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  • All About Dogs

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, facts, news and stories about dogs. Read More
  • All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, 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 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
  • 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 Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! 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
  • 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
  • Walking on the Wild Side

    Check out our animal profiles, rescues, articles, news and profiles - all about wild animals Read More
  • All About Cats

    Product Reviews, Behavior, health, humor, quotations, feline facts, news and stories. Read More
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  • 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
  • 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
  • Treats Your Ferret Should NEVER Be Given

    It’s not always easy figuring out what foods ferrets can and can’t have. We’re here to help. There are certain things you should know about your ferret’s diet, as malnutrition or too many treats can lead to many problems, like bladder stones, obesity, tooth decay, hypoglycemia, and even death.

    This is why it’s so  important that you feed your ferret a proper diet. Your ferret should have access to a high-quality, meat-based diet. They eat very similarly to cats (but you should avoid giving your ferret cat food). Opt instead for either a raw diet (known as "Frankenprey") or a high-quality kibble diet that is designed specifically for ferrets.

    Read More
  • Treats that Your Ferrets Will Enjoy

    When it comes to your ferrets, you want to make sure that they are getting the very best in nutrition. Like cats, ferrets are obligate carnivores, meaning their diet is derived from meat and meat-based foods. They won’t be able to obtain nutrition from protein-based vegetarian foods (like nuts or beans). So it’s really important that you select the proper treats for your ferret. There are many things your ferret will enjoy (and if you have a cat, you will see many similarities in the types of treats you should have on hand). The good news about ferrets is that they generally don’t have a desire to “eat excessively”. Ferrets “imprint” on their food within their first year, so what you choose to feed them as kits are going to be critical to their entire life. They also have very fast metabolisms (and if you’ve ever seen a ferret in action, you’ll know why they burn calories so quickly). So you’ll need to make sure you are feeding a high-quality diet from early on. <Insert link>The good news about ferrets is that they generally don’t have a desire to “eat excessively”. They prefer to graze throughout the day, and will rarely overeat. 

    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
  • The Wonderful World of Flyball

    A woman walked into an agility practice recently with a Border collie that her daughter runs in agility. The woman quit running her dogs in agility and her dogs only participated when her daughter ran them. As she said “hi” to former instructors and other people from the world of dog sports naturally these people asked her what she was up to nowadays. The woman responded that she ran her dogs in flyball. Many of the people simply nodded their heads politely, but the die-hard dog sports enthusiasts couldn’t help but recoil in disgust and let out a collective: “ewww.”

    Flyball has a unique position in the world of dog sports. It’s respected by few involved in the broader dog sports community, but adored by those involved in the sport of flyball itself. Many of flyball’s biggest supporters have come out of the world of agility and other AKC dog sports like obedience. Your dog has to be trained in order to run flyball. What makes flyball different than your average dog sport is that: 1) it is a team sport and 2) it involves a lot of barking.

    Read More
  • FREE National Microchip Registry

    August 15 is National Check the Chip Day. This is an important day because as pet parents, we often do the right thing by microchipping our pets, but then the ongoing annual fees grows tiresome. Or we move and forget to change the contact information, or never change the initial contact information from the rescue we adopted from. Found Animals is a FREE national registry that keeps accurate information on every chip. It’s free to set up an account, it’s simple to enter and change, and there are many other resources available on the site.

    Found Animals doesn’t care who the chip manufacturer is or how many pets you register. It’s free, will reportedly always be free, and is critical to helping to ensure that pets are returned if they become lost.

    Read More
  • Quirky Things We Learned from Our Tortoise #ReptileCare

    When we first adopted Augustine, our Russian Tortoise, we knew absolutely nothing about how to care for a turtle or tortoise. That’s okay. We didn’t need to know everything. Part of the fun of being a pet parent is learning HOW to care for your pet - and that goes for any species. Of course, there are certain things you absolutely must know about any species you bring into your home, like what their diet is and what type of housing they require (the PetMD® Reptile Center at Petsmart® is a great place to begin). But after this, you can discover the details and further information about any animal. Today we're talking about things that probably aren't in the care kit that the store sent you home with.

    Read More
  • Choosing a Guinea Pig as a Pet

    Guinea pigs are fantastic little critters to have as pets. These intelligent little rodents are not only easy keepers, they are entertaining and fun to watch.  However, choosing a guinea pig can be a bit challenging as each breed has very different personalities, grooming requirements, and feeding requirements. Before you run out to pick one up as a pet, make sure you understand their individual needs and what you'll need before committing to any adorable guinea pig.

    To begin with, you should consider adopting a guinea pig rather than purchasing one from a store. Most shelters have many of these little guys up for adoption. If you're looking to adopt for a child, this is even more important as you will have the added advantage of teaching your son or daughter about the importance of saving a life. Humane education is an area where most children are seriously lacking, so it's really up to the parent to teach their children about the responsibilities of pets and how to care for them.

    Guinea pigs will require routine maintenance, which means cleaning their cages out at least once a day and grooming them regularly. How frequently they will need to be groomed depends largely on the length of their fur. Be sure you read the profiles of each type of guinea pig, which we have listed in our guinea pig section.

