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  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
  • All About Horses

    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
  • All About Cats

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, feline facts, news and stories. Read More
  • All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
  • All About Birds

    If the avian life is for you, we've got a look at the best products, interesting species, and how to select and care for birds. Read More
  • Traveling with Pets

    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
  • All About Dogs

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, facts, news and stories about dogs. Read More
  • Walking on the Wild Side

    Check out our animal profiles, rescues, articles, news and profiles - all about wild animals Read More
  • All About Fish and Ponds

    If you're a novice fish and pond enthusiast, join us as we discover the newest aquariums, beautiful backyards, and plenty of informative information about fish. Read More
  • All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
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  • Guide to Hiking Etiquette with Dogs

    Cooler weather is on the way, and as the leaves change their colors to red and gold hues, it means many of us will be once again hitting the trails with our best four-legged friends.

    Let's face it - nothing cleanses the soul like a relaxing hike through the wilderness. Whether you want to enjoy the rich colors of wildflowers in that remote desert valley, or just want to run a few miles through the pines, it’s important to make sure everyone out there has the same level of enjoyment as you do. So dust off the walking stick and renew your wild spirit, but make sure you follow trail etiquette when you take your pets along.

    Dogs are usually naturals on the trailhead. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to watch them carefully - there are plenty of dangers in the wild - from poisonous mushrooms to cacti, and coyotes to rattlesnakes (not to mention hunters of the two-legged variety).

    This is why it’s so important to understand the basics of hiking etiquette. Here's a primer to get you started...

    Read More
  • 4 Favorite Pet-friendly USA Hikes

    Nothing cleanses the soul more than a day of hiking in an ancient forest with only yourself and your best four-legged friend as company. I don't know about you, but as I've matured, I've gained a stronger appreciation for the simple things in life. While we probably hiked when we were younger, we may not have noticed the rich hues of wildflowers or the tenacity of a wild mushroom growing under the cover of a 200-year-old pine tree... 

    But before you head into the wilds with your dog, it's important to choose your trail carefully, carry a GPS tracker, know your pets (and your own) limitations, and let others know exactly where you’re going and when you plan to return.

    Hiking with dogs requires only slightly more planning. Rules and regulations vary according to trail-head and park areas, so be sure to contact your local forest service before taking your pets along. Start slowly and work into more intense trail heads or you may find yourself carrying an exhausted dog out in your backpack.

    There’s a hike for whatever part of the country you’re in and whatever skill level you’re working around, but these are a few of our favorite day hikes around the country.

    Read More
  • Treats Your Ferret Should NEVER Be Given

    It’s not always easy figuring out what foods ferrets can and can’t have. We’re here to help. There are certain things you should know about your ferret’s diet, as malnutrition or too many treats can lead to many problems, like bladder stones, obesity, tooth decay, hypoglycemia, and even death.

    This is why it’s so  important that you feed your ferret a proper diet. Your ferret should have access to a high-quality, meat-based diet. They eat very similarly to cats (but you should avoid giving your ferret cat food). Opt instead for either a raw diet (known as "Frankenprey") or a high-quality kibble diet that is designed specifically for ferrets.

    Read More
  • Treats that Your Ferrets Will Enjoy

    When it comes to your ferrets, you want to make sure that they are getting the very best in nutrition. Like cats, ferrets are obligate carnivores, meaning their diet is derived from meat and meat-based foods. They won’t be able to obtain nutrition from protein-based vegetarian foods (like nuts or beans). So it’s really important that you select the proper treats for your ferret. There are many things your ferret will enjoy (and if you have a cat, you will see many similarities in the types of treats you should have on hand). The good news about ferrets is that they generally don’t have a desire to “eat excessively”. Ferrets “imprint” on their food within their first year, so what you choose to feed them as kits are going to be critical to their entire life. They also have very fast metabolisms (and if you’ve ever seen a ferret in action, you’ll know why they burn calories so quickly). So you’ll need to make sure you are feeding a high-quality diet from early on. <Insert link>The good news about ferrets is that they generally don’t have a desire to “eat excessively”. They prefer to graze throughout the day, and will rarely overeat. 

    Read More
  • The FeedSafe Feeding Station for Feeding Individual Diets

    In multi-pet homes, keeping pets out of the others food is of critical importance. If you have a chow-hound who loves to invade your cat's food bowls (or any other situation that requires feeding individual diets in multi-pet homes), we have a solution for you.

    The name of this innovative product is the Feed-Safe Feeding Station.

