Category: Animals

Oct 18

Learn How To Check Your Dog For Ticks

How To Check Your Dog For Ticks (courtesy of

Did you know your fine, furry friends can get lyme disease, too? Giving Fido the once over will not only protect him from infection, but, it can help keep you and your family safe, too. You will need:

Fine-tipped tweezers


Warm water

Rubbing alcohol

Cotton balls

Sealed container

A veterinarian


Sturdy table or counter

A towel

A sealable plastic baggie

Step 1 – Wash the tweezers thoroughly in soapy water, or, wipe them carefully with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. If you do find a tick, you’ll want to be able to remove it right away.

Step 2 – Set your dog down. If you have a small dog, it may be easier to put him on a sturdy counter or a table with a towel under him.

Step 3 – Run your hands over the dog’s body, gently but thoroughly, beginning with the face and ears and moving back toward the tail.

Step 4 – Check the dog’s chest, stomach, legs and feet. Be sure to examine between the toes and the armpits, and inside the ears. Remember, some ticks are as small as the head of a pin.

Step 5 – If you feel any bumps beneath the skin, separate the fur to examine the area more closely.

Step 6 – If you find a tick, it may have already formed a protective sac around itself. Use the clean tweezers to grasp the sac as closely as possible to the dog’s skin. Try to avoid crushing the tick’s body. This may be difficult with very small ticks, but, do your best!

Step 7 – Pull the sac away from the dog’s skin. If the tick’s mouth parts are left behind,don’t be concerned. Once the body is removed, it can no longer transmit bacteria.

Step 8 – Do not prick, crush or burn the tick. Instead, place it in a sealable container, such as a lidded jar, with a little bit of rubbing alcohol. Seal the container and throw it away. If you don’t have a lidded jar, place the tick in a sealable, plastic baggie and throw it away.

Step 9 – Clean the bitten area with rubbing alcohol.

Step 10 – Wash your hands thoroughly.

Step 11 – Over the next few weeks, check the spot where you pulled the tick. Some dogs may have a red spot or a slight swelling in the area for several days. If serious redness, swelling or tenderness occurs, contact your veterinarian.

Step 12 – Talk to your vet about whether your dog might benefit from collars, pills, or topical applications that protect against fleas and ticks.

Did you know? The most common symptom of lyme disease in dogs is lameness and painful swelling of the joints?


Aug 23

Learn How To Deal With Mosquitoes

How To Deal With Mosquitoes (courtesy of Howcast)

Nothing can ruin a beautiful, summer day faster than being attacked by blood-thirsty mosquitoes the moment you step outside! Although it might be impossible to eradicate them completely, you can fight back. You will need:

Repellent containing DEET
Yellow Light Bulbs


Mosquito fish or larvicide
CO2 trapping device

Always use extreme caution when using insecticides. Follow the directions on the label.

Step 1: To get rid of mosquitoes, you must eliminate any standing water around your home. That’s where they breed. Things like flower pots, recycling bins, puddles, or even a small, overturned lid can result in thousands of mosquitoes. Do you have a bird bath? Change the water every couple of days. Be sure to treat swimming pools, and ask your neighbors to do the same. Stock ponds with mosquito fish, which feed on the larvae, or use a mosquito larvicide product.

Step 2: Mow your lawn frequently, and try to reduce vegetation around your house, which is where mosquitoes live.

Step 3: Make sure all of your windows and doors are kept tightly sealed. Screens should be 16 to 18 mesh. Any holes or tears should be repaired immediately.

Step 4: Replace outdoor lights with yellow bulbs. They’re not repellents, but they attract fewer mosquitoes than regular lighting.

Step 5: If you have to be outside – particularly dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active, wear long sleeves and trousers, if possible. Either apply a repellent containing DEET, or appy Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon-Eucalyptus…the only repellents considered by the Center for Disease Control and Protection to be both safe for young children and effective. Contrary to popular belief, eating garlic does not repel mosquitoes, eating bananas does not attract them, and, burning citronella candles is only slightly more effective than burning any kind of candle!

Step 6 – Direct a fan to blow on you when you’re outside, or, if you have a mosquito trapped inside that you can’t catch. Mosquitoes aren’t strong fliers, so it will make it difficult to land on you. Try to avoid shady areas, where mosquitoes tend to rest, even in the heat of the day.

Step 7 – Consider trying a mosquito-trapping device that lures the bugs with CO2. They can work. Although whether it captures enough mosquitoes to make a noticeable difference depends on many variables – even including the particular species of mosquito in your area. Don’t waste your money on ultrasonic devices or bug zappers. Ultrasonic simply doesn’t work, and zappers have been proven to result in no significant difference in the overall amount of mosquitoes in the yard.

Step 8: Mosquitoes can carry such diseases as Encephalitis, Malaria and West Nile Virus. If you’re in an infected area, consider spraying the heavy foliage near your house with pesticides; although, given the health risks, this should be a last-ditch effort.

Did you know? Mosquitoes can sense the lactic acid on your skin and the carbon dioxide in your breath from up to 100 feet away!


Aug 10

Learn How To Get Your Dog To Take A Pill

How To Give Your Dog A Pill (courtesy of

Being your dog’s best friend means getting her to take her medicine when she needs it. Here are a few tips to help the medicine go down! You will need:

A pooch in need of a pill
Dog Pills
Some dog treats


A helper
Small amount of cheese, cream cheese or peanut butter
Sugar Water
Medicine Syringe
Canine pill gun

Step 1 – Make your dog sit. Never call a dog to you in order to give her medicine. You don’t want her to associate being called with being dosed. Always seem her out yourself.

