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Category: Fun Articles

Gifts Your Pet (And You) Will Love!

While your pet may not understand the “reason behind the season”, there is no doubting that they love Christmas gifts

just as much as any kid! In most family’s pets are like family and their is usually a smaller stocking with their name stitched or glittered onto the cuff hanging with the rest. But what treats will fill it? Check out our perfect (though not always stocking sized) selection of gifts for the pet who has everything!

Pet Gifts For The Pet With Everything!

1) The Cat Trapeze – Does your cat like to climb things? Sleep around in odd, out of the way spots? Of course it does! The Cat Trapeze makes us a little jealous we don’t have such a fluffy suspended bed. If you’ve got a dog to this is a must have haven for your kitty to escape and relax without knocking your plants over. Some gifts give year round!

2) Dog Perfume? – Is your pet of such high class that only the finest will do for them? Mungo & Maud have created an ultra chic line of pet products for the most sophisticated creatures. Careful though girls, you don’t want your pooch smelling better than you!


3) Camper Dog Fetch Balls – These attractive, colorful fetch balls are easy to spot, heavy duty, and come in two sizes to suit your pups mouth. Hit the dog park with stylish toys, and check out some of the other awesome pet gifts at Harry Barker!

4) Pet Cam – Know what it’s like to walk a mile in your pets paws! Strap this very affordable camera onto your pets collar and see what they get up to for a day!

5) Catviar Treats – Fill your kitties stocking with these tasty little treats! It’s caviar for cats!

Pilgrims and the Role Dogs Played In America‏

Throughout history evidence of man’s best friend can be found playing an important role in many societies – even with the pilgrims! Life was hard for the pilgrims who set out on those first ships from England to explore a wild territory. It’s no wonder they brought at least two dogs with them to the new world. Back then dogs were not just great companions. They were used for protection and hunting too.

Pilgrims & The Mayflower Dogs

The two dogs we have a record of making the journey across the sea were written about in the journals of the ship’s passengers. They were said to belong to a John Goodman and be a Mastiff and a Spaniel. Mastiffs have a long history of being used in ancient cultures for hunting. Some even depict them as killing lions. In England, where the Mayflower departed from, they were commonly used by the upper classes as guard dogs. Spaniels were often trained as hunting dogs and some breeds are considered water dogs.

History did not record the names nor what became of the fearless dogs. It does record an account of two pilgrims who became lost in the woods after gathering thatch and were left to spend the night in the frozen forest with only the dogs for warmth and protection. They miraculously made it and recorded their story forever immortalizing the two nameless pets that accompanied them across the Atlantic ocean.

We know that dogs were brought over on the Mayflower, but there has been no historical mention of them at the first Thanksgiving. One may find them featured in a painting or two and it’s likely if they were brought over, that there were still some hanging around by the time of the first big harvest.

Native Americans had fostered relations with dogs from their first arrival on the American continent during the ice age. Much like the ancient Europeans, the dogs of the Americas had also been domesticated from wolves and coyotes.

The early days of the Pilgrims were blessed with the knowledge given them by the Native Americans and were likely able to continue the familiar companionship with dogs even after the Mayflower dogs expired.
This Thanksgiving, don’t forget to be thankful for not only your pooch, but for all the dogs that have abandoned their wild ways to stand loyally by humans and help guide us through our hardships.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Thanksgiving Scraps and Your Pet‏

As Thanksgiving fast approaches family visits and meal plans are being laid out all across America! Most family meals for Thanksgiving are composed of “traditional fair” and can be found in almost any home. During a time of celebration and goodwill it’s easy to want to share your good spirits and fortune with your pet too. Just what is a treat or a toxin for your pet amongst those leftovers though? Let us break it down for you!

What to share and what to spare this Thanksgiving!

Are These Thanksgiving Treats Pet Safe?

  • Turkey – Turkey is a great holiday treat for your pet! Just remember to be smart about it. If your pet is watching their waistline be sure to stick to light meat instead of dark. For safety be sure to remove any bones too. They can be a choking hazard or get lodged in a pet’s GI tract.
  • Stuffing – Skip the stuffing when it comes time for pet treats. Most all stuffing (even the boxed mix) will contain garlic and/or onions which aren’t good for pets. Most recipes also contain lots of butter and fats.
  • Green Bean Casserole – Absolutely not! For many of the same reasons with the stuffing – the onions and fats. If your pet is hanging around the kitchen while your cooking though, feel free to toss them a green bean or two though!
  • Pumpkin Pie – Not the best option for a pet treat. Sugar is never good for a pet. If you just can’t stand the idea of your pet going without a dessert, consider a very small amount of cool whip – or make your own pet treats!
  • Cranberry Sauce – Skip it, especially if it has other ingredients mixed in like raisins or nuts – both of which are harmful to pets.
  • Mashed Potatoes with Gravy– If it’s just plain mashed potatoes with a simple pan gravy then it’s just a matter of fats and your pet’s waistline. If your family likes to toss in chives, garlic, or onions though, keep it above the table top!
  • Dinner Roles – Feel free to toss unbuttered rolls to your pet! If your recipe contains sugar though, keep it to a minimum!
  • Sweet Potatoes – Plain sweet potatoes can be a great treat for your pet! Some people even like to dehydrate them as pet treats! If you’re making them candied or into a casserole with marshmallows, sugar, or nuts, avoid this entirely! Though fully expect them to give you “the eyes”.
  • Deviled Eggs – Eggs are generally fine for pets. In fact some pet owners like to mix egg into pet food one a week to increase coat shine. The many additions that can go into deviled eggs may cause belly upset though. Use your knowledge of your pet’s eating habits and your recipe to determine if one would be okay!