    Feed Safe is a durable enclosure that easily stops larger pets from raiding your smaller pet's food bowl. Not only does this stop other your dog from raiding your cat's food, it can give critters like ferrets a safe place to eat while they're roaming around in their free time. It can also be easily adjusted to help separate kitten or puppy food from the mama-cat or mama-dog.

    This is also a very useful solution for animals who tend to be slow eaters, or those who are on a prescription diet.

    Another unexpected benefit was being able to keep the cats off the counters! We admit - we have some bad habits and the cats will usually eat their canned food on the counter. This is not the cleanest way to handle the situation, but placing the food on the floor became impossible with our quick acting dogs. This is a great way to let your cats eat their canned foods at their own pace without being on the counter top and without being harassed by larger pets.

    Read More
  • The Wonderful World of Flyball

    A woman walked into an agility practice recently with a Border collie that her daughter runs in agility. The woman quit running her dogs in agility and her dogs only participated when her daughter ran them. As she said “hi” to former instructors and other people from the world of dog sports naturally these people asked her what she was up to nowadays. The woman responded that she ran her dogs in flyball. Many of the people simply nodded their heads politely, but the die-hard dog sports enthusiasts couldn’t help but recoil in disgust and let out a collective: “ewww.”

    Flyball has a unique position in the world of dog sports. It’s respected by few involved in the broader dog sports community, but adored by those involved in the sport of flyball itself. Many of flyball’s biggest supporters have come out of the world of agility and other AKC dog sports like obedience. Your dog has to be trained in order to run flyball. What makes flyball different than your average dog sport is that: 1) it is a team sport and 2) it involves a lot of barking.

    Read More
  • FREE National Microchip Registry

    August 15 is National Check the Chip Day. This is an important day because as pet parents, we often do the right thing by microchipping our pets, but then the ongoing annual fees grows tiresome. Or we move and forget to change the contact information, or never change the initial contact information from the rescue we adopted from. Found Animals is a FREE national registry that keeps accurate information on every chip. It’s free to set up an account, it’s simple to enter and change, and there are many other resources available on the site.

    Found Animals doesn’t care who the chip manufacturer is or how many pets you register. It’s free, will reportedly always be free, and is critical to helping to ensure that pets are returned if they become lost.

    Read More
  • Quirky Things We Learned from Our Tortoise #ReptileCare

    When we first adopted Augustine, our Russian Tortoise, we knew absolutely nothing about how to care for a turtle or tortoise. That’s okay. We didn’t need to know everything. Part of the fun of being a pet parent is learning HOW to care for your pet - and that goes for any species. Of course, there are certain things you absolutely must know about any species you bring into your home, like what their diet is and what type of housing they require (the PetMD® Reptile Center at Petsmart® is a great place to begin). But after this, you can discover the details and further information about any animal. Today we're talking about things that probably aren't in the care kit that the store sent you home with.

    Read More
  • Choosing a Guinea Pig as a Pet

    Guinea pigs are fantastic little critters to have as pets. These intelligent little rodents are not only easy keepers, they are entertaining and fun to watch.  However, choosing a guinea pig can be a bit challenging as each breed has very different personalities, grooming requirements, and feeding requirements. Before you run out to pick one up as a pet, make sure you understand their individual needs and what you'll need before committing to any adorable guinea pig.

    To begin with, you should consider adopting a guinea pig rather than purchasing one from a store. Most shelters have many of these little guys up for adoption. If you're looking to adopt for a child, this is even more important as you will have the added advantage of teaching your son or daughter about the importance of saving a life. Humane education is an area where most children are seriously lacking, so it's really up to the parent to teach their children about the responsibilities of pets and how to care for them.

    Guinea pigs will require routine maintenance, which means cleaning their cages out at least once a day and grooming them regularly. How frequently they will need to be groomed depends largely on the length of their fur. Be sure you read the profiles of each type of guinea pig, which we have listed in our guinea pig section.

    Read More
  • Choosing a Ferret as a Pet

    Ferrets are intelligent, mischievous members of the"mustilidae" family, which means they are cousins with mink, weasels, skunks and even the European polecat. These little guys capture our hearts with their antics and are a great addition to any home (as long as you don't live in New York, California, Hawaii or Washington D.C. where ferrets are outlawed). Before you think about purchasing or adopting a ferret, be sure you check your local laws as well as the laws and regulations at local levels (including your home owners association).

