Wild rabbits have a big appetite and your garden and landscape is like a tempting, bottomless salad bar. And where there's one, there's more: The gestation period for a rabbit averages just 30 days. There’s factual truth behind that old saying, “multiplying like rabbits”! You may enjoy bunnies in storybooks or even as domesticated pets, but wild rabbits can be a devastating problem for your yard. These four-legged foragers can eat your fabulous flowers and prized produce, literally overnight.
(BPT) - You may never see them. They sneak in silently once the sun goes down. They ravage your delicate garden and stunning landscape. If you do happen to catch a glimpse, they'll run fast as lightning to safety so they can dine in your yard while you’re not around.
No, this isn't a plot from some cinematic thriller; it's a daily occurrence for homeowners with outdoor space. Rabbits can quickly take a toll on any size yard, and can easily climb into raised beds and nibble away at your painstakingly planted container creations.
Wild rabbits have a big appetite and your garden and landscape is like a tempting, bottomless salad bar. And where there's one, there's more: The gestation period for a rabbit averages just 30 days. There’s factual truth behind that old saying, “multiplying like rabbits”!
You may enjoy bunnies in storybooks or even as domesticated pets, but wild rabbits can be a devastating problem for your yard. These four-legged foragers can eat your fabulous flowers and prized produce, literally overnight.
To protect your yard from rabbits, you first need to identify their presence. Because they often come out at dawn and sunset, you may rarely see them. According to the animal repellent experts at Bobbex, these are the top signs that you’ve got rabbits:
1. Plant damage low to the ground, often a few inches above the soil
2. A clean, 45-degree angled cut on the end of stems and leaves
3. Woody plants debarked up to 16 inches from the ground
4. Piles of rabbit droppings (dark pea-sized pellets)
5. Tracks: Wild rabbits have five toes on their front feet and four toes on their much longer hind feet.
Check, check, and re-check. If you do catch a glimpse of the furry intruder, you may be able to identify the most common wild rabbit species. Cottontails are common throughout North America, identified by their short tail that resembles a tuft of cotton. Snowshoes are typically found in rocky, mountainous terrain and are identified by their large feet with white fur during winter and rusty brown fur during warmer months. Finally, the speedy jackrabbit is found in the Western U.S. and is known for its incredibly long ears and powerful hind legs.
Once you know you have rabbits ravaging your yard, it's time to take action. There are a few ways to safely repel them before the damage is done.
Step 1: Build and bury barriers
Fencing can be an effective way to keep rabbits at bay. If you're targeting rabbits, the fence only needs to be 3 feet tall as they are unlikely to jump over it. However, you’ll have to bury the fence underground since rabbits are experts at burrowing up to a foot below the surface to access a tasty food source.
Step 2: Repel and remove temptation
Bobbex-R Repellent is all natural, environmentally friendly and proven effective at protecting ornamental plantings from small, four-legged garden critters such as rabbits. Usable in any weather, it won't burn plants or wash off. Use it as a bulb dip to deter underground damage or spray it at the mouth of burrows to prevent animals from re-entering. It’s safe for humans, pets, birds and aquatic life.
Step 3: Remove the creature's comforts
Many homeowners are surprised to find rabbits have made a home under stairs or in a shed. If you don't want rabbits nesting and raising families in your yard, remove brush and other debris that could provide them easy shelter and spray a repellent in those areas to maintain rabbit-free hiding places.
These three simple steps will help you safely repel rabbits so you can fully enjoy the beauty and bounty of your outdoor space.
To learn more, visit www.bobbex.com where you’ll also find repellents for other common wild foragers such as deer. Try Bobbex Deer, compared to nine other repellents in category, it was rated 93 percent effective, second only to a fence at 100 percent.
Dogs and their owners have many things in common, but perhaps one of the biggest commonalities is that they both love to eat! When preparing meals for your four-legged family members, it’s important for the meal to be packed with flavor and nutrients, and to create a dining experience they enjoy and look forward to. Help give your pets the ultimate mealtime experience with these tips.