Before the hubbub of the feast try to let guests know (especially children) if they share with your pet. If keeping an eye on everything is too much for you consider confining your pet to a separate room during meal time. This will allow you to be the one to divvy out treats during clean up so you know exactly what your pets getting into!

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Cats and the Tips For Health and Happiness

Cats are pretty self-sufficient creatures. They keep to themselves aside from demanding your focus while you’re trying to do something else (reading anyone?). This doesn’t mean there aren’t important things that a cat owner need to know. Sometimes their ability toward self-reliance means their needs can be overlooked. Your best bet is understanding your cat’s needs and personality!

Cat naps in a sunny windowsill!

Tips For Your Cats Happiness

  • Grooming – Yup. It doesn’t matter that your cat takes baths all the time and is a fastidious groomer. Just like most other fur-covered animals they can benefit greatly from a regular brushing. A regular brushing, especially during shedding, can help cut down on fur balls. This ensures your cat’s got a happier belly and less clean up on  your end. Don’t forget to provide them with a good scratching post too to keep their nails trim!
  • Naps – We have the term “cat nap” for a reason! Cats will spend up to 16 hours a day sleeping – often times in short increments. It’s important that you respect their need for lots of sleep. Depending on your cat’s personality they may prefer to nap somewhere near you. Other cats may prefer to the most remote place your home has to offer. They will often like warm and/or sunny spots. Make sure your cat has easy access to their favorite nap spot!
  • Keep the Litter Box Clean – It’s no secret cats are clean animals! Keeping their litter box cleaned out makes for a happier cat and a cleaner home too! In addition to regular scooping be sure to wash your kitties box each time you change the litter with hot soapy water too! Don’t settle for the cheapest litter out there either. Opt for an eco-friendly variety that is free from harmful dust or chemicals that can cause health problems in cats over prolonged use.
  • Scheduled feedings – Keep your cat happy and healthy with a regular feeding schedule. Having a schedule can help keep you from overfeeding and prevent obesity. Many people find it works well to feed in the morning coinciding with family breakfast, and then again with the family dinner. A cat with constant access to food is at risk of obesity, a growing problem with cats in America that can lead to shorter, less happy life spans.

Bonus Tip: Cats LOVE empty boxes!

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Kennel Or Your Home? How To Keep Smells Away!

When you walk into your home does it smell more like a kennel than a place for people? Or are you worried that maybe you’ve lost the ability to smell lingering pet odors but guests can? Scented candles and products like Fabreeze are a great way to freshen up a home quickly. When the product fades though, those kennel smells start to creep back in unless you’ve eliminated the source. No silly, we don’t mean your pet!  Stay on top of pet odors by following our tips below and make sure theirs no doubt about who the master is in your home!

Banish Kennel Scents!

Keep Kennel Scents Out of Your Home!

  • Source #1 – Your Pet – To state the obvious, your pet is the main source of all pet odors so keeping your pet clean is the first step toward eliminating the kennel odor. If you don’t have a self-grooming pet like a cat or bunny then regular baths are a must. What’s “regular” for your pet will vary though based on their lifestyle. An indoor/outdoor pet will likely need weekly baths while a house pet may only need them bi-monthly or less. Keep your pets fresh in between baths with daily grooming like brushing, or a quick toweling if they got damp on a walk. If you feed your pet a wet food, wipe their chins and mouth off after they dine. Staying in tune with your pet’s activities will allow you to “spot treat” them  and keep them fresher!
  • Source #2  – Their “Home” – Pets often have their own space within your home. A little kennel or pet bed are classic sources of pet odors. Clearly tossing pet bedding in the wash is a no-brainer method of keeping odors down, but don’t forget to clean where the bedding goes too! Since most odors are caused by bacteria using a pet-safe disinfectant on the bottom of a pet kennel or where your pets bed goes will reduce odors and keep them at bay longer. Does your pet have a favorite chair or spot on a rug? Make sure you have a little steam cleaner in your cleaning arsenal  to regularly deep clean these areas too! Handheld steam cleaners are great for pet accidents too!
  • Source #3 – Filters – There are many filters in your home that can often be overlooked and harbor kennel scents, redistributing them throughout your home every time air passes through them. Make sure that you clean and replace filters on a regular basis! These include those found in vacuum cleaners, central heating and air units, window air units, some space heaters, and air purifiers!

