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Pet Needs & Accessories

10 barbecue foods dangerous for pets

From ribs and onions to chips and corn, these barbecue-friendly foods can be cruel to dogs and cats.
Summer is in full swing. We’ve got long days, vacations, parents and kids with less structure to their schedules. We’ve got barbecues! Because what’s summer without outdoor cooking and eating? But while grilling and eating outside brings on a wonderfully casual air to dining, it’s good to remember not to be casual about what food you're leaving around for your pet to get into. Barbecue foods can provide your pet with a host of troubles.
1. Ribs and other bones
Of course you want to throw the dog a bone – seems natural to me. But as it turns out, according to PetMD, bones can be very dangerous for pets. “They might choke on them, or suffer a grave injury if the bone should splinter and become lodged in, or even puncture the digestive tract.” Yikes. But dogs will likely try and sneak a bone at all costs, so have a covered, dog-proof receptacle nearby to stow the bones once you’re done.
2. Chicken wings
The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) warned pet owners against feeding their dogs or cats chicken on the bone due to the bones’ risk of splintering and causing intestinal obstruction or worse.
3. Hot dogs
Just like for humans, gorging on hot dogs is unhealthy for dogs … but not fatal in the short term. Dogs aren’t generally used to that amount of preservatives and salt; and franks can cause diarrhea and digestive problems (and obesity) for some pups. Also, if you feel compelled to feed your dog a dog, cut it up, advises PetMD, and feed it to them in bite-size pieces. Not sure if this is for portion control or to reduce the risk of choking, but sounds pretty sage either way.
4. Corn on the cob
Not toxic because of it’s chemical composition, but for mechanical reasons: its shape alone can cause choking and obstruction.
5. Onions
Big plate of sliced onions awaiting burgers? Keep them away from the dogs. All close members of the onion family (shallots, onions, garlic, scallions, and the like) contain compounds that can harm your pooch’s red blood cells if sufficiently ingested, according to the ASPCA. They would have to consume a lot for it to be a problem, but no need to take the risk. Damage does not generally become apparent for three to five days after a dog ingests the items; symptoms may include: weakness; reluctance to move; easy fatigue; and darkly-colored urine. See a vet immediately.
6. Guacamole
Avocado contains a toxic compound called persin, which is especially dangerous to birds, rabbits, and a few large animals like horses – for them, avocadoes can cause respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the heart, and even death. It’s not as bad for cats and dogs, but can cause stomach distress; as well, add in the garlic and onion and we’re getting pretty toxic.
7. Chips and pretzels
Chips, pretzels? Chips, pretzels. It’s the salt. Too much sodium isn’t good for us, neither is it good for our pets. Too much of it can create thirst and excessive urination, which is one thing, but can also lead to sodium ion poisoning. Not good: it can end up in vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, fever, seizures, and can be fatal.
8. Fruit salad/A bowl of grapes
If your fruit salad has grapes in it or if you have a bowl of grapes out, watch them like a hawk. (The same goes for raisins, although they’re not generally considered a barbecue food, but nonetheless.) Nobody is quite sure why, but grapes and raisins have been connected to the development of kidney failure in dogs. Some dogs can eat them and be fine, others eat just a few and it’s life threatening. Some dogs can eat them and be fine, then eat them again and become very sick. It’s just not worth taking the risk. The ASPCA explains that dogs experiencing grape or raisin toxicosis usually develop: vomiting, lethargy or diarrhea within 12 hours of ingestion. As signs progress, dogs become increasingly lethargic and dehydrated, refuse to eat and may show an increase in urination followed by decreased or no urination in later stages. Death due to kidney failure may occur within three to four days, or long-term kidney disease may persist in dogs who survive the acute intoxication. Yikes. No grapes or raisins for pup.
9. Chocolate desserts
This one most of us know; but your non-dog-savvy guests may not: Chocolate can be very toxic to dogs. And even more so if it is sugar-free and sweetened with Xylitol. (This is not what they were referring to when they named a dessert “Death by Chocolate.”) Both chocolate and Xylitol have potentially fatal compounds. Chocolate poisoning can lead to heart arrhythmias, muscle tremors, and seizures. Ingestion of Xylitol can lead to a quick and serious drop in blood sugar levels, resulting in disorientation and seizures within a half hour of ingestion; some dogs may develop liver failure which can be fatal.
10. Alcoholic beverages
Both dogs and cats are uniquely sensitive to alcoholic beverages, but may not shy away from lapping up an abandoned drink. Even just a few ounces of beer or wine can be poisonous to a dog or cat, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. Dump orphaned drinks quickly!
Reprinted here by request

4 Life-Threatening Hazards Lurking In Your Own Backyard
By Ally Nesmith
It’s been years now, but I still remember it like it was yesterday. My dog Oona, just a pup at the time, was playing in the backyard with our other dogs and when I went to call them in, they all came running. All of them except for little Oona.

I went out into the yard calling her name and couldn’t find her for the longest time. When I finally did, her eyes were stretched wide with panic, she was panting rapidly and running in fast, tight little circles. When I called out to her she acted as though she couldn’t see or hear me. It was one of the scariest experiences of my life.
An overnight trip to the emergency vet, an IV and a laundry list of medications later, she started to come out of it. I was so thankful that she lived through it, but I needed to know how to avoid it in the future. The vet told me it was neurotoxicity caused by ingesting periwinkle.

I didn’t even know we had periwinkle in our yard and that got me thinking… What other hazards could be hiding in plain sight?
Here are 4 that you should definitely be aware of:

1. Compromised Perimeter:

Before letting your dog loose, be sure to check the entire boundary of your yard for gaps in the fence or weak spots that could potentially become gaps. If your dog likes to dig, it’s a good idea to dig a trench and install wire mesh at least six inches below the surface to prevent tunneling.
Also make sure to install locks on any gates that your little Einstein won’t be able to outsmart, padlocks work especially well. Even if you’re diligent about locking the gate yourself, it’s a good idea to check that it’s locked every time you let your pup out to roam just in case.


2. Predators of all shapes and sizes:

Depending on the breed of dog you have and where you live, there are different predators to be on the look out for. Oona grew up mostly in Florida and we had a veritable zoo to guard against: venomous snakes, spiders, birds of prey, scorpions, ticks and fleas, bobcats, skunks, panthers and even alligators.
Educating yourself about the specific potential stranger dangers native to your area is vital to keeping your dog safe.

3. Toxins

There is no shortage of toxins, both natural and manmade, to keep out of paw’s reach. Fertilizer, pesticides, pool cleaners and antifreeze are common household products that are all extremely toxic and often fatal to dogs. It’s important to keep these things tucked and locked away from prying noses.
Plants are less easy to differentiate but can also pose a huge risk to the wellbeing of your dog. As I found out, plants or mushrooms that look completely harmless, could be poisonous and land your pup at the vet.
Check out this super helpful, photographic list of 23 Common Plants that are poisonous to pets so you have an idea of what to look out for. There are even more hazards, not pictured, so it’s also a great idea to do some research by region to see what else could be growing in your yard.

4. Climate Control
Different breeds are obviously built for different climates, take this into account when considering how to keep your dog comfortable during each season.

During the summer months, dogs are vulnerable to heat stroke, some breeds (like Bulldogs) more so than others. Keep your pup cool outside by ensuring there’s a shady place for them to rest, whether it be under some trees or in a dog house, and that they always have access to plenty of cool, clean water. (In really hot climates, change water very frequently and dump any collected rain water to avoid the growth of mosquito/worm larvae or harmful algae).
If your dog likes to swim, a baby pool is another good idea to help them cool off on a sunny, summer day.
Alternately, as the temperatures drop and snow starts to fall, dogs should not be left out for extended periods of time. When they are outside, they should be suited up and make sure to cozy up their doghouse with blankets and pillows so they have somewhere to go to stave off the shivers.

Article reposted here by request

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All about Snakes

All about Snakes

Pets for Kids – “10 Essential Reality Checks!”
Essential Reality Check No. 1 – The Type of Pet for kids
The type of pet you can take into your household will depend on a whole host of things such as follows: How much will the pet costs be - not just to buy - but to care for on a daily basis? The ages of your kids - a two year old child will probably not be able to handle a pet gently and certainly won't be able to care for the pet….. What size of pet does your child want? - What space will be needed? A hamster does not take up much space but guinea pigs, ferrets and rats need much larger cages. How much time do your kids and you as a family have to give to the pet? Will your family be safe with the pet?
Essential Reality Check No. 2 – True Costs of Pets for Kids
Some pets are very cheap to buy for instance hamsters, guinea pigs, goldfish. gerbils, fancy rats, fancy mice and rabbits and even ferrets. You will still need to consider: The cage set up ( this can be very expensive when looking at the cage sizes that most pets need) in fact they need the largest cage you can manage Food costs per week Bedding Vets bills if your pets become ill. e.g. Ferrets need a yearly injection against canine distemper. Holiday care - you will need to pay for this of course if you cannot rely on friends and family.
Bigger pets such as goats, and dogs and pedigree cats are far more expensive to buy initially, some costing hundreds of pounds. You will need to consider: Bedding and a cage (if buying one for your dog or cat) Leads and collars for dogs. Food bills Vets bills (dogs should have yearly check ups with a vets) Toys Holiday care (kennels can be very expensive) Flea treatment Ongoing veterinary costs if your pets becomes chronically ill.
Essential Reality Check No. 3 – Ages of your Kids
As the parent or carer you will need to decide if your child is old enough to handle and care for a pet. How often have parents heard the cry "oh but we promise we'll take it for walks everyday" Or "we'll clean it out mum, we promise". How will you feel in a years time when you find yourself caring for the pets because the kids are busy with friends or away on a school trip or inundated with homework or just plain bored with the poor thing You will need to decide on a pet that is suitable for the age of your kids. For instance in most cases it would not be wise to buy a hamster for a two year old child who is still adapting to the world around them and may not know or be able to handle the hamster gently.
Do you want to give your kids some responsibility in caring for an animal. Some kids are very responsible and will be able to manage this. Other kids, well the sight of a baby animal is just too appealing, after all who can resist a cute puppy or kitten or baby hamster? At first you may need to help your kids, as caring for a pet is a very responsible job. As a parent or carer you will always need to oversee a pet's care.
,Essential Reality Check No. 4 – The Space Required
Even small pets for kids such as guinea pigs, fancy rats and ferrets need a lot of cage space for a happy life. They will need the biggest cages you can find space for. These pets also need space to exercise out of the cage. Cats take up very little space, as do small breeds of dogs. Dogs will need a decent sized garden as well as walks to keep them well exercised.
Essential Reality Check No. 5 – Time for your Pets
Do you and the family have time for a pet. For smaller pets for kids you will need to have them out of the cage and being handled daily for at least 2 hours a day. Do you have time to clean out your pet at least once or twice a week, or even daily? Some pets will certainly need the toilet corner of their cage cleaned more often to avoid a foul smelling cage and pet. Water bottles and food bowls will need cleaning and refilling every day.
Will you be able to walk your dog at least once a day? - dependent on the breed some need more! Are you willing to look after your pets for the many years some can live? (From 18 months to 2 years for a mouse up to 15 years for a dog) If you are out at work all day and the kids are at school all day your pets will need and will demand attention when you return home
Essential Reality Check No. 6 – Your Pet and Family Safety
You will always need to ensure your kids safety when they are spending time with any pets for kids. Even little pets can bite and leave a wound. Dogs should not be left unattended with your kids as they are unpredictable. Even a faithful dog will bite and even attack a child if they are in pain or afraid. It happens rarely - but it does happen. You will also need to ensure your pets safety: Is your child able to handle a pet safely without hurting it. Is your pet safe with any other pets in the home? - if you have young children and a dog …. you will need to make sure the dog cannot escape because a door is accidentally left open.
If you have a dog you need to ensure visitors safety as you can be sued if your dog bites someone on your property (or even off your property) Make sure that when pets are having free time out of cages that: Other pets cannot hurt them They cannot chew electrical leads They cannot fall into toilets or baths of water. They cannot escape through gaps in walls or floors They cannot get outside without supervision
Essential Reality Check No. 7 – Effects on Family and Neighbours
The whole family needs to be in agreement if you are getting pets for kids. Pets can be noisy and messy having an effect on family living. What effect will a pet such as a dog have on Granny who suffers with an allergy - will that mean she cannot come to visit anymore? If you get a dog will it bark and howl when you leave them for any length of time and will this annoy your neighbours. Will the dog bark when your neighbours are in their own garden. How will your neighbours take to having your pet cat mess in their garden? You will need to keep your yard free of dog mess to ensure it does not smell -particularly in summer months.
Essential Reality Check No. 8 – Holidays and Care for Pets
If you have pets for kids what will happen to them during your holiday times. Do you have family or friends who can care for your pets while you are away. If not you will have to pay for your pets care. This will be expensive for dogs, cats and larger animals. Even for little pets, holiday care can be expensive.
Essential Reality Check No. 9 – Loss of a Pet and Grief
Some children are really sensitive and will be distraught when their beloved pet eventually passes away, or is lost in some way. This is especially distressing if the pet has died as a result of an accident or illness. How will you manage this? The kids will need to grieve, grieving is a healthy part of a loss reaction. We can suffer losses every day in a small way such as not getting something we want, this causes a loss reaction and part of the healing for this is grief. If your child or other family member struggles with the grieving then look at the following and see if it applies. The grieving process has seven stepping stones through which people move. Your family member may not go through them in order or spend long on any one.
The stepping stones are: Shock, Denial, Guilt, ,Anger, Depression Bargaining, Acceptance Your child may want another pet this is called bargaining and is one of the stepping stones through the grief process. If your child cannot have another pet, break down the hidden losses that the death of their pet has caused. Could there be a loss of your child's self worth or self esteem. Have they lost their only companion. Has your child lost the only one who listened to them. By chatting try to find out how your child is feeling and help them to work out their losses and then work through to acceptance by doing some healthy bargaining.
Would your child be able to regain their sense of worth or self esteem another way? Perhaps helping out with a friends pet for instance. For some children it may be helpful to have a burial service, so they can say goodbye properly. (My son kept some hair from his beloved dog) Our kids have managed the deaths of their pets really well and have gone on to have other pets, for other kids though it has more of an effect so you will need to decide when or if to replace your child's pet.
Essential Reality Check No. 10 – Pets for Kids are GOOD FUN!!!
Pets for kids are for the most part a great addition to the family.. They are often good company for your kids especially if the kids are lonely. Kids can learn a lot from caring for pets and by having pets even when they are lost naturally. Dogs can encourage the family out to get exercise as they walk the dog. All our kids love their pets and they are an important part of the family. So whatever pet you decide upon have fun and enjoy
By Lesley Munnings

