Wednesday, December 5, 2018

BBB: Think carefully before buying a pet as a holiday gift

One of the most popular holiday gifts for youngsters is a new member of the family, such as a dog, cat, bird or exotic animal, but is it a good idea to buy a pet without discussing it in advance and getting the entire family on board? Officials with the Better Business Bureau say probably not.

There is no question that kids’ faces light up when they get a new pet; however, some young children do not understand that they will have to be responsible for the pet too, and that means feeding and taking a dog out for a walk in the middle of winter.

When your family brings home a pet, it needs some peace and quiet, and the opportunity to get used to its new surroundings. This is often not possible around the hectic holidays, and all of the excitement can be stressful for the pet.

Other concerns involving the purchase of pets are fraud and unwittingly buying from a breeding facility known as a puppy mill. Puppy mills are operations where the breeders put profits ahead of the health of the animals, in conditions experts describe as “inhumane.” When you buy from a breeder outside of the state you are taking a big chance. If you don’t see the breeding facility, you won’t know what sort of conditions the pet was raised in.

BBB has heard from heartbroken consumers, who send their payment and wait for the delivery, but the pet never arrives, or the seller demands fees that were not disclosed when they made the purchase.

BBB offers these tips to help you make the right decision for your family when buying a pet:

• Select a pet that is age-appropriate. If it is impractical for other family members to help care for larger animals such as cats or dogs, consider buying a small pet such as a hamster, which is easier for children to take care of.

• Check breeders’ and shelters’ credentials. If you locate a puppy through a website, do not send money without first speaking to the breeder and checking references and credentials. Find out if the breeder is a member of an American Kennel Club-affiliated club and call to verify membership.

• Avoid buying pets through classified ads. You can get some wonderful deals through classified ads; however, a pet seller may not have the proper paperwork. Some scammers make big money selling pets that they stole from people’s property or public areas.

• Don’t be fooled by a well-designed website. This is always good advice. Unscrupulous operators create professional-looking but fraudulent websites that are designed to lure potential buyers with cute puppy pictures they stole from other breeders’ websites.

• Take all of the costs into account. Many people don’t think past the initial fee required to buy or adopt a pet. A cat costs about $350 to $400 a year, a small or medium dog costs about $400 to $500 a year and larger dogs even more. You also might want to consider buying medical insurance for your pet. Veterinary care can be very expensive when there’s a health problem or if your pet is injured in an accident.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

There is No Such Thing As Hypoallergenic Dogs

There's no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed, although some individual dogs may cause fewer allergy symptoms than others. Many people think that pet allergies are caused by a dog's or cat's fur, but the real source of pet allergies is often a protein that's in the saliva and urine of dogs and cats. This protein sticks to the dead, dried flakes (dander) from your pet's skin.

Some dog breeds are marketed as hypoallergenic because they don't shed fur or they shed very little. Because these dogs don't shed, the allergy-causing dander that sticks to their fur doesn't get released into the air or onto the floor as much as with a shedding dog. But while you may have less dog hair with a nonshedding dog, no dog breed is hypoallergenic.
If you're allergic to dogs, but still want to have one, consider the following tips to reduce your allergy symptoms:
  • Choose a smaller dog, which will shed less dander than will a larger dog.
  • Keep your pet out of your bedroom and other rooms in which you spend a lot of time.
  • Keep your pet outside, if weather permits.
  • Bathe your pet weekly to remove dander from its coat.
  • Choose carpet-free flooring, or shampoo your carpet regularly.
  • Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifier and vent filters to help reduce airborne pet allergens.
Article Credit: Mayo Clinic

Saturday, November 17, 2018

How To Get Rid Of Mice With a Cat

A Cat is the Best Natural Mouse Deterrent!!!

If you are looking for a natural mouse deterrent, consider getting a cat.  The great thing about having a cat is their very presence will help to keep the mice away.

Having a cat on your property is one of the most natural ways to get rid of mice since you are letting nature take care of itself. It’s the cycle of life.

If you are thinking about getting a cat to use as a mouse deterrent – Read these tips so you know what to expect and make sure your cat knows how to hunt!!

How To Make Sure Your Cat Is An Effective Mouse Deterrent
Mice will build a home where they feel safe & secure.  When they come into your home, they will look for an unoccupied area to live & breed.  This may be in your walls, under the stove or in the attic. If they smell a cat in the area, they are very likely to find a better place to call home where they will not be hunted on a daily basis.

However, just because you have a cat, this does not mean you will never have a mouse in your house again. There may be a place in your house that does not have the smell of your cat, so the mice may still come in. Or if food & shelter is very limited in your area, the mouse may consider your home to be the only option.

How To Select A Cat That Will Catch Mice
First of all, not all cats are natural mousers. Ideally, you will be able to find a kitty that has lived for some time outside and knows how to hunt. If you live near a rural area, you can normally find barn cats looking for a good home.

Talk to your local humane society or shelter. They will know the cat’s background and should be able to help you select the right cat for your home. A kitten would be sweet, but will not know how to hunt. If you have your heart set on getting a kitten, many shelters will have both the mother & kittens that are up for adoption. The mother will be able to teach the kitten how to hunt. Female cats are also rumored to be better mousers.

