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Cats  Dogs  Fleas  Pets 
Also see: PETS

____ Keep teeth clean with brushing (use toothpaste designed for cats and consider using a finger toothbrush), sprays, chewable pills, hard food and/or chewable toys
____ Clean ears with cotton balls, etc. (avoid cleaning ears with cotton swabs) approx. every 1-2 weeks - swabs can push wax, etc. further into the ear canal
____ Use a shampoo designed for cats

If cat misbehaves (e.g., aggressive):
____ Try to spend more time with your cat - many cats misbehave when they are bored or stressed
____ Provide sufficient toys

If cat scratches furniture:
____ Try to avoid declawing your cat - it hurts the cat - it will make it difficult for your cat to defend itself (e.g., by climbing to avoid predators) if it gets outside
____ Use a scratching post and put catnip on it

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Also see: PETS

____ Don't let your dog think he/she is the leader of your 'pack' (your family) - if dogs think they are the leader, they might attack a member of your family who he/she thinks is challenging his position in the 'pack' or a person they perceive as a threat to your family
____ Ensure your dog respects members of your family as being in control, e.g.:
          - Have all members of your family occasionally feed your dog
          - Make your dog stay still while you groom him/her
          - Make your dog follow you through narrow passages, e.g., doors, down stairs
          - Pet your dog by pressing down from the top of the head across the shoulders
____ Make your dog learn to obey at least one command (e.g., "sit")
____ Put your dog through obedience classes

If your dog misbehaves:
____ Instead of hitting your dog (e.g., with rolled up paper), say "no!" firmly
____ Put your dog outside - so they learn that indoors is for relaxation

If your dog exhibits any aggressive behavior:
____ Put him/her through obedience classes
____ Use a collar and leash so you can regularly pull on it gently when dog misbehaves

If your dog barks excessively (usually caused by dog being bored, excited and/or scared):
____ Provide dog toys and bones while you're away

If your dog chases its tail and/or rubs its rear end on the floor:
____ Take your dog to a vet or groomer to have anal glands checked

____ Keep teeth clean with brushing (use toothpaste designed for dogs and consider using a finger toothbrush), sprays, chewable pills, hard food and/or chewable toys
____ Clean ears with cotton balls, etc. (avoid cleaning ears with cotton swabs) approx. every 1-2 weeks - swabs can push wax, etc. further into the ear canal
____ Use a shampoo designed for dogs
____ Buy dry dog food which:
          - Is age appropriate, e.g. puppy, younger than 7 (maintenance), older than 7
          - Is approved by the American Association of Feed Control Officers

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Also see: PETS

- Fleas can result in your pet getting tapeworm, weight loss, skin infections, hair loss, etc.

To get rid of fleas in your residence and/or on your pet(s):
____ Ask your veterinarian for recommendations
____ Use flea control products which are non-toxic
____ Check your pet for fleas, e.g., by running a flea comb along back of pet near rear end, looking for black specks, putting the specks on a paper towel, putting a drop of water on the specks, checking for red circles (blood from your pet)
____ Use products which attack adult fleas and flea larvae/eggs
____ Place flea control substance on your pet's back between the shoulder blades - it will spread across the skin
____ Consider giving your pet a tablet which helps sterilize fleas

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Before deciding to obtain a pet:
____ Be aware that many dogs and cats are stolen for research or for animal fights - small animals are used to train larger animals
____ Be aware that some people are allergic to some pets, especially pets with fur or feathers, and may be uncomfortable visiting your residence
____ Consider the possibility that your pet might bother neighbors, e.g., noise, droppings
____ Consider getting a smaller pet first, e.g., a hamster
____ Consider taking care of someone else's pet first - to get a feel for what's involved
____ Consider whether a pet would be at danger from wild animals, e.g., coyotes
____ Consider whether your residence is well-suited for the type of pet you're considering, e.g., room for dogs to run around, no small places for hamsters to hide in
____ Be aware that many pets often carry fleas which live in carpets, etc.

