March, 2014

Pet Circkles.

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as
human rights. That is the way of a
whole human being." ~ Abe Lincoln.

Pet Toy Safety and Natural Toys.

By Redstone Promotional Communications /

Dogs chew on everything, that's what they do. But some people don't know why. Dogs chew to keep their teeth clean, and if you deny them the ability to do that with proper bones or toys, they will use your furniture or a shoe. Chewing also gives bored dogs something to do.

Cats are not really chewers, but they do like to bat around and play with toys, or even a dead mouse will do.

Ferrets are full of play, and just about anything is fair game, including a laundry basket full of clothes in which they will grab your socks and hide them somewhere only a ferret could get to.

Horses also end to get bored if kept in a stall, but prefer to eat rather than really play.

Most people think any toy or chewy purchased at the stores is okay for their pets; not true. We have seen many dogs choke on rawhide or nylabone chews. Cats and dogs may pull a stuffed animal's eyes or nose off and get it stuck in their throat just like a child would. Painted toys in which the paint might be scraped off are dangerous if paint chips get stuck in a pet's throat and long term effects of ingested paint could be damaging. Rubber toys are really not healthy if the pet eats them. Rubber is toxic when digested.

We see many toys with strings, yarn or ribbons hanging off of them: also something a pet can get stuck in their throat. When choosing a toy for pets, it's just like thinking about a toy for a child, and you should make all the same considerations. We have some natural toy and chewy alternatives below.

Ferret Toys: As mentioned above, ferrets can make due with anything as a play thing. They love to drag away socks, so save them an old pair they can add to their stash. Stuffed animals without button eyes and noses will also be fine because ferrets are not really chewers except when they are kits.
To clean their teeth, bones will not be small enough for them, but crunchy snacks will work. Make them some pet cookies (recipe below) and break off pieces small enough for them to use as treats.

Dog Toys and Chew products: You may have seen the recent t.v commercial for Greenies pet chews that look like little toothbrushes. These are all natural and made from gelatin and many good nutrients. They do not clean a dog's teeth as well as the right type of raw dog bone. We emphasize raw, uncooked dog bones are the only kind you should give to your dog. Cooked bones splinter and could puncture the dog's stomach or lodge in their throat. The best raw bones are beef rib bones for large dogs, because they are more flexible and not as easily swallowed whole than other bones. They are also small enough to clean a dog's teeth better than the round marrow bones usually sold as soup bones, which are too hard for a dog to really bite on to clean or eat, all they can do is suck the marrow out of the middle, so they do not clean the teeth very well. Raw chicken or turkey necks are given by many dog trainers because they are also soft and flexible. They are good for small dogs.

As mentioned above, as far as toys go, stay away from anything a dog could pull apart and eat or choke on that's synthetic. As far as frisbees go, the soft, cloth frisbees are much better for dogs than the traditional hard plastic frisbees because the hard plastic ones hurt their mouths when they catch them, can chip teeth and cause mouth sores.

Cat Toys and Teeth Cleaners: A cat's mouth is too small for most raw bones, but crunchy treats or raw chicken necks can be used to clean their teeth. Again, do not feed any animal cooked bones because they splinter. Cats, being natural-born hunters, often catch their own prey and eat them, so they take care of cleaning their teeth by doing this. But if your cat cannot get outside much, this is not an option for them. The pet treats below will be a good alternative.

When it comes to cat toys, probably the most important feature to consider is to stay away from stuffed toys or anything with yarn, fur or string that can easily be pulled or licked off and could cause furballs.

Crunchy Pet Cleaning Treat Recipe:

1 cup flour (or you can double this recipe to make a larger batch)

1 Tbsp brewer's yeast - for many nutrients and protein that is very easy to digest and assimilate.

Small, minced carrots or other crunchy vegetables. Stay away from using fruits in this treat as they will stick to their teeth and cause tooth decay. The point of this treat is to keep it crunchy and not sticky.

Enough water to make a stiff dough.

Make into small patties and bake until crunchy. Break off pieces for smaller animals.

Photos from top: 1.) A variety of rubber pet toys are all over the stores, but toys made of natural materials and not rubber are best. Rubber is toxic if swallowed. 2.) Cat's like scratching posts, but beware if they have too many fuzzy, furry or cloth accents that may be potential furballs if the cat pulls pieces off and swallows them. 3.) Theses are some classic rubber toys, but not good for dogs if they chew on them, bite pieces off and swallow them.


NATURAL PET REMEDIES: Constipation in Pets.

In older animals, digestion can start to slow down just as it does with us. If your pet seems to be straining, and makes frequent toilet attempts, or their stools seem very hard, constipation may be the problem. Adding pumpkin, sweet potatoes or prunes to food could get things started again, but do not give prune pits as they are toxic to people and pets.

