Holiday shoppers make list for family pets

Holiday shoppers make list for family petsSome proud pet owners are likely to know about – an online social network that connects owners, allowing them share advice, pictures and videos. However, even these affiliated animal lovers may not know about the websites newest feature, which lets browsers shop for their pets at more than 70 nationwide pet care retail partners.

According to the Human-Animal Bond Survey by The Hartz Mountain Corp, about 75 percent of pet owners consider their animal to be a member of the family. As the holiday season approaches, many will be looking for a treat for their dog or cat that they can put under the tree.

While these animals may end up having more fun with the wrapping paper, Petsintouch will likely give buyers some great gift ideas to help spread holiday cheer to the family’s four-legged members.

"The concept was to create a one stop destination that will provide members with a full shopping experience," said Vanessa Serrano, the website’s managing director.

She added, "The new petmall is basically the destination for thousands of products for all of’s eight pet categories."

According to Pet Age Magazine, the average animal owner spent about $38 per transaction in pet stores in 2006.

Pet store sweep aims to protect holiday shoppers

Pet store sweep aims to protect holiday shoppersJust in time to accommodate holiday-shopper traffic, the Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services (FACS) has announced it will conduct a thorough review of state pet stores until the end of the year to ensure that consumer protection regulations are being met.

Primarily, the FACS will be checking to ensure that retailers are meeting the requirements of a state statute which mandates that dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old when put up for sale, First Coast News reports.

In addition, to ensure high quality pet health, all animals sold must be accompanied by a Florida certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian, which documents vaccinations, tests and treatments.

"It’s important to do business with a reputable pet store or dealer who knows and follows the law to avoid problems after a purchase of an animal," FACS commissioner Charles Bronson told the news source.

Under state ordinances, buyers have 14 days to return or exchange any pet if a veterinarian finds it has a health problem.

According to Bronson, the FACS has secured nearly $80,000 in restitution over the past four years for people who have been sold unhealthy pets.

The American Pet Products Association estimates that $45.5 billion will be spent on pets in the U.S. in 2009.

Young entrepreneur lets dogs taste the good life

Two scoops for the dogsFor whatever reason, dogs seem to want whatever their owners are eating significantly more than the food that is actually in their bowls. But as most pet owners and carpet cleaners know, canines cannot always stomach the foods they desire so much.

Observing this trend, a 16-year-old entrepreneur set out to work in an effort to placate neighborhood dogs who were screaming for ice cream, the New York Times reports.

As a young child spending hot summer afternoons with his grandmother’s dog Max, Christian Liendo remembers the pup whining for lick of the cool treat and relishing any drips that might fall his way.

When the teen enrolled at an entrepreneurial competition sponsored by Goldman Sachs and Prep for Prep, a nonprofit that prepares minority students for private schools, it didn’t take long before these memories began guiding him towards his first business venture.

Blizzard Dog, a frozen concoction of carob powder and soy milk, is the first ice cream made to accommodate a dog’s digestive system. Earning an honorable mention in the competition, Liendo won $250 and the confidence to go public with his invention.

"It’s going to be sold in ice cream stores," the inventor told the news source.

According to, though most pets cannot tolerate dairy products, cheeses and unpasteurized yogurts typically have the lactose content removed, making them safe for pet consumption.

California councils pass laws on claws

California councils pass laws on clawsOwning a scratched-up sofa may be a small price to pay compared to the $1,000 dollars in fines and six months in jail pet owners in California will face for having their cats declawed.

Once considered an essential step to pet care, the veterinary procedure of declawing cats has now been banned by city councils in San Francisco, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Berkeley and Beverly Hills, MSNBC reports.

"It’s a form of animal cruelty," San Francisco supervisor Ross Mirkarimi told the news source. "It would be unconscionable to ignore that fact."

With a vote of 9-2, the San Francisco board of supervisors voted to enact the ban, which they noted had previously been instituted in the U.K. and Australia.

However, representatives from the California Veterinary Medical Association have argued that the decision to declaw cats should be left to the pet owners and their veterinarians. "Removing a cat’s claws in a humane manner with proper pain management may prevent that animal from being abandoned at a shelter, tossed out on the street or euthanized."

A study published in the September 2002 issue of Animal Times determined that 75 percent of cats turned in to a Delaware animal shelter for avoiding their litter boxes had been declawed.

Mariah Carey, jet-lagged vet miss birth of puppies

Mariah Carey did everything possible to see her dog give birthExpectant mothers often undertake painstaking research to ensure they get the perfect doctor to deliver their newborn. In a feat as delicate as brining new life into the world, parents strive to prevent anything from going wrong. But when the new mother is a dog, labor can be tough to predict.

Singer Mariah Carey took all the steps typical for a close friend or relative of an expecting mother when her Jack Russell terrier began to show. The pop star even flew her personal vet from Los Angeles to New York to help her dog deliver puppies, reports.

But, even the best plans can fall through.

"I flew this vet, a lovely lady, all the way from LA to NY and back and forth and the dog didn’t have the puppies," Carey told the news source. "Of course, when I got to London, she had her babies."

That’s right – the terrier finally went into labor when the singer left for London for a series of promotional events. Carey only learned of the births in between TV interviews.

According to the U.S. Humane Society, there are approximately 74.8 million owned dogs in the country.

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