Bringing home a puppy or kitten can lead to a lot of excitement. However, discussing issues that may arise and preparing in advance for a new pet’s arrival can help make for a smooth transition. Consider these tips to help make your new pet’s adjustment to its forever home a resounding success.
5 Tips to Successfully Bring a New Pet into Your Home
(Family Features) Bringing home a puppy or kitten can lead to a lot of excitement. However, discussing issues that may arise and preparing in advance for a new pet’s arrival can help make for a smooth transition.
Consider these tips from the pet experts at PetSmart Charities to help make your new pet’s adjustment to its forever home a resounding success.
Know that pet parenting is a lifetime commitment. That oh-so-sweet puppy or kitten stage only lasts so long, so be sure that you’re prepared to give a lifetime of loving care. Nurturing the bond you create during the early months can create a foundation for lifelong companionship.
Consider adoption first. There are literally thousands of animals of all breeds and ages looking for loving homes. Consider adopting a pet that needs a home from a local shelter or adoption event.
“When you consider an option like adoption, you can make sure one less dog or cat is living in a shelter while also providing the gift of unconditional love to a furry friend in need,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities, which helps find forever homes and families for more than 500,000 shelter pets each year. “As a way to make adoption more accessible, we work with local adoption partners to bring adoptable pets into PetSmart stores each and every day, and especially during our National Adoption Weekends, which take place in stores nationwide.”
Select an appropriate pet. Integrating a pet into your household, especially for a first-time pet owner, can take some work. It’s important to consider factors like how often you travel, whether your work schedule will allow a visit home during the day for a potty-training puppy and if you’re willing to provide necessary care, such as daily brushing for a long-haired animal. Also consider whether you truly want a puppy or a kitten; an adult pet offers numerous benefits, such as potentially being house-trained already and more resilient for play with small kids.
Provide structure for your pet. In a new family, a pet will often look for where he or she fits in and try to understand the rules of the house. Dogs, especially, crave routine, boundaries and rules. Cats like to know what to expect, too. When pets don’t understand, they can feel uncertain and some pets might hide until they feel more comfortable. Sensible rules can help pets feel secure in their new environments. Being consistent with training, helping pets understand what behavior you want and providing a solid routine can help them feel comfortable and confident.
Prepare for pet parenting. The sweet kisses and cuddles are fun, but a new pet requires some preparation. Stock up on items like age-appropriate food and toys. Look into training classes and find a veterinarian you trust for regular checkups. Also take time to pet-proof your home, removing items that may pose a health threat or create temptations for undesirable behaviors.
Find more advice on introducing a new pet to your home and locate a local adoption event near you at petsmartcharities.org .
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In many of homes, pets are a big part of the family. However, there are several barriers that can prevent people from spending time with their furry friends, including outdated housing rules and limited green space in communities. In celebration of cities that have become more pet-friendly, consider these ways pets can make people and communities happier and healthier.
5 Ways Pets Make Life Happier and Healthier
(Family Features) More than 84 million U.S. homes have a pet, according to the National Pet Owners Survey, and in many of those homes, pets are a big part of the family. However, there are several barriers that can prevent people from spending time with their furry friends, including outdated housing rules and limited green space in communities.
To help create a more pet-friendly world, Mars Petcare introduced the “BETTER CITY FOR PETS” certification, as an extension of its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program. The certification celebrates cities that have made progress toward becoming more pet-friendly by evaluating them across four categories: shelters, homes, parks and businesses.
“The presence of pets can help make people healthier – both physically and mentally,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “We hope to inspire more cities to take real action that leads to a better quality of life for people and pets in their communities.”
Consider these benefits of pets, along with research from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition that shows a number of ways pets make people and communities happier and healthier, and visit BetterCitiesForPets.com to learn more and to find out how to help make your city more pet-friendly.
Photos courtesy of FotoliaSOURCE:
According to Purdue University, interacting with animals in different environments, including hospitals, could improve our physical and mental health, as well as enhance aspects of our daily lives.. Here are a few things to know about in-residence dogs and their positive impact on pediatric patients.
(BPT) - For pediatric patients, being in the hospital can be a frightening, vulnerable and lonely experience, especially for those undergoing serious medical treatments. However, research has shown that dogs, with their playful, comforting and loving nature, can have beneficial, long-lasting effects on pediatric patients.