Some cats will actually ignore mice, especially cats which have always lived indoors & have not been exposed to any type of hunting games or toys. Yes, there are lazy cats, just like lazy dogs & lazy people~

If you already have a cat, but he/she doesn’t know how to hunt, they can still be an effective mouse deterrent.  Consider encouraging your cat to visit the area where you have the most mice.  You could give it a few treats in the kitchen or play a game in the basement where the mice are known to frequent.  Cats love to brush up against objects, leaving their scent trail behind.  If you can encourage your cat to do this where you also have mouse activity, the trail they leave behind will be a good mouse deterrent as well.

Does Your Cat Have The Play Or Kill Mindset?
There are some cats that will just want to play with the mouse. Be prepared to watch your cat toy with a mouse, over & over & over again.

And they like to bring their toys home. You may find a dead mouse on your front porch or sometimes even in your house. A cat likes to bring its trophy home to his or her owner. They are very proud of their catch having sometimes been stalking them for days.

And occasionally your cat will bring home a mouse that is still alive. The funniest thing I heard was a story from my neighbor. Her cat brought home a mouse that must have just been stunned. The cat had it in her mouth when it came back inside. My neighbor saw her cat with the mouse & screamed.  The cat let go of the mouse & it ran straight under her cupboards.

Make A Commitment To Your Cat
Getting a cat is a commitment. You have to remember that you are getting a pet, a new family member, not just an in-house mouse killing machine. Do you have the time and energy to devote to your new cat? Do you know where the cat will live? You’ll need a place to keep the litter box, toys, scratching post, etc.

Cats don’t require as much attention as some other pets, but they still need to be loved & cared for. So while getting a cat is a wonderfully natural solution to getting rid of your mouse problem, please make sure you are willing to commit to their care.  After all, he or she is working hard for you and deserves a good home!

Article Credit: How To Get Rid Of Mice Today!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

How To Keep Your Pet Safe From Household Hazards

Every home contains a variety of everyday items and substances that can be dangerous or even fatal if ingested by dogs and cats. You can protect your pet’s health by becoming aware of the most common health hazards found in many pet-owning households.

Hazards in the Kitchen

Many foods are perfectly safe for humans, but could be harmful or potentially deadly to pets. To be safe, keep the following food items out of your pet’s menu:Kitten sitting behind a hydrangea blossom

•Coffee grounds
•Fatty foods
•Yeast dough
•Macadamia nuts
•Any products containing xylitol (an artificial sweetener)
Always keep garbage out of a pet’s reach, as rotting food contains molds or bacteria that could cause food poisoning.

Cleaning Products

Many household cleaners can be used safely around pets. However, the key to safe use lies in reading and following product directions for proper use and storage.

For instance, if the label states “keep pets and children away from area until dry”, follow those directions to prevent possible health risks. Products containing bleach can safely disinfect many household surfaces when used properly, but can cause stomach upset, drooling, vomiting or diarrhea, severe burns if swallowed, and respiratory tract irritation if inhaled in a high enough concentration. In addition, skin contact with concentrated solutions may produce serious chemical burns. Some detergents can produce a similar reaction and cats can be particularly sensitive to certain ingredients such as phenols.

As a general rule, store all cleaning products in a secure cabinet out of the reach of pets and keep them in their original packaging, or in a clearly labeled and tightly sealed container.

As with household cleaners, read and follow label instructions before using any type of pesticide in your pet’s environment. For example, flea and tick products labeled “for use on dogs only” should never be used on cats or other species, as serious or even life-threatening problems could result. Always consult with your veterinarian about the safe use of these products for your pet.

If a pet ingests rat or mouse poison, potentially serious or even life-threatening illness can result; therefore, when using any rodenticide, it is important to place the poison in areas completely inaccessible to pets. Some of the newer rodenticides have no known antidote, and can pose significant safety risks to animals and people.

Hazards in the Bathroom

All medicines should be tightly closed and stored securely and away from pets.
Medications that treat human medical conditions can make pets very sick. Never give your pet any medication, including over-the-counter medications, unless directed by your veterinarian. As a rule, all medicines should be tightly closed and stored securely and away from pets.

Medications that pose higher risk include:

•Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen
•Diet Pills/Vitamins
•Cold Medicines
•Prescription Drugs
Soaps and other Sundries
Bath and hand soaps, toothpaste and sun screens should also be kept away from your pets. They can cause stomach upset, vomiting or diarrhea. Keep toilet lids closed to prevent your pets from consuming treated toilet bowl water that could irritate their digestive tract.

Hazards in the Bedroom & Living Room

While they may smell good, many liquid potpourri products contain ingredients that can cause oral ulcerations and other problems, so keep them out of the reach of your pets.

Just one mothball has the potential to sicken a dog or cat; mothballs that contain naphthalene can cause serious illness, including digestive tract irritation, liver, kidney and blood cell damage, swelling of the brain tissues, seizures, coma, respiratory tract damage (if inhaled) and even death (if ingested). Tobacco products, pennies (those minted after 1982 contain zinc) and alkaline batteries (like those in your remote controls) can also be hazardous when ingested.

Hazards in the Garage & Yard

Antifreeze, Herbicides and Insecticides
Ethylene glycol-containing antifreeze and coolants, even in small quantities, can be fatal to pets. While antifreeze products containing propylene glycol are less toxic than those containing ethylene glycol, they can still be dangerous. In addition to antifreeze, other substances routinely stored in the garage including insecticides, plant/lawn fertilizers, weed killers, ice-melting products, and gasoline also pose a threat to your pet’s health if ingested.

