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Ways to Lend a Helping Hoof this Horse Day

April 26 is Help a Horse Day, developed by the ASPCA in honor of its founder, Henry Bergh, prompting the first arrest for horse mistreatment on this day in 1866. Since then, horses have been at the core of the ASPCA’s mission of helping animals. For the last five years, they’ve taken the opportunity to host a national grant competition for horse rescues around the country. It’s an unfortunate truth that thousands of horses are at risk of homelessness or neglect, but these incredible organizations and the individuals behind them continue to make a difference by saving and rehoming these amazing animals.

Now that we’ve tugged at your heart strings, here are a few ways you can help a horse today or any  day:

Donate.

Whether it’s to the ASPCA itself or you find a horse rescue you admire, a monetary donation is one of the most direct and useful ways to help them help horses.

Volunteer.

Find a stable or rescue in your area and volunteer your time any way you can; sure, you may be cleaning manure but we guarantee you’ll walk away feeling really good about being so selfless. You may even find your new favorite hobby!

Supplies.

Providing supplies to a rescue is also a great way to donate and help; whether it’s blankets, grooming supplies, cleaning products, or even new buckets for water, for an organization that runs on people’s kindness and generosity it makes a difference.

Spread the Word.

You never know who’ll know someone who knows someone who LOVES horses and has time or money to give – just talking about the awareness holiday and how others can help really can make a difference.

Facebook Q&A: Are you a horse lover or owner? What are some of the best ways you think people that are new to the horse realm can help?

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Hatching Chickens At Home – 6 Steps For Success

spring-chicks

Have you’ve ever considered hatching chickens at home? If so, spring is the perfect time to do it.  It’s not too hot and not too cold, making it easier for new chicks to acclimate once out of their shell. There are a couple of different ways to hatch chicks, so we’re breaking out a step-by-step guide we hope is helpful.

Step 1: Obtain your Eggs.

If you don’t breed your own chickens, fertile eggs must be bought through hatcheries or poultry farms. Be advised that shipped eggs (those ordered online) are typically harder to hatch than those which are locally sourced.

Step 2: Incubator or Broody Hen?

There are pros and cons to each option. Incubators allow total control during hatching, but can be considered unnatural and may cause guilt or pressure if things aren’t a total success. Using a broody hen.  A female chicken who sits on and tends to the eggs, is much more natural but can be unpredictable.  Sometimes the hen isn’t feeling broody and can’t be forced to. Lastly, an incubator yields more eggs but can be temperamental if settings aren’t perfect or there’s a power outage.  

Incubation Insight: Put your incubator in a place where the temperature will remain consistent. Away from windows or doors with a draft is good.   Also, be sure to read the manual cover to cover so you know how it operates. The ideal temperature for incubation is between 99 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit (99.5 is often recommended). Humidity should be between 50 and 65 percent (60 being recommended.)

Step 3: Set the Eggs.

Before you place your eggs, monitoring the incubator for 24 hours for consistency.  Warm the fertile eggs to room temperature to avoid too much temperature fluctuation when they go into the incubator. Place the eggs on their side in the incubator, with the larger end slightly higher than the pointed end to allow for proper alignment for the embryo, which is important when it comes time to hatch.

Pro-Tip: Write down the date of incubation, as most chicks will take 21 days to hatch; some may take a little longer, but you want an estimate of when to expect them.

Step 4: Keep ‘em Movin’.

The eggs should be turned a minimum of three times per day at regular intervals, but five is ideal. It’s recommended to lightly draw an X on one side so you don’t lose track of which eggs have been turned, and make sure your hands are always clean. Stop turning at day 18 to allow the chicks to position themselves for hatching.

Step 5: Raise the Humidity.

During the last three days you’ll want the humidity around 65 percent, so add warm water or a sponge as necessary to keep the humidity up.

Step 6: Prepare for the Hatch!

Once you’ve stopped rotating the eggs, the most viable ones will hatch in 24 hours so place some cheesecloth under the egg tray to catch any debris and leave the incubator closed until the chicks hatch.

Once hatched, the chicks will need to be kept warm and safely near their starter food and a shallow pan of water. As always, we recommend talking with a veterinarian or your local hatchery for further care tips. Lastly, be prepared: you will have some roosters in your newly-hatched flock, which some communities have regulations against so be prepared to rehome any males in the brood. You may even be able to ask the place you got the eggs from if they’re willing to take in any males.  Have fun and enjoy your new chickens!

Share more of your hatching hacks on Facebook! Have you ever hatched your own chicks? What are some ways you guarantee success?

