Halloween can be fun for the whole family, even your pets! And, one of the best things about this spooky, festive day is getting to dress up in costumes. So, this year, let your pet be part of the fun with some easy and affordable DIY outfits you can make right at home from common household materials. Here are some spooktacular ideas:Read more »
October marks all kinds of wonderful seasonal favorites, from watching the leaves change to planning all of those festive Halloween celebrations. But, October also marks National Pet Wellness month a time when pet owners everywhere should reflect on how they can better the lives of their beloved four-legged companions. So, what can you do for your pet? It’s simple really – it all starts with making healthier, more informed choices for your pet.
Here are some things you can do to honor your pet and their health:
- Watch Their Weight – There has been a stark rise in pet obesity in recent years. Whether due to a lack of a healthy diet, lack of exercise, or just your basic lack of owner awareness, it’s a serious matter that can lead to all sorts of dangerous problems for your pet. In addition to a decrease in their overall quality of life, pet obesity can lead to skin and muscle problems, certain diseases, and even heart failure.
- Watch Their Diet – Just as a healthy diet packed with nutrition benefits our human minds, bodies and souls, a healthy, balanced diet does the same for your pet. This is the best way to keep their immune system working in top shape, preventing the onset of most diseases and ailments. Plus, the right diet will help keep your pet happy, healthy and energetic long into their senior years. Your veterinarian can help you determine the best diet for your pet and their specific needs.
- Encourage Exercise – A healthy diet and plenty of exercise are key to your pet’s overall well-being. Regular exercise helps keep energy levels balanced, keeps their bodies strong and healthy, and boosts their mood.
- Pay Attention to Oral Care – Periodontal disease is something that a lot of pet owners still tend to overlook. But, your pet’s oral hygiene is tied to their overall health. Things like bad breath, inflamed gums, tartar, and tooth decay can all lead to greater, more serious health issues. So, regular tooth brushings need to be worked into your pet’s care routine.
- Don’t Forget to Groom – Whether your pet has short or long hair, regular brushing is essential to keeping their coat healthy. This helps to distribute those natural oils that keep fur looking clean and healthy. It also helps to keep fur from matting, which can cause discomfort and lead to unhygienic situations. Plus, grooming is a great way to form stronger bonds with you and your pet for an overall increase in happiness.
Keeping your pet happy and healthy is all about helping them maintain balance, from their diet, to their exercise routine, to their grooming routine – it’s all in your hands. So, make sure that you continue to educate yourself on your pet’s health, and talk to your veterinarian for best advice and practices. And, don’t forget, above all else, your pet needs love and affection. They’ve already given you their heart; don’t forget to share yours.
If you love animals as much as we do, then you’ll love our list of favorite holiday movies that feature pets! Whether they’re real, animated or animatronic, they’re all about sharing the love and having adventures with that special, furry, four-legged someone. And, boy do these beloved characters know how to steal a show and pull at your heartstrings!
From the good guys to the bad guys, the cute, and even the frightening, animals have graced us with their presence on the silver screen for decades. There have been talking pigs, pups in space, singing cats, and so much more! We can’t help but fall in love with each and every one. That’s why we’ve gathered a list of some of our favorite animal flicks to help get you and your loved ones in the mood for all of the thrilling holiday celebrations to come!
Fall has officially begun, and with that, many of us are ready to start decorating for Halloween. Some have even started thinking about those wonderful Thanksgiving feast plans. So, while you indulge in the colorful season with your whole family, add these festive animal films to your Fall movie night bucket list, and get ready to cozy up for some good times.
- It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
- Hocus Pocus
- Spooky Buddies
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
- The Dog Who Saved Halloween
Let the animal lover in you continue to come out as we move into the winter holiday season with the many pet and animal themed movies. From dogs, to penguins, even reindeer, pets of all sorts are represented in these seasonal feel-good films.
- Beethoven’s Christmas Adventure
- Ice Age
- March of the Penguins
- Happy Feet
- I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown
- A Charlie Brown Christmas
- Snow Buddies
- Santa Buddies
- The Search for Santa Paws
- Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
- The Grinch
- Shelby: The Dog Who Saved Christmas
Year ‘Round Fun Flicks
As you cozy up with your pets and loved ones this holiday season for movie nights, there are so many wonderful films out there with animals and pets that aren’t just centered around the holidays that you can enjoy together. There are all sorts of flicks to round out your every animal need!
- Dr. Dolittle
- The Lion King
- Finding Nemo
- Homeward Bound
- Marley & Me
- Charlotte’s Web
- Air Bud
- Black Beauty
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
- Free Willy
- Fly Away Home
We hope that one of these will inspire your next family movie night and bring you and all of your loved ones, both two-legged and four, lots of joy and happiness as the holiday celebrations roll into full swing. Don’t forget the pup-corn!
