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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

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    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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  • The Many Benefits of Cat Grasses

    Benefits of cat grassBenefits of cat grassBenefits of cat grassDespite being obligate carnivores, cats still require greens to stay healthy.

    Summer is upon us and that makes the perfect time to grow some grass for your finicky feline. Whether you grow organic oatgrass, wheatgrass, catnip or any other type of cat-centric plant - your cats are sure to appreciate the effort!

    Theories on why cats enjoy munching down on fresh grasses vary. Some experts consider cats’ grazing to be a behavioral trait, while others believe it to be an instinctual response and consider it an important part of their cats diets. But most believe it’s their way of increasing their intake of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber, to help get all that hair they groomed from themselves moving out of their digestive tract.

    (Grass eating usually equates to more hairballs, so here are 10 Creative Uses for Hair and Hairballs!)

    Whatever the reason for making grasses available to cats, there is no denying that most enjoy some fresh grass. (Failure to provide it means your houseplants are likely to fall victim!)

    Read More
  • Cats Incredible Litter from Lucy Pet Products

    In case you haven’t seen the newest cat litter to hit the market, we want you to meet Cats Incredible from Lucy Pet Products - a company who is on a mission to reduce pet overpopulation and the euthanasia of over 80,000 cats and dogs per week in the United States.

    Cats Incredible™ is an amazing new cat litter from Lucy Pet Products that features innovative packaging design to go along with it. Lifting giant containers of heavy cat litter can become dangerous quickly (and if you have a bad back like me, you know how dangerous it can be to Fall Into the Food Chain). The new packaging from Lucy helps decrease the problem of constant lifting by incorporating the design of a cat into the package.

    With this bag of litter, you lift from the tail that wraps around the packaging - sort of like lifting a tea pot! Each bag is 14 lbs, which makes filling a litterbox a breeze!

    Read More
  • 15 Strange Uses for Shedded Dog, Cat and Horse Hair

    If you're anything like me, (and I suspect you are or you wouldn't be reading this) dog, cat and horse hair and fur is an ongoing problem.

    For people like us, shedding "season" is every single day. Long haired cats, short-haired dogs, horse mane and tail hair; there is no shortage of this highly renewable resource!

    So we decided to take on the challenge of finding useful ways to dispose of it.

    Here are fifteen unique (and often a bit disturbing) ways to utilize your pet's excess fur. (And if that's not enough for us, we have 10 more ways to use fur in 10 Creative Uses for Hair and Hairballs and even some creative ways you can use hairballs in this article, 15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Hairballs!)

    But here are our favorites...

    Read More
  • How to Keep Your Dog Out of the Koi Pond

    I know I’m not alone in slowly assembling a veritable menagerie. Most animal lovers would have a zoo if it were practical!

    But sometimes our pets aren’t excited about making friends with other animals. When it comes to dogs, their natural prey drive can cause some problems in our pursuit of a peaceful co-existence.

    Dogs enjoy chasing cats, pouncing on rabbits, snatching birds out of the air and diving for fish in the pond.

    So can you enjoy other pets if you have a dog? Of course! In particular, let’s take a look at how you can have the koi pond of your dreams without your dog snacking on those beautiful fish.

    Read More
  • 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
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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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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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