Cold Weather Pet Care

As we find ourselves in the middle of winter, it’s important to pay particular attention to our pets when they’re outside. When temperatures get into the twenties and below, with whipping winds, pets can suffer serious health problems. Besides not leaving your dog, cat or other animal outside for too long, there are several other precautionary measures you can take to care for your loving pet.

I generally don’t favor going nuts over buying every trinket imaginable for my pets, but there are a few that make a lot of sense when it’s cold and windy out. For dogs and horses, it’s a good idea to purchase a coat. I have an all weather coat for my dog that’s made of a nylon material on the outside and fleece on the inside. This provides warmth as well as protection from the snow and rain. It attaches via one Velcro strap that goes from one side to the other side of the dog around his or her belly. As for cats, they don’t often take kindly to coats, but do your best to keep them inside during winter storms. They can easily get disoriented under very bad conditions. I’d rather have more litter box duty to handle, than find myself driving around the neighborhood trying to track down a cold, wet cat!

I don’t use “booties” for my dog, but some people actively use them for cats and dogs. For the most part, this is only necessary for animals that have very sensitive paws. These booties slide on the animal’s feet and keep them warm and dry. As you can imagine, going to this extreme isn’t necessary for most animals, just don’t leave them outside for very long, use a coat and try to keep them off heavily salted streets – which can badly sting paws.

Lastly, I wanted to provide a few quick comments about fish and bird care. You may think that since your fish and birds are always in the house, you don’t need to take any precautions when it’s very cold – not true. Despite keeping the heat level in your house at the usual level, cold weather outside may create colder temperatures inside.

Make sure your fish tank water is at the normal temperature, and hasn’t fallen due to the cold. If you have a pet bird, make sure he or she is out of any draft and is nice and warm – especially at night. Extended periods of cold temperatures for pet birds can be fatal. You probably do this already, but put an extra warm towel or sheet over the bird cage when it’s particularly cold.

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Pet Ear Infections

Is your dog or cat tormented by ear infections? Do you spend time and money at the veterinarian’s office trying to bring relief to your beloved pet, only to find that another infection appears over time? If so, you may want to try some more natural approaches to preventing and treating your pet’s ear infections.

Dogs and cats have an incredible sense of hearing. To protect their hearing and prevent damage to the ear drum, their ear canals are L-shaped. The problem with this design is that it allows the ears to trap parasites, moisture, debris, and earwax, and any of these can lead to ear infections. Up to 80 percent of ear problems in dogs are linked to allergies, and earmites are often the cause of infection in cats.

The traditional treatment for ear infections is to give antibiotics, antifungal medications or other drugs. The problem with this approach is that drugs upset the normal chemistry inside the ear and can possibly turn a simple infection into a long-term problem. It makes more sense to deal with underlying allergies and strengthen the immune system so that it is able to fight bacteria and other germs BEFORE they cause infection. Also, there are many natural treatments for cleaning the ears and stopping infections without using drugs.

These are the Signs of an Ear Infection:

*Pet shakes head or holds it to one side.

*Pet scratches or rubs ears, or rubs head against furniture or carpet.

*There is a yellow, brown or black discharge in one or both ears.

*Ears smell bad or are tender or red.

The Solutions

*Clean the ears with vinegar – If your pet’s ears are filled with brownish-pink wax, there is a good chance that allergies have caused a yeast infection. To clear up yeast infections, clean the ears thoroughly. Veterinarians often recommend using white vinegar, also called acetic acid, because it removes dirt and debris and helps restore a healthy chemical balance in the ears.

Diluted vinegar works well. When using vinegar, pour a small amount into the ear canal, massage the area, then gently wipe the inside of the ear with a cotton ball. Do this once a day until the ear is better.

*Stop infections with pau d’arco – The herb pau d’arco, which comes from the inner bark of a South American tree, is a natural antibiotic that quickly kills fungi and bacteria. At the first sign of infection, mix equal parts pau d’arco tincture and mineral oil and put several drops in your pet’s ears. Give the drops two or three times a day for several days.

