Beat The Monday Blues: Shake a Bom-bom!

You might have all the great doggy toys in town but a simple ball paired with the command 'fetch!' can make for loads and loads of fun for both you and your dog. Watch this happy Corgi's response if you're still unconvinced. We bet it might just get you dancing on the erm, living room floor too!

It's easy to make a dog happy so let loose and have some fun this year end! We bet your dog will love you for that!

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Pet Adoption Friday: Hailey and Mojo from Save Our Street Dogs

Name: Hailey
Age: 4 months
Colour: Brown
Gender: Female
Sterilized: No

Hailey is easily recognizable by her face - fully brown with only some white along her sides and muzzle. This darling can be laid-back at times and stroll leisurely along with you. She can also be very active, bursting with energy, although not as much as her brothers. She is very smart too. At her age, she has already learned to sit and stay! Hailey is very generous with her kisses and sometimes asks to be carried when she's tired of walking or running, and once she warms up to you she'll stick to you alright!
Do give this sweet girl a chance.

Name: Mojo
Age: 2 years old
Gender: Male
Breed: Mongrel
Sterilised: Yes

Mojo was found and suspected to be abandoned. He has cataracts in both eyes causing his vision to be affected, but he relies on his keen sense of smell and hearing. He is a playful and healthy boy and he likes to sit around, trot and play. His eyesight does not affect much of his everyday life and he is looking for a home that will accept him for his less than perfect eyesight, and provide him with a loving home. Interested parties can call 97733565 (Lynette)

For more information you can visit SOSD's website or Facebook page to know more about the adoption process if you are interested.

Beat the Monday Blues: Once Mauled Twice Shy?

By Rekha Nair

If you ever tried to give your cat a bath and walked out as the victim, you'd know exactly what we're talking about. Let this video guide you

Unlike humans, cats don't need a daily bath. Cats are very clean animals so unless your cat is dirty, you may not even need to bathe him. Be patient, gentle and calm while bathing him so that your cat won't feel as nervous or afraid. This could also be a great way for you to bond with kitty!

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Pre-Event Highlight: Paw in Style @ United Square - 28 & 29 December 2013

End the year on a high note by joining us at the Paw In Style event happening next weekend at United Square Shopping Mall! Join us as on how to be a responsible pet owner through our series of activities we have in store at our AVA booth!

For the dog owners...

If you think your dog has what it takes to win the 'Most Talented', 'Best Dressed' or the 'Most Well Groomed' title, then enter him for the Dog's Idol competition! Hurry! Submission closes this Sunday, 22 December 2013! Check out the poster for full competition details!

So mark your calendars and RSVP on Clubpets' website so that you can redeem for a free goodie bag!

For more information, visit Clubpets magazine's official website at www.clubpets.com.sg

New Beginnings: 3 Cats and a Dog

How does one end up with one dog and three cats under the same roof? And do the animals get along?

Ms Shireen Choo shares how she ended up with her dog and cats and what life is like with them.

I adopted Buddy from a man who purchased Buddy and his brother as presents for his sons.

I had mentioned to a friend, who was in the Cat Welfare Society, that I was interested in adopting a dog. About two weeks later, she told me that she knew a man who wanted to give away his dog. The man had impulsively bought two puppies for his sons and after 6 months, he didn't want them anymore because he felt that the dogs were too noisy.

People really shouldn't buy animals as gifts.

Buddy will always want to be where I am. His eyes may not be as good as they were before, due to old age, but he will still follow me around.

Tigger was the first cat I adopted. My friend's niece found her, as a kitten, with her nose bleeding and took her an animal hospital for observation.

When she was due for release after 5 days, we thought it was unlikely that she would be able to survive life on the streets as she was only about 2 months old then and she needed to continue with her medication. I decided I would adopt her if she got along with Buddy. And she did!

She is now the queen of my household. My other pets knows my bed is her territory and will avoid lying on my bed when Tigger is around.

My neighbour, Poh Choo, found Toubin outside her house. My neighbour, her family and I decided to care for him him while we searched for someone to adopt him.