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Bark Collar, Bark Control, Stop Barking
Need to stop your dogs from barking excessively? Bark Collar Store has the perfect
bark collar and bark control units for any types of dogs. Simply measure the neck
of your dog, and choose the most appropriate bark collar for your dog.

Rubber Boas: The Best Snake to Make a Pet
Though it is rarely referred to as a pet, a Rubber Boa is most definitely an interesting creature, and in my own opinion, it is the best snake that a person can have, especially for a first pet snake. Everything about a Rubber Boa Snake is easy from their temperament, care, feeding, and hygiene. Most snakes are a pet to be observed but not to be played with. Rubber Boas are the type of pet that a person can interact with, as they enjoy the warmth from a hand and will curl up on one for hours. The feeling is mutual, as a humans hand enjoys the soft feel of these docile serpents.
What Makes a Rubber Boa So Great?
1. Interactive: Rubber Boas will be a pet that you can hold, touch, be held by, and not be afraid that it is going to get away while playing with it. They are rather slow and will prefer to hang out on a warm hand any day and stay there for a long time. The feel of their skin is much like their name, Rubber, but even softer than that.
2. Appealing: Rubber Boas have been used as a form of treatment for snake phobias in several cases. While most snakes are fast and quick to bite, these Boas are slow, docile, and almost never bite (I have never seen nor heard of one biting, but it could happen). If they are to bite a person, it will be harmless and most likely painless. The one thing that impresses me most of these snakes is their soft texture, which is why they are called a Rubber Boa.
3. Easy to Care For: Rubber Boas are very easy to take care of. They do best in an area that has similarities to their native range which is mostly limited to the Northwestern U.S. and Southwestern Canada. They can be found in both arid forests to the rainforests of the coast. Their temperature preference is between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, such as room temperature in a home, and need a decent size dish of water for them to soak in. The only cleaning necessary is switching out the water once it had been defecated in.
4. Easy to Feed: Rubber Boas eat primarily on young rodents in the wild while fending off the parents with their blunt tail. Therefore it is best to feed them pink mice, and several at a time. They are known to binge feed and then not eat for a month or two. That is why they will eat several in one setting.
A Rubber Boa has many benefits over other snakes. Here is a list of just a few as well as the one negative.
• Interactive: easy to hold
• Soft to touch
• Slow moving
• Won't Bite
• Safe around children • Easy to care for
>• Long life span: 15-25 years
• Hard to find in the wild and hard to find for sale.
While there are not too many bad things about this species of snake, the biggest downside is the lack of places to buy a Rubber Boa. I will keep an eye out and list any links I can find that sale them. The ones that I have had, I have caught on the road at dusk as I live in the Northern Idaho where they are common to find. They are incredible hiders and I have never seen one anywhere except for on the road. I would not attempt to go looking for them though as many times where they live is also areas that you may find rattlesnakes, unless of course you are in to that type of thing.
The website I own and operate promotes clothing gear that is designed to protect against snake bites, which the Rubber Boa is no threat unless you are a rodent. I think this type of snake is neat and interesting and makes a great pet, so I just wanted you to know and hope you will consider it if you are interested in a reptile for a pet. If you are in the market or know somebody that could benefit from snake protective clothing such as snake gaiters, boots ect, click here:

Finding A Toy For The Discerning Cat
While cats have been known to play with everything from a dead mouse to a cardboard box, finding a cat toy that will continually amuse them is almost impossible to do.
Cats can be amused for a short while with just about anything, from a string to a laser pointer, but with their notoriously short attention span, and usually picky nature, those diversions only last a short time before they walk away. That's why finding a toy they'll play with consistently is such a chore.
Granted, there are a lot of chew toys available, but a lot of them are really designed for dogs. While some cats have been known to play with certain dog toys, all in all, that entire class of toys is totally inappropriate for cats. The interest level simply isn't there. While it may make for an awesome durable dog toy, most hard rubber toys simply hold no interest for a cat.
However, when it comes to soft and furry, especially with some kind of motion involved, then you can get a cat's attention. Another way to ensure a cat will be interested is to have a toy that contains some kind of cat nip. The ones that have the dried weed inside are the best of this type, once the essence has dried out, the toy will be used a lot less.
Sometimes you can "scrub" the toy in your hands to activate the catnip in the weed, but all in all, it isn't going to be nearly as popular as it was when it was new. There is liquid catnip available that you can use to put on virtually any toy, but the effects of it are usually temporary at best.
Finding a toy you don't have to have imbued with catnip that they'll play with can definitely be a challenge. And, some cats don't have the catnip "gene" so the attraction of catnip just isn't there for them. But once you find a toy your cat really likes, it's always a good idea to have more than one around at all times.
Not only will they still have a toy to play with if they lose or destroy the original, but having more than one means they can be amused in more than one area of the house without someone having to go and retrieve the toy from the other room.
Since cats are such picky animals to begin with, when you find great interactive cat toys, it's a great thing to remember when you got them as well. When a company gets it right when it comes to one toy, they'll usually come out with more as well. And not just for cats either.

The right aquarium supplies can reduce efforts taken for maintenance
Many people like fishes. Some like them more than the others. This is what leads them to build aquariums for the advancement of their hobbies. But the creation of an aquarium is just the first step to a huge responsibility. These containers are often created according to the kind of fishes and their natural habitat. But over a period of time, they tend to get affected by the dirt, and other toxic material.
Moreover, the scale of these aquariums often makes it very difficult for owners to clean them properly. This is why there is a need for aquarium supplies like the Eheim water canisters and protein skimmers to maintain these tanks in good conditions and help the aquatic life in them. Aquariums are more than just water tanks with fishes in it. They are manmade habitats for these aquatic animals. This is why it is important that these water containers have the right temperature and be clean in order to keep these creatures in the best of health.
However, the large size of these water tanks is a hindrance when it comes to cleaning. Moreover, the busy lifestyle of people is a great obstacle when it comes to the maintenance of the containers. Some of the important requirements for the proper maintenance of an aquarium are protein skimmers. These are organic solvents which are used to separate organic trash from the water and keep it from getting contaminated.
Not only are these effective in removing the organic residue from the water, but they are also very effective in keeping the water free of any toxic material over a long time. Other equipment like the Next Reef SMR1 biopellets dispensers is also acquiring popularity in the market for their efficient cleaning methodology. These equipments are not only vital to the proper maintenance of the aquarium, but also help in creating a natural habitat for the fish and ensuring longevity of their survival. This will help them feel like they are in the next reef rather than in a pond.
Often people are confused as to where should they go if they wish to buy aquarium chillers or other equipment. It is easier to find these aquarium supplies in hardware stores and any fishery related marketplace. With the arrival of the internet, these stores have also taken to the online domain in order to find their customers. This is a preferable choice, as customers can now choose to use these domains in order to get quality equipment.

Dog Houses

Just because you’re getting an outside dog, doesn’t mean that he or she won’t need the comforts of a home. Outdoor dogs are often left to fend for themselves under porches or beneath over hangs. Owners and prospective owners should take into account that a dog’s transition from indoors to outdoors could take some time. Ideally, those in the market for what will eventually become an outside dog should make sure to have the dog house ready and begin setting the ground rules when your pet is a puppy. You know what they say about teaching old dogs new tricks! So, why not get your Spot a place to call his own?
Benefits of Having a Dog House
Some dogs need a lot of time outside. Depending on the breed, a dog might be more comfortable with direct access to the yard. A dog door will do the trick in some cases. In the case of a very frisky canine, a life outside is a better option. It will save the owner a lot of headache due to chewed furniture, “accidents” on the carpet, and tracked in dirt and fur. For these cases, a dog house provides excellent shelter from the elements and gives your pet a place to chill out and sleep without any hassles in the home. If an owner is worried about their pet’s comfort, it should be noted that modern dog house plans and kits are designed to make the outside dog just as comfortable as it’s inside counterpart.
Easy Assembly Dog House Kits
There are quite a few dog house companies out there who will provide you with a kit and instructions to house any variety or number of dogs. They are simple and require only the most basic carpentry skills to put together. For dogs in extra hot or extra cold conditions, many of these kits can be purchased with extra insulation. Some companies even offer a small air conditioning and heating unit designed with your pooch in mind!

Kit dog houses are usually made of metal, wood, or plastic. Each has its own pros and cons, and depending on which you purchase, the finished product may or may not suit your needs. When buying a wood dog house kit, cedar is preferable because of its natural resistance to bugs and the elements. Metal dog houses are very durable, but insulation tends to be a problem; extra insulation should be taken into consideration while shopping. Plastic dog houses are inexpensive and easy to put together, though they vary greatly in durability and insulation.
Custom Dog House Plans
A handy pet owner might do well to consider buying dog house plans. This will give you a lot more control over what the house will look like and how it will function. Dog house plans are significantly more cost effective than a kit (plans for small houses with very simple designs are available for free online; plans for something more sophisticated will cost a little, but not a lot). They will provide you with the professional expertise to ensure your structure will be stable and sound without the added costs of shipping and pre-drilled lumber. Die hard DIY’ers with good knowledge of tools and design can make their own plans and build the house from scratch.

If you like to truly pamper your pets, you can also hire someone to create custom dog house plans. This way, your dog will have a place that is truly his or her own home. But whether you create custom dog house plans or purchase ready-made plans, you should look for something more than the typical dog house. Use the need for a dog house as a landscaping opportunity. A ramp will give your dog an elevated perch to view the neighborhood. A multi-room, wooden dog house with windows and decorative woodworking can generate oohs and aahs from guests and neighbors.
Don’t Forget the Benefit of Dog Fences
Along with your new dog house, you should look at ways that will define your dog’s stomping ground. After all, you didn’t buy your home without looking at the yard and the landscaping, did you? A wooden dog fence is a great pet perimeter as well as a beautiful landscaping feature. An electric dog fence perimeter will allow your property to remain open and retain sight lines to maintain your home’s unique curb appeal. Just make sure your dog house has its own home security to give comfort and safety to the outdoor member of your household.


