From dogs and cats filling up social media feeds – some even with their own profiles – to true pet celebrities who command the attention of millions, animals have become a major part of the digital landscape. Learn more about people’s social media habits when it comes to animals with these findings.
How Pets Impact Social Interaction
(Family Features) From dogs and cats filling up social media feeds – some even with their own profiles – to true pet celebrities who command the attention of millions, animals have become a major part of the digital landscape.
With this in mind, Mars Petcare conducted a survey to learn more about people’s social media habits when it comes to animals. Here are some of the top findings.
All Animals, All the Time
Pet Love Trumps Personal Vanity
Call Them the “Paw-Purratzi”
To learn more about how to make a Better World for Pets®, visit facebook.com/ABetterWorldforPets.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (cat picture)
(BPT) - When you come home from work, he's always there to greet you. When you need extra motivation to workout, he's happy to join for a walk. When you've had a bad day, he can sense it and is quick to give you a loving nuzzle. Pets provide endless joy to their families, but for millions of shelter animals, each day is a test of patience in hopes of finding a forever home.
Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter shelters nationwide every year, according to the American Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) statistics. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats. These numbers underscore the massive need for volunteers to provide the necessary care to ensure as many pets as possible can be placed in safe, loving homes.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of any shelter, and it's a true community effort to keep animals healthy and safe. The Dumb Friends League - Denver's largest animal shelter dedicated to giving a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves - depended on 1,418 volunteers who donated 211,307 hours of service last fiscal year to help needy animals in Colorado. That's the equivalent of 101 full-time employees worth $4.7 million in donated time.
This is just one example of the impact volunteers make in the estimated 13,600 shelters nationwide.
In addition to volunteers, support from a variety of businesses and corporations helps keep shelters running strong. Hill's Pet Nutrition, for example, is one of the largest donors of food to shelters across the country. In fact, Hill's Food, Shelter & Love(R) program has provided more than $280 million worth of food to more than 1,000 shelters since its inception in 2002.
Both volunteers and Hill's share the common goal of transforming the lives of homeless pets. To recognize the vital contribution of shelter volunteers, Hill's has launched an initiative this year to bring volunteers long overdue recognition. Hill's has created a contest, Hill's Shelter Heroes, to recognize the amazing volunteers who continue to go above and beyond in their commitment to shelter pets.
One of the recent winners, Annie Hughes with Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, who has dedicated more than 7,279 hours to her shelter, wanted to express her appreciation to Hill's for creating a program that "allowed her to share her passion for helping sheltered animals." Hughes' submission, along with the rest of the 10 finalists, can be seen at Hill's Shelter Hero Contest page.
It's apparent that caring for shelter animals is a group effort, yet one person can make a big difference to help save lives. If you want to change the world for animals in need, here are some tips for becoming a volunteer.
1. Reach out to local shelters.
Call your local animal shelter or rescue group to see if they are accepting volunteers.
2. Think about your interests and skills.
Caring for animals one-on-one is a popular shelter activity, but there are so many more opportunities for volunteers. Whether you're able to foster in your home, offer professional skills in administration departments or serve as an adoption counselor to new pet parents, volunteer options are truly endless.
3. Spread the love.
Once you find your volunteer home, spread the love to help pets find homes and encourage friends to volunteer. By sharing posts on social media like the #HillsShelterHeroes contest, hosting fundraising events and simply bragging about that adorable new pooch to your friends, you're helping to open everyone's eyes to the growing need for volunteers at shelters and the importance of pet adoption.
Felines and Fleas: A Dose of Prevention is Key
(Family Features) It’s a common belief that indoor cats don’t need protection from parasites, such as fleas. While cats that stay indoors are at lower risk than those who spend the majority of time outside, the potential still exists for infestation. Preventive care is the most important step cat owners can take to help ensure a long and healthy life for their furry friends.
Even indoor cats can pick up fleas from the family dog that may not be displaying signs of an infestation, or from clothing, dirt tracked inside or items carried indoors.
Fleas can be more than an inconvenience; they can actually pose a significant health risk to your cat by passing along things like cat scratch fever and tapeworms. A cat that is allergic to fleas may experience intense itching, similar to a person who has contracted poison ivy. Also, it’s possible that flea bites or self-inflicted scratches may develop into an infection requiring medical attention.
The health risks to your cat can take an emotional and physical toll as you work to eradicate this pesky problem. A persistent flea infestation may require several months of thorough cleaning or even professional extermination, which may force the family to temporarily relocate to a non-toxic environment.
To fend off the preventable problems associated with fleas, get proactive and protect your cat with this advice from Chris Adolph, DVM, MS, DACVM, a board certified parasitologist, veterinary specialist at Zoetis and former veterinary practice owner in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
Recognize that flea protection should be year-round. With today’s highly variable weather patterns, preventive care even during the cooler months is the best approach. Planning a regular dosage schedule makes it less likely you will forget to administer a dose, and it covers gaps for a late start to winter or an early start to spring, when parasites may become active beyond the traditionally expected timeframes.
Broad-spectrum preventive care is best. With treatments available that offer protection against both internal and external parasites, it’s easy to maximize your cat’s preventative care. A single dose of a topical medication such as Revolution® (selamectin) controls five parasites – fleas, heartworms, roundworms (Toxocara cati), hookworms (Ancylostoma tubaeforme) and ear mites (Otodectes cynotis) – for one month. The treatment is FDA-approved and requires no separation from family or other pets after it is administered.
Rely on regular health screenings. Annual veterinarian screenings will help give you peace of mind that your cat is in good health and protected from parasitic infections. In addition to an overall checkup, your veterinarian may screen for intestinal parasites and make recommendations for any adjustments needed in your cat’s care.
Learn more about protecting your cat from common parasites and take The 9 Lies of Cats quiz for a chance to win a KitNipBox subscription at Revolution4Cats.com.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Do not use REVOLUTION on sick, weak or underweight cats. Use only on cats 8 weeks and older. Side effects may include digestive upset and temporary hair loss at application site with possible inflammation. In people, REVOLUTION may be irritating to skin and eyes. Wash hands after use. See full Prescribing Information.
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