However, after taking care of him for two weeks, I found that I was unwilling to part with him. Which is how I ended up keeping him.

Toubin is very mild and a big scaredy cat. You have to approach him slowly. Move too fast and he will run off!

I tell myself I cannot adopt any more animals after taking in Chestnut, my third cat!

Chestnut was found playing in a drain on a rainy day. Similar to Toubin's case, I thought I would only foster her for a while. But within a short period of time, I grew too attached to Chestnut and didn't want to part with her.

Chestnut is afraid of thunder, but likes high places. There was one rainy day when I couldn't find her. I eventually found her tucked away on my shelf where I put my work equipment.

Since then, I've moved my stuff so that she can have that space to hide when there's thunder.

Despite the occasional bullying from Tigger, Buddy gets along with the cats. However, when he tries to "play" with them, only Chestnut will entertain him. And even so, only for a while before she goes off to do her own thing.

A purchased animal is not necessarily better than an adopted one. My pets are smart; I've trained them to do tricks. And they get along fine with humans, even children.

There are plenty of animals out there that are looking for homes. I hope more people adopt animals.

- As told to AVA

Pet Adoption Friday: Barney from Noah's Ark CARES

Name: Barney
Age:
1-year-old
Sex:
Male
Personality:
Manja and fiercely loyal

Barney was given up because his previous family showed favoritism towards the other dogs. He deserves a chance for he has no idea what he did wrong except that he loved his family.

For more information on how you can adopt Barney, please drop an email to noahsarkcares@gmail.com.

Do also check out Noah's Ark CARES blog and their official Facebook page.

Join us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and follow us on Twitter.

Pet Care Tips: Great Home, Healthy Rabbit!

By Rekha NairEvery rabbit needs a place to call home but for an owner, creating the perfect living space for your furry companion can be a little puzzling. If you want the best for your rabbit but aren't sure how to achieve this, the pointers below may be helpful can help you along the way.

Types of Housing
The first thing a rabbit needs is space. And sufficient space indoors to shelter them from the weather and also to prevent them from being a potential nuisance to others. They are highly active creatures so putting them in a small regular rabbit cage alone with no running space will not be enough for them. Certain health issues such as obesity, or behavioral problems such as overgrooming may develop if they do not have enough room for exercise and mental stimulation. Here are two kinds of housing methods for your consideration:

1) Playpen
A playpen can be used on its own as both an exercise and living space or it can be attached to a rabbit cage where its food and litter bowl can be placed. Most playpens are designed for puppies but work equally well for rabbits. Be mindful to buy the tallest playpen you can find on the market as your rabbit may be able to hop over the pen! The advantage is that your rabbit is still confined but has enough room for some exercise and activities

2) Indoor Free Roaming
This method of housing would work better if you have a more mature bunny that is already used to your home and family. When immediate access to your entire home is given, it's very likely that your bunny would feel overwhelmed which could lead to problems. Build on your bunny's freedom gradually by starting with a cage and playpen and then slowly give small areas of access to it while monitoring its behaviour. Patiently progress your bunny's freedom slowly. Always make sure it has access to its cage where its food and water as well as a comfortable bed are placed. This will help maintain its toilet training efforts and keep your house clean and tidy!

Certain Considerations
After choosing a suitable house for your rabbit, it is important to note the following areas to ensure that your bunny is safe and happy.

1) Location
Where you choose to place your bunnies' playpen or free range roaming boundaries are very important. Since rabbits are playful and sociable creatures that love human attention and interaction, it would be good to place them either in the hall or living room where they won't be left alone or overlooked. However, do make sure they have an enclosed house to rest/hide in so that they can feel secure if threatened.

2) Bunny proofing
When your bunny is allowed to roam, you might find your rugs, furniture or worse, electrical cords all chewed up and in a mess, which could also be potentially harmful for your rabbit. Bunny-proof its environment by encasing exposed cords in vinyl tubing or securing them at a height that your bunny cannot reach and chew on the wires. A small tip would be to turn off all electrical mains when the appliance is not in use so your bunny will not be harmed if they do accidentally chew on it! You can also provide your bunny with safe chewable toys so that your rabbit would not be tempted to chew on other things.