 

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5 Easy Spring Cleaning Tips For The Barn

horses out side of a barn

We don’t know about you, but every winter our barn undergoes a sort of… winter transformation.  Somewhat of an odd phenomenon, but every year around this time our barn becomes completely unorganized. Ok, we know it’s not a mystery – it’s because as soon as we get out there it’s so blasted cold we’re rushing to get back inside, and end up leaving things out to get lost or displaced. Hopefully the weather’s warming up where you are and, if so, we’d like to encourage you to take a beautiful day of sunshine to do some spring cleaning and make these five easy organizational changes to gear your barn up for Spring.

1. Hang It Up.

Hanging things up not only maintains your tools better,  it also eliminates tripping hazards AND gives everything  has a designated space to return to. If you don’t have much wall space consider the ceiling to drape ropes and hoses from.

2. Put Like with Like.

It’s a simple organizational tool but group similar items together based on their functionality – like keeping all the feeding tools or grooming tools together.

3. Know Your Stock.

As you’re hanging and organizing, take note of your inventory. Knowing which tools you have makes life easier and ensures you’re not purchasing something you already have. If you have the space, give each tool a hook and a label so you can quickly see what you have or if something’s missing.

4. Get Rid of It!

If you come across something on your organizational journey that you haven’t used or thought to use in a year, get it out of there! You can repurpose, recycle, sell, donate, or toss it, but definitely get rid of that unnecessary clutter to make way for a fresh start for Spring.

5. Sweep Up, Clear Out.

Time to open up the windows, let the stale air out and the sunshine in! Sweep out the dust and debris, get the haystacks organized and the stalls rinsed out – it’s spring cleaning but, be realistic, it’s a barn!

How do you prep your barn for Spring? Show and tell, please!

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Look What We Brushed Up! Our New Horse Grooming Kit Debut at Global Pet Expo

Horse Grooming Kit Pink

It’s time to officially unveil our new horse grooming kits!

You may not know this, but every March our team heads to Orlando, Florida, and exhibits at Global Pet Expo, an opportunity for pet brands, both major and emerging, to debut their latest and greatest products. What show attendees and consumers don’t see is the brainstorming and prep work that goes into what to debut at each show and how it represents where the brand is going. Believe us, it’s a lot of work and we’ll save you the mundane details and jump right to the good part. This year, we introduced our Horse Grooming Kits – a product we were thrilled to introduce and even more thrilled at the feedback.

About the kits

Intended to make at-home horse grooming easier, the kit comes in a Basic or Deluxe variety and has everything a horse owner would need to maintain their animal’s hooves, main, and tail in a convenient tote bag. The Deluxe Kit offers a few more tools as well as a detachable lead, perfect for shows – all at one affordable price. We developed this kit because we know how intensive and expensive horse grooming can be, so we thought we’d try to make it a little easier to give our beloved companions the best care possible.

We always welcome customer feedback, so tell us: would you or someone you know find this kit useful for their horse care routine? Mention us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Grooming Quick Tips for Horses, Cattle, and Chickens

chicken

Grooming Quick Tips

Anyone who owns a farm knows there’s no shortage of chores to be done.  The barn need to be cleaned, stocked, and organized. The animals need to be fed, exercised, and washed. Where does the time go!  While an often less-than-desirable chore, grooming is an important part of health, comfort and wellbeing of your animal. We’re breaking down some quick tips to help get your horses, cattle, and chickens a little cleaner.

Grooming Quick Tips for Cattle

Most resources indicate that a thorough daily brushing is sufficient grooming dairy cows. If you’re showing your cattle though, be sure to use a lot of soap and conditioner, rinse, and dry thoroughly. Cows can be rinsed on a hot day for both cleaning and comfort, but brushing them afterward is crucial to avoid buildup on their backs.

Grooming Quick Tips for Horses 

Like cows, brushing is the biggest contributor to keeping your horse’s hair clean and mat-free but they require a combination of brushes to get the job done right.  By combination, we are referring to different softness levels which should be used on the horse’s body versus their mane and tail or face.) Hoof care is also crucial to a healthy horse, making a hoof pick necessary. Lastly, sponging off their face is a quick way of ridding their eyes and face of any dirt and potential irritants.

Grooming Quick Tips for Chickens 

Keeping your chicken’s coop and bedding clean and dry is usually enough to keep them relatively hygienic. But, if there’s something stuck in their feathers that they can’t preen out, the occasional rinse may be necessary. Opting for a mild soap or bird-specific shampoo is up to you (never use human shampoo or even one intended for other pets).  A simple rinse with clean warm water should clear any debris or irritations from their feathers. Always be sure to thoroughly dry your chicken and try to keep them as warm as possible during and after the rinse. Chickens’ nails are kept trim naturally, but gently clip any that get too long using pet or human nail trimmers. 

What are some other ways you keep your farm animals clean and happy? Share with us on Facebook!