When chemical treatments are applied to grassy areas, be sure and keep your pet off the lawn for the manufacturer’s recommended time. If pets are exposed to wet chemicals or granules that adhere to their legs or body, they may lick it off later; stomach upset or more serious problems could result.

Polyurethane adhesives are found in a large number of household products, and some can be very dangerous if ingested by pets. In particular, several brands of expanding wood glues – those containing diphenylmethane diisocyanate (often abbreviated as MDI) – have the potential to form obstructive gastrointestinal masses if ingested. The ingested adhesive can form an expanding ball of glue in your pet’s esophagus and/or stomach, creating a firm mass that can be 4-8 times the glue’s original volume. This effect has been reported from as little as 2 oz. of glue, with the obstructive mass forming within minutes of the pet ingesting the adhesive.

Paints and Solvents
Paint thinners, mineral spirits, and other solvents are dangerous and can cause severe irritation or chemical burns if swallowed or if they come in contact with your pet’s skin.

While most latex house paints typically produce a minor stomach upset, some types of artist’s or other specialty paints may contain heavy metals or volatile substances that could become harmful if inhaled or ingested.

Plants - Inside or Around the House
There are many household and yard plants that can sicken your pet. Some of the most commonly grown greenery that should be kept away from pets includes:

•Certain types of lilies (Lilium and Hemerocallis species) are highly toxic to cats, resulting in kidney failure — even if only small amounts are ingested.
•Lily of the Valley, oleander, yew, foxglove, and kalanchoe may cause heart problems if ingested.
•Sago palms (Cycas species) can cause severe intestinal problems, seizures and liver damage, especially if the nut portion of the plant is consumed.
•Azaleas, rhododendrons and tulip/narcissus bulbs can cause intestinal upset, weakness, depression, heart problems, coma and death.
•Castor bean can cause severe intestinal problems, seizures, coma, and death. Other plants that can cause intestinal upset include cyclamen, amaryllis, chrysanthemums, pothos, English ivy, philodendron, corn plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, hibiscus, hydrangea, peace lily and schefflera/scheffleria.
•Rhubarb leaves and shamrock contain substances that can produce kidney failure.
•Additionally, fungi (such as certain varieties of mushrooms) can cause liver damage or other illnesses.
A few other potentially harmful plants include the yesterday-today-and-tomorrow plant (Brunfelsia species), autumn crocus (Colchicum species), and glory lily (Gloriosa species).

Other Household Hazards
Small items that fall on the floor can be easily swallowed by a curious pet. Such items include coins, buttons, small children’s toys, medicine bottles, jewelry, nails and screws. The result may be damage to your pet’s digestive tract and the need for surgical removal of the object.

While electrical cords are especially tempting to puppies, ferrets and pet rodents who like to chew on almost anything, even an adult dog or cat could find them of interest; burns or electrocution could result from chewing on live cords. Prevent this by using cord covers and blocking access to wires.

A note about narcotics
Narcotics, including marijuana, can pose life-threatening risks to your pets if ingested. If you suspect your pet has ingested any narcotics, please notify your veterinarian immediately so your pet can receive the life-saving treatment they need.

Holiday Hazards

Holidays and visitors can pose a special challenge to your pets. Discourage well-meaning guests from spoiling pets with extra treats and scraps from the dinner table. Fatty, rich, or spicy foods can cause vomiting and diarrhea and lead to inflammation of the pancreas, which can be life-threatening. Poultry or other soft bones can splinter and damage your pet’s mouth or esophagus.

While trick-or-treating is fun for children, it can be hazardous to pets. Halloween treats such as chocolate or candy sweetened with xylitol can make a harmful snack. Certain  holiday decorations (especially tinsel, ribbons and ornaments) also pose a hazard to pets, so make sure nothing is left on the floor or on tables within reach.

String-like items can damage your pet’s intestine and could prove fatal if not surgically removed. While poinsettia is not deadly as popular legend would have it, it could still cause an upset stomach if consumed. Holly and mistletoe are more toxic than poinsettias and can cause intestinal upset. Christmas tree water treated with preservatives (including fertilizers) can also cause an upset stomach. Water that is allowed to stagnate in tree stands contains bacteria that, if ingested, could lead to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

A Special Note of Caution to Bird Owners
Most hazards listed here also apply to your pet bird, particularly if it is allowed to roam freely outside of its cage. In addition, birds are especially vulnerable to inhaled particles and fumes from aerosol products, tobacco products, certain glues, paints and air fresheners. Birds should never be allowed in areas where such products are being used. As a rule, birds should never be kept in kitchens because cooking fumes, smoke and odors can present a potentially fatal hazard.

What to do if your pet is poisoned
Don’t wait! Time is critical for successfully treating accidental poisoning. Pick up the phone and call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435; a consultation fee may apply). Be prepared to provide your pet’s breed, age, weight and any symptoms. Keep the product container or plant sample with you to assist in identification so the appropriate treatment recommendations can be made.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

How to Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter

If its 32 degrees or below, limit time for animals to be outside. Keep pets inside for the bulk of day and if anything at the very least overnight.

