Toys for Ferrets

Ideas for Toys Your Pet Ferret Might Enjoy

Ferrets are pets that will never cease to entertain you with their antics. Providing a variety of stimulating and safe toys is a great way to keep your ferret entertained and happy. Ferrets will play with almost anything, but it is important to pick toys that are durable and won’t pose a safety hazard to your pet.

Swallowing pieces and parts of toys is one of the most serious dangers to your ferret when it comes to toys. Make sure any toys they have are as ferret-safe as possible, and regularly inspect toys for any wear or loose parts and discard any that are coming apart. It isn’t worth taking risks.

Click here to read more on the best toys for your pet ferret>>

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8 Bedding Options for Your Pet Snake

How to Choose the Right Snake Substrate

Snakes make good pets as long as you choose a suitable type for your experience level and select a healthy reptile. Your snake needs a secure, properly sized cage made from an appropriate material, and it must close with a proper lid.

There are several different types of substrate you can use in the cage to bed your snake. Consider the pros and cons of each and choose the best type for your pet’s needs.

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Sunshine Mills, Inc. Issues Voluntary Recall of Dry Dog Food Due to Potentially Elevated Levels of Vitamin D

Sunshine Mills, Inc. is issuing a voluntary recall of select products of Evolve® Puppy, Sportsman’s Pride® Large Breed Puppy and Triumph® Chicken and Rice Dog Food (reference below) due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. 

14 LB Evolve® Chicken & Rice Puppy Dry Dog FoodBag UPC: 0-73657-00862-0
28 LB Evolve® Chicken & Rice Puppy Dry Dog FoodBag UPC: 0-73657-00863-7
40 LB Sportsman’s Pride® Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog FoodBag UPC: 0-70155-10566-0
40 LB Sportsman’s Pride® Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog FoodBag UPC: 0-70155-10564-0
3.5 LB Triumph® Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog FoodBag UPC: 0-73657-00873-6
16 LB Triumph® Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog FoodBag UPC: 0-73657-00874-3
30 LB Triumph® Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Dog FoodBag UPC 0-73657-00875-0

Consumers should stop feeding the products listed above.  Dogs ingesting elevated levels of Vitamin D may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss.  Vitamin D, when consumed at very high levels can lead to serious health issues in dogs including renal dysfunction.  Consumers with dogs who have consumed any of the products listed above and are exhibiting any of these symptoms, should contact their veterinarian. 

Bags affected have a Best Buy Date Code of November 1, 2018 through November 8, 2019.  The Best Buy Code can be located on the back of each bag.

The above products were distributed in retail stores within the United States as well as some export distributors in Japan, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Israel, Canada and South Korea.

Consumers who have purchased any of the products affected by this recall should dispose of it or return it to the retailer for a full refund.

There are no other Evolve®, Sportsman’s Pride® or Triumph® products affected by this recall. 

Consumers may contact Sunshine Mills, Inc. customer service at (800) 705-2111 from 7AM to 4PM Central Time, Monday through Friday, or by email at for additional information.

This is a voluntary recall being conducted in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Link to FDA Announcement

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15 Ways to Give Back to Dogs and People in Need

Looking for ways to give back to those in need? No matter your time or budget, here’s how to stay in the season of giving all year round.

You can help your community give back to dogs and people in need. Photography ©Sadeugra | Getty Images.

Looking for ways to help out your community, give back to dogs and people in need, plus have fun at the same time? Check out these year-round festive actions that you (and even your dog) can take.

1. Get a photo with Santa

Take your dog for a cute festive picture with Santa. These photo opportunities are usually available at pet shops and humane societies with money raised going to a dog-focused rescue or charity organization. Check out your local calendar of events for opportunities.

2. Volunteer to walk shelter dogs

Boredom and isolation are challenges for shelter dogs year-round. Commit to becoming a volunteer with your local shelter to walk, exercise and play with homeless dogs. Don’t have a lot of time? Volunteer once a month, a couple of hours every other week or at adoption events.

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Are Plastic Bowls a Problem?

You may have heard you shouldn’t use plastic bowls to feed your cat. Plastic bowls have been thought to cause facial pyoderma, or chin acne, in cats. Plastic allergies have been implicated in some skin problems in children, so it is not an unreasonable concern, but unfortunately there is no scientific data on this phenomenon in cats.

