Your Pets Rely on You to Stay Healthy

The cat’s bowl is full of nutritious Instinctive Choice. Your canine companion has had his daily Wellness Food Supplement. You know that you are forgetting something, but you just can’t seem to place it. Maybe it’s not something you’re forgetting but rather someone! As important of a role your pets play in your life, you are the main character in their lives! Without you who would they turn to?

By changing a few simple things in your daily routine, you could be around for more belly scratches and rub downs!

Get Active – Don’t just let Fido out by himself – join him. A recent survey found that more than 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. Since the health problems associated with excess weight include heart disease, diabetes and stroke, it’s important to make weight loss and fitness a priority in your life. So lace up those sneakers and take your dog for a daily walk at the local park or around your block! The fresh air will invigorate you and the companionship of your dog will make this daily activity more enjoyable and seem less like exercise. Not only will this help keep your weight under control, but it will also help make for a healthier heart.

Eat Healthy – You feed your pets the best, most nutritious foods, and you should be doing the same. Hate the word “diet”? Try the 80-20 factor. Eat healthy 80% of the time and indulge for the other 20%. This is a very simple way to improve your diet. The American Heart Association recommends eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. An easy way to ensure that you are getting health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids on a daily basis is to try Sealogix Omega-3 Fish Oil. Thanks in large part to its superior quality, purity and concentration of nutrients, Sealogix represents an exceptional value compared to other market brands.

Stop Smoking – Many of us grew up when smoking was cool. Well, it’s not cool anymore. The American Heart Association could not have put it any clearer. Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death! Your bad habit does not only affect you – it affects everyone in your home – pets included! There are so many cessation programs available these days that quitting may be easier than you think. Procrastination is one of the biggest hurdles, so make the decision to stop smoking today and consult your health care provider for the program that’s right for you.

Let your pets continue to enjoy the life that you have worked so hard to give them. You need to stay healthy, too!

The Perfect Pet Food Blog

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Latest Lice News

Getting a "heads-up" on Lice
According to Betty Goldman, a mother of two, Anna Booth Elementary has a bad lice problem. She said even after shampooing her children's hair thoroughly, they'd come home from school the next day, itching. We talked with Supervisor of Health and Social
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Kill Lice with Mayonnaise
If you or your kids end up with a head lice problem, you don't necessarily need to invest in expensive and harsh shampoos to solve the problem. A jar of mayonnaise can do the trick. Daniel Packer, writing for frugal living blog Wise Bread, shares his
Read more on Lifehacker

Parents worried about head lice outbreaks
Parents questioned school officials, asking if more could not be done to prevent lice outbreaks. Grout responded that the school followed guidelines set by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). This includes not sending children home from school
Read more on The Kalona News

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Awkward Massage is Awkward

So I made it back safe and sound from lovely Granda. The Technical Animal Rescue course was absolutely amazing and a fantastic program for anyone who is interested in animal rescue- but before I go into the water rescue, the ropes course, or all the exciting things World Vets is up to in Nicaragua, I promised Sarah I would share the story of the world’s most awkward massage so my stories are going to be in reverse chronological order.

The last day on our trip was a free day, to wind up loose ends, to take in any sights we missed, or just get packed. A group of us decided to spend the afternoon at the Mombacho Beach Club, a lovely little pool attached to the Choco Museum in Granda (okay, perhaps being part of a chocolate museum did create some impetus to go there.) As we were walking through the lobby, we noticed a little sign advertising the spa services. “A massage,” we thought to ourselves, “would be just the thing after a long week of rescuing stuffed dogs from the brink of death.”

Aside from being pretty inexpensive, the spa offerings at the Choco Museum included a strange but intriguing sounding Choco Therapy, where one would be covered from head to toe in melted chocolate, scrubbed with sugar, and left to solidify into a hollow choco bunny. Unable to bring myself to indulge in such a messy sounding waste of perfectly good chocolate, Sarah and I decided to opt for the regular massage while my new friend Jen went for the gourmet version.

