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  • Walking on the Wild Side

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

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, facts, news and stories about dogs. 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 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 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 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
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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 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
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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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Ah, summer. Green grass and warm weather. Time to get outside with your dog and enjoy a stroll in the park, a vacation together, maybe watching a sunset along a beach you rarely get a chance to observe. Unless your dog tries to pull your arm out of its socket every time you clip the leash to his collar. I understand. After training classes, hours walking on a leash, and countless shoulder aches, my dog was still a puller. I finally cracked the code and have a dog who walks calmly on a leash. Here are 8 secrets that made a difference for me and will help you. 1)    Tug, don’t pull

Have you ever walked into a room and noticed a low sound, like the hum of a fan, then after a while forgotten it was there? Pulling back on the leash to restrain your dog works the same way. It might get your dog’s attention at first, but eventually your dog tunes it out. A quick tug-and-release on the leash will get your dog’s attention each time you do it.

2)    Engage multiple senses

In addition to the tug, add a short, loud sound to get your dog’s attention. I use a loud “Ah!” when my dog does something she shouldn’t. When she heard that word while pulling and felt a tug on her collar, she knew she was doing something wrong. Use a word your dog already associates with “stop” or give a short toot on a whistle. 3)    Show that pulling doesn’t get anywhere

When your dog pulls, turn around and walk the other way. Your dog will quickly get to the end of the leash length, which will get his attention. Since he can’t continue in that direction, your dog will turn around to follow you. If he starts to pull again, turn around and walk the other way again. This teaches your dog that, while he may pull to get somewhere faster, all it does is slow things down. Yes, it gets old quick – and that’s why it works. 4)    Teach the joy of a loose leash

This goes hand in hand with step #3. When you turn around and your dog makes his way to catch up to you, be ready with a treat in hand. As soon as your dog is at your side, reward him with praise and a treat. At the same time, make sure there’s some loose leash. Do this every time he is at your side until it becomes habit. It shows your dog that good things happen when he walks calmly beside you. 5)    Use 2 commands – not just “heel”

When your dog is at your side, say “heel, good dog!” and drop a treat. That will teach your dog that “heel” means being at your side and is a good thing. But the second command is just as important. Choose a release word that tells your dog when the first command is over. I use “alright” to tell my dog when she can stop heeling, staying, or whatever command I last gave her. How does this help with walking on a leash? There may be times when you don’t care if your dog is at heel, like in an open area. If you tell your dog to heel then give the release command, your dog clearly understands what’s expected. He doesn’t get confused by the fact that running ahead is ok sometimes but not others. A series of “heel,” “alright,” and “heel” again did wonders to quickly teach my dog to be at my side when I said “heel.”

6)    Use the right equipment.

Leashes: Make sure your leash is comfortable for you to hold. You’ll be holding and tugging it a bit as you train your dog, so use one that won’t hurt your hands and cause you to go home in frustration and pain. Harnesses: If your dog is a puller, you’ve probably heard him choke himself. That can actually lead to trachea injuries. Many people opt for a harness to keep pressure off their dog’s throat. What they don’t know is that a traditional harness engages the pulling reflex. Do you know why sled dogs pull sleds? It’s because dogs have a reflex to pull against what is pulling them. A sled dog feels the sled pull backwards, so they pull forward. A traditional harness engages the same reflex in your dog, which actually encourages him to pull more. If you want to use a harness, use one that lets the leash clip in the front (like the one in this dog harness no-pull set). That way, when you tug on the leash from the front, it pulls forward so your dog reflexively moves back. Voila, he isn’t pulling and you can reward him for the behavior you want to encourage. 7)    Keep training sessions short and consistent.

Training sessions are most effective when they’re 20 minutes or less, so don’t spend longer than that working on this each day. Be consistent about what you expect while your dog is on-leash. If you spend 20 minutes training your dog then let him run wild on the leash for another 20 minutes, you’ll end up with a very confused dog who has no idea how he should behave on a leash. 8)    Be patient.

I won’t lie: it takes patience to retrain a puller. But the rewards are well worth it. In time, your dog will learn what behavior gets rewarded and what doesn’t. If you get frustrated turning around and walking the opposite direction over and over, remember this: each step is a step closer to a calm dog, even if it’s not closer to the end of the block. Nobody enjoys having their dog pull them down the street. The good news is even the strongest, most determined puller will stop when he understands what’s expected. For me and my dog, these 8 secrets turned walks from a contest of strength into an enjoyable experience my dog and I both look forward to. Good luck, be patient, and enjoy! This guest post comes from Sonia Charry of PawPosse.com, which specializes in Cool Stuff For Big Dogs and features the Big Dog Blog.

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