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Pets

  • Bringing home a new puppy can be exhilarating, but it can also be daunting at the same time. If you do not have a human child and the puppy is your first foray into parenthood, being prepared is half the battle. Who better to take advice from than someone who lived through it? My wife and I brought home a three-month-old Whoodle (Wheaten Terrier/Poodle mix) named Poppy. We do not have any kids, so this was the first time another life became dependent on us. Putting that into perspective, we were nervous, to say the least. When we picked her up, we had nothing but a blanket to wrap her in for the 2-hour drive home. I wish we had this article to reference beforehand. I'm going to break down what you need on the first day, and some additional niceties that can wait.
    October 10, 2019
  • Aquariums are no longer a basic little plastic or glass box to be forgotten about in the corner of a child’s room. The kits available nowadays come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many look like works of art all on their own with sleek edges and modern colors. There are so many aquariums out there to choose from it’s usually best to first decide what fish you would like to house. There are desktop tanks that can range anywhere from 1 gallon to 20 gallons, and provide environments for Betta Fish, Goldfish, Guppies, Tetras, and more. There are also larger scale freshwater tanks that usually range anywhere from 10 gallons up to 60 gallons so that you can accommodate multiple species at once.  For those that are truly experienced and up to the challenge of maintenance, there are also saltwater tanks for more complex species such as coral.  Though you can find them as small as 6 gallons, most people prefer a saltwater setup to be a minimum of 20 gallons. Although the initial phase of choosing and setting up an aquarium can be overwhelming, the payoff is worth it. Having an aquatic environment either at home or at the office can be a stress reducer and provides a serene display for anyone in the room. Many are often surprised by the personalities their fish display and the bond they develop with them.
    February 03, 2016
  • The Great Outdoors is filled with scents, sights and sounds that dogs find irresistible. Why not let your dog get his fill of all this fun while lounging in the safety and comfort of a dog house? We've looked for plastic dog houses that are warm in winter and cool in summer and that offer options like doors, heaters, fans or other ventilation. Plastic dog houses are all easy to clean — at least on the outside — so we've looked for dog houses that are easy to clean on the inside as well. We've also looked for dog houses that are easy to assemble so you can spend more time playing with your dog than building his house.
    February 03, 2016
  • Big dogs can have big needs, and that includes a space where they can stretch out or curl up. And a space that's not your bed. Realizing that people have different ideas of how big a "big" dog is, we've decided that "big" dogs start at the size of a Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever, both of which have an average adult size of at least 55 pounds according to the breed standards set by the American Kennel Club. We've looked for durable dog beds that are also easy to clean. Big dogs generally have more joint issues than smaller dogs, so we've also searched for dog beds with good support. Beware: some of these beds are so comfortable that your big fellow may find you sharing his bed!
    November 24, 2015
  • Not unlike their human companions, every dog is different and has unique requirements for their diet. This can cause quite the quandary for a dog owner, especially with a plethora of choices lining every pet and grocery store. Whether you prefer your dog to eat holistic, natural or organic; or if your pooch has special needs like allergies or is overweight; we have created a list that will help you make the most educated and appropriate decision for your dog during every stage of life.
    November 23, 2015
  • At some time or another, your puppy is going to require a bath. There are many options when it comes to canine shampoos, but owners must take their dog's age into consideration. Puppies, defined as dogs less than one year of age, have specific needs when it comes to what’s okay to put on their skin. It’s important to watch your puppy closely after using any new product as different animals may have unexpected responses. Watch for new or excessive itching to make sure your dog isn’t having an adverse reaction to their new shampoo.The puppy shampoos on this list were chosen as the best available because they’re all specifically designed for a puppy's needs including using a gentle cleanser (such as coconut/corn-based cleansers), being pH balanced so not to irritate their sensitive skin, and tearless formulas so they’re not going burn your puppy's eyes.
    May 28, 2015
  • We all love our dogs and finding the right toy for our canine pals can be a challenge.  They turn up their noses at something we think is cool and fun and instead roll with gleeful abandon on an invisible spot on the lawn.  There are toys for just about every dog, whether they are a chewer or a tugger, whether they would rather figure out a puzzle or just settle down with a tasty food treat or if they like to chase toys. Not every toy is right for every dog; the indestructible could be destroyed in five minutes, the squeaky toy is ignored, the long lasting treat is swallowed in three bites, so it's important to figure out your dog's play style and plan accordingly.  And if the moment comes when the toy sits between you and your canine companion and your dog ends up just walking away, think about taking that toy to your local animal shelter.  Who knows, you might come back with another new friend.
