Essential Crate Training for Any Dog

Most people don’t know or don’t realize that crates are very beneficial for a dog’s mental well-being. Having a crate in your home for your dog, not only benefits you, but it also benefits your dog. Dogs consider crates to be their den and a special and safe refuge away from everyone else. In general, dogs really enjoy spending time in the crate. It is best to start using a crate when your dog is young, so he gets used to the idea of being in the crate. A crate can be used to keep your dog inside during the night or while you are away to avoid having him mess in the house or prevent other destructive behaviors. Once you have started the routine of using a dog crate, your dog will become accustomed to it and often go inside on his own.

One of my favorite crates for home or travel use is the Kennel Cab Fashion Pet Carrier – Petmate. This kennel-style crate is made of durable plastic with a metal door and comes in a variety of sizes. The crate is easy to take apart and clean. The top has a handle for carrying and a small storage compartment for food, treats, and more. Place this crate anywhere in your home to keep your dog safely contained. For extra comfort, use a crate pad, such as the Quiet Time Fashion Pet Bed, inside and your dog is sure love it!

Another great style of crate for your dog is the Life Stages – Double Door Dog Crates. This wire crate is made of coated metal wire with a plastic pan at the bottom to make cleaning easy. It is available in a variety of sizes and has double doors to make access to your pet easy. If you need to travel with your dog, this crate folds down to take up less space and is easy to put back together. A pad, like the Quiet Time Deluxe Black Pet Mat, is perfect to use with a wire crate and gives your pet an extra soft place to rest.

Crate training is great for both you and your dog and gives your dog a place to call his own. A crate may be used for a variety of purposes, including traveling with your dog. For a great selection of dog crates and crate pads, check out GregRobert Pet Supplies.

Feeding Your Backyard Birds with a Suet Feeder



Suet feeders are great for providing birds with the food and nutrients that they need for survival throughout the year. In addition to being a great source of food for the birds, suet feeders are easy to maintain and insert a suet cake. The suet cake neatly contains all of the essential nutrients birds need to thrive and is not as messy as regular bird seed. Even though the suet cake will last a long time in your suet feeder, always remember to replace it when it becomes old in order to keep the birds healthy and interested in your feeder.

Suet feeders are available in a variety of styles, but most suet feeders have the same basic square shape and consist of a metal cage that holds the suet cake. The metal cage is a standard size and will typically hold any type of suet cake. One of my favorite basic suet feeders is the Hanging Suet Basket with Copper Roof. This simple, yet stylish suet feeder, has a small copper roof that provides the suet cake with protection from the elements. It is a great value and looks great hanging in a tree or on a post. You may want to place a few suet feeders around your yards once you start having birds snacking on one.
If you like the idea of a suet feeder, but would also like to feed the birds seed, too, then a suet and seed combo feeder is perfect for you. My favorite combination feeder is the Deluxe Cedar Chalet Feeder w/suet. This charming and practical feeder can hold two suet cakes and 5.25 pounds of bird seed. With a feeder like this one, you can attract a variety of multiple birds at one time. It has clear panels on either side to make viewing the bird seed easy and is mostly constructed of cedar wood for durability.
If you are an environmentally conscious bird lover, than you may want to use a suet feeder made from recycled materials. The Going Green Recycled Plastic Suet Bird Feeder has a roof made from recycled plastic and steel cage that is strong and durable. The recycled plastic roof won’t absorb water and become moldy. This suet feeder is great for helping the environment and for feeding the birds.
Adding a suet cake to your bird feeder collection is ideal for any busy bird lover. Suet feeder are easy to fill and maintain. Suet cakes don’t create a big mess and are a great source of nutrients for birds.

Plan Now for Winter Birdfeeding


Wild Bird Feeding

With winter in full swing, now is the time to think about your birding supplies for the winter. Many bird lovers enjoy feeding the birds during the fall and winter and it helps to keep the birds thriving when food sources are lower. When planning for winter birdfirding, keep in mind the following things:

  • Find out what birds are likely to stay around for the winter. Consult a bird guide, such as the National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, to find out what native birds stick around when the temperature gets cold.
  • Choose feeders that are designed especially for the type of bird that is native to your area and get seed specific for those types of birds. With the right feeder and seed, you should have no problem attacting the birds in the winter time.
  • Purchase a heated bird bath or a bird bath heater like the Gulf Stream 300 watt Bird Bath Heater to provide the birds with warm water during the cold months of the year. Birds still need to drink water and bathe in the winter and providing them with a clean, warm water source is going to attract more birds to your yard.
  • Put up shelter for the birds. If you currently have suitable bird houses, clean them out if the occupants have left for the season to encourage other birds to use them for shelter. Check first to see if the bird house has the right dimensions and hole size for your new visitors. You can also purchase nest boxes and hang them from trees or poles in your yard.

