Heartwarming Pet Poems By Kids
(NAPSI)-When it comes to describing the rewarding relationship between
pets and their owners, sometimes a poem just says it best.
Recently, six poems summed up that sentiment so well that they won the
American Pet Products Association's (APPA) 2nd Annual National Children's Pet
Poetry Contest. Through the APPA's Pets Add Life (PAL) campaign, third-,
fourth- and fifth-grade students were invited to write and submit a unique
and creative poem about their pets.
Two students from each grade were selected to win a $250 gift certificate
for pet products, and a "byline" in a nationally circulated
publication. In addition, the six winning students' classrooms each received
a $1,000 scholarship to spend on pet-related education.
Poems were judged on creativity, clarity, voice and the student's ability
to reinforce the message of the joys and benefits of pet ownership. The panel
of judges consisted of teachers, elementary school administration and APPA.
Here is one of the winning poems, in the fifth-grade category:
"My Dog, Bear" by Spring from Lincoln, Del.
When I think of you,
My heart shines bright,
Just like a
Baby bird's first flight.
First thing in the morning
Your nose I see,
An inch from my nose
When you know I'm leaving,
Your head hangs low.
It breaks my heart,
'Cause I love you so.
And even though I'm angry,
When you chew my shoe,
Your sorrowful eyes
Make me forgive you.
When my sister died,
You comforted me.
You miss her too--
It's plain to see.
When I'm lonely,
Or I need a friend,
You're always there,
Your love to lend.
I love you Bear,
My adorable dog.
You've helped me
Through my own fog.
No other dog
Compares to you.
Taking care of me,
You'll always do.
To see other poems and for more information about APPA's 3rd Annual
National Children's Pet Poetry Contest, you can visit www.petsaddlife.org.
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Responsible Owner: Pick Up After Your Pet
(NAPSI)-Pet ownership is at an all-time high, with 75 million dogs in 45
million households, according to the National Pet Owners Survey conducted by
the American Pet Products Association. And more people are hitting the road
with their dogs as well. Neighborhood walks and days at the park are now
expanding to outings at the dog park and visits to dog-friendly local
Before hitting the trail or sidewalk with your dog, take a few steps to
make sure that your best friend is a good neighbor as well.
• Leash training—Most communities have leash laws. Even if
your dog is well trained, keeping him or her on a leash is a good idea
because dogs can be startled by unfamiliar noises and run away or bolt into traffic.
• Dog parks and dog training—Many communities now have dog
parks that provide open areas for your pet to roam, run or romp with other
dogs. Make sure your dog has proper obedience training before hitting the
park. If your dog knows simple commands, it makes for a more enjoyable
experience for everyone.
• The tag’s the thing—Many dog parks and recreation
areas require that dogs wear ID tags and their current rabies and
registration tags. Even if your dog stays in your yard, tags are a good idea,
so you may reunite quickly should your dog slip out.
• Cleaning up after your dog—An average-sized dog weighs 40
pounds and produces about ¾ of a pound of waste a day, which
translates to over 13 million tons of waste a year for 75 million dogs. The
bacteria found in pet waste poses health risks. Due to the carnivorous
feeding habits of domestic animals, their waste contains bacteria, which in
turn can cause diseases that are harmful to both humans and pets.
Pet waste has been identified by the EPA as a major cause of nonpoint
source pollution caused by rainwater runoff. The EPA and CDC advise that the
safest place for pet waste is bagged and placed in a landfill and discourage
the composting of pet waste.
• Clean up in style—Since 1995, Bags on Board has encouraged
pet owners to pick up after their pets using their stylish dispensers. The
compact, refillable dispensers attach to any type of leash and contain a roll
of pickup bags. Need a place to stash your keys, cell phone or other items?
Adjustable and fashionable Purse Dispensers and Pouch Dispensers can be worn
around the waist or across the chest and discreetly dispense pickup bags and
provide storage for other items. Other fun dispensers, such as the Ball
Dispenser, are also available.
For more information, visit www.bagsonboard.com.
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Programs Promote Longer Life
(NAPSI)-A balanced diet and exercise are recommended to keep people
healthy and can do the same for pets. Additionally, vitamins and supplements
can keep pets healthier longer and improve their quality of life.