William Miller, VMD, DACVD, Dermatology Section Chief at Cornell University, says, “Presumed bowl reactions were ‘common’ way back when and theoretically associated with the type of plastic used, aka allergic contact dermatitis to the plastic or colorizer. Red dishes were thought to be more of a problem. As plastics have changed over the years the frequency has decreased or, in my practice, disappeared entirely.”


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in the manufacture of some plastics and resins. Commonly found in beverage containers and the lining of metal cans, BPA became a red-flag buzzword when it was found that it can seep into food and drinks and potentially have negative effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate glands of fetuses and children.

These concerns and the widespread use of plastics naturally sparked significant research efforts, but the FDA concluded that “BPA is safe at the current levels occurring in foods.”


“Since plastic dishes have or can develop a porous surface, I wonder if the reaction seen isn’t due to other things adhering to the bowl’s surface,” comments Dr. Miller. The porous surface of some plastics provides an ideal living space for bacteria and can be difficult to clean. This, combined with the presence of cat food, allows the bacteria to thrive and might then transfer to your cat’s chin as he eats.

Washing your cat’s bowls regularly is the best defense against bacteria. Bacteria are normally found on your cat’s skin and in the environment, but the combination of moisture, food particles, and saliva present in food and water bowls creates an ideal environment for bacterial overgrowth. This overgrowth can present as a biofilm, a thin slimy layer of bacteria and other materials that sticks to the bowl. Sometimes biofilms are visible, but they may also be transparent—feel the bottom of your cat’s water bowl after dumping out old water to check for any sliminess. Washing your cat’s bowls frequently will prevent biofilm.


There are lots of different bowl options available for our cats’ dining pleasure. BPA-free plastic bowls abound, or you can avoid plastic entirely and use stainless steel or ceramics.

If you are caring for any outdoor cats, however, the Cornell Feline Health Center warns that shallow ceramic bowls can allow water to freeze faster and suggests using a thick plastic bowl instead (a solar water heater may be the ideal solution here).

Stainless steel bowls have excellent durability and are also easy to clean. If your cat likes to play with his water bowl, try using a wide based bowl with rubber on the bottom. The wide base makes the bowl more difficult to tip compared to bowls with a wide lip at the top, and the rubber bottom will prevent skidding.

To put more fun in mealtimes, you can also skip the food bowl altogether and opt for a cat-friendly food dispensing toy. These puzzle toys are excellent options for overweight cats who need more exercise and for young, energetic cats who need positive channels for their enthusiasm and athletic prowess.

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Guests With Cat Allergies? 5 Tips to Make Them Comfortable

The holidays mean entertaining — which means guests with cat allergies! Here’s how to make people who are allergic to cats comfortable in your home.

A cat in a Christmas Santa hat sitting with an ornament.

Having a feline housemate or two doesn’t have to mean closing your doors to guests with cat allergies. It does mean that you should think about doing a bit of additional prep before playing host.

Make allergy-prone guests more comfortable with our pointers and expert advice from Dr. David Rosenstreich, chief of the Division of Allergy & Immunology at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

Click here to read more on how to make your allergy-prone guests more comfortable>> 

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Are These Thanksgiving Foods Safe for Dogs?

Can dogs eat Thanksgiving turkey? Are potatoes safe for dogs to eat? Find out which Thanksgiving foods are safe for dogs — and which aren’t!

A dog dressed as a Thanksgiving turkey.

Thanksgiving is a great time to give thanks and extra love to your pup, but what Thanksgiving foods can you share with your dog — if any? Unfortunately, toxic ingredients, high fat and sugar content make some of our favorite Turkey Day treats dangerous for your dog. Let’s look at what Thanksgiving foods are safe for your dog — and which foods you should absolutely avoid.

Not only should you avoid giving your dog treats from your Thanksgiving table, make sure that your guests understand the importance of not slipping table treats to your dog, too. If they do, the results could be costly for you, and life threatening for your dog! “The cost of emergency care for stomach issues can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars,” says Dawn Pyne of Embrace Pet Insurance.

Common symptoms of dogs treated by veterinarians over Thanksgiving weekend include: “vomitingdiarrhea, gastroenteric and xylitol intoxication,” Pyne says. In addition to the stress of having a sick dog over the holiday, if your dog does get sick over Thanksgiving you might even have to pay extra for his care! Petplan Insurance found that over Thanksgiving weekend, visits to the vet can nearly double in cost.

So, what classic Thanksgiving foods are safe for dogs to eat?

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