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Animal Radio® for August 22 , 2015  

Things Your Vet Wished You Worried About More
Dr. Marty Becker, America's Veterinarian

Marty Becker with PuppyAnimal Radio Veterinary Correspondent Dr. Marty Becker has a list of things he wishes his clients would pay more attention to than they do. He'll also tell you what you unnecessarily worry too much about.

Some pet owners worry too much about things like grain in a pet's diet, dry noses, etc. But as a veterinarian, there are six things that Dr. Becker feels pet owners should worry more about.

1. A Cat That Hasn't Eaten In 24 Hours
If a dog doesn't eat for a day, there isn't usually anything to worry about. It is probably dietary indiscretion. As long as a dog is not vomiting or having explosive diarrhea, or is not depressed and just doesn't want to eat for a day, it's not a big deal. But, if a cat hasn't eaten in 24 hours and skips two meals, you need to worry about it! When a cat doesn't eat, they can get sick very fast. Dr. Becker advised that if a cat misses two meals, you should at least call your veterinarian.

2. Inactive Cat
Your cat is not grooming himself, he doesn't want to use the litter box or climb the cat tree, these could be signs of arthritis. This condition affects most, not all, older cats. But if a dog doesn't rise to his feet, doesn't want to play, has difficulty jumping in the car or stands up by his front feet first and has difficulty getting on his back feet, people are quick to take them to the veterinarian for relief. It's not fair to cats to let them suffer with this painful condition when there are a lot of new medications out there that can stop the pain and start them moving again.

3. Skin Problems
The number one reason people take their pets to a veterinarian is because of skin problems. Dr. Becker states that many times at his office people come in with a skin issue and don't believe it is really a problem, they don't think there are too many fleas, or that is not that bad and has been worse before. Think about the last time you were bit by a hornet or mosquito. It doesn't feel good, and that's one bite. Now imagine being covered with fleas and receiving multiple bites. Itching, licking, scratching pets deserve an accurate diagnoses and effective treatment plan.

Fat Cat and Pudgy Pooch4. Fat Cats and Pudgy Pooches
Just know you are going to save a lot of money without shortchanging your pet if you keep them at or near their ideal body weight. They're going to be a lot more active and you're going to add years to their life.

5. Increased Water Consumption And Urination
This is a red flag in both dogs and cats and can range from a metabolic problem like diabetes to kidney failure. Notice how often you have to fill your pet's water dish. Notice if they need to be let out to go to the bathroom more often or are filling the litter box faster. This is like a warning light going off to alert you that there is a problem. There is a new sensitive test for kidney disease available from your veterinarian that catches renal disease in its earliest phase. Previously, before this test, you had to wait until about 75-percent of the kidney function was gone before you could detect problems.

6. Bad Breath
Dr. Becker knows that you are not going to brush your pet's teeth on a regular bases, but you should use some kind of an edible toothbrush. Greenies are great. There are dental diets. Milk Bone has a brushing chew. HEXtra Chews are available from Virbac. You would be surprised at how well these work. Dr. Becker's favorite is the HEXtra Chew from Virbac because they last longer and contain chlorhexidine, which is a really good dental astringent. Dogs also like the taste of these, so they chew and chew and chew, so their whole mouth is bathed with saliva mixed with chlorhexidine. You can almost get the same benefit of brushing by giving your pet these dental chews.

So look at your pet and make sure they are eating, they are moving, their skin looks good, they are not overweight and their breath doesn't stink!

Dr. Becker has been practicing veterinary medicine for more than 30 years and is a best-selling author, syndicated columnist and a frequent guest on national shows. You can also find Dr. Becker on, a new animal health and lifestyle website dedicated to giving pet owners the most accurate information possible to keep their pets healthy and happy. Follow Dr. Becker on Facebook and Twitter.

Safely Contain Your Pets In Your Yard
Vinny Tonangi, Pet Playgrounds

Pet Playgrounds LogoVinny Tonangi explains that there are many ways to contain your pet in your yard. However, they can be expensive and don't all provide climb, dig and chew protection. The Pet Playgrounds Fencing System does all that and is easy to install. It is also the most affordable, non-electric fencing option to protect your pet.