"Research is showing that many pet supplements have a positive impact
on pets' health," explained veterinarian Dr. Amy Long. "Many of
these products are now available in an easy-to-give treat form or can be
mixed with food, eliminating the frustrations often associated with giving
Pets of all ages and sizes may benefit from many of these supplements, but
it's best to check with your vet to see which fit in best with your pet's
diet and current health concerns.
Dietary Health--Diet is still a key component in any wellness program.
Dietary needs differ greatly depending on whether you have a kitten or puppy,
a senior pet, a pet with a weight problem or other health issues such as
kidney disease or diabetes. Read labels on pet foods carefully and check with
your vet to see what type of food and portions are recommended for your pet.
Digestive Health--Even with a healthy diet, some pets may have some
digestive issues. They may need extra help to get their digestion back on
track. A supplement such as Bactaquin may help both cats and dogs restore
their digestive health.
Liver Health--A healthy liver is also important to your pet's overall
health. If your vet detects liver problems, you may want to consider Denosyl
chew tabs. These have been shown to markedly increase levels of glutathione
in the liver, which can encourage liver cell repair and regeneration.
Skin and Coat Health--Proper grooming is very important to your pet's
health. Regular brushing and, for dogs, a regular shampoo go a long way
toward keeping their coats healthy, plus can help you spot changes in their
bodies. For a healthy coat, dogs and cats may also benefit from Omega-3 fatty
acids derived from salmon and other cold-water fish. Dermaquin soft-gel twist
caps for cats and dogs provide Omega-3 in a treat form.
Joint Health--Arthritis is a common problem for aging pets. Keep an eye on
your pets' activity level and talk to your vet if they start to slow down.
Just as with humans, joint supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin
may ease some of the pain by healing cartilage damage. These nutrients can be
found in Cosequin Soft Chews, which can be given to your pet like a treat.
To learn more about pet health supplements, go to www.entirelypets.com or call (800)
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Protecting Your Pets From Poisoning
(NAPSI)-By being alert to the danger, you may be able to keep your
precious pets from poisoning themselves.
Pet owners often joke about pets being like vacuum cleaners--literally
eating anything put in front of them. Unfortunately, that lack of dietary
discretion too often results in pets ingesting toxic substances, emergency
visits to the veterinarian and large medical bills.
The Top Troublemakers
The nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance has
analyzed its database of nearly half a million pets to find the sources
behind the thousands of poisoning claims it receives each year. Here is a ranking
of the 13 most-common pet poisoning claims Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI)
1. Accidental ingestion of medications (pet or human drugs)
2. Rodenticide (mouse and rat poison)
3. Methylxanthine toxicity (chocolate and caffeine)
4. Plant poisoning
5. Household chemical
6. Metaldehyde (snail and slug poison)
8. Heavy metal toxicity (lead and zinc)
9. Toad poisoning
10. Antifreeze poisoning
11. Walnut poisoning
12. Alcohol toxicity
Accidental ingestion of pet or human medications is the most common type
of poisoning. The most expensive type of poisoning, heavy metal poisoning,
can cost more than $1,000 to treat.
What To Look For
It helps if pet owners are alert to signs of trouble. "Depending on
what substance the pet has ingested and the amount, the reaction can be
sudden, with the animal exhibiting alarming symptoms such as staggering,
vomiting, drooling, seizures and even loss of consciousness," said
veterinarian Carol McConnell. "We recommend that pet owners be aware of
which items around their homes can be harmful to their pets--medications,
insect poisons, chocolate and certain nuts--and keep these items safely out
Consider the case of Patricia Reinhold of North Las Vegas, Nev.
She spent nearly $500 at her veterinarian's office after her Pomeranian
Baxter managed to sip up a spilled beer. She knew something was wrong when
Baxter began to stumble and fall over.
"Most people might not worry about this, or think it was funny, but I
wasn't about to take a chance with Baxter," said Reinhold. "We took
him to the vet, who put him on an IV and flushed his kidneys to get the
alcohol out of his system. He recovered, but a couple weeks later we had to
take him in for a precautionary liver test to make sure that he had all his
enzymes and liver function."