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Laws And Your Pet – Crazy Global Examples

As communities have grown over the years and standards have changed laws have sprung up regarding the do’s and don’t’s of pet ownership. Sometimes these protect the pets and sometimes they are out of consideration for other residents. Take a look below to see some of the strangest ones we’ve found from around the world. Some of these we have to question how they are actually enforced  and some we really hope are!

Crazy Pet Laws

  • French Lick Springs, IN – On Friday the 13th all black cats must wear bells around their necks.
  • Chicago, IL – No dogs allowed in the Opera.
  • Georgia – Goldfish may not be used as bingo prizes. Apparently this got out of hand!
  • Little Rock, AR – Curfew time! Dogs are banned from barking after 6pm.
  • Duluth, MN – It’s illegal for cats to sleep in bakeries. Wonder if they can do other things in the bakery?
  • Saudi Arabia -Here there are laws that forbid men from walking dogs.
  • Japan – Cat curfew! Public display of a cat is illegal after 8pm. Curious what this consists of…
  • Wyoming – No photos please! It is illegal from January to April to photograph a rabbit.
  • Oklahoma – It’s against the law to make ugly faces at dogs, punishable by a fine!
  • France – Owners of pet pigs are banned from naming them Napoleon out of respect for Napoleon Bonaparte.

Laws in Rome prevent goldfish from being kept as pets!

  • Norway – It is against the law to spay a female cat or dog. Only males may be altered.
  • Switzerland – Only want one pet? Too bad! Pets in Switzerland are required to have a companion.
  • Australia – It is against the law to name a farm animal. Only pets you intend to keep may be named!
  • Alaska – It is illegal to tie a dog to the roof of your car. Really?!
  • Florida – No “duck face” here! It’s illegal to imitate an animal.
  • Switzerland – Laws here require aspiring dog owners to pass a verbal and written test before they may take one home.
  • Sweden – Dogs in boarding houses or day car must be able to see out a window.
  • Rome, Italy – Owning a goldfish as a pet is illegal as it is deemed cruel.
  • Oklahoma – Dogs are forbidden from getting together in groups of larger than 3 without a permit.
  • Paulding County, OH – It’s LEGAL for police officers to bite a dog to calm it down.
  • Michigan – It is against the law to own both a cat and a bird.
  • Maryland – Pet lions are not allowed in movie theaters. Thank goodness!

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Innovation in Pet Care – Top Gadgets To Ease Your Worry

With new technologies booming in every possible industry out there, pet care innovations are keeping stride! Whether your “tech minded” or just pet-minded it’s impossible to deny these handy innovations we’ve seen hit the market over the last year!

Innovation in Pet Gadgets

Tagg GPS Plus  – Tracking systems for pets have been around for some time. The important clue to why this one is an innovation lies in the ‘Plus”. Tagg GPS Plus will track your wandering pet as well as alert you if your pet is suffering from extreme temperatures. If you have an outdoor, or indoor/outdoor pet and live in an area prone to extreme weather this innovation can take the guess work out of your pet’s living conditions.

Pet care innovation makes happy faces!

PetNet – PetNet allows you to use your cell phone to distribute food for your pet no matter where you are! With this innovation, you simply fill the reservoir with food, set the portions, and then use your cell phone to dole out the ideal amount at the ideal time! Keep your pet a creature of habit and never miss a meal time again.

PetCube  and PetChatz– In the spirit of making sure your pet is well cared for in your absence PetCube and PetChatz take it a step further. While no substitute for a pet nanny… Both allow you to talk to and interact with your pet while you’re away. PetCube lets you have a conversation, view them via a built-in camera or even use a laser pointer to play! PetChatz combines the social aspect of PetCube while incorporating the option to reward your pet with pre-filled treats too! Ease the separation anxiety with either of these two innovative gadgets!

FitBark – Make sure your pet is getting the proper amount of exercise! FitBark is an innovative little gadget that lets you know how your pet spent their day. How long they played, slept, or were lightly active. This is perfect if you’re trying to help your pet slim down a little or just want to make sure they are getting enough attention and enjoying life!

What’s your favorite new “must have” pet gadget?