The Pet Playgrounds Fencing System was designed and developed by owner Victor Boemmels. When he was 9-years-old he received his first puppy. Unfortunately that puppy escaped from his family home and was killed by a car. After that, Victor started dabbling in various training techniques and became an amateur dog trainer. In fact, his current dog Goya has won many agility awards over the years. But his first dog is what convinced him to build something to keep dogs safe.

Spending his time researching how dogs escape, Victor found out that there are three basic ways dogs escape. They either climb over a fence, dig under a fence or chew threw a fence. He then engineered an 11-component system that consists of steel cables that are used in place of traditional fencing rails, with a 1,000 pound break strength polypropylene mesh, which is both strong yet flexible. This prevents dogs from climbing over the Pet Playgrounds Fencing System. Other fences, for example a chain link fence, can actually work like a ladder helping a dog climb over, but the Pet Playgrounds Fencing mesh system is flexible enough that a dog can never get a grip. A dog would just fall back down - but it's tough.

Pet Playgrounds Fencing System in YardClick here to see a video of a tree that had fallen on one of the Pet Playgrounds Fencing Systems during a hurricane. If the customer had a wood fence, the entire section would need to be replaced. But with the Pet Playgrounds Fencing System, the customer had to simply push the tree off the fence and use a hog ringer, which is a simple hand tool included in every one of kits, to repair the damaged section. In 10 minutes the customer had his fence repaired and it cost him literally nothing. That just shows how strong yet flexible the Pet Playgrounds Fencing System truly is.

The other component is a commercial gradate metal hex netting wire, which is overlapped on top of their polypropylene mesh. This combination makes it incredibly difficult for a dog chew through.

Normal fences also stop when they touch the ground; the Pet Playgrounds Fencing System doesn't. It actually continues about 6 feet after your fence touches the ground. Metal netting wire material is used in the assembly of their dig guard. These are just 2 of the 11-component system. You also don't need a level yard. The Pet Playgrounds Fencing System can be installed on uneven terrain, even over rocks.

You can install the Pet Playgrounds Fencing System yourself or have a professional install it anywhere in the country. To see how easy their fencing system is to install, click the video where you can watch a short 6-minute video explaining all the individual components and see how they are assembled.

So why not just use an invisible fence, which appears to be cheaper and just as effective? Vinny explains that they are not. In fact, about a third of their customers have turned to them after their existing invisible fencing system failed them. Invisible fences also don't stop unwanted animals from entering your yard. Plus, if you stand back a few feet, the Pet Playgrounds Fencing System is almost invisible.

Pet Playgrounds Cat FenceA customer of the Pet Playgrounds Fencing System, Sandy, is a foster parent with typically 3-4 dogs at a time, as well as her own dogs. Click the video to see her testimonial. Her first solution was to use long tie outs, but because of the danger using tie outs she had to always be vigilant that the dogs weren't getting tangled or choked. Sandy had tried an invisible fencing option for her own dog, and for years it actually worked - until Sandy started taking her dog to a dog park. Her dog quickly learned that every dog in the neighborhood was a potential friend. She would run out and take the hit to play with the dog - but after the initial adrenaline rush her dog wouldn't want to get shocked again so she just wouldn't come home. She was afraid to come back. Sandy had the invisible fence guys out to her house several times and spent thousands of dollars paying a trainer to train and retrain her dog. She found out about Pet Playgrounds Fencing System from a show they did, and they installed her fence. Now all of her dogs are safely contained.

Pet Playgrounds didn't forget about the cats. They have a Cat Fence Conversion Kit, which can be added to any of their dog fencing kits. Their Cat Fence Conversion Kit provides everything you need to create a humane cat containment system that turns your yard into a secure enclosure. Cats are excellent climbers, but they won't climb on unstable surfaces, which prevents any cat from escaping from your yard. The fence also keeps unwanted creatures out.