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Looking for the Right Fish for Your Aquarium
If you have just decided to set up an aquarium, the number one question on your mind must be what kind of fish should I get? When you look at your choices in the pet store, you realize that it will not be easy to make that decision.
If you are new to fish keeping, this can be an overwhelming task. But before you choose what particular fish you like, consider these three important questions. One, exactly how big can this fish get? Two, what quality of water does the fish require? And three, will the fish peacefully coexist with the others I want?
Some fish will stay small, say an inch or less. These are generally considered community fish. Many fishkeepers select a group of similar community fish to fill their tank. Good choices for tropical community fish include guppies, swordtails, Platies, and dwarf Gourami. When selecting these varieties, choose fish that are about the same size, and avoid mixing different varieties unless you have been advised that they will get along well together. Never purchase just one community fish; they are used to swimming in schools, and will get lonely in your aquarium. A good rule of thumb for this size of fish is one inch of fish for one gallon of aquarium water.
Other bigger species of fish can grow from 6 inches to several feet in length. They are generally best kept alone for they are known to attack or eat smaller or weaker fish. You will need a larger aquarium to keep them in. A ten gallon tank may suffice while they are still young, but eventually, you will need to transfer them to something bigger.
When buying your fish, it is best to immediately get the aquarium that would accommodate the adult size. Once you have chosen the specific species that you like, find out how big the fish are at adult size and get the correct size aquarium. The one gallon per inch rule of thumb for the much smaller community fish would not apply to these kinds of fish.
There are some types of fish that can thrive in almost any type or condition of water. The goldfish is the most popular of these varieties. They are recognized as almost invincible. They will no doubt continue to survive even with no aquarium lights or filters, but this is not exactly wise fishkeeping practice.
The slightly more picky tropical fish need a narrower water temperature range, as well as high-quality water. To achieve the water quality these fish need, test your water frequently, use a good filter on the aquarium, and consider products like the EcoBio-Block, which improves your aquarium water quality and reduces maintenance. Some fish need a specific pH, or have other water quality requirements. Be sure to do your research so that the fish you choose have similar water requirements.
Marine or saltwater variety is the last group of fish. Keeping them, however, is recommended only when you have enough fish keeping experience with freshwater fish. Though these fish are attractive, they do require a lot of maintenance work in order to keep them healthy. Other than keeping watch over the water quality, lighting and temperature, you also have to keep track of the salt level in your aquarium. Note also that you cannot mix freshwater fish with the marine varieties in just one aquarium.
And lastly, examine every fish closely before you buy them. Check that they have healthy bright eyes, intact tails and fins, no missing scales or injury of any kind. Observe if they have healthy appetites and a high level of activity. Choose only bright and healthy looking fish. As you can see, choosing your fish is an important factor when creating your aquarium and good choices will mean many years of enjoyment to come.

If you have a curious pooch that loves to snoop around, it’s likely you’ll face bug bites and bee stings from time to time. Although most cases are rarely dangerous, it’s still crucial that you understand how some insect bites and stings can also lead to serious complications, allergic reactions, even death.
To avoid pain and serious symptoms of irritation, you should know what kinds of insect bites and stings are cause for concern and what steps to take to provide relief to do your dog.

7 Common Insect Bites & Their Symptoms
Signs of insect bites generally depend on the type of pest that bites or stings your dog.
When a mosquito bites your dog, the affected area can become red and inflamed, intensely itchy, and may develop localized swelling. With mosquito bites in particular, you'll want to provide your dog with itch relief, as his constant scratching or chewing can lead to hot spots or secondary infection. Further, mosquitoes pose a much larger risk to your dog than just an itchy bite. Heartworm disease is one of the most common, yet totally avoidable, diseases that affect dogs in every corner of the world - the only way a dog contracts heartworm is through a mosquito bite. For an in-depth guide to protecting your pet against mosquito bites and heartworm disease' Pet-safe mosquito repellents and heartworm prevention are absolute essentials for any pet parent.
When a tick bites and attaches itself to your dog, it can result in swelling, itching, and infection. Ticks will need to be carefully removed from your dog’s skin using an appropriate method that leaves no portion of the tick behind and embedded in his skin. If not dealt with, a tick infestation can lead to anemia and eventually death. For detailed instructions on removing a tick, check out this guide. Once removed, a tick bite can remain red and slightly swollen for about 2 weeks. Tick-borne diseases are also a concern for dog owners, particularly Lyme disease. Prevention in the form of tick collars, sprays, or spot-on treatments are essential, especially for dogs that spend time outdoors.
With flea bites, constant and generalized itchiness is common. Small swollen bumps on the dog’s skin surrounded by a reddened halo are usually visible. In many dogs, flea bites can set off allergies that trigger itching, red rashes, swelling, skin thickening, and hair loss. A flea infestation can quickly lead to serious complications including life threatening anemia. Additionally, fleas can carry tapeworms that, if ingested, will transmit the parasite to your dog. It's important to control fleas both in your home and yard and on your dog. In addition to flea prevention from your veterinarian, the use of flea repelling shampoos, carpet powders, and natural flea preventing sprays for the home or yard are recommended.

Bees & Wasps:
Bee and wasp stings can result in large bumps, sores, redness, swelling, and intense pain. While a single bee sting will likely not do too much damage, multiple bee or wasp stings can be fatal. Some dogs will show only a small, localized reaction to a sting, while others will immediately have an allergic reaction that warrants a trip to the emergency veterinarian. To best prevent bee and wasp stings, check your yard frequently and destroy any nests or hives. During walks, prevent your dog from curiously sniffing around in areas where bees and wasps generally build hives.
Ant bites present on dogs in basically the same way they do on humans. A localized red, itchy, slightly swollen bite will appear with mild to intense itching and pain to the touch. Unlike other insect bites, ant bites do not typically affect a dog’s entire body or trigger an allergic whole-body response. But, multiple bites, for example if your dog stands or lies in a fire ant bed and is bitten multiple times, can cause trauma and pain requiring veterinary assistance. To avoid any risks, especially to very young, very old, or infirm dogs, keep your yard free of ant beds using a pet-safe ant killer.
Like ant bites, fly bites do not generally trigger a whole-body allergic response and typically result in localized redness, itchiness, and swelling. Flies, however, can lay eggs on your pet’s skin which will hatch within a few days and either crawl on the surface or burrow beneath the skin. These larvae can be much more problematic than an adult fly, sometimes leading to swelling and secondary infection. Keep your dog protected against biting flies using a topical dog-safe insect repellent while outdoors.
Spider bites, in addition to leaving a large, swollen and intensely itchy bump on the skin can sometimes lead to severe reactions including shivering and even vomiting, depending on the type and size of the spider. If your dog shows any of unusual or serious symptoms after a suspected spider bite, alert your vet immediately as some bites can be fatal. Just as with bees and wasps, prevent spiders from proliferating in and outside of the home by clearing any webs and watching closely for any area where spiders may thrive, such as the underside of outdoor tables and chairs, buckets, doghouses, or any other cool, dark place.
What You Can Do at Home

While all questionable bug bites and bee stings should be discussed with a veterinarian that understands your dog’s medical history, allergies, age, and general health, there are some things you can do to relieve itchiness, calm allergies, and make your dog more comfortable.
Baking Soda.
To help your pooch get relief from itchiness brought about by the acidic bites of insects, mix a bit of baking soda with water until it forms a thick paste. Rub the paste directly on the bug bite a few times each day. The alkaline nature of baking soda will help to alleviate some discomfort.
Aloe Vera.
Skin irritation can also be reduced by taking advantage of the cooling action found in the Aloe Vera plant. Simply slice off a portion of the plant and then apply it directly to the affected skin. Allow the soothing juice soak in. Just be certain that your dog cannot lick away the aloe, as ingestion can lead to upset stomach and gastrointestinal distress. Consider using a cone collar to prevent access. Alternatively, pet-safe aloe vera gels or lotions can be a welcome relief.
Colloidal oatmeal, or oatmeal that has been ground to a fine powder, not only moisturizes skin, but restores pH balance and neutralizes itching and redness. You can mix colloidal oatmeal with a bit of warm water and massage it into your dog’s skin like you would a shampoo, then rinse off. Or, partially fill a bathtub with warm water and add about a cup of the oatmeal powder, mix well, and have your pup soak in the soothing bath for about 15 minutes. Drain the tub and rinse your dog thoroughly after her soak. If desired, a cup of baking soda can be added to the same bath for even more skin soothing results.
Remove the Stinger.
In case of bee stings, you’ll need to remove the stinger from your pooch’s skin, either with your fingernail, a credit card, or with a pair of tweezers. Left in your dog’s skin, a stinger continues to release and circulate venom, even after the bee has died. Be very careful when removing a stinger to avoid pushing it further into your dog’s skin. After it’s been removed, wash the wound with mild soap and water, apply a paste of baking soda and water to neutralize the sting, and apply an ice pack or cold compress to lessen the swelling.

To control intense itching and reduce symptoms associated with bug bites and bee stings, an antihistamine, such as Benadryl, can work wonders. The typical dose is .5 to 1mg per pound of your dog's weight (Please check with your vet before giving your pet any OTC medication.) An antihistamine, given immediately and at the right dosage, can save a dog's life. Many times, a bug bite or bee sting, particularly around the dog's face and mouth, can cause extreme swelling, even cutting off air supply. Every dog owner should have dog-safe antihistamines in their first aid kit at all times.
Remember, the best defense against bites and stings is prevention. Any bug bite or bee sting that results in an unusual or allergic reaction should be examined by a veterinarian.
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Cat Training in your Home
Cats are playful creatures. If you're going to get one, you have to know the fundamentals about house cat maintenance. As soon as the cat is taken into the property, you should give it his or her very own living space for the moment with food, water and a bed. If it has not yet been potty trained, you'll want to start teaching it so there won't be any stains on the rug. Teaching the cat how to use the litter box can initially be practiced by transporting it to the box when nature calls. If you see the cat is able to do it, praise and reward your pet so they recognize that this is the proper thing to do. The precise size of the litter box depends on the size of the cat. This should be cleaned out naturally by means of soap and water not disinfectant. If ever they do something bad like go up up on the table or damage the furniture, you must never scold them as they're very vulnerable animals.
You can enforce discipline without causing any injury by squirting water on their face. There ought to be water and food continually. The serving dish and bowl should be made either of plastic or aluminum and cleaned. Any unfinished food has to be removed properly. Their nutrition must come
from high quality cat food and even though this may be more expensive than the other brands, you are aware of that it has the right vitamins and minerals to keep them in good shape.
Aside from food, you may also give them health supplements. One example is Omega 3 fatty acids that are great for their nutrition. For those that have more pets at home, you should allow a little while for the two pets to be acquainted with one another. If you have a dog, be sure it is kept on its leash first. If you have another cat, prepare yourself to break off a fight since this normally takes place. House rules must be established with regards to what the cat can and can't do in the home. For instance, you can determine whether or not the cat may be allowed outside of the house regardless if the experts have declared they must always be confined indoors.
There are other issues which you have to talk over among yourselves. You should also provide a scratching pad so it can play around without creating any destruction to your furnishings. This should be three feet in height and positioned either close to the furniture or their sleeping area. When their claws get too sharp, you should trim them so they don't hurt you or themselves.
One of the most important things about cat maintenance is proper grooming. You can bathe the cat by wetting their head and tail with shampoo. Never lather their ears or eyes and dry them using a clean cloth. Comb the hair lightly and apply combing powder so it never gets tangled.
Finally, bring your cat to the vet regularly and when you see something new in their habits as quick thinking could stop a possible sickness from getting worse. If you don't know any, get a recommendation from one of your neighbors. House cat care is difficult but gratifying. You simply have to put in the dedication when you decide to bring a pet into your home.