    October 29, 2014
  • Regardless of where you reside, owning a sound and sturdy leash is a must if you have a canine companion. There are a variety of leashes available which can cater to the behavior and needs of the individual dog in your life. Whether you're looking for a standard everyday leash, a sturdy chain leash or a versatile retractable leash, the following lists offer a variety of the best dog leashes made with quality materials by trusted pet supply brands and have received a wealth of positive user ratings.
    June 09, 2014
  • Just like humans, each dog is an individual, and not every training method is going to be effective on every canine. Training collars or e-collars can be a great resource is used properly on a dog that can handle this method of correction. There are many training collar options available, many with multiple settings, including shock, vibration and beep. Before you begin training your four-legged friend with an e-collar, please research proper use to ensure it's effective. Also, when you're shopping for an e-collar you will want to buy a quality one to avoid malfunction that could potentially harm your pup. The following list is constructed of the top e-collars available based on trusted brands and user ratings. All collars represented have been tested by dog training professionals, including hunters and birders.
    April 11, 2014
  • Proper and regular grooming is a vital part of dog ownership. If done right, your grooming regiment can be a pleasant bonding experience for you and your four-legged friend. One of the key elements is picking out the right brush for your pup's fur. If you have a short or smooth coated dog you're going to want a soft or medium bristle brush. For wiry coats a slicker brush works perfectly. For medium or long haired dogs the ideal choice is wire-pin, to navigate the long locks. For dog's with a thick undercoat or coarse outer coat the firm bristle or rake handles well. For delicate coats a rubber brush will ensure care for the tender fur and skin. The brushes on the following list were chosen because they are the most trusted brands and highest rated representing numerous styles of brush.
    March 27, 2014
  • Flea collars are not the most effective way to treat a flea infestation in one's home, but they can be a key component in repelling fleas from a feline who is not currently infested. Unfortunately, many of the more powerful flea collars are made with harsh pesticides and chemicals which can irritate your cat's skin and/or cause illness without a significant increase in effectiveness. Furthermore, a cat able to reach its collar while grooming or a child snuggling too closely might accidentally ingest the toxins meant to harm only the fleas. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recommends avoiding collars which include chlorpyrifos, dichlorvos, phosmet, naled, tetrachlorvinphos, diazinon and malathion among their list of ingredients. These organophosphate insecticides have been linked to health problems in cats, including skin irritation, difficulty breathing, cancer and poisoning. That is why I recommend only using flea collars with the goal of repelling fleas and utilizing safer oral or topical methods to treat a flea infestation. The least expensive flea collars often are made with these harsh chemicals and equally little care for safety in design. The best flea collars for cats will be free of harsh chemicals and include a break-away mechanism so the feline can untangle itself from fence lines and tree branches if needed. The collars on this list were chosen based on their treatment method, design, price, and online reviews.
    March 24, 2014
  • Whether you're moving into a new house that had furry tenants or if you have a problem spotter or incontinent pup of your own, you will no doubt need to clean up urine to eliminate the smell. Carpets, dark corners and other hidden areas are places where your canine culprit will pause to spot, but it's hard to identify exactly where the urine is at times. That's when urine detection comes into play. UV or florescent black lights will do the trick at spotting unwanted urine spots, and the following list is comprised from the highest rated and appropriately priced urine detectors.
    February 24, 2014
  • Fleas can be a nightmare for both dogs and their human companions. Prevention is the key to avoiding an infestation, and luckily there are several options available. Whether pill, chewable or topical treatment, there are several ways to annihilate the pesky bloodsucker and ensuring your dog's comfort. The following list represents the best of each of the options available based on user rating, brands and safety.
    February 21, 2014
  • Your dog's individuality will extend through each product you need to purchase for him. When you've determined that your dog needs a harness over a regular collar and leash combination you'll soon realize there are many options available. The temperament of your furry friend will determine which type of harness is most appropriate. Options include no pull, step in, easy-on, traditional, head collar, and vest, among others. Each style will specialize in curbing a specific behavior issue ensuring that you and your dog will have the most enjoyable walks together. The following list includes the best in the most common harness styles based on user ratings and highly reputable companies.
    January 28, 2014
  • Not unlike humans, dogs can lose a ton of their food nutrients through the digestive process. To ensure your dog's good health and quality of life, consider a vitamin supplement to ensure that your furry friend has all the minerals and enzymes to ensure adequate muscle development, digestion, joint health and a beautiful skin and coat. Also not unlike human vitamins there are a wide variety of options from multivitamins to supplements that focus on individual issues like coat and joint health. The following list of vitamins were chosen because they are from trusted companies and highly rated supplements on the market.
