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  • 26 Common Items that Are Dangerous to Cats and Dogs

    By Dr. Mary Fuller

    Pet Poisons From A to ZIt can happen to even the best pet owners. You turn around for one second and the dog is into the chocolate that was sitting on the counter, or the cat has discovered the Easter lily you thought was safely out of the way.

    "We just don't realize how determined our pets are to eat the things they shouldn't," says Dr. Tina Wismer, DVM, medical director for the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

    Of the more than 180,000 cases that the organization handled in 2012, most of them involved pets who'd ingested human prescriptions. "Many children with ADHD don't want to take their medications, so they leave pills on their plates, where pets can get at them," Dr. Wismer says. "Even nonprescription medications, such as ibuprofen, can be a problem because many brands have a sweet coating, so it's like candy for dogs."

    See Also: 10 Human Foods Dangerous to Pets

    Vetstreet has compiled an A to Z list of some common pet poisons that should be on your radar. This

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  • 7 Reasons Your Cat Doesn't Use the Litterbox

    Alamy/VetstreetLitterbox issues are a big concern for many cat owners. Indoor cats, after all, must go somewhere. And when a cat starts peeing or pooping outside his litterbox, it's something that must be addressed.

    See Also: 10 Ways to Ace Litterbox Maintenance and Care

    Here are some of the causes:

    1. There's a medical problem. Your cat may be dealing with a urinary or gastrointestinal condition or some other illness, including kidney disease, thyroid disease or diabetes. It's best to schedule an appointment with a vet to rule out any medical issues.
    2. There's been a major, stressful change in her routine, such as a new baby in the house (human or animal!), a move, a vacation, etc.
    3. There's been a seemingly minor change that's stressed her out, including moving her litterbox or using a new type of litter. Even changing the average depth of the litter in the box can upset a cat and cause her to pee or poo somewhere else.
    4. There's a hygiene problem. Cats can be fastidious. If the
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  • Amazing Stray Cat is ASPCA Cat of the Year

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    KPTV -- Koshka, here with Staff Sgt. Jesse Knotts, was named ASPCA Cat of the Year.A cat with an amazing story that we told you about in March has been named ASPCA Cat of the Year. Koshka was a stray in Afghanistan who stuck by Staff Sgt. Jesse Knott's side when he lost two of his close friends to a suicide bombing on a military convoy.

    Knott repaid Koshka by going out of his way to bring her back home to Oregon with a risky and expensive rescue. She now lives happily with the Knotts family in Oregon.

    Koshka is among this year's ASPCA Humane Awards winners, which also includes Dog of the Year Xena, the Warrior Puppy. Xena survived terrible abuse in Georgia before being saved and going on to form a remarkable bond with Jonny, an 8-year-old autistic boy who's made great strides in communicating after meeting Xena.

    Related: Pit Bull Terrier Named Hero Dog of 2013

    And the group's Kid of the Year honor was awarded to Catherine Hubbard, a 6-year-old animal lover who was among the 20 children killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook

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  • Hunky Men + Kittens = 2014 Kittendales Calendar

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Joanne BermanJoanne Berman
    Who needs bowties? Maybe the best accessory for a shirtless man is a kitten.

    Move over, Chippendales dancers. Meet the men of the Kittendales calendar.

    The 2014 edition is the seventh annual calendar featuring "kitties and hotties" to raise money for the Hull Seaside Animal Rescue (HSAR) in Massachusetts. The calendars sell for $20 each, plus $5 shipping and handling in the U.S.

    See Also: Why Does My Cat... Stare at Me?

    Men from this beach town pose for photographer Joanne Berman with kittens who are available for adoption at the non-profit cat shelter. And all of the money raised goes to the no-kill cat shelter and the medical needs of the cats there.

    Joanne Berman -- Model Fabiano poses with adoptable kitten Mai.HSAR was started in 1999 by a group of citizens who were concerned about the large number of feral cat colonies in town. Earlier this year, the group rescued its 1,000 th cat. "This is a 100 percent volunteer project and every penny raised goes directly to the shelter for the care of the cats," said Berman. "We've

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  • TV Star Adopts His Canine Co-Star

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Twitter / CharlesEsten -- Nashville actor Charles Esten adopted his former costar, Blue.Charles Esten fell hard for his co-star - and who could blame him?

    Last week, Esten, who stars as Deacon Claybourne on ABC's Nashville, shared that he's made a yellow Lab who played his dog on the show a permanent part of his real-life family. The actor Tweeted a photo of himself grinning while holding Blue when he was a puppy.

    The pup appeared on the show last season as a gift to Esten's character from Juliette Barnes, who's played by actress Hayden Panettiere. His character then gave the dog away to a love interest, but Esten wasn't about to follow that storyline off the set.

    "'Member Deacon's puppy named Sue? Well now he's my dog ... Blue! #firstpetever #memberofthefamilynow," Esten wrote.

    Esten, his wife, Patty, and their three children recently celebrated Blue's first birthday. "It's extremely possible that my family and I have gone overboard on our dog's birthday," he Tweeted with a picture of the celebration.