By taking care of the birds during the winter, you not only help the environment and the birds, but it also brings interest to your yard during the most barren time of the year. Check out Rachel’s Robin for all of your year round bird feeding needs.

Protect Your Bird Feeders from Squirrels by Adding a Squirrel Feeder



If you love to feed the birds, nothing can be more frustrating than having the squirrels eat up your gourmet bird seed. Adding a squirrel feeder to your yard is a great way to distract the squirrels from eating the seed in your bird feeders. There are a variety of fun and practical feeders available for feeding squirrels, including corn and box feeders. These types of squirrel feeders are ideal for feeding the squirrels and keeping them entertained at the same time.

There are a variety of fun, entertaining corn feeders for squirrels that are also entertaining for you, too! The Squirrel Corn Spinner feeder holds three ears of corn and twirls around for entertainment. This fun and unique squirrel feeder is designed to rotate and allows the squirrels to move from corn ear to corn ear. Attach the feeder to a post or tree near your house and watch the show. The screws on the feeder securely hold the corn ears and make it difficult for the squirrels to remove the corn from the feeder.

Another fun feeder for squirrels is the Squirrel Munch House. This type of feeder is box shape and has openings on the sides for squirrels to get in. It is made of cedar wood and designed to be durable. Add the squirrel food to the interior and watch the squirrels have fun trying to get into the feeder. This feeder is sure to keep the squirrels well feed and out of your bird seed feeders.

Adding a squirrel feeder to your yard is a great way to help prevent the squirrels from stealing the bird seed. Not only do squirrel feeders help to keep the squirrels well feed, but they also provide entertainment for you and the squirrels. Look for more great items for squirrels at Rachel’s Robin.

Attracting Butterflies with a Butterfly Feeder



Attracting Butterflies doesn’t mean investing in fancy, expensive stuff.
Butterflies love large, open, sun-filled areas. Butterflies like flowers, they need some food sources and they need shelter. (puddles and rocks are great)
You might think about planting an herb garden if you enjoy herbs – many butterfly species do too. Reserving a section of your yard for native flowering plants and for weeds like dandelion, nettle, and milkweed should also help guarantee a good variety of butterflies. It’s best to avoid using any pesticides if you are attempting to attract butterflies.
It is important to note that very few butterfly species cause harm to garden plants. If caterpillars become a nuisance – for instance, if cabbage whites are decimating your nasturtiums – picking the larvae off by hand is not a difficult task.
To make butterfly nectar, mix 4 parts water with 1 part organic cane sugar and boil for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves. Cool the nectar thoroughly before adding it to the feeder. Large batches can be made and stored in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. This nectar recipe can also be used for hummingbird feeders.
Butterflies can’t drink from birdbaths or other open water, but give them a damp spot of wet sand or dirt ( a puddle) and they’ll often flock around it. In some species of butterflies, young bachelor butterflies most commonly exhibit “puddling” behavior.
Butterflies need shelter from predators and wind. Ideal are hedges; groups of small trees or shrubs; or walls, fences, trellises covered with vines. Possible plantings include honeysuckle and butterfly bushes; and for vines, passion flower, pipevine, or hops.

How to Prepare Your Home for Your New Four-Legged Friend

By giving a dog a forever home, you will not only be gaining a new best friend, but you will also be saving them from possible destruction. In some United States shelters, the number of animals destroyed can be extremely high. For example, the Columbus Dispatch reported that over 80 percent of the shelter dogs taken in Lawrence County, Ohio had to be put down in 2012. At the San Bernardino City Animal Shelter in San Bernardino, Calif., 45 percent of the animals at the shelter had to be euthanized in the first half of 2013, reported the San Bernardino County Sun. However, that figure was actually an improvement from the year before, when the number was over 65 percent. Fortunately for the dogs of San Francisco, people like you have been able to reduce the number of unwanted shelter animals that have to be euthanized in this city to about 20 percent.

Catering to your Canine

Before you bring your new pet home, there are a few things you should do so that the transition from shelter to your house can be as smooth as possible.