    January 28, 2014
  • No matter which breed of dog your have, whether they have a long or short coat, thick or fine fur, shedding is a problem for most dog companions. Luckily there are many deshedding options on the market tailored to different fur and coats, making finding the ideal one a challenge. From slickers to deshedders, to blades, or rakes, the choices are virtually limitless. The deshedding tools on the following list were selected because they are trusted brands and have high ratings.
    January 27, 2014
  • If you're a dog lover and companion then grooming is no doubt part of your daily or weekly regimen. Every breed has very specific grooming requirements, but every dog needs occasional grooming to keep their health and fur in top form. When you take grooming into your own hands then you'll want a quality pair of clippers near by. The following list of dog clippers is comprised of trusted name brands, quality materials and a range of prices to fit any dog owner's budget
    January 27, 2014
  • When it comes to trimming your dog's nails there are many options available on the market. Each dog will have different preferences and fears associated with nail clipping, so be sure to try a clipper that will be the most comfortable for you and your pet. From typical clippers, to guillotine style to grinders we have scoured the options to bring you the best products available. The following list is comprised of the best brands, most sound materials and easiest to use clippers.
    January 27, 2014
  • Some neighborhoods aren’t safe enough to allow your cat to roam freely, yet the idea of locking them inside all day and night can feel equally unloving. Many cats have too much energy and natural curiosity to enjoy an indoor only lifestyle. However, it is possible you can help them feel content about their time stuck peering at the great outdoors from behind a window by taking them for walks periodically on a harness. A suggestion like this might have seemed outlandish a few years ago, but thanks to Jackson Galaxy, host of the Animal Planet's My Cat From Hell, the practice is becoming much more common. There are many online sources to learn how to train your cat - most notably, Jackson Galaxy's or the ASPCA website - but before you can begin you will need a good harness. Look for one that has a leash attachment near the center of your feline’s back (not around their neck), is easy to adjust to a snug fit, and is made of soft yet sturdy material that won’t irritate the skin or fur. The best harnesses meet all three style requirements in addition to being easy to wash, made locally, and affordably priced.
    January 24, 2014
  • When you adore your furry canine companion, you will no doubt want to express your love by doling out treats during training, to reward good behavior or just because. There are thousands of treats on the market, but when you want your treat to not only taste delicious, but also pack a nutritious punch, the following are your best options. Our best dog treat list is comprised of treats that are made with top notch ingredients from trusted brands and different textures to appeal to any dog's palate and nutritional needs.
    January 17, 2014
  • When you decide to kennel train your dog, wire crates are a great option for dogs who like to see their surroundings, for proper ventilation and for easy folding for travel and storage. There are several options for crates including multiple doors, size options, and materials. This wire crate list was comprised of trusted brands, diverse styles and positive ratings to make choosing the best kennel for your dog easy while providing your pup with a safe new place to call home.
    January 17, 2014
  • When your dog barks unnecessarily and incessantly it is not only annoying to you and your neighbors, but can also lead to fines. This undesirable habit can be unlearned, but it takes diligence and consistency. There are several options for bark deterrent collars on the market, with different levels of effectiveness including electronic stimulation (“shock”), citronella spray and ultrasonic. The collars on the following list were chosen because they are the most effective and safe options of citronella and electronic stimulation collars. Ultrasonic, though an option have not been rated well as a bark deterrent and were not included on the list. Bark collars are only effective and safe when used properly, so no matter which one you choose, follow the instructions carefully.
    January 16, 2014
  • Whether your cat has short or long hair, they can benefit from regular brushing. A good comb or brush will remove dirt, grease, and dead skin cells which feline grooming cannot reach in addition to simulating blood circulation and reducing the possibility of hairballs. As cats age, they aren't able to clean themselves as well as they once did and need your assistance. Introducing them to the regimen at a young age can make it easier to assist them with their grooming habits later on. Long haired cats can develop matted hair and other issues easily if not brushed regularly. Choosing the right brush and starting the habit while your cat is still a kitten will make the act a bonding experience akin to a mother brushing her child's hair. The cat brushes on this list were chosen because they feel soft on your pet's skin yet be strong enough to remove dead hair and dirt from the undercoat.
