Animal Radio® Show #453 August 9, 2008


PET CAREER SPECIAL brought to you by NAPPS
The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters


Selecting The Right Vet for Your Pet
Dr. Louise Murray, ASPCA Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital
Taking care of your pet's health is an important - but often nerve-racking - task. How do you choose a veterinarian? What do you look for in your pet's health exam? What's the deal with vaccinations?

On the scent: Tracking down the best veterinary practice for your pet
You've decided to become an informed veterinary consumer, and this decision is going to greatly beneÞt your pet's well being. The Þrst step toward your goal of ensuring that your pet receives the very best health care available is to carefully select a veterinarian. Just as in every profession, there can be real differences among veterinary practices. By learning what to look for (and what to avoid), you will be able to make educated decisions with your pet's particular needs in mind. There are many excellent practices providing up-to-date, high-quality medicine, and others that are unable to offer the same level of care or have fallen behind. The key for pet owners is to possess the tools to make an accurate assessment and choose wisely.

How do I choose the right veterinarian for my pet?
There are various times when you need to select a veterinarian. Maybe you've just brought home a new pet (or two). Or perhaps you've recently moved and are searching for a good practice nearby. If your pet has developed health problems, you may suddenly Þnd it more important than ever that she has the best care available. You may even have concerns about your current veterinary practice and be considering a change.

When you Þnd yourself looking for a veterinarian - for whatever reason - what's the best way to go about choosing the right one for your pet?

If you're like most people, you have some personal preferences that may inþuence your choice. Maybe there's a practice that's in a particularly convenient location or has hours best suited to your schedule. Perhaps you feel your dog is more comfortable with a female doctor, or your cat is happier in practices that handle only felines. There may be a local veterinary hospital that your family has trusted for years, or that a friend recommends.

These considerations are indeed important, but you should also weigh some objective criteria when deciding which doctor to entrust with your pet's well being. If you have a choice of practices in your area, you want to use the one that offers your pet the highest standard of care and avoid those that aren't achieving the quality of medicine you're seeking. To help you in your search, I've compiled a list of questions that will enable you to evaluate various aspects of each veterinary practice you consider. The areas covered include patient care, equipment, staffing, philosophy, and how up-to-date the facility is. Using this checklist, you will gain the ability to more knowledgeably oversee your pet's health care.

The checklist
The checklist is divided into two sections. The Þrst contains questions about the veterinary practice you're considering that can be answered over the phone by a staff member. The second section contains topics that are best evaluated during an appointment. There are two worksheets at the end of the chapter where you can record the information you gather.

One option when you're evaluating a new practice is to schedule an appointment to take place without your pet. This will allow you and the veterinarian to focus on your concerns and have enough time for an informative discussion. Also, since your pet won't have been seen at the practice, you may feel less awkward if you decide not to return. Be prepared to pay the normal fee for the appointment, even though your pet is not present. Don't feel hesitant about letting the veterinarian know that you are trying to pick the right practice for your pet; many parents interview several pediatricians before selecting a doctor for their children, and you, too, have every right to do some investigating.

If this suggestion is not convenient or affordable for you, you can evaluate the practice during your pet's Þrst visit. You probably shouldn't expect to be able to stop by a practice your pet has never been to and speak to the veterinarian without an appointment.

How can I narrow down the practices in my area?
You can start by Þnding out which practices are accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Participation is voluntary, and whether or not a practice has chosen to be evaluated by the AAHA can be an indication of its commitment to providing a high level of care. AAHA accreditation involves an on-site evaluation to determine if the practice meets all the standards established by the association, and then periodic reviews to ensure that it continues to meet those standards. The practice is graded in many areas, including the facility, staff, equipment, and patient care. Only veterinary hospitals that meet the rigorous AAHA standards receive accreditation.

You can look for accredited practices on the AAHA's website ( or in the phone book, or by calling local practices to inquire about their status.

Tip: Another good way to Þnd a practice in your area is to get a recommendation from an equally concerned pet owner. Ask your friends, neighbors, and colleagues for the name of their veterinarian and how they feel about the practice. But be sure to ask specific questions, such as the ones that follow. It's wonderful that your neighbor loves her dog's doctor, but you need to make sure the practice provides the level of care you are looking for.