 

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New York Fashion Week Fido’s Way

fashionista-dogs

Get ready to get fabulous, darlings,

because February 8-16 marks New York Fashion Week and you do not have to be in the Big Apple to participate. Of course, we can’t speak for the humans… but we do know dogs, honey, and we’re rolling out a few of our fashionable favs for your viewing pleasure. Just imagine if you will, your beautiful furbaby in one of these fashion dog collars.

Simple and elegant:

 

 

This chic black and white polka dot number with matching leash. This complements any fur color, let us tell you! Also available in Denim for that boy/girl-next-door vibe that’s so haute right now.

 

 

 

International Intrigue:

Hamilton Adjustable Fashion Collar Morocco Pattern

 

For the cultured canine, this Moroccan-inspired piece is everything!  The mystery of exotic, far- away lands calls to you.  Yes, YOU, specifically.  Calling rates do not apply sweetie so answer that call with a beautiful pop of color!  Yas! Work it!

 

 

 

Haute Couture:

 

 

 

Of course, there’s the classic Houndstooth, which is like, the Chanel suit of pooch patterns. Am I right? Oh, and with that matching leash? Check it at the door miss thang, we got class all the way, honey!

 

 

Gunmetal Glam:

 

We are LOVING these subtle metallic hues with all metal hardware. Rose is so hot right now, but that golden moonstone is perfect for every day. The metal accents say, “tough and secure” while the colors say “sensitive and receptive” – in fashion we love a little contrast!

 

 

Do you have a favorite fashion dog collar?  We’d love to a picture of your four-legged fashionista! Share with us on Facebook!

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January is National Walk Your Dog Month

walk your dogThese Paws Were Made for Walkin’!

And that’s just what they’ll do this January because it’s National Walk Your Dog Month! So get up, grab the leash, and get movin’ this month and here’s why:

It boosts metabolism and lowers the rate of weight gain

An Australian study of 822 participants found that the average person gained 3.5 pounds over four years – except those that walked to work, who averaged only 1.5.

It boosts your mood

Robert Thayer, Ph.D., asked people to describe a problem in their life, then sent them on a brief 10-minute walk. When the participants returned they described their problems as less severe.

Lowers the risk of heart disease

A 2013 study found that both daily runners and walkers lowered their blood pressure by at least 4.2 percent and their risk of heart disease by at least 4.5 percent.

 

Of course, those benefits extend to dogs too – plus they’re exercising their natural instinct to get familiar with their surroundings through sniffing. For those who may need a little help on a leash, here are a few quick tips to help ensure you can both enjoy your time outside. Remember: practice makes perfect, the more you two get out together the more your dog will improve.

 

Curb their Excitement

If your pet goes nuts when you pick up the leash, just stand still and don’t react until they relax. It’s also not a bad idea to periodically pick up the leash and just set it down, so they don’t always associate it with getting out.

Keep ‘em Close

Start them on a short lead at first so that, eventually, it’ll turn into loose-leash walking because your pet’s used to staying close. It’s also a good time to treat them so they want to stay close to your hand.

Walk Quickly

Don’t give your pet the opportunity to dawdle and stop to smell every bush, leaf, or crack in the sidewalk; walk at a brisk pace and set the tone that now isn’t the time for all-out exploration.

If you’re planning on celebrating Walk Your Pet Month, snap a picture and post it to our Facebook page!

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Pet Travel Safety – What you can do to ensure a safe trip

pet travel safety

January 2 was Pet Travel Safety Day

Sorry we’re late! But we still want to discuss the importance of pet travel safety with anyone who gets into a car with an animal. Whether it’s a trip to the vet, dog park, or just running errands, at some point we will be in a vehicle with our pet.  Most people don’t consider that pets can become dangerous projectiles in the event of a short stop or accident.  A scary thought for both their safety and ours, right? Some form of a restraint is necessary even for the smallest pets. For your consideration, here are a few of our favorite car safety products:

Seat Leash. 

The Seat Leash car restraint protects pets and drivers using the vehicle’s standard seat belt and a safety harness. This allows for your pet to comfortably sit or lay during road trips.

Safety Rider.

The Safety Rider restraint system is intended for SUV’s and truck beds.  It uses your vehicle’s utility tie down rings and cable to create a cross tether tie that can be attached to a safety harness.

Booster Seat.

Intended for small dogs, these seats tightly latch onto your car’s seat and have a clasp to attach to your pet’s harness or leash – a tailor-made safety seat.

Travel Hammock.

Travel hammocks eliminate the pathway to the front.  They also block the ground in the event of a short stop, safely nestling your pet in the backseat. Great for large dogs and road trips – plus it protects your interior!

Perfect for cats or small dogs, a travel crate can be easily secured in the backseat to keep your pet safely confined.