Keeping Chickens
Want a pet that actually rewards your time in eggs, manure for your compost bin, and affection? Man has been domesticating chickens since the dawn of time. And with a hens population of more than 24 billion in 2003, (according to some sources) there are now more hens in the world than any other bird.andnbsp; People have historically primarily as a source of food, with both their meat and their eggs being eaten. There has been a surge of interest in keeping chickens, caused by celebrity chefs highlighting the awful conditions of battery reared hens, higher food prices and the reported credit crunch. The thought of having chucks in your garden and the thought of having fresh eggs from your own hens, no longer singles you out or causes as many 'home farm' type remarks as it used to; of being a modern day 'Tom andamp; Barbara Good' - from the self sufficiency Good Life television series!andnbsp; In fact there's something 'modern' in these days of throw away cultures, in coming back to a more 'self sufficient' lifestyle.
Many people are growing their own produce - either in their gardens or on allotments. Many people are getting concerned about what the food they eat actually contains and the buy organic movement seems to be gaining ground every year - forcing stores to stock a more wider selection of organic produce. Keeping chickens seems to be just a normal progression on this consumer shift.
Folk seem to be used to having friends and neighbours who keep poultry. And the chance getting a fresh home laid egg as part of the bargain, you'll probably get unlimited offers to take over your chicken keeping duties should you ever have to go on holiday. Plus once you've seen the difference in yolk and feasted on the completely different texture of the white, of one of your own garden hens' eggs you'll never go back to the supermarket egg again.
In the pan, your eggs you'll be shocked the difference too. Fresh eggs hold together better than eggs bought in a supermarket as they're certain to be fresh. There's also the plus point that keeping chickens bring a brand new element to your garden - movement, sound and colour. Forget adding a pond, keeping chickens brings so much more! Each chuck is an completely different and many can be real 'characters' and, if handled whilst they're young, they can be very good pets for children. Chicken keeping does have it's own disciplines though, and there will be a element of household maintainence tasks for your chicken house and obviously, letting the chickens in and out of their chicken shed at first thing in the morning and last thing at night. There's also the 'chore' of checking for eggs. This should be done a few times per day - just in case your chickens are afternoon 'layers'. Another thing you need to be aware of when keeping chickens; is 'chicken watching'... Many hours can be easily spent watching your chickens scratch around the garden. If you're the kind of person who looks at hypnotising fires, you'll find chicken watching equally addicitive! Keeping chickens can be done as budgets allow. If money is no object, then there's many fancy looking ready made chicken coops that can be bought from numerous chicken keeping shops.
If finance is low, then a home build chicken coop can be built for virtually 'free', using scraps of wood found laying around your loft. A chicken shack just needs to be large enough for the chucks to roost in at night, and large enough to stretch their legs in during the day. Also a place for them to dust bath during the hours of sunlight should be provided. So whether you're looking to build a chicken house, or buy a purpose built chicken run or are just wanting to find out more about keeping chickens as a pastime; a world of chicken keeping adventure awaits.

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12 Pet-Friendly National Parks You Need to Visit with Your Dog
Summer is the perfect time to explore the bounty of nature in America's incredible national park system with your whole family—including the dog. More than half of campers bring their furry family members along for their camping trips, according to the 2017 North American Camping Report. For dogs, and for families who love them, the great outdoors awaits!

Grand Canyon National Park

Experience the grandeur of this stunning natural wonder with your dog along the 13 miles of the South Rim trail. Pets are not permitted below the rim of the Grand Canyon, but you can take your pooch for a stroll on any of the hiking trails that stay above the perimeter, which includes most of the spectacular South Rim Trail. If you want to experience one of most scenic trains rides in America on The Grand Canyon Railway, Fido can rest and relax at The Railway Pet Resort, the luxe air-conditioned animal hotel at the Grand Canyon Railway & Hotel (humans can spend the night at the hotel or campgrounds here as well).

Yosemite National Park

Vast wilderness, expansive meadows, towering sequoias—this park is probably the image most people conjure when they think of national parks. Because of the wildlife that roams free here, dogs aren't allowed deep into the park, but the Wawona Meadow Loop trail at Yosemite National Park is dog-friendly, and canines are also permitted on the park's many roads, sidewalks, and bike paths. You can bring leashed pets to stay at all of Yosemite's campgrounds, too, with the exception of hike-in (meaning those deep in the park) and group camps. Dan Wulfman, founder of Tracks and Trails, a company that plans RV vacations in national parks, suggests adding nearby pet-friendly Lake Tahoe to your Yosemite itinerary, where dogs can romp at Kiva Beach and Echo Lake and play off-leash at Bijou Dog Park.

Acadia National Park, Maine

Come ready to hit the trails at this dog-friendly paradise along the rugged coast of Maine in northern New England. Almost all 120 miles of hiking trails and an additional 45 miles of carriage roads across 45,000 acres at Acadia are accessible to pet owners, and dogs can hike anywhere they please as long as they're on a leash not more than 6 feet long. You can spend the night with your four-legged friend at the Blackwoods and Seawall campgrounds, and dogs can run off-leash at Little Long Pond which is adjacent to Acadia.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

The beautiful Shenandoah comprises 200 acres of lush green rolling hills and forests, just 75 miles from Washington, DC. Hikers with both two legs and four will be spoiled for choice at this expansive park that features 500 miles of trails, 480 of which are pet friendly. Pet-friendly rooms are on offer throughout the park at the Skyland and Big Meadows lodges and Lewis Mountain Cabins. Take a look at the secrets park rangers wish you knew before your summer trip to keep you and your pooch safe and healthy on the trails.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

Set along the "crooked" Cuyahoga River, Cuyahoga Valley offers 110 miles of hiking trails (and 20 miles of the Towpath Trail) in this gem of a pet-friendly park in Ohio, all dog friendly. In fact, the only place dogs aren't allowed here are inside buildings and on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Within the park you can camp with your pet or go all out luxury Metropolitan at the 9 hotel in nearby Cleveland, which offers a four-legged friends welcome package with cozy bedding and 24/7 access to the property's indoor dog park, Bark.

Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

We know, this sounds like we're telling you to take your dog into a cave; we're not (and they're not allowed underground here). We are, however, telling you to visit this fabulous national park to hike its 70 miles of above ground trails, all of which are dog friendly to leashed pets. Although dogs aren't allowed into the actual Mammoth Cave, there are waterfalls, rivers, hills, valleys, and streams to explore offering more than enough variety to keep any person, or pet, entertained. Dogs are also allowed to overnight with their owners at the park's Woodland Cottages and the Mammoth Cave Hotel inside the park runs its own kennel in case you want to check your pet in so you can explore the cave.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

An iconic part of San Francisco, Golden Gate calls itself "the most dog-friendly national park in the country." Not only does this park have trails, beaches, and open spaces that are accessible to dogs, it's the only national park to have a designated "off leash" areas. And don't let the city address fool you; GGNRA boasts 19 distinct ecosystems comprised of more than 2,000 plant and animal species. However, since you do have access to the heart of the City by the Bay, consider staying at one of the many pet-welcoming hotels in this dog-loving metropolis.

Congaree National Park, South Carolina

The largest, old-growth hardwood forest in the Southeast, Congaree, located in Columbia, South Carolina, is completely dog-friendly with pets permitted on all trails, including the boardwalk and the campgrounds. All pets must be on a leash (6 feet long maximum) and under the owner's control at all times. Favorite trails are the easy Boardwalk Trail (2.4 miles—begins at the Harry Hampton Visitor Center with an elevated section that leads down into the old–growth bottomland hardwood forest) or for more of a challenge, the River Trail (a 10-mile round-trip trail that leads to the Congaree River.). Downtown Columbia is approximately 30 minutes away from the park, and offers a plethora of pet-friendly options including the Aloft Downtown which offers the Arf pet program that includes a dog bed and water bowl. (And don't miss "Yappy Hour" at Jake's Bar & Grill in Five Points.)

Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site, New York

The beautiful grounds at this national historic site hug the scenic Hudson River. At the presidential library that sits within the park are several tributes to FDR's beloved dogs, including a statue to Scotch terrier Fala, the only dog statue at a national park, so it's only fitting that the grounds here would be dog friendly. Pets on leashes can walk on trails and even visit the memorial, stables, peace statue, and any other outdoor sites. (The gift shop here even carries tennis balls, leashes, and other treats for dogs.) Nearby, the Walkway Over the Hudson River, the longest pedestrian bridge in the world, is another top spot for a dog walk. For humans, consider a stop at the Culinary Institute of America, where pooches can explore the grounds with a human and you can pick up a gourmet meal to go.

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

The largest sand dunes in the country create a moonscape of rolling dunes that you can explore with your pooch. Dogs are allowed in all the developed sections of the park, including the first tall ridge of dunes. Note, though, that since there's no shade in this unique sandy park, it's best to explore with dogs in the cool morning or early evening. When temperatures rise, cool off in Medano Creek, which is also pet friendly. Note: It can get hot out out West, and most of the country during the summer, so be sure to read our summer safety tips for dogs before you set out for Great Sand Dunes.

Devils Postpile National Monument, California

Just how dog friendly is this geologic wonder of stone formations and massive waterfalls? They have a Paw Patrol program that allows dogs to help patrol Devils Postpile trails to keep it safe. Dogs are allowed on leash on all the trails and in the campgrounds, and can even ride the park shuttle bus as long as they're muzzled (you can buy one at the gift shop). Visit the surrounding national forest area to give your pet a chance to run off leash and unmuzzled (they do have to follow voice commands to be off leash in the forest).

North Cascades National Park, Washington

Washington State is where you'll find 18 miles of the dog-friendly Pacific Coast Trail, one of America's Most Stunning Trails to Hike, and also one of the best known hikes in the west thanks to Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir (not to mention wildly popular movie) Wild. Since your dog doesn't read, he'll probably just enjoy the trail for its miles of open nature that run through the Cascade Mountain Range here. Best of all, you won't encounter large crowds, since this is on our list of practically secret national parks. With any national park you'll be visiting, make sure to have plenty of water for your pet, never leave them in a hot car, and make sure they're up to date with vaccines.
Article source: Reader's DigestPosted by request

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A Look At Why Ragdoll Kittens Are Popular
Ragdoll kittens are always in demand and are considered one of the many preferred cats today. They are beautiful because of the variety of colors and patterns they come in, but their docile and affectionate temperament really make them popular. They fit in easily with families and are easy to handle. Ragdoll may seem a strange name for a breed, but their bodies totally relax when they are picked up, just as if you were picking up a ragdoll. The Ragdoll breed is slow to mature and don't reach their full potential weight until three years old or older. They are large cats with semi longhair and a study body and frame, which is needed because they can weigh up to twenty pounds at full maturity. Generally females weigh anywhere from eight to fifteen pounds, but males get much larger with a weight anywhere from twelve to twenty pounds. Although large, they're very laid back.
They love affection and to be affectionate with cuddling and snuggling. It is common to find they'll follow you around the home and even try to join into family activities. Ragdolls are not your typical cat, uninterested in being independent and aloof. They can adapt quickly and get along with others pets in the home. And, just like every other living thing, each cat has its own unique personality, but for the most part they're all gentle, docile, and quiet.
Considered Pointed cats, their coloring starts with the darkest around the points of the body, like the face, ears, and tail, while the main color is cream or white. When the kittens are born, they are all white, their color comes in later. All Ragdoll cats have blue eyes and each comes in one of three main patterns which are the Bicolor, Mitted, and Points. The six main colors for those patterns are cream, lilac, blue, seal, flame, and chocolate.
A point pattern cat has the dark color only around the points and doesn't have white anywhere in their coat. While the mitted are same as the pointed but will have white feet in front and white boots, a white belly stripe, and white chin. Some may have a blaze pattern on the face, which is a white line or spot on the face. They must have a belly stripe that runs from the chin to the genitals and have a white chin. This helps to distinguish the Mitted Ragdolls from the Birmans.
The Bicolor is the only pattern with a lot of white in it. All four paws are white along with the underbody and chest. Their most distinguishing marking is the upside down V on the face in white. There are a few with white patches on the back also. When a cat has an excessive amount of white, then they are known to have a Van pattern. That doesn't occur too often though. A Bicolor pattern only has dark colors on the tail, ears, and the outside of the mask.
Whether this breed is chosen for its show quality or temperament, it is a popular choice for individuals and families alike. Ragdoll kittens are affectionate, playful, loving, and intelligent. They fit into any family easily and happily. With the many color combinations possible within the three patterns, each kitten is unique with their own personality.

