Dental health oral care for dogs and cats

Visiting the McKamey Animal Center is Dr. Heidi Lobprise, a Board Certified Veterinary Dentist, to give us insights into pet dental care, signs of dental pro…
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Dr. Wendy Zimmerman shows some of the oral care products you can use on your pet in between veterinarian dental cleanings. Keeping your pets teeth and gums h…
Video Rating: 5 / 5

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69 customers in 30 days

From April 2 to April 29 of 2007, we were able to get 35 new customers for my sister; picked up 34 for myself. They all came through the Internet and this was right after the beginnings of the gigantic pet food recall of 2007.

What did I do and what do I think was the most effective?

  1. Blog – Are you feeding your pets safe pet foods? *** This was linked all by different forums, 1300 hits per day
  2. PlanetXMail Direct AD 30-days ***
  3. GreenPeople Directory Listing – Premium *** This has always done well for me
  4. Yahoo Answers
  5. GotSafelist – 5,000 guaranteed visitors
  6. MadVlad Safelist
  7. Bulldog Safelist – Top Sponsor ad “What the pet food companies don’t want you to know”
  8. Craigslist Ad – Safe Pet Food

The top 3 were good, I wouldn’t say much came out of any of the rest.

Take-home message is that the blog needs to be alive and well.
A day in the life of a HealthyPetNet Rep

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{Bible Study} Making Time

As I was reading Chapter 2 of Kathy Howard’s ,”Fed Up with Flat Faith” , I was reflecting on the time, me and my husband had been spending on getting our garden ready for Spring. The “last frost” or we so hope, has more than passed, so we were laying the basic groundwork to planting,…



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Sunflower Faith

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New Orleans Animal Shelter in Peril ‘Thousands of Dogs Need Shelter’ says MuttShack Animal Rescue

Sylmar, CA (PRWEB) September 9, 2005

Despite the heroic efforts of volunteers and animal groups from both Louisiana and around the country, time is running out for the animals trapped in New Orleans, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Help is desperately required to rescue animals trapped in the flooded ruins of New Orleans or roaming the streets in hungry packs.

Project Katrina Muttshacks is an effort to re-unite lost animals with their owners, identify them and post their pictures on the web for their owners to find them.

Amanda St. John, Founder of MuttShack Animal Rescue says help is also urgently required to help care for the hundreds of animals rescued and located in shelters with no power or running water. They need the following volunteers, items and donations.

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Welcome PetsitUSA’s newest Pet Sitters!

These are the pet sitters that have recently joined PetsitUSA in April!  Please help welcome them as much as possible! The links to their websites are below:

In Home Pet Services of Astoria

Dogs Go Walkin’

Peace Dog

Anna’s Dog Walking

Doggie Ditails

Thanks again for joining!


PetsitUSA Blog

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Come Join Me Over At Bloglovin

Well, I have jumped on the bandwagon and joined Bloglovin. I was over catching up on reading some blog posts over on my Google Reader and noticed that it will be gone, gone, gone on July 1st. It was my favorite place to catch up on my favorite blogs but since that will no longer be, I had to find a better place so I found the place, Bloglovin!

So, why don’t you follow me over there so that you can keep up with me and all your other favorite blogs. The best thing……it will import all your blogs from your Google Reader. Yippie! I didn’t have to go around and find them all. The are all right there ready for me to keep on following along.




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LoveMy2Dogs

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Earlyvegas.com Announces the Top 5 Las Vegas Restaurant Openings for Spring 2013


(PRWEB) April 10, 2013

Across the country, Spring brings warmer weather, blossoming flowers and the promise of a fresh start, while with the change of the seasons in Las Vegas comes a series of exciting new restaurant openings to look forward to. Narrowing down which of the many new Vegas restaurants to check out can be overwhelming, so Earlyvegas.com has taken the guesswork out of the process by gathering a list of the top Las Vegas restaurant openings for Spring 2013. Seasoned Vegas travelers and first time Vegas tourists alike can enjoy the following highly anticipated Las Vegas restaurant openings:

1. Heritage Steak at the Las Vegas Mirage:

Perhaps no Las Vegas restaurant opening is more highly-anticipated than Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio’s new Vegas venture at the Mirage hotel. It is scheduled to open late Spring or early Summer, and Las Vegas foodies are waiting impatiently for it to do so. Heritage Steak will take the place of Kokomo?s at the Mirage Las Vegas hotel, and meat lovers can rejoice as this Vegas restaurant will be focusing on serving quality meat dishes prepared entirely over an open flame.