We made our way down to the spa cabanas at our appointed time, and there was some discussion as the staff seemed unsure of which person was to go into which room. The fact that the staff spoke little English and we spoke little Spanish added to the drama, but soon I found myself alone outside Cabana Uno facing a man in a white coat.

“Do I go here?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said- well, he said “Si”, and then he said something along the lines of “I need your voucher,” which we paid for at the front desk. I held it out to him.

“I need your voucher,” he repeated, and I got confused, because I thought that was what I was handing to him.

“Voucher. Si,” I said, holding it up.

“The voucher,” he repeated, sounding annoyed.

“But this is all I have,” I said, which of course he did not understand because I said it in English. I raised it up further. He stared at me blankly. We went through this a few more times, and then it hit me when I realized he wasn’t making any motion to take or inspect the voucher in any way that perhaps I was missing something important.

He was wearing sunglasses. My eyes moved to the left, noticing a cane dangling from his wrist.

“Ah, the voucher,” I said, pressing it into his hand, feeling like the biggest ass in the universe. He took it, sighing to himself I’m sure, and gestured me inside the room. I saw a massage table, towels, the usual massage type stuff. He gestured and said something I didn’t understand, and stepped outside.

I’ve had a few massages in my day; the usual routine is to get down to your skivvies, lay on your stomach, and pull the sheet up to your waist. There were a few changes in this routine:

1. Since I had planned on an afternoon at the pool but not for a massage, I just had a wet bathing suit on with nothing to change into. It’s not unusual or unheard of to have a massage in the buff since the masseuse keeps your bits and pieces covered with a sheet, but I never have done that. I’ll admit for a prude like me I was already a little less than perfectly comfortable with the situation.

2. There was no sheet. Instead, a small hand towel lay on the massage table.

So I had no choice in the matter but to lay down on the table, drape the small piece of toweling over my derriere, and hope for the best. A moment later, my masseuse felt his way back in and we got underway.

Having a massage while completely naked by a blind man who doesn’t speak a lick of the same language that you do is not an experience I recommend for the faint of heart. One, my usual method of communication with someone who doesn’t speak the same language- mime- is completely useless. Two, he had the added challenge of trying to demonstrate what I needed to do- move up, turn over, etc- with no language and hoping he didn’t grab the wrong protruding part by mistake. A task, by the by, he performed admirably given the circumstances.

I tried to look this relaxed, I really did. Fortunately no one saw the expression on my face the duration of the hour.

Generally when one gets a massage, the purpose of the towel is to cover your exposed parts from a professional eye. Since that was a moot point, my masseuse was pretty much using the towel as a barrier to navigate his way around. This meant I spent half the time with the towel either around my shoulders or down by my knees while I tried to relax with the entirely awful sensation of breezes where I would prefer not to have breezes. It was only made worse by the completely unfounded yet persistent voice in the back of my head whispering, “What if he really isn’t blind?” while I lay prone with a hand towel over my face and clavicles.

Having convinced myself that I wasn’t part of some elaborate scheme to manufacture low quality videos for the backwaters of the internet, I had just begun to relax when we entered the reflexology portion of the massage. This is where you are on your back and the masseuse manipulates your joints through a full range of motion.

I dare you to lay down on your bed, butt naked, and throw your leg over your head. Then bend your knee and work your hips through a full range of motion. Make sure to enjoy the breeze. It’s mildly awkward. Now imagine a stranger of the opposite sex standing over you while you’re doing this. Don’t worry, he or she has a blindfold on so it’s TOTALLY not awkward at all.

OK, I lied. It’s still incredibly awkward. This may in fact be the first time I’ve left a massage more stressed than I was before I began, a fact compounded by the fact that neither I nor the professional had any way to improve the circumstances. I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. This guy was completely professional and a more than adequate masseuse. I’m sure if I had done due diligence and learned more than “si”, “muy bueno” and “uno momento” it would have been an easier hour.

