Animal detox: Not just for catnip users

Animal detox: Not just for catnip usersFortunately, catnip has never been classified as an addictive substance, and most animals never have to cope with alcohol or drug abuse. Nonetheless, metabolic activity and parasites can release harmful toxins in a pet’s body which should be removed to sustain normal homeostasis.

Animal Element, a company that specializes in natural pet health, has announced production of a line of detox supplements suitable for dogs, cats and horses.

According to the company, polluted air, water, pharmaceuticals, insects, vaccines and chew toys are all sources of potentially harmful toxins that can be detrimental to pet health. The detox formula, which partially consists of kelp, hawthorne leaf, turmeric root, raspberry leaf and hyaluronic acid, promotes the body’s natural detoxification process, Animal Element representatives say.

"We’ve been developing our proprietary formula for nearly 10 years," said the company’s co founder and vice president of sales Michelle French. "I have personally seen miraculous results in our own pets, with professional trainers and pet owners. We’re very excited to finally be able to offer this product to the market."

According to the company’s website, 10 percent of all Animal Element profits will be donated to Heifer International, a charity that works to rejuvenate impoverished communities by teaching environmentally sound agricultural techniques and training in animal management.

Haunted hounds make debut on Animal Planet

Haunted hounds make debut on Animal PlanetYes, dogs can hear sounds at a greater range of frequencies than humans; but do they also have access to a realm of apparitions unseen by humankind? On Sunday, November 22, Animal Planet will debut a television program which investigates true stories of pet owners who claim their animals are sensitive to paranormal activities.

The new series, called The Haunted, details the stories of real people who claim abnormal events, like terrifying fires or violent experiments, occurred in their houses hundreds of years ago. After witnessing ghastly activities contributors to the show claim that their dogs and cats are the first to respond to the apparent presence of specters and ghosts.

In one episode, a family performs an exorcism to eliminate the demons that have been afflicting them and their dog though a series of disturbing events. In another tale, a mother and father find bloody handprints appearing on their walls, months after a pattern of mysterious behavior from the family dog.

While most insurance plans may not cover complications with paranormal spirits, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association says that veterinary pet insurance can be used to protect pet health and ensure the financial stability of the pet’s family.

Dallas dogs seek playtime sanctuary

Dallas dogs seek playtime sanctuaryA custom-built dog park in Dallas has rewarded its operators with $200,000 in revenue and rewarded local dogs with a canine paradise.

Kelly and Cody Acree raised $10 million to build Unleashed Indoor Dog Parks – a 25,000 square foot, air-conditioned play area that opened last March, CNN reports.

After finding it extremely difficult to find local parks suitable for their dog, Lucas, to get enough exercise, the couple began dreaming of a better alternative. "Municipal parks are lacking in a lot of respects, from seating to shade to pet owners not picking up after their dogs," said Kelly.

Unleashed Parks includes ample indoor space for dogs to frolic – especially the summer scorches downtown Dallas – and offers Wi-Fi, a snack bar, and a pet-supply store for humans looking to upgrade their pet care.

One Dallas resident and customer, Kim Putnam, told the news source, "I’ve lived in places that aren’t as nice." Two managers and 23 employees monitor and play with visiting dogs, and allow pets staying overnight to snuggle up next to them in king-sized beds.

The Acrees hope to expand their business into Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Phoenix.

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, depending on the commodities and services purchased.

Humane Society reconsiders pet adoption policy

The Humane Society wants to get pets out of the kennelThe Central Missouri Humane Society held a meeting Tuesday evening to hear arguments regarding a possible change to their pet placement policy.

Officials at the organization, a nonprofit that aims to promote pet care and rescue animals from dying in shelters, proposed that the Humane Society should alleviate the problem of overcrowded shelters by relaxing pet adoption policies, NBC affiliate KOMU reports.

While some volunteers acknowledge that looser restrictions would help to increase the rates of pet adoptions, they worry that the animals could go to owners who are not fit for adequate pet care.

"The board’s perspective is valid and brings a lot to the table, but the volunteers also want to be heard," Amanda Stogsdill, Human Society volunteer and owner of a shelter pet told the news provider. "Volunteers see what goes on in the shelter every day, whereas many of the board members are not actively involved in day to day processes."

Among the policy changes the nonprofit is considering, officials wish to forego background checks of prospective pet owners through references such as landlords, co-workers and friends.

The U.S. Humane Society reports that there are about 74.8 million owned dogs in the U.S. and about 3 million to 4 million in shelters.

Dogged pet owners sneak animals into hotels

Traveling with pets isn't always the easiest taskA purse is no place for poodle, and a hermit crab is just about the only pet that would enjoy being stashed away in a suitcase. Nonetheless, 35 percent of pet owners admitted that they’ve bent the rules and snuck their pet into a hotel or motel, according to a recent survey commissioned by AAA and Best Western International.

While not every animal lover has the cunning or the courage to usher a meowing pocketbook past a concierge desk, more than 75 percent of pet-owning respondents to the travel and accommodation survey said that they would bring their pet with them on every vacation, if possible, Reuters reports. However, more than 50 percent said that they’ve had a difficult time finding pet-friendly accommodations.

In response to the survey results, AAA representatives have pointed pet owners to the AAA PetBook: Traveling with Your Pet. The reference guide provides advice on transporting pets, tips to maintain high levels of pet care on the road, and listings of pet friendly properties – including more than 1,900 Best Western properties worldwide.

"Not every pet is right for travel and not every trip is right for a pet, but when the right dog or cat and the right trip come together, you never forget it," Bill Wood, executive director of AAA Publishing told the news source.

Additionally, Pet Airways provides comfortable accommodations for dogs and cats traveling to Ft. Lauderdale, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

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