Before deciding whether to get a specific pet:
____ Determine how good the pet will be with children
____ Determine how loud the pet is likely to be
____ Determine if the pet is pure bred
____ Determine if the pet has any papers verifying breeding, vaccinations, etc.
____ Determine if the pet is sick, or has been sick
____ Have the pet checked by a vet

After obtaining a pet:
____ Have pet spayed/neutered - it will make them less likely to roam, thereby reducing risk of getting lost or stolen
____ Have a microchip inserted under the skin and/or have your pet tattooed(sp?) - most researchers check for these before using an animal for research
____ Consider pet health insurance - the average annual cost of vet care (routine and otherwise) for a dog is $160

____ Keep teeth clean with brushing (use toothpaste designed for your pet and consider using a finger toothbrush), sprays, chewable pills, hard food and/or chewable toys
____ Clean ears with cotton balls, etc. (avoid cleaning ears with cotton swabs) approx. every 1-2 weeks - swabs can push wax, etc. further into the ear canal
____ Use a shampoo designed for your type pet

If you are bitten by someone's pet:

____ Report it to authorities, e.g., animal control - to force negilent owners to control, and perhaps train, their pet

If you become aware of a pet owner who does not properly control their pet and the pet poses a hazard to others:
____ Report them to authorities, e.g., animal control - to force the owner to control their pet

If you can no longer care for your pet:
____ Don't give it away free to a stranger (charge something) - they might sell it for research (dogs and cats have organs similiar to humans)
____ Check with an animal shelter

Death of a pet:
____ Some areas prohibit backyard burials
____ Vet should give you alternatives, e.g., cremation ($100-200), cemetary burial ($600-10,000)
____ Use similar procedures as you would for a human funeral
____ Insist on viewing your pet before it is buried
____ Ensure cemetery has necessary funds to stay in business

____ Ensure your pet is actually cremated (e.g., not just dumped into open pit)
____ Ensure the ashes you get back are those of your pet

____ Get a contract which includes:
          - Exact location of burial
          - Your rights and responsibilities regarding maintenance of the plot

If you're considering leaving your pet at a kennel, etc.:

____ Call American Boarding Kennels Association (719) 591-1113
____ Visit the recommended kennel(s) to check for:
          - Adequate space
          - Cleanliness
          - Staff interested in your pet
          - Ventilation
          - Are they willing to use your pet's personal bedding, toys, food, etc.?

Pet sitters:
If you're considering using a pet-sitter:

____ Seek referrals, e.g., call National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, (800) 296-7387
For prospective pet-sitters:
____ Determine if they will:
          - Walk pet
          - Play with pet
          - Take in mail, newspapers, etc.
          - Turn lights on and off
          - Stay overnight
____ Ask for proof of bonding and insurance
____ Check references

If you're considering taking a pet with you:

____ Consider not taking your pet and having it cared for by a pet sitter, kennel, etc. (see Pet sitters, Kennels)
If you decide to transport your pet:
____ Ensure your pet is not:
          - Pregnant
          - Frail
          - Too young
          - Sick
____ Be aware that cats tend to get confused and lost on trips
____ Obtain copy of medical records for emergencies and crossing borders
____ Seek advice from a vet
____ Ensure all hotels, etc. at which you might stay will allow pets
____ Put an ID tag on your pet

If you're considering flying your pet:
____ Check the policies of the airline(s) for travelling pets
____ Beware that airline flights can be fatal for pets which fly in the baggage compartment
____ You can usually take your pet in the cabin with you if it will fit in a carrier which will fit under the seat

If your pet will be flying in the baggage compartment and/or unaccompanied:
____ Get a non-stop flight to reduce the risk of death from overheating during loading or unloading
____ Get an evening flight to avoid the hottest time of day

For more info:
____Check out:

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