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  • Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Behavior Problems? We have answers.

    Learn about behavior from our team of experts. Whether you have cats, dogs, reptiles, horses or birds, we can help you learn to live with them. Read More
  • All About Horses

    All About Horses

    Learn about equine science, whether you're an aspiring rider or a long-time owner, we have the latest in products, breeds, and more. Read More
  • Traveling with Pets

    Traveling with Pets

    Be sure to check this section out before you hit the road with your pet! We've got a look at pet-friendly hotels, the guidelines of air, train, bus and auto travel, and much more. Read More
  • All About Critters

    All About Critters

    Take a look at what it means to have ferrets, rabbits, mice, rats, guinea pigs, and more. Read More
  • All About Reptiles

    All About Reptiles

    A look at our cold-blooded friends and discovering how to care for these fun loving creatures! Read More
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  • Animal Waste Blended into $5,000 Skincare Products

    hermetise skincare

    When it comes to skincare, there are few things women (and men) won't do to have younger, more beautiful skin. But, even I was surprised to see this skin care brand infusing waste into their 3-step skincare program (no matter how rare and expensive the product may be). That may not even be the worst part - the complete set costs $4,494. As a friend of mine once told me, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."

    [For the record, civets are not cats. But they look like cats, they are often referred to as "civet cats", and honestly "cat poop" makes for a more entertaining story. See below for why the use of civets is not only stupid, but immoral.] Read More
  • Natural Ways to Treat Your Cat's Upper Respiratory Infection

    Treating Your Cat's URI NaturallyBeing a pet parent would be so much easier if they could tell us exactly what’s wrong, where it hurts and what we can do to make it better.  (We could also finally figure out what the heck they’re up to when we’re not home.)

    Every good pet owner knows that having a sick pet is no fun.  Not only do you wish you could take the pain away but you’re also stressing about vet bills, ruined household items and whether or not everything will be okay when you come home each day.

    If you suspect that your cat is suffering from an upper respiratory infection (URI), there’s good news and bad news: 

    The good news is that URIs are basically just the feline version of a cold - they go away with time and the cost of treatment isn’t high.

    The bad news is that there’s no immediate cure and your pet may have to suffer through one to three weeks of being sick before they finally feel like themselves again. It's also highly contagious, so if you have other animals, you should plan on isolating your cat until they are free from symptoms. 

    Read More
  • 5 Pet-Safe Ways to Remove Ice

    I'll be honest - we don't have much of a call to worry about ice or snow in my neck of the woods. We experience a hard freeze maybe five times a year, but by mid-morning the ice is gone. That said, we have a lot of readers who do have snow and for this reason, we want to talk about ice melts and the safest ones to use around animals. 

    Snow blowers, shovels, and even "powered brooms" are simple to use - and given the option, we prefer those for snow removal. But my days growing up in Utah remind me  you need something different for ice removal. Rock salt is effective, but let's face it - it's hard on cars, people and pets. Besides, who wants to salt a walkway and have it melt into your garden? That's the stuff of ancient lore (remember "salting the earth" so no one could live there again?). 

    There are safer alternatives for the paws of our pets and wildlife (and our gardens). We're taking a look at five of them today... 

    Read More
  • 5 Ways to Help Birds in Winter

    We're looking at ways that we can help our feathered friends during winter. 

    In case you didn't know, birds serve as a sort of "barometer" of our planet's health, particularly when it comes to measuring the health of a specific ecosystem. And let me tell you, the news is not exactly encouraging. Nearly 12 percent of the world's 9,800 species are facing extinction in the next century. 

    We want to help birds and we know you do too. So we've come up with a list that we hope you'll share with others on how you can help birds in winter. Here are five simple ways! 

    Read More
  • Keeping Pets Calm During Holidays and Travel

    Anxiety is one of the most common issues we face with ourselves and our pets at any time of year, but nerves seem to become even more strained during the holidays. These are some helpful tips for keeping pets calm and people safe during the busiest time of the year.

    Remember that calming pets is not a “one size fits all”. Some animals will react very favorably to certain remedies, while others will react poorly. Patience will be your strongest weapon as pets adjust to, and learn to trust, their new environment. Never give up on a pet – we have yet to see a case that can’t be resolved with some ingenuity and hard work.

    Giving your pets an option to leave a crowded room is one of the most important things you can do. It may be beneficial to even keep pets in a quiet room until things quiet down (which has the added benefit of making sure no one accidentally lets them escape during a party. Whatever you do, the safety of your pets and guests should be a top concern.

    Read More
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Dogs that can't Swim and Some that just aren't very good at it

Summer is officially here in the desert and we have reached temperatures in excess of 100 degrees, so you know Read More

Disaster preparedness with pets

September is National Animal Preparedness Month. Some natural disasters require that you evacuate your entire family, pets included. Wildfires, floods, Read More

Keeping Aquariums Alive During Summer Blackouts

Summer is on the way, and that means possible brown outs (power shortages) and even blackouts (power outages) for most Read More

Keeping Pets Safe from Coyotes

No matter where you live, you’ve likely had to deal with wildlife. Whether its mountain lions and coyotes, or squirrels Read More

5 Questions to Ask Before Getting Chickens

There is a lot of interest in chicken keeping these days. With the cost of food skyrocketing, chickens can be Read More

TrackR Uses Crowd GPS To Locate Your Pets

It's tough finding a GPS collar or tag that is small enough for your cat or tiny dog to wear, Read More
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This week, the FDA released a “progress report” on its investigation into jerky treats. The update is essentially that there is no progress and it’s still a “buyer beware” situation for anyone who feeds chicken, duck, turkey or sweet potato treats made from China to their pets.