*Reduce inflammation with vitamin C – The adrenal glands produce a natural steroid that can help reduce inflammation when ears get infected. Giving pets vitamin C can help the adrenal glands work more efficiently. Pets weighing under 15 pounds can take between 100 and 250 milligrams of vitamin C a day. Cats and dogs 15 to 50 pounds can take 250 to 500 milligrams a day, and larger dogs can take 500 milligrams two or three times a day. Vitamin C can cause diarrhea, so you may have to cut back the dose until you find an amount that your pet will tolerate.

*Eliminate toxins with a healthy, all natural diet – Giving your pet a healthy, homemade diet or high quality commercial food that doesn’t contain corn, additives or preservatives can greatly reduce the amount of wax that the ears produce, while also helping to boost the immune system.

*Air out the ears – Increasing air circulation inside the ears can control the growth of bacteria, yeast and fungi. Trim or pluck hair inside the ears periodically to allow more air to get inside.

*Strengthen the digestive tract – Supplements such as bromelain and quercetin (with bromelain) can help prevent an allergic response in the gastrointestinal tract, making food allergies less of a problem.

*Stop ear mites with oil – When an infection is caused by ear mites, putting a few drops of almond oil or olive oil in each ear will smother the mites and may allow the infection to heal. You usually need to continue the oil treatments for three to four weeks, putting three to seven drops of oil into the ear canals each day. To help the treatment work more efficiently, clean wax and other debris from the ears before
using oil.

*Try an over-the-counter remedy – One of the best ways to stop ear mites is with over-the-counter products containing pyrethrins. Made from chrysanthemums, pyrethrins are natural insecticides that are very safe to use. Just follow the instructions on the label.

When to Call the Vet

Ear infections can look and smell awful, but they usually affect only the outer part of the ear and aren’t too serious. If you’re unable to get to the source of the problem (especially if your pet is still scratching a lot), you will want to see your veterinarian to find out what is causing the problem. Vigorous scratching can break blood vessels in the earflap, causing the entire ear to swell like a balloon. This condition is called hematoma and must be drained by a veterinarian to prevent permanent damage.

Other symptoms to watch out for include head tilting, clumsiness, walking in circles or drooping eyes. These are signs of an inner-ear infection, and must be treated by a vet. Your pet will probably need antibiotics to knock out the infection. In addition, your vet may need to drain pus and other fluids from inside the ear!

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Top Five Benefits of Holistic Food for Pets

Pet owners always look for their pet’s well-being. And, animal food plays a crucial role in keeping them healthy and fit. Just giving a spare bone to a pet dog in the kennel are the past days. Presently, pet parents take utmost care for what they are feeding their furry companions.

An average household sheds nearly $183 every year on pet food alone, which is more than the amount spend on cakes, candies and sweets. Moreover, people are switching to holistic pet foods for their loved companions. However, there are many people who are not aware of the benefits of the organic food.

Find here the latest benefits found by using holistic food for animals.

No animal by-products

There are numerous pet food products available in the market, which contain animal by-products or fillers that are dangerous for pets. It is almost very important when buying a dog or cat food to check its ingredients. Take time to research properly and look for brands that offer natural products. Not all brands contain top-notch ingredients, so it’s necessary to look for the ones that sell pet recipes without by-products, added colours, artificial flavours or preservatives. Holistic food contains high quality foods like fish, chicken and meat without any added animal by-products. In case of confusion to find the best product for your pet, it is always good to consult a vet.

Healthy Pets

Balanced diet with the proper nutrients plays an important role in keeping companion animals healthy. There is no good amount of research available on pet diets, but lots of evidence shows that natural pet foods can enhance furry animals’ overall well-being. Not restricted to just external health such as improving skin and coat, but internally also, the diet increases strength, empowers immune system and maintains optimal digestion along with supporting other body systems. The way healthy food improves human health, similarly, a proper nutritious food helps pets to stay healthier and add up to their years.

Lesser Allergies

Pets usually face allergies due to certain food products. Many times certain ingredients like artificial flavours, colours or preservatives pose a danger to your pet as they can be the allergens causing allergies to pets. Natural pet food products do not contain these things and are safe. It will not trigger allergy and put an end to food allergies once in pets.

