Weekly Pet Quiz: Toxic Mushrooms, Dogs Jumping & Millennial Pet Parents

1 Most mushrooms are beneficial to pets, a few species can be fatal.

  • TRUE

    Fortunately, 99 percent of mushrooms present little or no problem for pets; in fact, many mushrooms have powerful, health enhancing benefits. However, the remaining 1 percent can be fatal if ingested by a dog or cat. And to make matters worse, very few people can tell the difference between a toxic mushroom and a safe one. Learn more


2 Why should chemical flea and tick preventatives be avoided?

  • They're too expensive
  • They don't work
  • They can cause adverse reactions

    Despite the constant drumbeat from veterinary drug manufacturers, conventional veterinarians, and increasingly, print and broadcast ads promoting flea and tick preventives, these chemicals aren't as harmless as their advocates would have us all believe. This is especially true for cats, and in fact a few years ago in the Pittsburg, PA area, in a four-week period four cats died after being treated with spot-on products intended for dogs. Learn more

  • They aren't tested

3 What might be one reason that your dog jumps on you?

  • She wants to be taller than you
  • She's trying to make you go down to her
  • She's angry
  • She wants to be on the same level as you

    Ostensibly, when dogs jump up on people, it's because they want to get on the same level with them to say hello. Laughing, engaging enthusiastically or speaking sharply only reinforces the behavior; even dog-lovers find this habit more annoying (and maybe even frightening) than you know. Ignoring it won't cure it, either. A better way: Teach your dog to sit when greeting people will earn him instant kudos, head scratches and treats, which is so much better than using your knee to fend him off. If the jumping persists, turn your back immediately and ignore him. Learn more

4 When are guardian dogs introduced to the livestock they guard?

  • 1-2 weeks old
  • 3 weeks old
  • 4-5 weeks old

    Guardian dogs are introduced to livestock as puppies so they imprint on the flock. Ideally, the pups should start living among the flock or herd at 4 to 5 weeks because imprinting, which is primarily olfactory, occurs between 3 and 16 weeks of age. And despite what many people believe, the dogs should also have lots of human handling, preferably starting at birth. Guardian dogs aren't considered fully reliable until they're 1 to 2 years old. Until then, they require training, guidance and close supervision as they learn the skills and rules of their job. Ideally, there are older dogs available to help train the youngsters. Learn more

  • 6-8 weeks old

5 Sadly, millennial parents are accepting to the pet food industry's marketing techniques.

  • TRUE

    Interestingly, the processed pet food industry is recognizing that millennials (the generation born between 1980 and 2000) are "highly resistant" to pet food marketing spin, and in fact go out of their way to avoid anything that even smacks of marketing. Pet food brand strategists have gone back to the drawing board to try to figure out how to capture the attention of this audience, which they believe will eventually become an important customer base for pet food purchases. According to PetfoodIndustry.com, millennials are putting off buying homes and having children, but they are acquiring pets and may ultimately either replace children with pets, or "practice" being pet parents before becoming actual parents. Takeaway message: more than ever, pets are family to the millennial generation. Learn more

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