3) Padding for cages
If you need to place your bunny in a cage because you're toilet training it or transporting it around, remember to place soft vinyl paddings that are washable on the floor of the cage because the hard bottoms can cause your bunny to develop sore hocks which cause the soles of your bunny to become raw and inflamed due to the lacking of cushioning. On the same note, cages with wired floorings should never be used for rabbits, and if there are no other options, always place a few towels on the cage to prevent your bunny from suffering from 'bumblefoot'.

4) Tiles
If your house uses tiles as flooring which may be too slippery for your bunny, consider purchasing some rubber matting (e.g. those designed for toddlers) to improve their grip. Slippery floorings may overtime lead to hip diseases such as arthritis, or even hip dislocations.

We hope you've gained a tip or two on how to house your adorable bunnies better. Remember to give your rabbit time to adjust to its new housing developments and you might just be rewarded with a binky from your happy rabbit.

Resources: The Rabbit House, Rabbit Playpen, Rabbit Network

Images: Rabbit Rehome, Save A Bunny, The Bunny Hut, Petite Paw

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Beat the Monday Blues: Lessons from Super dog Jessie

By Rekha Nair

If you've had a dog for the longest time you might have already given up on obedience training with your dog, preferring instead to lounge and munch on those chips in your hand. Let Super dog Jessie and her owner motivate you with their stash of tricks and treats!

So if you've casually batted your eyes at the common tricks that dogs can do, we're sure you're stumped by what you just saw. Training a dog might not be the easiest thing in the world but with lots of patience and love, you and your dog can develop a special bond that would make many go green. So what are you waiting for? The owner of the next super dog might just be you!

Pet Adoption Friday: Taylor and Foxy Pants from Humane Society (Singapore)

Taylor

Oh, Little Red Riding Hood. No Big Bad Wolf here. So no need to be scared!

Name: Taylor
Gender: Female
Age: 1 year old
Sterilised: Yes
Microchipped: Yes
Vaccinated: Yes

Taylor is 1 of 7 pups, left in a box when they were tiny pups with a "God bless you" note. The kennel environment does not suit a shy and insecure dog like Taylor. But in a home environment, with consistent training and socialisation, Taylor will blossom into a wonderful companion. Over at Mutts & Mittens, her favourite humans are the young volunteers from Humane Society (Singapore) who take her out for walks and swims!

Foxy Pants

Name: Foxy Pants
Gender: Female
Age: 6 years old
Sterilised: Yes
Microchipped: Yes
Vaccinated: Yes

Foxy Pants has come a long way this year. Her chronic skin issue is healing beautifully and she has put on some healthy fats.

This girl is not your frail damsel in distress. Life as a street dog previously in Bangkok before she was adopted has taught her lessons of grit and independence. The owner was not able to bring Foxy Pants along to Australia and so she's not awaiting a new home here.

Foxy Pants does not like other dogs but will bond closely with humans. She will do best in a one-dog family who has some experience. Apartment life will suit her well. She is 6 years young, weighs about 12kg and HDB-approved.

If you wish to find out more about Taylor or Foxy, please email Ms Judie Chang at judie.chang@humanesocietysingapore.org or call the Humane Society (Singapore) hotline at 6583 7371/ 6583 7372.

More information can be found at Humane Society (Singapore)'s Official Facebook page.
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Pet Care Tips: 4 favourite food for your hamsters!

By Rekha Nair

Hamsters love to eat. In nature, they eat a variety of things like seeds, plant roots, insects and even small animals. To keep your hamster happy and healthy, you need to give it a good variety of food to choose from. We've compiled a few things that you could try out with your hamster.

1) Green leafy vegetables or Carrots
Hamsters love vegetables and need them to stay healthy and fit so do go ahead and give them a variety to choose from. However do keep in mind that too much of green leafy vegetables can cause them to have diarrhea.

