Category: Fun Articles

Charity for Pets – Helping You Give This Year!

Don’t forget about all the furry friends in need this holiday season! Making a charitable contribution in someone’s name can be a great gift for the animal lover who has everything. What pet charities have the greatest impact? Which ones best target the animals you feel are most in need? Let us help you find the perfect pet charity to donate to this holiday season!

Find the Best Pet Charity For Your!

  • Leave No Paws Behind – You know those pets at the shelter that are a little less desirable? Maybe their old, or have special needs? These are the pets most likely to live out the rest of their short and difficult lives in a small shelter pen. Leave No Paws Behind is an amazing charity who seeks these pets out and gets them hospice care, or finds them foster parents, not stopping until each one of these “less adoptable” animals has the comfort and dignity every pet deserves.
  • Fences For Fido – This charity helps “unchain” dogs and provide them with better outdoor care. Through this program, volunteers build dog-proof fences and provide an insulated dog house to animals kept on chains.  They also help educate family’s on outdoor pet care and affect policy change to ensure pets are treated more humanely.
  • Pets For The Elderly Foundation – Double your impact with this charity! Loneliness is a serious affliction for elderly people and many who would enjoy the companionship of a pet are daunted by adoption costs. This charity aids elderly people with covering the costs associated with adoption – finding a home for an animal while providing companionship for a senior citizen.
  • Red Rover – Red Rover offers Urgent Care Grants for pet owners who can’t cover the cost of their animals unexpected injury or ailments. They will also help you locate help in your area!

photo credit: wuestenigel Golden Retriever via photopin (license)

Literary Pets of Legend From Classic Books

It’s no question that pets play an important role in our lives. This fact is often reflected by their inclusion in our favorite stories and literary tales throughout the ages! Below are some of our favorite examples – an excellent list for children, or source of nostalgia for adults!

Literary Pets of Legend

Big Dan & Little Ann – You don’t have to be from the rural south to fall in love with these two loyal-to-the-end coon dogs made famous in Where the Red Fern Grows. These two dogs led us through an adventurous story capturing the freedom of youth.

Charlotte (Okay, well maybe it was Wilbur…) – Pigs might not be the most popular pets around but noone can say they could resist the friendship between Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider in Charlotte’s Web. 

Cat – Not a terribly creative name from one of the most creative literary icons of children’s books – Dr. Seuss. While the cat in Cat in the Hat may exhibit human characteristics, his knack for chaos will be instantly recognizable to any cat owner!

Peter – This posh little rabbit may where shoes and a jacket like a human but his love of Mr. McGregor’s garden delights is pure bunny.

Toto – A delightful little companion for Dorothy during her adventures. He may have a small role in The Wizard of Oz compared to the others but is iconic and this little terrier holds many hearts! Maybe we can all relate to the comfort found in a pet when we feel lonely or out of place as children?

Old Yeller – Possibly one of the earliest tragedies you remember as a child!  This pet that makes the ultimate sacrifice, giving his life to protect the family he loved. Old Yeller will always remain iconic with a special place in our hearts!

Black Beauty – This horses tale teaches us about struggle and kindness, as well as encouraging empathy for animals. A great story that reflects the reality of what it might be like to actually be an animal, instead of the many children’s books that focus on the animal behaving like a human.

Do you have a favorite? Share it with us!

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Don’t Overlook Your Pet This Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving a little over a week away, we are officially in the Holiday Season! If you’re like most people the holidays are a combination of enjoyment and stress. Unfortunately sometimes our furry friends are the ones who take the brunt of our stresses. As we travel to be with family, host parties or are away more frequently on family outings or shopping trips, our pets often get neglected and their needs can be overlooked.

