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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 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 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 Dogs

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, facts, news and stories about dogs. 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 Cats

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

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

    Check out our animal profiles, rescues, articles, news and profiles - all about wild animals 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
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  • Keeping You and Your Pets Safe Without Power in Winter

    The weather is moody as a wild cat and these days, no one really knows what to expect. When a cold front moves in, it can easily cause road delays making you late for dinner or freeze power lines and take out heaters.

    That means dangerous conditions for our pets, as well ourselves.

    You already know the basics: Keep your pets indoors, make sure any outdoor animals (horses, cattle, even feral cats) have access to extra calories and warm blankets, as well as covered shelter. I"m sure you also remember that you cold-weather and aquatic pets are going to require extra care until power is restored.

    But, once you get past the basics, there are a few other things to consider, particularly when it comes to birds, aquariums, reptiles and stray animals or livestock. You'll also want to look at some alternative ways to keep you and your pets entertained - and we've got plenty of suggestions for you.

    Read More
  • 5 Things You Should Know Before Getting a Ferret

    Ferrets are amazing animals. We love watching them hop around, curl up into a tight little ball to doze the day away, and the way they steal anything they find interesting - laughing as they run away with the item. They are the most entertaining pet you can have and make great pets.

    That said, there are a few things you should know before you run out to the store and buy one. We have them listed below and hope you'll take time to read before adopting.

    Here are five things you should know before bringing home a ferret.

    Read More
  • 10 Possible Reasons Your Cat Is Behaving Badly

    If your healthy cat is suddenly peeing on your bed or spraying in your office, if he's taken to running around at strange hours of the night, or mewing inconsolably all night, there are several possible explanations. Of course, you must always take them in for a vet check to eliminate any possible health conditions like blockages or disease. But health problems have been eliminated and your cat is still acting out inappropriately, here are some possible explanations.

    Room Deodorizers

    Everyone has probably used a room deodorizer in their home, particularly if they have cats. One of the most common places to put diffusers and other such items are near the litter-box. Avoid doing this! It can cause undue stress on  your cats and even make it difficult for them to use the litter box.

    Solve This: Instead of placing a deodorizer or diffuser near your cat's box, try one of the helpful Litter Box Deodorizers on the market. You can also tape live charcoal on the side or the bottom of the box or sprinkle the box with baking soda prior to putting cat litter inside.

    Read More
  • Dog Etiquette: Leashes

    Recently, we posted on Facebook that we were out walking our dogs and experienced two small, off-leash dogs aggressively running to our much larger, leashed dogs. My dogs were both on-leash and controlled, but I was still annoyed. After posting my experience, I received a lot of responses - some of which were a bit negative due to the fact that one of my dogs looks like a pit bull (apparently I shouldn't be walking him?). Here’s the thing: It doesn’t matter if my dogs are pit bulls or chihuahuas or golden retrievers. In fact, I could have been walking alone, or riding a horse, or walking my cat. The fact is, dogs of any size should never run up on another person or animal without being invited to do so. It’s a common courtesy that could save your dog’s life.

    Here are just a few reasons why...

    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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 10 Weird Things We Have to Explain to Visitors

    We love our animals. We mostly tolerate humans. Out of about 7+ billion people on the planet (which, let’s face it, is WAY too many) - I enjoy the company of maybe, I don’t know, maybe 26 of them.

    Eventually, though, we all have to interact with our own species. The holidays are coming up and we’ll have to socialize and attend parties and do human stuff. And let’s face it - humans aren’t so bad when they love animals as much as you do.

    When we are feeling sociable enough to allow visitors, there are invariably things that we have to explain.

    If you have animals, you probably already know about these things. But if you don't, here's what we will probably need to help you understand...

    Read More
  • 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
  • Animals and Their Souls

    I was talking with a co-worker the other day and he informed me that animals do not have emotions. This occurred just after he told me (the day that I put my dog of 17 yrs down) that animals do not have souls and therefore will never enjoy the concept of heaven.

