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Austin Pet Sitter Warns of Christmas Tree Hazards

Austin Pet Sitter warns of toxic Christmas plants Are Christmas Trees Poisonous To Cats and Dogs? By Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM Learn more about Christmas tree hazards and pets in this FAQ. Answer: Christmas can be a scary time for pets, especially cats who can’t resist the tree and other holiday plants, many of which are poisonous. Toxicity of holiday plants varies from mild to extreme. The level of poisoning (illness) is also related to amount of the plant ingested. […]

How Smart Is Your Dog?

How Smart Is Your Dog? Find out where yours ranks among the 10 brightest breeds -- and whether smarter dogs make better pets.  How smart is your dog? By Julie Edgar WebMD Pet Health Feature Reviewed by Elizabeth A. Martinez, DVM You might think your beagle is the smartest canine on the block, but he's got the dubious honor of being among the least trainable of dog breeds. The snarling Doberman next door? He's a quick study. Dog intelligence, like human intelligence, comes in various forms. And although the best in any breed can be nurtured by owners willing to put in the time and effort, there are fixed realities when it comes to your animal's inherent qualities. If it's bred to hunt, herd, or retrieve, the dog is more likely to be quick on its feet, eager to work, to move, and to please you. It will learn faster. If it's bred to be a livestock guard dog or a scent hound, it may seem distracted and just a bit dense. Yet, even if some breeds are more nimble, trainers say any dog can learn the basics like sitting and staying. It just might take them longer to catch on. The key is knowing what your pooch is built for and how to motivate him. But keep in mind that the smartest dogs often don't make the best pets. Your job is to find a breed that suits your lifestyle and to focus on bringing out the best in your dog. Top Dogs In his bestselling book, The Intelligence of Dogs, neuropsychologist Stanley Coren, PhD, focuses on trainability as a marker of intelligence. The University of British Columbia psychology professor relied on the assessments of 110 breeds by more [...]