  • If you’re the host – Make sure that your pets have a human-free environment set up just for them. Family gatherings and parties can be overstimulating to a social pet, and downright terrifying to the shy ones. Leaving a pet to mingle with the crowd sets them up for anxiety, being tripped over, or even getting into unhealthy foods or unsafe items. Set aside an area in a bedroom, laundry room, or master bathroom with your pets bed, food, water, and toys to give them their own quiet space away from all the hubbub.
  • If you’re travelling – Do your research before hand. Unless you’ve made plans with a trusty friend whom you can always call on to pet co-parent, plan. Since the holiday season is a popular time for travel, kennels and pet nanny’s may fill up quickly. It’s important for you to plan your pets care as far in advance as you can. Booking a pet sitter or kennel isn’t all their is too it either – you need be sure to pack things they need and leave notes about any special care. Don’t make your pets an afterthought!
  • If you’re away more often than usual – You don’t have to be travelling for your pet to get to missing you. If your social obligations are keeping you from home most of the day and evening, your pets are going to get lonely. Make time for your pet, and if you just can’t swing it, consider hiring a dog walker or pet nanny to temporarily fill your role.

We hope that you have a wonderful holiday season – and that your pets do too!

photo credit: dangaken Christmas Tree via photopin (license)

Color Your Pets World – Learn What They See!

Color is just one of those things most humans take for granted. The world around us is a vibrant mix of primary colors with all their differing shades and hues. When we talk about how our pets see the world many people seem to assume they either a.) see it like us, or b.) are color blind. In fact, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

How Your Pet Sees Color

Cats Since cats are not just excellent predators, but also super stealthy, we tend to assume they have exceptional vision – and that good color is a part of that. In fact, cats see color very differently from us. Eyes are made up of what are called rod and cone cells. Humans have more cone cells that cats do allowing us to see a wider color spectrum. We can also see clearer at much greater distances. Cats can only see clearly for about twenty feet in front of them, while humans can see 100-200 feet. Cat’s see much duller versions of color than we do. They do not see reds or greens well and this leaves their worlds with what we would call a “washed out” look.

Your cat sees better at night!

How your cat sees color.

Dogs – Dogs aren’t color blind! …though they are blind to certain colors… Dogs only have yellow and blue cone cells. This means, to a dog, green, yellow, and red are all the same color. They can note levels of vibrancy though so a vibrant yellow will appear different than a dark red. See the examples below from Dogvision.com to better understand your dog’s color spectrum.

How humans see color

How your dog sees color

Rabbits If you’ve ever seen a rabbit you know their eyes are positioned differently than those of the cat or dog. This side placement allows them to see almost a full 360 degrees around them. Though they do have two blind spots – directly behind them and directly in front of them! Like the other two, rabbits see color mostly in two tones. They can see greens (good for veggies!), yellows, and blues. Like cats, they can see much better than us during dusk or dawn when the light is dim. Though their vision diminishes in full dark.

Keep this new information in mind when buying toys and accessories for your pet! Brighten up their world by catering to their primary colors!

Lessons From a Pet – What Can Your Child Learn?

Every step of life has its lessons that can be learned. Kids who often pine after a pet frequently see them as an interactive toy. If a parent takes note, however, pets can be a great opportunity for teaching children many life lessons. Check out our list of lessons below to see how getting your child that pet they’re after can work in your favor!

Lessons From A Pet

  • Respect & Control – It’s instinct to grab and cuddle anything small and furry. Small and furry creatures have feelings and preferences too! Many will recoil, runaway, or even act hostile if approached while they’re not in the mood. Teach your child how recognizing and respecting an animal’s mood and needs can be rewarded by a lasting bond.
  • Self-esteem – Pets simply don’t have the ability to judge you like fellow humans. If your child is self-conscious, spending time with a pet can help them come out of their shell. Kids frequently spend time reading to their pets or telling them secrets and stories. All these things help build your child’s skills for larger interactions.

  • Outdoor Fun – These days it can be hard to get children away from a screen. Ipads, T.V’s, and phones keep kids distracted all the time. A pet is a great way to inspire them to put the electronics down. Pets cultivate outdoor time and physical activity.
  • Coping – This is one of life’s hardest lessons. Your child will suffer grief at some point and losing a pet is a way that you can coach them through the process and help them develop coping skills.
  • Responsibility – Feedings, waterings, baths, walks, cleaning… the list goes on! With a pet comes lots of chores! Helping your child understand the connection between getting something they want, and then taking care of it is an important lesson. A word of caution though: just because it’s your child’s responsibility doesn’t mean it’s not yours too. As the parent, it’s important that you make sure the animal is being cared for properly.

photo credit: Grattino ♥ via photopin (license)

Farm Animals for Pets – Which One Is Right For You?

