Image sourced from http://www.chicagonow.com

Image sourced from http://www.chicagonow.com

Pets are definitely a wonderful addition to our lives, but giving them as presents is not always the best idea.

Yes it is lovely to hand someone an adorable ball of fluff on Christmas morning but a pet is not just something cute for one day. Pets are a lifetime commitment. They should not be forced upon someone as not everyone is in the situation to care for a pet or they may not want to.

If you are insistent on buying a pet as a present there a few things that you should consider before doing so.
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bull-sale-4blogRecently I took a trip to Capella in the Central Highlands of Queensland to visit family that have a cattle property there. It is really nice to get back to the country lifestyle and being surrounded by cattle, chickens, dogs and wide open spaces.

While I was there we went to my first bull sale in Clermont. I have shown cattle before and have a bit of an idea on what makes a good bull but it was very interesting to read to catalogue, look at the bulls, go through the data that is given on each bull and then see what they sold for.

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Image courtesy of www.assistancedogs.org.au

Image courtesy of www.assistancedogs.org.au

Dogs are not only fantastic companions and man’s best friend but some dogs have an even more important role to play. Some dogs save lives.

Medical Alert Dogs are specially trained dogs that can alert their owner to health dangers such as seizures and hypoglycemia. These amazing dogs can provide people that suffer from potentially life threatening conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes and seizure disorders with some independence by acting as an early warning system and supporting or helping them through an episode.

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egg-cartonWhen you’re standing there in the egg isle of the supermarket trying to decide on what eggs you should buy it can be quite confusing. All the labels say different things, Free Range, Caged, Barn Laid, RSPCA Approved, Pastured, Organic, Certified Organic, but what do these all mean?

The classification and what is stated on the egg carton label refers to the way that the hens that lay the eggs are treated, how they live and/or what they are being fed. Below is a bit of a summary of the different egg classifications to help you make an informed choice when you purchase your eggs.

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Rabbit Cartoon B-WIt’s Easter time!!

Most children can’t wait until Easter Sunday morning to see if the Easter Bunny has been and left some yummy chocolate eggs. But have you ever found it strange that a rabbit is the one bringing eggs? So where did this tradition originate from?

It was originally the German Lutherans that conjured the role of the Easter Hare / Bunny. The hare symbolised the role of a judge that determined whether or not children had been behaving at the start of the Eastertide season. In a similar role as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny would visit the good, well behaved children and hand out chocolates, candy or toys.

Another interesting rabbit question I have often wondered about, is why does a magician pull a rabbit out of his hat and not a cat or guinea pig or anything else?
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Image courtesy of http://www.thesun.co.uk

Image courtesy of http://www.thesun.co.uk

We are constantly hearing reports on the news about global warming and climate change. We know that pollutants from cars, mining and factories contribute to this, but did you know that cow’s actually affect global warming too?

The agricultural industry emits methane gases and nitrous oxide which generates up to 20% of all Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Australia. Cattle and other ruminant animals, like sheep and goats, are responsible for over 70% of the agricultural industry emissions, with animal excreta and nitrogen based fertilisers making up the remaining 30%.

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pug-newborn-4blogOver my years as a Veterinary Nurse working in both large and small animal practices I was lucky enough to see a great range of interesting cases.  I thought I might share with you a couple of my favourite vet nursing experiences.

The one that stands out in my mind as the best experience was when I got to assist with a caesarian on a cow.  This was something that I was not expecting to do on a normal day at work, but that was the best thing about working in a vet clinic; you never knew what would happen next.  I was called out to a dairy farm by a vet to deliver an extra surgery kit and some medications, I never expected that I would be helping with a caesarian.  So there I was changing into a pair of vet overalls on the side of the road not knowing what I was in for.

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dog-cat-fireworksIt’s almost time to bring in the New Year which means celebrating, parties and fantastic firework displays.

For most people fireworks are exciting but for pets they can be very scary.   This is understandable as pets don’t understand that the fireworks won’t hurt them, all they see is bright colourful embers of fire falling from the sky and loud noises.  Therefore New Years Eve can be a very stressful and scary night for many animals, not only dogs and cats but also horses and farm animals.  The fireworks is what causes more pets to go missing on New Years Eve than any other day of the year.

Here are some tips to keep your pets safe and calm during fireworks.

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xmas-petsWhat better way to to celebrate the Christmas period than with the family. The whole family; four legged members included of course.  If you are thinking about going on a summer holiday and want to take your pets, visit Holidaying With Dogs for some great pet friendly holiday spots.  Or if you are just looking for some dog friendly parks and beaches all around Australia visit Doggo.

With the festive season in full swing, everyone is out enjoying the beautiful Australian weather with parties and barbeques.  As tempting as it might be to treat your dog or cat with some table scraps it really isn’t a good idea.  It is important to keep your pet’s diet as normal as possible as changing it and offering them an overindulgence of treats can cause stomach upset.  Ham is one of the worse things you can feed your pets as it is high in salt and fat.  Over the Christmas period veterinary clinics will often see a rise in pancreatitis cases and stomach upsets with the usual cause being that the animals have been eating the Christmas ham.  Also make sure not to give your pets any cooked chicken or turkey bones as they can splinter and also cause intestinal blockages.  Sweets, and in particular chocolate, are a big no no for you pets.  Chocolate is very dangerous for your four-legged friends as it contains theobromine which can cause symptoms including vomiting, diarrhea,  restlessness, cardiac failure, seizures and death. And most importantly, don’t forget to make sure your pets have plenty of cool, clean water to keep them hydrated over the hot summer days.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish everyone, humans and animals, a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.

Until next time,
Bec


LisaWith Christmas just around the corner you might be thinking of going on a holiday, but what will you do with your pets?

There are a few options for how and where your pets can spend their time while you are away.  Here are some pros and cons of each to help you make the right decision for your pet.

Staying at Home Alone
This, in general, is not a good idea and I would not recommend it.  Perhaps for one night they might be ok, more so cats than dogs, but I would not leave them for more than 24 hours without someone checking in on them.  If you do have to leave them alone overnight make sure that they have access to a number of different water bowls, in shady cool locations.  If they are staying in the house, make sure that all poisonous, dangerous and breakable objects are well locked up and secure.  Preferably, even if it is only for one night, let your neighbours know that you will be away and have them check in on your pets for you.

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