Pet adoption improves – and sometimes saves – the lives of millions of furry friends each year. However, the benefits of adoption are not a one-way street. Consider these ways pet adoption can positively impact pets, pet owners and communities as a whole.
3 Ways Pet Adoption Can Be a Win for All
(Family Features) Pet adoption improves – and sometimes saves – the lives of millions of furry friends each year. However, the benefits of adoption are not a one-way street. Research continues to emerge supporting the positive impact pets add to owners’ lives, as well as the benefits pet adoption has on communities as a whole.
“Pets are good for our physical and mental well-being,” said Mark Johnson, President of Mars Petcare North America. “Supporting pet adoption from local animal shelters is one of the most important things we do; not only does it support our global ambition to end pet homelessness, but we’re also helping improve the lives of the people in our community who are going home with a new best friend. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
Consider these ways pet adoption can transform communities, and to take the first step toward helping a pet, contact local animal shelters for upcoming adoption events. For more information, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com.
Pet ownership has been associated with lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and faster recovery during mental stress. Increased exercise could be a potential cause, with research also revealing older adults with dogs walked a surplus of 2,760 steps a day, compared to their non-dog-owning counterparts. These walks allow owners to spend more time outdoors, bonding with their pets and interacting with neighbors and the community around them.
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What are the best ways to keep your pup — and you — active and moving? Here's five expert tips to get your dog fitter and healthier!
(BPT) - Face it, getting enough exercise is tough for everyone, and it's certainly true when it comes to our pets. The amount of exercise your dog may need varies, depending on the age, size and breed, but most dogs need more exercise than they're getting, especially during the colder months when we all prefer to stay indoors. Consult your veterinarian for guidelines about how much exercise your dog should be getting to stay in top condition, then make a plan to add more pep to your dog's step.
Dr. Jeff Weber, Emmy award-winning celebrity veterinarian, says that play and exercise are key to keeping our four-legged friends healthy: "Just like humans, there is a strong correlation to obesity in pets when they eat more and exercise less. In fact, it has been estimated that up to 50 percent of dogs and cats in this country are overweight or, worse yet, obese. It's important to get your pet up and moving."
What are the best ways to keep your pup — and you — active and moving?
1. Vary your walking route
When you're walking your dog, switch up the route now and then to keep it more interesting for both of you. Work on adding a few minutes or a couple of extra blocks to your walk any chance you get, and you’ll both benefit from the extra steps.
2. Pick up the pace
Rather than just taking a leisurely stroll, walk with purpose, like you’re trying to get somewhere. This will make it a more heart-healthy workout for the both of you. Ease into it slowly, trying 5 minutes quicker, followed by 5 minutes slower, until you both get used to the faster pace. Enlist different family members to join you or take turns at the walks to vary the walking pace your dog experiences.
3. Bring friends along
You’re more likely to enjoy and stick with regular walking dates if you can make some of your walks into a social occasion, whether your friends also have dogs or not. Instead of meeting someone for coffee or drinks, meet up with them for a walk-and-talk with your dogs.
4. Make time for active play
In addition to walking every day, mix it up! Spend a little extra time encouraging active play like a good game of fetch with your dog. You can play fetch at a nearby park or right in your yard, if you have enough space for your dog to run around. Not good at throwing? No worries — a toy like Chuckit! launcher from Petmate can keep your dog engaged and excited to run and fetch for a lively, active play session that will be fun for both of you.
"Fetch play is a terrific way to increase stamina and keep your pup in shape,” says Weber.
The interactive game of fetch encourages healthy movement and cardiovascular endurance for pets and pet owners, especially as active play and movement declines when the weather gets colder. Fetch is also an effective way to help train and develop positive behavior in puppies or newly adopted four-legged family members.
5. Exercise their brains
Create an obstacle course in your yard or use puzzle games to help keep your dogs mentally active — which can relieve boredom for dogs who spend time alone.
Research your dog's breed to discover what stimulus they are most likely to respond to, so you can find new toys and activities your dog will love. Examples might be hide-and-seek games, having them use their sense of smell to find treats or chasing (non-toxic) bubbles.
Spending time playing with your dog is not only fun and a terrific stress-reliever for both of you, but it also strengthens the human-pet bond. Give your pet healthy exercise that every dog needs and your furry friend will be happier, too.
Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. When you are dealing with a puppy that responsibility increases significantly. This is because puppies need even more attention and care than older dogs do, especially in the training department. Just as with a baby, everything is new to a puppy. They must be taught everything from going to the potty to learning to sit and stay. If you are owning a puppy for the first time, the following tips should help get you started on this delightful journey.