Longer Life

Organic food adds up to pet’s years as they are enriched with all good things. Feeding them with rich natural food improves overall health and extends life expectancy. It enhances the quality of life and keeps them happy. Choose quality food with natural ingredients from reliable online stores, which help your furry friends active and healthier for years.

Low Quantity Needed

Natural food products may seem more expensive compared to other products. In fact, in the long run they cost less. Though, they come in small quantity, they have high levels of nutrients that help to keep companion animal health at an optimal level. Helping them stay fit, you pay less for their sickness due to low quality food products.

Well, holistic pet food is widely preferred worldwide by many pet owners because of its huge benefits. But, the crucial thing is before buying it is always necessary to check ingredients and the brand. This helps to shop the right food product for the furry beings.

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Essential Horse Supplements

In this article I would like to share with you some useful information about horse supplements. The fact is that you are going to have to invest in some high quality horse supplements if you want your horse to look and feel great, but the problem is that there are hundreds of different types of supplements for you to choose from and this massive choice leaves a lot of horse owners confused.

There are feed balancers, horse calmers, garlic supplements, hoof oils and plenty of other little known products that can help your horse in all kinds of ways. Does this mean that every single month you are going to have to spend hundreds of dollars on dozens of different kinds of horse products.

Not necessarily.

When it comes to horse supplements, it all about the quality of the products and not quantity. You want to invest in horse supplements that are proven and tested by time and in this article I would like to talk with you about two different types of products that are proven and tested by time.

Horse feed balancers

Horse feed balancers are just like multi-vitamin supplements for humans: they are packed with all of the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals that your horse needs to look and feel great. Most of the high quality feed balancers contain pre and probiotics which dramatically improve your horse’s digestive system, they contain biotin and zinc which aids in development of healthy hooves, glossy coat and healthy, scurf-free skin.

Joint supplements

In addition to horse feed balancers, you should also invest in some high quality joint supplements if you want to minimise the risk of joint disease for your horse.

The fact is that joint problems amongst horses are very common and it does not matter whether you are involved in competitive horse riding disciplines such as dressage or eventing or if you simply ride for recreational reasons. The fact is that never ending pounding and twisting of your horse’s joints puts them under a lot of strain and this dramatically increases the risk of an injury. If you want to make sure that your horses joints remain healthy and strong then you should invest in some high quality joint supplements that are packed with glucosamine and MSM.

These two active ingredients work in perfect synergy with each other and it has been proven over years that they help to minimse the risk of joint diseases and injury and they provide all of the essential building materials that are needed to maintain strong and healthy joints.

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Two Supplements That Will Make Your Horse Look and Feel Great

In this article I would like to share with you some useful information about equine supplements. If you like reading popular equestrian magazines and if you visit popular equestrian websites you have probably seen how many different equine supplements there are being advertised and launched almost every single week. Nowadays there are literally hundreds if not thousands of different types of horse supplements with even greater amount of supplement formulations.

We’ve got calmers, garlic supplements, joint supplements, feed balancers, digestive aids, fly repellents, hoof supplements and plenty of other little known products that are specifically created to help your horse out and make his life easier and better. The fact is that this massive choice of equine products leaves a lot of inexperienced people confused. People simply do not know which products are good and which ones are bad and in this article I would like to clear the confusion and share with you a list of two what I call the essential horse supplements that every responsible horse rider should give to his or hers horse.

  • Feed balancer: There are hundreds of different types of feed balancers in the market. Some are specifically formulated for older and veteran horses, others contain fewer calories. There are some that are specifically formulated for competition horses which have higher concentration of active ingredients. At the end of the day feed balancers are packed with all of the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your horse needs in order to look and feel great and high quality feed balancer is a must have supplement.
  • Joint supplement: If you have been riding horses for some time now you have probably noticed that horses can develop a wide range of health conditions. Out of all of the different health problems that our horses can develop, no matter how young or old they are, joint problems are the most common ones and as a horse owner you want to do whatever you possibly can to minimise the risk of joint disease. This is where joint supplements come into play. Equine joint supplements are packed with active ingredients such as glucosamine and MSM that are proven to strengthen and support bones and joints.