2. Five 50 at Aria Las Vegas hotel:

Five 50 at Aria is ready to take the Vegas restaurant scene by storm, with its Las Vegas restaurant opening date scheduled for May 2013. Who doesn’t love a slice of pizza after a day of taking in the Las Vegas sights and exploring all of the fun things to do in Sin City? Acclaimed chef Shawn McClain wants to bring a casual Vegas pizza bar to the Aria, and it will be located in the Casino level of the Vegas hotel. That means guests of the Aria hotel can grab a slice (or two) in between gambling sessions or enjoying some Vegas entertainment at the hotel. Executive Chef McClain promises that his pizza will be cooked to wood-fired oven perfection, and will have a unique flavor in every bite. Beer will be another important component of Five 50, with a vast selection of different taps on hand, including a rotating local selection.

3. La Comida:

The Las Vegas restaurant opening for this Fremont East Mexican hotspot has been highly anticipated, and Vegas foodies and travelers alike can?t wait to sample some of the mouth-watering cuisine that will be served up courtesy of the Morton Group. La Comida is expected to open in mid- April, and this Vegas Mexican restaurant will have a Latin flavor in its decor, with brightly-colored Mexican tiles and even old Latin-American church pews and stained glass rounding up the dining experience. Expect to chow down on some delicious and authentic Pollo al Horno, Tostada Mixta and Mexican street corn. Once it opens, La Comida will be serving up its tasty fare for lunch, dinner and even brunch.

4. Park On Fremont:

This Las Vegas restaurant just opened its doors to the public in early April, and it already has garnered a lot of buzz and attention in the press and with local foodies. Park On Fremont hopes to keep the momentum going by attracting customers with an atmosphere of unlike any other restaurant in Vegas at the moment. It is part gastropub and part beer garden, with an outdoor venue that will make visitors feel like they’ve been transported out of Downtown Las Vegas and into a German or Bohemian pub. The decor is shabby chic, and there is even an outdoor bar complete with all sorts of games and activities for patrons to play. The food at this Las Vegas restaurant is noteworthy as well, with plenty of out of the box comfort food selections like a Philly Mac and Cheesesteak Sandwich, Chicken Waffle Sandwich and even Banana Bread Beer.

5. Chronic Tacos:

For a fast and more affordable option of some Mexican food in Vegas, why not check out Chronic Tacos, which is a popular California taco chain that will be opening in the Palms food court, The Eatery, in April. It will be situated next to the Earl of Sandwich, which is also a recent addition to the Las Vegas food scene. This taco chain gained recognition for its fresh ingredients, cheap prices and generations-old recipes for its burritos, tacos and tamales, and locals are impatient to try the scrumptious food for themselves. This is bound to become a late night staple sure to be frequented by party-goers and casino guests after they’ve had their fill of gambling and the Las Vegas nightlife scene. The chain combines its delicious food with a hip design aesthetic, which is sure to fit right in on the Vegas strip.

About EarlyVegas.com:

EarlyVegas.com is an authority on how to save money and get the best value when planning travel to Las Vegas. EarlyVegas.com searches the web for the best packages, specials, promotions, deals, and promo code offers that help travelers save and get the most value when booking hotel rooms, tours, and shows in Las Vegas.







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Foothills Animal Rescue

Yesterday, we published photos of the top ten dogs available for adoption at Foothills Animal Rescue in Scottsdale, AZ. Today, I want to tell you a little more about the shelter. According to their website, Foothills Animal Rescue (FAR) was founded in 1995. We are a no-kill 501(c)3 organization that focuses on rescuing and adopting [...]


Doggies.com Dog Blog

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Counter-conditioning and Desensitization for Dogs (Part 1)

A bell

How do you un-ring Pavlov’s bell?

We’ve all heard of Pavlov, his bell, and his dogs, but what did he really discover, and how does it apply to dog training?

Ivan Pavlov noticed that the dogs that he was already experimenting on (he was using the dogs for research on digestion) would salivate when lab technicians arrived at the lab to feed them — before their food was actually given to them.