Are you an animal lover? Not interested in the dog or cat scene? If you’re looking for a more unorthodox pet, how about a visit to the farm? A cow or horse may not be suitable for most living situations, there are lots of other pets that are! Check out our quick list below for some ideas! Remember that unorthodox pets may have unique needs. Research your new pet variety before you commit to ensure you can meet their standards. Some farm animals need more than a barn!

Pets From The Farm

  •  Miniature Goat – Miniature goats are a unique alternative to a dog. They fit perfectly in dog crates and dog beds. Their temperaments are docile, loving, and easy going. Be sure to get males neutered as they can become aggressive. Maintenance requires hoove trimming a few times each year and horn removal is recommended.

  • Chicken – Chicken’s may seem too simple to be much of a pet but they can actually be rather affectionate! Chickens can learn to come when called, will sit in your lap, and even snuggle. Like most animals, the more time you spend with them when they are young the more domesticated they will be.

  • Rabbit – Rabbits have already largely bridged the gap between farm animal and pet. They can make very affectionate and fun little companions, they are a fragile creature and need owners who understand their unique personalities and needs. Be sure to talk to pet rabbit owners and a vet before being lured by their cute fuzziness!

  • Miniature pig – “Miniature” can be a bit misleading… Many full grown mini-pigs will be the size of a medium dog. These pets have long lifespans (think 20 years) and are a great pet for those who are truly committed and have stable housing. They are easy to train like a dog, but can be expensive to care for.

Whatever unique pet you decide on, make sure your local pet nanny knows how to care for them!

photo credit: It’s almost a smile from this bandy goat at the fair. via photopin (license)
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Accessories For Your Pet – Awesome Things You Need!

Pet accessories  cost American’s over $60 billion dollars in 2016. While we may feel a little ashamed, we still can’t help but want to spoil our furry little friends! It seems like every day some new, clever item is being introduced to the market. It can be a bit overwhelming… Below we’ve compiled (yet another) list of some great new products that are sure to make life with your pet better! Got a “must-have” item of your own? Tell us about it and share your find with others!

Pet Accessories to Have Now

  • Quilted Pet Cover – Got a problem with your pet getting on the couch leaving fur and damaging it? This awesome microfiber quilted pet cover should put an end to battles over the couch!

  • Retractable Pet Safety Gate – Tired of pet gates that don’t go as far as you need them to? Or are too big for your space? This accessory offers a solution for spaces up to 55 inches wide. That’s 4 1/2 feet!
  • Emergency Pet Cards – Do you live alone with your pet? Have you ever worried what would happen if you found yourself in an emergency and couldn’t get home in time to care for them? Invest in one of the Pet Care Cards. They notify emergency personnel that you have a pet at home alone and provide a contact for them to notify on your behalf!

  • They Gulpy Water Dispenser – The size of a water bottle, this little dispenser eliminates the need for you to carry around a bottle and a water bowl for drink breaks. Ideal for walks, hikes, and road trips!
  • The Bike Leash – Want to take your dog along on your bike ride with you? Check out this awesome Bike Tow Leash! Approved by the American Pet Association, this leash keeps your pet safely right  along with you!

Paws – Amazing Facts About Your Pet’s Paws!

Paws, what do we know about them? Aside from most pets having four of them, not much! Did you know that your pets paws are a big part of how they experience the world? Check out these awesome facts and cultivate a broader appreciation for your pets feet!

Facts About Pet Paws

  • The size and shape of your dog’s paw shows the type of climate they were made for. Large, wide paws are often found on breeds that come from cold climates with lots of snow. These large feet act like snowshoes!  Furthermore, water breeds like Retrievers have webbed toes!
  • Did you know that cat claws grow from the bones in their foot, not a nailbed like the human fingernail? This is why declawing is bad for cats!
  • Both dogs and cats walk on their “toes” instead of their heels like humans do
  • Some agile dog breeds have “cat-like” feet, with high arches and a narrow width. This allows them a better range of quick movements. Dobermans and Greyhounds are two breeds with “cat feet”.
  • Cats have unique fingerprints too! Cat paws have unique grooves that leave unique prints. Did you know you can use your cat’s paw to unlock your iPhone?!