To purchase the Pet Playgrounds Fencing System, call 1-800-985-9202 or visit Use code ANIMAL RADIO at checkout to save 10-Percent.

How To Select The Right Pet Food For Your Pet
Doc Halligan, Lucy Pet Foundation

Doc Halligan with DogLucy Pet Foundation's Doc Halligan has what you need to know in order to pick the best food for your pet and your budget. Just because it's expensive doesn't mean it's good. You'll learn how to read the label.

Can you feed your dog cheap food and add a supplement? If you feed a high quality food that provides proper nutrition, you shouldn't ever need to add anything. This is like you living on just Twinkies and then taking vitamins - it doesn't work and it leads to poor health.

Also, if you feed a high quality food, your pet doesn't need to eat as much and they don't poop as much. They have less medical problems. Basically, pound for pound and dollar for dollar, it pays to feed a high quality food, even if you have to pay a little more, as you will save on medical bills in the long run.

But just because a food is more expensive than others, doesn't necessarily mean it is a better food. You must read the label. Nowadays, many food labels are owned by one company and the food all comes from the same source and are manufactured in the same plant. There are only a few plants that manufacture pet food. There is also no such thing as human grade food that is manufactured in a plant, because as soon as you take human grade food and put it in a pet food plant, it's not human grade anymore. It might look pretty and have great packaging, but you must read the label.

Pet Food AisleAlso stay away from controversial additives used as preservatives. These are things like BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin.

If you find a cheap food, the reason they can sell it so cheap is that what they are using for their protein source. They use vegetables and by-products in place of protein.

So just what is an animal by-product? It is feet, lips and eyes. It is everything but the protein. Think about it, when an animal kills another animal in the wild, they eat the meat but they leave these items. These items have no nutritional value and they probably don't even taste good.

If you look at the ingredients on the packaging, it will tell you the contents, starting with the item that has the highest amount. You want protein, like chicken, fish, beef, lamb, turkey, etc., to be listed as one of the first three main ingredients.

If you see meal listed on a label that is okay. Meal is the dehydrated parts of an animal but not as good as if it said just chicken. For example, chicken meal is not as concentrated as pure chicken.

A lot of pet food labels state they are grain-free. Cats do not need grains, because cats are true carnivores. There is much controversy about dogs eating grains. Grains are okay for dogs, as they are omnivores so they can eat grains. In fact, many pets are now overweight because of grain-free diets. Grain free is best only in dogs that have allergies to grain.

The Mission of The Lucy Pet Foundation is to reduce pet overpopulation by having mobile spay/neuter clinics across the country and to support causes that benefit animal welfare. The Lucy Pet Foundation currently has two buses that travel around Southern California focusing on spaying and neutering. These buses are state of the art surgery units. Their next focus is in generating more funds to expand the work of these buses and have more across the country.

The Lucy Pet Foundation not only offers free and reduced spays and neuters, they also do microchipping, vaccines and de-wormings. Spaying and neutering is not only great for pet population control, but it has been proven that an animal will live on an average of 40-percent longer after having this surgery.

Lucy Pet Foundation Mobile ClinicHere is a list of upcoming free or reduced fee mobile spay and neuter clinics in California:

August 24, 29 & 31
Location: Morgan Park, City of Baldwin Hills, 4100 Baldwin Park Blvd, Baldwin Park CA
Check in 7:30am
Please call 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment.

August 26 & 28
Location: Inland Valley
Check in 8:00am
Prices Vary
Please call 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment.

Friday, August 28
Check in 7:30am
Location: Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies, 22840 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance, CA
Please call 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment.

Remember, you must get on a list to have your pet seen at these locations. Please call The Lucy Pet Foundation toll free at 1-855-499-5829 or Email: to schedule an appointment, or register at the events.

See the current list of clinics at

Joey VillaniThe Dogfather's Grooming Tip with Joey Villani

Do Groomed Pets Live Longer?
Joey informs us that statistics have shown that pets that are groomed regularly, every 4 to 6 weeks or are brushed at home on a regular basis live longer and have better temperaments.

