Although most cat owners agree the companionship and entertainment make it worthwhile, being a cat parent requires a fair bit of work. Whether you’re a newbie to cat ownership or looking for some fresh ideas to streamline your cat clean-up routine, these ideas can help keep your furry friend happy and help make tackling pet chores a cinch.
Make Cat Chores a Cinch
(Family features) Although most cat owners agree the companionship and entertainment make it worthwhile, being a cat parent requires a fair bit of work. Aside from regular feeding, grooming, and litter box maintenance, even well-behaved cats can generate some messes.
Whether you’re a newbie to cat ownership or looking for some fresh ideas to streamline your cat clean-up routine, the experts at Arm & Hammer Cat Litter have a few ideas to help keep your furry friend happy and help make tackling those chores a cinch.
Food and water dishes
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Arm & Hammer
Shelter volunteers deserve recognition for the vital contributions they make to transform the lives of shelter pets and the people who adopt them. For this reason, Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Food, Shelter & Love program launched its second-annual Hill’s Shelter Heroes Contest. While each of the five winners have a unique story, they share a common bond through their passion for helping animals in need.
(BPT) - Approximately 6.5 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters each year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). This massive number underscores the need for volunteers to provide the necessary care to ensure as many pets as possible can be placed in permanent, loving homes. In fact, most shelters would not be able to stay open without the generosity of volunteers.
From walking, feeding and bathing pets, to helping maintain shelter facilities and staffing fundraising events, volunteers are the true backbone of shelters who work tirelessly to promote the welfare of the animals in their care.
Shelter volunteers deserve recognition for the vital contributions they make to transform the lives of shelter pets and the people who adopt them. For this reason, Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Food, Shelter & Love program launched its second-annual Hill’s Shelter Heroes Contest.
While each of the five winners have a unique story, they share a common bond through their passion for helping animals in need.
1. Tammie Lohnes, Kansas Humane Society: Tammie’s love for animals has kept her at Kansas Humane Society for more than 15 years. She has worked across numerous positions and is now serving as a mentor to all new volunteers and staff members.
2. Dot, Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control: Dot has volunteered at Fort Wayne for more than 12 years and consistently puts pets’ needs above her own. In the words of her colleagues, “What doesn’t Dot do for the shelter?”
3. Barbara Comarda, Louisiana SPCA: Following Hurricane Katrina, Barbara drove cross-country multiple times to find good homes for pets that were affected. She has volunteered more than 10,000 hours during her 11 years at the Louisiana SPCA.
4. Mark Imhof, Animal Care Centers of NYC: Mark volunteers at two locations, multiple times a week, and is dedicated to increasing pets’ adoption chances.
5. Janie Stowell, Spokane Humane Society: Janie has helped the most vulnerable pets find happiness, and has donated more than 8,500 hours (and counting) to help animals in need.
To learn more about Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Food, Shelter & Love program, visit www.hillspet.com/shelter. The program has provided more than $280 million worth of food to more than 1,000 shelters since 2002. To learn more about volunteering at a local shelter to make a difference for animals in need, visit www.humanesociety.org/community/volunteers.
(BPT) - Millions of people every year open their hearts and homes to rescue dogs to find their new best friend. It’s an act of compassion that is beneficial and fulfilling for person and pet.
But, a new study shows adoption is not an option for everyone. In fact, even if shelters were cleared, there are not enough dogs for everyone who wants one.
Findings from a recent study by the Moore Research Group show an annual demand of at least 8.1 million dogs and growing. Yet, according to the latest research from Mississippi State University, there are only 2.6 million dogs available for adoption from shelters every year. That means 5.5 million people looking for dogs need to search elsewhere. And, without options for those people, we would simply run out of dogs.
Where to find dogs
So, where do you go when you are ready to welcome a four-legged friend with a wet nose and wagging tail into your home? It starts with what you are looking for.
You might be OK with any dog, no matter the size, mix, age or temperament that nuzzles its way into your heart. But, for others, specific needs often require certain canine traits only found in individual breeds.
Parents of children with allergies might need a dog breed to be hypoallergenic. Those living in big cities may not have enough space for a dog with high exercise needs. Families with small children may need a dog with patience and playfulness. Some people seek a dog for home or personal protection. Having a range of options increases the chances you will find the perfect match and a dog won't end up in a shelter due to a poor match.
Snap up rescues
Adoption is a wonderful option that comes with the benefit of giving a homeless animal a second chance.
But, this new research from Mississippi State University also shows that thanks to the good work of animal shelters and rescue organizations, more lives are being saved and fewer dogs are homeless in shelters.