According to Purdue University, interacting with animals in different environments, including hospitals, could improve our physical and mental health, as well as enhance aspects of our daily lives.
Here are a few things to know about in-residence dogs and their positive impact on pediatric patients:
1) In-residence dogs are highly trained service dogs that work in healthcare settings and perform specialized tasks. They are also trained to create an emotional connection with pediatric patients, helping to provide them with joy, comfort and other medical benefits.
2) Different from volunteer dogs that visit a hospital for a short time, in-residence dogs have a similar work schedule as their human counterparts, working closely with their handlers. They often have access to non-sterile clinics and inpatient units.
3) In-residence dogs can be an integral part of a child’s treatment team. They perform a range of tasks that help medical teams achieve their clinical goals. In-residence dogs can be trained to do incredible things like keep kids calm during medical interventions, teach them how to take a pill or model how to put on a hospital gown.
4) In-residence dogs can help lower a pediatric patient’s stress and anxiety by serving as a pleasant distraction. Hospital staff report that children who interact with in-residence dogs often require less medication.
While in-residence dog programs have potential, they are relatively new. Out of more than 220 children’s hospitals in the U.S., only a few have in-residence dog programs. By implementing such programs, hospitals could give more pediatric patients the opportunity to experience the joy and health benefits that come with in-residence dogs.
Dr. Jana Stockwell, a pediatric critical care physician at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, serves as a handler for an in-residence dog named Tidings. “Our Children’s dogs are full-time employees with a meaningful job to do, and on a daily basis, Tidings helps children be more engaged, encourages them to get out of bed, and even inspires them to tell us about a pet at home that they’re missing," she said. "Our in-residence dogs never fail to lift the spirits of kids and adults alike.”
Foundation brings dogs to hospitals
To fill this unmet need and further its mission to bring joy to kids battling illness or hunger, the Joy in Childhood Foundation, the independent charitable foundation of Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins, has launched “Dogs for Joy,” a program to bring in-residence dogs to children’s hospitals nationwide.
Dogs in this program are bred and trained as service dogs but “work” full-time in children’s hospitals. Through more than $2 million in initial grants, the program will increase the number of in-residence dog programs in pediatric healthcare settings around the country and the prevalence of animal-assisted therapy as part of treatment.
The Joy in Childhood Foundation invites children’s hospitals nationwide to apply for a Dogs for Joy grant if they’re interested in launching a new in-residence dog program or expanding an existing program. Funds awarded cover costs for launching and maintaining an in-residence dog program at a hospital, including adoption of the dog, training of select staff, dog food, dog grooming needs, dog toys and more. Applicants can apply via www.joyinchildhoodfoundation.org/dogsforjoy until March 31, 2019.
When temperatures drop, humans know to bundle up and avoid excess time outdoors. The same approach should be taken when it comes to pets. Consider these tips to help protect your pet from a blustery winter.
Help Pets Ward Off Winter Risks
(Family Features) When temperatures drop, humans know to bundle up and avoid excess time outdoors. The same approach should be taken when it comes to pets. They may be covered by cozy fur coats, but not all of those coats are created equally.
"Hypothermia is a real danger for pets in the wintertime, and despite pets' natural fur coats, it doesn't take long for hypothermia to set in and cause serious problems," said Jennifer Freeman, DVM, PetSmart's resident veterinarian and pet care expert.
Freeman recommends keeping an eye out for the initial signs of hypothermia, such as skin that's cold to the touch, pale skin and gums, intense shivering and lethargy. In addition, she offers these tips to help protect your pet from a blustery winter:
Outdoor access: Limit walks in extreme cold weather and monitor your pet's behavior for signs of stress or discomfort. Never leave a pet outside during a winter storm. Do not let your dog off its leash after snowfall. Snow masks familiar scents and your pet may become lost and disoriented.
Chemical hazards: Snow-melting products like deicers, antifreeze and salt can cause skin irritations and, if ingested, can be fatal. If you live in an area where these products are used, it's important to thoroughly rinse your pet's paws and belly after a walk.