    December 30, 2014
  • There are a variety of ways fleas can infest your dogs, especially during the peak flea and tick season of every year (spring to early autumn). Even though you want to keep your canine free of parasites, you also don’t want to strap something on them that could be harmful or unhealthy. Furthermore, you want to avoid introducing fleas and ticks into your home. The following list is based on reviews posted online from customers who have used these products, the effectiveness of the collars, and the active ingredients.
    November 22, 2013
  • Whether or not your cat is indoor only, you should provide it with a clean, private place to use the restroom (many neighbors don't appreciate felines fertilizing their yards haphazardly). Some cats feel claustrophobic in enclosed litter boxes and demand an open air experience. Some cats are frightened by mechanical noises and won't use self-cleaning litter boxes. Whatever receptacle you choose should value the feline's preferences primarily. Appearance, ability to contain odors, and price are meaningless if the cat refuses to use the box. The best litter boxes are made of high quality plastic that won't easily absorb the odor of its contents. They are easy to clean, affordable, and provide ample space for cats to 'do their business'. The litter boxes on this list were chosen based on design, aesthetics, and price.
    November 06, 2013
  • Choosing the right cat litter for your feline can be difficult. The brands which are the cheapest, most readily available, and effective at neutralizing odors often utilize chemicals to do so. The natural products are often more expensive and have a natural grainy aroma despite their effectiveness for trapping the even more offensive scents left behind by regular feline use. Furthermore, nearly all types of cat litter pose some risk for disease. The feline's normal grooming habits make it susceptible to ingesting the dust or particles. Many inexpensive store bought brands contain non-biodegradable sodium bentonite clay and/or silica gel which can be harmful to a cat's health. Wheat and corn based kitty litters can breed aflotoxin under warm, moist conditions, such as those produced during routine use. However, those with sturdy plumbing could choose a flushable natural cat litter to aid their ability to keep the litter box in tip-top condition and minimize this risk. The cat litters on this list were chosen based on their risk of illness by ingestion, price, and availability.
    October 23, 2013
  • Cat food manufacturers are constantly inventing new recipes - wet and dry, holistic, natural, grain-free, and organic - nearly all of which claim to be specially formulated to meet your feline's dietary needs.  While any type of ingredients can be combined to produce a product with the appropriate protein level, they are not all the same.  Many veterinarians now recommend canned foods over dry due to their high moisture content which helps compensate for the feline's low thirst drive.  It will be up to you to decide which level of quality you expect from the ingredients.Natural cat foods are made with ingredients produced by nature (not in a laboratory) and subjected to minimal processing.  These recipes, although indeed natural, may contain meat by-products, grains, soy, or other fillers. Grain-free cat foods do not necessarily contain high quality meats and may contain other starchy fillers like potatoes or vegetables.  They are merely grain-free. Holistic recipes believe the inclusion of fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient dense ingredients are the best way to nourish an animal from the inside out.  Some recipes include grains and protein quality may vary as there is no requirement to use natural or organic meats in holistic recipes.Organic cat foods are made from ingredients grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, added growth hormones, antibiotics, by-products, or bio-engineering.  They can be made from any combination of ingredients (including grains), as long as they are organic. Whether you decide that price, protein quality, or the mix of ingredients is the most important factor when choosing a cat food, these lists will guide you to the best brands, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of each recipe.
    October 10, 2013
  • Stink happens. And whether it’s pee, poop, puke Your best chance for eliminating pet odors is to remove as much of the source of the stink as soon as possible and then use a product specially designed to remove odors. Effectiveness is key here. After all, if the product doesn't work, cost and ease of use don't really matter. For our choices here, we also looked at ease of use of the products and whether the product uses pet-friendly ingredients to decrease potential health hazards to your pets. Almost all deodorizing products will leave a scent and your choice may ultimately depend on what scents you like - or dislike. Here's a look at the best products for getting pet odors out of carpets, upholstery, clothing -- and our pets.
    August 26, 2013
  • When choosing a hamster cage, you have to make sure to understand what you are looking for. For one thing, hamsters like to chew. You will often see a hamster chewing on the wires of their cage after a short time in their new home. There are some important things to think about when looking for a hamster cage. Hamsters need ventilation and free air flow but need to be away from drafts also. Hamsters are known as escape artists, so you need to make sure that he is not able to get his head through the bars or he is liable to take an unwanted journey. They also need exercise or they will lay around, sleep and get to be a tubby hamster. So they need a wheel or other ways for them to climb and roam around to get exercise. You as an owner will appreciate it if the cage is easy to clean. A bottom tray that is deep will help keep the litter in the cage and not everywhere else. Here is a list of my top five hamster cages for your consideration.
    May 13, 2013