In addition to joint supplements and equine feed balancers there are hundreds of other types of supplements. I am not saying that they are bad and that you should not buy them, but the fact is that if you are just getting started then you should only invest into products that are proven and tested by time and the two supplements that I have described above are exactly that.

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The Benefits Of Including Green Grass In A Horse’s Diet

Although a horse can function properly on a hay diet around the year, lets look at it this way, would we ourselves be happy and healthy with a diet that does not have a bit of variety, adds a bit of flavor or a bit of vitamin boost in our lives? The minute green grass is cut to make hay, the vitamin levels automatically drop by up to 80 percent. Vitamins are a most vital organic compound found in green grass and they are necessary in a horse’s diet to ensure normal growth and optimum functioning.

Benefits of adding grass in a horse’s diet.

Vitamin E as a component in green grass aids in boosting the immunity of a horse, in reproduction and in vital tissue formation. Horses are very active animals and denying them vitamin E could have adverse effects on their well-being.

Whilst one may consider the option of prepared feeds to aid in giving their horse a vitamin E supplement, it is important to note that the balance may not be quite right. Most of the natural vitamins are destroyed during food processing, and the feeds may also contain an excess of the required vitamins. The proper balance can only be acquired naturally, in grass.

There are cases in which a horse may be in dire need of a grass diet, as we shall discuss below.

One of the cases is when a horse is expectant. This is a horse that is likely to suffer vitamin E deficiencies as most of the vitamins are taken up by the foal the horse is nurturing. A horse that is also on a high breeding demand needs enough vitamin E to keep up the vitality. Feeding such a horse could be the lifesaver needed for its proper functioning and survival.

A horse that is constantly traveling may be exposed to high stress levels and diseases. Putting this horse in a grass diet boosts its immunity and gives it the energy to deal with new weather conditions it may be exposed to.

A recovering horse needs the vital vitamin E found in green grass to aid in muscle and tissue building. The horse may have been injured or may have fallen sick, and the natural vitamin boost will help a lot in proper and quick recovery.

Growing horses need ample grass in their diet so they can benefit from the vitamin E. They need to grow fast and healthy, with strength and vitality. Young horses are very active and if not properly fed they may fail to meet expectations once grown because they could have missed important tissue forming and development vitamins. A constant supply of this aids a lot in their normal growth for the best performance.

It is however important to note that when putting your horse on this diet you should exercise precaution. A horse that is used to a hay diet needs to be transitioned gradually. You also need to exercise precaution by researching on the type of grass available in your area to know the amounts of vitamins or chemicals contained and their effects on the horses. Each horse is also different and has different needs. If you are not careful while introducing horses to this you could expose them to colic and laminitis diseases which are fatal.

The pros of putting your horse on a grass diet have proved to be more than the cons. Grow and nurture happier and healthier horses by putting them on a vital vitamin E diet which is made possible by availing grass to your horses on a regular basis.

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Coping With Feline Leukemia

Feline Leukemia Virus, also known as FELV, is a relatively common virus that affects cats. Some of them acquire the infection at a very young age when they are born to a mother who already has the condition. Others contract it from coming into contact with the saliva of an infected cat. The majority of cats who have the condition live normal and full lives but do need certain environmental and health requirements to do this.

The diagnosis

A vet’s visit is needed to confirm that a cat has FELV. Normally this will involve a test for the condition, though routine tests are done on cats that come through animal shelters before being sent out for adoption. If you are buying a pedigree cat, then these tests should have been done or need to be done before finalising to ensure no presence of the virus, particularly if you are planning to breed the cat.

If you suspect your cat may have come into contact with an infected animal or want to have a routine test conducted, then get in touch with your vet. Signs of the virus include low energy, a fever and decreased appetite but these also refer to other conditions. In many cases, the cat’s immune system actually fights off the virus and while testing positive once, may later test negative after the immune reaction has killed the virus.

