California dog owners tell Chihuahuas ‘No Quiero’

California dog owners tell Chihuahuas 'No Quiero'The Chihuahua has had a good run. For a large portion of the last two decades, while the toy dog was busy selling tacos and burritos for a fast food chain, it seemed the breed was popping up in pop culture and community dog parks alike. But as conventional wisdom tells us, every dog has its day.

Lately, San Francisco animal shelters and rescue groups are reporting a notable increase in the number of Chihuahuas that are being abandoned by their owners, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Some estimates suggest that up to one third of the dogs held in city shelters are all or part Chihuahua. According to local officials, the breed could make up half of all impounded dogs within months if the alarming trend continues.

"All the shelters in California are seeing an upswing in Chihuahua impounds," Deb Campbell, a spokeswoman for San Francisco’s animal care and control department, told the news source.

She added, "We call it the Paris Hilton syndrome."

The Chihuahua exodus, however, seems to be contained to California. A total of twenty-five dogs recently flown to New Hampshire by animal service agencies immediately found homes, and adoption centers in New York have reported zero Chihuahuas being impounded.

The U.S. Humane Society estimates that 6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters each year.

Endangered species to become pets?

Endangered species to become pets?Imagine taking a hike through the wilderness and catching a glimpse of a horse with zebra stripes, a deer with 12-foot antlers or a three-foot tall penguin. At one point, all three of these animals occupied corners of the world, but have since gone extinct. The threat of an entire species being wiped out is a thought that can give everybody from pet lovers to existential philosophers something to think about.

In an attempt to prevent further animal extinction in Australia, where 22 native mammal species have expired in the past 200 years, some biologists are considering domesticating wild species to preserve their survival, reports.

Mike Archer, a professor at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales is urging the Australian government to legalize the ownership of more native pets.

"No animal that has ever entered [humans’] inner circle has become extinct," he told the news source. He added, "When you value something and have an emotional connection with it…it simply doesn’t disappear."

In February, Australia’s environment minister Peter Garrett announced that the Christmas Island pipistrelle bat, an inch-long flying mammal, was about to go extinct; the last reported sighting of the species occurred in August.

Rabies cases spark pet health concerns in Connecticut

Rabies cases spark pet health concerns in ConnecticutA recent rise in confirmed rabies cases in Connecticut has spurred concern about pet health throughout the state.

David Yoho, an Enfield, Connecticut animal control officer, has said that while the spread of the disease isn’t a major concern, pet owners should still ensure that their animals have been vaccinated, the Hartford Courant reports.

"When we get a case we try to make the public aware of it," Yoho hold the news source.

He further warned that when pets contract rabies, they typically have to be quarantined for at least six months or euthanized.

Animal control departments around the state have said that in each report of a domestic dog or cat having contact with a rabies-infected animal, the pet had already been vaccinated. According to Yoho, no rabid pets have been reported in Enfield in the past several years.

However, this fall a rabid raccoon scratched a girl in a Best Buy parking lot, a diseased skunk was found in a residential neighborhood and two infected raccoons were killed in the southern part of town, according to the Courant.

"I’ve been here three years and this is the most I’ve seen," said Yoho.
According to a Pet Industry Strategic Outlook report from the research firm Dillon Media, U.S. pet owners spent $10.5 billion on veterinary pet care in 2005.

A watched cat never toils

A watched cat never toilsIt’s generally agreed upon that when the cat’s away the mice will play. But what do cats do when their owners are out at work? Naïve pet lovers may think that their felines simply lounge all day in the sun and maintain a reputation as expert "cat-nappers" – but the pets may be up to more than you’d think.

To find out, animal behavior scientist Jill Villareal fitted 50 housecats with collar cameras which took a picture every 15 minutes, the Indiana Gazette reports.

Villareal studied the 777 photos taken to determine that cats look at a television, computer or other media 6 percent of the time and hide under table 6 percent of the time – as many of their owners feel like doing at work.

However, the behavioral scientist was stunned most by the cats’ liveliness during the day. While the animals studied spent 6 percent of their time sleeping, they interacted with other family pets 12 percent of the day and spent 8 percent climbing on furniture.

"What surprised me was how active the cats were. I believed my three cats were sleeping during the day,” Villareal told the news source.

According to the U.S. Humane Society, there are approximately 88.3 million owned cats in the country.

Top holiday pet dangers

The holidays are a time for people to gather with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks. But it can be a hard time for our pets, with extra household hazards that may cause accidents or illnesses, especially when it comes to inappropriate foods.

During the holidays we often experience increased claims due to pets having access to holiday treats, rich foods and inappropriate foods. Here are some of the most important pet care tips for keeping your pet healthy during the holidays.

Gastroenteritis from ingesting too much food, or from eating foods pets not meant for pets, can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Keep your pets on their normal diets and avoid the temptation to give them tidbits of holiday foods. Consider buying safe approved treats to satisfy your need to give them something special.

Make sure to keep holiday food and treats, even wrapped ones, out of pets’ reach. Also, instruct guests not to give food or treats to your pets; while a single treat may not cause a problem, multiple people giving treats can.

Remember to make a special effort to keep garbage inaccessible. The smells can be alluring and pets who rummage through trash often end up eating items like string, tin foil, paper and excess bones. This can lead to gastroenteritis or even blockage of the bowels, which could mean emergency surgery!

Pancreatitis, or inflammation of the pancreas, can develop from ingesting bones, fat, ham and other rich or fatty foods. Pancreatitis can be life threatening to your pet and at the very least will result in a costly emergency visit.

Chocolate poisoning is common around the holidays and Easter when chocolate treats are laying around within a pets grasp. Chocolate is toxic to dogs in certain amounts, especially dark chocolate which contains more of the toxic compound methylxanthine. In many cases it can lead to death.

Other poisons to watch out for include raisins, coffee beans, macadamia nuts, onions, and Xylitol (a sweetener used in candy, pastry and gum). All of these common holiday foods can be toxic to your pet.

Also important during the holiday season, make sure to have a quiet area for your pets when you are entertaining holiday guests. If your pet is crate trained, their crate is a great way to keep them pet safe and calm when there is a lot of strange, new activity and guests coming and going. They’ll be less stressed and less likely to get into trouble.

We hope your pet does not have an accident or illness from these pet perils, but if they do, seek veterinary attention immediately. If your vet does not take emergencies after hours or on holidays, make sure you know where the nearest pet emergency hospital is located. Follow your veterinarian’s advice and know that we will be there for you by paying 80%, after any deductible, for unexpected accidents and illnesses during the holidays and throughout the new year.

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