    Now, this co-worker has the disadvantage of being, what I refer to, as a "bible-thumper." He is, in fact, a born-again Christian. Please bear in mind that I have nothing against Christians, nor do I have anything against religion in general. I do, however, have a problem with this co-worker passing along faulty information. Animals do have emotions and they also have souls, and I'll tell you how I know that... In over twenty years of working with animals, I have never seen a kitten duct-tape a live human baby to a freeway. I also have never seen a cat find enjoyment from setting a human on fire.

    Read More
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Tipping Guide for Pet Professionals

Gratuities can be a bone of contention among many pet parents. They shouldn't be, though. We entrust others with the Read More

Swiffer and BarkBox Remind New Pet Parents that #ShedHappens

Everyone remembers their first pet. Whether it was a guinea pig, hamster, dog or a cat - nothing beats that feeling Read More

Police Dog Killed in Anti-Terrorist Raids #RIPDiesel

Photo Credit: CNNPhoto Credit: CNNThe Paris attacks have had a profound effect on everyone in the world. The animal world Read More

How to Clean Your Dog's Ears with #BayerExpertCare

This week we were asked to try out a few new products from the Bayer® ExpertCare™ lineup. For those who Read More

Make Holidays Fun with #BLUESantaSnacks for Dogs

The holidays are rapidly approaching and we’re looking for clever ways to share the holiday joy with our canine friends. Read More

Wild DIY Treat Containers for Dog Parks with #NaturalBalance

We’re always hunting for new ways to give away treats. This is a fun way to stretch a bag of Read More
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A few years ago, the Millbrook Hunt Club in upstate New York realized that many of its foxhounds were becoming seriously ill. The dogs, known for their athletic prowess and seemingly limitless energy, appeared to be wasting away. Extensive testing revealed that a rare parasite, leishmaniasis, was to blame.  Public health officials now believe this particular parasite is under control, but other, potentially deadly parasites pose continued health threats to both you and your dog. Internal parasites are of special concern, since they're often not detectable by owners. The danger lies in the fact that internal parasites live off of their host. This means that they can suck up blood, nutrients, water and other essentials from or your canine - or you. If enough parasites are present, which is likely since a single female roundworm can produce up to 100,000 eggs a day, the host can weaken and even die if left untreated.

Your veterinarian can determine whether or not your dog has a parasite through fecal screening or a blood test. For added good measure, here is a parasite primer to guide you through basic identification and prevention measures for common parasites. Tapeworms Tapeworms are one of the most common parasites in dogs. They are transmitted by fleas and break off into 1/4-inch sections that can be seen around a dog's hindquarters or in its poop. Tapeworms live in a dog's digestive system and usually do not cause any significant health problems.


Symptoms: Sometimes an infected dog will scoot his butt along the floor in an attempt to relieve the irritation.
Prevention: Keeping fleas under control will keep tapeworms from infecting your dog.
Potential impact on humans: Tapeworms in undercooked pork and beef are among the most common culprits for infestation in humans, so dog tapeworms pose little risk.

Roundworms This very common worm looks like curled spaghetti strands in your dog's stool (yes, you should inspect it occasionally). Roundworms absorb nutrients in a dog's intestines, interfering with digestion. Dogs can get roundworms from eating an infected rodent or through contact with contaminated feces. Puppies can get roundworms in utero, or while nursing.

Symptoms: Puppies with roundworm may have diarrhea and distended bellies, but sometimes no visual signs are apparent.
Prevention: Keep your dog away from the feces of other animals. Yearly deworming should take care of roundworms.
Potential impact on humans: Poor sanitation can lead to spread with deadly results if roundworms migrate to major organs.

Giardia These are protozoan parasites that can be ingested through contaminated water, soil and feces. It can cause digestive disorders in dogs. These may lead to either acute or intermittent diarrhea, sometimes resulting in weight loss.