  • Unless the animal you choose is an owner surrender with a detailed history, you may not have any idea whether they are house trained or if they have any other quirks, such as a tendency to chew or dig. Even if your dog was once house trained, it may take a few days to recall potty training after having spent time in the shelter environment. For those reasons, suggests that you not give your new furry friend run of the house at first and, instead, choose a designated area that has easy to clean floors in case of an accident and where you can keep a watchful eye on them.
  • Consider having a pest control company do an inspection of your home and to treat your residence before your pet arrives. Pest control companies can rid your home of harmful pests, such as fleas, ants, mice or rats that could either harm your new pet or be attracted to its food bowls.
  • Make sure you have a collar and leash for your new pet.  Retractable leashes  gives your pet the feeling of freedom while on a leash.
  • Check out the location of dog parks where you can take your new friend for playtime romps. Dog parks offer a way to burn off your new pet’s energy and can also be a place to meet fellow canine owners. Remember, a bored dog is more likely to cause problems than one that gets enough exercise and stimulation.
  • Buy toys and items to chew on for your dog. Chew toys are especially important for young dogs who could end up gnawing on your furniture or shoes if you don’t provide them with alternatives. The Humane Society considers toys a necessity for dogs rather than a luxury.
  • Don’t forget to ask what food your dog has been eating and to purchase the same type. Your dog may be feeling overwhelmed and nervous in the first few days and a change in diet could cause an upset stomach.
  • Purchase an identity tag for your dog with your contact information. Your new dog may have ended up in a shelter because it has a tendency to bolt out of doors or to jump fences. If an escape takes place, the tag will give anyone who finds them the information they will need to contact you.

Does Your Cat Need to Drink Water……YES!

Although cats do not drink nearly as much water as dogs,  they need enough water to maintain optimum kidney health and to lower the risk of  urinary tract infections. Drinking water flushes toxins out of your cat’s system.  A constant source of fresh water should be available for all cats.

How much water should be consumed daily by your cat? A variety of factors go into this answer,
including the size of your cat, the time of year  (of course, hot weather means more water should
be consumed)  and if your cat’s diet includes wet food or only dry cat food.

Normally, a cat will needs 2-4 ounces of fresh water in addition to its food. Dry food  contains only  10 percent water, while canned is close to 80 percent water. Therefore, if cats are given only dry food, they will require significantly more supplemental water to stay hydrated.

We all know cats are finicky and how they view their water is no exception to this trait. Some cats seem to never drink out of a bowl of water, but run to the faucet for a drink when you turn on the faucet.  Some seem to just play with their water or will only drink cold water.  This could all be an instinctual aversion.  In the wild, cats only drink moving water and of course, that water is cooler than room temperature water in a bowl.

Here are some tips to encourage your cat to drink so he stays properly hydrated.

  • Move the water bowl —  Try moving your cat’s water dish away from the food bowl.
  • Make the water cool — Try adding a few ice cubes to the bowl, in case your cat does not like room temperature water.
  • Change the bowl —Try changing the type of cat bowl. If your cat has a ceramic bowl, change to one made from metal, plastic or glass.
  • Try a cat drinking fountain Cat drinking fountains that constantly circulate water  and keep water cool. This fountain requires electricity so be sure to think about where you will plug it in.

The best way I have found to encourage my cats to drink is by using a cat drinking fountain.  The Fresh Flow Cat Waterer by PetMate  is perfect for providing running, re-circulated water and provides naturally cool and oxygenated water attracting cats to drink more water.  Perfect for on or multiple cat households. The translucent reservoir automatically adds water as needed and the pump runs silently. On/off switch with low voltage system for pet safety that plugs into standard household outlet. The patented ramp has a no-splash water-slide design and quiets running water. On/off switch with low voltage system for pet safety that plugs into standard household outlet.

The Fresh Flow Cat Waterer by PetMate will encourage your cat to drink and remain hydrated.





Even Small Pets Need Beds

Time to get your chinchilla, rabbit or guinea pig a bed. There are so many cute and comfy small pet beds available. From grass beds to sleep sacks to hanging beds to small animal heated pad to keep your buddy warm on the upcoming winter nights.   These beds come in all sizes The Sleep-E-Sack Super Sleeper is an oversized sleeping  bag for a variety of small animals. Sleep-E-Sack comes with four strong clips so  you can position it low inside any wire pet home for guinea pigs and dwarf  bunnies or hang it high for frisky ferrets, pet rats and sugar gliders. With its  fleece lining and plush padding for extra comfort, the Sleep-E-Sack is an  accessory no pet should be without. Super Sleepers provide the perfect place to  play or sleep and are machine washable. Please note that color and pattern of fabric may vary. For: Chinchillas, Guinea Pigs,  Rabbits, Ferrets, Pet Rats Size: 11.5 L x 17 H (inches)and shapes just to delight your small pet.