Adding extra layers: If your pet is small and short-haired, he or she is likely sensitive to the cold. The same goes for older pets and those that may be frail or ill. You can't take your pet's temperature by touching its nose, but a shivering body means he or she needs a sweater. Larger and long-haired pets can usually tolerate cold weather for longer periods of time, and even though you might bundle up, your pet has a long, thick coat prepared for long winter walks. Just remember paws get cold and sharp objects may be hiding under the powder - consider putting booties on your pet's paws for added comfort.
Skin-saving solutions: Many pets get dry skin during the winter season. When they do need a bath, try using a pet-friendly moisturizing shampoo to help keep their skin healthy and pH-balanced.
In addition, a pet emergency preparedness kit should be packed and contain the supplies needed to help keep your pet fed, warm and secure in the event of emergency conditions such as blizzards and extreme cold weather. Items like a sweater, insulated vest, paw booties or wax, pet-safe ice melt and a heated bed or pad can all help head off risks associated with cold weather.
Emergencies can also create circumstances for pets to become separated from their families. In addition to ensuring your pet is wearing a tag with your cell phone number along with microchipping and registering him or her with current contact information, also tuck a copy of your pet's vaccination and medical records, veterinary contact information and a current photo of your pet in your emergency kit.
Keeping your pet well-fed through an emergency also requires advanced planning. Store a one-week supply of food in a waterproof container, along with bottled water, portable bowls, a manual can opener (if your pet eats canned food) and a list of feeding routines and behavioral considerations in case someone else must take over care.
Also be sure to gather any other care items your pet may require, such as puppy pads, waste bags, litter box supplies and calming spray.
Find more advice for keeping your pet safe this winter at PetSmart.com.
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Ask most dog owners and they’ll tell you that they count the bonds they share with their pets among their most treasured relationships. As it turns out, most dog owners are working to keep the love alive with a familiar approach: the notion that the fastest path to the heart is through the stomach.
Good Friends, Good Food
Dog owners dish on how food factors into pet bonding
(Family Features) Ask most dog owners and they’ll tell you that they count the bonds they share with their pets among their most treasured relationships. However, that boundless affection and loyalty isn’t a one-sided effort; dog owners are demonstrating their puppy love in numerous ways, especially when it comes to chow time.
There’s much to be said for the unique relationship people share with their dogs, according to the 2018 Pets and People Survey by Just Right by Purina. Nearly unanimously (95 percent), respondents said they view their dogs as part of their families, and more than half reported that their pet pals help them de-stress after a long workday and have comforted them after receiving bad news.
Just like any relationship, the bond with a dog requires nurturing. As it turns out, most dog owners are working to keep the love alive with a familiar approach: the notion that the fastest path to the heart is through the stomach. After all, when you view pets as family, you may as well feed them like it.
Encouraging dinner dialogue
Mealtime is an ideal opportunity to enjoy some extra interaction, from asking if your dog is hungry to talking your way through filling his or her bowl with a personalized dog food blend. In fact, 64 percent of dog owners surveyed reported asking their dog if it likes its food after serving it. There may not be a verbal response, but dogs give off plenty of signals to let you know whether or not they’re enjoying the meal.
Personalizing the experience
Making dog nutrition matter
Serving up security
If you extend some human courtesies as part of your feeding ritual, you certainly aren’t alone. For example, 73 percent of dog owners in the Just Right by Purina survey feed their dogs before they serve themselves. Not only is it a smart strategy to prevent begging at the table, it keeps your pooch from wondering when his own hunger cravings will be sated.
Celebrating special occasions
Learn more about feeding the bond with your pet at justrightpetfood.com.
Dog Food Ingredients for Unique Nutritional Needs
Your dog is unique, not only in his relationship with you, but his preferences, tastes, quirks and habits. It’s no wonder that his nutritional needs are unique to match. When you’re evaluating food options, give careful attention to the ingredients to find the right blend of nutrients for your dog:
Vitamins are responsible for a vast range of functions, including aiding in DNA synthesis, energy release from nutrients, bone development, eye function, maintenance of cell structure, blood clotting, nerve signal transmission and everything in-between.
Minerals contribute to your dog’s healthy bones and teeth, blood clotting, muscle function, nerve transmission, nutrient metabolism, cell function and more.
