Great Plains Angels for Animals

Non Profit Organization

Fun Facts

Fun Facts:



Pets Tales and Tips

Pet Parents are responsible for feeding, housebreaking, cleaning and loving their companion animals. They should also oversee the health of their pets. It is best to consult a veterinarian at the first sign of a serious ailment.

  • Dogs' only sweat glands are between their paw pads
  • A one year old dog is as mature, physically, as a 15 year old human
  • 87% of dog owners say their dog curls up beside them or at their feet while they watch T.V.
  • Dogs can be trained to detect epileptic seizures
  • An estimated 1,000,000 dogs in the U.S. have been named as the primary beneficiaries in their owner's will
  • Rin Tin Tin was the first Hollywood dog star and he really signed his movie contracts - all 22 of them - with a pawprint
  • Olive Oyl, a Russian Wolfhound, jumped ropes 63 times in one minute in Los Angeles, California on July 8, 1998.
  • About 1in 5 older dogs have arthritis
  • A dog's nose contains 220 million smell-sensitive cells (compared with only five million in humans)
  • Dogs have 42 teeth
  • Dogs are known for remembering a scent for a lifetime
  • Dogs blink less frequently than humans
  • Dogs can detect sounds about four times greater than humans
  • Famous First Dogs- Spot & Barney (George W. Bush), Buddy (Bill Clinton), Millie (George H.W. Bush), Lucky & Rex (Ronald Regan), Grits (Jimmy Carter), Liberty (Gerald Ford), Checkers (Richard Nixon), Charlie (John F. Kennedy), Heidi (Dwight D. Eisenhower), and Fala (Franklin D. Roosevelt).
  • Heaviest Living Dog- Tom Scott (UK) is the proud owner of Kell, a female English Mastiff weighing in at 286 pounds
  • Smallest Dog- Dr. Chai Khanchanakom (Thailand) is the owner of Big Boss, a male Yorkshire Terrier that was just 4.7 inches tall and 5.1 inches long on his first birthday
  • Largest Litter - 23 puppies. This record was set by three different dogs: an American Foxhound in 1944, a St. Bernard in 1975, and a Great Dane in 1987
  • Nearly 30% of a cat's life is spent grooming itself.
  • Cats paw (repeatedly treading on a spot - often it's owner) to mark their territory. Cats sweat through the bottom of their paws and rub this off as a marking mechanism.
  • The domestic cat is the only cat species able to hold its tail vertically while walking.  All wild cats hold their tails horizontally or tucked between their legs while walking.
  • The more cats are spoken to, the more they will speak to you.
  • The Giraffe, Camel and Cat are the only animals that walk by moving both their left feet, then both their right feet, when walking.  This method of walking ensures speed, agility and silence
  • A cat that bites you after you have rubbed his stomach, is probably biting out of pleasure, not anger
  • The cat with the most toes is Jake, an orange tabby from Bonfield, Ontario, Canada. This feline has seven toes - complete with claws ands pads - on each paw for a total of 28 toes.
  • A newborn kitten's eyes are always blue at first. Colors change over a period of months until reaching the final color
  • Most cats have no eyelashes
  • You can tell a cat's mood by looking into its eyes. A frightened or excited cat will have large, round pupils. An angry cat will have narrow pupils. The pupil size is related as much to the cat's emotions as to the degree of light shone in the cat's face
  • A cat can jump seven times as high as its height
  • A cat is pregnant for about 58-65 days
  • The average life span of a domestic cat is 14 years
  • Cats cannot taste sweets
  • Cats sleep 16 to 18 hours per day
  • Besides smelling with their nose, cats can detect odors through an additional organ called the Jacobson's organ, which is located in the upper surface of the mouth
  • A cat has four rows of whiskers on each side of its nose
  • According to fossilized records, animals related to the cat family have existed for 12 million years
  • An unspayed female ferret is called a jill while a spayed female is a sprite. An intact male is a hob and a neutered male is called a gib. Baby ferrets are called kits.
  • Ferrets can sleep so soundly that they cannot be woken up even when picked up and jostled.
  • Ferrets sleep curled up - sometimes with all paws in the air
  • The ferret is the 3rd most popular pet in the US
  • The fastest ferret, Warhol, raced 10 m (32 ft.) in 12.59 seconds at the 1999 North of England Ferret Racing Championships.
  • Ferrets were domesticated over 3,000 years ago by Egyptians
  • The word ferret was derived from the Latin word Furonem, which literally means "thief"
  • The life span of a ferret ranges from five to 12 years. Ferrets are considered adults at eight weeks, but are not full grown until age one
  • Ferrets are members of the Mustelidae family (Mustela furo), and are related to badgers, polecats and otters
  • Silver, champagne and chocolate are recognized ferret colors
  • Ferret film credits include: Kindergarten Cop; Beastmaster; Beastmaster II; and The Ewok Movie
  • Male ferrets can be two to 12 times larger than female ferrets
  • There are approximately eight million domestic ferrets in the USA
  • Rabbits can be litter trained
  • Adult bunnies can weigh between 2 lbs - 20 lbs depending on breed
  • Rabbits can purr similar to a cat
  • A 4 pound rabbit will drink as much water as a 20 pound dog
  • When rabbits are happy, they will jump and twist, this is called a binky
  • The oldest rabbit lived 18 years, 10 months and 21 days. Flopsy was caught from the wild and lived in Tasmania, Australia.
  • Because its eyes are on the side of its head, a rabbit can see behind itself without turning its head
  • Rabbits' front teeth are called incisors and they grow continuously through their lifespan
  • Rabbits are not rodents, they belong to the genus Lagomorpha
  • Rabbits can mate as early as three months of age; gestation is 31 days with a litter size of four to 12 kits
  • Rabbits communicate through a variety of methods, including stomping a hind leg, grunting, honking/oinking softly, and grooming each other
  • "The Tales of Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter, is the best selling children's book of all time
  • Rabbits are most active in the early morning and in the late evening
  • A group of rabbits is called a herd
  • Based on similarities in skeletal structure, a good number of scientists have theorized that many modern bird species evolved from the dinosaurs.
  • There are over 40 million pet birds living in the U.S.
  • A bird's feathers weigh more than its skeleton does.
  • A bird requires more food in proportion to its size than a baby or a cat.
  • There are over 109 species of birds that are now extinct.
  • Texas has more breeds of birds than other state in the U.S.
  • Birds are over 145 million years old.
  • Birds sing to mark their territory and to attract the opposite gender.
  • The smallest bird egg ever was laid on October 5, 1998 by a canary and measured 7 mm (0.275-in) in length, 5.25-mm (0.2-in) in diameter and weighed 0.027 g 0.0009 oz.

