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Review and BONUS GIVEAWAY: Vet's Best Seasonal Allergy Support and Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 Comments

Summer is here, and unfortunately so is allergy season. But did you know that many pets suffer from seasonal allergies, too? If your pet is one of those unlucky allergy sufferers, you know just how uncomfortable the sneezing and itching makes them. Just in time for allergy season, Mad About Pets was given the opportunity to test out 2 seasonal allergy products for dogs by Vet’s Best: their Seasonal Allergy Support supplement and Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo.

Canine volunteer Harley
Since there are currently no dogs residing in the Mad About Pets household, I enlisted the help of a canine volunteer to test these products. Harley, a friend's 9-year-old Golden Retriever, stepped in to assist. Harley is allergic to flavored rawhide bones, damp weather, and certain foods such as lamb and rice. Harley is currently on allergy medication, and his owner reports he is generally uncooperative in that he tends to spit out his allergy pills. Two days prior to administering the first dosage of the Seasonal Allergy Support supplement, Harley quit taking his allergy medication so that he would have a clean testing slate. Much to my surprise (and to Harley’s owner’s), Harley had no qualms about taking the Seasonal Allergy Support Supplement. He was given one pill each morning and evening for a week and took the pill with no issues. To quote Harley’s owner: “I let him play outside as it was rainy and damp all week. I left him run through weeds. I let him eat flavored rawhide bones. I gave him extra meaty treats. He did not break out with a hot spot. I was surprised that the supplement worked!”

Harley was also on the job to try out the Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo. Harley was allowed to get extra dirty during the week, so his fur was nice and full of weeds, dirt and even a bit of poo when the time came for his bath. Harley’s owner reports that “the shampoo cleaned him nicely by removing all the dirt, weeds, grass, loose fur, loose dander, and poo.” She also states that it did not irritate his sensitive skin like many shampoos do. Due to the hypo-allergenic nature of the shampoo, it is unscented so it should not bother the sensitive skin and noses of dogs with allergies. In other words, your dog will not have that freshly-shampooed smell…just a clean dog with no extra scent.

Many thanks to Harley and his person for giving these great products a try!

Want to win a bottle of Vet’s Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo for your dog?

Win a bottle of Vet's Best
Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo!
Mad About Pets is giving away 1 bottle of Vet's Best Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo  to a lucky reader. Here's how to snag a free bottle for your pup:

To enter the giveaway:

All you need to do is leave a comment on this post telling me a little about the dog who would enjoy this shampoo. Make sure to leave me a way to contact you, whether it be Twitter, email, etc. so I can notify you if you win!

Want some extra entries? Here's how:

5 extra entries:

*Blog about this contest with a link to this post (leave me a comment with the link)

1 extra entry:

*Tweet a link to this giveaway @MadAboutPets
*Follow me on Twitter
*Join my Facebook fan page
*Subscribe to my feed
*Post a link to Mad About Pets on your blog or site

Please leave a separate comment for each additional entry to state you have completed the requirement. I highly suggest that you leave your email address (use "name [at] domain dot com" format to avoid spambots) in your comment(s) so that I am able to contact you ASAP if you're a winner. If I cannot contact the winner within 3 days, I will have to draw a new winner.

Entry deadline is July 13, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. Central Standard Time. This giveaway is open to United States residents only.

Good luck!

Interview: Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary (and how your help is URGENTLY needed!)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 Comments

Mad About Pets was fortunate to visit Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary last month, where we were positively blown away by the hard work and dedication of the operator Beth. Critter Camp cares for hundreds of unique and unusual exotic species every day, giving them a safe place to call home. Right now, Critter Camp is almost at full capacity and is looking to expand. As a finalist in the Pepsi Refresh Challenge, you have the opportunity to help give Critter Camp the much-needed funds to expand their operation and build a brand new, green sanctuary for their deserving critters to happily live out their lives. Read on for an exclusive Mad About Pets interview with Critter Camp’s very own Beth, and learn how you can help:  

What is Critter Camp?

Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary cares for unadoptable, abandoned and abused small pets other than cats and dogs. Currently we care for over 300 pets of 36 different species. Critter Camp is the only such licensed non-profit volunteer-operated sanctuary in the entire country. We are located in northern Illinois, but accept animals from as far away as Texas and Florida. We also offer hands-on educational tours where folks get to meet the animals we care for, and we provide public awareness and educational presentations.

Tell us a little about your animals. Which are the most unique? Which are the most challenging?

Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary has saved the lives of thousands of unadoptable pets: elderly, aggressive rabbits, ferrets with adrenal disease and insulinoma, hedgehogs with tumors, birds that bite, mice, rats, hamsters, fennec foxes- you name it – we've saved it!

Most were going to be euthanized, some were found in trash cans and dumpsters!

The kinkajous are the most unique; they have both mauled people and are considered dangerous. Kinks are very cute when they are small, but they often turn mean out of the blue and can do major damage such as tearing an ear off of a person. The fennec foxes are also unique. They are not as dangerous but they are a challenge. They need to be free range roaming about but they are not potty trainable, so there is always a mess. Plus they get into things, so we have to basically baby-proof everything.