Know when winter gear is actually necessary. If your town is known for salting or using de-icer on the streets and sidewalks during winter it might be wise to invest in some doggie booties. However if anything clean your pet's paws with some luke warm warm and apply some paw palm. Jackets and sweaters are cute but should only be use on dog with short coats otherwise it's rather pointless. Most dogs will develop a winter coat before it gets too cold, specifically dogs use to being outdoors for a extended period of time.

Monitor working dogs, puppies and older dogs that are primarily outside for long periods or live in outdoor kennels. Ensure outdoor dogs have access to warmth when its really cold. Be it a daft-less covered sheltered with hay for insulation or inside a heated area.

Ensure outdoor cats have access to a safe, warm shelter. Ensure there is adequate drinking supply for outdoor cats 24/7. Always bank on you car hood or physically check under you car hood to ensure a cat has not decided to use the area to keep warm.

Make sure indoor cats stay indoor. If let outside strictly indoor cats ca get confused, freak out and get lost. Which goes to say always make sure your pet has a identification tag and is micro-chipped.

Prepare your pooch for long hikes. Ensure you have enough fresh water and food for both you and you pet.

Store antifreeze in a secure place and if you have a spill near your vehicle, clean up immediately with absorbent material like cat litter. Antifreeze is poisonous to animals!

Don't feed pets holiday dinner scraps. Some foods are poisonous. Fatty foods can give pets upset stomachs and bones can get stuck in their thoughts or perforate their digestive tract.

Keep decorations out of pet's reach. Poinsettias are toxic and garland, strings and tinsel can cause gastrointestinal obstruction.

Ensure your pet is comfortable around people. Have a quiet place set up away from people for pets with anxiety. Make sure your pet does not boly out the door while guests are going in and out of your house.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Hazards for Pets During the Fall Season

School begins so watch for glue sticks, paint, pencils and crayons that can be toxic to your pets. Ensure these items are stowed in a high shelf/cabinet space where your pets cannot reach.

When changing fluids such as antifreeze in your vehicle, clean up any mess thorughly and ensure vehicle fluids like antifreeze are stowed away from pets and children. Stow in a locked cabinet if need be.

Watch out for wild mushrooms growing from all the fall moisture. Although some are edible, many mushroom varieties can be poisonous to people and pets.

If putting out poisons for pesky critters like rodents and insects ensure your pet cannot get into it nor eat the poisoned animal left behind. Dispose of used traps and dead bugs and rodents immediately in a trash can with a lid.

During holidays ensure pets keep away from candy, cooked bones and fatty foods which can wreak havoc in your pet's stomach and may even have the potential to cause death.

Ensure electrical wires, plastics, sharp objects and glass are kept far away and out of reach of pets and children.

If needed, use flea, tick and heartworm medicine all year round and not just in the Fall.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

The following tips will help make sure pets have just as happy a Halloween as everyone else.

•Chocolate and candies can be toxic to pets. Be sure to keep candy out of your pet's reach during and after the festivities.

•Bring all pets indoors before the trick-or-treating begins. Outdoor cats and dogs left in the backyard can fall victim to Halloween pranks.

•Make sure your pet has proper ID tags and is microchipped in case they get separated from you!

•If your pet is wary of strangers or people in costumes, keep your pet away from the front door and trick-or-treaters. Putting your pet in another room during trick-or-treating hours may provide a safe hiding place and reduce your pet's stress level.

•Keep pumpkins with candles, wires, and cords from holiday decorations out of your pet's reach.

•Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn can give your pet a stomach ache. Although these plants are non-toxic, they can certainly make your pet uncomfortable if ingested.

•Don't force your pets to wear costumes if it is not clear he or she enjoys being dressed up. It can cause undue stress.

•If your pet is going to wear a costume, make sure it doesn't restrict their ability to move, see, breathe, bark, or meow. Equally important, make sure there are no small pieces on the costume that your pet can chew and swallow.

As for trick-or-treaters,  be cautious about approaching animals you or your children don't know--especially during Halloween.

If anyone comes across an animal that appears to be acting abnormally or if an animal bites a human, be sure to call Animal Control or 911 immediately.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Things You Need to Know About Protecting Your Pet After You Die

  1. Pets are tangible property. In most states, pets fall into the same category as your car, furniture and jewelry. While they mean so much more to us than that, the law looks at them as an object. Since the law regards pets as possessions, ownership of them is typically transferred in a will along with the artwork and household furnishings.

  2. Choose a caretaker wisely. Most people leave their pets to a child or immediate family member who will happily take care of the pet without additional monies left expressly for that purpose. If you don’t have a close family member to take your pet, consider leaving them to a friend, neighbor or other more distant relative. One of my elderly clients is leaving her pet to her dog walker who has already agreed to take the dog. Other clients, who have no one to take their pets, have left them to the local humane society or pet shelter with a substantial donation.

  3. Follow the money. Some clients will leave an outright gift of a certain dollar amount. The money is intended to be used to care for the pet, but often there is no requirement that the person use the money for the pet. Be aware that second cousin Lester could take your cat Puff and the money, but then drop Puff off at a shelter the next day. You can condition the cash gift to Lester on his keeping Puff, but who is going to police that? And how do you ensure the level of care that Puff receives? A pet trust is the best way to prevent this scenario from happening.