(BPT) - Dogs and their owners have many things in common, but perhaps one of the biggest commonalities is that they both love to eat! When preparing meals for your four-legged family members, it’s important for the meal to be packed with flavor and nutrients, and to create a dining experience they enjoy and look forward to. Help give your pets the ultimate mealtime experience with these tips:
1. Create a mealtime routine
Animals love routine. It’s important for dogs to establish a mealtime routine whether they get fed first thing in the morning, after their walk or as small meals throughout the day. By establishing a routine, your pooch will quickly catch on when it’s mealtime.
2. Purchase a puzzle bowl or toy
Does your dog eat too fast? Do you want them to make a game out of their meal? Puzzle bowls and food dispensing toys are a great way to stimulate your dog’s mind during mealtime. They allow them to slow down to truly enjoy their food, making mealtime fun! Head to your local retailer to choose the correct bowl or toy for your dog.
3. Provide your dog with a meal that gives them variety
Dogs and humans alike enjoy food with variety! That's why for nearly three decades, Kibbles ‘n Bits(R) has been making dog food with its signature combination of crunchy kibble & tender bits to bring joy to your dog’s every bite. With varieties including Bacon & Steak Flavored dry dog food and Steak & Cheese Flavored dry dog food, you will be sure to find the perfect match for your furry friend.
4. Turn mealtime into a dance party
Have you ever danced due to excitement? Well, now your dog will, too. Play a song before each mealtime to signal when it’s time for your dog to eat. This new bonding ritual will create more fun for all family members and will have your dog busting moves in anticipation in no time!
5. Make it a training opportunity
Use mealtime as an opportunity to train and reinforce wanted behaviors. Using commands like “sit” and “wait” before allowing your dog to eat helps them practice impulse control and good manners.
To learn more about Kibbles ‘n Bits dog food and what variety is right for your dog, visit https://www.kibblesnbits.com.
When it comes to keeping pets at a healthy weight, humans can contribute to both the problem and the solution. Just as people need to control the temptation to overindulge, pet owners need to control the temptation to overindulge their pets. Armed with the knowledge that extra treats and table scraps can have a negative impact on a pet’s health, it’s never too late to make some changes for the better with these tips.
Fight the Beg
Proper feeding habits can help with pet obesity
(Family Features) When it comes to keeping pets at a healthy weight, humans can contribute to both the problem and the solution. Just as people need to control the temptation to overindulge, pet owners need to control the temptation to overindulge their pets.
A survey of pet owners by Royal Canin in 2018 revealed that more than half of cat and dog owners always or often give their pets food if they beg for it, and almost a quarter of cat and dog owners sometimes overfeed their pets to keep them happy.¹
“When sad eyes plead for one more treat or constant meowing reminds you the treats are in easy reach, it’s common for pet owners to give in to the temptation and play into that begging behavior,” said Dr. Eric Mueller, veterinarian and Royal Canin spokesperson. “Unfortunately, in the long run, those quick responses can have some damaging results for a pet’s overall health.”
Estimates suggest that as many as 59 percent of dogs and 52 percent of cats worldwide are overweight1. Yet according to the survey, only a quarter of cat and dog owners describe their pets as overweight. The survey also revealed owners may not understand how much food cats and dogs need or what they should or should not eat.
The strong emotional bond between owners and their pets may be part of the issue. Many owners express affection for their pets through feeding, which can easily lead to the pet consuming more calories than it needs. In the survey, 59 percent of cat and dog owners said they feel rewarded when feeding their pets and 77 percent said their animals get excited about being fed.
However, many owners are not fully aware of the consequences of overfeeding their pets. More than 60 percent of survey respondents were unaware that overweight pets may be susceptible to diabetes and orthopedic disease. Pet owners also reported a lack of awareness in the relationship between their pets’ excessive weight and reduced quality of life, increased risk of heart disease and shorter lifespans.
Armed with the knowledge that extra treats and table scraps can have a negative impact on a pet’s health, Mueller says it’s never too late to make some changes for the better:
Talk to a veterinarian. Obesity is a medical concern. Pet owners should feel comfortable seeing their veterinarian to start a conversation about their pet’s weight. If a veterinarian identifies that there is an issue, he or she can develop a weight loss plan to help a pet reach its ideal weight and body condition, as well as discuss solutions to help control begging during the weight loss process.
