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  • 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 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
  • All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Walking on the Wild Side

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

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, facts, news and stories about dogs. 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
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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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Whether it's due to fire, a flood, or a zombie apocalypse, the minds of many turn to preparing for disaster. Some may have a stockpile of canned goods and water, and others may have gone so far as to have a “bug-out” plan – including a separate bag designed that can be grabbed the moment it’s needed, a vehicle or other means of transportation always kept at the ready, and a location chosen to “bug out” to ahead of time. But even if you don’t believe disaster is imminent, having a “bug-out” or “go” bag is a very good idea in case evacuation becomes necessary for any reason.

So what is a bug-out plan? Simply put, having a bug-out plan means you have whatever you need to survive for 48-72 hours at the ready in a moment’s notice. Please note the word survival. Bugging out is all about getting out, and getting out as fast as you can – comfort is the lowest priority here. Preparing to bug out is completely different than planning for long-term survival, so please keep that in mind as you read this article.

While it’s important for you to prepare you and your human family for the possibility of having to leave your home in a hurry, we’re going to focus on getting your pets ready. We'll be covering the basics for pets, but for more detailed information on creating bug-out bags for humans, follow the links below.

If you have a larger dog, they can carry their own pack filled with the items essential to their survival. If not, then you’ll need to either pack a separate bag with those items, or include them in your own bug-out bag. Make sure the pack fits well and that your pet can handle the weight. This is important if you ever do need to "bug out" quickly. In addition to the items below, it is important to keep a copy of your pet's vaccination records and registration in case you need to gain access to a shelter.

Here’s our list of items you should have in your pet’s bug-out supplies.

1.    Water – This is the most vital piece of preparation. The amount of water your pets will need depends on a large number of variables: breed, size, diet, weather, illnesses, etc. While you want to bring as much water as possible, if you have to bug out on foot, it gets pretty heavy and takes up a lot of room. A good rule of thumb is to have half a gallon of water per pet, per day. If your dog will be carrying their own pack, you’ll want to get them used to wearing it now. Start slowly by taking walks with an empty pack, and gradually build to where they’re carrying their own supply of water with ease. Again, with smaller dogs, you’ll have to carry it for them. Don’t forget a collapsible bowl! Pack one for each pet. They don’t take up a lot of space. Some packs (such as the RuffWear Palisades Pack Dog Backpack ) come complete with water skins built into the pack. 2.    Food – Pack a three-day supply of food.  Dry food is best because it’s lighter than canned food. If for any reason you must bring canned food, make sure you include a manual can opener. 3.    Clothing – We strongly suggest a jacket or vest and a good pair of boots. If your pet will be carried rather than walk alongside you, the jacket only needs to keep them warm. But, if they’ll be walking, make sure the jacket and boots are sturdy enough to protect them from burrs, sticks, rocks, and anything else that might cause irritation to their fur, skin, or paws. 4.    First Aid Kit – Build your own, or buy a pre-packaged kit. Include a supply of any medications or supplements and a copy of their vet records. Click here for a list of items you might want to include in your pet’s first aid kit. We recommend keeping the pet and human first aid kits separate to avoid confusion. 5.    Shelter – If your pet won’t be able to walk on its own, get a soft-shelled carrier and strap it to your bag. Practice putting your pet in the carrier (use lots of treats) repeatedly until they no longer get stressed by the activity.

Make sure there will be enough room in the shelter you prepare for yourself (see the links above) to house all of your pets – including the ones in carriers. 6.    Clean up – If you have to bug out, picking up your dog’s poop won’t be high on your list of priorities, but bring along a small container of cat litter. If there are any accidents in their carrier, in the car, or wherever else, you can use the cat litter to absorb the mess. Also place ten paper towels in a plastic zipper bag and shove them in with your supplies wherever they’ll fit.

While the idea of planning for disaster may be as agreeable to you as writing your will, it’ll give you more peace of mind knowing that you and all of your family – pets included are prepared.  With a little work now, you could be saving your pet’s life if the unthinkable ever happens.

What about you? Do you have any plans on what to do with your pets if you’re forced to evacuate? Tell us your tips and ideas below.

Read more about emergency planning for pets:

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