  4. Creating a pet trust. Many states allow for pet trusts. You create a trust and on your death transfer ownership of the pet and cash to the trustee. The trustee then has to use the cash to care for the pet. On the animal’s death, the remaining assets are distributed in accordance with your written instructions in the trust. The trustee cannot use the trust assets for himself, although he can take a fee.

  5. Don’t leave your pet too much money. If you do, the court may reduce the amount of money held in trust for the pet’s benefit. Courts do not like to see folks punishing their heirs by leaving all the money to the dog. Example: the story of Leona Helmsley, the New York hotel heiress who left the bulk of her $12 million estate to her little white Maltese named Trouble? Helmsley was dubbed the “Queen of Mean” for disinheriting family members and leaving so much to a dog instead of family members or charities. A judge later reduced Trouble’s trust to $2 million, but Trouble still lived out her life in the lap of luxury with round-the-clock care and a security guard in Florida (there were kidnapping threats). The cost of her care was reportedly $100,000 per year.
Most pets do not need hundred of thousands of dollars per year for care. A much smaller amount will often suffice. And when the pet passes away, the rest can go to your family members, or better yet, to your local pet shelter or humane society.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Flying with Your Pets

1. Do you have to fly with your pets? Consider alternatives, if possible—whether it’s traveling by car or, for shorter trips, finding a good sitter or boarding kennel.

2. Make sure you research online about airline polices and airline traveler consumer reports

3.Most airlines require a health certificate for animals, usually required within 10 days before travel. This is also a good time to ensure your pets are up for the trip, that their vaccinations are up to date and that they don't have any illnesses that could be made worse by heat or stress.

Some pets have may have breathing issues that make travel more risky. That’s why some airlines have placed restrictions on flying with brachycephalic (flat-faced) animals such as pugs, bulldogs and Persian cats.

4. Practice with your pet in crate and/or carrier training to ensure they are comfortable in a small space for a extended period of time.

5. Navigate the airport especially know security guidelines. If your pets aren’t traveling with you in the cabin, you should still find a way to keep tabs on them—especially in the event of delays or transfers. Check on their status with a gate agent or airline employee.

6. Don't overlook the destination. If you’re flying internationally, or even to Hawaii, your pets may need to be quarantined upon arrival. They may also require import forms. Familiarize yourself with the requirements, where they’ll be quarantined and for how long.Make sure your pets are wearing collars and identification, that their microchip information is up to date, and that you have current photos, just in case they go missing.

Enjoy your flight and be safe!

Monday, September 24, 2018

How Technology Has Improved How We Care For Our Pets

There are no upgrades for pets per se. Our pets do not change. How we as humans bond with animals will not change. However as society becomes more immersed in technology as times goes on we see improvement on how we care for our pets.

With more accurate testing and treatment for disease as well as advancements in the animal surgery realm our pets are living healthier and longer. Microchips have helped reunite lost pets with their owners. Vaccines have prevent disease from running rampant in our pets.

The Internet has become a excellent tool for accessing pet information and products. A pet owner can now in a instant order medications, obtain pet insurance and find out about pet-friendly accommodations. Not to mention the plethora of pet products from toys for entertainment, quality food brands and pet boutiques galore to dress up your pet.

People can give their pets personal and Internet fame. Blogs, Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms have given rise to the Internet-famous pets and pet viral videos. After all who doesn't like a cute pet and their antics?

However the Internet has a dark side as well. People seem to seek advice from the general public about the health of their pet. Asking advice about your pets health from a random stranger  is dangerous. Often home remedies are recommended in which case one should never give a pet herbal remedies without consulting a veterinarian first in person. Anyone can say they are a expert on the Internet but in reality the only expert you should ever listen to is your local veterinarian. Ill-given advice from the Internet (intentional or unintentional) can endanger your pet's health or even cause death. Be careful out there on the wide-world web.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

How to Help Animals Now

How to Help Animals Right Now

Make toys, homes or bed for shelter/rescue animals.

Donate items such as old blankets/towels, pet food, leashes, collars, carriers, pet bowls/dishes and first aid supplies. As well as: Distilled water, bleach, laundry detergent, dish soap, paper towels, trash bags, AA,AAA and D batteries, cotton balls, Ziploc bags (all sizes), disinfecting wipes, sanitizer, lint rollers, Kleenex and house training pads

Volunteer at you local animal shelters/rescues.

Sign petitions for animal welfare.

Spread the word. Learn to speak up for animals. Hang up fliers. Share adoption profiles on social media.

Start a campaign, donation drive and/or fundraiser.

Foster a animal.

Adopt a pet.

Be a responsible pet owner.

Shop cruelty-free.

Report any and all suspected animal abuse and neglect.

Teach kindness, respect, compassion and responsibility to animals to others.

Help stray pets: Try to find the owner and take to the shelter.

Donate money funds to shelters.

Sponsor an animal.

Offer transportation.

Support pet-friendly businesses and companies that give back and support animal welfare.

Offer free grooming for pets.

Train local shelter pets.

Spay and neuter your pets as well as start a trap-neuter return program for local stray cats and dogs.

