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  • 15 Dog Breeds New Pet Owners Should Avoid

    By Kristen Seymour

    Australian Cattle DogMany dog lovers believe there's no such thing as a bad dog, just bad training. And while we don't disagree that a good owner along with proper training and socialization can make a world of difference, we have to admit that some dog breeds are best suited to experienced owners.

    Those very traits that make certain breeds so good at the jobs they were bred to do, like hunting big game and guarding their owners and property, can make them a challenge for someone who's never trained a dog before.

    Related: 18 Best Dog Breeds for New Pet Owners

    For instance, a dog bred for hunting, birding, working, or running long distances will work until his job is done, regardless of weather or distractions. When that same breed is kept as a family pet, his circumstances change, but his drive and instinct to go, go, go? Not so much. Therefore, he needs an owner who's prepared to work with that level of vitality to keep him from engaging in destructive behaviors.

    And consider the

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  • Dog Alerts Parents to Abusive Babysitter - Columbia, South CarolinaWhen the Jordan family moved to Charleston, S.C., with their then 7-month-old son, Finn, they hired a 22-year-old babysitter whose background check had come up clean.

    And while they trusted Alexis Khan with the care of their baby for five months - their dog didn't. "We started to notice that our dog was very defensive of our son when she would come in the door," said Benjamin Jordan. "He was very aggressive towards her and a few times we actually had to physically restrain our dog from going towards her."

    That made the parents suspicious, and they decided to put an iPhone under the couch to record what was happening in the house. The audio recording captured the sounds of the sitter cussing at and slapping the baby which he cried. Khan was taken into police custody and pleaded guilty to assault and battery. She'll be placed on a child abuse registry so she won't be allowed to work with kids again. - Read it at Life With Dogs

    More on
    * This dog breed is arguably the

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  • Why Does My Cat... Roll Around on His Back?

    By Linda Fiorella

    ThinkstockCats often get unfairly labeled as lazy and aloof when, in fact, they can be quite expressive and frisky, even though their actions can at times seem perplexing. Take the twisting gyrations some cats perform on their backs. Catnip could be one culprit, but there are also other reasons your kitty might do this shimmy.

    Some other explanations include employing a little back-scratch fever for an out-of-the-way itch, and if the kitty in question is an unspayed female, this is common post-coital behavior. Plus, some cats simply enjoy it. "When humans need a stretch, we do a good stretch, and that helps us feel good," says Dr. Sharon Crowell-Davis, DVM, DACVB, professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia. "And some cats just seem to enjoy rolling around on their back. It's a pleasurable thing."

    See Also: Why Does My Cat... Ignore Me?

    Two other explanations for this behavior "seem quite opposite," Dr. Crowell-Davis says. "It can

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  • Dog Helps with Marriage Proposal

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Rex balancing an engagement ringJack has a talent for balancing - and a nose for romance.

    Earlier this year, the 3-year-old Australian Cattle Dog made the rounds on the Internet with photos of him balancing all kinds of things on his nose and head, including books, a stack of cookies and even an egg, reports the Huffington Post.

    So, when owner Trey Doig decided to propose to Nicole Lee, he knew the perfect way to do it: By placing the vintage-looking ring on the dog's nose, of course!

    Then, Jack shared the evidence: "Hey Reddit, I'm Jack the dog who balanced household items on his head. My humans got ENGAGED this past weekend and I helped!!"

    Now, we don't actually advise you let your own dog balance something so small, valuable and, well, inedible, on his nose. But, we do advocate for pet-related proposals! Earlier this year, we shared the story of Ryan Bently, who adopted a kitten to help him pop the question. (His girlfriend said yes, naturally.)

    And don't forget that you

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  • A Cautionary Tale for Chicken Owners

    By Crystal Miller-Spiegel

    ThinkstockBackyard chicken keeping is all the rage these days, particularly with urbanites or suburbanites who want to know their food is local, more humane and natural. Chicks are cute, popular with kids, and cheap and easy to buy either locally or through the mail. Many modern day homesteaders do not realize, however, what goes on behind the scenes at chick hatcheries or the care commitment that chickens will require.

    See Also: 5 Reasons Why It Is Fun to Own Chickens

    My family recently bought a small farm and we were eager to get chickens. Since we are vegetarian, we view chickens as pets that need "forever homes," and sought to obtain them in the most humane way possible. I did my research, and here's what I learned.

    Hatcheries: Behind the Scenes

    Most people who buy chicks only want hens because they desire fresh eggs. But since it's difficult to tell the sex of young chicks, they are sold with only a "90%" chance guarantee that they will be female. However,

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  • 5 Great Alternatives to the "Cone of Shame" for Pets

    By Dr. Patty Khuly

    Dog wearing the Elizabethan Collar ('E-Collar). Also known as the Cone of ShameIt's all fun and games until someone ends up in a cone. So goes the caption to an irresistible LOLcat image I keep on my smartphone. It's one that serves to underscore the immense pleasure we humans seem to get from subjecting our pets to the "cone of shame."