Excerpted from "Vet Confidential: An Insider's Guide to Protecting Your Pet's Health" by Dr. Louise Murray.

Ziggy the Painting Pekingese
Elizabeth Monacelli
"Ziggy" Yao-Yap Ting is an 8 lb., 3-year-old Pekingese who has been painting since 2007.

It all started because his favorite hobby was playing with the empty paper towel roll. His second favorite hobby was listening to music. So, Elizabeth Monacelli, Ziggy's guardian, thought why not combine these two, formed from an idea she received from her father who was a former school teacher who would have his students paint to classical music. Elizabeth's experiment took off and Ziggy now loves to paint, to music of course!

Ziggy paints with his mouth using a paintbrush extended by a cardboard cylinder. It takes him 2-4 hours to complete a masterpiece and he has donated some of his artwork to various animal rescue organizations to assist with fundraising efforts.

His career started in June 2008 when his artwork was accepted into the "Celebration of the Arts" festival in Yorba Linda, California. He is the only dog artist in the history of the festival to have artwork displayed.

Look for Ziggy at the upcoming event where he will be signing FREE "PAW"tographed photos:

Laguna Beach 12th annual Pet Parade & Chili Cook-Off
Sunday, September 14th

Check out some his masterpieces at

Is Pet Sitting The Right Career For You?
Felicia Lembesis, NAPPS (The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters)
How would you like a home-based business working with animals? Felicia Lembesis, the Executive Director of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) discusses how you can become a certified professional pet sitter.

One of the first misconceptions she discusses is that not everyone is cut out to be a pet sitter. One thing people don't understand is that in this job, you will be working when most people are at play, which is on weekends, nights and holidays. Just loving animals is not the only requirement for this type of job.

NAPPS has been around for a dozen years and offers certification, educational programs and business advice to pet sitters. They also offer insurance. Pet sitters needs to carry liability and bonding insurance. They also provide a pet sitter locator on their website and through an 800 number, so that someone who is looking for a pet sitter can look for a pet sitter by researching pet sitters in their zip codes.

For someone considering pet sitting as a career, NAPPS has an annual conference both in the business field as well as people in pet care and behavior. They also have a monthly teleconference on different subjects that interest the pet sitter, which includes everything from cat and dog behavior to how to market your business.

To learn more about NAPPS and to see if this is the career for you, please visit

Vladae, The "World Famous" Russian Dog Wizard

Help, My Dog Can't Hold His "Licker!"
This 6-year-old therapy dog can't seem to stop licking everyone she meets! Dogs may lick for a lot of reasons. They lick as a sign of submission, for food from their mother, for attention, etc. You have two options, 1. Make her stop licking all together 2. Teach her when it is appropriate to lick. Here Vladae explain the different ways of doing this.

A Dog Bite In An Inappropriate Place!
When a friend entered this man's house unannounced, his French Bulldog jumped up and bit him in his crotch. The bite was bad enough for the man to receive 5 stitches. This is a very serious situation, and the first thing that needs to be done is to diminish this dog's social status. How is this done? Tune in to find out!

I Can't Potty Train A 5-Year-Old Dog
This dog was obtained a puppy and was housetrained with no problems. But after moving and acquiring another dog, he has started urinating in the house. Vladae states that this is not a "house breaking" problem but a "house marking" problem! Vladae suggest you go back and start the potty training all over again.

Animal Minute With Britt Savage

Baby Bat Found - In Bra!
A British woman who thought the vibration she was feeling was her cell phone, was surprised to find the vibrations coming from her bra, and even more surprised to find the vibrations coming from a baby bat. Nineteen-year-old Abbie Hawkins wore the bra for five hours while working as a hotel receptionist before finding the baby bat. She said she was shocked but felt bad for disturbing the cuddly bat who looked cozy and comfortable, adding that perhaps she could have left him in there and given him a good home. Hawkins does know how the bat got in there. She said she had a drink or two the night before and got dressed quickly that morning. The bra was in a drawer but had been on the clothesline the day before. The bra bat, which had scampered under a desk, was caught by a co-worker and set free.