Support and thank shelter volunteers.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Pet Safety and Natural Disasters

The most important things to do for your pet during iminent natural disasters:

  •  Get and ID tag containing your current info (name, address, phone number) and attach to your pets collar (opt for a neon colored collar so your pet can be easier to see!). Ensure your pet wears that collar at all times. A pet with an ID tag indicates to emergency crews that your animal is a pet that belongs to a family and not wild, which could mean the difference between getting rescued or not.
  • Get your pet microshipped and up-to-date on vaccinations.Because an ID tag can come off or become damaged during an emergency, you also need to get your pet microchipped. A microchip can be inserted under your pet's skin by your veterinarian. To be effective, the microchip must be registered to the pet's owner so he or she can be contacted in the event the animal is lost. Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date to reduce their risk of illness. If you are evacuated, your pet may not be able to come with you to a shelter and may be held in boarding with other animals whose health status is unknown.
  • Have a photo or several photos of your pet on hand for proof of ownership and accurate identification of your pet. It would be a good idea to have a document on hand pointing out identifiable special color markings or scars that will help identify your pet as well.  
  • Have a first-aid/emergency kit on hand for your pet. Any emergency kit made for humans can be utilized for your pet as well. Also include your pet's paperwork. Make copies of your pet’s  immunization records, microchip information and vet and emergency contact numbers. Include this paperwork in your emergency kit.
  • If at all possible never leave your pet behind! Try to bring your pets with you or plan somewhere you can temporarily house your pet be it with relatives/friends or a boarding facilities away from the natural disaster zone. If you have not other choice but to leave you pet behind make sure plenty of food and water is left behind and post a flyer outside your house that their are pets inside. Never leave your pet in a cage, locked up in a room or tied up! Give a chance for your pet to escape if need be leave a window open, gate open or have a accessible doggy door.
  • If your pet goes missing during a natural disaster, it’s important that you don’t endanger yourself looking for your pet. Avoid going outside or far from home if the conditions outside are unmanageable or downright dangerous. Instead, check sites like Nextdoor, Craigslist, Facebook groups or PetFinder – to see if anyone has found your pet. Next, call or visit your local shelters and veterinarian clinics in case your pet was dropped off by an emergency crew or Good Samaritan.

Pets are often overlooked or abandoned during natural disasters because they don’t have the proper identification or paperwork. Because natural disasters can happen any time and with little warning, plan for your pet as you would for any member of your household. Doing so could mean the difference between your pet staying with you during an emergency or getting left behind.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

What You Should Do With Your Pets During A Hurricane

Before You Evacuate

  • Check in with your vet. Ensure you have copies of your pet's records and proof of vaccinations. Make sure to have a 2-3 week supply of any medication your pet mat take. It's a good idea to have your pet microshipped and has a current ID tag and rabies vacination tag.
  • Put together a pet emergency kit. Include food, water, leashes, carriers and picture to establish ownership and accurate pet identification.

Where To Go

  • Seek out a pet-friendly boarding place since unfortunately most evacuation shelters do not take pets.
  • Consider places that will take you and your pets. Check out sites like, GoPetFriendly.Com and

If You Have To Let Your Pet Stay At Home

  • Do not confine them or have them tied up. Leave plenty of food and water for your pets. Post a note outside your house that there are pets inside.
  • Do not abandon your pets!  
  • Make it easy for your pets/livestock to ride out the storm. Prepare shelters and possible escape routes for your pets/livestock if need be

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Are you spending too much money on your pets?

First of all, most pet owners consider their cats or dogs a bona fide member of the family. This is especially true with millennials. In fact, 1/3 of millennial-aged Americans (ages 18 to 36) who purchased their first home say the desire to have a better space or yard for a dog influenced their decision to purchase their first home. This is according to a 2017 survey from SunTrust Mortgage, a division of SunTrust Banks, Inc. Dogs ranked among the top three motivators for first-time home purchasers and were cited by more millennials than marriage/upcoming marriage, 25 %, or the birth/expected birth of a child, 19 %.

“Millennials have strong bonds with their dogs, so it makes sense that their furry family members are driving home-buying decisions,” says Dorinda Smith, SunTrust Mortgage President and CEO. “For those with dogs, renting can be more expensive and a hassle; home ownership takes some of the stress off by providing a better living situation.”

Also, the sheer numbers explain our obsession with our pets. According to the 2017-2018 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey, 68 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 84.6 millions homes. Of those pets, dogs are number one, with more than 60 million households having a dog, followed by a cat—47 million households.

Given how highly we regard our pets, it makes sense that so many of us want to pamper our pets. I know from my online business how many Americans celebrate their dog’s birthday each year and want to be able to throw them a birthday party with a dog-themed cake and dog bone shaped birthday candles. The ornate cake at the top of this article was made using our pit bull cake pan and professionally baked and decorated by one of our dog bakery customers, the Happy Dog Barkery in Downers Grove, Illinois. Soon our online store will introduce cat-themed cake pans and birthday candles for those 47 million households with cats that might want to celebrate their cat’s birthday. This will be part of our Kittieware line.

This is part of the reason that dog bakeries—or barkeries—are popping up all over the place and chowing down the profits. In a recent Voice of America article, Nicki Dobson of Three Dog Bakery in Kansas City, Missouri, explains how pet owners buy treats for their pups as they might ice cream for their children—and, by the way, there is dog ice cream on the market: “We have dogs come in every week,” Dobson said in that article. “Their dog needs a cookie every night. We have people who drop $50 to $75 on [dog] pastries every week.”