This seems kind of obvious to us now, but this discovery was the beginning of Pavlov’s pivotal research on what he called conditional reflex and what is commonly called classical or respondent conditioning today.

 

What is classical conditioning?

Classical conditioning is learning by association. Pavlov’s dogs learned that the technicians predicted the food. Our dogs make similar associations all the time, for example:

  • The sound of a crinkly plastic bag may predict treats.
  • The smell of birch oil predicts food.
  • The sight of another dog while on leash may predict trouble.

These associations are remarkably powerful. A new (conditioned) stimulus is being associated with an existing (unconditioned) stimulus. In the case of the first 2 examples a new stimulus has come to mean “food is available!” while in the third a new stimulus means “danger is near!”

How strong is classical conditioning?

Being able to make these kind of associations is a critical survival skill for any organism – even humans. We aren’t born knowing what the sound of an approaching car is and what it means if the car hits us. But anyone who has suddenly heard a car while crossing a street makes an association and has a reflex — Evade danger!

So it makes sense that these associations have a couple of important properties:

  • They generalize very quickly. Learning that a dog approaching on leash is dangerous after one event will very often become associated with all dogs approaching on leash from that event on.
  • They are very durable. Classical associations don’t tend to go away on their own, even if the associated stimulus is not encountered for a very long time.
  • They tend to override other types of learning. Attempting to punish way a conditioned response or reinforce an alternative rarely works, unless they are combined with counter-conditioning and desensitization (CC&DS). (And punishment is never a good idea.)

How are these associations made?

The obvious way that these associations are made is through experience. If a dog is attacked by another dog she may develop a negative associations with all dogs, dog while on leash, dogs that resemble the attacker, or some combination of factors.

Similarly a pleasant experience, such as a specific person and good treats or a fun activity can create a positive association.

You have probably heard about the importance of early socialization for puppies. Effective early socialization helps puppies deal with new and unexpected things, while an under-socialized dog will often respond to anything new with fear and create yet another negative association.

How are these associations changed?

As I explained above, classical associations are strong. Stronger than the reinforcers and punishers that tend to increase or decrease the frequency of behaviors.

Associations are not eliminated. They are changed via counter-conditioning and desensitization (CC&DS). I’ll explain that in my next post.

Does your dog have any interesting associations? What makes her run to the kitchen? What makes her run to the door? Is there something she is particularly afraid of? Let me know in the comments below!

Photo Credit: vintage19_something

Counter-conditioning and Desensitization for Dogs (Part 1) is a post written by . You can see the actual post at Dog Training in Jersey City New Jersey


Dog Spelled Forward Website and Blog

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I think I need to break up with Disneyland and its 999 Happy Haunts

I spend a lot of time thinking about customer service, and how we as veterinarians are sometimes so focused on being amazing clinicians we neglect to remember the fact that we are in a customer service industry. You can be the most astute diagnostician in the universe, but if your front desk staff or technician (or you!) is  rude, ambivalent or just generally unpleasant, it ruins the whole client experience. It doesn’t take much to be minimally pleasant, but I’m amazed how uncommon that has become.

I’ve always held Disneyland to be the ultimate in the customer service experience. I remember going as a kid and being followed around the park by chipper young men in starched white uniforms, cheerily scooping up the popcorn we were dripping behind us. “Have a magical day!” they’d wink, and we did. The haunted mansion staff got really into being creepy. My friend, who worked there in high school and college, was taken to task for wearing non regulation pink lipstick. The Disneyland Experience was no joke. Yes, we knew it was fake and those cheery people went home and were crabby humans just like everyone else, but we all appreciated the artifice of good cheer.

I know things have changed a bit. Disney has gotten a little more corporate, the college aged employees too stuck in hipster mode to bring themselves to actually act like they’re happy, but I had no idea how bad it had gotten until this past week.

My aunt and uncle were visiting from Massachusetts, and my aunt decided she would like to enjoy Disneyland with my kids- who were on Spring Break. My aunt has MS and uses a wheelchair, which as she reminded me allows you some measure of benefit in the form of getting to enter the rides through the exits, thus a shorter line. The kids were happy to hear this.