Panda Adopted by Cat
In Amsterdam, a zookeeper's housecat has adopted a baby red panda and is nursing the cub along with her own kittens. A spokesperson for the Artis Zoo explained that two red panda cubs were abandoned by their mother for some reason leaving them alone in the cold. The zoo stepped in and put the cubs in an incubator where one cub was too weak and died. The other was adopted by the cat who had just given birth to kittens. Red pandas are an endangered species who look more like a raccoon than a giant panda. They mature to just a bit bigger than a housecat, so the zoo plans to let the cub nurse with his cat family for a few months before bringing out some bamboo and fruit. I'm thinking he won't have to fight with his kitten siblings for that meal!

Vinnie Penn, Animal Radio's Resident Party Animal

The Horse & Buggy of Yesteryear
Recently I did the tried and true Horse & Buggy ride for perhaps the 7th or 8th time in my life. I remember the first time; of course it was in New York, and as a little boy. It was a real coup for me and maybe I was in a cowboy phase, I don't remember. But this animal was majestic to me and just hearing it "clop, clop" down New York streets was really something to me, and I literally, vividly remember this.

Well, it has not been memorable since. Even times when I took horse and buggy rides through Central Park with really good-looking girls all snuggled under a blanket with me. One of the worst was when a girl went on a tirade about how convinced she was that this animal was being mistreated. She could not enjoy this ride because she was certain the rider, as pleasant as he was and as prepared he was to regale us with tails of New York City, was beating this horse. Or at the very least, this horse wasn't happy with its present employment. It ruined it for me, one because I certainly wouldn't want that to be true as I am an animal lover; and two because I knew then that this wasn't turning her on and nothing good was going to happen afterwards and what I really hoped for during.

And every other time since then, in a romantic sense, the woman has never really been all that taken by the scenes, the horse or anything. Plus, the riders never shut up.

The most recent time was in Mystic, Connecticut at a place called the Mystic Sea Port. For those of you who might be interested, there's a lot of history there, it's really a beautiful part of Connecticut. And again, as I said, a lot of history and a day of fun to be had. And what's really cool about the horse and buggy ride we did there, I went with my sister, my brother-in-law, the missus and all of the kids. So we had two sets of cousins on the ride.

My sister and my wife spent the entire ride discussing where they would have dinner. Even though we were 20 minutes out of lunch, they were already discussing "Should it be sea food? Do you think the kids might want pizza?" They spent the entire ride discussing what was next on the menu.

My brother-in-law enjoyed it at the very least, because he is a history buff. And as I said, Mystic is just entrenched in history. So, he was just taken by the woman who was giving us the tour and the little history lesson.

And Little Joel was this beautiful horse and you knew he was being treated well. You know he is a part of the Mystic Sea Port family. So I didn't have that hanging over my head.

But when the most excitement it gleans from the children is them passing by one of Little Joel's bowel movements from earlier in the day, you know that the horse and buggy ride is lost on today's youth!

International Animal News with Kaye Browne

Koala Cheats Death
A koala that cheated death after being hit at high speed on a northern Australian highway and then dragged for nearly 8 miles is expected to make a full recovery. Veterinarians from the Wildlife Hospital set up by the late Steve Irwin said the 3-year-old koala ­ nicknamed Ely Lucky Grills ­ survived the ordeal because his head became trapped in the front grill of the vehicle. The motorist that hit him didn't even know about his iconic hitchhiker until he was flagged down by another driver.

Scientists Say Roundworm Will Outlast All Other Life Forms
Forget what you've heard about cockroaches being the world's greatest survivor ­ if you ask the 350 scientists from 36 countries gathered in Australia this week ­ the humble roundworm will outlast all other life forms. Molecular biologists say despite the humble compost worm having just 302 nerves, the nematode learns through smell what is safe to eat and what isn't ­ and they're trying to create an artificial worm nose as an early warning of food decay.

Survey Says Size Is Not Indicator When Dogs Attack
A new survey has found that size is not the best indicator when considering whether a dog might attack ­ with small hounds, such as dachshunds being much more likely to attack other dogs or strangers compared with pitbulls, rottweilers and other macho breeds. Researchers asked the owners of 30 dog breeds to assess how their pet responded to a variety of common stimuli and situations. They found Dachshunds, Chihuahuas and Jack Russell terriers topped the list for aggressiveness, while Brittany spaniels, greyhounds and whippets were the easiest going.