In addition to pet-themed bakeries, there are pet spas, pet-oriented restaurant franchises, hotels with pet programs and cat-friendly AirBnB locations. Even automotive brands are marketing to pet lovers, with vehicles with pet-specific features.

I can tell you that in some instances, when we choose brands that we give our business to as a family, we might base our decision on how pet-facing a business is. For example, if a bank doesn’t give out treats at the drive-through window, I find myself thinking, Why not?

Do you love your subscription boxes? Well, dogs and puppies can get them now. You can even dress your pup up in your favorite college or professional team’s sports gear so your pet is in the spirit when you sit down to watch the big game.

And many pet parents include their pups in Halloween celebrations, too. According to Pet Products News, millions will dress their pets up for Halloween. One statistic said that for every $3 parents spend on costumes for children, they’ll spend $1 on a costume for their pet. PARADE

More and more American families own pets.

A recent study says that 85 million families in the United States own a pet.

The American Pet Products Association’s study for the years 2017-2018 says that represents 68 percent of all families in the U.S.

Thirty years ago, when the study was first done, 56 percent of families owned a pet.

The survey found dogs are the most popular pets. Sixty-point-two percent of homes own one. Cats are the second most popular with 47.1 percent of families reporting they had a cat. Freshwater fish came in third with 12.5 percent.

Nicki Dobson is head of marketing and communication for Three Dog Bakery. The business calls itself the "original bakery for dogs." She said pets have become especially popular among Americans in the past 10 years.

She said, "People are having more pets and less children. People are concerned about what they eat. Our whole premise was trying to make things with human-grade ingredients and a focus on nutrition. They look like human food, but they're meant for pets."

Another company, Posh Puppy Boutique, sells clothes, jewelry and other items for dogs.

There are also pet hotels and pet health centers. One study found that Americans spend about $126 each month on their pets.

Three Dog Bakery opened in 1989. Dobson says there are now 45 bakeries around the world, including in Canada and China. She said cakes are the most popular item. She added that some people pay $50-75 on baked goods each week for their pets.

Pets rather than children?

Some younger Americans seem to be choosing pets over having children. Some are making big life decisions, such as buying a home, around the lives of their pets.

The SunTrust banking company did a study in 2017 of people under the age of 40 buying their first home. The study found that 33 percent said a good yard or good space for their pets influenced them to buy a new home. Only 25 percent said marriage was a reason, and 19 percent said the birth of a child.

Some companies now offer pet benefits such as pet insurance. They are also offering "pawternity" leave, which gives workers free time to spend with their new pets.

Dobson noted that taking dogs to work is now popular in places that permit it.

Americans' love for their pets is even influencing their travel plans. A recent survey found that 49 percent of pet owners have not left the country since owning their pet. Sixty-eight percent of those said it was because they feel guilty leaving their pets alone.

Health experts say pets can improve the health of their owners. The American-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says pets can reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels and feelings of loneliness.

The CDC adds that pets also offer chances for outdoor exercise and socialization with other people.

Article Credit:  Americans Spending and Doing More for Their Pets

The American Pet Products Association (APPA) provides periodic updates on how much money U.S. citizens spend on their beloved pets each year. While spending for 2017 was estimated to reach $69.35 billion, Americans surpassed that estimate by a few million dollars.

 According to new annual industry-wide spending figures announced at this year’s Global Pet Expo held in Orlando, Florida, Americans spent a total of $69.51 billion on their pets in 2017.

 These statistics mean that 2017 pet spending outpaced 2016 pet spending by nearly $3 billion, showing 4 percent growth in the pet market.

 "Talk to any pet owner and they'll tell you how difficult it is to put a dollar limit on what they'd spend to give their loyal companion a happy life,” APPA president and CEO Bob Vetere said, “and it's this outlook that continues to drive growth."

 When it comes to what pet owners are spending their hard-earned dollars on, though, pet food reigned supreme, followed by pet supplies and over-the-counter medications, veterinary care, live animal purchases and other miscellaneous services.

Over the course of one year, growth was experienced in each of these five categories except for live animal purchases — which remained the same between 2016 and 2017.

"It's incredible to not only see growth for the pet industry in general but to experience growth across all categories with the exception of 'live animal purchases,’" Vetere said.

The good news is that veterinary care spending continues to grow year-over-year, showing a 7 percent increase from 2016. According to APPA analysts, this category is expected to continue on the same upward trajectory with 6.9 percent growth projected for 2018.

 The category that experienced the most growth between 2016 and 2017 was ‘other services,’ which includes grooming, boarding, walking, training, pet sitting, yard services and more. This grouping is up 6.9 percent from 2016, coming in at $6.16 billion spent in 2017.

 "The industry is moving beyond simply the humanization of pets to where they are now widely accepted as part of the pet owner's lifestyle," Vetere said. "No matter the primary cause of increased spending on pets, be it enhanced nutrition, better healthcare, increased pampering, or greater technology, the one thing we know for sure is that pet owners have a top priority in pursuing longer, healthier lives for their pets.”

Article Credit:  American Pet Spending Reaches New High

Monday, August 27, 2018

Should you get pet insurance? Probably a good idea.....