Switching to Solid Food
When switching puppies to solid food, separate them from the mother for just a couple hours at a time and introduce and encourage them to eat solid food. Try mixing the puppy food with replacement milk inside of a blender so that you get a consistency similar to baby cereal. You can start this process when the puppy is approximately three weeks old. You want this to be a gradual transition. Over the course of a few weeks, the puppy should be able to nurse less and eat more puppy food.
Teach Simple Commands
Having your puppy follow your commands is about much more than learning cool tricks. It is essential that your dog be obedient to you because this is what shapes behavior patterns and helps to ensure the dog's safety. Here are some basic commands that your puppy should be able to follow and how you can teach them.
To get your puppy to sit, place a treat near the dog's nose and then move your hand up. This will cause the puppy to end up in a seated position. Although the pup is already seated, tell it to sit and then give praise along with the treat.
To convince your dog to come, get down on the puppy's level and gently give the leash a pull while telling your pup to come. Once the dog does, give it praise and a treat.
The ability to stay is crucial. Once your puppy has gotten the hang of sitting, start with this position. Place your open palm in front of you and tell the dog to stay. Back up a few paces, and if your pup does stay, reward it with praise and a treat.
The fastest way to potty train your puppy is with repetition and consistency. Keep on a regular feeding schedule and take the pup out 30 minutes after each feeding. Watch your puppy carefully for signs that they need to go. Breaking up their daily food into three small meals is another way to limit the amount of times they need to go outside. Finally, don’t forget to praise your puppy when they do the job outside and not on your floor.
All of these tips are definitely achievable, but they require some patience and repetition on your part. Repetition is how a dog learns, and when you add rewards to the equation, you can easily reinforce the behaviors that you desire.
Ready to take your puppy on their first outdoor adventure? We recommend this article.
As temperatures rise and days get longer, pets, just like humans, get excited about spring. It’s time to get into new routines, and warmer weather provides the perfect opportunity to spend more time with your pet, creating memories both indoors and out. Here are a few ideas for enjoying springtime with your pet.
5 Springtime Adventure Ideas for You and Your Pet
(Family Features) As temperatures rise and days get longer, pets, just like humans, get excited about spring. It’s time to get into new routines, and warmer weather provides the perfect opportunity to spend more time with your pet, creating memories both indoors and out.
Here are a few ideas for enjoying springtime with your pet from the experts at the NUTRO™ and GREENIES™ brands.
1. Get Active Outside – With the return of sunshine, spring is a prime opportunity for you and your four-legged friend to get active in the great outdoors. Take out your tennis shoes, grab a leash and hit the road. Whether you’re taking a walk, visiting a dog park or going on a hike, regular physical activity outdoors can help keep you and your pet healthy and active.
2. Spring Cleaning – This isn’t just about dusting off bookshelves or decluttering closets. It’s also an opportunity to reassess other aspects of your life that could use a cleaning, such as yours and your pet’s diets. As part of the NUTRO. FEED CLEAN™ philosophy, dog and cat food recipes are made with real, recognizable ingredients, such as chicken, salmon and sweet potatoes, allowing you to share your healthy eating lifestyle with your pet.
3. Yappy Hour on the Patio – It’s that time of year when sidewalks are buzzing with the weekend brunch crowd. As you enjoy fresh, seasonal foods, your fur baby can have quality time on patios with you, too. To help make pets welcome in more places, Mars Petcare established the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, which works with local businesses and governments to encourage pet-friendliness.
5. Go on a Mini Road Trip – Whether you’re heading out on a weekend camping trip or an adventure in a field of flowers, don’t forget to include your pet in your plans. It’s important to consider how your furry friend will ride along with you on your road trip. Try bringing a blanket or toy from your house, so your dog can be comforted by the smells of home. Also, when the family is in the close quarters of a car for an extended amount of time, make sure you pack an option like GREENIES™ Dental Treats to help freshen your dog’s breath.
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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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When there’s a new, adorable puppy in the house, it can be difficult to know what to do next. As they are mastering fundamental skills like walking on a leash and resisting the urge to chew up the furniture, it is also a good time to start building habits for a healthy, pest-free and disease-free life. These tips can help you keep your puppy happy, adventurous and, most importantly, healthy.
Prepare for Your Puppy’s 1st Outdoor Adventure
(Family Features) When there’s a new, adorable puppy in the house, it can be difficult to know what to do next.
It’s an exciting world for puppies with lots to learn and discover. As they are mastering fundamental skills like walking on a leash and resisting the urge to chew up the furniture, it is also a good time to start building habits for a healthy, pest-free and disease-free life. These tips can help you keep your puppy happy, adventurous and, most importantly, healthy.
Taking proactive steps now to protect your pup can help save time and money later in life, but most importantly, it can lead to a healthy, happy life for your furry friend.
Learn more about flea and tick control and pet safety at adamspetcare.com.
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Adams Flea & Tick
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