You can read the full report here, but as of September 24, 2013, FDA has received more than 3000 complaints of illness related to consumption of chicken, duck, or sweet potato jerky treats, nearly all of which are imported from China. The reports involve more than 3600 dogs, 10 cats and include more than 580 deaths. And that’s just what has been reported...

This is why it’s so important to know where your pets treats are not only manufactured, but where the ingredients are sourced. We want to tell you about some safe treats for your pets that can be shared with either species and contains only ingredients guaranteed sourced from reputable suppliers, and manufactured in the good ole U S of A. Here are a few of our dogs and cats favorite treats from the top sources you can rely on.

The Honest Kitchen

We’ve long been a fan of The Honest Kitchen because they have clear transparency on how they source ingredients and they use only human-grade ingredients. Our pets love all their treats, but the favorites are the Beams. They’re made from pure, wild-caught Atlantic Catfish* skins, from the clean ocean waters of Iceland, dried into savory, chewy sticks. They’re guaranteed to satisfy the pickiest of pups and are the perfect treat alternative to dried chicken snacks or bully sticks! Beams are an excellent source of lean protein, they’re also lower fat and are a good source of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids.

Our dogs also love Pecks (see video of our new treat dispensing system/game). Pecks™ dog treats are made with buffalo and blueberries, with a little barley flour, molasses, eggs, coconut oil thrown in for good measure. Since they are only ½ calorie per treat, our pets can have a lot…

Stella & Chewy's

All Stella & Chewy’s products are produced, from start to finish, at our own federally-inspected plant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All of their farmers and suppliers provide Letters of Guaranty stating that their meats and produce are fresh, are unadulterated and in full compliance with all applicable federal regulations. They strictly follow Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point Guidelines, a prevention-based food safety system established by the FDA and USDA, and they test every batch before shipping by independent laboratory.

Our pets favorites are the Carnivore Kisses – despite the name, our cats and dogs equally love them and we can buy one canister for the entire pack. The Carnivore Kisses are diced, all-meat treats are available in 100% Angus Beef, 100% Chicken, 100% Duck, and 100% Wild Alaskan Salmon. Each is freeze-dried to lock in freshness and flavor.

Whole Life Treats

Whole Life Treats operates on the concept that "Farm to Friend" is the best policy and it shows in their high-quality food and treats. Each treat is made from 100% human-quality, hormone-free, free range and organic meat — with no chemicals, preservatives, additives or artificial fillers.  They are low in fat, low in calorie, low in carbohydrates and high in flavor – which makes them perfect for pets with allergy, weight and digestive problems.

They operate with 100% transparency and that is another reason we love them. You can meet each of their suppliers on their pages, learn about testing requirements that Whole Life Pet Products adheres too, and know that everything is manufactured in the US. Their "original" line is made from pure meat, fish or cheese and contain only one ingredient - with nothing artificial to get in the way of perfection. Their treats are great for both cats and dogs, so only one package will do you for both! Their original line is available in 11 flavors, making it a great way to select a protein everyone can agree on... They offer: Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Venison, Cod, Salmon, Beef Liver, Chicken Liver, Lamb Liver and Pure Cheddar Cheese.

Omaha Steaks

Did you know that Omaha Steaks make dog treats? We didn't either! But, the truth is – they do. And they aren't just normal treats. We were able to try out the Pet Steak Treats which are made from delicious cuts of their very popular round steak. The steak is dried and sprinkled with an all-natural preservative (sodium lactate) to keep them fresh and our dogs absolutely adored these treats! They are a little big for cats (although The Cog found a few small pieces she enjoyed). If you're missing the "jerky" form of treats, these are a perfect substitute.

We also checked out their Canine Cookies, which are a delicious combination of Omaha steak USDA meat, peanut butter, cheddar cheese, oats, milk and a vitamin E supplement. Their steak treats are manufactured exclusively for Omaha steaks at a plant in Michigan, and their Canine Cookies are sourced and manufactured in Omaha, Nebraska.

Zukes

Located in Durango, Colo. Zuke's focus is on pets' health and they take great care in sourcing and manufacturing their pet products. Zuke's jerky treats are made in the United States; and their meat, fruits and veggies are also sourced from the USA (with the exception of the wild rabbit and venison which come from New Zealand - another safe source).

Zuke's has been making natural dog and cat treats since 1995 and has never been recalled. They are proud of their track record and maintain strict testing standards, both during and after manufacturing. Meat is their #1 ingredient, making them ideal for dogs on limited-ingredient or grain-free diets. They also offer alternative proteins like lamb & turkey, which are excellent for dogs that are sensitive to more common proteins. Their dry treats contain carrots, apples, and blueberries - all of which are powerful sources of antioxidants; and they only use whole food ingredients - and never contain artificial colors, flavors or added animal fat.

Loving Pets

Every ingredient in Loving Pets' Made in the USA treats are all sourced in the USA from US farms and US suppliers.  Loving Pets Gourmet Meat Treats are 100% All-natural which means they are additive, filler, and preservative-free.  The only ingredients added to Loving Pets Chicken Jerky are Glucosamine & Chondroitin which have been proven to improve joint health.  Many other products on the market contain vegetable glycerine and although it may not be listed under their ingredients, they believe that vegetable glycerine is a filler and unhealthy for your dog. Loving Pets' made in the USA treat collections include: Barksters™ (9 varieties), Grill-icious™ (3 varieties), and It's Purely Natural™ (8 varieties) for Dogs, and Purrfectly Natural™ (Beef Lung and Chicken) for Cats.

If you look around, you'll find that many manufacturers are changing their sources to USA based manufacturing and local food sources. There is no need to purchase from companies who manufacture overseas and it just may be that your pets life depend on not doing so. Take the time to ask questions and keep a close eye on that FDA recall list!


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stacymantle
Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.


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