As Veterinary Bills Add Up, More Pet Owners Opt for Insurance

Annual premiums last year totaled $1 billion, with 1.83 million pets insured

Insurers tend to focus on the two most popular companion animals, dogs and cats, though more exotic animals may also be covered.
Insurers tend to focus on the two most popular companion animals, dogs and cats, though more exotic animals may also be covered.

Two out of three American households—or about 85 million homes—own pets, and those lovable little roommates don’t come cheap.

Americans spent $17 billion last year on veterinary care alone, according to figures published by the American Pet Product Association. Per pet, that included $257 for the routine care of dogs and $182 for cats.

But accidents or illness can balloon costs, and to offset the expense, more households have turned to pet insurance, a niche product that for the first time last year grossed $1 billion in annual premiums.

Compared with auto, home and human health coverage, pet insurance is the runt of the litter. But that puppy’s growing.

Last year’s gross annual premiums were 23% higher than the previous year, when the total was $837 million, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. The number of insured pets also increased, climbing to 1.83 million last year, up about 16% from the previous year.

That’s only 1% of dogs and cats, but insurers expect the expansion to continue.

“Twelve million puppies and kittens come into the world every year,” said Rob Jackson, chief executive officer of the pet insurer Healthy Paws. “There’s still great room to grow.”

One yardstick to assess the potential is the United Kingdom., where a quarter of cats and dogs are insured, according to Laura Bennett, a pet insurance actuary and fellow of the Society of Actuaries.

Although animals that are more exotic than cats and dogs may be covered, insurers tend to focus on the two most popular companion animals.

In 2017, Americans owned 94.2 million cats and 89.7 million dogs, accounting for nearly half of all household pets, according to the pet product association.

(America’s 393 million pets also included other small animals, horses, birds, reptiles and fish. At 139 million, freshwater fish was the single largest category, accounting for 35% of the total. But come on. If you can’t cuddle it, is it really a pet?)

Insurance to offset the cost of veterinary care is a hybrid product. Like health insurance, it typically covers accidents and illnesses, but because pets are possessions, it is technically property and casualty insurance.

That’s the kind that’s purchased for homes and cars, but there’s a wrinkle: With car insurance, drivers don’t assume it’s OK to get into more accidents. Pet insurance may inspire a different response.

“If I go out and adopt a dog and buy an insurance policy, you don’t know how I’m going to behave,” Ms. Bennett said. “Will I go to the vet every time the dog coughs? You don’t know.”

About a dozen companies sell pet insurance in the U.S. The largest, in order of market share, are Nationwide, Trupanion and Healthy Paws.

Each is relatively new to the scene. Trupanion began selling pet insurance in the U.S. in 2008. In 2009, Nationwide acquired Veterinary Pet Insurance, which had been around since 1980. And Healthy Paws started in 2010.

There are no standardized actuarial tables to guide pet insurers in setting premiums. Each group crafts its own, often with the help of pet actuaries.

Trupanion, which insures 472,000 pets and employs four credentialed actuaries, bases its rates on characteristics such as pet breed and age—like other companies—along with details gleaned from the 1 million-plus claims the company has processed.

Among the lessons it has learned over the years is that different breeds have different health concerns.

“Golden retrievers are prone to cancers more so than other dogs that are otherwise comparable,” said T.J. Houk, Trupanion’s chief data officer and actuary. “Other breeds of a similar size have their own issues.”

That kind of information influences premiums, as does a pet’s place of residence.

“In New York there’s a very different level of available care than in most of the rest of country,” Mr. Houk said. “You see significantly higher prices there.”

With a $200 deductible, premiums for a mixed breed puppy in Manhattan would cost $76, Mr. Houk said. In Mobile, Ala., the same pet with the same coverage would cost $34.

Premiums also vary depending on a policy’s deductible, but in general, monthly pet insurance payments range from $25 to $150.

One reason for the growing appeal of pet insurance is the availability of increasingly sophisticated and expensive treatments.

“The cost of routine care is not going up,” Mr. Jackson said. “Where you find increases is in specialty care. That’s where you get the sticker shock.”

A torn cranial cruciate ligament, which is often referred to as a dog’s ACL, is an example of a common ailment that now has a variety of advanced treatment options with price tags to match.

“The old treatment was to repair the ligament for around $1,200,” Mr. Jackson said. “Now, you can set the bone, put a plate in there, and for $4,500, the knee is as good as new. It’s the same condition but a new way to treat it.”

And, if you choose to buy pet insurance, a new way to pay for it.

Article Credit:  Wall Street Journal

Monday, August 20, 2018

So Why You Should Adopt a Pet From a Animal Shelter?

You save a life.

You help break the cycle of pet overpopulation.

You take advantage of adopting an adult animal.

You help stio cruelty in mass breeding facilities (puppy mills and backyard breeders).

You get to choose from a wide-range of adoptable pets.

You get a lifetime resource with shelter and volunteers.

You support a valuable charity and community isntitutuion.

You pay less (low adoptions fees, spay/neuter, microchip, vaccinations). 

You adopt a pet who has recieved good care.

By adopting an animal from a shelter you encourage others to adopt from shelters as well.

Adopting a pet is good for your overall health.

Adopting one animal helps other animals.

Social meda bragging rights (I just adopted a pet from a shelter selfie!)

Most pets from animal shelters are already hosuetrained.

A shelter pet will always be there for you.