This is twofold. Just keeping your pet clean and hygienic is good for their health, but with regularly grooming you also find things on your pet you may not see right away, like parasites, warts, bumps or lumps. Regular grooming allows you to inspect your pet more often and lets you notice any changes on their bodies.

Groomed DogRegular grooming is also a good way to bond with your pet and show them affection and love. If grooming is done on a regular basis, it's comforting to your pet. It's not as if they are knotted and you're trying to brush out matts, it just provides them with a good bonding experience and quality time with you.

Grooming your pet regularly can sometimes add up to two more years to their life. So go out and get your pet groomed or just buy a brush and bond with your pet at home.

Dr. Debbie WhiteMultiple Cats, Stress & Illness - Dr. Debbie

Caring for one cat is easy. Adding a second or third doesn't take much more work. But how many cats are too many? As the number of cats in a home increase, there is greater risk of behavior and health disorders - partly due to higher stress. Problem behaviors like hissing, chasing and soiling outside the litter box are more common in multi-cat homes. But environmental stress contributes to medical disorders too. That's right - stress will make your cat sick.

Defining Feline Stress
Crowding within a home zone creates psychological stress for cats. Cats are social creatures, but don't form social structures like dogs or people. They require room to be away from fellow cats and retreat to their own space. But just having more square footage isn't enough. Cats require a multi-dimensional environment with vertical perching sites and hiding spots.

Household activity, changes in the home and the presence of outdoor cats nearby can rile up your cat's stress level. It's easy for cat owners to fail to detect clues of cat stress in the multi-cat household. A majority of cat communication is nonverbal, so even if you don't hear growling or hissing, your cats can be stressed out.

Even mealtime can be stressful. A study of feral cats has shown that cats hunt and eat their prey preferably away from other cats. Feral cats eat up to 10 to 20 times throughout the daytime and night. So kibble offered to pet cats in a large communal bowl once to two times a day is contrary to innate kitty dining behaviors.

Multiple CatsCat Stress=Sickness
Just as in people, the mind-body connection is at work in cats too. Higher stress results in higher levels of compounds that result in bodily inflammation and suppress immune responses.

Feline interstitial cystitis, also referred to as feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC), is an inflammatory problem of the bladder typified by frequent urinations, straining to urinate, and bloody colored urine. The cause of FIC isn't completely known, but stress is believed to contribute to its development. Cat owners are shocked to learn that those bloody urine accidents may have nothing to do with bacteria, and everything to do with stress.

Other stress related health problems include excess grooming behaviors, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and obesity. Cats in high-density living situations may be prone to upper respiratory outbreaks even if residing solely indoors. Stress and an indoor lifestyle have also been implicated in contributing to obesity, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and dental disease.

What to Do
It's not that you can't have multiple cats, but you need ensure you can provide the environment for more cats. Consider the feline perspective with living space, feeding, and interaction with other animals and people.

Add cats to the home that share similar personalities. A rowdy cat gets along best with other rowdy cats. A timid cat may be stressed out and fail to thrive in a home where fellow cats are outgoing or rambunctious cats.

Work toward household harmony by following the basic guidelines in resources. Provide ample resources to avoid competition, and therefore stress. Provide one more resource than the number of cats in the home. For two cats you should have three litter boxes and three feeding/watering sites.

Vertical height equals safety to cats, so provide ample perching sites for cats, such as cat trees and window perches. Stick to the rule for one more perching site than kitty in the home. Provide hiding spots like paper bags or cardboard boxes.

Promptly address feline behavior problems when they arise by consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary behaviorist.

For more information on enriching your indoor cat's environment, visit the Indoor Pet Initiative. This resource is provided by the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Featured veterinarian known as "Dr. Debbie" on national pet radio program, Animal Radio. Ebook author of "Yorkshire Terriers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Pugs: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; "Mini Schnauzers: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend"; and "Shih Tzu: How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend."

