A pet airline? When pigs fly!

From up here, some of the passengers look like ants!Pet Airways, an airline service that promotes cautious and comfortable handling of onboard pets, has announced that it will add weekly service to Ft Lauderdale for passengers concerned with in-flight pet care.

In addition to the new Florida route, the airline now serves New York, Washington DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles, Reuters reports. According to Pet Airways CEO Dan Wiesel, the company was established in July to provide pet owners with assurance that their animals reach their travel destination undisturbed.

A report by the Animal, Plant and Health Inspection Service, revealed that "virtually every major airline has been cited and fined for repeatedly mishandling animals." Pet Airways representatives note that lack of oxygen, lack of temperature control and proximity to heated motors have been cited as causes of animal deaths.

Offering certified veterinary technicians that are trained in pet care, Pet Airways claims that pets are supervised before, during and after flights to ensure comfort and safety. Furthermore, Reuters claims that airline policy dictates that animals be held in the aircraft’s main cabin where climate control, temperature, and air circulation present acceptable conditions.

According to company officials, the "Pet Airway goals is to make the pet travel experience more comfortable and enjoyable for both pawsengers and their human families."

Pet CPR: Put your bunny where your mouth is

Are you willing to put your bunny where your mouth is?It’s not unusual, nowadays, for a family to have cake for their cat’s seventh birthday, or put an extra stocking above the fire for the family dog. More and more Americans consider their dog, cats, hamsters and iguanas to be actual members of the family. Consequently, when pet health is an issue, the majority of pet owners say that would consider performing CPR on their beloved animals.

According to an Associated Press poll, 63 percent of dog owners and 53 percent of cat owners said they would be at least somewhat inclined to go mouth-to-snout to revive an endangered pet. Of the poll’s respondents, 65 percent of women said they would perform the emergency procedure, compared to 50 percent of men.

Tammy Parks, a dog-owner who has taken a pet first aid class was among those who wouldn’t delay resuscitating her 15-year-old terrier, Lucy. "It’s not rocket science. The mechanics are the same as humans," she told the Associated Press. "Size is the biggest difference."

Despite the general willingness to help pets, the poll also found that just 20 percent of animal owners have a pet first aid kit in their homes.

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.

Martha Stewart pioneers line of pet care products

Martha Stewart is establishing a new line of pet care productsThough some pets prefer to spend their days rolling in the mud or chasing squirrels in circles, others would be content parked in front of the mirror or showing off a new sweater and collar to neighborhood rivals. This second set of pets would be delighted to hear that Martha Stewart Living Omnimeida (MSLO), Age Group and pet care provider PetSmart have united to produce and sell a range of pet accessories, beginning in April 2010.

A promoter of pet health, MSLO’s founder Martha Stewart said, "I have always loved having a lot of pets, and consider them members of my family." She added, "It’s very important to me that domestic animals be well fed, well groomed and well cared for, and I have always prided myself on the good health and happiness of my pets.

The new line of products will include pet apparel, collars, leashes, bedding, grooming supplies and toys.

According to the 2009-2012 National Pet Owners Survey, in 2008, consumers spent about $52 million on their pets – a figure that has more than doubled in the past ten years.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals asserts that the costs of caring for cats and dogs can range from $670 to $1,580 each year.

Charity gives pets a home for the holidays

One charity gives pets a home for the holidaysPetSmart Charities, a non-profit arm of the pet store chain that assists overpopulated animal shelters, will launch the Holiday National Adoption Event to find suitable households for homeless pets.

On November 13 through 15, more than 2,000 animal-welfare agencies in the U.S. will bring adoptable pets to PetSmart Charities adoption centers in attempts to curb the overpopulation in shelters, reduce the frequency of euthanasia and give loving homes to docile animals.

Organizers have set their goal of providing homes to 15,800 dogs, cats and other small animals.

"Pets do so much to improve our quality of life," said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities. "There are so many great pets available for adoption, and these national events give animal-welfare organizations the opportunity to help them find the lifelong, loving homes that they deserve."

In the past 14 years, PetSmart Charities have been able to house and provide pet care to 3.9 million animals, and representatives suggest that for every minute pet adoption centers remain open, one animal’s life is saved.

The U.S. Humane Society estimates that 6 to 8 million cats and dogs enter shelters each year, and about half are eventually euthanized.

Vets: Pet care changes as dogs age

Older dogs bring a new set of health issuesDog owners who have maintained a regimented practice of monitoring pet health may need to make changes in care to accommodate older dogs, some veterinarians suggest.

Dr Vern Otte, a veterinarian in suburban Kansas City warns that as dogs get older, the diagnosis of medical conditions can be obscured by misleading symptoms. For instance, Cushing’s syndrome is a common disease among mature dogs that is sometimes mistaken for diabetes, though requires different treatment.

Cushing’s syndrome is caused by a tumor on the pituitary or adrenal gland and causes thirst, lethargy, an increased appetite, excessive panting, hair loss and thick skin.

If Cushing’s is diagnosed early and treated with an FDA-approved product, the dog can have a much happier and longer life," says Dr Audrey Cook, clinical professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University. She advises checking all dogs over seven years of age for the symptoms.

If left untreated, the disease, which can be diagnosed using special blood tests, can lead to diabetes, blood clots in the lungs, kidney infections, urinary tract infections or an inflamed pancreas.

In the cases of such medical treatments, 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.

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