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  • A height of a horse can be measured with the hand, where each hand equals four inches
  • 10 Pounds is the weight of a horse's heart.
  • A horse is able to drink 10 gallons of water per day.
  • Horses use their facial expressions to communicate. Their moods can be gauged with the help of their nostrils, eyes and ears.
  • Horses spend more energy lying down
  • Horses have monocular vision which means that they can see a different image by both eyes. In other words, they can see two different images at once.
  • Horses produce approximately ten gallons of saliva a day.
  • A mule is a cross between a male donkey and a female horse. While, a hinny is a cross between a male horse and a female donkey.

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Shure Pets Tips to En-shure Tail Wagging Health
The following is intended for informational purposes only and should not substitute the guidance or advice provided by veterinarians and/or other medical professional. You should not rely solely on this information for diagnosing a pet's health problem or concern. Always consult your own veterinarian and medical advisors if a question arises.

I live downtown in a large, lively city environment and am looking into getting a dog. Is any breed of canine better for the busy city life as opposed to the country lifestyle?
When selecting a pet, space should be a major factor in your decision. In large, more populated cities, smaller dogs are recommended. However, please consider your time schedule, routine and personal preferences when selecting your pet.

My puppy/kitty seems to sleep a lot. Is this normal?
It is very ordinary for new puppies and kittens to sleep a lot. Younger pets tend to snooze a great deal, especially directly following meals.

Should I use human shampoos on my pets?
While many people do use human shampoos on their companions, it is better not to. Pet skin is not only less acidic than human skin, but also much thinner. Other differences exist as well, all of which means that for the optimum health of your pet's skin, you should use shampoos designed specifically for pets when bathing them.

What is the reason behind cats purring, and how do they do that?
Purring is a way to show affection and appreciation for a cat. The source of purring is believed to be located in the animal's circulatory system (rather than in the "voice").

What causes ear infections in pets?
Water, ear mites that were never eliminated, yeast infections and skin allergies are just a few causes of ear infections. Ear infections are especially common in longer haired, droopy-eared dogs such as Bassets, Cocker Spaniels and Labradors.

How often should I give my pet a bath?
Pets with a normal coat and skin conditions usually require bathing no more than once per week. However, if your pet has a skin condition such as an allergy, infection, or seborrhea, then it may need bathing twice a week to control the problem. Frequent brushing and combing between baths will assist in removing old hair and reduce shedding. Additionally, bathing is a great time for you and your pet to spend together. Pets love the added attention!

Are there any houseplants that are poisonous to pets?
In general, houseplants can be poisonous to be careful! Many common plants are toxic to your cat if they are chewed and ingested. This includes (but is not limited to) Easter Lilies, English Ivy, Iris, Jade plants, Mistletoe, Philodendron and Poinsettia.