    Happy birthday, Blue!


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  • Black Lab Helps Recovering Addicts

    By Caroline Golon

    Photo: Joe Schrank Mik offers many benefits to residents at Loft 107 When new residents arrive at Loft 107, a sober-living facility in Brooklyn, they're greeted by founder Joe Schrank and a friendly black Labrador Retriever named Mik. But Mik's not just the welcome wagon; he's a narcotics detection dog whose job is to make sure residents stay in recovery while they're at Loft 107, and even after they leave.

    A Perfect Match

    Schrank had long explored bringing a dog like Mik to the facility but was wary because of the possible narcotics detection connotation. "The idea is intimidating. People immediately think 'law enforcement,'" says Schrank. "But (Mik's) not looking to 'catch' anyone or call the police. He's there to help."

    See Also: 10 Most High-Maintenance Dog Breeds

    But Schrank also knew that a dog could help him make definitive calls about the presence (or absence) of drugs; an invaluable benefit to the Loft, which serves as a temporary place to stay for people who have already been in rehab but aren't yet comfortable

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  • 8 Cute and Unique Pet Names Named After Famous Places

    By Kristen Seymour

    ThinkstockA great pet name can take inspiration from just about anything: a favorite food, a beloved fictional character, even a funny tongue twister. So it should probably come as no surprise that some pet owners opt for pet names based on locations.

    After digging through Vetstreet's database of more than 89 million dogs and 49 million cats for names that appeared just once, we pulled out a few of our favorite place-based monikers to share with you.

    Got your own fun and unusual pet name? Be sure to share it with us in the comments below!

    * Miss Sippi Sue: The sweet Southern belle is fixin' to get herself a nice belly rub.

    * Zanna Doo: She might not come with a soundtrack and blockbuster budget, but we have a feeling the kitty who owns this name provides endless entertainment. Olivia Newton who?

    * London Lamborghini: You just know this bloke lives life in the fast lane (but probably sleeps snuggled up with his favorite plush toy when nobody's looking).

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  • Vote for New Name of Panda Cub at National Zoo

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    The National Zoo is asking for the public's vote to name its 2-month-old panda cub.Election Day may be over, but your vote is still needed here: the National Zoo is asking the public to choose a name for its 2-month-old female giant panda cub.

    From now until Nov. 22, voters can choose from five Mandarin Chinese names for the bear. The winning name will be revealed at a ceremony on Dec. 1, when the cub turns 100 days old. It's Chinese tradition to celebrate when a baby reaches 100 days.

    The names include Bao Bao (bow-BOW), which means precious, treasure; Ling Hua (ling-HWA), meaning darling, delicate flower; Long Yun (long-YOON), long is the Chinese symbol of the dragon, yun means charming, and the combination represents a sign of luck for panda cooperation between China and the U.S.; Mulan (moo-LAHN), for a legendary young woman, a smart and brave Chinese warrior from the fifth century, and it also means magnolia flower; and Zhen Bao (jen-BAO), which means treasure, valuable. - Cast your vote at

    See More on

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  • How to Stop Your Dog From Having Accidents in the House

    By Mikkel Becker

    ThinkstockQ: I'm gone during the day; most of the time, my dog uses a dog door to go to the bathroom outside on her own, but she still has the occasional indoor accident. I don't know why this is happening or how to handle it - but I feel like she's getting away with bad behavior if I don't punish her. What should I do?

    See Also: 4 Best Household Items That Do Wonders on Pet-Stained Carpets

    A: When a previously house-trained adult dog starts having accidents in the home, I always recommend visiting the veterinarian for a checkup before starting any new training. There may be a medical component to the accidents, such as a urinary tract infection or the onset of canine cognitive dysfunction. Once your vet has eliminated these and any other medical issues, you can begin addressing the cause of the potty accidents and working on solutions.

    However, punishing your dog for her accidents is never a viable solution. Rather than learning that going inside the house is wrong, your dog

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  • Are Dogs Carnivores? Here's What New Research Says

    By Dr. Patty Khuly

    AlamyIn veterinary school we learned that cats are carnivores; horses, rabbits and ruminants are herbivores; and pigs and dogs ­­- like people - are omnivores.

    But at a nutrition conference I attended earlier this month, an audience of 300-plus nutrition researchers and veterinary professionals was treated to a strong argument in favor of dogs as carnivores.

    See Also: 10 Dangerous Human Foods for Pets

    Urging us to rethink the "dogma" of dogs as omnivores, Dr. Wouter Hendriks of Utrecht University's veterinary school in the Netherlands laid out a detailed and ultimately convincing argument in favor of canine carnivorous-ness at the Waltham International Nutritional Sciences Symposium in Portland, Ore.

    But how can that be, you ask? After all, we've been studying the dog's nutritional needs for a hundred years or more now. Why the sudden shift in thinking on something that seems so basic?

    The Omnivore Angle

    The answer is not so simple, but to understand how

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