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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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  • Technology Helps Pets Fight Fleas and Ticks

    Ready for some new technology to fight the war on fleas and ticks? We've got a few things for you.

    There are lots of products on the market that help fight fleas and ticks naturally, but sometimes you need a little more. This is where ultrasonic tick and flea protection comes into play.

    The concept is pretty simple: Insects detect sound by special hairs (known as sensilla) which are located on the insects antennae (in the case of mosquitoes), genitalia (in the case of cockroaches), or tympanal organs (in the case of butterflies). The theory is that they don't like the sound of pulses and will run away to another unlikely victim.

    Enter the SonicGuard™ Ultrasonic Tick and Flea Protection from Gen7 Pets.

    Read More
  • How much water does your cat need?

    Water is the one thing that no living being can do without. It’s especially important to our pets. Not drinking enough water can result in lots of health problems for our dogs and cats.

    This is why we’re helping PetSafe® celebrate National Pet Hydration Month this July. They not only understand the importance of water, they help make it safe for our pets. As you know if you read PetsWeekly, Drinkwells is our preferred way to make desert water a little more appealing to our pets. Since we’ve used pet fountains in our home, we have virtually eliminated urinary stones and crystals in our cats, and UTIs in our dogs.

    “Our pets need one ounce of water per pound of bodyweight each day,” said Willie Wallace, CEO of Radio Systems Corporation, makers of the PetSafe brand. “Proper hydration plays a big role in a pet’s health, and can save pet parents a trip to their vet’s office.”

    Read More
  • 10 Questions to Ask Before Buying Pet Insurance

    June 28 is National Insurance Awareness Day. This year, let’s focus the conversation on our pets.

    Insurance is a hot topic for everyone  these days. Not only do we have to make tough choices for ourselves and our human family, we now have to seriously consider options for out pets medical care. As science and technology improve, so does the care of pets, but these advances are not inexpensive.

    It really shouldn’t be that tough of a question. We insure our homes, our vehicles, our jewelry and even our art. Why wouldn’t we insure our pets to make certain they receive the best care possible? Yet, fewer than 1% of our pets are protected by insurance.

    We know how important it is to make this decision count. That’s why we worked with Pets Best to come up with a list of the top 10 questions you should ask prior to purchasing pet insurance.

    Read More
  • Calmz Anxiety Relief System Helps Pets Stay Calm

    There’s a new option for keeping dogs calm during times of stress (particularly when there's a thunderstorm or fireworks, or when your pets experience separation anxiety). Since it's very new and quite effective, I wanted to let you know about it right away so you can get it ordered before the 4th of July.

    Calmz is an anxiety relief system that is developed by vets for pets. It’s non-invasive, drug-free and effective; so I’m quite excited to be among the first to introduce it. This unique system uses sound, touch, and vibration to help calm pets.

    Here are the details:

    Read More
  • Synthetic Dog Could Replace Shelter Dogs for Veterinarian Training

    Just when you think the fate of an abandoned animal can't possibly get any worse. ABC News recently reported that many of these dogs and cats are sold to terminal surgery laboratories where they are used for testing and surgery training, and then euthanized.

    Now, I have to say, we have our doubts about this practice and that story's accuracy. The veterinary schools we know and work with abandoned that practice many, many years ago and only perform surgeries on shelter animals who require surgery. Even then, then they do their best to find homes for the animals through legitimate rescuers.

    On the other paw, many laboratories do purchase animals from "B dealers" (aka puppy mills, horses from slaughterhouses and others who just breed to sell to laboratories).

    Regardless, SynDaver Labs, a Florida-based company, is planning to change any need for anyone to ever have to purchase a live dog for experimentation or training DVMs by replacing them with lifelike and very realistic synthetic dog that mimics nearly every part of a live animal.

    Read More
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Dogs that can't Swim and Some that just aren't very good at it

Summer is officially here in the desert and we have reached temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, so you know 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

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 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

10 Ways to Help Cats #AdoptAShelterCatMonth

June is #AdoptAShelterCatMonth and that means it's time to join in the festivities and celebrate all thing cat! We really 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
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Presidential Pets continues with a look at the beloved pets of Presidents past and present. Part three details President Kennedy through current President, Barack Obama. (Be sure to check Presidential Pets, Part Two and Presidential Pets, Part Two).