Most of the time, cats who have FELV don’t have many active symptoms that need management. But they can go into remissions and have flare-ups. The condition can also lead to other infections because it weakens the immune system as well as an immune system suppression and anaemia. It is sometimes connected with the occurrence of cancers.

Coping with the condition

Once you know that the cat has the condition, they may live for a number of years without any sign of it or may still fight it off. There is no cure for the virus but a vaccination can boost the chance of clearing the infection by boosting the immune system. Cats also get regular vaccinations from the age of eight weeks to reduce the chance of getting the condition.

Because their immune system can be compromised, checking for other conditions is important. This means even simple problems such as fleas, ticks and mites should be watched for and treated against as these can cause secondary infections.

Providing your cat with a stress free environment can help them fight off the condition and not succumb to secondary infections. They may also need more warmth than before so blankets in their basket or favourite sleeping place is advisable.

Feed your cat a good quality, balanced diet to further help them deal with the condition. Don’t use a homemade or raw diet for cats with this condition, as they are more susceptible to bacteria in their food than other cats. Also, maintain a high standard of hygiene around their food and litter boxes to ensure there is a reduced chance of an infection.

Because the disease has a short lifespan outside the body, you should keep your cat inside to stop them transmitting to other cats. If you handle another cat, make sure you have washed your hands first. If your cat isn’t neutered or spayed, you should do this as again they can pass the condition through reproduction to their kittens.

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Cat Behaviour – Is My Cat Angry?

Living with a cat can be great fun, very active and filled with affection. But it is important to remember that cats operate on instinct rather than intellect the way humans do. This means they don’t so much reason things out and assess them as react on what their instincts tell them to. This means that cats can get angry for reasons that may not seem worth it to us and this can lead to an injury if dealt with in the wrong way. Here we look at the signs that your cat is angry.

Body language

Cats often use signs to tell the world what they feel and understanding this body language can go a long way to understanding them. One early sign of being vexed or cross is the swishing of the tail. When this escalates to smacking the tail on the ground or from side to side, this is a big red warning light – angry cat present! They will even smack the tail off furniture or your leg as a way of demonstrating their less than satisfied state. This is the opposite to the reaction in a dog, with whom a wagging tail is a sign of happiness.

Other signs in their body language to watch out for include their eyes and whiskered. If their eyes are large with pupils dilated and their whiskers are tensed forward, allowing them to look as big as possible, this is also a sign of temper. Cats raise their fur for a similar reason though this can also be used when they are frightened, to mask the fear.


Cats will use a range of different vocalisations to show their displeasure, often depending on the cat. These can range from low-pitched growls that sound like something a dog would make right up to hissing and even screeching. The latter is a loud, shrill meow that will make everyone who hears it jump and is a real warning sign of a big problem. It can also indicate an injury or that the cat is in pain in some way. The growl tends to be more of a warning sign that trouble is on the way unless something changes while hissing is a little like a boundary warning – you are infringing on my territory, go away! Cats also spit and the phrasing spitting mad does really apply with cats. Like screeching, this is one of the more extreme reactions that says they are either really angry or really frightened.


You can’t reason with an angry cat, talk them around or comfort them. You need to give them the space to resolve whatever has angered them, while trying to figure out what it is. If there is another cat in the household, this is most likely the culprit, whether it meant to be or not. Cats are relatively solitary animals and sometimes the presence of another cat or animal simply gets on their nerves. Kids can also cause a similar effect if they pester the cat excessively. An angry cat is also a dangerous one and is more likely to lash out with claws or bite a hand. Therefore, don’t try to pet them or get close to them and give them an escape route from the room to avoid conflict.

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How to Take Care of Your Cat Properly

Taking Care of Your Cat

Being a cat owner is a big responsibility, which should be shared by the whole family. The most important things that young individuals should learn about cat care are as follows:

Regular Visits to the Vet

A cat should visit the vet at least once yearly to undergo a physical check-up, which includes eyes, ears and heart, as well as get deworming/deflea treatments and booster vaccinations. If your cat’s heath or behavior is a concern, it is crucial to see the vet immediately.