Practice smart nutrition. Not surprisingly, proper nutrition is often one of the first solutions a veterinarian is likely to recommend to address a pet’s weight problem. One option your veterinarian may recommend is ROYAL CANIN VETERINARY DIET® SATIETY® SUPPORT cat and dog formulas, which provide great taste and are clinically proven to support weight loss and help reduce begging. The formulas use the highest industry standards and quality ingredients and are designed to help keep pets feeling full and satisfied between meals.
Focus on portion control. Although many varieties of pet food include recommended serving sizes on the packaging, those servings are general guidelines and don’t take into account a pet’s unique circumstances and dietary needs. A better approach when working to bring a pet’s weight down is to measure out the recommended feeding amount directed by a veterinarian.
Encourage exercise. Encourage regular physical activity. This can be anything from brief periods of play to long walks. Remember to adjust the intensity based on the individual abilities of your pet.
Maintain consistency. Changing behaviors can be challenging. Your personal motivation and commitment are critical to the success of your pet’s weight loss program. Remember that a pet is not likely to immediately understand why the treats have ceased or why mealtime looks different. Attention-seeking behaviors may even amplify for a time. Hold firm and be consistent in resisting those begging eyes and you can find the process becomes easier for both of you.
Learn more about managing your pet’s nutritional and dietary needs at RoyalCanin.com .
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images (Dogs playing with ball)
¹ Royal Canin 2018 Online Survey of Pet Owners
Summer social gatherings and celebrations involving fireworks can add up to a lot of fun for humans, but it’s an equation that may test the limits for a fearful pet. The break in day-to-day consistency and the chaos that comes with festivities can cause pets to escape in search of solace, which often times results in them leaving their loved ones behind. These tips can help prevent your pet from running off.
Prevent Pets from Fleeing in Fright
(Family Features) Summer social gatherings and celebrations involving fireworks can add up to a lot of fun for humans, but it’s an equation that may test the limits for a fearful pet. The break in day-to-day consistency and the chaos that comes with festivities can cause pets to escape in search of solace, which often times results in them leaving their loved ones behind.
“During the summer months, we tend to take a step away from our usual routines and that can be very unsettling for a pet,” said David Haworth, DVM, PhD, president of PetSmart Charities. “While July 5 is known as a day of high intake for local animal welfare organizations due to the noise and chaos associated with the Fourth of July holiday, even small barbecues and other summer events can cause distress that results in a pet fleeing for perceived safety.”
In honor of National Pet Loss Prevention Month, the experts from PetSmart Charities recommend these tips to prevent your pet from running off.
Practice effective “stay” techniques with your pet: Pets and pet parents who participate in behavioral training courses can learn effective ways to communicate during times of leisure or stress. Knowing simple commands like “stop,” “sit” or “stay” can help prevent a pet from running away.
Ensure your pet has proper identification: Microchips are a great way to ensure your pet is armed with the proper identification. To help decrease the number of pets that enter shelters each year across North America, PetSmart Charities supports low-cost microchipping programs in local communities. Whether you use tags, embroidered collars or microchips, make sure you update the information provided at least once a year to ensure the latest contact information is available to those who may find your pet.
Secure your pet’s surroundings: To prevent your pet from running away, provide a comfortable, yet contained environment that he or she may safely explore. This could include a fenced-in backyard during a family barbecue, the use of a leash at a local parade or access to favorite toys for a soothing escape. Don’t forget an ample supply of shade and water to help your pet stay cool and comfortable in the summer heat.
Inquire about calming solutions: Just like pet parents, pets can become sensitive to unexpected events and develop anxiety over time. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to destructive behavior, excessive barking or panting despite lack of exertion. If your pet is exhibiting extreme behavior, ask a veterinarian if calming solutions are a fit ahead of a large gathering.
Know how to handle a lost pet: If you see a lost pet, check his or her tags and contact the pet parent. If the pet shies away from contact, reach out to your local animal control department for assistance. If you lose a pet, contact your local animal control department or your neighborhood shelter to request assistance.
