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Pet information and news by the Our Place to Paws Editor, Faye Rapoport DesPres, at Caregivers' site Care.com


Pet Sitters and NAPPS


Did you know that most commercial cat foods contain ingredients your cat can't metabolize, or that you should never, ever flush cat litter down the toilet? If not, you'd be surprised at what you can learn when you speak to -- or hire -- a professional pet sitter who has been trained and educated by the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.



Emergency Checklist for Pet Lovers

Pet emergencies can come out of nowhere. Suddenly you notice your cat or dog isn't eating. Maybe your beloved pet is vomiting uncontrollably or hiding behind the furniture, appearing unwell. Many of us know that terrible feeling when a pet escapes outdoors, and we fear the day when a cat or dog might be hit by a passing car or get tangled in a fight with a neighborhood stray.



Kids and Their Pets


Dogs have long been the storied companions of children. Many of us grew up with dogs and considered them our most faithful childhood friends, and for many parents, the question is not "if" their children will have a dog -- but "when."




Protect the Environment: Make earth-friendly pet choices


Many Americans are jumping on the eco-friendly bandwagon, and with good reason. Never before have environmental issues such as global warming, dwindling natural resources, pollution, overpopulation, habitat destruction and disappearing wildlife felt so urgent and immediate. As we find ways to make our homes, lifestyles and businesses more environmentally friendly, are there ways we can also "go green" with our pets?




Want to Adopt a Dog?


I once saw a sign in an animal shelter that read: "Do you love German Shepherds? Labrador Retrievers? Boxers? Get them all, Get a Mutt!" In so many ways, this sentiment proves true. Adopting a mixed-breed dog (or cat) offers the opportunity to enjoy the special qualities of numerous breeds -- and the chance to save a life.





To Declaw or Not To Declaw?


Most cat lovers know that veterinarians do not recommend declawing because of its painful effect on the animals. Some still feel that declawing is the only way they can manage their pets' scratching habits, however.




Harnesses with a Heart


Like most dog lovers, Nicholas Aretakis, president of PaPPI (Puppy and Pet Products International, LLC), walks his dogs for three basic reasons. "We take them out so they can do their business, to get them some exercise, and for the companionship," he says.




Preparing for a Pet Care Emergency


Many pet guardians wonder if they should have supplies on hand in case their beloved animal friend becomes sick or injured. Dr. Kiko Bracker, DVM, DACVECC of the Emergency and Critical Care Services Team at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston.




Taking a Bite out of Your Pet's Dental Care


I didn't know it and you might not know it -- but it really is important to brush your cat's or dog's teeth. Dental problems can be painful and have negative affects on an animal's life - just as with humans. Dr. William Rosenblad, DVM of the Dentistry Team at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, offered Care.com the following information and tips regarding dental care for cats and dogs.




New Music That Helps Calm Your Dog

One of veterinary neurologist Dr. Susan Wagner's pet peeves is a household that leaves television sets on all day long (I admit, I agree). Not only is the constant noise a distraction for human beings, it can be hard on dogs and other pets.




Interview with an Expert: Herpes Eye Infections in Cats

Fiona, a Scottish Fold and one of our five cats, has had eye problems since she was a kitten. She was diagnosed with the herpes virus two years ago, and after some treatment was fine for over a year. Recently I noticed that she was blinking and squinting on a regular basis, so I took her back to the vet. We talked through a range of possibilities before the doctor decided that she was again suffering from symptoms cause by the virus.



Let's Talk Turtles


In general U.S. usage, the term "turtle" is applied to species that spend most of their time in the water and are carnivores, while "tortoises" are vegetarian land-dwellers. In either case, experts agree that it is important for any individual or family interested in adopting one of these animals to do extensive research before taking that step.



Interview with an Expert: Protecting Your Dog against Lyme Disease

Recently a friend of mine who lives in a rural town on the New York/Massachusetts border learned that her black Laborador Retriever, Shadow, had contracted Lyme disease. My friend often walks her dog in the woods, but she hadn't realized that doing so could be risky for her pet. She was further upset to learn that Shadow could have been vaccinated against Lyme disease, although veterinarians differ on this issue.


Interview with an Expert: Protecting Your Cat from Heartworm Disease

Many cat lovers are unaware that cats can get heartworm disease, a condition that is usually associated with dogs. Care.com recently asked Dr. Gregg Rapoport, DVM, DACVIM, staff cardiologist at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, about heartworm disease in cats.


So You Want to Adopt a Rabbit!

Who can resist rabbits? They are soft, gentle and ridiculously cute, and almost every American child has been brought up reading Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Peter Rabbit or hearing tales about the Easter Bunny. Although there are more than eight million pet rabbits in American households, however, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) suggests learning all you can about these very special creatures before adopting one.




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