Marine Solutions Provided by saltwater live rock
The right sort of an atmosphere makes a really strong impact on anyone. If you get to live in a space that is really comfortable and home-like, you are bound to be happier and healthier. This applies for your very own aquarium and the fish that reside in it. While these fish offer great comfort to your eyes and mind every day, they will not be comfortable in your aquarium. This is so because your aquarium doesnand#146;t really offer a sea-like ecosystem where they normally reside. You will be able to achieve this feat of making them feel comfortable in your aquarium by getting saltwater live rock.
Rocks from the ocean that have been introduced into an aquarium environment, is a live rock. It is so called as these rocks contain an enclosed marine ecosystem within them delivering life in the aquarium. While the rock isn't alive itself, it plays host to various microscopic and macroscopic organisms that effectively contribute towards transforming the aquarium into marine saltwater. Saltwater live rock normally consists of calcium carbonate skeletons of long dead corals and other calcareous organisms that restore a routine ecosystem for marine fishes in your aquarium.
One of the biggest reasons is the mere fact that it is rich in a diverse variety of corals, algae, sponges and other invertebrates on collection. Among the different kinds of options available, the Fiji live rock is really popular. Live rock from Fiji is distinct from the other kinds as it is porous and large. Usually, they are used to populate your aquarium with microorganisms that will create a marine like environment. Such an environment will be favorable for your fish and aquarium inmates that will improve their living conditions too.
You will be able to create a biological filter in your aquarium as the aerobic and anaerobic nitrifying bacteria in these rocks will process wastes well. They will keep the nitrogen cycle alive in your aquarium. Additionally, it will aid in the water chemistry of your aquarium by adjusting the pH appropriately by constantly releasing calcium in the water. Fiji live rock will look immensely creative and will offer a great look to your aquarium. Also, the porous nature of the rocks will offer shelter and protection to the smaller inhabitants of your aquarium. Various structures like caves, rock formations, arches, etc. can be created in your aquarium with these rocks.
Creating a great living condition for the residents of your beloved aquarium is simpler than you think. With the help of a tool that delivers a home like feeling, you can ensure that your aquarium is cared for and also keeps the inhabiting fish healthy and good looking. If your marine fish seem to be dull or not-so-lively in your aquarium, then the best solution here is to get saltwater live rock. These rocks will breathe life in your aquarium with the bounty of microorganisms that it brings along with it.

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How to Prolong the Life of your Cat!
If you are a cat lover or want to make sure your own cat does not get sick there are a few precautions that can be administered to help prevent against illness. By following three simple procedures you can ensure your cat lives a healthy and long lifestyle.
Similar to us, cats live in a world that is full of toxins, which reduce their immunity and makes them more susceptible to becoming ill. Most cats have a diet that lacks many of the nutritious substances that they need, so getting them what they lack will help their immune systems fight against illness. It is also a large factor that will in the long run save you money on purchasing medicines and vet bills.
1. Firstly make sure you read the labels featured on your cat s food before feeding. It is very important that your pet food states that the ingredients are made from proteins and shouldn't contain fillers, dyes or chemicals. Giving cat s moist food will help with prevention when it comes to urinary problems, but you can also mix canned food with kibble, as long as they contain healthy ingredients. If possible, give your cat organic food, since it is a lot healthier. 2. Secondly water, especially tap water contains many chemicals so it is important when possible to filter the water before pouring in to a bowl. By purchasing a quality tap filter you will without realising it be preserving your cat s immune system for a healthier and longer life.
3. Thirdly it is recommended that you give your cat supplements on a daily basis. Due to the high levels of toxins and pollution mixed with the amount of chemicals found in today s society it is advisable to take such precautions. Just like our own bodies the better health care you take the longer and healthier your lifestyle will become. Supplements are perfect for helping build up a good immune system especially using such aspects as herbs like Echinacea, Ginseng, Cat's Claw or Milk Thistle.
By following the steps mentioned above your cat will be able to live a much healthier lifestyle which in turn will increase its immune system prolonging the life span of your cat. One final aspect you should provide your cat or any pet for that matter is plenty of attention, love and exercise.
Most of the above steps are not paramount but are simple procedures to help your cat live a much healthier lifestyle and will prevent it against diseases. By following these steps your cat will look and feel at its best and will have a good chance of living out a long and happy life.

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How to Create the Prefect Home for your Rabbit
A modern trend in building indoor rabbit hutches is to make a bunny condo out of modular storage cube squares. Many hardware and home furnishing stores sell 14-inch square wire cube components for making modular storage units. These squares can be used to construct a multi-level rabbit house that provides sufficient space for all the requirements as specified by the House Rabbit Society.
Building a rabbit condo that is three squares wide, three squares high and two squares deep will create an area measuring more than 28 cubic feet in capacity. This is far more spacious than the normal dog carrier that many people use for housing their indoor rabbits.
When building a rabbit condo, several other considerations should be kept in mind. The bare wire floor should never be used by itself, but should be covered with a material such as plywood. For easiness in cleaning, covering the flooring and shelving with vinyl tiles or linoleum is recommended. However, it should not be too slippery a surface, as rabbit feet were intended for hopping on natural earth and grass, not on smooth artificial surfaces. Rabbits are extraordinary within our society as they are one of the few animals that are viewed as food by some people and as pets as others.
One attribute about rabbits that interferes with them enjoying free run within a home is their tendency for chewing. Although rabbits can be successfully trained to use a litter box, it is more challenging for them to be convinced not to chew such things as furniture legs and electrical wires.
House Rabbit require at least two levels, so they may jump up and down for work out. They need a supply of food, especially hay, as well as water. And, of course, a litter box is needed.

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10 tips for taking your canine companion out in public
They're called the Dog Days of summer for a reason, you know.
Between the patios and the picnics, the sidewalks and the social events, there are plenty of places that will welcome your pooch this summer. But getting him to behave — well, that part isn't always a walk in the park.
We asked professional dog trainer and behavior consultant Bradley Phifer to help us compile a list of best practices to make sure that you and your dog are best in show.
So what makes a well-behaved dog? According to Phifer, it's one that has a good temperament, is confident, outgoing and trusting, not fearful or phobic.
"Dogs are dogs; they eat feces, chase cats, dig in the mud and jump on people for attention. But proactive training teaches dogs expectations and good habits — most behavior is pattern and habit which allows the dog to self-reinforce," said Phifer, who has worked as a dog trainer since 2002. He favors the saying that a trained dog is a free dog.
Many local businesses, like Plump's Last Shot in Broad Ripple, are happy to welcome those well-mannered pups. The restaurant provides dog biscuits and bowls of fresh water to all of their four-legged guests and simply requests they be kept on a leash.
"It's one of the funnest things about working on the deck, is when it's filled with puppies," said bar manager Wendy Gay. In the 2½ years she has worked at Plump's, Gay reports that only one table had to leave (voluntarily) due to their dog's disruptive behavior.
Phifer said in situations like that, it's important for owners to identify red flags in the dog's behavior and create a training plan surrounding them.
"Our dogs should have a lot of freedom, but if we simply expose them without training, they won't just figure it out or get over it," he said.
Read on for 10 etiquette tips for dealing with pups in public.
1. Not everyone will love your dog as much as you do.
"As humans, we don't walk down the sidewalk shaking hands and hugging everyone we see, but because we love our dogs so much, we let them do what they want and it equates to rude behavior," said Phifer.
Remember, you may not mind the drool, jumping and shedding, but that doesn't mean other people would put up with it.
2. Pick up after them, please.
If you want a dog-friendly city or neighborhood, be a responsible dog owner. Put those little dog waste bags to use, dispose of them properly, and make sure your dog isn't digging or destroying property in the process.
3. We all need our space.
Not all dogs (or people for that matter) are comfortable with other dogs. "Some dogs may have personal space issues, and when we let our dogs run up without the owner's permission, we run the risk of a dog reacting badly," Phifer said. He recommends approaching the other dog's owner saying, "My dog is friendly, may he say hello?"
4. Skip the retractable leash.
While they're great for exercise and playing in open areas, Phifer warns against using a retractable leash for everyday use.
"They're not good for public use from a safety point of view. Dogs can bolt into the road, get the leash wrapped around their legs and yours, and it's easier for them to charge other dogs. We see people injured by these all the time."
5. Prepare your pup.
It's unfair to place your dog in a new environment and expect him to know how to behave. While sometimes the dog is being mischievous, Phifer said that more often than not, the behavior is due to a lack of preparation.
"If you take your dog with you to brunch and he starts acting up, it's because he's deemed the behavior quite appropriate. But if you just start shouting at him, he's thinking, 'I don't know what to do, I've never been to Patachou!' "
6. Be a good ambassador.
Before taking your dog into a public place, ask in advance if dogs are welcome.
Not every place is dog-friendly, but if it is, make sure your dog is being a good ambassador for dogs and their breeds by enforcing proper behavior.
7. Rethink the dog park.
The dog park is a great place for your dog to exercise and socialize, not a place for you to catch up on email, text your friends or try to beat your high score on Candy Crush.
"Dogs need proactive direction all the time. If you're not paying attention, he's off doing whatever he wants to do and you have no clue what's going on," said Phifer.

What other people should know about interacting with dogs in public:
8. Ask permission and offer an invitation.
If you see a dog and want to interact with it, ask the owner's permission, then ask the dog to come to you. Give the dog the option to approach or withdraw on its own. "Owners can't always read their dogs well­ — even if it's friendly and you take a step forward to pet that dog, you might be overwhelming him," said Phifer.
9. Take a hint.
Just as you wouldn't approach a scared, angry or scowling stranger for a hug, don't assume that every dog wants attention all the time. Watch for signs of stress like panting, licking, ears tight against the head or avoidance — all indicators that a dog is uncomfortable.
10. Stay cool.
A calm, soothing voice is just as reinforcing and fun as a high-pitched voice, and dogs are receptive to our energy levels. Using longer, lower tones will decrease a dog's excitement level, thus decrease jumping, mouthing and other unwanted behaviors.
By: Leslie Bailey Article Posted by request

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Snakes as pets
I've just read an article by PETA on why people shouldn't have snakes as pets. You know PETA the organization that would have us have no association with meat, no leather, no milk or dairy, no eggs and so on. Anyway reading their article, as someone who has kept pet snakes, I've never seen such a load of incorrect mis information in my life.
They say:
1. It’s a dirty business.
Breeders sell animals en masse, and most reptiles are stolen from their native habitats for a lucrative industry that treats sensitive and fragile animals with little more care than car parts. During a PETA investigation of a California dealer called Global Captive Breeders, snakes and other reptiles were so neglected that, in many cases, even their deaths went unnoticed. Enclosures were filled with rotting carcasses teeming with maggots.
In my experience
Very few wild caught snakes are sold to the public, most are captive bred going back several generations. As for the SINGLE instance of a negligent breeder from PETAs own investigation, there can be found negligent or careless people in all walks of life. One instance (which would appear to be hearsay as they don't back this claim up by any official authority, and PETA have long been rumoured to manufacture or "doctor" evidence) doesn't mean everyone is like that!
2. Snakes have specialized needs.
Even though dealers looking to make a profit may minimize what reptiles need, snakes require spectrum lighting and precise diets. They shun contact with humans, and being held, touched, petted, or passed around is stressful and leaves them prone to illness and injury. And since snakes don’t whine, yelp, or flinch, injuries may go unnoticed and untreated.
My experience
Yes snakes have special needs,some more than others. But the equipment to provide these needs is readily available and not hard to set up. Snake specialists (herpetologists), all agree generally snakes in captivity have a longer life span
3. A killing cycle.
Snakes eat rabbits, mice, and crickets, animals you’ll have to purchase at a pet store, further bolstering the industry.
From my experience
This is only partly true. Yes snakes are carnivores. PETA seems to overlook the facts that some snakes eat eggs exclusively, some eat slugs and snails, some eat ants,but of course that wouldn't attract the public pity like fluffy rabbits etc. Also many breeders of snakes breed their own rats and mice etc which doesn't bolster the industry at all.
4. Captivity is cruel.
Rather than exploring lush jungles and swamps and experiencing all the sensory pleasures that they’re so keenly attuned to, captive snakes are relegated to aquariums in which they can’t even stretch out to full length, much less move around or climb.
I say
Most vivariums, not AQUARIUMS, are equipped with branches etc for snakes to climb on, if they are a species that like to climb, not all do, some prefer to burrow into loose substrate. Snakes are possibly the most efficient animals at conserving their energy, they only move about when they have too, to hunt or find a mate. Many lay in ambush for days waiting for prey. Snakes don't like wide open spaces. Put a snake in avivarium twice it's length and it will stress, put it in one half it's lngth and it will settle down quite comfortably. As for stretching out full length, when was the last time anyone saw a live snake stretched out full length. I'm not sure they are capable of it.
5. Sky-high mortality.
A study published by the U.K.’s Royal Society of Biology found that at least 75 percent of pet snakes, lizards, tortoises, and turtles die within one year in a human home. It’s believed that most of these newly acquired animals die from stress related to captivity.
The facts
Only a very small percentage of baby snakes live through to adulthood in the wild
I'd like to know the specifics of this study... How many animals were involved and what percentage were actually snakes, as opposed to bunching several animal species into a group. How many of those were species that are considered difficult to keep (yes there are some that are). And how many of the keepers were experienced or at least had an experienced mentor. It seems a rather broad statement and not very specific, if the figures are even correct. Captive bred snakes that are accustomed to people handling them from birth don't stress out as much, but yes snakes do stress. If they are placed in their vivarium when first acquired and left undisturbed for a few days to settle in they are usually fine. It's a fact that captive snakes have a longer life expectancy than their wild counterparts
Who keeps snakes as pets?
Popular misconception is that Rockstars, MC gang members, punks etc keep snakes as pets. Many do, but so do many ordinary everyday people. When I lived in Sydney Australia and had pet snakes, my GP was fascinated by the concept and kept wanting me to sow him. Eventually I showed him my Diamond python and he loved it. He went and got himself one. Little kids keep them, doctors lawyers people from all walks of life keep them.
The following is an article by journalist Violet Fenn. Which I'm sure she won't mind me reposting, in defence of snakes as pets
Forget dogs or cats – Here’s why snakes make the best pets
Violet Fenn