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Pet Names – Choosing The Right Name For Your Pet

How do you go about picking pet names? Do you name them after a favorite hero or character? A physical attribution? Or a personality trait? It seems each personality type uses a different method and pet names can range from the average to the outrageous. Despite your personality type for picking a name, there are some simple tried and true guidelines you should think about.

Do you pick pet names by personality?

  • Don’t take too long to choose a name. As a pet gets used to you and their new home it should also get used to a name. A pet’s name is really the first step in teaching a pet commands. So before you go trying to house break them be sure they know what their name is and when you’re talking to them.
  • Avoid names that sound like commands or other commonly used household words. There probably aren’t many pet names out there that don’t sound like something else but try to limit it if you can. Some examples? Naming a pet anything that rhymes with ‘no’ – Boe, Joe, Moe. Or anything that rhymes with fetch, sit,  or down… you get the point!
  • Keep it short. Sure you may be tempted with pet names like Sir Theadorable Purrsalot (an actual pet name) but that’s a mouthful when they’re jumping on the counter to get to your rapidly vanishing supper. Short names of one to two syllables work best. If you just have to pick extravagant pet names, be sure they are easily adapted into a simple nickname.

Here are some of the most popular pet names for this year to help get your brain working!


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Unattended Pets And The Destruction They Can Cause

“Pet Shaming” has become a popular social media trend with pet parents displaying the destruction their unattended pets have wrought. While the pictures accompanied with little signs explaining the unattended pets crime are far too adorable, they are also far too relatable for many pet owners!

Dogs frequently display destructive behavior when left alone. Mostly because they are suffering from separation anxiety. While you know you’ll be back in the evening, that span of time can seem endless for a dog. The longer you’re gone the more their anxiety can grow and result in some pretty unpleasant behaviors. Chewing and poor bathroom habits are the two biggest symptoms. It’s important to remember that punishing your dog when you get home in the evening doesn’t do any good. Too much time has likely passed for them to understand what they punishment is for and instead they will just feel unloved and not learn anything.

Damage caused by unattended pets

Cats can suffer from separation anxiety too! While unpleasant bathroom habits are often a symptom for them too, they are often prone to scratch instead of chewing. In some cases, that can be far more costly! A dog may ruin a nice pair of shoes, but a cat can ruin your furniture!


What can you do help your unattended pets not destroy your home?

  • Keep Them Well Fed With Lots of Toys – Unattended pets will also wreak havoc when they are hungry and bored. Make sure that your pets have (or have had) plenty of food before you leave. Enough to sustain them for the duration of your absence. Also, make sure your dog has chew toys or that your cat has a scratching post!
  • Pick Up After Yourself – Make it a point not to leave things you value within your pet’s reach. Keep your shoes in a closed closet, electronics out of reach, and make sure that your trash containers are inaccessible.
  • Restrict Their Range – Don’t let your pet have free reign of your home while you are away. Keep doors shut to rooms you don’t want them in. If your pet is known for sketchy bathroom habits while you’re away, restrict them to a room with easily cleanable floors.
  • Arrange For Visitors! – If you can’t make it home in the middle of the day to check on your pet or spend some time with them, consider asking a friend or hiring a pet nanny! Dog walkers and pet nannies are just a service for vacations. They can provide a much-needed bathroom break and playtime mid-day for unattended pets.


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Age in Pets – Beyond Dog Years‏

Find out your pet’s true age!

Everybody knows the unfortunate truth that pets age faster than their owners do. While many people have heard that one human year equals seven dog years that equation isn’t entirely true, nor is it accurate for all the other pet varieties out there! One human year does equal seven dog years, for the first two years of life. After that though the aging process slows down and one human year, on average, will equal four dog years instead of seven.

Cat’s have a similar age progression as dogs. One human year is equal to seven cat years with a gradual slowing after that. Check out this handy chart below to find out your pet’s age in human years. Understanding your pet’s age in relation to yours may help you to better understand why your seemingly young pet is showing signs of age.


What about other pets, though? How old is your pet guinea pig? Or pet rabbit? Potbelly Pig? Let’s find out!

What’s Your Pet’s True Age?

  • Rabbit – The first year for a rabbit is equal to about eight human years. By the time a rabbit has hit the age of five, they will be nearing 45 in human years.
  • Guinea Pig – The first year for a guinea pig is about ten human years progressing at that same rate so that by the time five human years has passed, your guinea pig will be fifty!
  • Hamster – Hamsters age very rapidly. One human year is equal to twenty hamster years with few hamsters ever reaching their fifth birthday. If they do that would make them 100!
  • Horse – As a much larger pet horses age two years for every one human year generally, ensuring rather long lifespans.
  • Parakeet – The average parakeet will be five within the first year of life. It will be about twenty-two after five human years.
  • Potbelly Pig – These little piggies age about three years to our one. Another potentially long-lived pet!

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