Symptoms: A dog may have no symptoms or have diarrhea and gas.
Prevention: Promptly clean up feces and prevent your dog from drinking stream or pond water.
Potential impact on humans: People can suffer from giardia, too, with problems similar to those of affected dogs.

Heartworms Heartworm larvae can live in mosquitoes, so when a mosquito carrying this larvae bites a dog, that larvae can enter the canine's blood and develop into parasitic heartworms. These worms then migrate to the heart and lungs and nearby blood vessels. In severe cases, it can lead to congestive heart failure in dogs. Heartworm infection is detected through a blood sample.

Symptoms: Dogs with heartworms can have no symptoms, but may also have a cough, decreased appetite, difficulty breathing and avoid exertion.
Prevention: Talk to your veterinarian about having your dog tested for heartworms with a follow-up on preventive medication, if necessary.
Potential impact on humans: Minimal, since it is rare for people to become infected with heartworms.

Hookworms These reside in the small intestine of dogs and feed on the animal's blood. If left untreated, hookworms can cause canine death. A dog contracts hookworms by ingesting larvae through contaminated water or soil, or by eating another infected animal. Larvae can also penetrate the skin. Puppies may be born with hookworm infection.

Symptoms: An infected dog may be weak, anemic and have diarrhea and vomiting.
Prevention: Vigilant cleanups and annual deworming usually give hookworms the hook.
Potential impact on humans: Hookworms can infect humans through the skin, causing itchy lesions and even lung disease.

Coccidia This is a protozoan parasite that dogs can pick up by eating an infected rodent or some other infested critter. Coccidia can live and multiply in a dog's intestines. Dehydration and other problems related to coccidia can lead to death in severe cases.

Symptoms: A dog may experience mild to severe diarrhea, a painful abdomen and vomiting.
Prevention: Cleaning up immediately after your dog can prevent the spread of contamination.
Potential impact on humans: Zero, because the coccidia species found in dogs, as well as in cats, does not infect humans.

As indicated, both you and your dog could be targeted by one or more parasites in your lifetimes. But fear not. A one-two-three punch could knock this dog and human health problem out cold. Keeping It Clean
Staying clean is the first line of attack for preventing most internal parasite infestations. Be sure to clean up after your dog as soon as you can. Then, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after such cleanups in order to prevent possible parasite spreads to other dogs, animals and humans. Children are at special risk, since they tend to not be as vigilant with the washing (little fingers have a tendency to wind up in little mouths). As a result, keep kids away from any pets that may be infected. Teach them the link between illness and hand-dirtiness. Maybe remind them of their last tummy ache, pointing out that something similar could happen if they don't wash up. Pay Attention to Number Two
According to Lisa Hsuan, DVM, at the Long Beach Animal Hospital in Long Beach, California, diarrhea provides a key clue. "This is the first sign of an internal parasite," she says. Diarrhea, of course, has many causes, but internal parasites are definitely one of them. If your dog has this problem, talk over the possibilities with your veterinarian.
Deworm Regularly
Over-the-counter dog wormers are available, but your best bet is to consult with your veterinarian. That's because each country and region has its own special parasite concerns, due to weather patterns, local species, environmental considerations and other factors. Your dog's doctor should know what is right for your pet. Additionally, all dewormers contain potentially harmful chemicals , so they should be used with care. Less toxic preparations are now available, such as a product called Prazi, which treats parasites in humans, as well as in pets. Parasite Protection
These parasites may be strong, but the treatment to get them out of your dog's body -- and your own -- is stronger. Give your dog the best chance for a long and healthy life by taking him to your veterinarian regularly to be checked for both internal and external parasites. If you and your pet frequent dog parks, deworming should perhaps be higher up on your "to-do" list. "Dog parks are a breeding ground for parasites," says Dr. Hsuan. "This doesn't mean you shouldn't take your dog to dog parks, but that you should be aware of parasites and get your dog checked for them more frequently."

Author: Guest
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Learn more about posting as a guest on PetsWeekly.com by reviewing our writer submission guide. We offer a very limited number of guest posts each year.

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