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  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    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 HorsesAll About Horses

    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
  • Traveling with PetsTraveling with Pets

    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 CrittersAll About Critters

    All About Critters

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

    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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  • Helping Dogs On Deployment with DogIsGood Purchase

    Some companies just step up to the right thing and Dog Is Good is one of them. This month, they are releasing their newest line, "No Dog Left Behind" just in time for Memorial Day.

    The thing I'm most proud to pen is that 100% of net proceeds from the sale of this product line between May 25-31, 2016 will go directly to Dogs On Deployment.

    This concept is nothing new to Dog Is Good. Each year, they choose a beneficiary who shares similar values and objectives, and which focus on the human-dog connection. Obviously, Dogs On Deployment is one of the most powerful and important missions. This is how it works...

    Read More
  • The Many Benefits of Cat Grasses

    Benefits of cat grassBenefits of cat grassBenefits of cat grassDespite being obligate carnivores, cats still require greens to stay healthy.

    Summer is upon us and that makes the perfect time to grow some grass for your finicky feline. Whether you grow organic oatgrass, wheatgrass, catnip or any other type of cat-centric plant - your cats are sure to appreciate the effort!

    Theories on why cats enjoy munching down on fresh grasses vary. Some experts consider cats’ grazing to be a behavioral trait, while others believe it to be an instinctual response and consider it an important part of their cats diets. But most believe it’s their way of increasing their intake of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, to help get all that hair they groomed from themselves moving out of their digestive tract.

    (Grass eating usually equates to more hairballs, so here are 10 Creative Uses for Hair and Hairballs!)

    Whatever the reason for making grasses available to cats, there is no denying that most enjoy some fresh grass. (Failure to provide it means your houseplants are likely to fall victim!)

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  • 15 Strange Uses for Shedded Dog, Cat and Horse Hair

    If you're anything like me, (and I suspect you are or you wouldn't be reading this) dog, cat and horse hair and fur is an ongoing problem.

    For people like us, shedding "season" is every single day. Long haired cats, short-haired dogs, horse mane and tail hair; there is no shortage of this highly renewable resource!

    So we decided to take on the challenge of finding useful ways to dispose of it.

    Here are fifteen unique (and often a bit disturbing) ways to utilize your pet's excess fur. (And if that's not enough for us, we have 10 more ways to use fur in 10 Creative Uses for Hair and Hairballs and even some creative ways you can use hairballs in this article, 15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Hairballs!)

    But here are our favorites...

    Read More
  • How to Keep Your Dog Out of the Koi Pond

    I know I’m not alone in slowly assembling a veritable menagerie. Most animal lovers would have a zoo if it were practical!

    But sometimes our pets aren’t excited about making friends with other animals. When it comes to dogs, their natural prey drive can cause some problems in our pursuit of a peaceful co-existence.

    Dogs enjoy chasing cats, pouncing on rabbits, snatching birds out of the air and diving for fish in the pond.

    So can you enjoy other pets if you have a dog? Of course! In particular, let’s take a look at how you can have the koi pond of your dreams without your dog snacking on those beautiful fish.

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  • Tabby Cats and Their Patterns

    Tabbies are a big part of our lives.

    If you follow us on Instagram, you probably know that we have three beautiful full-time tabbies: CassieKyra The Cog and Alexandra. We also have one vocal foster cat we call Kreature. Each of these cats is magnificent and it's about time someone came up with a holiday celebrating their beauty.

    And so, in Celebration of #NationalTabbyDay, we're talking about a few fun facts you may not know...

    To begin, a tabby is not a breed of cat, but a general way of referring to a coat pattern. In fact,  usually “tabby” means stripes, swirls or spots on a cat that is orange, brown, white or grey colored cat.  In fact, the word tabby is often used as a generic term for "cat" (just like "hound" is often used as a general term for dogs). Tabby cats are found in a variety of different breeds.

    Let’s take a look at the four basic types of tabby coat patterns.

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Keeping Pets Safe from Coyotes

No matter where you live, you’ve likely had to deal with wildlife. Whether its mountain lions and coyotes, or squirrels Read More

5 Questions to Ask Before Getting Chickens

There is a lot of interest in chicken keeping these days. With the cost of food skyrocketing, chickens can be Read More

Teaching Children to Approach Horses

I have a problem with parents who just allow their kids just run up to strange animals. In fact today, Read More

How to Keep Your Dog Out of the Koi Pond

I know I’m not alone in slowly assembling a veritable menagerie. Most animal lovers would have a zoo if it 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

Disaster preparedness with pets

September is National Animal Preparedness Month. Some natural disasters require that you evacuate your entire family, pets included. Wildfires, floods, 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)

Catnip

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

Sge

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.

Lemon-Grass-in-KannurLemon-Grass-in-Kannur

Lavender

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

Rosemary

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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stacymantlestacymantle
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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