Add small amounts of vegetable fiber to their food every day. Dogs do not need nearly as much fiber to get things moving as humans do because their digestive tract is much shorter. Start with about 1/4 cup of unpitted prunes, pumpkin or sweet potatoes mixed in with their regular food daily for about a week and monitor your pets stools to make sure they are not getting diarrhea. Then adjust the amounts of fiber accordingly. If they need more, adjust it very slowly and in small amounst, for instance, add an additional 2-3 tablespoons of fiber each day for a week and see how they respond. If your pet is elderly and inactive, they may need this extra fiber for the rest of their lives. Adding fresh vegetable to their daily food will help a great deal. Make about 10%-20% of their meal rations vegetables every day.

For more pet remedies, members can follow The Hangout in the main menu tabs.


© 2013 Redstone Promotional Communications / All rights reserved to images and articles.









Pets who look like their owners:

Find more pet articles in our Archives, and pet home remedies in The Hangout.

Featured Monthly DOG BREED: Characteristics and Concerns. (We will get to cat breeds later.)




Beagles are intelligent and popular pets because of their size, even temper, and lack of inherited health problems. Alongside the Bloodhound and Basset Hound, the Beagle has one of the best developed senses of smell of any dog.

The American Kennel Club recognizes two separate varieties of Beagle: the 13-inch for hounds less than 13 inches, and the 15-inch for those between 13 and 15 inches. The Canadian Kennel Club recognizes a single type, with a height not exceeding 15 inches. The Kennel Club (UK) and FCI affiliated clubs recognize a single type, with a height of between 13 and 16 inches.

The Beagle has an even temper and gentle disposition. Described in several breed standards as "merry", they are amiable and typically neither aggressive nor timid, although this depends on the individual. They enjoy company, and although they may initially be standoffish with strangers, they are easily won over. They make poor guard dogs for this reason, although their tendency to bark or howl when confronted with the unfamiliar makes them good watch dogs. In a 1985 study conducted by Ben and Lynette Hart, the Beagle was given the highest excitability rating, along with the Yorkshire Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, West Highland White Terrier and Fox Terrier.
Beagles are intelligent but, as a result of being bred for the long chase, are single-minded and determined, which can make them hard to train. They can be difficult to recall once they have picked up a scent, and are easily distracted by smells around them.

Beagles are excellent with children and this is one of the reasons they have become popular family pets, but they are pack animals, and can be prone to separation anxiety. Not all Beagles will howl, but most will bark when confronted with strange situations, and some will bay (also referred to as "speaking", "giving tongue", or "opening") when they catch the scent of potential quarry. They also generally get along well with other dogs. They are not too demanding with regard to exercise; their inbred stamina means they do not easily tire when exercised, but they also do not need to be worked to exhaustion before they will rest. Regular exercise helps ward off the weight gain to which the breed is prone.

Lifespan: The typical longevity of Beagles is 12–15 years, which is a common lifespan for dogs of their size.

Health: Beagles may be prone to epilepsy, but this can often be controlled with medication. Hypothyroidism and a number of types of dwarfism occur in Beagles. Two conditions in particular are unique to the breed: "Funny Puppy", in which the puppy is slow to develop and eventually develops weak legs, a crooked back and although normally healthy, is prone to a range of illnesses. Hip dysplasia, common in Harriers and in some larger breeds, is rarely considered a problem in Beagles. Beagles are considered a chondrodystrophic breed, meaning that they are prone to types of disk diseases
Their long floppy ears can mean that the inner ear does not receive a substantial air flow or that moist air becomes trapped, and this can lead to ear infections. Beagles may also be affected by a range of eye problems; two common ophthalmic conditions in Beagles are glaucoma and corneal dystrophy. "Cherry eye", a prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid, and distichiasis, a condition in which eyelashes grow into the eye causing irritation, sometimes exist; both these conditions can be corrected with surgery. They can suffer from several types of retinal atrophy. Failure of the nasolacrimal drainage system can cause dry eye or leakage of tears onto the face.
Beagles may exhibit a behavior known as reverse sneezing, in which they sound as if they are choking or gasping for breath, but are actually drawing air in through the mouth and nose. The exact cause of this behavior is not known, but it is not harmful to the dog

Looking for a Beagle? Use our Pet finder tool below and search for an adoptable dog that needs a home in your area now.

To view breeds we've already written about, view our Dog Breeds on The Hangout. (Must be a Circkles member to view The Hangout.)


Isaac's Story

"Share to Care"
with other
pet owners
about the need
for more
vaccine research
as part of our
Vaccine Research Awareness Campaign.



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Elsie's Story for Valentine's Day, to inform people of a form of animal abuse many never think of.








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