Every cat should go through vaccinations for diseases such as feline leukemia virus or FeLV, cat flue and feline infectious enteritis or FIE. Such diseases can endanger a cat’s life when infected, so it is crucial to go for preventive measures.


In order to stay healthy, your cat needs a good diet. Feed it with quality dried or tinned cat food, and make sure that fresh water is always ready. Since cats are carnivorous, they cannot live on a diet with vegetables.


Neutering allows cats to be healthier and happier. When a male cat is neutered, he is less prone to wandering far from home and getting involved in fights. A neutered female will no longer have kittens, which is an advantage since there is enough space to accommodate lots of kittens in the UK. Kittens should be neutered from 4 to 6 months, upon the advice of your vet.

Playtime with your Cat

Cats, most especially kittens, should have playtime because this is where they learn the skills they need in life, and it teaches them more about their environment.

Also, play makes good use of a cat’s energy, letting it remain fit and healthy, as well as give an alert and active brain. The best games motivate them to chase, pounce, stalk and safely bat objects with their paw.

Best Tips for Playing


Even if cat toys are available from pet shops, you can save money and have more time making some by yourself.

Cats like interactive toys, so tie a string on a toy, then move it all around like it were alive.


There are cats that go crazy over the herb catnip. Buy toys filled with dried catnip, then hand one over to your cat to see its reaction.

Climbing and Hiding

Cats are fond of climbing and hiding, so it is a great idea to get a cat activity center, or as a cheaper option, just give cardboard boxes for your cat to play with.

Indoor Cats

Cats that stay indoors need more entertainment than those outdoors. So, try to make feeding more challenging by giving cat biscuits via a puzzle feeder or plastic bottle, which is cut in biscuit-size holes with the help of an adult.

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Bearded Dragon Care Sheet

If you just brought your first bearded dragon you must be very excited and want to know how to give your beardie the best care to ensure it becomes a happy and healthy family pet. This care sheet outlays all of the most important factors about caring for your be-loved pet. Keep reading to find out more…

These reptiles are widely accessible in the United States and it is quite straightforward to purchase a bearded dragon in the local pet store or you can order on the internet for more exotic species to be shipped directly to your home from foreign suppliers.

Before your beardie arrives to your house, you must set up his or her cage and have food for your beardie as well. Here is the list of must -haves:

Suitable cage with secure screen top and sturdy tank stand

Glass Tanks are the most popular enclosures for owners. It’s easy to clean and you can see your pet in action easily and is a great focus point in a room. If you look around you might be able to find a free glass tank which is perfect for your pet. Just make sure you put tank background on the back and the side of the glass tank to make your pet feel more secure.

Now let’s talk about the size of the tank. If the tank is too small your dragon may feel crammed with no room to move and if the tank is too large it will make catching live insects too hard especially for a baby bearded dragons. If your dragon is less than 12 inches a 20 gallon tank will be fine, if your dragon is bigger than 12 inches long you need to upgrade to a 40 gallon tank or larger.


Bearded dragon experts seem to have different views on what the best substrate is. A common and sensible approach is keeping baby dragons with no substrate. After your pet grows to 10 inches you can put washed play sand in the enclosure.

Basking perches

Bearded dragons love climbing. So make sure to get basking perches for your pet to play and rest.


Reptiles need UVB light to produce Vitamin D3 which is essential for their bone health. Florescent bulbs are great for your pet. Check out Amazon for a much lower price than the pet store.


Bearded dragons live in the desert and they need heat to digest food so they thrive in a warm environment. Standard light bulbs are perfect to provide heat for your pet. If you have a tall enclosure, a spot light would be better to ensure the basking area is warm enough. A temperature of 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit is necessary in the basking spot for your beardies’ digestive system to function properly.

Nourishing your beardie – what do bearded dragons eat?

The must have food items for your bearded dragon include a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and insects, which are essential for a healthy beardie diet. Calcium with D3 and multivitamins are also important to your beardie’s optimal health.

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