Animal House | WGLT

Animal House

Laura Kennedy invites experts to share their tips on caring for your pets.

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Summer hasn't even officially begun and it's already blazing hot and humid in central Illinois.  Temperatures in the 90's can take their toll on everyone -- including our pets.  When it comes to our furry pals, high temperatures can be dangerous -- even deadly.

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We love our pets.  But we don't always do what's right for them.  In fact, sometimes what we do can lead to disastrous results.  There's six very common health mistakes we make with our pets, said veterinarian Matt Fraker from the Prairie Oak Veterinary Center.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

If any reptile was ready for its close up, it's the iguana.  But are you ready for this critter?

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Adopting an exotic bird can be an adventure that's not for everyone.

Humane Society of Central Illinois

The new Development Director of the Humane Society of Central Illinois hopes to help the organization achieve new heights.

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A new nemesis has returned to put your dog's life at risk.  

Indy-Pendence Service Dog Organization

For thousands of years, mankind has trained dogs for all sorts of useful service from herding livestock to guarding security zones.  More recently, dogs have been trained to help those with disabilities or health issues, enhancing  independence with their reliable assistance.  Laura Kennedy has more on this edition of Animal House about a central Illinois group that is training dogs for a better future.

*Steven Wright and Marie Koch are president and vice president of Indy-Pendence Service Dog Organization at Illinois State University.

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You likely have a first aid kit in your home for yourself and your family.  So how about one for your pets, too?  It's a good idea, but you've got to put some thought into what you'll include.  Dr. Matt Fraker from Prairie Oak Veterinary Center in Normal has some suggestions to help you help your pet.

*The most important item in your pet's first aid kit is your veterinarians' phone number.  If you're at all unsure about a health issue with your pet, first call your vet for advice.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

It can be Shark Week all year long at your house if you add a freshwater shark to your fish tank.  And you won't need a bigger boat with the freshwater shark. These small cousins to the ocean-going variety bring the shark sensibility to your aquarium, without the danger.

*Fresh water sharks are actually a sort of catfish bottom feeder.  

*They can be territorial to other shark species.  

*If the tank is not crowded and there's plenty of food for all, the shark is sweet and easy-going.

*They can live for up to five years and come in many colors.

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A troubling problem among animal rescue groups is challenging them to overcome a particular prejudice that can have deadly consequences for animals up for adoption. Learn more in our regular series, Animal House.

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You want your home to be a comfortable, welcoming place.  Well, it can be hard to achieve that if the place reeks of cat pee...or dog poo...or barf.  But don't despair -- there's plenty you can do about it!

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One of the most common ailments our pets can suffer from is arthritis.  When our furry friends are in pain, it's tempting to just rush right in with pills to deal with it.  But there are other solutions at hand that don't come with the possible side effects of drugs.

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Cats are natural acrobats, capable of graceful leaps and landings all over the house.  But there's one place many cat owners consider off limits to their feline's gymnastics.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Watching fish swimming in an aquarium is relaxing and stress relieving, so much so that it can lower your blood pressure. But inside the tank, if there isn't harmony between the finned residents, there can be an abundance of stress.  Put the wrong fish together and  bullying -- or worse -- could be the result.  But careful selection and understanding of the needs of fish can result in compatibility. 

When A Head Tilt Isn't Cute

Dec 8, 2015

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A range of health issues, from benign to serious, can cause an alarming reaction in your pet's balance systems.  This edition of Animal House examines vestibular syndrome and why it's a sure sign you should take your furry friend to the vet. 

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

Straight from the deserts of Asia and the Middle East, the leopard gecko has become a popular choice for lizard lovers.  This edition of Animal House looks at why this particular gecko is considered a great starter lizard.

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In this edition of Animal House, Laura Kennedy highlights the reasons why puppies and kittens aren't always the way to go when adopting a furry pal.

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 It's hard to care for sick patients when they can't speak, other than to bark or meow.  But add in the danger of possibly getting ripped to shreds or eaten alive and you have a whole new angle to veterinary medicine.  Laura Kennedy has more on this edition of Animal House.

Laura Kennedy / WGLT

  A Twin Cities resident turned tragedy to triumph for animals in need.  Laura Kennedy has more on this edition of Animal House.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Wonderlane

  Cats are lovely, fastidious creatures.  From grooming to bathroom habits, they like to keep everything clean and tidy.  So if your cat starts peeing outside the litter box, it's a bad sign.  Laura Kennedy has the scoop on one of the most common urine related issues that can impact cats on this edition of Animal House.

  Listen up!  Dr. Matt Fraker talks about the most common ear issues that can impact our pets.


  Dr. Tim Anderson talks about the dangers of summer heat for our pets.

Photo: Flickr user Patti via Creative Commons

Get some pet grooming tips from the pros in this episode of Animal House.