Two Families Find Pets After 5 Years
Two families who'd given up hope of finding their pets, lost more than five years ago are celebrating this week. The Villacis family in New York City couldn't believe their luck when they got a call saying their beagle Rocco had turned up 850 miles away in the shelter at Hinseville, Georgia. Meantime a collie called Bo that disappeared from the Moeller family in Chicago more than five years ago was picked up as a stray 85 miles away in the town of Rockford, Illinois. In both cases ­ the dogs were identified by microchip ­ and luckily the families hadn't moved house.

Montreal Man Wants To Cook Doggy Doos Into Doggy Dollars
A man in Montreal is trying to work out a way to turn cook doggie doos into doggy dollars. Jim Fares is a part of a volunteer group that looks after the Notre Dame de Grace dog park and the waste left behind by happy visitors ­ all 28 hundred pounds of it.
Fares bought a toaster oven and heated some samples over a two- to three-week period, killing potential pathogens but ending up with useless dust. However, Fares says he's convinced if he keeps trying he'll find the right way to cook the dog poo into viable compost ­ and make a buck doing it.
Listen to Current World News

Changing Careers
Valerie Young, Changing Course
You can escape the 9-to-5 world and enjoy more control over your time and your life. You can find ways to do what you love and get paid for it. Lots of people have, and a whole world of possibility exists out there!

And if you are an animal lover, there are many ways to translate your love of animals into your vocation. Here are just a few of the hundreds of things you can do with or for animals or their owners that I dug up on the web.

1. Take Care of Them
If you love dogs and cats you may want to consider establishing yourself as a professional pet sitter. Start by visiting the websites of other pet sitters in your area. That way you'll get an idea of prices and possible add-on services. I thought I'd check on some city rates so I headed over to Uptown Walkers in Chicago. They charge $35 for pet sitting and also offer dog walking services at $12 for a half an hour walk and feeding. As a nice value-added service Uptown Walkers will also water your plants, bring in mail and newspapers, adjust blinds and drapes, and rotate turning lights on in the home promoting home security. It was not clear though if this costs extra.

2. Teach People About Them
Pet Safety Guy, Thom Somes, runs courses for pet owners, pet lovers, owners of pet related businesses like veterinarians, pet walkers, sitters, trainers and others. His California-based company, Pet Tech, offers a 3-day pet safety-training program. Once you take the course you can then offer it to your clients.

The Instructor Training is ideal for: obedience trainers, kennel operators, pet retailers, pet sitters, veterinarian staff, animal shelter employees, pet rescue personnel, pet groomers, EMT's, fire fighters, and any pet lover."

3. Train Them to Behave
After getting my dog, Cokie Roberts (no relation to the highly respected journalist), from a local no-kill animal shelter, I hired a young woman to come to the house to give us private training lessons. I say "us" because so much of dog training is teaching the owner the commands and to follow through. She charged the same as if I'd taken a class and the convenience factor was priceless. Cokie easily mastered "sit," "down," and "leave it." A very determined boy, he's still working on "come."

4. Bake for Them
Take two trends ­ the quest for natural foods and the fact that people are spending more than ever to pamper their pets ­ and you've got the makings of a winning business. P.C.'s Pantry, Inc., a bakery and deli for dogs and cats in Boulder, Colorado, specializes in "Barkday" cakes for pet parties, "meat loaves," and homemade biscuits in 18 varieties including Bark-B-Q, Choco-Lab-Brownie, and Pup-kin. They also offer pet-related gifts for pet-lovers, a line of holistic pet foods and supplements, and a delivery service.

5. Heal Them, Board Them, Consult About Them, Sell Health Food for Them, Write About Them... Or All of the Above!

These are just a few of the many ways to make a living working with animals. If you love animals and want to find a way to turn your passion into your living, invest some time to bark up the right tree. Because, when you love what you do, you are truly living in the "lap" of luxury!

To find out more about changing careers, please visit

Animal Radio® News with Bobbie Hill

Pet Owners Can Now Have Their Wishes Followed in California
California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that would make it possible for pet owners to have their final wishes followed - legally. California was one of the few states that did not enforce the arrangements of deceased pet owners. SB 685 changed all that - the bill makes pet trusts enforceable by law providing the legal basis to make certain pets are cared for and safeguarded even after the death of their human owner. The law which goes into effect January first 2009 allows courts to appoint a caregiver as well as enforce the final wishes and instructions found in wills without the need of approval of trustees.