It's a Wacky Wednesday Here at the Animal Radio® Studios

WackyWed Contest IS ON - LIKE your FAVORITE pic and the three pics with the most LIKES & SHARES are this week's winner will receive a Package from Zero Odor.

Zero Odor Pet ProductsTO ENTER Send us your FUNNY pet pic to - (Please put WACKYWED in the subject line & give us your pet's name, your name & where you hail from) If YOUR pic is chosen then spread the word to your friends & family on Wednesday - the pics w/the most LIKES and SHARES will be the winner!

This week we are giving away Zero Odor Pet (for hard surfaces, carpet and fabric); Zero Odor Litter (spray on you cat's litter to completely eliminate the smell of filed cat); and Zero Odor Pet Stain (not only eliminates the worst odors caused by pets, but also removes organic stains caused by urine, feces, vomit and blood) from Zero Odor. Zero's Odor patented formula bonds with odor molecules in an irreversible reaction that's powerful enough to stop skunk odor - yet it's odorless, non-toxic and biodegradable.

Animal Radio® Facebook
Join Animal Radio® on Facebook for Wacky Wednesday! Win great prizes every week for your wacky pet pictures. Last month we gave out goodies from The Green Pet Shop, PL360, Bark Box, Solid Gold Pet, Energizer and more. Visit us on Facebook now.

Lori and FlobearAnimal Radio® News - Lori Brooks

Pets Might Be Reservoirs For MRSA
A new study suggests family pets might actually be reservoirs for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA. The research by University of Missouri-Columbia veterinarians found that in 1974, MRSA infections accounted for 2-percent of the total number of staph infections. In 2004 that number soared to 63-percent. The researchers believe pets might be an important factor behind the increase. Now they're studying about 500 bacterial samples from about 800 pairs of owners and pets, sorting them into three groups: human healthcare workers and pets, veterinary healthcare workers and pets and non-healthcare professionals and pets. Further study will help track where the disease started and determine what questions the doctors should be asking if a patient is diagnosed with MRSA.

Pets Dropped At Shelter As 'Strays' So Owners Can Vacation
The famous Battersea Dogs and Cats Home for strays in the UK has accused people of pretending their pets are strays so the rescue center will look after them while they're away on vacation. Can you imagine purposefully putting your pet child in a shelter just so you can take a trip? The center's Intake Coordinator says some pet owners were up-front about their wishes to ditch their pets so they could go away. Others asked outright if they could take their pet for a week while they go away. While others blatantly bring in a supposedly 'stray' dog or cat, and will send someone else to claim it back a week later.

SalukiHealthiest Dog Breeds
If you're a dog lover, you know that dealing with animal illnesses and diseases can be discouraging when you're thinking about getting a new pet. Luckily, the website Pet Breeds thought about this and with data from Animal Planet has put out a list of 33 dog breeds that either have a clean health record, or are associated with only one, two or three health problems at most. The top seven have NO major or minor health concerns at all. They are: Harrier, Canaan Dog, Polish Lowland Sheepdog, Pharaoh Hound, Redbone Coonhound, German Pinscher and the healthiest and most popular breed of dog in America is the Saluki. The bad news, America's favorite dog breed, the Labrador Retriever, is prone to six major health concerns and four minor concerns, including hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, muscular dystrophy, retinal dysplasia and cataracts.

Almost Half of Taiwanese Workers Bring Pets To Work
It's not unusual for Taiwanese workers to bring their pets to work. An amazing 42-percent of the 900 people who responded to an online questionnaire said their bosses allowed them to bring their pets to work, according to the Taipei Times. However, some respondents said they are required to keep their animals crated or caged while on the job.

Dog Chewing on SmartphonePets Damage 8 Million Electronic Devices
A new study says American pets have bitten, chewed or damaged at least 8 million electronic devices! All that damage caused an estimated $3 billion in repair and replacement costs. Research by protection plan provider SquareTrade found one third of the damaged devices were smartphones and two thirds of the incidents happened when the pet was not being supervised. And interestingly, male pets are 50-percent more likely than female pets to damage electronic devices!

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