John F Kennedy 1961-1963

Kennedy and his family were all avid animal lovers and during his term, the White House was filled with pets. Jacqueline Kennedy even created a special play area for her children near the West Wing, and included housing for their pets in the design. Caroline, Kennedy’s daughter, was given a pony by then-Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson. She named the pony Macaroni and children around the world fell in love with the animal as they wrote letters to the pony. During the bitterly cold winter, Macaroni often pulled Caroline and John all over the White House grounds in a sled. Other animals include:

  • Cats: Tom Kitten, a cat who even had an obituary notice published by the press after his death in 1962.
  • Dogs: Charlie, Caroline Kennedy's Welsh terrier; Clipper, a German shepherd; Shannon, a cocker spaniel; Wolf, an Irish Wolfhound; and Pushinka - a gift from Premier Krushchev in 1961 and father to space dog, Strelka.
  • Birds: Robin, a canary; Bluebell and Marybelle, parakeets.
  • Horses: Tex and Leprechaun, ponies; Sardar, Arabian (gift of Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan, 1962); Rufus, Palomino
  • Exotics: Debbie and Billie, hamsters; Zsa Zsa, a rabbit; and Sardar, Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy's horse

Lyndon Johnson 1963-1969

President Johnson's beloved Yuki was a mutt found at a Texas gas station by first daughter, Luci Johnson. Many photographs capture the image of Johnson howling, Yuki perched on his lap, joining in. Other pets include beagles, Beagle and Little Beagle, and Him and Her. Blanco was a white collie. Johnson also kept a variety of hamsters and lovebirds.


Richard Nixon 1969-1974

Checkers, Richard Nixon's dog while vice president, and while he was at the White House there were Vicky, the Poodle,Pasha, Terrier and King Timahoe, an Irish Setter.

Gerald Ford 1974-1977

Gerald Ford had a golden retriever named Liberty given to him by his daughter, Susan. The dog was a useful tool that Ford often used to escape meetings in the Oval Office. When he wanted the meeting to end, he would signal Liberty, who would approach the guest with her tail wagging. This would cause a break in the conversation and allow Ford to wrap up the meeting. Photos of Liberty were autographed with a rubber stamp of her paw print. Ford also had a cat named Shan.

Jimmy Carter 1977-1981

Grits the dog was given to Amy Carter, daughter of the President, by one of her teachers. Although the President's White House diary records a meeting on June 8, 1977 between Carter; Amy Carter; Mr. Herbert Ford, a dog handler; Mrs. Herbert Ford; and Grits himself; the dog was eventually returned to the teacher and replaced with Misty Malarky Yong Yang, a Siamese cat.

Ronald Reagan:  1981-1989

Rex was a King Charles Spaniel who replaced Lucky, a Bouvier des Flandres when she grew too big and was sent to the ranch to live. Rex’s doghouse was designed by Theo Hayes, the great-great grandson of former President Rutherford B. Hayes and was formerly owned by William F. Buckley, Jr., the conservative columnist. Rex’s first official act as First Dog was to help the President pull the switch to turn on the White House Christmas tree. The dog often pulled very hard on his leash and was photographed many times pulling President Reagan away from reporters posing questions. Reagan also cared for Cleo & Sara, Tortoiseshell strays, and several unnamed cats.

George Bush 1989-1993

Millie, a Springer Spaniel belonging to George and Barbara Bush, holds the distinction as being the first dog known to have authored a book. With the First Lady's help, she penned Millie's Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush. In it, Millie gives a dog's-eye view of life in the Bush White House. In addition, Millie gave birth to several puppies while living at the White House, amongst the litter was Ranger and Spot – two more dogs that resided as Bush’s pets.

Bill Clinton 1993-2001

Socks the cat joined the Clinton White House while First Daughter Chelsea was a young girl - despite the fact that both parents were allergic to cats. Hillary Rodham Clinton later wrote a book titled, Dear Socks, Dear Buddy. The book contains a series of letters written to Socks and Buddy (the Clinton's chocolate Labrador retriever) by children from around the world. Socks was later adopted by Betty Curie, Clinton's White House Secretary, when Chelsea went off to Stanford University. Socks and Buddy’s intense rivalry became well known during Clinton’s term.

George W. Bush 2001-2008

George W. Bush kept both cats and dogs. Barney and Miss Beazley were both Scottish Terriers and Spot was a mix. Ernie, India, and Cowboy were their beloved cats. Cowboy, said to be the President’s favorite, died of a kidney disease in February 2000 at the age of 12. The Bushes' orange-striped polydactyl cat Ernie was judged too wild for White House life and now lives with a family in California.

Barack Obama 2009 -2016

Bo is a male (neutered) Portuguese Water Dog belonging to the family. President Obama was given the dog by Senator Ted Kennedy after months of research was done to find a hypoallergenic dog due to Malia Obama's allergies. Sunny joined the family in 2013. She is also a Portuguese Water Dog (female) and was selected from a breeder in the Great Lakes region. (We are still trying to educate our presidents on the importance of rescues!).

Learn more about celebrity 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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