FACT: The truth is that most pets get fat and lazy because their owners feed them too much and don't give them enough exercise.
MYTH: It's better to have one litter first.
FACT: Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier and are at lower risk for breast cancer and uterine infections in females, and testicular cancer and prostrate problems in males. Many veterinarians now sterilise dogs and cats as young as eight weeks of age. Check with your veterinarian about the appropriate time for these procedures.
MYTH: My children should experience the miracle of birth.
FACT: Even if children are able to see a pet give birth—which is unlikely, since it usually occurs at night and in seclusion—the lesson they will really learn is that animals can be created and discarded as it suits adults. Instead, it should be explained to children that the real miracle is life and that preventing the birth of some pets can save the lives of others.
MYTH: But my pet is a purebred.
FACT: So is at least one out of every four pets brought to animal shelters around the country. There are just too many dogs and cats—mixed breed and purebred.
MYTH: I want my dog to be protective.
FACT: Spaying or neutering does not affect a dog's natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog's personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.
MYTH: I don't want my male dog or cat to feel like less of a male.
FACT: Pets don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego. Neutering will not change a pet's basic personality. He doesn't suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.
MYTH: But my dog (or cat) is so special, I want a puppy (or kitten) just like her.
FACT: A dog or cat may be a great pet, but that doesn't mean her offspring will be a carbon copy. Professional animal breeders who follow generations of bloodlines can't guarantee they will get just what they want out of a particular litter. A pet owner's chances are even slimmer. In fact, an entire litter of puppies or kittens might receive all of a pet's (and her mate's) worst characteristics.
MYTH: It's too expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.
FACT: The cost of spaying or neutering depends on the sex, size, and age of the pet, your veterinarian's fees, and a number of other variables. But whatever the actual price, spay or neuter surgery is a one-time cost—a relatively small cost when compared to all the benefits. It's a bargain compared to the cost of having a litter and ensuring the health of the mother and litter; two months of pregnancy and another two months until the litter is weaned can add up to significant veterinary bills and food costs if complications develop. Most importantly, it's a very small price to pay for the health of your pet and the prevention of the births of more unwanted pets.
MYTH: I'll find good homes for all the puppies and kittens.
FACT: You may find homes for all of your pet's litter. But each home you find means one less home for the dogs and cats in shelters who need good homes. Also, in less than one year's time, each of your pet's offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population. The problem of pet overpopulation is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.
MYTH: Dogs are sick when their noses are warm.
The temperature of a dogs nose does not indicate health or illness. It also does not indicate if they have a fever. There is an “old wives tale” that cold wet noses indicate good health and that warm or dry noses indicate a fever or illness. The only accurate method to access a dog's temperature is to take it with a thermometer. Normal dog temperature is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees F.
MYTH: Mutts are always healthier than purebred dogs.
This is not true. Both mutts and purebred dogs can be either healthy or unhealthy. However, mutts generally do not have many of the genetic diseases that may be common in purebred lines.
MYTH: All dogs like to be petted on their heads.
Some dogs do like to be petted on their heads but many do NOT.
MYTH: Only happy dogs wag their tails.
This may be true but aggressive dogs often wag their tails too. There are several physical body motions and cues that help dogs communicate their intent. A wagging tail can mean either agitation or excitement. A dog that wags his tail slowly and moves his entire rear end or crouches down in the classic “play bow” position is usually demonstrating a friendly wag. Tails that are wagged when held higher, tails that “twitch” or a wagging tail held over the back may be associated with aggression.
MYTH: Only male dogs will ‘hump” or lift their leg to urinate.
This is not true. Female dogs, especially dominant female dogs, will lift their leg to urinate and “hump” other dogs or objects. This can be true even in spayed female dogs.
MYTH: Table scraps are good for dogs.
Some table scraps such as bones and large pieces of fat can be dangerous to some pets. Dogs may not digest the bones and the fat may cause gastrointestinal problems such as pancreatitis.
MYTH: Garlic prevents fleas.
Garlic has NOT been proven helpful for flea control. Large amounts of garlic can even be harmful.
MYTH: Household “pet dogs” don't need trained.
This is not true. Every dog should be trained.
MYTH: Dogs eat grass when they are sick.
Dogs descended from wild wolves and foxes that ate all parts of their “kill”. This included the stomach contents of many animals that ate berries and grass. Many scientists believe grass was once part of dog's normal diet and eating small amounts of grass is normal.
MYTH: Dogs like tasty food.
Dogs have very poor taste buds and eat primarily based on their sense of smell.
MYTH: Licking is Healing.
It is natural for a dog to lick its wound but this not necessarily always “healing”. Too much licking can actually prohibit healing.
MYTH: Dogs will let you know when they are sick.
This is not true. Dogs generally are very good at hiding that they are sick by survival instinct, thus not to appear vulnerable to “prey”. Often by the time they show you that they are sick, their disease or condition is quite advanced.
MYTH: Dogs that are mostly indoors don't need heartworm prevention.
This is not true. Indoor pets are also at risk for heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes, which can come inside.
MYTH: Dogs eat rocks, lick concrete or eat their or another animals stools because of nutrient imbalances.