    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
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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 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

New Pill Paste for Horses Make Pilling Horses Easy

horse at fencehorse at fenceGiving a horse a pill can be a challenge. There isn’t a horse alive who can’t Read More

Hurricane Katrina – My Journey Back in Time

My journey back to the Gulf Coast for Hurricane Katrina’s 10th Anniversary Remembrance was everything I had expected it to Read More

Healthy Cats Made Easy with #InstinctRaw

As you know, we are big fans of raw food (or at least a form of raw food) for our Read More

Effects of Full Moons on Our Pets

We always hear stories about how full moons bring out the crazy in people. Weird things tend to happen during Read More
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According to our cats, this is the best thing since tuna treats! Cats love heated objects, whether it is the radiator, your lap, a heating pad (which can be dangerous for your feline!), or something specifically designed for pets.  PetSafe has outdone themselves with this product. Now, before I continue on too much further, I want to specify something.  There is a voluntary recall on PetSafe's website.  That recall does NOT apply to this product.  The recall specifies heating kits, not the actual beds.  I can reassure you that I have had this bed for over 2 months, it has been plugged into an outlet the entire time, holding no less than three cats, and I have not had a problem.  I have never unplugged the bed, and if I did, I can guarantee that my felines would throw a tantrum, the likes of which no one has ever witnessed.

In short, this bed is very safe, and your cats will love it. I have put in a call to the manufacturer, and they assure me of the safety of this product. That said, the bed is designed in three sizes; small, medium and large.  To view the actual measurements, click here. Our cats love this bed.  They can be found at all hours of the day curled up together with each other.  Apparently the more cats you curl up, the more heat you obtain.  Each of the cats fight for their place, as you know there is a 'pecking order' amongst felines.

We currently have a large heated pet sleeper, which easily accommodates three, sometimes four (depending on what kind of mood they are in), large cats.  If you had kittens, you could fit the entire litter AND their mother in this bed.

We have used this bed for several things.  First, when a cat injured his back leg (we had to put him in a separate room, away from the other cats), and rest assured that it took no special urging to get him to lie down.  He spent all day in the cozy sleeper.  Next, we put it out for all of our cats to try, and they all did...  We had a few little spats, but it was fine.  Finally, we used it for a set of rescued kittens who had lost their mother.  The little ones slept soundly and quietly, no doubt dreaming that they were curled up against their warm mother. It is important not to let your pets stay on the bed for days at a time, which I hope goes without saying.  If you use this item in a kennel, be sure to allow room for your pet to move away from the bed and get some "fresh air", because I can pretty much guarantee that they will want to be on it all the time and it doesn't matter to them if you give them the ability to move away from the bed.  In fact, you will need to be the regulator for this particular item, as the heat is just too good to e true - particularly in the cold of winter!  Follow the handy safety precautions and use some common sense, and your pets will love this bed! The covers are machine-washable, but let them air-dry as you want to keep the micro fiber in good shape!  Follow the directions for washing the cover. My pets have not had any desire to chew on the cords, which are wrapped in a coiled wire, but I don't have any puppies.  If you do have a puppy, be sure you never leave him or her unattended n the bed.  In fact, it's always good to keep them under your watchful eye, be it feline or canine.

I highly recommend this bed.  It's the best I've seen for cats and dogs, and while my cats have taken it over completely, I can see my dogs falling in love with it as well.  The only problem?  They don't make one big enough for my monster dogs!  But, this is a column for cats, and so all is well.  For beds large enough to accommodate your pooch, check out PetSafe's Wellness Bed. Prices can vary depending on where you purchase.  I've seen them begin at $29.99 and increase to $109.00.  So do your homework!  Remember, the bigger the bed, the more it will cost.  It's the price of having a lot of pets that we all know so well!

From the Cats:

Hisses & Spits: We love our new heated bed! Purrs: Purring contentedly... Every household should have at least one (or two, or three)!

From the Humans:

Two opposable thumbs up! We love this bed - it's therapeutic, relaxes our frantic felines and they even rest happily in the same space!   Drawback? While the cost can be a little high compared to regular, non-heated beds, we have found that our pets enjoy it more and it lasts a lot longer than regular beds!

Cover Washing Instructions:

Detach power connector from Heated Wellness Sleeper™. Unscrew nut from grommet and remove cover from foam core insert before washing. Use a mild detergent and machine wash on gentle cycle. Allow the cover to air dry. Do not put in dryer.

Safety Precautions:
  • Check to insure that there is no damage to the unit, power cord, or plug before each use. Inspect the product to ensure there is no sudden rise in temperature. If detected, do not use the product.
  • Use the product with the included cover at all times. If the Wellness Sleeper™ is used for extended periods, periodically remove your pet from the bed.
  • If the Wellness Sleeper™ is to be used in a pet cage, allow sufficient space for your pet to be able to move off the bed.
  • Do not allow your pet to chew on the power cord or the heating unit.
  • Do not use the Wellness Sleeper™ near heaters or open flames.
  • Disassembling or submerging this product under water may increase the possibility of a fire or electric shock.
  • Do not leave pet unattended while using the Wellness Sleeper&trade.
  • Unplug the product when not in use.
  • For indoor use only.
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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