When should a pet be brought into a household?
The best and ideal age to bring a young pet into a home is between eight and ten weeks.

Are there any factors to consider when choosing a male or female pet?
If you treat your pet correctly and properly, it does not matter whether you choose a male or female companion. Children have equal amounts of fun with both male and female pets. However, male puppies may tend to be more assertive and forceful; while females may be easier to train and are less likely to be hyperactive.

Why do animals shed?
Animals shed during autumn to replace their thinner summer coat with a thicker winter one. In the spring, they prepare for upcoming warmer days by shedding their thicker fur. Loss of hair may also be attributed to your pet's exposure to light. Animals that are kept inside under artificial light shed more than they normally would if outside.

How do I weigh my pet?
You can use your everyday bathroom scale to discover your pet's weight. Weigh yourself first, then pick up your pet and note the combined weight. Subtract your weight from the total reading to calculate the weight of your pet.

When should your new kitten or puppy first visit the veterinarian?
As soon as possible; a veterinarian will assure you that your new pet is healthy and happy, and recommend a vaccination schedule to protect against various diseases. Among the topics they should discuss are spaying and neutering, feeding and grooming your pet.

How should I take my pet's temperature?
Your pet's temperature should be taken in his rectum with a lubricated rectal thermometer. Insert thermometer only 1/3 of the way in and leave it for a minimum of one minute.

How big of a problem is pet obesity?
This is a serious issue. Being overweight can lead to a myriad of negative occurrences including (but not limited to) liver disease, heat stroke, difficulty breathing, and back and heart problems. Dogs should get a minimum of 15 minutes of exercise a day, with longer periods 2-3 times a week. Exercise is a great way to control your dog's weight while bonding with your pet.

How do I keep my pet cool?
To help avoid heat stroke, provide your pet with shaded locales and plenty of fresh water (check his/her water bowl several times a day to be sure it is full). Make sure your pet does not overexert himself. Watch for irregular breathing. If your pet appears to be hot, place a moist towel over your pet and it will instantly begin to cool them off.

How often should I brush my pet's teeth?
Try to clean your pet's teeth and gums once a day, if possible, and preferably after eating has occurred. Dental care can add as much as five years to your pet's life.

How can I tell if my pet will have a good personality?
A paw-sitive, friendly pet personality may be indicated if he greets you freely, without snarling and with no hesitation. When picked up, he should be fairly easy to hold and not cry/bark excessively. And finally, he should possess curiosity and appear alert.

How can I help my pet get over his fear of thunderstorms?
Train your companion by repeatedly playing taped recorded thunderstorms. Gradually increase the volume while comforting him. If your pet still reacts severely, tranquilizers should be kept on hand in case needed.

When I come home I notice I have a soiled floor due to my pet. What should I do to discourage this kind of activity?
It does no good to punish your pet upon arrival because he will not remember what he did wrong (soiling may have occurred hours ago). Punishment will often confuse the pet. A simple and better solution is to confine your pet to one area of the house or place him in a crate while you are away from home.

What is a "Hot Spot?"
A "hot spot" on a pet is classified as an inflammation that is caused by the animal's constant licking or scratching at an area until the area becomes bald and damaged. It can be caused by several factors, but primarily it is flea-related. If left untreated, it can develop into a bacterial infection.

Why Do Cats Hate Water?
Not all felines dislike water. Actually, cats residing in warm/hot locales have a tendency to love it (this includes lions, tigers and jaguars.) Some veterinarians believe that water destroys how fur insulates an animal against cold. Although most domestic cats do not like water so much, none completely avoid it. When their ancestors developed an attitude regarding water a long time ago, it was passed down to today's domestic cats.

Why does my pet urine and eliminate in the exact same spot as he previously did?
Most pets have a sense of smell that is more sensitive than humans. Because they can smell the ammonia from the last time there was an "accident", they often return to the same spot. Even though the area may have been cleaned well, it is still necessary to treat the spot with an odor neutralizer. These products break down the chemical nature of the ammonia, which in turn eliminates the smell of ammonia that triggers a pet to "mark" the spot again.

Why does my pet's hair tangle and mat up?
Tufts, mats and tangles may occur as a result of lack of hair brushing (brush daily, especially longer haired pets), a transition to adulthood (growth of new hair) and living in a locale with humid and damp temperatures.

What are some signs of periodontal disease?
  • Broken teeth
  • Infected teeth
  • Loose teeth, loss of teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Eroding gum line
  • Reluctance to play with chew toys or drink cold water
  • Swollen, red, bleeding gums
  • Unusual growth in the mouth
  • Yellow/brown colored teeth


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