No one knows why dogs eat “stuff” that they should not eat. Some veterinarians believe that some dogs that eat “things” may be trying to get attention or acting out of boredom. It is important for dogs to eat a well balanced diet that will fulfill their dietary and nutrient requirements and have plenty of opportunities for play and exercise.
MYTH: Dogs don't need housetraining – they naturally know where to go.
Oh...if only this were true. You need to train your dog on where to go. This preferably happens when you start at a young age and give your dog positive encouragement for jobs well done.
Why should I desex my pet?
Desexing of your pet is an important aspect of giving your pet a long and healthy life, especially if your pet is not to be used for breeding.
This is an often asked question , and many pet owners will question the need to perform the desexing surgery (especially those males out there who cross their legs whenever the topic is raised). There are a number of good reasons to desex.
Firstly, and most importantly, are the health benefits for later in life. For female animals desexing makes certain cancers, such as breast cancer, very unlikely and will remove the possibility of pyometra (uterine infection). For males desexing will greatly lessen the chance of testicular and prostate cancers.
Secondly, with owning females, you will not be faced with an unwanted pregnancy situation, ending up having to find good homes for the resulting offspring. Just remember that not everyone has their pet under the same amount of control as you do, and where there's a will there's a way! A female who is in season can attract 'beaus' from the most amazing distances!
Thirdly, desexing is beneficial for certain behavioural reasons. Desexing at an early age can help reduce dominance and aggressive behaviours in dogs, and reduce fighting, abcesses and urine spraying in cats.
Desexing is generally performed when your pet is five months of age or older. The earlier it is done the better. Some vets now practice early spey/neutering, please ask around to find a vet in your area.
Desexing - neutering and spaying
If you are buying a pet I would advise you to desex it. If you are buying a dog as a pet there is no real reason to keep it entire - as previously stated....by desexing your pet you are also removing the risk of unwanted pregnancies and the resulting unwanted litters and the problems of dumped puppies. In Australia it is also substantially cheaper to register your pet with local council authorities, if it is desexed.
As in other countries, Australia has a growing problem with the increase of the numbers of "Puppy Farms". Puppy farms are run by people who do not care about the animals that are in their care and breed them continuosly purely for financial gains. In most puppy farms, animals are held in small cages or pens, usually in deplorable conditions. Many of these animals live in their own excretement, have untreated wounds or injuries, and have a miserable life, they may have no physical contact with people, other to be moved to different pens. It appears that the animals produced in these puppy farms are often sold through pet shops, or over the internet, where the general public is unaware of the correct methods of purchasing a new pet.
Indescriminate 'backyard breeders' will charge exhorbitant fees for massed produced inferior stock! They generally sell through pet-shops, as there is no COME BACK for the purchaser to enquire as to the origins or health status of their breeding stocks. Some of the unfortunate breeding stock, have been picked up as FREE TO GOOD HOMES, where the previous owners have only been too happy to part with their undesexed animal, most times foolish believing they are going to 'loving homes', having no regard for the future of their unwanted pet.
If you are considering to give your pet away, please ensure it is desexed, you are then assured that the only people interested in acquiring your animal will have its best interests at heart, and love it for what it is.....a loving Companion Animal and generally their best friend.
This is why Rescue Groups recommend you adopt an animal from a responsible and reputable Rescue Group or Shelter, who ensures that all their charges have or will have 'EVERYTHING DONE'**or to buy from responsible and reputable breeders***.
** EVERYTHING DONE - this means the animals will have undergone a health check, they will ensure that they are also DESEXED, VACCINATED, MICROCHIPPED, HEART-WORM TESTED, AND TREATED FOR INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL PARASITES
***RESPONSIBLE AND REPUTABLE BREEDERS are ones who have their animals interests at heart.
- They encourage the desexing of pets who are not kept for breeding purposes by Registered Breeders;
- They do not over-breed, and only breed to attain or improve on the standard which has been set for their breed;
- They will ensure that the litters are vet checked, regularly wormed at the required intervals;
- They will ensure that you have the facilities to keep your pets safe and knowledge to look after them correctly;
- They will always take their progeny back or help to rehouse, if the purchaser finds that they can no longer keep the animal (for whatever reason), after all they brought the animal into this world, they didn't ask to be born!
Petshops, Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders
Petshops, Puppy Mills and Backyard Breeders
Purchasing a puppy should be a lifetime decision and YOU are responsible for a life with this commitment. Understandably, it can be hard to find a responsible breeder at times, and many people resort to Backyard Breeders and pet shops to acquire their new pets from.
Unfortunately, most puppies who come from pet stores are bred by large breeding establishments known as puppy mills. These businesses do not generally socialise or care for their dogs, in the manner that a reputable, caring breeder would. Puppies from puppy mills are raised in cages or pens, most are sold off to pet stores at 4-6 weeks, others are sold through other avenues (eg over the internet) and can come with a host of genetic and temperamental problems through improper breeding.
To ensure that you get the right start with your new pup, please buy from a reputable breeder, who will have their progenys' best interests at heart. There is a huge difference between buying from someone who loves their dogs and someone who is only looking at 'lining their pockets'.