Other Necessities.

For longer trips, be sure to have anything your pet may need to be comfortable like water, food, a leash, treats, an anxiety wrap or blanket if they’d like it – because a nervous, uncomfortable pet can widen the margin of distraction.

How do you make sure your pet’s safe in the car? Share more of your safety precautions and concerns with us on Facebook.

 

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Quiz: Am I Ready For A Puppy This Christmas?

am I ready for a puppy

Am I ready for a puppy this Christmas?

So, you think you want to get a puppy for Christmas? Ok, but have you asked yourself the real question.  Am I ready for a puppy this Christmas? Sure, it’s easy to not think past their adorable fluffy faces and irresistible puppy breath, but there’s a lot that goes into raising a puppy.  Once that big red bow comes off Christmas morning, it’s an unfortunate truth that a lot of animals given as gifts end up back in shelters because of what’s involved. So we’ve compiled a quick quiz to help you determine if you’re ready for a puppy this holiday (or anytime, really.)

1. On average, how much free time do you spend at home?

A. Free time? Between family, work, and errands I barely get a minute to myself!

B. I tend to enjoy socializing away from home or keeping myself busy other ways, so about an hour or two.

C. I’m a bit of a homebody, if I’m not working or running a necessary errand I’m usually home.

2. What would you do if you came home and your favorite belonging was ruined?

A. Honestly? Freak out. It would probably ruin my month.

B. I’d be pretty furious and definitely need considerable time to decompress.

C. I would be noticeably upset for about an hour before realizing other things are just as, if not more, important.

 

3. How much of a clean freak are you?

A. On a scale of 1-10? About a 12. Everything has a neat, dusted, and orderly place.

B. I definitely like my home organized and orderly, but a few dishes in the sink won’t kill me.

C. Let’s just say I Swiffer when I need to and Windex the windows when company’s coming.

 

4. How’s your disposable income?

A. Are you kidding? Between student loan debt and the kids needing another $20 for the arcade, I’m lucky to stash anything.

B. I pretty much live paycheck to paycheck but it affords me a comfortable lifestyle and I can save sporadically.

C. I’m a pretty good steward of my money and have some backup cash for emergencies, etc.

 

5. Would you consider yourself patient?

A. Not exactly

B. So/so

C. Yep

 

Now that you’ve taken the quiz, Ask yourself again; Am I ready for a puppy this Christmas?

If you answered:

Mostly A’s: Maybe Next Year. You’ve got a LOT going on and young animals require a ton of time, attention, patience, and even money to keep them happy and healthy – which is the only kind of pet you want to raise. Do yourself and your household a favor and put off getting a puppy for now.

Mostly B’s: You’re on the Cusp. Your lifestyle could allow for a puppy but only if you want it; with a few tweaks and, yes, sacrifices, you could absolutely bring a puppy into your home and life… but be absolutely sure you’re ready to spend more time at home and prepare for a little destruction.

Mostly C’s. It’s Puppy Time! Sounds like you have the time, means, and mentality needed to raise your next best friend – you understand that belongings, messes, and sacrificing some free time are small things in the face of raising a tailor-made companion.

If you do get a puppy this year, please share your pictures on our facebook page!

 

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December 13 Marks National Day of The Horse

national day of the horse

December 13 marks National Day of the Horse

Don’t ask us why it’s not National Horse Day, but it really is National Day of the Horse.  No matter how you phrase it it’s a day we can gladly celebrate. We may be bias, but we think horses are absolutely amazing! Most people don’t consider how crucial they were in establishing the west (and other cultures), or that they’ve ridden us to victories in war. They used to be the engine for emergency fire engines way back in the day too! Horses are truly incredible creatures with their sturdy stature and hearts of gold. As an ode to these amazing animals, we’re doling out a few winter care tips because it’s the best way we know how to disperse our love for them through others.

Fresh Water. Be diligent in ensuring their water doesn’t freeze, as they need to stay hydrated no matter what the temperature outside is.

Increased rations. Horses burn more calories to stay warm in winter months, which may mean significant weight loss for some. Unless your horse is on a diet, talk with your vet about ideal portions during the winter.

Regular grooming and hoof care. Regular grooming contributes to your horse’s health and allows you to assess them head to hoof for any potential issues. Whether they’re being ridden or not, proper hoof maintenance is recommended every 6 to 8 weeks regardless of the season; a horse’s hooves are essential to their abilities, making their care incredibly important.

Ongoing exercise regimen. Whether you continue riding or do some safe longeing, it’s imperative to keep your horse active so they remain strong for riding in the warmer months. If the weather in your area simply won’t allow for activity, be sure to turn them out to pasture daily.

How do you celebrate your horse? Share with us on Facebook!

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