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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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  • How Tabby Cats Got Their Forehead "M"

    Tabby cats have a rather unique history. If you have seen a tabby cat, you've probably noticed the distinguished looking “M” pattern on their forehead. Due to this marking, most have enjoyed special privilege over the years as being favored by  religious leaders.

    While there are dozens of legends about how Tabby Cats received this special marking, today we're exploring those based on Christian and Muslim faiths.

    There are many beliefs about how this cat received their marking that span multiple religions and mythos, but those of the Muslim faith seem to be the most committed to their feline friends.

    Read More
  • 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.

    Read More
  • 10 Steps for Keeping Your Birds Toys Clean

    If you're new to bird-keeping, you may not know how important it is to keep your birds toys clean. This is a very basic "how to" list for keeping your birds toys free from diseases that may be transferred to other birds (or you) and ensuring your bird's cage is kept as sanitary as possible.

    Keeping bird toys clean and sanitary can be a challenge as they come in so many different types and sizes. However, it’s very important to keep them clean since your bird often has so much beak contact with them. 

    Birds are well known for being the most sensitive animals of the animal kingdom. They are highly sensitive to cleaning supplies, and in some cases, cleaning solutions can be toxic to birds. We suggest you move your birds to a new cage while you embark upon cleaning their current home. 

    Read More
  • Top 5 Alternatives to Catnip

    Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is an amazing plant. It’s been grown for centuries because it has a sedative effect on humans and acts much like chamomile. Best of all, the concentration of its active chemical nepetalactone is reported to be 10 times more powerful than DEET when used as a mosquito repellent! (But sadly, that insect-repelling property only lasts a few hours).

    Many cats love catnip, but the sad fact is that not every cat will react to it. In fact, only about 50% of cats have a reaction to catnip; and if your cat’s under three months old, they will have no reaction at all because they haven't developed the equipment to respond. In addition, the reaction to catnip is an inherited trait and if your cat doesn’t have the gene, well, they just won’t respond to the plant.

    But not all is lost. If you have a cat that doesn't respond to the favored nip, you simply find an alternative that does work. Here is a roundup of our top five favorite alternatives to catnip:

    Read More
  • Keeping Aquariums Alive During Summer Blackouts

    Summer is on the way, and that means possible brown outs (power shortages) and even blackouts (power outages) for most of the country. Things get more complex than being without air conditioning when we have fish and aquariums.

    This is why it’s so important to have a backup plan in case power goes out for longer than a few hours. 

    When power to your aquarium stops, there are three critical events that occur: 

    • Temperature fluctuates
    • Oxygen depletes
    • Ammonia accumulates

    Today we're taking a look at each of these things in detail and offering a few suggestions on how you can prepare for a brownout or blackout in your area of the country.  

    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

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

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
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Even though we should do our best every day to make this world we live in a beautiful place for generations to come, April is “Keep America Beautiful Month" and we’re going to take some time to spotlight some past and present innovations in the pet world that have the potential of making a huge impact in the environmental arena. From “green” doggy parks to a street lamp powered by none other than dog poop, this article is all about cutting-edge ideas with the potential to offer real solutions in keeping America beautiful.

Back in 2008, Jackass Acres K-9 Korral built what it believed to be the first entirely “green” doggy park. While one may wonder how a doggy park isn’t eco-friendly – closer inspection reveals what sets Jackass Acres apart from your standard dog park. From the very beginning, the park’s creators were devoted to making as little negative impact on the environment as possible. The entire park runs on solar energy, and all of the seating areas were made from wood that had fallen on its own. Quite literally, no trees were harmed in the making of this park. With no construction crew needed to create it, no fabricated materials being used to make the benches, and no electricity being used, this park is definitely “greener” than the rest.

 Two years earlier, the city of San Francisco began thinking about turning dog poop into power. As of 2006, almost 4% of the waste produced by the city’s citizens was animal waste – falling just shy of the amount of disposable diapers sent to landfills each year. Looking for ways to combat this problem, they began discussions with Sunset Scavenger about creating special “digesters” that would not only take care of at least a portion of the poop issue, but would turn it into something usable – methane. Unfortunately, San Francisco scrapped the entire idea in the face of the cost and all of the other kinks that still have yet to be worked out in the technology.

Fast forward four years and someone who doesn’t even have a dog takes matters into his own hands. In the summer of 2010, Cambridge, Mass. became home to the very first “Park Spark” dog waste converter created by Boston artist, Matthew Mozzotta. The methane produced by the digester in Cambridge is currently being used to light a park lamp. Sure, it’s not a large scale operation – certainly not enough to power even a small portion of a large city – but it has promise. Visit the Park Spark website to see how it works and keep up to date on their other projects.

There haven’t been many alternatives to dealing with the pet waste in our yards beyond throwing it in the garbage, or having someone else clean it up for us and throw it in their garbage. Sure, we’ve all heard of composting the material – but that can pose a serious health risk if not done properly, and let’s face it, a lot of people just aren’t interested in handling poop more than necessary. Green Pet Compost Company has given residents in their service area another option. What sets Green Pet Compost Company apart from other services like it? They turn that pile into pure gardening gold – compost. While the thought of having dog poop in your garden may not be overwhelmingly appealing, hit their site for information on the process and the safety of the product.

While we’re a long way off yet from getting ahead of the pet waste overload, it’s encouraging to hear that there are a lot of solid ideas out there, and we hope that this is a sign of things to come. It takes time to perfect a product or process, especially when it involves an entire city or county, such as what happened in San Francisco, but the more we go after new ideas and concepts, the faster progress will be made.

If you’ve taken measures to “Keep America Beautiful” as far as your pets are concerned, tell us about it below.

Learn more about keeping pet waste under control:

 


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