Pet Fit Challenge for Obese Pets
America's a big country - not in size but in weight. Nearly one third of American's are obese including 9 million children who will experience health problems as they age. Sadly, America's pets are also tipping the scales more than they should. The Campaign to End Obesity wants to help people and their pets trim down. Partnering with Harvard Medical Center they've come up with the Pet Fit Challenge. Any pet owner can shape up with their furry companion by making a commitment to feed their pets the correct portion of food as well as the right food. Dr. Heidi Hulon of Pet Fit says, "People will give their pet an ounce of cheese as a treat and not think much of it. But for a cat, that's the equivalent to a human of eating three and a half hamburgers.... for a dog, one and a half hamburgers." The Pet Fit Challenge's goal is to help American pets shed 50 million pounds this year. To find out how you and your pet can get in better shape log on to

Parrot Saves Family From Fire
A three-year-old African grey parrot is being called a hero after saving his London owners from a fire. Bob the parrot began squawking loudly last Thursday morning when a fire broke out in the kitchen of Francis Hall's home in Fair Oak, Hampshire. The bird became more frantic which woke Hall and his two sons who barely escaped the blaze along with Bob in his cage. Hall and his sons were treated for smoke inhalation and the early morning blaze did some serious damage to their home but not to them thanks to Bob. Hall told the Sun newspaper "I used to find Bob very annoying with his growling and squawking.... but not now.... he is a legend.... he saved our lives.... we just got out in time." Hall said he's going to find a mate for Bob as a reward.

Your Vet Questions Answered with Dr. Debbie

Acclimating A Trout
This man is moving from Arizona to Washington and is moving his pet trout (who's favorite food is a fruit roll up!). He asks Dr. Debbie the best way to acclimate them to their new surroundings. The first thing Dr. Debbie suggests is to have an aeration pump during traveling and make sure that you use the existing tank water, and when adding new water, make sure it sits out for about 24 hours or to use a de-chlorinator before you actually add the fish.

Help, My Cat Constantly Throws Up
This sixteen-year-old cat seems to throw up two to three times per week. Blood work and exam all came back negative, and a cat food specifically formulated for "sensitive stomach" is not helping. Dr. Debbie suggests more extensive blood work to check his kidneys, thyroid level and liver.

Poisonous Mushrooms
Dr. Debbie talks about her recent emergency with a young lab who ingested some backyard wild mushrooms. Unfortunately, a lot of people aren't aware that your backyard mushrooms can be a danger to your pets. Fortunately for this dog, they caught it in time.

Why Does My Dog Scoot?
This sounds like the classic case of full anal glands. Anal glands are scent glands that are around the anal area. Some dogs are able to express them by themselves, but sometimes they become irritated and have to be manually expressed. While you can do it yourself, it isn't for the faint of heart. Your best bet is to take him to your vet for this special procedure!

Get Your Free Animal Radio® Pet ID Tags!
Animal Radio® has partnered with ReturnMoi to make sure that if your pet ever gets lost, he will be reunited with you immediately, and is giving away 1,000 free Pet Id Tags.

Each pet tag contains a:
- Unique ID number that is linked to your contact information
- 1-800 toll free number open 24/7
- Reward for return message to motivate finders to call ReturnMoi

How Does it Work?
1. Activate unique ID number at
2. Attach tag to cat or dog
3. If pet goes missing finder calls ReturnMoi
4. ReturnMoi calls pet owner to facilitate return
5. ReturnMoi rewards finder ($50 gift pack) for their help

Don't wait until your pet becomes lost before you take care of securing them with proper identification. All pets should have two forms of identification. One is the microchip and the other should be a visible tag on his collar.

For your free Animal Radio® Pet Tag all you have to do is send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

Animal Radio
c/o Pet Tags
PO Box 197
Shandon, CA 93461

What are you waiting for?


Listen to the entire Podcast of this show (#453)

Broadcast on XM Satellite Radio and Podcast Versions Only.

Listen to Animal Radio® - Go to the launch page
Return to Animal Radio Network Home Page
Read August Newsletter


Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved Animal Radio Network LLC