For more information about helping local pets in need, visit petsmartcharities.org.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Summer may be the perfect time for family trips and outdoor activities, but it’s also a great time to reset and make sure you’re keeping the whole family healthy, including your feline friend. Help your cat stay active, healthy and safe during the summer months by following these tips.
4 Feline Summer Health and Safety Tips
(Family Features) Summer may be the perfect time for family trips and outdoor activities, but it’s also a great time to reset and make sure you’re keeping the whole family healthy, including your feline friend.
To live their best lives, cats need to feel healthy from the inside out, and much of that stems from what they eat. Help your cat stay active, healthy and safe during the summer months by following these tips from the experts at the IAMS™ brand.
1. Focus on Food – Cats are natural carnivores and need the proper amount of protein in their diets. One way to get that is with IAMS High Protein cat food, which is formulated with 84 percent of protein sourced from chicken and salmon. The high concentration of high-quality chicken and salmon helps cats maintain strong muscles and keeps them active.
Other key elements to look for in a high-quality dry cat food include:
Photo courtesy of Fotolia
2. Prioritize Playtime – Though they tend to sleep a lot, especially in the heat, cats also require exercise. Playing a cat-and-mouse game with toys that encourage aerobic activity is one way to give your cat necessary exercise and create a fun bonding experience.
3. Keep Hydrated – Cats need help to stay hydrated, especially in warmer weather. Make sure their water dish is always full and consider placing a few additional water dishes throughout the house. Whatever rooms your cat is drawn to or wherever the family spends quality time, have water readily available so your pet can easily quench his or her thirst and avoid dehydration. You can also incorporate wet cat food to their routine for added moisture in their diet.
4. Create a Cool Space – When the weather is warm, your cat will likely seek out cool places in and around the house to lounge. Make sure he or she has plenty of shady places to lay and that those spots are free of clutter or obstacles. Cats are curious by nature, so tuck cables and cords away, limit the amount of free-standing, sharp or glass objects and keep anything with hazardous chemicals, such as cleaning supplies, locked away to help reduce the possibility of illness or injury.
For more information on establishing healthy habits for your feline friend, visit IAMS.com.SOURCE:
It’s always a good time to pay attention to your family’s health and happiness, and that includes your feline friends, too. Regular exercise and wholesome nutritional choices can help ensure your cat is happy and healthy all year long. These five tips can help keep your cat purring for years to come.
5 Health Tips for Your Feline Friend
(Family Features) It’s always a good time to pay attention to your family’s health and happiness, and that includes your feline friends, too. Regular exercise and wholesome nutritional choices can help ensure your cat is happy and healthy all year long.
These five tips can help keep your cat purring for years to come. For more information on keeping your cat happy and healthy, visit IAMS.com.
1. Create a Space for Your Cat – As most cat owners know, cats have energy they need to exert throughout the day. Create a space specifically for your cat that includes a cat tree and toys, which allows them to climb around, expel extra energy or use this space to do what cats do best, take a catnap.
2. Provide Healthy and Tasty Meals – Nutrition is a major player in the overall health and happiness of cats. They are natural carnivores and need the proper amount of protein in their diets. Providing your cat a diet with high-quality, animal-sourced protein, such as IAMS™ High Protein cat food, can help them maintain healthy vitality and fuel their carnivorous spirit.
3. Find the Perfect Toys – Cats are curious creatures and love being on the prowl. Make sure you have a variety of toys on-hand for your cat to play with, including laser pointers, stuffed mice and feather wands. These items will not only keep them busy, but they offer a great form of exercise to keep them active.
4. Give Them Some Love – Spending quality time with your furry friend can be as easy as allowing them to curl up with you on the couch at the end of a long day. Show some love by treating them to a nightly brushing, which can help maintain coat health and shininess.
5. Visit the Vet – One of the easiest, and often overlooked, tips for maintaining your feline friend’s health is taking them to the veterinarian at least once a year rather than simply waiting for signs of illness. Scheduling yearly checkups can help identify any problems that may go unnoticed.
Photos courtesy of FotoliaSOURCE:
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