The Comf-E-Cube for Small Pets  is perfect for Ferrets, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs,  Pet Rats,
or Chinchillas.  Its fleece-lined floor is perfect for snuggling and it’s padded on every side
for cushiony comfort for a perfect place to play, hang out,  rest and sleep. So easy to
install, simply clip to the top of your pet’s cage.  Comf-E-Cube for Small Pets are a perfect
size 10 x  10 x 10 inches and are machine washable.


Another cute and comfy bed is the Sleep-E-Sack Super Sleeper, an oversized sleeping  bag for a variety of small animals. Perfect for Ferrets, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs,  Pet Rats, or Chinchillas. The Sleep-E-Sack Super Sleeper comes with four strong clips to hold the sleeper securley.  Position it low inside any wire pet home for guinea pigs and dwarf  bunnies or hang it high for frisky ferrets, pet rats and sugar gliders. The Sleep-E-Sack Super Sleeper has comfy fleece lining and plush padding for extra comfort provides the perfect play and sleep place.  The size is  11.5 L x 17 H inches and is  machine washable.

Your small pet will thank you for his new bed!

Perfect Horse Grooming Kit

There are many reasons to groom your horse.  Of course, your horse loves to bond with you so that alone is a good reason. In addition you want to clean him so he will look good and feel comfortable.  When grooming you can check him for skin problems or injuries.    Grooming helps prevent him from getting sores from dirt under the tack when riding him.  Grooming your horse wiill make his coat shiny and his skin conditioned.  Finally, grooming will promote good blood circulation.

There are basic items you need to properly groom your horse.

– Hoof Pick for picking out the feet.

– Hoof brush used  for cleaning the feet.

– Large sponge for washing the horse.

– Sweat Scraper to remove sweat from your horse.

– Rubber Dandy Brush to remove heavy dirt and dried mud.

– Rubber Curry Comb to remove dirt and caked mud.  Also, for rubbing the skin. 

Plastic Body brush used to remove dirt, dust and scurf (dried sweat and dandruff) from the coat and skin.

Plastic Mane Comb for untangling the mane and tail.  Do not us a metal comb because they break off hair.

There a many horse grooming kits available.      The Roma Ultimate Horse Grooming Kit cotains all the essential grooming items.  They all fit in the sturdy box that is included with the kit. Great colors to choose from –  Purple, pink or blue. 

Roma Ultimate Horse Grooming Kit contains:

  • One (1) hoof pick with scraper
  •  One (1) hoof oil brush/can
  • One (1) large sponge
  • One (1) plastic sweat scraper
  • One (1) 7 inch plastic dandy brush
  • One (1) 5 inch rubber curry comb
  • One (1) 5.5 inch plastic body brush
  • One (1) 4 inch plastic mane comb
  • One (1) packet of 500 braiding bands
  • One (1) hoof oil brush/can

The Roma Ultimate Horse Grooming Kit makes a great gift for your horse lover.

Get the Perfect Cat Scratching Post

Do you know why cats  scratch the same area over and over?  It is their way of communicating and marking their territory.  First of all, the scratch marks leave a visual clue that they have been in the area.  Secondly, did you know that cats have scent glands in their paws?  When they scratch they leave an odor that can be smelled by other cats.  This is why your cat may be scratching a predominant object, like your table or sofa, in your house.  He wants everyone to know that he is there and that area belongs to him.   

In order to save your prized possessions, you must get a scratching post so your cat can mark his spot in your house.  If  you cat has already damaged an area in your house, cover that area with thick plastic to encourage him to stay away from that area.    The scratching post should be placed next to the covered area.  Encourage your cat to use the scratching post by playing with the dangle toys on the post or using catnip to scent the post.

If you have a kitty or a cat who is new to your home immediately find  two or three areas used the most by the cat.  For example: near the sleeping place, near the resting place and the area where he likes to play. Encourage your cat to use the scratching post by playing with the dangle toys on the post or using catnip to scent the post.


You can purchase a simple scratching post or an elaborate scratching post or one in between.  I suggest to have a couple different styles in your home.  The Seagrass Cat Scratcher  shown on this page is available in a case two. It allows both horizontal and vertical scratching surfaces.  It measures 12″in  diameter base and 19.5″ tall overall and includes a feather dangler.  Made in the USA.

A scratching post is essential for any cat. Cats will always have an urge to scratch so you must provide an outlet to save your household items.  More importantly, the scratching post is necessary for your cat to stretch and exercise, therefore vital to your cat’s good health.