  • The thick foot pads which make up the “paw” are actually made of fatty tissue deposits. This acts as an insulator allowing your pet to run around on snow or warm surfaces that would burn our sensitive feet. Please note though – while pet paws are better insulated they can still get frost bitten or burnt from hot asphalt!
  • These thick foot pads also act as cushions and shock absorbers in cats, and help keep their steps quiet while hunting!
  • People often say dogs don’t have sweat glands. Not true! Dogs have sweat glands on their noses and paws!

 

photo credit: Ifor’s baked bean paws via photopin (license)
photo credit: Mika Feet via photopin (license)

Olympics For Your Pet – Competitive Sports

The 2016 Summer Olympics held their opening ceremony last Friday. While people from all over the world gather to compete for top athlete, have you ever considered how athletic your pet is? Competitive sports aren’t limited just to the two-leggeds! Consider getting your pet (and yourself) fit while training for awesome pet Olympics!

Pet Summer Olympics

 

  • Agility Training – This is a BLAST for dogs! Agility training often consists of training your dog through obstacle courses of varying difficulty. Look around in your area to see if you can find one nearby. Jumping, tunneling, balancing are all great mental exercise too!
  • Disc Competition – Officially it’s called a “disc” – but not like the ones in the Olympics! You may know it better as a frisbee! This is a great co-op sport because it relies both on your skill and your dogs. You have to be a good thrower before you can train your dog to be a good catcher! See if there are any disc competitions in your area!
  • Tracking – Dogs are known for their noses (some breeds more so than others). Why not let your pet take full advantage of their natural gifts? Take your pet on a tracking trail! Check out this site to learn all about the benefits and events you can be a part of!
  • Dock Jumping – If you’ve ever taken your dog to the lake, you’ve probably seen this one before! The sport is exactly what it sounds like – dogs jumping off docks. With each jump the goal is to go further than the jump before. Toss toys off the dock and see how far your dog can go! A great sport for a hot day!

What about cats, you say? Take a break from the Olympics and check out The Hallmark Channels 2016 Kitten Bowl! Or this video below, showcasing some of the finest bunnies in competitive jumping!

 

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Pokemon Go With Your Dog? You Bet!

With the new Pokemon Go craze sweeping the nation, more people than ever are wandering around outdoors! That’s a good thing! An even better thing if you take the new game as an opportunity to let your pet tag along. Here are some tips to get you and your fuzzy friend started!

Tips For Hunting Pokemon with Your Dog

  • Caution! – The essence of Pokemon Go means you’re likely to have your phone in front of your face which can be hazardous walking around outside. Doubly hazardous if you have a pet in tow. It may be a fun game, but don’t let it take priority over your safety and that of your pet. What for traffic, snakes, and steps!
  • Follow Leash Laws (even if there aren’t any) – Make sure your pet is on a leash and comfortable with it. Pokemon Go has become so popular, you and your dog are likely to encounter a lot of fellow hunters – and maybe their pets too!
  • Watch the Weather – Just like a normal walk, be mindful of when you go and if there are any storms in the area. With the summer heat, grab the sunblock and aim for early morning or evening. Take water for you and your pet, and be sure to check the radar so you’re not caught in a lightening storm!
  • Mind Your Pets Stamina – Maybe you’re okay with walking a couple miles, zig-zagging around, but your dog may not be. If you’ve acclimatized them to shorter walks be sure to not over-stress them. Take frequent breaks and stay in-tune to the signals your pet’s giving you!

As a bonus, some animal shelters are asking hunters to swing by and pick up a dog to take along. This increase in volunteering helps the shelters and helps leash-trained dogs get some exercise! Ask at your local shelter if they have “Pokemon Dogs”!

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