Reinhold's quick thinking highlights the importance of preparation in the
event of a pet emergency. Pet owners should keep the phone number of their
pets' regular veterinarian and a number for an emergency veterinary hospital
handy at all times and have a financial plan for handling unexpected pet
"I'm the kind of person who wouldn't hesitate to spend $10,000 on my
pets," said Reinhold. "So for me, having pet insurance isn't about
never having to pay for my pets' veterinary bills or saving money but getting
help with the things I know I will have to pay for, and I like knowing that
help is there. Because you can guarantee that with a dog like Baxter, I
haven't seen the end of it."
For more information about pet poisoning prevention and poisoning first
aid, visit the Pet Poison Helpline at www.petpoisonhelpline.com. For
more information about pet health insurance, visit www.petinsurance.com.
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Help Me Heal
Program Saves Mutt-i-grees® with Disabilities
(NAPSI)-Franklin is an amazing Chihuahua Mutt-i-gree® puppy, whose life may
not have been spared had he not been rescued by North Shore Animal League
America, the world's largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization.
was born with a deformity of his hind limbs that prevents him from being able
to bear any weight on them. Because of this he must pull his hind legs; which
could eventually cause more damage if he doesn't get the help he needs. But
even with his physical challenges, Franklin
is just as frisky as any normal young pup, happily playing with his toys.
A team of expert veterinarians at the Animal League is seeking solutions
for little Franklin,
as well as exploring the opportunity to see if he is a candidate for surgical
correction. If surgery isn't an option, a special program will be developed
that will include extensive rehabilitation, which will teach him how to walk
using a special cart. This mobile device will help him get around by keeping
his legs propped up and ensuring that his legs and body are protected from
any further damage.
Because of Franklin's special needs, he has been placed in the Animal
League's Help Me Heal Program. This program will make sure he gets all the
care he needs for as long as necessary. Whether surgery, a cart, physical
therapy or just loving hands to hold and comfort him, Help Me Heal provides
everything this little pup will need.
You can help care for Franklin
and all the dogs, cats, puppies and kittens in the Animal League's Help Me
Program by Making a Donation. Your generosity will ensure that these animals
receive the care they need, and allow the Animal League to continue rescuing
animals with treatable disabilities or medical conditions. Every one of them
deserves a chance to be happy and healthy.
For more information about Franklin and the Animal
League's Help Me Heal Program, visit www.AnimalLeague.org/HelpFranklinHeal.
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Is A Key Part Of A Cat’s Health
(NAPSI)-There is good news for cat owners concerned about their pet’s
well-being. There are practical steps they can take to promote better feline
The key is to schedule regular visits to the vet. Not having such visits
to the vet can leave many feline health issues unchecked.
For example, one issue that can easily go unnoticed often starts in the
mouth. According to feline veterinary specialist Dr. Margie Scherk, oral
health problems such as plaque and gingivitis rank second only to obesity
among health issues in felines.
“Any disease that affects the mouth can result in pain and thereby
impact the well-being of the cat,” said Dr. Scherk. “In addition,
bacteria and other pathogens from periodontal disease can easily get into the
cat’s bloodstream. Veterinarians believe that these bacteria and
pathogens put the cat at greater risk for developing heart, kidney, liver and
How do you know if your cat has periodontal disease? Dr. Scherk suggests
watching for changes in eating habits first. If their mouth hurts, there’s
a good chance they’ll skip supper. Other things to watch for include
sneezing, nasal discharge, facial swelling, tearing eyes and less effective
According to Dr. Scherk, pet owners can promote better health with daily
oral care at home. While daily toothbrushing is the gold standard in oral
care for pets as it is for humans, fewer than 1 percent of cat owners report
that they are able to accomplish that, according to the American Pet Products
Association’s annual pet owner survey.
Fortunately, there are easier alternatives that are considered effective,
including treats such as Feline Greenies Dental Treats.
The treats are 100 percent nutritionally complete and balanced for adult
cats, have less than two calories per piece, and are available in a variety
of flavors at pet product retailers and many veterinary clinics. A new,
larger, 6-ounce package makes daily control of plaque and tartar that
contribute to periodontal disease even more convenient.
Said Dr. Scherk, “Giving treats to our cats is an important part of
the relationship, but they should be healthy treats that are good nutrition
and have a health benefit to the pet.”
To learn more, visit the website at www.greenies.com.