Where do the animals at Critter Camp come from?

The animals come to us mostly from shelters where they are going to be euthanized because they are unadoptable due to aggression, old age or chronic illness. Some have come to us from law enforcement, such as the rabbits and guinea pigs that were to be used as bait in a dog fighting ring.

How would winning the Pepsi Refresh challenge help Critter Camp?

Critter Camp relies on donations to care for the animals and, as with many non-profits, the economy has caused a decrease in donations. Fundraising takes a lot of time that could be better spent caring for more animals. Critter Camp is also at capacity for most of the animals we care for and we have plans to expand to a larger facility. Winning the contest would mean that the care of the animals would be funded for a year and we would also have money to buy the land to begin the expansion project. Basically it would mean that Critter camp could save the lives of thousands more pets!

How can readers vote, and when does the contest end?

The entry is here: http://www.refresheverything.com/helpcrittercamp

People can vote once a day, every day until the end of June 2011 August 2011. We only need to be in the top 10 to win $50,000, and we are at #32 right now.

People can vote by signing in with email or their Facebook account, or just by texting their vote:

Text 108022 to Pepsi (73774) to vote from your cell (there is no additional charge for this text other than what they would normally pay for a text.)

Right now the most important thing is to use or send us the Power Vote codes on Pepsi products! They can send the codes to info@crittercamp.biz These are vital to our winning!

The codes are on Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Maxx yellow bottle caps ( 20 oz and 2 L) and inside 12 and 24 pack boxes. These can multiply your votes up to 100x!

We'd like to also invite folks to stop by our website www.crittercamp.org and sign up for our free email newsletter - the sign up box is there on the home page, and to "like" us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/crittercamp 

If we all work together we can save the lives of so many truly "thrown away" animals and give them a healthy, happy, safe place to live out the rest of their lives.

Guest Post: What You Need to Know About Herbs for Dogs

Monday, June 20, 2011 Comments

As a dog owner, you, without a doubt, consider your canine to be a part of your family, loving him unconditionally just as he does you. And while catering to the needs of your beloved furry family member, you always want to be sure that you are offering the best available care to your dog, especially when their diet and health is involved. For most of us, no expense is too high when it comes to our dog’s health, and we’ll do most anything to keep them healthy, happy, and living a fun-loving life. Like humans, dogs also experience pain from time to time, and when many of us rely on pain relief in the form of medicine, so do our four-legged friends. With that being said, it’s important to be aware of potential adverse side effects from such drugs, and perhaps introduce you to other less harsh options to pain relief for your dog. Herbal medication for dogs is a great form of pain relief and has little or no side effects. Checking with your veterinarian on what types of herbal medication to use (and the appropriate situations in which to use them) is a wonderful way to familiarize yourself with this type of medication, while fully understanding the effect that it can have on your dog.

Turmeric is great for joint pain
While some (but definitely not all) herbal medication may tend to range on the pricier side, you might be happy to hear that some forms of herbal medication are available to you right now for free! Where? Look no further than your very own kitchen. These simple home remedies are easy to make, and are friendly to your canine (and your wallet). Turmeric for example, may prove to be beneficial to your canine, specifically for joint pain. Adding turmeric to your dog’s food is a simple way to introduce your dog to the herb, while offering your dog pain relief at the very same time. Cayenne is another cure-all herb you may have in your household, and it not only works to relieve pain in your dog, but also functions as an anti-inflammatory – also great for joint issues.

Chamomile can soothe eye irritation

Eye irritation is annoying to both humans and dogs. Fortunately enough, Chamomile can be used to help sooth your pet’s irritated eyes. It’s as easy as soaking a chamomile tea bag in hot water, letting it cool, and then squeezing the excess water out and applying it to your dog’s eyes. Another versatile herb is Aloe Vera which can be used for pain relief by forming it into a poultice and applying it to burns or flea bites. If stomach or back issues are giving your dog trouble, Ginger contains antispasmodic characteristics. In other words, Ginger possesses ingredients that combat muscle spasms, and is also helpful to soothe muscular strains and pulls. It’s always important to be aware of the amount of Ginger (or any other herbal medication taken by mouth) you’re giving your dog in any given dose – you can always give your dog more if need be, but you don’t want to risk giving your dog more than he or she can handle at one time.

Aloe can provide pain relief for
bug bites or burns
If you are ever unsure on whether or not a certain herbal medication or remedy is safe for your dog, it’s always smart to consult with your veterinarian. Herbal medication for dogs, used appropriately in relation to the condition and status of your dog’s health, is a convenient and fairly inexpensive way of relieving your dog of pain or other common irritations, while keeping their faces smiling and tails wagging for a very long time!

This article was provided by Silver Lining Herbs. Silver Lining Herbs is a world leader in human-grade herbal support for horses and dogs, providing the best possible resources for natural health.

