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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pet Safety: Keeping dogs hydrated during warmer months

Compelling Evidence that an Automatic Dog Watering System is well worth the dough.

A dog's water bowl is really a puddle of stagnant water if you think about it! It is the perfect environment for gathering bacteria and elements that you wouldn't normally give to your dog or puppy. The key to this statement is stagnant.

Every time your dog puts his tongue in the dog water bowl to lap up a bit of water, he leaves behind saliva swarming with bacteria. Since the pet's water bowl normally sits at room temperature for hours, it becomes a great environment for those bacteria to multiply.

Soon, your dog is ingesting bacteria from the water bowl. If you feel slimyness on the sides of the water bowl when cleaning, it means that you have waited too long to clean. The bacteria has multiplied to unsafe levels.
Have you ever seen the inside of your dog's water dish become discolored? A pinkish stain can be rust from your tap water - but it might be a more serious problem - mold. Mold that has been gathered from spores in the air can settle on the water surface, and then sink to the bottom to grow. If you don't give the dog's water bowl a daily washing, you're bound to find mold sooner rather than later.

Finally, do you keep water for your dog outside in his kennel? If the dog water bowl sits there long enough, mosquitoes will lay their eggs on the water's surface where they quickly progress to larvae.

The agitation and water movement that occurs when using an automatic dog water bowl can eliminate many of your problems. Pictured above is the Galvanized Dog Watering Bowl which is one of our favorites. Although no automatic pet watering system is perfect, they will improve the quality of your pet's drinking water and give you the piece of mind that your puppy is safe from nasty bacterias.

You should still expect to clean all nozzles, bowls and receptacles to reduce any possible bacterial build up. In between cleanings you can relax knowing your dog has all the fresh water he needs.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Primer on Horse Halters - What you Need to Know

Horse halters are sometimes confused with bridles.

The difference between a horse halter and a bridle is an equine halter is used by a handler on the ground to lead or secure a horse, but a bridle is used by the person who is riding a horse that has been trained in this use.

A halter is safer than a bridle for tying. The bit of a bridle may injure the horse's mouth if the horse sets back while tied with a bridle. Many bridles are made of lighter materials and will break when used to tie a horse. A bridle offers more precise control when riding.

The halter is probably the piece of equine equipment that you use most often. Just about everything you do with your horse will involve a halter. In fact, halters are so important that wearing one is the first thing a horse learns to do.

When you take your horse out of his stall or pasture, groom your horse, bathe him, clip him, or tie him, you use a halter.

Halters are available in more expensive leather halter designs and inexpensive, yet colorful nylon halter versions. When you buy a halter for your horse, get one big enough to fit your horse's head. The halter should be loose, but not able to fall way down on the horse's nose. Pictured above is the Hamilton Nylon Halter that is very popular among horse owners.

If you need to leave a halter on a horse that's loose in the stall or pasture, choose a breakaway halter that snaps under pressure to avoid snagging the halter on something and trapping the horse.

We think that all horse owners should have more than one halter on hand at all times. You never know when you may need a second one in an emergency.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Features to Look for When Choosing a Hummingbird Feeder

The Hummingbirds are coming to town and these quick tips can help them migrate to your yard instead of your neighbors!

Red Color
  • The most visible and pleasing color to hummingbirds is red. Look for red on the hummingbird feeder itself rather than just in the color of the sugar solution. Hummingbirds are very curious and even just a little bit of red on the feeder itself is fine.

Ant Protection

  • Built in ant moats on a hummingbird feeder or add-on ant moats solve most of the ants-at the feeder problem(s).

Bee guards

  • The most visible and pleasing color to bees and wasps is yellow. Newer model hummingbird feeders from almost all manufacturers no longer have yellow bee guards. Look for hummingbird feeders whose shape discourages bees from reaching the nectar (usually found with saucer-shaped hummingbird feeders).

Built in perches

  • Hummingbirds prefer to sit when they feed if they are able - so place feeders with perches out.

A Small Hummingbird Feeder

  • The smaller the better when it comes to hummingbird feeders, until you discover how heavy the hummingbird usage is.

Make it EASY to clean

  • There should be no little nooks and crannies in the feeder for mold to lurk in. A dishrag, a small hummingbird cleaning brush and a clean pipe cleaner should be sufficient tools for cleaning. The tiny brushes specifically marketed for cleaning hummingbird feeder ports are perfect and not that expensive.

  • Look for hummingbird feeders that do not require excessive twisting or screwing to be assembled; this reduces the chance of spilt sticky sugar water all over the feeder and you.

Rain guard

  • Some hummingbird feeders which have feeding ports located on top of the nectar bin may allow rain water to get into the feeder and dilute or contaminate the solution. Check the feeder packaging to see if a particular model is designed to limit this problem. There are also "rain guards" available, metal or plastic disks meant to hang above a feeder, marketed specifically for hummingbird feeders.

Wind resistance

  • Hummingbird feeders hung in very windy locations may spill and make quite a mess doing so -find a place that is not so messy or purchase a pole-mount hummingbird feeder