Who’s a pretty boy then? (Picture: Getty – For illustrative purposes only)
The internet went into meltdown recently at the sight of a panicking baby iguana being chased by a seething pack of racer snakes on the BBC’s wonderful new series, Planet Earth II.
Viewers shrieked at their televisions, urging the little critter on and cheering when he finally made it to safety by the skin of his scales.
But a few of us would admit to being a tiny bit disappointed at the result. Cute as the little lizard was, all creatures need to eat – and that includes the slithery ones.
Poor snakes, going without their lunch!
I’ve always had a soft spot for snakes, and having recently acquired one of my own – a Slowinski’s corn snake called Buddy – I’ve been surprised by just how easy and rewarding he is to keep.
These days I jump to the defence of his distant family when people accuse snakes of being ‘slimy’ (they’re actually smooth and dry), cold (only if they are in a chilly place – as cold-blooded reptiles they take their warmth from their surroundings) and well, basically a bit mean (maybe some of them are, but then I’m pretty sure some budgerigars have had it in for me in the past).
What people fail to understand is that snakes are AWESOME. Firstly, they lend themself to endless ridiculous names – ‘danger noodle’ and ‘nope rope’ are the current favourites in my house.
They don’t run away when you baby them and pretend they’re cute – ‘ooooh baby, mummy loves your ickle boop snoot!’ Once they’ve had their weekly dinner, most snakes would be happy enough to not see you at all until the next time you pop up with a tasty dead mouse (which nowadays can be bought ready-frozen from most good pet stores).
Need to be away from home for more than a week? No problem at all – just feed your snake a slightly bigger mousey before you go away and he or she will be perfectly fine until you reappear.
Buddy lives in a plastic vivarium on the worktop in our kitchen and his very favourite pastime is to watch me cooking, his head swaying from side to side as he follows my every move.
I like to think he’s keeping a loving eye on his mummy, but I’m well aware that actually, he’s probably trying to work out whether he’d be able to dislocate his jaws enough to get them round my face (the answer is obviously no, but I’m pretty sure he’d give it a good go).
He also likes to come out for a cuddle – so long you understand ‘cuddle’ to mean ‘wind round and round my neck whilst debating whether or not to make a leap for freedom and corner the chihuahua‘.
But once he’s had his fun, he’s happy to simply hang out – literally – and enjoy my company.
Anyone who meets Buddy – even those who dislike reptiles in general – is impressed by how nice he is.
Jenny Jones, who runs Reptile Rescue SOS in Cardiff, thinks that more people should take time to get to know snakes and learn just how rewarding they can be as pets:
Snakes are fascinating creatures and providing they are treated with respect, will come to trust their owners and enjoy coming out of their tanks to explore and interact with people. If you have allergies to cats, dogs or birds, snakes are a perfect choice for a pet! They usually shed their skin in one go and it is easy to pick up and dispose of.
Snakes don’t make any noise, so if you live in a flat or have close neighbours there’s no worry that it will bark when you are not there, rip up furniture or leave little ‘presents’ for you on the carpet.
Snakes are relatively low maintenance pets. Once their vivarium is set up, adult snakes generally only need one good meal a week and they’re happy so long as they have access to fresh water, a heat source and a few hidey holes in their tank.
If you take care of their needs, keep their tank clean and regularly check them for any signs that they may be unwell, species such as corn snakes (probably the most common ‘beginner’ snake), are relatively hardy.
Snakes live for a long time – generally 15 years or more – so there are no worries about getting a new family pet only to have heartbroken children when it dies a few months later.
There are plenty of forums, online communities,individuals and rescue organisations such as ourselves who are more than happy to help you out with husbandry advice, etc.
When you look at a snake, you are seeing the result of millions of years of evolution right in front of you. Having a snake is like owning a little bit of wild. And they need all the friends and help they can get!
But even to snake fans, the sight of those racers zipping across our screens on Planet Earth was undoubtedly quite unnerving.
I asked Daniel Hawthorn, an ecologist who specialises in herpetology (the study of amphibians and reptiles), if he could offer anything to convince people that the snakes weren’t entirely the bad guys in that situation:
The Planet Earth footage certainly wasn’t in the favour of the snakes. Of course we don’t watch a scene like that and root for the chasers, especially when the intended prey is a cute, newly hatched baby.
The footage showed the snakes as a slithering army hell bent on catching the iguana, and ophidiophobia – the fear of snakes – is a common condition, so it’s no wonder it got the reaction it did. But what we were actually seeing was a group of animals desperately in need of a meal. Hatchling season is bonanza time and without it these snakes would struggle to survive.
Snakes are important ecological contributors and there’s also a great deal of research showing that compounds in certain snake venoms are important for the treatment of a range of medical conditions. Give snakes a break!
Yes, snakes can be scary. But every living thing needs to eat – it’s the circle of life, after all – and having scales rather than fur doesn’t make a critter less deserving.
Be brave and reconsider snakes – they really are the perfect pet!
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Perfecting Your Dog’s Manners: A Guide to Mastering Public Etiquette from the Comfort of Home
It used to be that every time you left the house, you had to leave Fido behind no matter where you were going. These days, there are all kinds of dog-friendly businesses that will welcome him, but it can become a question of whether he should tag along. If your pup is a little rough on his public etiquette skills, it’s a good idea to work on building them at home.
This guide will demonstrate the ways you can use your own home to help your dog perfect his public etiquette skills, whether you want to visit a park, restaurant or bar where dogs are permitted. Keep in mind that some dogs may need more time to make the transition from practicing at home to venturing out into public, especially if they have trouble socializing in general. For dogs with severe social anxiety or aggression issues, seek additional guidance from a qualified trainer or behavioral specialist.
(NOTE: In addition to his refined manners, always make sure your canine companion is up-to-date on all necessary shots, vaccines and pest treatments before bringing him into a public space.)
Start With the Basics
Part of what makes going out in public with your dog so tricky is that you aren’t completely in control of his environment. There are all kinds of foreign sights, smells and people that will immediately surround him, not to mention the endless sounds he’ll be hearing. It can be overwhelming, and it’s not something you can rush your dog into if he’s spent most of his time at home.
Basic leash training is a great place to start since you’ll need it no matter where you take your pooch. Some dogs see most of their leash time on walks around the neighborhood or trips to the vet and may not spend much time on their leash indoors, so make sure yours understands that the same rules apply no matter the setting: he should walk at a distance that leaves a little bit of slack on the leash, match his pace to yours, and never pull or attempt to drag you in any direction. This kind of obedience is particularly important when you’re navigating through a maze of tables at a café or between crowds of people at a bar.
Practice walking with him through the house on his leash, possibly even rearranging some furniture to create the general layout of a café or restaurant. Lead your pup through specific pathways, making sure he follows closely behind or next to you and doesn’t pull or veer off. Make a few sudden stops, change directions, and allow for some distractions; perhaps your partner could sit on the couch while you lead your dog past without stopping. Try it with music on and in different kinds of lighting.

If you have a large family — or even just a few friends or neighbors over — try working with your dog on how he handles crowds. It won’t be an exact comparison to being in a public setting since he’ll be familiar with everyone there, but it can be a good opportunity to practice weaving through people in a crowded space. He should understand (and demonstrate) that no matter where he is or who else he sees, he is always to follow and obey whoever is guiding him on the leash.
Next, start fine-tuning your dog’s basic obedience skills. Sit, stay, come, and down are all going to be the most important commands when you’re in public together, so make those your priority. Additionally, see how Fido does with being tethered to you. Should you go to a dog-friendly restaurant or café, you’ll want to be sure he won’t feel panicked while restrained or try to flee if something startles him. Nothing ruins a meal like being dragged across the room mid-bite!
If your pup isn’t great with obedience skills to begin with, make sure you train in a quiet, distraction-free area. As he gets to be more consistent — not only in his training sessions but also in his daily routine — start making your training more challenging:
Play music in the background
Have other people walk in, then stay in the room
Ask a friend or family member to create loud (but not frightening) noises
Have food nearby
Move your lessons outside
You won’t be able to replicate every possible scenario you and your dog will encounter on your outings together, but you can help him learn to focus despite distractions.
Public Dining Etiquette
Building strong table manners in your pet is important both at home and in public. After all, no one likes to deal with a dog begging for scraps while they’re eating, especially at a restaurant! Preparing Fido to be a polite dining companion might require you to change up your everyday mealtime routine if he’s usually not allowed near the table; as you start to make the shift, talk to your family or roommates about the new plan and make sure everyone is committed to enforcing the new rules.
There are a few main skills you’ll want to focus on when it comes to dining etiquette. Your dog should:
Be comfortable sitting or lying somewhere close by, but clear of walking paths;
Never beg for food;
Limit sniffing around the floor, table, and chairs for scraps.
Start by leashing your dog (this may also act as a cue to him that mealtime rules will be different — leash off means he must stay in the other room while you eat, leash on means he must sit in a designated spot quietly, for example) and walking him calmly to the table. Pick a spot for him to sit or lie down that will be out of the usual walking paths. If Fido tends to be somewhat territorial, it might help to have family or roommates walk past him throughout the meal. If he barks, growls, or is otherwise aggressive as people pass, scold and correct this behavior. Alternatively if he’s calm and collected as someone walks by, be sure to praise him for his composure.
Some owners like to bring a nice chew bone or other treat that will keep their dog occupied while they dine. Bear in mind that this might not be the best option for dogs with possessive tendencies, especially if there will be other dogs around that he might think will try to steal his toy. Choose something that is quiet (or at the very least doesn’t squeak) and avoid toys that your dog will immediately destroy. Be prepared to clean up any debris he leaves behind; your home training sessions will give you a good idea of what will be too messy to bring in public. Chew bones are often an ideal choice since they aren’t messy and don’t make much noise. However, if your dog tends to be a loud chewer, it could be incredibly disruptive in a quieter café setting. Additionally you should only choose toys that won’t hurt his belly. Long-lasting chew sticks might be his favorite treat and probably won’t be a problem while you’re polishing his etiquette at home, but the anxiety of being in public might cause your dog to get a bit overzealous in devouring the stick and could even cause stomach issues.