Alternatively, if your not in the market for a purebred, please consider adopting a rescue dog from one of the groups listed on this site. A fantastic friend isnt in the breeding its in the upbringing, and there are hundreds of fantastic dogs being put to sleep every day around Australia.
For every puppy sold in a pet shop, one dies in a pound.
What are puppy mills, what you can do about them, etc., please follow the link in the banner below (This is a US site. WARNING: This site is not intended for children under the age of 15, it contains graphic descriptions and photographs which may be upsetting.) http://www.turner.com/planet/promotions/puppies/prisoners.html
An Australian initiative has been started to ban the selling of animals in pet shops.
Myths About Rescue Pets
There are many misconceptions about the quality of animals found in rescue shelters. The stigma that shelter pets have been stuck with for many years is that they are "damaged goods", "second-hand" or "other people's" rubbish.
Myth: Rescue pets are obviously not good pets, or else their original owners wouldn't have gotten rid of them
If the main reason why a pet gets brought to pound/shelters was because they were a 'bad' pet, there would be thousands of empty shelters across the country. Animals are brought to shelters for a large variety of reasons, some of which are...
- Their owners have passed away
- The animal strayed from home and was impounded awaiting owners to collect them.
- An irresponsible owner didn't get their pets spayed or neutered so they found themselves with a litter of babies that they could not keep or did not want
- The animal's owners were abusive to the animal, so the authorities have removed the pet from the harmful environment
- An animal was purchased or adopted by someone who did not take into consideration all of the responsibility that caring for that pet would entail. A good example of this would be someone who adopts a pet in an apartment complex that does not allow animals and then is subsequently forced to get rid of the pet.
Myth: Animals from abusive homes will never be good pets because they have been mistreated for so long
Most animals coming from abusive homes will typically make a full emotional recovery - with proper care and attention. In fact, many of them are so grateful to be rescued from their previous situation, they end up being more devoted and loyal than animals coming from loving homes.
Myth: You never know what you're getting with rescue pets
Although its true that the medical history and temperament of an animal adopted from a rescue shelter are not always able to be tracked down, its really no different than an animal you might get from a pet store, or backyard breeder. As with humans, all animals are different, some just have more emotional baggage than others.
Myth: All animals in rescue shelters are sickly or unhealthy
Once again, it certainly IS possible that a adopted pet may have medical problems, however the majority of the animals that are adopted from shelters are perfectly healthy, and just need a good home. If anything, you're more likely to get an honest answer about an animal's medical problems from a shelter volunteer - who is clearly there because they 'care' about the animals - as opposed to a pet store owner or breeder that is only it in for the money. Additionally, animals in shelters are typically treated much better than animals in pet stores, which have often spent their short lives in cramped environments with little socialising and often, unsanitary conditions.
To illustrate the point a little more clearly, when you go to a pet store, the animals are kept on display in tiny cages, often with multiple animals in one cage. When you go to a shelter, you will usually find much bigger animal pens, where the animals have some room to move.
To purchase your pup from a Backyard Breeder or pet shop is only encouraging them to breed/buy more pups. Simple economics shows that without the demand, the supply is affected.
PLEASE NOTE: If purchasing a pup from a registered breeder, one who genuinely cares for their breed and their dogs, their pups are on sold with Puppy Contracts, they will guarantee their off-spring for the life of the dog and always be willing to help if/when you can no longer keep your pet.
Are Annual Vaccinations Necessary?
The AVMA Journal (#208, 1996) says: "There is no scientific data to support a recommendation for annual administration of vaccines. Furthermore, repeated administration of vaccines may be associated with a higher risk of anaphylaxis and autoimmune diseases."
In the same issue:
"There is little scientific documentation that backs up label claims for annual administration of most vaccines. In the past, it was believed that annual vaccination would not hurt and would probably help most animals. However concerns about side effects have begun to change this attitude. The client is paying for something with no effect or with the potential for an adverse reaction."
Annual vaccination schedules have always been based on -- you're going to love this -- the suggestions of the vaccine manufacturers -- NOT on independent research. Is it any surprise that they want annual vaccinations? __________________________________________________________
Links from the Australian Veterinary of Australia website.......
Veterinarians and the new pet vaccination policy
Vaccinating your pet
Pet care businesses and the vaccination policy
Frequently asked questions
MEDIA RELEASE BY AVA
Other interesting links with regarding to over vaccinating
and this is a excellent one
an excellent one by Catherine O'Driscoll, but the background colour needs to be changed, so highlight it to make it readable
Catherine O'Driscoll runs Canine Health Concern which campaigns and also delivers an educational program, the Foundation in Canine Healthcare. She is author of Shock to the System (2005; see review this issue), the best-selling book What Vets Don't Tell You About Vaccines (1997, 1998), and Who Killed the Darling Buds of May? (1997; reviewed in NEXUS 4/04). She lives in Scotland with her partner, Rob Ellis, and three Golden Retrievers, named Edward, Daniel and Gwinnie, and she lectures on canine health around the world.
and Jean Dodds
and treating adverse reactions to vaccinations by Jean Dodds