Let’s face it – most pet owners dread having to give their pets medication. It’s an act that often brings stress to both owner and pet alike. But, since we want out pets to live long, happy, and health lives, sometimes we just have to get the job done, no matter how much our furry companions may hate it. Of course, that’s often easier said than done.
That’s why we’re looking at some helpful tips for administering pet medication. We understand that a lot of medicines can taste bad or just be plain difficult to administer, so here are some things to keep in mind that will surely make the process easier on everyone:
- Sneak it with food – Sometimes, you can outsmart your pet by hiding their medicine in their favorite food or treat. Similarly, if you have to apply a topical ointment, dinner time may a good time to do so since they’ll be distracted.
- Use a dropper – For liquid medications, it helps to use a dropper to administer the meds directly into the back of your pet’s throat. This way, they don’t have to taste it, so it will go down easier.
- Use capsules – If you already know your pet’s medicine has a foul smell and is likely to taste bad, go ahead and purchase some capsules to hide the medicine in. Ask your veterinarian where to buy them.
- Crush and mix – If approved by your veterinarian, it may help to crush pills, and mix them in with your pet’s wet food or their favorite treat. But again, check with your veterinarian first because crushing pills can affect the activation time and effectiveness.
- Use your finger – If your pet is resistant to you using a dropper or syringe to administer ear drops, try just using your finger. Your pet will at least recognize this as a welcome object.
- Wait them out – It can help to catch your pet off-guard, like when they’re sleepy, to administer medications. This way, there’s no anticipation, and they’re already calm.
- Stay calm – Pets can sense when we’re stressed or worried, so as long as you stay calm and relaxed, they’ll take their cue from you. If you’re nervous though, they’ll know something’s wrong and become nervous too.
- Make it fun – You don’t want your pet to dread taking their medicine, so try making it fun. You can play “fetch” with some treats, then make sure one of the treats has the medicine inside. This way, they might not even notice the difference while they’re gobbling down their favorite bites.
- Hide the evidence – You never want to let your pet see you prepare their meds. This only leads to anxiety and refusal to comply. So, prepare it in a separate room, out of sight.
- Wrap them up – When dealing with smaller pets, it can help to wrap them up in a blanket before administering medication, especially the more resistant ones. This keeps them calm but also protects everyone from potential flying paws and claws.
- Give treats – Your pet will be more likely to comply each time you have to administer medication if they start to associate it with something positive like getting a treat after.
- Double team – For those pets who are particularly antsy or just downright stubborn, have someone help you. While one person restrains your pet, the other can administer the medication.
- Use gloves – While you want to provide a calm and safe experience for your pet, don’t forget to do so for yourself as well. If you’re dealing with a biter or a scratcher, wear heavy duty gloves when working around your pet’s mouth.
Administering pet medication doesn’t have to be a stressful event. You just have to find a method that works best for both you and your pet. And, with all of these tips, be sure to check with your veterinarian for best advice and practices for your pet’s specific needs.
Do you ever find yourself wondering, “Why does my dog keep sleeping in bed with me,” when they have their own comfy bed? Well, you’re not alone. Though often loving and adorable, it’s a bit of a dilemma dog lovers face. You spend time and money picking out the perfect washable bed for your pet only to find that the one they actually seem interested in is yours. Why is this?
It turns out, there are actually many reasons for your dog’s seemingly strange behavior in that they simply can’t resist your big bed. It’s all about learning to better read and understand them. Only then will you have a better chance of getting your bed back for yourself. Here’s what they might be thinking:
- They’re “King” – Yes, some dogs just feel they’re entitled to the big bed. After all, many of us treat them like royalty, so they can’t possibly expect to just sleep on the floor!
- They’re Proving a Point – Sometimes, your dog simply does things because they know certain things are wrong or off limits. We all know that feeling, though, sometimes it just feels “good” to be “bad.” And, we all hope we don’t get caught!
- They’re Lonely – This assumption is pretty straight forward – your dog doesn’t want to sleep alone. And, hey! Can you blame them? They just want to share the love! Remember, dogs don’t understand that they’re not being left out. They just see someone to love and who can love them in return, and that brings great comfort.
- They’re Cold – Believe it or not, even with all of that fur, dogs can sometimes get cold. And, when they do, of course they’re going to turn to their human space heater. It just makes bedtime a little cozier all snuggled up in your warmth.
- They Like the Feel – Because most bed covers are made with washer-friendly materials, they’re not exactly luxury quality linens. Our beds often just feel better to them. After all, we seek out that high thread count for comfort, so it seems only natural that they’d enjoy the feel too.
- They Like the Scent – Who doesn’t like the smell of freshly laundered sheets? We sure do, so why wouldn’t your K9 companion? Of course, this leads to the endless cycle of having to wash the sheets because they smell like dog.
- They Like Their Scent – Along with that fresh smell, dogs are drawn to our beds simply because they like that it carries their scent (if they’ve already slept there, that is). To them, this is now just part of their domain.