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For Dog Owners
(NAPSI)-When dog owners are behind the wheel of a car, their dog can drive
them to distraction. And that, it appears, can lead to dangerous situations
That's one of the key findings of a recent survey that examined what
happens when dog owners take their dog with them when they hit the road.
The survey was conducted by North America's
largest motoring and leisure travel organization--AAA--and Kurgo, which makes
products specifically designed for traveling with your dog. The survey found
that 31 percent of respondents admit to being distracted by their dog while
driving, while 59 percent say they have participated in at least one distracting
behavior while driving with their dog.
More than half--55 percent-- have petted their dog while driving, and one
in five--21 percent--allowed their dog to sit in their lap.
Other distracting behaviors that drivers admitted to include giving food
and water to their dog (7 percent) and playing with their dog (5 percent).
These kinds of behaviors can distract the driver and increase the risk of a
crash. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that looking away from the
road for only two seconds doubles your risk of being in a crash.
Unrestrained dogs can be a danger to a driver, a passenger and to the dog
itself. An overwhelming 80 percent of respondents stated that they have driven
with their pets on a variety of car trips including day trips, local errands
and leisure trips or to work, the pet store or dog parks. However, only 17
percent use any form of pet restraint system when driving with their dog.
To increase driver and pet safety, here are some tips:
• The use of a pet restraint system, such as those available from
Kurgo (www.kurgo.com), can aid in
limiting distractions and help protect your pet.
• Keep your dog in the backseat, as you would a child. Being in the
front seat can expose a dog to being injured if the car's air bag is
• Remember, a dog near a driver can interfere with both a driver's
physical and mental ability to operate the vehicle. When a dog blocks the
brake pedals or takes the driver's attention off the road, it has become a
To learn more about keeping yourself and your dog safer while driving,
visit www.AAA.com or www.kurgo.com. Pet owners who want to take
their pet on a longer trip can find all the information they need to make
their vacation easier and safer in "Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA
PetBook," which includes pet-friendly, AAA Approved property listings
and advice on traveling with pets. Visit www.aaa.com/petbook.
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Keeping Pets Slim, Trim And Healthy, Naturally
(NAPSI)-If you think obesity is an epidemic that affects only people, you
may be barking up the wrong tree. Pets also have to watch their weight.
According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 44 percent of
dogs and 57 percent of cats are overweight or obese, and that percentage is
rising, with older animals displaying an even higher incidence of falling
victim to those extra pounds. Veterinarians report that overweight pets are
also more likely to suffer from arthritis, heart and respiratory diseases,
liver disease, skin problems, hip and joint disorders and diabetes.
"Just as for people, eating right and getting exercise are
fundamental to a pet's health," says board-certified veterinary
nutritionist Dr. Edward Moser. "Paying attention to the ingredients and
amount of food that your pet consumes, along with increasing their activity
levels, will help the pounds come off and stay off."
To help fat cats and pudgy pooches slim down, Dr. Moser says owners should
choose a balanced diet for their pets with ingredients that can help
naturally solve this challenging health problem, such as that from Wellness® Natural Pet Food. For
those plump feline friends, Wellness®
Healthy Weight is just the remedy. This special, lower-calorie recipe is
formulated to help them achieve their weight-loss goals. A healthy blend of
fiber satisfies hunger, and guaranteed levels of glucosamine and chondroitin
support overburdened hips and joints. For health-striving canines, Wellness®
Super5Mix® Healthy Weight Recipe is a satisfying, lower-calorie blend of
ingredients that helps less-active dogs maintain a healthy body weight and
overweight dogs lose weight. And it satisfies dogs' appetites with increased
fiber, reduced fat and a lower calorie count.
Instituting a controlled eating plan is a step in the right direction to
main taining your pet's health, but increasing your pet's activity level is
sure to help, too. Exercise is essential for a pet's happy and long life. It
doesn't have to be strenuous, but regular exercise is key. Setting aside a
period of time each day for your pet's physical activity helps encourage a
routine and also gives your pet something to look forward to. Take your dog
for frequent walks and be certain your cat has room to romp. That can help
them burn off excess calories. "Remember, two extra pounds on a small
dog can be like 20 extra pounds on a person," says Dr. Moser. "It's
important to watch your pet's weight."
For more information, visit www.wellnesspetfood.com.
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