Get a FREE NOOTERS Club® t-shirt at Northern Indiana Pet Expo June 18-19, 2016

T-shirt - Dog PM orange brownWhen you purchase a spay or neuter certificate for your pet – at $5 off the regular price – we’ll give you the shirt off our back.

The FIRST 10 pet owners buying a spay neuter certificate from H.O.P.E for Animals at the Northern Indiana Pet Expo June 18-19, 2016 in Fort Wayne will get a FREE NOOTERS Club® t-shirt.  All you have to do is visit the NOOTERS Club® booth at the Expo, show us your receipt and the shirt is yours!

H.O.P.E. for Animals is northeast Indiana’s only high-volume, low-cost spay / neuter and wellness clinic.  Regular prices for spay/neuter range from $35 to $85 based on pet species, age and size of your pet.  For information, go to


Cement troughs make great litter boxes

With multiple cats, finding anything bigger than the standard size litter box is a problem. So you are stuck with cleaning a lot of boxes!

One day, we were in line at Home Depot and spotted a large – what we thought was a litter box (at Home Depot??) in a customer’s cart.  “Ma’am where did you find the litter box?” we asked. She started laughing and told us which aisle to go to for the “cement trough”!

It never would have occurred to us.  But there they were – a bunch of them — in the cement aisle.  Now, granted, you are not going to find a lot of pretty colors – they come only in basic black.  And there are only two sizes –at least at our Home Depot – medium and large.  But this was good enough for us. We got one of each.

Not only are the sizes of the cement troughs perfect for accommodating multiple cats – about 40 inches by 30 inches for the large and 30 by 24 for the medium —  but how they are made makes them the PERFECT litter box! Instead of being squared off, the sides are curved – to make cement – or in our case, litter — removal easy.  No more corners to have to scrape out!

Another plus was the price. We paid about $12 for the large trough and $7 for the medium one. Scooping just got a lot easier!

cement trough

Litter box alternative to clumping litter – soft wood pellets

There has been a lot written about the toxicity of clumping cat litters.  Yes, they are convenient – but the risk they pose to pets – and to humans — isn’t worth it.

The clumping agent, sodium bentonite expands when wet so if cats lick their paws and ingest it, it can cause internal obstructions.  Kitty litter dust can lead to human and feline respiratory problems. Quartz silica (sand), an ingredient in most clumping litters, is a known carcinogen.

So it was an easy choice to steer clear from these products. Plus, we were growing tired of the excessive tracking of litter particles all over the house.

Instead – for our multiple cats — we have opted for a natural product called Condensed Soft Wood Pellets by Wayne Davis Quality Bedding.  This product was originally created as bedding for horse stalls. Made in Michigan, it comes in a 40-pound bag that retails for about $6.  We have been unable to find it at any big box pet supplies store, and get ours at an area feed store.  If you call Wayne Davis customer service, they will tell you if and where to find it in your state.  The bag includes their phone of 800-806-0733 and email of

wood pellets close upWhat do we love about this product – besides the price?

  • The fresh wood scent – much better than any of the artificial litter product scents.
  • The absorption – the product turns to a sawdust when wet – so you just scoop out this part and leave the fresh pellets behind.
  • It’s natural – condensed softwood pellets –nothing more, nothing less.
  • The way that the company puts all of their contact information clearly on the bag. They are easy to contact – AND they pick up their phone!

How do the cats feel about  this litter?  We transitioned by placing some of the soft wood pellets on top of the old clay litter we used to use. We did this for about a week – and then switched to all soft wood pellets.    It was an easy transition.  We have found with the soft wood pellets that solid waste is more likely to be deposited on the surface – so we scoop every day.  We like this better knowing that we are keeping the litter box as clean as possible.

wood pellets

5 questions to ask about pet safety at a spay neuter clinic

Magnet - Prevent LitteringWe get asked a lot about low-cost spay and services.  One of the most frequent questions we get has to do with the level of care a pet will get at a low-cost clinic.

Keep in mind that many low-cost clinics are nonprofit organizations and therefore, they are getting grants and donations that help them offset their costs. This is a good thing since it means that they are NOT cutting corners when it comes to your pet’s care – they are just bringing in other forms of “revenue” to supplement their lower service fees.

Still, you want to make sure that the clinic you choose is going to provide your pet with the best care possible. Questions to ask:

  1. Who is doing the surgery?

Find out the name of the veterinarian and number of years of experience he/she has. You might also ask how long the vet has been working at the clinic.

  1. Will your pet be given pain medication before and after the procedure?

There is no reason for your pet to be in pain. Ask about clinic protocols when it comes to giving pain meds.

  1. What protocols are in place for monitoring your pet during the procedure? Monitoring your pet’s vital signs – like heart rate and blood pressure — during the surgery is done to signal any distress while under anesthesia.  Make sure that your pet will be monitored during the procedure.
  1. What does the clinic do to identify any pre-existing conditions that could make surgery risky? Pre-existing conditions such as a heart condition — can cause complications – and even death – during surgery.  Ask the clinic how they identify any pre-existing conditions or health issues that your pet may have.  In many cases, it’s a good idea to have blood work done as well as an echocardiogram before any type of surgery.  Low-cost clinics do not typically offer either of these – so you may want to ask to see if they recommend that your pet be checked first by your regular vet.  Your pet’s age will also be a big factor.
  1. Who should I call if there is a problem after the surgery? Does the clinic provide you with emergency contact information in case there is a problem following the surgery? Can you bring your pet back –and what should you do after regular hours?