    Variously known as the "E-collar" (short for "Elizabethan collar"), the "lampshade," the "satellite dish" and "that ungodly torture device that goes around her neck," the ubiquitous plastic cone is by far the most common solution to the problem of postoperative incision complications and other areas in need of self-trauma avoidance.

    Related: Why the E-Collar Is Your Best Bet for Wound Care

    That's because most pets have a thing about licking at their incision sites, pawing at their itchy ears, rubbing their irritated eyes and generally scratching and chewing at body parts they shouldn't. But what's worse than having to force your pet to wear the cone?

    Having to deal with the ravages inherent to

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  • Cat Survives 11-Story Fall from Window

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    Owner Stephanie Gustafson holds Wasabi the cat outside their apartment building in Juneau, Alaska.Two-year-old Wasabi the cat is wearing a pink cast on one of her front legs after fracturing it in a fall from her owner's 11 th -story apartment in Juneau, Alaska.

    The kitty was chasing a mosquito last week, and when the bug escaped out a window, Wasabi followed it and landed in a parking lot.

    Her owner, Stephanie Gustafson, found her nearby, hurt and wet from the rain. Veterinarians operated on Wasabi to put pins and wires in her fractured leg and broken bones in a joint. She's expected to take about six weeks to recover. - Read it from AP via Today

    More on
    * 4 Best Places to Pet a Cat, 1 to Leave Alone
    * 10 Human Foods Dangerous for Your Pet
    * 9 Cat Breeds That Crave Affection
    * Why Does My Cat... Bite Me When I Pet Her?

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  • Is it OK for Dogs & Cats to Sleep in Your Bed?

    By Gina Spadafori

    ThinkstockIn many homes, the "pets on the bed" debate is long over -- and the pets won. Proof can be found in the marketplace, where accessories abound to help dogs and cats get onto the bed -- and keep the bedding cleaner.

    The trend isn't for everyone, however. Letting cats and dogs sleep in the bed has been suggested as one of many reasons why people have problems getting a good night's sleep. If you have insomnia, you might consider getting your pet his own comfy bed and keeping yours for yourself. If you have allergies, or your pet has behavior problems, a no-pet bedroom is also recommended.

    Related: Dog Taking Over Your Bed? How You Both Can Sleep Soundly

    Otherwise, why not share?

    I've always kept an eye out for sales on relatively inexpensive, washable cotton quilts to throw over the top of the bedding. I also use rubber-backed fuzzy bath mats on top of the quilts when older pets get leaky.

    For high beds and older pets, there's even an easier way up: A

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  • Soldiers Reunited with 8 Afghan Dogs

    By Amy Sinatra Ayres

    A group of National Guardsmen were reunited with an Afghan dog and her seven puppies on Wednesday.While they were serving in Afghanistan, a group of New York National Guard soldiers befriended a stray dog they named Sheba. In March, their pal gave birth to a litter of seven puppies, and the Guardsmen nursed the weakened mom and her pups to health - feeding her their Army-issued food, and asking relatives back at home to send dog food.

    Then, as the U.S. began to pull troops out of Afghanistan, they found out that their base was closing. "It really broke our hearts that we might have to leave them there," said 1st Lt. Joseph LaPenta of Staten Island.

    They contacted Guardians of Rescue, a group that helps bring war dogs home. And on Wednesday night, Sheba and her 6-month-old puppies Cadence, Rocky, Sarah, Jack, Buckeye, Breezy and Harris were reunited with the soldiers on Long Island.

    Two soldiers will take home two pups each, and three others will take home one each. Mom Sheba is being assessed to see if she can be certified as a therapy dog to help veterans

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  • 11 Dogs and Cats Who Are Ready for Some Football

    Lace up your cleats and strap on your helmet, because it's time for football! (Or maybe just fire up the grill and wipe down your TV. Whatever works for you.)

    The new NFL season begins this week. If your houses are like ours, then your cats and dogs aren't just hanging around waiting for a piece of hot dog to drop - they're hard-core pigskin fans, just like their humans. The Vetstreet team (plus some friends and family) got so excited for the start of football that we put together this gallery of our animals cheering on our hometown teams. And of course, there are some rivalries.

    May the best team win!

    CosmoCosmo, Green Bay Packers

    Cosmo Kramer, a 7-month-old mixed breed, is a cheesehead at heart. Although he refuses to wear the hat, he's excited to cheer on the Green Bay Packers during his first football season. He's ready to see QB Aaron Rodgers in action and knows his team will have a great year. Go Pack!

    CupidCupid, San Francisco 49ers

    Cupid the Pomeranian is still

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