Now I know Disneyland and I have had our moments in the past- the Splash Mountain debacle, for one, and a heartbreaking encounter with an accordion playing D-list celebrity I used to be a fan of, but still, I figured how could they screw this one up? All you have to do is make some reasonable accommodation for a disabled guest, blah blah Magic of Disney etc, right?

Yeah. It seems somewhere along the way they have forgotten some of Business Tactics 101, applicable to any place hoping to retain customers, be it your friendly local DVM or a once well regarded amusement park.

1. Staff appropriately.

Part of the problem was that we went during spring break, and I know this. That being said, I had to push my aunt hither and fro round each and every ride looking for some guidance as to where one might enter as it seemed like no one was actually working the line. We wandered through Indiana Jones’ exit line for 5 minutes before finding a line of wheelchairs 30 deep marinating in the shadows, staffed by an ambivalent kid in khakis who was not, I suspect, as into archaeology as he should be pretending to be.

2. Anticipate problems.

See someone trying to get through your front door with a huge crate as big as they are? You open the door for them. Same goes for someone trying to back a wheelchair onto a train platform before the door slams shut on someone’s neuropathic feet. Theoretically. It’s the little things, right?

3. Keep track of your clients.

I  heard horror stories of a physician going home for the day, leaving an increasingly agitated client in an exam room who never got past the nurse. I think it’s reasonable for the person in charge of traffic flow to be keeping an eye on things to make sure no one gets left behind.

Which brings me to my most egregious Disney misadventure to date.

“Actually, we have 999 happy haunts residing here but, there’s always room for 1000. Any volunteers, hmmm?”

Anyone who has been on the haunted mansion is familiar with the ride itself: you step onto a moving conveyor belt and run into a little whirl-a-gig buggy thing, ride around for a while getting spooked, and then extricate yourself from said buggy back onto a moving platform. All fine and dandy for those without mobility issues, but it gets dicier when you’re moving slowly.

Doom buggy, as apropos a title as any.

I entered the ride first, with my kids. My mother and aunt got on the buggy behind us, after asking the person running the line to slow it down so she could get on. This is SOP in these cases.

On the other end, I got off with the kids and they started up the one way escalator off the ride. I heard my mother behind me, saying, “Stop! STOP!” in louder and louder degrees of panic. Apparently, in a cost cutting measure they got rid of whoever normally stands at the far end to make sure people get off ok, and there was just one girl at the near end of the ride who couldn’t hear my mother yelling as there was a horde of 30 people pushing off past her. None of whom, by the way, seemed alarmed by my mother’s distress.

My children, sensing a disturbance and me pausing at the bottom of the escalator, were valiantly attempting to rush back down to me, only to be pushed up by people telling them not to goof off. I turned and saw only the sad sight of my aunt’s hand hanging out the side, waving sadly to us as she disappeared into a dark tunnel to join the 999 Happy Haunts in parts heretofore unseen.

I went up the escalator after my kids. A few minutes later, my mother appeared, sans aunt.

“Where is she?” I asked.

“They don’t know,” my mother responded, which seemed like a bizarre thing for them to have told her. I mean, she’s on a fixed belt and can’t walk, so one might think she would be easy to find. “They said she’ll probably pop up at the entrance.”

Probably. Else they found their thousandth happy haunt.

I went to the entrance, which is an entirely different area, to see if she might arrive there. No one knew where she was there either. My mother, having exited the turnstyle, couldn’t go back down to the exit to wait for her there. Eventually my aunt texted me: “Going through again.”

She did indeed make it back to the entrance, shocking the hell out of the people about to get in the cart with her. The person there stopped the ride and asked her off, but seeing as though her family and her wheelchair were now at the exit, she demurred. Eventually, she arrived back at the egress and had to pick her way, slowly and gingerly, up to the exit turnstyle where my son was frantically holding on to her chair. I had to explain to my kids why I was laughing so hard while we rolled right on out the park and back to our car, pooped.

“Because your auntie is a cool lady,” I said, marvelling. And she is.

On the bus ride back to the parking lot- which was incidentally the best ride of the day- we were helped by an old-timer named Clarence. “You don’t say,” he said, when we told him of our misadventures. “I’ve never heard that one before. Losing a lady on a ride.” He could barely kneel himself, but he helped me maneuver her chair down the bus ramp.

It’s the little things that stick with us in customer service. But all’s well that ends well; at least we got her back. :)

 

Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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