2) Dry cat or dog biscuits
These biscuits are beneficial to your hamster if you feel that it's not getting enough protein. You can either crush it and sprinkle it atop their premix or let them have a small chunk which would also be useful for them to grind their teeth on during the gnawing process.

3) Cooked brown rice
Brown rice is a good source of carbohydrates minus the excess fats that white rice can give. If your hammy is on the skinnier side or likes to exercise and run about alot, you can try to feed it rice to replenish the lost carbs as well.

4) Loose Mix or Seeds
There are many types of seeds that hamsters like. We've got pumpkin and sunflower right on the top. Seeds and loose mix can be a healthy treat that you'd want to give your hamster especially if yours is fond of filling up its cheeks with food. They're packed with essential nutrients and their bite sized portions make it a good choice for our small pets.

As with all foods, make sure everything is given in moderation. Also invest in a good hamster ball and wheel so that a good diet can be balanced with a good workout.

Hamsters are natural hoarders and love to hide their food. So remember to remove food, such as vegetables, that spoil easily from the cage daily. Remember to check their beds too for any hidden food that may rot over time.

Have fun experimenting with your hammy to find out what exactly it likes!

Resources: Hamsterific, About.com

Images: Mr Johnsons, Fine Art America, Paw Nation, Living World Green

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Beat The Monday Blues: Let's Get Physical

by Rekha Nair

If you think having a cuddly fluff ball is cute, we'd like you to think again after watching this video.

Just like us, our pets need to exercise so they don't go out of shape. Instead of indulging them in treats or scraps, get innovative and physical! As they begin to shed the pounds, you'd have a healthier and more energetic fur ball for a companion, and who knows, you might like your new fitter look too!

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New Beginnings: A Changed Dog

It may not be easy to correct undesirable behaviour in pets, but it can definitely be done. The New family worked together to train their pet dog, Bobby and changed him from an aggressive pooch to a well-mannered one. Read how the New family achieved this in our latest "New Beginnings".

Bobby

Q: How did your family come to adopt Bobby?

Joey: We were looking to adopt another dog after our first pet dog, a rescued Maltese, Boy Boy passed away. One day, when I was at Changi Village for a kayaking trip, I saw a dog tied up to a chair out in the open sun without any drinking water. A lady named 'Hilda' saw me caring for that dog and came up to speak to me. When she learnt that that my family was keen on adopting another dog, she asked if we were interested in adopting another rescued Maltese. We adopted Bobby after we saw how similar he looked like Boy. In fact, although he was initially named 'Casper', we later named 'Bobby', a name that sounds similar to 'Boy Boy'.

Belly rub, please?

Q: Were there any teething problems when you first adopted Bobby?

Eve: There were several! During our "trial period" with Bobby, he would always want to escape. In fact, he was so skinny back then, he could slip between the gaps of our gate to escape!

Initially, he was also very aggressive. He would growl and bark when people look at him in the eyes. However, my family worked together to train him and after some time, he slowly learnt to tone down his aggressive behavior after 6 months.

Sometimes, my family also had to adapt to his idiosyncrasies. For example, he had the bad habit of chewing up our clothes. Apart from training Bobby that biting clothes was a no-no, my family also took to putting our clothes out of his reach to prevent him from destroying our clothes.

No longer able to squeeze through the gaps

Q: How did you guys train Bobby?

Eve: Training Bobby required everyone in the family to chip in, but my youngest sister, Hui Li, probably played the biggest part in the training of Bobby. She was still schooling when we got Bobby, which meant she could spend more time with him.

Hui Li: My family is actually "self taught" in dog training. We read up on how train dogs and approached trainers for advice. Of course, constant interaction with Bobby and TLC (i.e. tender loving care) were also very important.

"Studying" to be a better pooch

Q: So, does Bobby have a "favourite" in the family?

Joey, Eve & Hui Li: Joel!

Joel (Joey's fiancÚ): I think Bobby likes me because I am the one that always brings him out for walks.

Joey: Joel didn't use to really like dogs in the past!

Joel: Yah, but I grew to like dogs after Bobby.