Even if he’s got a bone to keep him occupied, your pup might be tempted to beg for food when he sees it. Correct this behavior immediately as you train him, and never feed him scraps directly from your table. No matter how sad and hungry he looks, it’s important to remind yourself that you are a loving pet owner who feeds their dog well. Plus, if you give in even just once, you’ll reinforce the idea that begging for food actually works; it’s confusing for dogs to get out of this mindset once they’ve been appeased. Once you make the switch to a public setting, he’ll probably be getting plenty of extra attention anyway (and some establishments even offer dog-friendly options on their menus), so don’t let him lose sight of the rules just because you’re not at home.
Park Etiquette
Whether it’s so you can visit the park down the street or a local dog park, there are plenty of ways to prepare your dog from the comfort of your own yard. Outdoor leash training is a must, especially if your dog is prone to pulling. Lead him through the backyard on his leash. Walk at a leisurely pace, then more quickly. Practice making sudden stops, and have him heel and sit at your side. The two of you should be able to walk cohesively together no matter the speed, time of day, or exact location in your yard.
Off-leash dog parks are wonderful for Fido, but can be more difficult to train for. You’ll need to be sure your pooch always comes when called, so practice in the backyard. Call him over periodically while he’s playing, and reward him each time he obeys. If you have a particularly large yard, be vigilant about keeping him in your sight and call him back if he wanders too far. Even if you won’t be doing any leash training that day, practice calling him over with his leash in your hands. If he isn’t a fan of being restrained, he might be less inclined to obey a “Come” command if he sees the leash. The better he gets at obeying you at home, the more easily his skills will translate to a public setting.

Trips to the park will inevitably mean socializing with other dogs. Try inviting your friends and neighbors over with their own pups — throwing a dog-friendly barbecue can be the perfect opportunity — but don’t overwhelm him with canine company if he’s not used to it. Seeing another dog in his yard (in his territory) can make Fido feel anxious even if he’s typically friendly, so start with a single play date and work your way up to groups. Practice your leash training and obedience skills while other dogs and people are present in the yard; remember, he needs to be able to focus on obeying you despite any distractions.
If your dog isn’t used to going out in public with you, start with low-pressure settings like a quiet café or small park at non-peak hours. Keep up with consistent training at home, and ease him into busier locations as his skills get stronger. If you see him regress into poor manners, refine the specific skills he’s lacking and consider making this training a regular part of your home routine. In time, he’ll know exactly what to do no matter where you go. He might even have the best public etiquette skills of any dog in your neighborhood!
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Why Adopting a Shelter Pet Is Good for Your Wallet and Your Soul
Adopting shelter pets saves lives and money, but it can also improve your health and wellness.
By Beverly Bird
The history of pet ownership dates back to prehistoric times when man first discovered that it was possible to train wolves, the common ancestor of all modern-day dogs. Today, 65 percent of U.S. households own at least one pet, according to the 2015-2016 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey.
While millions of dogs, cats and other animals have found loving homes, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that 3.3 million dogs and 3.2 million cats enter animal shelters nationwide every year.
National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day is the perfect time to bring home a new furball, but first check out a few financial reasons you should consider adopting shelter pets.

Shelter Pets Costs Less
Adoption makes good fiscal sense because it costs far less to rescue a pet from a shelter than it does to buy one from a breeder or pet store.
Costs can vary depending on where you live and whether you're interested in adopting a cat or a dog. Costs can range from as low as $20 for a cat or dog in Minnesota to $325 for a young puppy in western Pennsylvania, but the average national runs around $100 for dogs and $50 for cats.
Now compare that to what it would cost you to purchase a pet from a breeder or a pet store. In all likelihood, you'll pay more than $1,000.

Shelter Pets Are Spayed or Neutered and Vaccinated
Shelter personnel don't just unceremoniously dump a furball in your arms when you pay the adoption fee. Virtually all shelters spay or neuter the new addition to your family before sending him home with you.
Additionally, dogs and cats up for adoption are always up to date on their vaccines, which means you won't have to take an immediate trip to the vet. According to Pet360, some shelters will even microchip animals at a reduced price.
You'll pay a lot extra for these things if you buy from a breeder or a pet shop. The American Kennel Club estimates that veterinary costs alone run about $650 a year.

Adopting Helps Animal Shelters Provide Care
When you give your money to a shelter rather than a store or breeder, you're helping support other animals that are being cared for by that shelter.
Some of your adoption fee goes toward the shelter's costs incurred by spaying or neutering, vaccinating and microchipping the animals it houses. Your money helps pay for their care as well. It also contributes to the maintenance and upkeep of the shelter and to public education about the plight of these animals.

Pet Adoption Hurts Puppy and Kitten Mills
Possibly the most morally rewarding reason to adopt a shelter pet is to help put an end to breeding facilities, better known as kitten and puppy mills.
Female animals at these facilities are kept in cages and continuously impregnated throughout the duration of their lives. These animals are often killed when they reach an age where they can't successfully breed anymore.
When you buy a dog or cat from a pet store, you are almost certainly getting an animal bred at a mill, according to the Humane Society of the United States. This is, of course, not always the case when purchasing an animal from private breeders, thought it might be true of some.

Shelter Pets Receive Health and Behavioral Screens
Shelters screen all of their animals prior to placing them up for adoption. Screens include extensive health exams, so you can know if the animal you are considering adopting has any health problems that may cost you more money down the line.
Shelters also screen their animals for any behavioral problems — such as incompatibility with other animals — and make an effort to treat any problems found. Many shelters will take their screening process a step further by writing detailed documents that outline an animal's personality and likes and dislikes, which helps ensure you get the best animal for your lifestyle.

Older Shelter Pets Might Be Trained
Many people prefer to adopt animals when they are young, but older animals might have one thing younger animals never have: training.
Not only does training an animal require a significant time commitment, it's often expensive too. A six-week individual puppy training class at PetSmart is $119. Add to that the cost of books you might want to buy to help supplement your furry friend's training.
Even when older animals are not fully trained, they often recognize simple cues like "sit" and "stay." They've also usually been housebroken, so you can skip the whole chewing-on-everything, the-world-is-my-bathroom phase — saving you money on home goods.

Pet Adoption Saves Animal Lives
According to the ASPCA, approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters ever year. Millions of them are euthanized because they do not find homes.
When you choose to adopt rather than shop, you are saving the life of your pet. What's more, when your pet leaves the shelter, he makes room for a new animal to take his place. If that animal is adopted, you have effectively saved the lives of two animals. Now that's making a difference.

Shelter Pets Can Bring You Joy and Good Health
One of the greatest reasons to adopt a shelter pet is to boost your happiness and health.
Numerous studies, including ones conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have found that pets can have a myriad of positive health effects, including decreased blood pressure, cholesterol levels and more. Additionally, pets often increase opportunities for exercise and socialization.
Working to improve your health and well being now can lessen health costs you might have down the line.
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A Quick Guide on Buying Tropical Fish Tanks
One of the main considerations in taking care of tropical fish is your selection of tropical fish tank. Since there are many tropical fish tanks to choose from, outlined here are the factors you need to consider in making your selection.
One important factor to look at is the fish tank size. Aside from the space that it would take in your home, youd need to look for the correct size of fish tank for the fish that youre planning to take care of. The general rule of thumb is, the bigger, the better. Bigger tropical fish tanks give fish more room to swim in and disperse the toxins from the nitrogen cycle better. You can choose from 60, 80, 100 and 120 cm sizes of fish tanks. The size selection would depend on the type and number of fish that will occupy the fish tank. It also depends on the behavior of the fish that youre getting. Typically, marine tropical fish prefer larger tanks for more swimming room. The age of the fish is also a factor; you should have a tank that can accommodate the growth of young fish.
Next to consider is the type of fish tank to select in terms of construction and shape. Generally, you can choose from glass and acrylic in construction, and rectangle and round for the shapes. The shapes of fish tanks have lots of varieties, but the common types are round and rectangular tanks.
As for construction, you can choose from either glass or acrylic aquariums. The advantage of glass is that its cheaper and is more resilient to scratches. Glass tropical fish tanks are also perfect for marine tropical fish since its not affected by salinity. The downside is its heavier and prone to breaking and cracks. Acrylic is lighter and tougher, though it can scratch easily and is more expensive.
Next, you need to know the equipment that you need. Tropical fish tanks need special devices to ensure that tropical fish would survive in your aquarium. Aside from the basic setup, such as an aerator, filter, and lighting, you would also need a heater and a thermometer.
Through those two devices, youre mimicking the conditions of the fishs original habitat. This ensures that the fish are properly acclimatized, and you ensure the adaptation of the fish in its new environment.
These are some of the important considerations when choosing your tropical fish tank. By being aware of these factors, you ensure that youll give the best place to live in for your tropical fish. And this leads to healthier fish and a more rewarding experience for you in taking care of tropical fish.

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Things That We Can Learn From Pets
At times, people learn greatest lessons from the sources that they never expected to learn from. One the greatest sources for learning great lessons of life is one's own pet. Having a pet teaches different things that help individuals in leading their life in a proper manner. Additionally owning a pet is helpful in reducing stress, eliminating depression and improving quality of life for many pet owners. It reduces blood pressure and boosts immunity as well. Whether one owns a Persian cat or a bull dog, each pet can teach us many lessons.
After owning a pet it is obvious that many people do research to and find information related to their pets. Usually pet owners seek knowledge about their pet's origin, likes and dislike, and care requirements. Fortunately, after being informed about their pet's requirement, pet owners ensure that they have a happy and healthy pet. Also doing research before owning a pet can help people in making a right decision.
After owning a pet, pet owners become good at setting and adjusting their routine according to their pets. Their feeding, playing, walking and similar tasks are properly organized. The greatest benefit of setting routine with pets is that it not only helps in keeping owners organized but also helps in developing deeper bond with the animal.
Another great thing that can be learned after owning a pet is the budgeting. People who keep pets prepare budgets according to their requirements as keeping some pets are much more expensive than others. The most important thing is that all the pet animals require is adequate supplies, space and care. It is also necessary that some money should be saved for emergency as well such as accidents, illness or diseases.
The greatest thing owners learn after owning a pet is to remain patient for all the annoying activities that their pets do. It is true that at some cases the patience displayed by owner is worth rewarding. It is because that pet takes time to learn something new and get trained if proper training is provided to them. Pet owner after being involved in this process learns to remain patient.
Whether we learn all the above mentioned things from pet or not but surely one thing that we can learn from every pet is the unconditional love which is hard to learn from other people in this world.

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The Benefits Of Adopting A Companion Animal While In Addiction Recovery
Addiction recovery is a time for major change: figuring out a new routine, learning to cope with life’s stress in healthy ways, and rebuilding relationships that may have been damaged. For many, it can be a lonely process. Some may not be able to return home to their families right away, others might have few sober friends to come home to at all. But a solid support system is an important aspect of staying clean; no one should have to go it alone.
“But who says your support system has to be humans-only?”
Companion animals are a wonderful option for addicts in recovery, and this guide will demonstrate just how much you can benefit from adopting one. Whether you choose a dog, cat, bird, lizard, rabbit, or any other creature, you’re sure to find a loyal best friend who can be everlasting support during this crucial time.

Leaving treatment can be intimidating. One moment you’re in a controlled environment surrounded by people who genuinely understand you; the next, you’re right back in the real world where temptation and judgment are abound. Although many people can appreciate someone working to get their life back on track, not everyone will be compassionate. Some may even need some time before they’re ready to re-initiate contact with you. And while your loved ones have a right to their feelings, it doesn’t make things any easier if you’re coming back with limited support.
One of the greatest qualities about pets is that they are completely non-judgmental. They know nothing about your past — your substance abuse, your mistakes, your fight for sobriety, nothing.
The Benefits Of A Companion Animal
To the animal you rescue, you have one major role: savior. The moment a pet realizes he is yours and you are his, you become instant partners without hesitation. He will be by your side the moment you need him, and always give you the benefit of the doubt. Because the truth is, even if he did know about your past, he wouldn’t care. Animals have an amazing sense of compassion across species lines, and this is especially true when it comes to an owner who’s feeling a little low. Whether it’s perching on your shoulder or curling up on your lap, your companion will never hesitate to show you affection, especially when you’re down.

