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 Featured On This Week's Program

Animal Radio® for April 11, 2015  


New Pet Products Showcase

Animal Radio's New Pet Product Special is underway. We're featuring the latest in cutting-edge technology for your pets and we have giveaways for you!

For Week 2, Dr. Roger Mugford is back to claim our number-two pick for 2015, the Green Interactive Feeder. This gadget will slow your dog down when it's dinnertime, preventing upset and bloat.

Green Interactive FeederDr. Roger Mugford is a Psychologist and Farmer, as well as CEO of Company Of Animals. Dr. Mugford states that engaging in good feeding practices is probably the single most significant contribution you can make to enhance the welfare of your pet.

Perhaps you have one of those dogs that gulps its food down in the blink of an eye, in just seconds. This is not good for any pet, but in dogs it can actually cause bloat, which is the second leading killer of dogs, after cancer. From the onset of bloat, you only have about 40 minutes within which to save their life.

Bloat is actually two different conditions. The first is when the stomach distends with gas and fluid. The second is when the stomach rotates on its long axis and actually flips. Bloat happens in all dogs of all ages, but usually occurs in middle-aged to older dogs and those with deep chests, like the Great Dane, the German Shepherd and the Boxer.

Signs of bloat are pacing, restlessness, salivating and trying unsuccessfully to vomit. Their stomachs may appear large and they may cry if you press on it. If you "thump" on their stomachs you may also hear a hollow sound.

With the Green Interactive Feeder, you not only decrease the chance of bloat, but also engage in the natural scavenging that dogs used to do for food and help alleviate boredom. The feeder also slows down feeding, which lets your dog actually taste his food and helps your dog feel fuller for longer.

The Green Interactive Feeder is made out of hard plastic so it is safe for indoor and outdoor use and is also completely dishwasher safe. It is available in two sizes. There is one for medium-large breeds, with a depth of 3" and a mini feeder for small breeds, with a depth of 2".

Purple Interactive FeederCats also benefit from the interactive feeder, especially those that have limited access to the great outdoors. As natural hunters, cats love to seek out and chase prey and are well known for playing with their victims. The use of the Purple Interactive Feeder helps stimulate the cat mentally, slow down his eating (great for overweight cats) and helps emulate their natural feeding style.

So scatter the desired amount of food across the Interactive Feeders and let your pets go to "work."

Dr. Roger Mugford introduced the concept of behavioral therapy to the veterinary profession by founding The Animal Behavior Centre in 1979. Since then, his referral practice is seen as the leading authority in the field and has seen more than 50,000 pets. He invented the Halti headcollar plus other training and reward based behavior aids distributed by The Company of Animals, of which he is the CEO.

Pet Spending At All-Time High
Bob Vetere, APPA

Animals with Money BagTop Dog at the American Pet Products Association, Bob Vetere is back to explain why the pet industry is exploding and how we spent $58 Billion in 2014. This amount covers everything from food, supplies, over-the-counter (OTC) medications, veterinary care, live animal purchases and other services.

Most of the money spent went to food alone, which was about $22 billion, as people are becoming more aware of the quality and source of food given to their animal companions. Pet food manufacturers are also offering new varieties of food for dietary preferences, medical issues, overall health, and other partialities, and pet owners are paying for these options.

Second was veterinary care at about $15 billion. Even though visits to the vet have been down recently, expenditures per visit continue to go up as more expensive procedures grow in popularity.

Live animal purchases (this includes adoption fees as well) actually went down about $3 billion. The reason is that the baby boomers are getting older and are not replacing their pets as they pass away.

Bob expects there to be more growth for 2015, reaching a little over $60 billion overall. The pet industry is so huge; it's bigger than movies, hardware, candy and even jewelry sales.

It seems everyone is getting on board with more and more people are quitting their white-collar jobs and coming over to the pet industry with some great new ideas.

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) is the leading not-for-profit trade association serving the interests of the pet products industry since 1958. APPA membership includes more than 1,100 pet product manufacturers, their representatives, importers and livestock suppliers representing both large corporations and growing business enterprises. APPA's mission is to promote, develop and advance pet ownership and the pet product industry and to provide the services necessary to help its members prosper.

Visit the American Pet Products Association for more information.