    If you've done your homework and you think you're ready to add one of these charismatic creatures to your home, we have a host of articles to help you integrate them into your family and keep them healthy. Remember that a ferret's normal lifespan is 7-9 years, so you need to be sure you're ready to commit that time to this entertaining and affectionate pet.

    Read More
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4 Favorite Pet-friendly USA Hikes

Nothing cleanses the soul more than a day of hiking in an ancient forest with only yourself and your best Read More

Getting Old Sucks - Cognitive Dysfuntion in Dogs (CCD)

As most of you know, we have a dog who has just turned 15 years old. He’s half blind, almost Read More

New Pill Paste for Horses Make Pilling Horses Easy

horse at fencehorse at fenceGiving a horse a pill can be a challenge. There isn’t a horse alive who can’t Read More

Hurricane Katrina – My Journey Back in Time

My journey back to the Gulf Coast for Hurricane Katrina’s 10th Anniversary Remembrance was everything I had expected it to Read More

Healthy Cats Made Easy with #InstinctRaw

As you know, we are big fans of raw food (or at least a form of raw food) for our Read More

Effects of Full Moons on Our Pets

We always hear stories about how full moons bring out the crazy in people. Weird things tend to happen during Read More
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There’s been a lot of research done on plants that naturally repel fleas and ticks. Garden plants can be a great way to keep flea and tick invasions to a minimum, but you have to be cautious that what you plant is not something that will cause harm to pets or wildlife.

One note - many of these plants can be very invasive (particularly those in the mint family). Please do your homework and use containers when appropriate. We would hate for anyone's garden to get overrun!

Beware of common toxic plants

Many of the common herbs used to repel fleas are also toxic to pets, including the popular “Flea Bane” (Pennyroyal). Other plants that have been used successfully to repel fleas are citronella, geranium, Eucalyptus, fleawort, wormwood, tansy and Sweet Bay. However, all of them are toxic to animals and should be avoided in the yard and garden. The good news is that there are many other options available for natural flea and tick control that are also safe for pets should they get into it. Here they are, in no particular order.

The Mint Family

There are, however, families of plants that are both safe and effective in all-natural pest control. You must remain vigilant as to which species of family you are planting.

For example, Pennyroyal and Lavender are both members of the mint family. Pennyroyal can be highly toxic to pets (and people) while Lavender is a natural calming aid that is safe for use with dogs and cats. Do your research. We’ve listed a few of the more common plants and herbs that are great to use in yards with pets, but as in anything else, moderation is of key importance. A little is okay. A lot is going to cause problems.

The mint family, which catnip belongs to, is a favorite for flea banishing. Not only are mint plants effective in controlling fleas, they are safe for pets and wildlife, they smell great indoors and out, and you can make some amazing ice tea with the leaves.  Before planting, remember that mint is invasive and can easily take over your carefully managed garden. Try some in-ground container gardening or place in another area altogether to keep other plants safe.

Mentha arvensis (7938057570)Mentha arvensis (7938057570)


Why not plant something your cat will love? As a member of the mint family, catnip is a feline favorite, but also offers some protection from fleas. As a bonus, you can harvest and dry the cuttings for some DIY pet toys.

Catnip , Nepeta catariaCatnip , Nepeta cataria


Depending on your area, sage may grow wild. It does in our backyard. Sage is a natural flea repellent and it not only looks and smells great (especially after a summer rain), it is safe for your pets. But, I doubt your pets will be interested in eating it.

Purple sage Salvia doriiPurple sage Salvia dorii

Lemon Grass

This natural lemon-scented plant is a natural flea repellent and is safe for pets. It’s also a great herb to cook with and is often used as an essential ingredient in Thai cooking.



Believe it or not, lavender is a member of the mint family as well. This plant is safe for pets and has the added benefit of being a natural moth and mosquito repellent. It smells wonderful and is a perfect addition to a patio.

Lavande 05Lavande 05


This plant is noteworthy not only as a natural repellent but as a source of amino acids. It grows naturally throughout the Mediterranean region, but can do well with in other climates with a little care. The light-blue flowers can be a beautiful addition to any patio.

No matter which plants you choose, remember that moderation is key. Toxicity is largely independent and while most dogs or cats will not have a reaction to these plants, there are exceptions to every rule. Keep a close eye on your pets for any reactions to skin, digestion, or other type of reaction and know what types of plants they have access too so you can let the veterinarian know if you suspect a problem.

Rosmarinus officinalis133095382Rosmarinus officinalis133095382

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Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.

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