Owning a pet can also be a big help in getting you back into a normal routine. It might be tempting to snooze the alarm to get a little extra sleep before work, but if you have a dog that needs to be walked, you’re obligated to get up and get your day started. And though you may resent having to get out of bed in the moment, pets have awesome ways of making your commitment to them worth the work with snuggles, tail wags, or simply the effort to be near you. It’s a rewarding, productive way to wake up, and aligning the rest of your schedule with your pet has its benefits, as well. If you have the tendency to skip dinner, for example, get into the habit of feeding your pet before cooking. Your pet likely won’t let you forget, and it’s a simple transition from feeding him to preparing a quick plate for yourself.
Caring for a living creature also gives you an important sense of purpose. You might be feeling unfulfilled if you’re having trouble getting acclimated to work or aren’t connecting well with loved ones, but a pet gives you a reason to get up in the morning and something to look forward to at the end of the day. Your family may not depend on you the way they once did, but your companion genuinely needs you. They look to you for their food, water, and shelter; your companion animal trusts you implicitly to care for his every need. In return, you regain the self-confidence that you can not only care for yourself, but for another. It can demonstrate to others that you’re ready to take on responsibilities, which may even help when it comes to visiting your children.
A Companion Animal Will Keep You Active
Having an ever-ready exercise buddy in your pet can keep you motivated: just because you are willing to sacrifice your evening walk doesn’t mean your pet is, and he’ll keep you on your toes until he can burn off his energy. Opting for a smaller companion? Maybe your bird enjoys the soothing music you listen to while doing yoga or your lizard likes to venture on his leash into the backyard. Incorporate your pet into your activities whenever it’s safe and permitted — they have a way of making exercise seem less like work and more like play, which means you’ll be a lot more likely to stay active!
Learning To Socialize Again

Perhaps one of the greatest challenges of sobriety is learning to socialize again. For some, substances were always a part of any social gathering prior to sobriety, and for others, it’s tough to open up and trust again; overcoming those challenges and accepting a new way of handling relationships takes time and practice. Pets can ease the pressure by acting as an easy icebreaker. Going to the dog park and chatting with the owner of the pug your dog is playing with is low-pressure but engaging. The conversation will likely stay light, helping you ease back into positive communication without any expectations. If someone turns down your initial interaction, choose to see it as practice for learning positive ways to cope with perceived rejection.
There are a dozen potential reasons that the stranger acts aloof, but accepting that you can’t control the reactions of others is an important part of recovery — and it’s much easier to learn when it’s not a loved one. Besides, you’ll be heading home with your best friend before long, and tomorrow you can try again with a different neighbor.
Indoor Pets

Indoor pets can alleviate some social pressures, too, especially when you have company. The best friend you haven’t seen since treatment may not know exactly what to say to you at first, but meeting your new cat is a great way to ease into small chat. Does your bird know any tricks or songs he can perform? Does your rabbit like to explore every inch of the house when he’s out of the cage? Having a story about your pet can keep things light enough to get the ball rolling with conversation, putting you and your loved one at ease. Not ready to have people over? Talking about your pet is an easy, interesting topic to engage someone in while grabbing a cup of coffee together or heading to a meeting.
In addition to facilitating social situations, the act of owning and interacting with a pet can also help build those skills. You might not be ready to be completely open with your loved ones about your history and current sobriety status, so start by confiding in your pet. Try talking out a problem to him so that you’re more eloquent when you reach out to friends and family. Practice important conversations so you’re confident when they arise. See examples below. The more you can think about and actually practice what you’ll say, the better you’ll be able to communicate and hopefully mend fences more effectively.

“What would you say to your former dealer if they invited you to go party?”
“What do you want to say to the brother you haven’t spoken to in years?”
“How do you explain to your spouse that you never meant to hurt him or her?”

Leaning on your pet for emotional support isn’t just about becoming a better speaker, either. It’s therapeutic. He’ll always be ready to listen — night or day, holidays, weekends, whenever — and won’t offer his opinion. He won’t look at you any differently no matter what you say. You can vent to him about a bad day at work or address an underlying issue that came out in your addiction counseling. You can even tell him a joke when you need a laugh. Whatever you need to talk about, your pet will always be there to listen and love.

Pets can also be an excellent distraction in recovery. Too much idle time can lead a person to dwell on all their challenges and their seemingly small odds to overcome them; but with a pet, there’s something outside of your addiction status to focus on. You might really miss having that glass of wine after work, but having your cat as a lap-warmer instead can certainly ease the sting. It can take a few weeks to adjust to staying in most nights and avoiding temptation, but having your pet at your side makes you feel more confident and supported in your endeavor.
You can even use your pet to completely replace old behaviors: the Saturday afternoons you used to spend at the bar can now be spent at the dog park or teaching your bird new tricks. Not only will you eliminate the association to your past life, you’ll look forward to the replacement activity.
Finding The Right Pet At The Right Time

It’s important to note that you should never adopt a pet without accepting that it is a years-long commitment. If you aren’t sure you’re ready for major caregiving responsibilities, start with lower maintenance animals like fish or hamsters. Don’t jump into a bigger commitment than you’re ready for, and do check with your family or roommates ahead of time. Let them know that caregiving will be your own responsibility and you’re fully committed; remember, leaving someone else to care for your pet is not only neglect, it completely voids the benefits of pet ownership and your credibility for handling responsibilities.
There is mixed advice on when the right time to adopt a pet is. Talk to your sponsor and/or counselor about your options, and take their advice with care. Consider volunteering at a local rescue organization until you’re ready to adopt. You’ll have the chance to feed, socialize, and play with wonderful animals, and play an important role in supporting them until they find a forever home. You might even consider it a sort of rewarding penance: your life was saved in treatment, and now you’re returning the favor by helping save the lives of animals.
Consider Adopting A Rescue Animal
When you’re ready to make the commitment, adopting a rescue is your most valuable option. Both you and the animal will have unique insight that can truly impact one another — each of you has come from a difficult situation, and each now faces a brand new way of life. You both may fear you’ll be judged unfairly or that the past will repeat itself. This understanding and compassion can only bond you with your new pet, and perhaps even make you the best possible companions for each other.
Companion Animals Can Provide Everlasting Support
Though it comes with plenty of challenges, going through addiction recovery with a companion animal also has its share of rewards. Having a companion animal to stand by you in the dark times and celebrate with you in the light might be one of the best choices you ever made — and you’ll have many years to make the most of it. is a comprehensive resource that can help find treatment options that include a companion animal to help you find sobriety.
Contact us today, and get started on a better path towards hope and better health
Article source: Drug
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Things You Need To Know Before Getting Yourself A Parrot
Having a parrot at home is very entertaining since it can mimic different sounds and voices. Kids enjoy parrots love to play with these birds. But, for added information, parrots are not always adorable and easy to handle especially if you are not that into rearing pets. Some things are ought to be considered first before you decide on buying yourself one. Go through the article and think about it intently. These birds are quite expensive, so if you purchase one, you'll have to take care of it.
1. Parrots can be very loud
You may enjoy hearing mimicries from your pet parrot, but after some time, you will then realize how it can be a bothersome to have non-stop noise coming from your own pet at home. If you want peace and quiet around your home, parrots don't suit you. They don't produce sounds similar to the sounds some birds make. And the bigger the parrot is, the louder the sound it produces.
Parrots are able to scream so loud, you'd be surprised how loud it could be; even you neighbors can clearly hear it scream for at least twice a day. All the screaming can last up to 5 to 15 minutes.
2. Parrots love to play
Keep in mind that parrots aren't able to identify the distinction between a wooden toy it is allowed to play with and wooden furniture your ancestors handed down to you. If they chew on your priceless furniture, there's nothing you can do about it.
It is not just wood they enjoy chewing on; even electric wires, books, papers, and basically anything it gets contact with. Be careful because they can also destroy wallpapers and clothes if they have access to these.
3. Parrots bite and scratch
Unfortunately, parrots are not that obedient creatures like you think they are. Small birds like the parakeets are also able to bite and injure you with its claws. Injuries can result to serious damages on your skin so be very cautious.
These birds can even break small human bones if it bites hard enough and cause further damages. But this is not to say that parrots are by nature a dangerous kind of bird to have. They actually bite and use its claws if it feels threatened by people or creatures it is not used to yet. And as a defense mechanism from all threats it encounters, it bites and uses claws to scratch. So be cautious when coming near a parrot especially if it is your first contact with the bird.

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Getting The Right Dog For You
There are lots of points to consider when choosing the right dog for your home. Considering the variety of different breeds to choose from, including mixed breeds, the choices can be a little overwhelming. The first place to really start is with your life style.
Are you a person who works a lot, or does not have time to really spend grooming and taking care of a dog? How active are you in general? Do you stay at home a lot, or do you like to do a variety of activities? Some dogs need lots of attention, exercise and love. How large of a house or apartment do you have? A big dog is not good for someone or a family that does not have much room, maybe a smaller breed is preferable.
The time you have to spend with your pet is also important. Unlike cats who appear to not care much about their owners until they want something, a dog is rather much like having a child. They should be nurtured and trained, provided with a balanced diet, groomed routinely, and also taken in for regular medical checkups.
One of the more important aspects of caring for a dog is grooming. Long hair dogs especially must be groomed often, or else you will be cleaning dog hair up from the floor and furniture on a constant basis. Unlike cats who groom themselves, dogs don't spend a lot of time ensuring their fur is nice and neat, this is your responsibility. Without regular grooming, a dog's fur might get matted and this can damage their skin. If you take your pet outside often, they can pick up thistles and other debris that can be tracked into the house, as well as fleas and ticks. No matter what kind of dog, it is recommended to get them some kind of tick and flea control, in addition to keeping up with all their important shots.
You also have to consider that you need to have a dog license. Even the best intentioned puppy owners, ones that try their very best to keep their pets leashed and under control, will surely have times when their animal gets away from them. A license is required by law, and must be renewed regularly, to show that your pet is updated on their rabies shots.
If you have any queries about what breed might be good for you, invest some time talking to a local vet. They see a lot of breeds, and can provide insight on what it will be like to live with that kind of pet. They will probably be happy to answer a couple of questions and help you make sure that your new pet dog will be the right fit for your home.
The place you get your dog is just as important. A lot of people choose to seek a breeder, or go to a pet store, and while this is a great way to get a new puppy, there are also other alternatives. Shelters are a wonderful spot to get your dog, since these animals through no fault of their own have come here and want a new home with loving owners.

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People Food that are Poisonous to Dogs
If you want a healthy pet, stick to the foods recommended by dog experts. This means that pet parents should avoid giving the dog people foods to avoid poisoning. A pet parent will certainly prevent from eating if it is known that the food is poisonous. However, not many people are aware that some common human foods can have toxic effects on the dog.
Dogs have huge appetites and they are also omnivorous thus anything will be eaten. They can gain a lot of healthful benefits from fruits. Fruits are loaded with vitamins that will enhance the immune system of the dog and also strengthen the intestinal muscles for easier waste elimination. Grapes and avocados though must be kept away. An unknown substance in grapes and raisins is toxic as it can cause severe kidney damage. The avocado fruit as well as the leaves, bark and pit are extremely dangerous as ingestion causes not only breathing difficulties but also the accumulation of fluid in the chest, abdomen and heart.
Choclolate, tea and coffee are other poisonous foods to dogs as the caffeine in coffee and tea as well as the theobromine in chocolates stimulates the heart and nervous system often causing fatal results. A dog lover would always be amused by dogs that have learned to do tricks. It would be a big accomplishment if the owner can teach the dog to drink beer from the can but ingestion of alcoholic beverages would have ill effects that can result to the death of the pet.
Beer and other alcoholic drinks contain ethanol, the compound has poisonous effects. Dogs that have ingested alcoholic beverages will exhibit signs of respiratory depression as the ethanol is absorbed by the body. Immediate medical attention is imperative for dogs that have swallowed sizeable amounts of alcoholic beverage as inducing vomiting will not help the pet. Onion is another common human food that is poisonous to dogs. This pungent bulb has thiosulfate, a substance that destroys red blood cells. Foods containing onions must not be given as the thiosulfate is not destroyed by cooking. A large dose or small but regular doses of onions can cause the death of the dog.
It should never be assumed that foods eaten by humans are also safe for dogs. They have different metabolism thus foods that are perfectly safe for humans can have poisonous effects when consumed.


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