Gone Hollywood
Teresa Ann Miller- 2nd Generation Animal Trainer

Teresa Ann Miller with German ShepherdSecond-Generation Hollywood Dog Trainer Teresa Ann Miller has trained dogs and other animals you see in movies and TV. She was brought up on the set while her dad worked on such notables as The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction. She'll be sharing some great stories from her experience working with animal actors.

Teresa has been working with dogs, cats, small wildlife and barnyard animals for the motion picture industry since 1983. A few of her feature film credits include, Sex Tape, Leather Weapon 1 & 2, The Nutty Professor 1 & 2, Beethoven and Babe. Her work has been seen on television in the series "Bones," "C.S.I. Las Vegas," "Desperate Housewives" and "NCIS: Los Angeles" among many others.

Teresa is also the daughter of legendary animal trainer Karl Lewis Miller, whose credits include Stand By Me, CUJO and White Dog.

As a child, Teresa tagged along with her dad while he was training animals for film and learned the trade directly from him. She said their house was the favorite house in the neighborhood, because whatever film her dad was working on at the time, he brought the animals home with him. She said you never knew what he would bring home next!

In addition to her work in Hollywood, Teresa has also worked internationally on projects in Mexico, Canada, Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, Hungary, France, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Out of all the animals Teresa has worked with, she states that her favorite animal to work with is a pig. She says they are so comical and can quickly learn a new behavior. Because it is so unexpected of these animals to learn, it makes them fun to work with.

Teresa's latest project was the film "White God," where she trained a cast of over 250 canines, more than any film in history. She did this with a lot of help. On their biggest day of filming with multiple dogs, she stated that there had to be at least 70 to 80 animal handlers to handle all of the dogs for the pack running scenes. This averaged out to about two to three dogs per handler.

Scene from White GodMany of the dogs used in the film were shelter dogs. The lead dog, Hagen, was actually a rescue and didn't know what a leash or even what grass was when he was selected with his identical brother for the film. Hagen had to learn everything, no only basic commands, but how to be around cars, airplanes, boats and even water.

After filming, the producers started an adoption program so that all of the dogs could find homes at the end of filming. It was a great success - all of the dogs did end up finding homes, with a lot of them going home with the crew members.

The film White God was the Winner of the Un Certain Regard Prize at the 2014 Cannes Festival. The film is a story of the indignities visited upon animals by their supposed human superiors, but it's also a brutal, beautiful metaphor for the political and cultural tensions sweeping contemporary Europe. When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog Hagen because its mixed-breed heritage is deemed "unfit" by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. At the same time, all the unwanted, unloved and so-called "unfit" dogs rise up and under a new leader, Hagen, the one-time house pet who has leaned all to well from his "Masters" in his journey, through the streets and animal control centers how to bite the hands that beat him.

"HERO PEOPLE OF THE WEEK" - David Hendrickson - That's A Lot Of T-Shirts!

David Hendrickson and WilliamDavid Hendrickson is this week's Hero Person. He rescued a Chihuahua who would later be a muse for his charity work. David has raised over $700,000 for small animal welfare charities by selling items from his website.

David Hendrickson, founder of Hendrick & Co., met his Chihuahua, William, 5 years ago when he was volunteering at a shelter. William was just a puppy who was poisoned through his mother, who was poisoned by an abuser. Unfortunately this poison passed on to all of her puppies. Out of a litter of eight puppies, just two survived.

William's prognosis wasn't good and David was told that he would not live very long. David connected right away with William and decided to bring him home and make the last couple of days of his life terrific.

Five year later, William is happy and healthy. As a result, David decided to create Hendrick & Co. Something that started three years ago with $250 and a dream has turned into an organization that has raised over $700,000 for animal charities.
Hendrick & Co. is an apparel line, which includes all kinds of items such as tees, hoodies and tanks and accessories like totes and necklaces. They even have a dog collection of leashes and collars.

Hendrick & Co. works by supporting a network of non-profits, which includes supporting over 450 animal charities all over the world. These are private rescues, as they don't support any national organizations.

When a customer purchases an item from their site, for every order, Hendrick & Co. then makes a $10 donation to a charity.

David created his company to support the local non-profits who are really the heroes. These are the people who have fulltime jobs but still manage to dedicate their lives to saving animals and rarely get any credit or support.

Dog Wearing T-ShirtDavid is a triplet, with two other identical brothers, and states that he and his brothers grew up in a house where his parents rescued all types of animals. Besides the usual cats and dogs, at one time they had a mountain lion and his mother still has a 70-year-old tortoise.

