Customized urns available for departed pets

Customized urns available for departed petsOld Yeller, Little Ann Old Dan from Where the Red Fern Grows and Marley from the recent box office hit Marley and Me have shown the ways a pet’s memory can linger and inspire even after its death. Among the ways to honor a beloved animal after its passing, a new product line has been launched by a Colorado woman was dissatisfied by traditional methods of laying a pet to rest.

Anyone who has endured the death of a pet may know that an array of animal condolence cards is already out on the market.

However, Virginia Polley of Lookout Mountain, Colorado, is trying to infuse a bit of class into the grave business of pet burial, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports.

The entrepreneur has begun working with local and regional artists to churn out custom cremation urns which fit each pet’s personality. For about $190, the glass urns can feature oil-based portraits or epitaphs adorned with appropriate ornamentation.

Polley told the news source she’s considered the idea ever since she wrote a business plan on making crematory urns while at graduate school.
According to, the cremation of dogs that weigh more than 50 pounds can cost up to $350.

Drunk dogs don’t make for happy holidays

Drunk dogs don't make for happy holidaysIn many families, the excitement and enchantment woven into the holiday season make the recipe for long-held memories. Small children remember unwrapping the gift they wrote about in letters to the North Pole for the past nine months. Adults recall time spent with old friends and family members. With the charm that can be packed into the holidays, it’d be a shame to remember this Christmas as the time the dog got drunk or the cat choked on tinsel.

Striving to preserve the grace of the season, the Pet Poison Helpline has given some advice on pet care to ensure that all members of the family, even the 4-legged ones, have happy holidays.

As owners chow down on a holiday ham, duck or turkey, their pets may be stalking the house looking for seasonal treats of their own.

Poinsettia plants, lilies, holly and mistletoes can all be toxic to animals and if ingested cause pet health issues such as gastrointestinal upset and heart arrhythmia, the Baltimore Sun reports.

The Pet Poison Helpline also warns that alcohol can cause seizures in pets, holiday ornaments contain chemicals which could trigger aspiration pneumonia and some imported snow globes hold antifreeze, which could be fatal if drank by dogs and cats.

According to an Associated poll, a total of 59 percent of pet owners will consider their animals before picking out holiday decorations this year.

Dog-lover reunited with lost pet after five years

Dog-lover reunited with lost pet after five yearsThe ideas that go through a pet owner’s head when they find that their dog or cat has gone missing can be downright torturous. It’s often enough to drive the owner to the local Kinkos so he or she can wallpaper the town with flyers publishing the exact description of the animal and the hefty reward to its finder. However, when a dog goes missing for almost half a decade hopes of a reunion may fade, and 10 cent copies seem like an unnecessary expense.

Dog owner Tom Smith gave up searching for his lost dog after several weeks, but his reward came almost five years later.

Smith’s Patterdale terrier named Scrappy Doo was stolen from his garden in 2004. A devoted pet owner, Smith searched for his hound for weeks before losing hope in a reunion, the Sun reports.

But earlier this week, a more mature, seven-year-old Scrappy Doo was found abandoned in Bournemouth in the UK, just 15 miles from Smith’s house in Wareham.

"I thought I’d never see her again," the 60-year-old pet lover told the news source. "When they bought her back as soon as she saw me she went mad. After all that time you wouldn’t think she’d remember."

According to the Missing Pet Network, about 10 million owned animals wind up in U.S. shelters each year.

Trump Hotel Collection offers puppy pampering

Trump Hotel Collection offers puppy pamperingWhen Americans take a vacation many look to use their free time completely for relaxation and indulgence, and who could blame them? After laboring for at least 40 hours a week most of the year, some workers need more than a six o’clock cocktail to unwind. While dogs may not put in the long hours that most human do, surely fetching the morning paper and harassing the mailman deserves some kind of reward!

With this in mind, the Trump Hotel Collection has just the gift for owners who wish to offer some luxury pet care to their dutiful dogs.
The company announced this week that it will launch "pet pampering" facilities in its hotels in Chicago, New York and Las Vegas, Luxury Travel Magazine reports.

Canine visitors to Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago can be treated to a room festooned with a plush dog bed, gourmet treats, bottled water and accompanying water bowl, a rubber ball and a room service menu for pooches wishing to dine in.

Cleaning fees for dog rooms can run up to $250, according to the news provider.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, annual costs of caring for cats and dogs can range from $670 to $1,580.

Pet food recalled after sickening at least 21 cats

Pet food recalled after sickening at least 21 catsOver the weekend, the FDA released the details of the a Missouri company’s decision to recall its line of dried cat food, which was primarily distributed in the eastern U.S., after 21 pet owners reported health problems in their felines.

In September, Diamond Pet Foods warned consumers that certain bags of Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat food may cause thiamine deficiency as well as gastrointestinal and neurological problems in cats, the Associated Press reports.

The FDA said the lack of thiamine in the product could result in serious pet health including issues vomiting, difficulty walking, seizures and potentially death.

On Tuesday, Diamond confirmed 21 reports of thiamine deficiency in cats in New York and Pennsylvania. The pet food was also distributed in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

After a series of pet food recalls, some veterinarians started recommending alternative diets in 2007.

For instance, Dr Richard Pitcairn told ABC that dogs fed long-term on kibbles sometimes show signs of fatigue and are more susceptible to parasites and fleas.

According to American Pet Product Association sales estimates, pet owners will spend $17.4 billion on pet food this year, up from $16.8 billion in 2008.

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