Step 2 – Use one hand to pry your dog’s mouth open. With your other hand, pop the pill way back into her mouth. Make sure the pill goes behind the back of her tongue. A second person to help may come in handy if your dog is especially large or wriggly.

Step 3 – With one hand, hold the dog’s mouth closed, snout pointing up, while you’re gently rubbing her throat with your other hand.

Step 4 – Once the dog swallows and licks her lips, you can be sure the pill is safely down. Stay nearby until you know the pill has been safely swallowed. Plenty of dogs are adept at concealing their meds and spitting them out later.

Step 5 – If you’re having difficulty, check with your vet to see if it’s safe to give your dog a pill concealed in food; and if so, try hiding the medicine in something soft, like cheese, cream cheese or peanut butter. Let the dog lick your fingers after you feed her the pill…that will ensure that she swallows. Be sure to tell your vet what food you might try. Some foods interact badly with certain medications.

Step 6 – If your dog doesn’t fall for the pill-in-the-food tricks, crush the pill – mix it with a little sugar water and use a baby syringe to squirt the liquid into the dog’s mouth.

Step 7 – Still not working?? Try a Pill Gun. Available from your vet or local pet store, they propel the pill down the dog’s throat.

Step 8 – When the pill is all gone, praise your dog, pat her and give her a nice treat to take away the taste!

Did you know? Blowing on a dog’s nose will encourage it to swallow!


Aug 03

Learn How To Make A Hamster or Gerbil Maze

How To Make A Maze for your Gerbil or Hamster (courtesy of

Looking for a pet project? Have your gerbil or hamster stop spinning their wheels, and make them their very own maze! You will need:

A ruler
A pencil
Non-sugary cereal
A gerbil or hamster

Optional: Duct tape, construction paper, stickers or markers

Step 1 – Lay out a flat piece of cardboard to use as the maze’s floor. Choose a piece as large as a labyrinth you want to make. To increase the maze area, attach 2 pieces of cardboard together with duct tape.

Step 2 – Cut 6 inch high strips from flat cardboard, the same length and width as the maze floor. Glue the strips around the perimeter to create the structure’s walls.

Step 3 – Draw a design for the labyrinth on the maze floor. Include divergent paths and dead ends to challenge your gerbil or hamster.

Step 4 – Cut additional 6 inch high cardboard strips and glue them over your design. Make sure all of the pieces are attached sturdily so that your pet can run through the labyrinth without knocking them over. Decorate your maze with construction papers, stickers or markers to give the project a personal touch.

Step 5 – Cut 6 inch high cardboard strips, sized to use as barriers that fit tightly in the path at the beginning and end of the maze. Push them down into the path to create separate start and finish paths.

Step 6 – Place your gerbil or hamster in the start pen, and a few pieces of non-sugary cereal in the finish pen. Then, lift up both barriers and watch your furry friend find their way!

Did you know? According to a 2009 survey, 62% of all households in the United States own a pet!


May 13

Learn How To Bird Watch

How To Bird Watch (courtesy of

Hello! Welcome to Expert Village! My name is Wayne Peterson, Director of the Massachusetts Audubon Society’s Important Bird Areas Program. And, we’re here this afternoon at the Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary in Marshfield, Massachusetts.

Next, we’re going to talk about backyard birding, a place where everybody has an opportunity to get involved, and where many people’s interest in birding first begins. In thinking about backyard birding, there are a variety of things to keep in mind that will maximize the experience. One of these, is obviously, to ensure the safety of birds, which means, that by locating your feeders in places where they are relatively close to shrubs that birds can quickly escape into, or trees that they can fly up into, that’s an important thing to keep in mind, because obviously, the safety of the backyard bird is important. Likewise, if you have a cat, you should keep the cat indoors. Unfortunately, lots of folks have the feeling that if they put a cat out the front door and their bird feeders are in the backyard, there won’t be a conflict. Well, unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Likewise, having your feeders situated in places where you can see them is important. So, you want to put them in a place where you have ready viewability from a window or whatever. Likewise, in order to have the feeders be relatively free from, what some people would describe as “pesky competitors” like squirrels, it’s important to have baffles of this sort,on the pole. And, as you can see, and as we will mention shortly, there are lots of different types of bird feeders and so on, that can be put up for birds. Birds will find them!

In addition to hanging feeders like this that are filled with seed – with the appropriate baffle to keep pesky squirrels and things away, it’s also possible to put birdseed right on the ground. Lots of birds will happily feed on the ground, and, actually don’t like to necessarily feed off the ground.

So, again, you’re trying to provide a mix of a sort of overall landscape considerations that will be compatible with the location of your viewing station or windows, as well as provide conditions that are, hopefully, going to ensure the safety of the birds that you’re trying to attract to your yard.


Nov 10

Learn How To Stop Your Dog From Barking

Learn How To Stop Your Dog From Barking (courtesy of kikopup)


Jun 09

How to Clip your Pet Bird’s Wings

Learn how to trim your bird’s wings, basics and how-to’s for beginners with this video from

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    Jun 09

    How to Identify Bird Tracks

    Learn how to identify bird tracks with this video from


    Apr 07

    How to Apply Medication to your Pet’s Ears

    Learn how to safely apply medication to your pet’s ears with this video from


    Feb 28

    How to Make a Birdfeeder WebCam

    Learn how to make a bird feeder – including a birdfeeder with a webcam! – with this great “how to make a bird feeder” video from Make Magazine.


    Feb 28

    How to Set Up a Saltwater Aquarium

    Learn how to set up a saltwater reef tank with this step by step video from PracticalFishKeeping.


    Feb 28

    How to House Train your Dog

    Learn how to house train your dog with positive reinforcement with this video from PetVideodotCom.


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