When looking to adopt, there are several different possibilities to choose from, including shelters, rescues and animal control facilities.
Before you adopt, ask what is known about the dog, including its age, breed, temperament and health. Has it been seen by a vet, is it spayed or neutered and microchipped? Spend some time with the dog, introduce it to other family members to see how it interacts.
Finally, make sure you fully understand the organization’s policies and procedures so you have peace of mind should the adoption not work out as hoped.
Buy from a good breeder
If you are looking for specific traits in your canine companion, getting a dog directly from a breeder gives you a great opportunity to learn about your new pup from an expert.
Be prepared to wait as sometimes a breeder might not have puppies that are at least 8 weeks old.
If you can, visit the facility in person or have someone else visit on your behalf. If not, ask for references and get information about the puppy’s parents and its health records. Ask if there’s a guarantee, so you can go home feeling prepared and confident about the road ahead! A responsible breeder will not only share that information, they might interview you.
Purchase at a pet store
Pet stores can be a great place to get your next pup if you just do a little research. Does the store look and smell clean and is the staff friendly and knowledgeable? Does the puppy look good from head to tail? Ask the staff where the puppies come from and if the store owners have visited the breeders.
Are the breeders USDA licensed or do they participate in any certification programs? Ask about the puppy’s health, has it been seen by a vet? What is its daily exercise and routine care? Has it been socialized with other dogs and people? Do they provide a guarantee on its health?
Find friends or family
When someone you know has a litter, news travels fast. Don’t let a puppy’s cuteness skew your judgment. When you talk about the dogs, don’t be shy — ask questions. They should give you a good picture of what life will be like with your new pup.
As consumer demand for dogs and puppies continues to grow, having options available for selecting your next pet is essential. The right choice is the first step in establishing that deep and lasting bond with your loyal companion. A variety of responsible options ensures everyone who wants a dog can responsibly get one. To learn more about the availability of dogs and finding the right one for you, visit protectpetchoice.com.
(BPT) - For millions of pet parents, their beloved dog is more than just a four-legged friend — he’s a member of the family. When looking at products for their pet they are willing to explore all options to ensure they provide the very best items like organic foods, therapeutic bedding, unique and innovative toys, on-trend collars and leashes, electronic feeding and watering items and more.
Although our pets are treated as family members there is one issue that is often overlooked and undertreated in dogs — anxiety.
After all, we can’t ask our animals how they’re doing. Nonetheless, 75 million dogs in the U.S. experience anxiety, stress or fear at some point in their lives, and about 24 million of them regularly suffer from these potentially debilitating issues.
In some instances it’s genetics. But for many dogs, anxiety often arises as a result of a change in routine such as a thunderstorm, fireworks, encounters with strangers, travel and other loud noises. Any of these can trigger an anxiety event.
Dogs show signs of anxiety or fear in many different ways. Sudden barking, hiding, inappropriate urination, digging, chewing, panting and excessive lip licking are the most common signs of emotional stress.
While it may be challenging to identify the triggers, it’s important to understand the science of anxiety in order to best alleviate it.
Stress does more than just make for an unpleasant few hours; it can have long-lasting physiological effects that can be extremely detrimental.
During periods of anxiety, stress or fear, a dog’s brain releases an increased amount of adrenaline and cortisol, which decreases the amount of blood flow to the frontal cortex of the brain. This means less oxygen is flowing to the frontal cortex. With prolonged anxiety or fear, the increase in cortisol levels can weaken the dog’s immune system, leading to increased incidence of sickness or stress.
To avoid long-term health problems, it is important to be aware of the common signs and symptoms and to treat anxiety when it occurs in companion animals.
Some drugs, like sedatives, mood modifiers and anxiety medications have been recommended in extreme cases, but the results have been mixed. Wishing to avoid pharmaceuticals, some owners opt for more natural solutions containing chamomile, passion flower, valerian root, poppy or hops.
One of the most effective treatments doesn’t involve drugs at all, but rather, focuses on behavior modification to soothe dogs and calm their senses.
At the forefront of this innovative approach is the new Calmz(R) Anxiety Relief System for dogs that combines high-tech innovation with acupressure in a revolutionary non-invasive, drug-free treatment that soothes anxiety. The innovative system comes complete with an adjustable Comfort Fit Vest that cradles a device over specific acupressure points on the dog’s spine. When the device is activated, the clinically proven NeuroSync Technology(R) takes over. The dog will hear and feel a therapeutic blend of classical music, tones and vibration.
This cuts to the physiological root of the stress, reducing adrenaline and increasing blood flow to key areas of the brain.