Q: So you guys have a specific role when it comes to caring for Bobby?

Eve: While I think some of us are better at certain roles, everyone in my family plays a part in caring for Bobby. Even my dad will play "treasure hunt" games with him!

Bobby & friend

Q: Thanks for the taking the time to be interviewed, guys. Anything to add before we end?

Joey: I think love can really change animals. There's a huge difference in the way Bobby behaves now compared to how he acted when he first came to us. Even Hilda saw the change in him. And when we bring him out, he does not behave aggressively towards other smaller animals or young children.

- - As told to AVA


Pet Adoption Friday: Tanya from House Rabbit Society Singapore

Name: Tanya
Sex: Female
Age: About 2 years old
Breed: Dwarf mix
Health Condition: Good
Sterilised: Yes
Litter-trained: Yes

Tanya survived a tooth abscess, and has recovered well. Tanya is living life as good as she can. She's a gentle little dear and will do great in a family who will love her the way she is.

If you wish to give Tanya a home, please drop HRSS an email at info@hrss.net.
For more information, please visit HRSS' Facebook page.

Do also join us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and follow us on Twitter.

Good Reads: How Do Dinosaurs Love Their Cats?

By Rekha Nair

Depicting pet owners as young dinosaurs, this book aims to instill in children, responsible pet care. From playing with their pet cats to cleaning their litter boxes, children will learn what's involved in keeping their cat happy and loved, through the laughable ways of the dinosaurs. This book is also suitable as an introduction for children who like animals and hope to keep a pet someday.

My thoughts: This book is really great if your kids are going to preschool or kindergarten. The 'lessons' on pet care are put across in an interesting and funny manner. Also, questions are posed instead of out-rightly telling children the dos and the don'ts. This one is definitely a winner with kids who like cats, families with young children and are planning to get a cat and those who already have cats and are trying to teach their kids on how to care for their felines. You can easily find this book at your nearest National Library Branch today!

Pet Care Tips: Why your cat may be over-grooming herself

By Rekha NairDid you know that cats can spend about 25 per cent or more of their day grooming themselves? Cats are clean animals by nature. They self-groom to keep themselves clean. Cats also bond with one another through grooming. Grooming is normal for your cat but over-grooming may be an indication of
deeper issues that could be medical or stress-related.

Cats will lick their body if it is itchy or painful. The itch may be caused by parasites such as fleas and lice. It may also be due to allergies such as allergy to certain types of food. The cat may feel pain and may have developed a skin infection on its body. Thus if your cat is behaving abnormally (e.g. no appetite) and grooming excessively, you should bring it to the veterinarian for a check up.

Cats may also groom excessively because of stress from environmental factors. Examples include changes in the home setting, addition of new household members, and having multiple cats in the same
household. These environmental factors can be stressful and even more so if your cat is timid or anxious by nature. Sometimes, even when the stress factor is taken away, the cat may still continue to over-groom because it has become an obsessive habit. If the obsessive habit is serious, you should consult your veterinarian for possible forms of treatment.

As a pet owner, look out for signs such as excessive licking of fur, increased amounts of regurgitated hair
balls and bald patches near the abdomen, groin and inner thighs. If you know your cat is stressed because of certain environmental changes, try and remove the stress factors from the environment to see if the behaviour stops. However, if you are unsure of what's causing the stress or if the behaviour persists, you should take your cat to the vet for a check-up. There could be an underlying medical problem.

Resources: Pets Magazine, Cat Behaviour Associates

Images: Pet Well-being, Pets Magazine, Cat Behaviour Associates

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Beat the Monday Blues: The young playmates

by Rekha Nair

Life is a journey best travelled with great company and it doesn't matter if one's a dog and the other's a human. Watch these two kiddo best friends, a baby and a Golden Retriever puppy, spend quality time together in this short video.

Pets can teach us valuable life lessons often by just being who they are; silly antics and all. Whether you have just one or a pack, take the time to bond with them and you might just realize that some of the greatest assets have been sitting right next to your feet all this time!

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