Fun Facts


Dog Toys Help Save Lives
DogFancy October 2013
Virtually all search-and-rescue dogs are motivated by the same thing: an intense desire to play with a tug toy! Screeners looking for potential candidates for these dog jobs are constantly testing recruits to see if they have high play drive, seeking out high-energy dogs who are eager to tug and chase a toy. The insatiable desire to play is what drives these highly trained canine athletes to look for a missing person through debris and rubble for hours on end. And at the end of training sessions, when they "find" the missing person, they are always rewarded with a quick play session.
Back to Top
Black Cat TidBits
CatFancy October 2013
Did you know:
  • In Ancient Egypt, killing a black cat was punishable by death.
  • Fishermen's wives kept black cats for luck when their husbands went to sea.
  • When two black cats mate, the resulting kittens will either be black or blue.
  • Pure black cats are uncommon. Most have a few white hairs on their body.
Back to Top
Protect Your Dog from Dangerous Algal Blooms
DogFancy October 2013
While most dogs love a cool dip in a crisp, clean lake, river, bay, or stream on a hot day, you should be aware of a hidden danger lurking in many of these waters: harmful algal blooms. Under the right conditions, certain species of algae can produce toxins that can sicken, and even kill, dogs and people. Harmful algal blooms can result from excess nutrients in the water that originate from many sources, including fertilizers from farms and lawns, pet and livestock waste, faulty septic systems, and sewage treatment plants. Dogs that swim in, wade in, or drink from water with algal blooms can experience effects ranging from mild eye irritation and diarrhea to more serious health problems, such as liver poisoning and even death. Algal blooms have been reported in every state in the nation.
Here are some tips to help protect your pooch:
  • When in doubt, keep out. Prevent your dog from wading in, swimming in, or drinking from water that is discolored, slimy, bad smelling, or contains foam, scum or mats of algae.
  • Follow posted advisories. If the water is closed, there is a good reason.
  • If your dog ventures into scummy water, rinse her off immediately, and prevent her from licking her paws or fur. Wear gloves to protect yourself from the toxins.
  • Seek veterinary treatment if you suspect poisoning by a harmful algal bloom.
  • Report suspected incidents to your state's public health department.
Back to Top
Kitty and You: Evacuating in an Emergency
CatWatch July 2013
Disaster preparedness isn't only for earthquakes and hurricanes. It's also vital for everyday occurrences, such as extended power outages or fires. Are you ready? Planning is the most important element to keep your cat safe in any disaster. Preparing an evacuation kit is critical to your kitty's welfare in an emergency situation. Here are the essentials of your cat's evacuation kit:
  • A sturdy carrier big enough so your cat could be comfortable for hours; label it with your contact information.
  • A five-day to two-week supply of water, food and medications (including dosage and feeding instructions), veterinary clinic phone number in case a neighbor does the evacuation or you have to board your pet, and emergency veterinary hospital phone number.
  • Litter, litter pan (disposable pans are available), scoop and garbage bags for pet waste.
  • Toy, treats, pet bed or familiar things to comfort your cat.
  • Food and water bowls.
  • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant.
  • First-aid kit, pet first-aid book.
  • Can opener for canned food.
  • Flashlight.
  • A battery-powered radio or TV to listen for latest advisories.
  • A photo of your pet and another of you together to help prove ownership in case you become separated. Consider creating a waterproof "Lost Cat" sign with your cat's photo if he does become lost.
  • Photocopies of key veterinary records to show proof of current vaccinations and results of key tests such as feline leukemia/feline immunodeficiency virus.
  • Two forms in case a neighbor evacuates your pet:
    1. A pre-signed letter that releases your designated friend from responsibility if your cat becomes injured in an evacuation, as advised by the American Veterinary Medical Association's "Saving the Whole Family" brochure.
    2. A pre-signed veterinary medical treatment authorization so a veterinarian can treat your injured cat in your absence, also advised by AVMA.
Back to Top
Get Moving!
CatFancy January 2011
Next time you head out for a walk, get your cat up and moving when you return home. Bust out his favorite ball and toss it around while you cool down, or try these exercises from Ernie Ward, DVM, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
  • High and low: This game is like squats for your cat. Place his food on a counter or table (add a pinch of tuna or salmon for extra incentive) and have him jump up to get it. Return the bowl to the floor and repeat several times.
  • Find the food: Cats are natural predators. To tap into that instinct and encourage your cat to get his move on, try dividing his food into small bowls you hide throughout your house. Have him watch as you “hide” the bowls. Your cat will “hunt” the food throughout the day. This is one of the best ways to get corpulent cats on their feet and burning calories.
  • Remote-control toys: Technology has provided cat owners an almost endless supply of remote-control toys. Many felines will chase a remote-control car or interactive talking toy. Look for a cat-friendly toy or car that has few small parts and is durable enough to withstand a paw strike or bite. Don’t scold your cat if he destroys the toy—fun happens.
Back to Top