Thinking Globally. Acting Locally. Do you know someone that should be nominated for our Hero Person of the Week? Send us an email to:

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Dr. Debbie WhiteHow to Build the Perfect Litter Box - Dr. Debbie

One sniff upon entering your home and you recognize the unmistakable odor of cat urine and feces. Simba has used your entry hall as his litter box again. But before you lose your temper- stop. By scrutinizing the environment through your cat's eyes, you will likely discover the cause of his toileting mishaps.

Elimination issues are a main reason for veterinary visits and a primary reason for relinquishment of cats at shelters. House soiling problems can be multi-factorial, with an overlap of behavioral, environmental and medical causes. Feline house soiling can be managed however with sleuth work and patience. The challenge is to think like a cat.

First and foremost, say this and repeat it…"My cat does not eliminate out of the litter box to get even with me." Cats do use urine and fecal scent marks to communicate territory, but this isn't done with spite or in effort to "get even" with you. Inappropriate elimination is a cat's way stating that something isn't right in their world. Understanding this is key before tackling feline house soiling. Focus on what's wrong in Simba's toilet area, not on how the house soiling makes you feel.

Start With a Vet Check
Cat owners often struggle with house soiling mishaps for months or years before enlisting help from their veterinarian. But seeing the veterinarian should be the first step, since health disorders may be at the root of some house soiling issues. Your efforts in restoring litter box usage will be doomed if an underlying medical cause is not addressed at the same time.

Size Does Matter
Make sure your cat's litter box is of adequate size to allow maneuvering. Litter box size should be one and one half times the length of cat's body length. Height of the edge also matters. For older kitties, try lower profile litter boxes or plastic under bed storage boxes. An arthritic older cat won't complain or cry in pain with arthritis, she'll just chose to eliminate elsewhere.

Consider the View
Cats don't want to be startled while in the loo. Don't place the litter box in a high traffic area where people and pets are always a-coming and going. Cats prefer a low traffic area where they can have an eye out on things.

Don't place the litter box near appliances which give off noise, vibration and heat, all which disturb your cat while eliminating. Once a negative aversion is created, your cat may not return to use that box in the future.

Litter BoxDitch the Litter Box Cover
While some nervous kitties prefer the privacy of litter box covers, the majority of cats dislike the tight quarters and limited ventilation litter box covers provide. Consider how you feel in a public porta-potty... do you like to touch the walls when inside? Sure, people like the way the lid contains odors, but does it really matter how little odor comes from the litter box when your cat is pooping on your oriental rug?

Provide More Than One Box
A common error is assuming that one litter box is all your cat needs. What cat owner loves the litter box, and relishes seeing more of them in the home? But the more the better when it comes to faithful litter box usage, especially with multiple cats. The general rule is to provide one more box than the number of cats. Some cats share litter boxes, others will not. Unless you provide alternate sites you may have elimination issues in multiple cat homes.

Another special consideration is differences in cat's personalities - timid cats may avoid crossing paths with other more assertive pets in home. Be sure to provide litter box sites that won't be blocked by other animal's movements.

If you live in a multilevel home - you must provide litter box sites on each level. This is especially important in multi-cat homes, those with senior cats or those with health conditions.

The Pick of Litters
Litter texture preferences vary and there are many choices from scoopable, clay, crystals, or natural litters. However in one research study of cat's litter box habits, it demonstrated that the majority of cats prefer fine grained scoopable clay based litters that have carbon as their odor absorbing ingredient. Every cat is different though, so try other litter varieties until you find your cat's preference.

Skip the Scents
The verdict is still out on what odors cats prefer, but avoid heavily scented litters or deodorizers if your cat is missing the box. Interestingly enough, one study showed cats preferred cedar and fish odors, while avoiding citrus and floral scents, while another study concluded cats preferred fish or bleach smells to other scents.

Kitty Litter Depth
Ideal litter depth is 2 inches - more isn't always better. Some cats thrive on scratching the bottom of the pan, which is obscured by excessive amounts of litter.

Keep It Clean
Cats are fastidious by nature and will avoid using a soiled or smelly box. The overall cleaning frequency depends on the number of cats in the home. General advice is to scoop twice a day and deep clean the litter pan weekly. Change out clumping litter every 2-3 weeks.