Fat is a source of energy that helps with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and fatty acids, as well as promoting healthy skin and coat, immune system, joints, brain and vision.
Protein is essential for building organs and tissues like tendons, muscles, skin, hair and blood; it also functions as enzymes, hormones and antibodies.
Carbohydrates are efficient sources of glucose for energy, a source of heat and can be stored as glycogen. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that aids in colon health, as well as managing weight and obesity.
All statistics and findings included in this release were pulled from a survey conducted online by Research Now SSI on behalf of Just Right by Purina among adults ages 18+ who are dog owners and have some responsibility over the well-being of their pet. A total of 1,010 responses were collected between March 26 and March 29, 2018. These online surveys are not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.SOURCE:
Just Right by Purina
Service dogs work hard each and every day to protect their human counterparts. Not only are they constant companions, but they are hardworking animals that can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, which can help lessen the symptoms of posttraumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, for example.
At Your Service
Fast facts about service dogs
(Family Features) Service dogs work hard each and every day to protect their human counterparts. Not only are they constant companions, but they are hardworking animals that can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, which can help lessen the symptoms of posttraumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, for example.
In honor of National Service Dog Month, consider these facts about the four-legged service animals:
Common Misconceptions About Service Dogs
However, a survey by American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, suggests that employees are not educated about the unique needs of customers with service dogs. Nearly seven in 10 (69 percent) retail employees said they never received training from their employer on the questions they are legally allowed to ask customers to verify an animal is a service dog.
Further adding to confusion is a lack of understanding of the difference between service dogs and other assistance animals. Emotional support dogs and therapy dogs assist people in their daily lives, but they do not have the same responsibilities as service animals. For instance, therapy dogs provide affection and comfort to their owners, but they do not have special rights of access in all buildings or public areas. Since service animals often provide mobility assistance or communicate medical alerts, they should always be allowed to accompany their owners.
A Helping Paw
“Dogs have incredible abilities, including saving lives and making the world a better place,” said Angel May, corporate citizenship lead at Mars Petcare. “Service dogs are animals that should be celebrated for the good they bring to society, and we hope that increased awareness of their working nature leads to a deeper understanding of their important role.”
For additional information on service dogs, visit bettercitiesforpets.com/servicedogs.SOURCE:
Pets have an incomparable ability to improve owners’ lives in a number of ways, so it’s only right that pet parents do the same for them. That’s why, if you’re considering adding a pet to the family, adoption can be a great choice and offers these benefits.
4 Benefits of Pet Adoption
(Family Features) Pets have an incomparable ability to improve owners’ lives in a number of ways, so it’s only right that pet parents do the same for them. That’s why, if you’re considering adding a pet to the family, adoption can be a great choice.
Through pet adoption, you can not only help save dogs and cats from homelessness, but also have the opportunity to experience a lifetime of laughs, snuggles and memories. To unite pet owners with their new furry best friends this year, Mars Petcare celebrated its 10th annual adoption weekend, furthering the Mars Petcare purpose of A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS™.
Consider these benefits of pet adoption and learn more at bettercitiesforpets.com.
Photos courtesy of FotoliaSOURCE:
It’s important to take some pet precautions that allow the whole family to enjoy the holiday safely, as the costumes and excitement can be overwhelming and some of the candy is even dangerous. As you’re filling the candy buckets and assembling the perfect costumes, be sure to heed these tips for a Halloween filled with pet-friendly fun.
Keep Pets Safe this Halloween
(Family Features) Halloween isn’t just for humans; four-legged friends have plenty of opportunity to get in on the fun, too. However, it’s important to take some pet precautions that allow the whole family to enjoy the holiday safely, as the costumes and excitement can be overwhelming and some of the candy is even dangerous.
As you’re filling the candy buckets and assembling the perfect costumes, be sure to heed these tips from the experts at PetSmart for a Halloween filled with pet-friendly fun:
Out and about
If your pet will be joining the family while trick-or-treating, be sure they are visible to motorists by using a reflective collar, harness or leash.
Hazardous food and decorations
Keep the Halloween fun going by establishing some rules for your family and any guests joining the festivities:
Seasonal decorations can also pose a threat:
Don’t forget the fun
Find more tips and tricks for keeping your pets safe this Halloween at PetSmart.com.SOURCE:
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