are social butterflies and neither are all dogs.))
7. You should let dogs just fight it out when they get into a scuffle.
 ((False (well, at least partly false). It’s true that you should never get into the middle of a dog fight, because some of the most damaging dog bites occur when owners try to separate fighting dogs.  Try using water, a really loud noise, or even a distraction like grabbing a treat bag or using voice to direct them to do something else.))
8. My dog is trying to show she’s in charge when she doesn’t listen to me.
 ((False. dogs don’t have the same complex emotions as humans.  For example, most dogs don’t come when called because the payoff isn’t worth it.))
9. My dog knows she was bad after she goes potty in the house. Her guilty face says it all.
 (( False. “guilty look” dogs display is solely attributed by humans and has no relation to whether the dog is actually responsible for an offense.))
10. It’s always the owner’s fault when a dog misbehaves.
 ((False. Most owners are well-meaning, but are simply misinformed or lack knowledge on how to train their dogs effectively.))
11. Using treats for training is bribery, and the dog won’t do the behavior later if you don’t give her a treat.
 ((False. It’s true that dogs need motivation to perform a behavior.))
12. When a dog chews up shoes or destroys furniture it’s because she’s punishing the owner.
 ((False. Dogs chew on shoes, furniture and other human items not to punish their owners, but simply because it feels good on their teeth, it relieves boredom, releases energy and, in some cases, may indicate separation anxiety.))
13. A dog can’t really be happy unless she can run off-leash.
 ((False. Leashes are made for a dog’s safety. Although regular off-leash play in a fenced area is essential for a dog’s well-being, while out in public, dogs can learn to be perfectly content on a leash at their owner’s side))

14. Dogs are great judges of people, so if a dog doesn’t like someone, it must mean there is something wrong with that person.
 ((False. there have been plenty of circumstances where pets have used an apparent sixth sense to pick up on cues that went unseen by their human and actually saved their human’s life. they are reacting out of fear to a certain physical attribute, movement or the physical proximity of a person, and are not reacting based on any moral evaluation of the individual.))
Let's have a little fun now with a couple of quizzes:
Dog Facts
Test yourself on these dog facts.
Points available: 10
1: What is the oldest American bred dog?
A) Labrador retriever
B) Golden retriever
C) Foxhound
D) Dalmation
2: It was once common for people's dogs to sleep under the covers. What was the purpose of this?
A) To keep warm
B) So bugs would migrate to the dog instead of the person
C) Protection against unwanted visitors in the night
D) The dog would lick their owner while sleeping. This was considered a bath.
3: Which type of dog has webbed feet?
A) Bassets
B) All retrievers
C) All terriers
D) Newfoundlands
4: Which musical artist has not written a song with the word 'dog' (or some variation of it) in the title?
A) The Red Hot Chili Peppers
B) Elvis Presley
C) The Baha Men
D) Snoop Dogg
5: What is a pedigree?
A) A dog whose ancestors are known
B) A dog whose ancestors are all the same breed
C) A dog whose parents are the same breed
D) A dog with parents of a different breed
6: Which type of dog is said to be the smartest?
A) Border Collie
B) Poodle
C) Dachshund
D) Jack Russell Terrier
7: What breed of dog is guilty of biting humans the most?
A) Boxer
B) Pitbull
C) German Shepard
D) Rottweiler
8: Which dog is a type of hound?
A) Pembroke Corgi
B) Beagle
C) Boxer
D) Lowchen
9: Which dog is a type of terrier?
A) Pekingese
B) Xoloitzcuintli
C) Mudi
D) Billy
10: What is the most popular breed of dog?
A) Cocker spaniel
B) Collie
C) Golden Retriever
D) Labrador Retriever
The answers are: C,B,D,A,A,A,C,B,B,D
Fictional Pets
Can you tell which of these pets belong to which fictional people and families? We've given you a hint by telling you what sort of animal each is -- but we've made it harder by not always telling you what show they're from!
Points available: 10
1: Santa's Little Helper (Dog)
A) The Simpsons
B) Inspector Gadget
C) Dr. Frasier Crane
D) The Nutmegs
2: Togo (Dog)
A) Patty Duke
B) The Brady Bunch
C) Nancy Drew
D) The Jetsons
3: Brian (Dog)
A) Dagwood Bumstead
B) Peter Griffin
C) Charlie Brown
D) The Kerbys
4: Tornado (Horse)
A) The Lone Ranger
B) Zorro
C) Ken McLaughlin
D) Joe Talbot
5: Eddie (Dog)
A) Punky Brewster
B) Peter Griffin
C) Lisa Douglas
D) Martin Crane
6: Asta (Dog)
A) Nick and Nora Charles
B) Bertie Wooster
C) Corporal Rusty
D) Sandy and Porter Ricks
7: Mr. Bigglesworth (Cat)
A) Dr. Claw
B) Baron Greenback
C) Dr. Evil
D) Mr. Midnight
8: Ruff (Dog)
A) "Dirty Harry" Callahan
B) Opie
C) Dennis the Menace
D) Patty Duke
9: Daisy (Dog)
A) Dagwood Bumstead
B) Opie
C) Richie Cunningham
D) Nancy Drew
10: Brain the Wonder Dog
A) Punky Brewster
B) Inspector Gadget
C) The Jetsons
D) Linus Van Pelt
The answers are: A,C,B,B,D,A,C,C,A,B
Adapted from:

OK, that's enough head scratching for this week!  Hope you appreciated the review and some hitherto new information.  Stay tuned for next week's conclusion....

Just a reminder that you can submit questions or comments to  or at the Comments section at the end of this issue.  Also, if you want to look up a particular topic in the "table of contents" of Questions On Dogs and Cats, use the "Labels" section which is located along the left side of every issue.

The Ohio State Buckeyes hosted the last undefeated team in the country, #2 Michigan, and beat them today.  It's always good to beat Michigan, but even more so when they are unbeaten!  This win keeps us among the early leaders in the conference.


“Nature does not equally distribute energy. Some people are born old and tired while others are going strong at 70."--Dorothy Thompson, American journalist and radio broadcaster
...where do you fit in?
"Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow is a mystery,
Today is a gift ...
That's why they call it the present."   From : Eleanor Roosevelt

~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~