As I left, I heard “Pssssst!” from behind the bushes, and turned to see Jen, covered head to toe in chocolate. Apparently when you are done with the choco therapy experience, they pretty much turn you loose to do what you will with yourself, which means in order to remove the chocolate you need to find your way to the shower facilities, which are on the opposite side of the pool from the spa cabanas. So we strolled past the poolchairs while lounging tourists chuckled and Jen informed me that at least her chocolate application professional was sighted, which given the circumstances of having molten chocolate slathered on your face is probably for the best.

So I don’t want to turn you off to the spa services in Nicaragua, should you decide to pursue them. They are excellent. Just make sure to pack a Spanish-English dictionary and, should you find yourself face to face with Marcos, extra undies and a large beach towel.


Pawcurious: With Pet Lifestyle Expert and Veterinarian Dr. V.

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Vegetarian Thanksgiving Goodness

I have been a vegetarian for 23 years, and I always seem to get asked one of two questions this time of year:  1. “What do you eat on Thanksgiving if you don’t eat turkey?” and/or 2. “So I guess you eat those weird tofu turkey things, huh?”  My answer to question #1 is “lots.”  My answer to question #2 is “no.”  As for the vegetarian turkey alternatives, I’ve tried several of them, and although I have friends who think they are the best thing on the planet, I can’t get over the bizarre, rubber-like texture.  They’re great for some, just not for me.  And when it comes to having non-meat options aside from turkey, I’ve learned to absolutely love all of the goodies that most refer to as side dishes.  I see mashed potatoes, veggie stuffing, fresh baked rolls, yam, green beans and cranberries all together in one meal as a seriously awesome abundance of main dishes.  With all of this vegetarian goodness, I’m definitely just as full and satisfied as my turkey-eating family members.  Lucky for me, there is also the fact that desserts very rarely have meat in them.  Bonus.

Although I’m not much of a cook, I still love looking through magazines and food blogs around Thanksgiving.  And I get especially excited when I come across recipes for unique vegetarian side dishes.  Finding these types of recipes around this time of year is one of the only things that makes me feel motivated to attempt to create something in the kitchen.  This is kind of a big deal for me you guys, considering that on a good day, my best case scenario is making a piece of toast without burning several slices of bread in the process.

I know some of my readers are vegetarians as well, so I thought I’d share some of the delicious, meat-free recipes I’ve discovered over the past couple of weeks.  I’m not sure which one(s) I’ll make yet, but it’s nice to have a little round-up of inspiration.

1. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese, How Sweet It Is
2. Baked Feta Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Gourmande in the Kitchen
3. Charred Green Beans with Harissa and Almonds, Bon Appetit
4. Acorn Squash and Sweet Potato Soup (gluten free!), Tartelette
5. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Steamy Kitchen
6. Delicate Squash Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Pomegranate Seeds, The Year in Food
7. Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter-Balsamic Sauce, Aida Mollenkamp
8. Mini Pumpkin Pies with Vanilla Whipcream, Offbeat & Inspired

Whether you’re a meat eater or not, what is your favorite vegetarian Thanksgiving dish?

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Nice Tick photos

Check out these Tick images:

The Ticking

Image by cinderellasg
Can anyone explain to me why this is book is so highly lauded everywhere? This is an honest question that is not intended to be snarky in any way. I want to love graphic novels in practice as much as I love them in theory. Any direction toward any sort of entry into loving The Ticking would be much appreciated.

Tick with orangish spot on back

Image by ww_whist
This is one of only 3 ticks I found on me during the entire hike. A month ago I would have had twice that many 60 seconds after getting off the trail. It’s great that the ticks are dying down but I’m not sure why since it’s still cool weather and there is a lot of green vegetation about.

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Many people believe that they need to add calcium to their large-breed puppy’s food but that is a myth. Do not try to add calcium to your puppy’s bowl (in the form of eggshells or any calcium supplement you might find) because it can actually backfire and weaken your large breed dog’s bones! For many years there was a misconception that a large-breed dog needed more calcium when she was growing because she was going to have big bones. Whether in humans or animals, calcium does not work alone in the body—it requires phosphorus to build bones.