Build It and Kitty Will Use It
By building your cat's dream litter box, your cat will find litter box nirvana. And you'll come to enjoy a better relationship with your kitty family members without those unwanted "presents" in the foyer.

Need more help managing those frustrating litter box "Oops"? Look for my next blog on how to deter the return offender to the site, and how to draw kitty to the right spot.

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."

Tammy TrujilloAnimal Radio® News - Tammy Trujillo

Pet Fit Club Competition
The PDSA is a British agency that helps pets and has launched its annual Pet Fit Club competition. Pet guardians all over the U.K. are signing up their overweight pets to take part in the six-month competition. During that time, the animals will take part in a tailored diet and exercise program overseen by expert vets and nurses. Among the early entries is a 3-year-old rabbit named Grace who is so fat she actually has a double chin. Vets say that obesity in pets is way too common and can contribute to pets developing deadly conditions that can cut their lifespan such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes, as well as debilitating conditions like arthritis.

Cat Riding on Hood of CarCat On A Leash On A Car
The pictures of this have exploded on the Internet and hopefully it will lead authorities to find the driver. The photos are of a cat on a leash on the hood of a car while it is driving around Ohio. A woman actually saw this in New Philadelphia, Ohio and took and posted the pictures. Sadly, she didn't get a shot of the car's license plate. The brown tabby with white on its chest is seen balancing itself on hood of a gold SUV. Its harness appears to be attached to the vehicle's windshield wipers. A sudden stop and the kitty could easily hang over the side of the SUV and get jammed in the wheel well. Police say they would like to talk to the driver.

Archie and Jeffrey GilliumFamily Wants to Keep Bear After 35 Years
Sometimes things aren't just black or white. That's what a family in Lodi, Ohio says about Archie, their 41-year-old toothless black bear. The family was late in applying for a permit to keep the bear and is now fighting to keep him. Jeffrey and Debra Gillium say they complied with earlier regulations about keeping Archie on their rural, two-and-a-half acre property and say they never knew the regulations had changed. They've had Archie for 35 years with no problems and want to let him live out the rest of his life in pretty much the only home he has ever known. A petition on lobbying for Archie to stay has gotten over 5,000 signatures and the animal rights group Renegade's Run has rallied to help the Gilliums keep Archie.

Teaching Police How To Deal With Dogs
Utah's police department is the latest to add a program to its police academy to teach cadets how to deal with pet dogs. The program was championed by Sean Kendall whose Weimaraner Geist was shot and killed by a police officer last year after coming into the dog's backyard looking for a lost child. Kendall starting promoting the education to prevent another dog from losing it's life. The program was designed in conjunction with the Humane Society of Utah to teach officers how to interpret dog behavior, what to do when they encounter aggressive dogs and alternatives to using force or less lethal self-defense responses. Kendall still has a lawsuit pending against the Salt Lake City Police Department for entering his backyard without permission and killing Geist.

FerretFerrets Still Unwelcome in New York City
Ferrets will continue to be unwelcome in New York City, as health officials decided not overturn a decades-long ban on them. They were considering lifting the ban for ferrets as long as they were vaccinated for rabies. A recent poll showed that New Yorkers were split over legalizing ferrets as pets. Thirty-nine percent agreed they should be allowed and forty-two percent were opposed. California and Hawaii are the only states that ban ferrets. Domesticated ferrets live an average of six to eight years, sleeping much of the day and spending their waking hours basically playing and getting into mischief.

Dog with Starbucks PuppicinoMany Restaurants Have Secret Menus For Pooches
It turns out that many well-known restaurants have secret menus that cater to your pooch. You do need to make sure that your pet can handle some human-ish food before you order for them at the drive-thru. For example, Starbucks will serve up a Puppuccinno. It's a small cup filled with whipped cream for your pup. Just like with you and that Frappuccino, there's a lot of sugar and fat so you don't want to order either one every day. Dairy Queen's pup cup is a little bit of vanilla soft serve, topped with a doggie treat. Lazy Dog Cafe lives up to its name with a special rice plate that includes a cut up piece of beef. If you're on the West Coast, there's In-N-Out where you can order a Pup Patty, a plain, unseasoned burger patty with no salt, for your dog. And while sitting in the outdoor patio area of a Johnny Rockets, you can ask for a cut-up burger patty and water for your pup.

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