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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
  • 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 Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. 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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  • Fencing Solutions to Keep Dogs Contained

    If you have a dog, you know how difficult it can be to keep them on your property. Sometimes dogs just want to escape the confines of their yard, but it's our responsibility as guardians to ensure our pets are within our control at all times - even those times we're not physically with them. Fences make for good neighbors, and they make much safer environments for pets. Here are five ways you can fence your yard and the costs, the benefits and the dangers of each.

    The type of fencing you ultimately select should be based on your geographical region, your HOA guidelines (if you have them), and the type of dog(s) you are containing. You'll also need to consider your weather. If you're in an area with lots of weather, you'll want to consider installing a more durable type of fencing. If you live in an area with snow, the snow can pile up near the gates and provide a near perfect way for your pets to escape. But, if you have a dog that is regularly escaping from your yard, consider reading this article or implementing some of these practical tips below:

    Read More
  • Winter Caretaking of Feral Cats

    We have long been supporters of feral cats and advocate the use of Trap, Neuter & Release (TNR) as a form of managing feral cat colonies. Caretakers who support these animals are a special breed as they are able to care for an animal that is unable to care back – as far as we’re concerned, that’s the truest type of love.

    It makes us very happy when we can introduce new products designed specifically to keep feral cats safe and warm, while making the caretakers job a little bit easier. Today I want to show off a specialty feral cat house and a feral cat feeder that is available for purchase. While it is entirely possible to make a feral cat shelter and feeding platform, we know that many people would prefer to buy one ready-made and Feline Furniture is our “go to” group for these products.

    Read More
  • 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 and deer, we live in a world with a rapidly increasing human population –  which means we are continually infringing on wildlife. The more we infringe on their territory, take their water supply and diminish their prey, the more they will be forced to enter our domestic havens. And whether you like it or not, coyotes are a very important part of nature’s balance.

    The one question we get most frequently is how to deal with wild animals that enter our yards threaten our dogs and cats. We are very strong believers in maintaining a symbiotic relationship with nature, so it’s important to us that we raise awareness on the issue. This week, we are discussing how you can keep your pets safe from coyotes and we’re including a whole section on how to do this in step-by-step format...

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  • 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...

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  • 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
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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

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 Ways to Help Birds in Winter on #NationalBirdDay

January 5 is officially National Bird Day and we're looking at ways that we can help our feathered friends during 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

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

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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The monsoon rains have arrived and it's time to protect yourself and your pets against mosquitoes. For nearly the entire country, mosquitoes are a familiar foe. The arrival of mosquitoes and other pests signifies an increased risk of  heartworm disease, West Nile Virus (for those of us in the Southwest) and many other health problems.The strongest defense is a good offense. Keep your pets on a strict heartworm medication program, ensure your pets are current on vaccinations, practice regular grooming and use an effective, all-naturall insect repellant.

In the Southwest, mosquito fogging has already started due to mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus. This means that the city will be coming through in the early hours of morning to fog entire neighborhoods.

According to Pinal County officials in Arizona, the pesticide that will be used during fogging is called Anvil.  It is a pre-mixed, ready-to-use product that contains two active ingredients:  Sumithrin (2%) and piperonyl butoxide (2%). Sumithrin is a man-made version of a natural pesticide found in chrysanthemum flowers.  Piperonyl butoxide enhances the ability of Sumithrin to kill mosquitoes.  Anvil is registered with the US Environmental Protection Agency and is effective against the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus.

If you are in an area that fogs streets, there are several things that residents can do to reduce exposure:

  • Bring pets indoors.
  • Close all windows and doors. Air conditioners can still be operated, but if they have vents to bring in outside air, they should be closed.  Turn off evaporative coolers.
  • Stay inside your home.
  • Thirty minutes after the end of the scheduled fogging each night, you may resume normal activities.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.  West Nile virus can cause severe illness in people and horses, although not everyone who is infected will develop symptoms.  People of all ages can be affected however, the elderly may be more prone to serious illness.

Follow these simple personal precautions to avoid mosquitoes and the diseases they may carry:

  • Avoid outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • If you must be outdoors when mosquitoes are active, wear lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs and use an insect repellent containing an EPA registered active ingredient such as DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.  Always follow the directions on the label.
  • Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens and remain closed.  Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes in them.
  • Eliminate mosquito-breeding sites around the home by removing standing water in potted plants, tires, bird baths and other containers where water may collect.
  • Ensure that swimming pools and decorative water features are properly maintained.
  • Change water in flowerpots, birdbaths and pet watering bowls located outdoors at least twice per week.

West Nile Virus in Species

In Animals:

  • Horses and birds are most susceptible to West Nile Virus and should be immediately treated if any signs present.
  • Dogs and cats are not as susceptible to the virus, but if symptoms do present, you should take your pet into the veterinarian for treatment. According to the CDC, some infected cats exhibit mild, nonspecific symptoms during the first week after infection--for the most part only showing a slight fever and slight lethargy.
  • Be sure your pets are current on vaccinations and on a strict heartworm preventative schedule. The heartworm medication will fight against mosquitoes by destroying larvae.
  • Use an all-natural, veterinarian approved mosquito repellent on dogs and cats. It's also helpful to keep animals indoors as much as possible.
  • Most animals will not show symptoms but if any present, you should effectively manage them as they occur. This includes respiratory and depression in dogs and cats.

In People:

  • Approximately, 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with West Nile will not show any symptoms at all.
  • Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back.  Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
  • About one in 150 people infected with West Nile will develop severe illness.  The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.  These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

If mosquitoes are a problem in your area, the local County should have a mosquito hotline and a webpage. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also has helpful information in protecting pets against mosquitoes.


Read more about Spring and Summer health concerns for pets:

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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