Mad About Pets favorite home decor FINALLY REVEALED

Friday, June 17, 2011 Comments

After the long wait (and honestly, the fact that I forgot to write this…), I am ready to share with you Mad About Pets' favorite piece of home décor: the Naked Decor Animal Instinct Black Kitty Cat with Button Eyes Pillow! This pillow has been enjoying its position of dominance on my living room couch for a few months now, and has certainly drawn a lot of compliments from guests. As you can see by the photo of Rory and Gabe at the end of this post, it is also a big hit with the Mad About Pets cats!

Naked Decor designer
Supon Phornirunlit
This adorable pillow is a product of Naked Décor,  owned by prominent graphic designer Supon Phornirunlit. His decorative items have been featured in contemporary design magazines worldwide. Each pillow is hand silkscreened on cotton canvas, and the big kitty on the front features 2 huge red button eyes. I love this pillow because the cat design is super modern; it actually reminds me a lot of the work done by Shag, my favorite pop artist.

Naked Décor has a full line of decorative designs for the home, including many animal-themed products. One of my other favorites is the Cat and Kitten Pillow—so cute! Here are the full product lines of animal-themed items from Naked Décor to check out:

-Happy Hot Dog Collection (Dachshund décor including lamps, plates, etc.)
-Doggie Style Collection (silkscreened pillows)
-Animal Instinct (misc. animals, including the pillows described in this post)
-Pooch Décor (pop art style dog portraits)
-Under the Sea (sea creature pillows)

Gabe and Rory both attempt to woo the lovely
lady-cat on the pillow

Mounds Dog Fest 2011 photos

Monday, June 13, 2011 Comments

Mounds Dog Fest 2011 in Sun Prairie was a huge success! Just about every dog breed imaginable was in attendance, along with some very talented competitors in the dock jumping competition and other great events. Here are some photos from the day. Hope to see you there next year :)

Spotlight UK: Pet Friendly Pest Control

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 Comments

Pets and pests both need careful management if you want to get rid of the pests without harming the pets. This concise guide provides some pointers on how to achieve pet-friendly pest control.

If you’re taking pest control measures you should also be thinking about pet control.

This is for three reasons. Firstly, the measures that you take to deter pests can affect your pets. Whether it’s poisons, traps or some other means, you don’t want the family cat or dog coming to harm by mistake.

Secondly, your pets attract their own pests. It may be fleas buried in their fur or the host of creatures that feast on stored or left-over pet food, or those which thrive on the dirt and mess which your pets leave behind.

If that’s not enough, there’s a third pet pest matter to control – stopping them from annoying you. Pets become pests when they do damage inside or outside the home or don’t behave as they should.

Control pests without harming pets

Pest control measures often come in chemical form which could harm household pets. Weed killers, slug pellets and bait for rats and mice all present a potential danger, even if not eaten.

Many commercial pest control
products are highly toxic to pets
Before applying any form of chemical product it’s essential that you read the label and take note of what it’s telling you. If a serious pest problem has led you to call in professional help, either through your local council or a private firm, make sure they know what pets you have so that they can take the appropriate precautions.

Alternatively, you could use natural products which won’t harm animals. For example, sprinkling cinnamon or concentrated lemon juice outside your home and in your garden keeps many insects at bay, including ants.

Control the pests that come with pets

However hard you might try, there’s a reasonable chance that your pet will pick up some kind of parasite from time to time. The most common are fleas, which jump from one animal to another and live by sucking blood from their host.

Fleas are a common parasite for domestic
dogs, so use a good flea preventative

Pest problems can come from cockroaches, flies and other insects that are attracted to pet food, both stored and leftovers. Your pets will also shed hair and leave other waste matter behind them, all of which is an attractive food source to a variety of creatures.

Cleanliness is the key to minimising the risks in these areas. Food should be stored in secure containers, bowls kept clean when not in use and any leftovers cleared away and binned. The areas where your pets sleep should be regularly cleaned and checked for signs of pests.

Pet waste should not be allowed to accumulate inside or outside the house. Regular vacuuming, cleaning of hair from furniture and tidying up mess in the garden will make your home more attractive to your family and friends and less attractive to vermin.

Stop your pets becoming pests

You want to enjoy your pet so it’s important to prevent them from being an irritant to your neighbours.

Dogs without a fenced yard should be kept
on a leash at all times when outdoors-- in many
communities, it's the law!

Having a secure fence around your garden will keep your dog on your side of the boundary. Outdoor cats are harder to control but you should provide litter trays to encourage them not to make a mess in your neighbour’s garden.

Poor behaviour can be a problem, particularly in dogs. Incessant barking or uncontrolled running around is at best annoying and can be frightening or dangerous, particularly if older people or children are around. Investing in obedience classes can help deal with this. Dogs should also be kept on a leash at all times if they are outside in an unfenced yard.

Having a pet can provide years of pleasure but it also comes with responsibilities. By being aware of these and taking the appropriate action you can be a happy and successful pet owner.

This article was provided by London Pest Control, Bypest.com. London pest control professionals Bypest.com offer a comprehensive service for all kinds of pest-control problems throughout London and around the M25, serving both residential and commercial customers.

Help Support the Dane County K9 Unit on Sunday, June 12 at Dog Fest 2011 in Sun Prairie

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 Comments

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