This is an essential reason why veterinary nutritionists (and I!) recommend using a high quality dry (and wet) food made by a trustworthy company like Halo throughout a dog’s life because all dog foods are formulated with a specific ratio of calcium to phosphorus. If people were to add calcium to the carefully designed formulas in premium dog foods it would upset the balance between the two supplements. In fact, giving too much calcium to a large breed puppy during growth will actually lead to large but weak bones that lack the density needed for strength. The result could be bone and joint disorders down the road.

Many pet nutritionists recommend feeding large-breed puppies the food developed for them—but contrary to what you might think, these foods do not pack a “bigger punch” just because the dog is going to be bigger. Quite the opposite is true: both formulations should have the same amount of protein and calcium, but it may surprise you to know that the calorie content of large breed puppy food is actually lower than in regular puppy food!

A large-breed puppy should be getting fewer calories than other breeds as they grow. Specialists suggest feeding a large-breed puppy a brand of food that has the lowest calorie density – which you can determine by reading and comparing the labels – and measuring out the quantity carefully. After six months, you can transition your huge dog to Halo adult food and keep an eye on the quantity you feed, basing it on keeping that big pooch as lean as possible for a lifetime of health.

This is excerpted from my book THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know

Tracie Hotchner, author of The Dog Bible and The Cat Bible, guest blogs here every Thursday on healthy, natural choices for pets.


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Victoria who was found in a rubbish bin

This is Victoria who, at the age of four weeks, was found in a rubbish bin in Monaco – dumped in a plastic bag.   That was in 2001 and since then has had the happiest of lives.  You can read Victoria’s story and see photos when she was younger, by clicking on the link.

Victoria is now 10 years old and  lives in Sospel, a village above Menton.  She now has a canine housemate who we’ll meet in the next post.


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Dogs of Dorcol sleep off last night’s bark party

Some cool Dog images:

Dogs of Dorcol sleep off last night’s bark party

Image by Limbic
The Dogs of Dorcol (Pron. Dor-Chol, is a northern inner city district of Belgrade, Serbia) snooze on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

They were recently evicted from their patch in the lobby of Ticketline and have taken to sheltering under the awnings of the chemist on Kralja Petra Street.

The Dogs of Dorcol are street dogs but Belgraders take good care of them. If you look closely they are all well fed and have flea collars – provided by animal lovers in the district.

It is normal for people to adopt street dogs if they want a pet.

Dorcol is doggie Bronx. Dogs on leashes are visibly terrified in the area as the dogs of Dorcol can be fierce to strange dogs.

The main sport for the dogs is attacking two-wheeled transportation devices (scooters and bicycles). The death of several hardy dogs has lead to a reluctant respect for 4-wheel vehicles.

Dog or Bunny?

Image by Matthew T Rader
This dog was following me around one day while I was shooting with Katie, then he just stood there and stared at me while I was looking at him through my view finder. So I did like a fake jump at him to startle him and I got this shot in the right moment.

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Dog. Drums.

Image by :mrMark:
My dog , Brodie, likes to lie in pools of sunlight in the dining/music/office/junk room.

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In the last post, we met little Victoria, who had been found in a rubbish bin at 4 weeks and now lives in the mountain village of Sospel, above Menton. 

This is her new friend, Tess.  Tess was bom in the house next door and Victoria’s family just had to have one of the pups.  She’s now three years old and as you see, a wonderfully gentle soul.


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Bearded Dragon Secret Manual

Bearded Dragon Secret Manual Bearded Dragon Care: Find Out How 93.7% Of Bearded Dragon Owners Make These 37 Deadly Mistakes Unintentionally That Torturing Their Beloved Beardie To Death Bearded…

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Dog Training Blog | Tips and Dog Training Resources

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