Because anxiety, stress and fear are so common in dogs and can cause so much harm, it’s important to visit a veterinarian or a pet behaviorist to rule out any underlying medical conditions and to utilize the experts to help create a plan to treat the issue at hand.
Anxiety is a serious disorder and it is best to get it under control early on. Treatment will improve quality of life for not only the dog but for the pet parent as well.
The boom of fireworks or the crash of thunder may create a wave of excitement for you. However, for many dogs, these loud noises trigger fear and anxiety similar to a panic attack. This anxiety is a progressive medical condition called canine noise aversion. At least 1 in 3 dogs suffer from noise aversion, but there is a simple solution available for treating noise aversion at home.
Feeling Safe During Fireworks
How to help manage your dog’s noise aversion
(Family Features) The boom of fireworks or the crash of thunder may create a wave of excitement for you. However, for many dogs, these loud noises trigger fear and anxiety similar to a panic attack.
This anxiety is a progressive medical condition called canine noise aversion. You might know it as noise phobia or noise anxiety. At least 1 in 3 dogs suffer from noise aversion, which can leave dog owners and their families feeling helpless during summer fireworks celebrations and rolls of thunder.
A scary struggle
“Harley is my baby, and I hate to see her in any discomfort,” Buell said. “She pants, shakes, tries to hide under furniture or takes cover in the bathtub when she hears thunder or fireworks.”
Harley’s reaction to loud noises is typical of a dog with noise aversion. Other symptoms may include vocalizing fear by barking or whining, seeking extra attention from her owner, destroying furniture or even attempting to escape from home.
Over the years, Buell discussed Harley’s reaction to fireworks and thunder with her veterinarian, Dr. Peter Eeg of Poolesville Veterinary Clinic in Poolesville, Maryland.
“We tried behavior therapy, naturopathic therapies and medications, but nothing helped Harley’s fight-or-flight response to noise,” Dr. Eeg said.
A simple solution
“Harley responded exceptionally well to treatment with SILEO,” Dr. Eeg said. “It also completely resolved my own dogs’ anxiety and fear of loud thunder.”
Clinically proven to be safe and effective without other treatments or training, SILEO is a practical, fast-acting, at-home treatment for noise aversion. It begins working in about 30 minutes to one hour and provides relief for up to 2-3 hours. Your veterinarian should show you how to administer SILEO when it is prescribed.
“We have lots of thunder, fireworks and construction in the neighborhood each summer,” Buell said. “The first time I gave Harley SILEO, she napped through the thunder. It was such a relief to our family to see her relaxed and happy.”
Talk with your veterinarian
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION:
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Cute as kittens are, kitten season often emerges as one of the most challenging times of the year for animal welfare organizations because as many as 20 million kittens are born each spring. If you’re contemplating adopting a cat or kitten into your family, consider these little-known feline facts.
A Purr-fect Season to Adopt
Kitten season creates need at shelters nationwide
(Family Features) Cute as kittens are, kitten season often emerges as one of the most challenging times of the year for animal welfare organizations. Some experts estimate as many as 20 million kittens are born in the spring. That number of kittens is twice the number of people living in New York City.
As a result, the waiting rooms of veterinary clinics, animal welfare agencies, rescues and shelters are overrun with people arriving with boxes of unplanned litters of homeless kittens.
“This time of year, the need for finding adoptive families for kittens and cats increases exponentially,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., and president of PetSmart Charities. “While kittens tend to find homes very quickly, adult female cats, especially those that are about to or have just had a litter, are often abandoned and they’re in need of forever homes, too.”
In fact, a recent survey commissioned by PetSmart Charities found that most people significantly underestimate the number of pets entering shelters each year. The majority (84 percent of American pet parents) believe that less than 1 million pets enter U.S. shelters annually, but the actual number is closer to 6.5 million, which is why people should consider adoption when looking to bring a new pet into their homes.
If you’re contemplating adopting a cat or kitten into your family, consider these little-known feline facts:
To showcase adoptable pets and help connect them with more potential adopters, PetSmart offers free space in its stores to thousands of animal welfare organizations across the country. Contact your local store or visit PetSmart.com for more information on pets available for adoption or to learn about upcoming adoption events.
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Pet parents are trying to eat clean and increasingly want the same for their pets. Learn how the human trend of clean eating is making its way to pet food.
Dog Owners are Eating Clean and Feeding Clean
(Family Features) Pet parents are trying to eat clean and increasingly want the same for their pets. The NUTRO™ brand – a pioneer in natural pet food – is sharing survey results on how the human trend of clean eating is making its way to pet food. Find more information at nutro.com.
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