- They Like the Leg Room – While a lot of dogs sleep in the snuggled in donut position in their beds, others like to really stretch out when they sleep. And, they can do that in the big bed. Mattresses offer more real estate for them to really lay themselves out comfortably.
- They Love You – Perhaps the most definitive answer to why your dog doesn’t want to leave your bed is simply because they love you and want to be near you.
Dogs are known as man’s best friend. And, sometimes, man’s best friend just wants to remain close to, well, their best friend! We can’t blame them for that. But, that doesn’t mean you have to live with this behavior if you don’t want to. You can learn to train your dog to stay out of your bed. And, if all else fails, they’ll just have to get used to a closed door. Sweet dreams!
Most pet parents would agree that the holidays just aren’t the holidays without every family member around – especially the four-legged, furry ones! And, this includes those Labor Day celebrations. Of course, these final summer blow outs might not always involve the most pet-friendly activities, so you just have to get creative. That’s why we’re looking at some exciting ideas to help you and your pet enjoy this end of summer holiday in style. Here’s what you can do together:
- Park or Beach Day – Seeing as Labor Day signals the official end of summer, why not spend the long weekend playing in the sun? Head to a dog park or a dog-friendly beach for the day, and soak it all in. Just remember not to over-exert your pup, and provide downtime with plenty of shade and fresh water.
- Hiking – Most national parks and forests are pet-friendly, so take your four-legged buddy on a trail adventure. Not only is it a great way to exercise, but it’s a fun way to keep your pet engaged with all of the exciting, new smells and activities along the way. You can even bring some fellow pet lovers and their furry companions for extra fun and motivation along the way.
- Dog-Friendly BBQ – Even if your friends aren’t hosting pet-friendly BBQs doesn’t mean that you can’t plan your own last-minute, pet-friendly grill out. And, while you’re considering your own four-legged companion, why not extend the same invitation to your friends’ pets? This is a fun way to celebrate the end of the summer season together while sharing some quality time with everyone, both two-legged and four. Just make sure you keep the human food out of reach, and plan for some tasty but separate treats for all of the pets. And, don’t forget to put out plenty of fresh water and maybe even a few new toys.
- Local Events – There are all sorts of dog-friendly Labor Day events happening around town, so don’t be afraid to do a little digging. Check local events calendars as well as individual activity sites, like parks, beaches, restaurants, resorts, parades, firework displays, etc. to see what is and isn’t dog-friendly. You might even look into some local pet play groups.
However you choose to celebrate this Labor Day, make sure you spend some quality time with your pet at some point so that you can both enjoy these final days of summer together. Trust us, they’ll love spending more quality time with you, and you’re sure to make some lasting memories as you bond. And, as always, make sure you put your pet’s safety first as you plan your Labor Day activities. Temperatures are still hot out there, and heat exhaustion is still a common risk. Also, remain hyper-aware of where your pet is and what they’re getting into at all times if you’re attending or hosting a party. The last thing you want is a trip to the emergency vet’s office!
Happy Labor Day!
As we’re in the midst of hurricane season, it’s time make sure that everyone in your home, including your pet, is prepared should you need to make an emergency evacuation. Most of us here in Florida already have some sort of general emergency plan in place, but for those with four-legged family members, it’s important to make sure that those plans include their safety as well.
When making emergency plans for any kind of natural disaster, attention and thought must be paid. And, if you’re a pet owner, they should be a part of your plans from the start. Don’t let them suffer because they were left as an afterthought. Care for pets in general can require quite a bit more effort, as they simply can’t do it for themselves. So, be sure to think ahead towards all of those possible obstacles you and your pet might face during a hurricane evacuation.
As your conversation and plans take shape, there are a few essential considerations to keep in mind that will aide in ensuring you, your family, and your pets are prepared. Here are a few things to consider, now, should you need to evacuate:
- Set Up Contacts – Long before you ever may need to call for assistance, be sure to set up an out of town contact who is willing to take you and your pet in. It’s so important to have a friend or family member as a contact in the event that you’re forced to leave your home. This will make a chaotic situation manageable and help to provide stability for both you and your pet.
- Check Supplies – Create an emergency kit for both you and your pet. Be sure it has all of the necessities such as water, blankets, first aid kits, flashlights, batteries, radios, snacks and pet food, as well as any pet care items that may be specific to your pet’s wellness needs. It’s also best to include a spare collar and leash just in case you have to leave in a hurry.
- Secure Documents – Make sure you have a waterproof copy of all important documents. This includes ID tags, a photo of your pet, medical records, immunization records, etc.
- Review Emergency Plans – Once you have contacts set up, know your evacuation route, and have all necessary supplies ready, make sure everyone’s on the same page. Review your evacuation plans with everyone in your household, and don’t forget to include specific instructions for your pet as well.
While this is not a complete disaster preparedness list, it will help start the conversation and organize your emergency plans. Remember, your own checklist will vary depending on your pet and their unique needs. So, don’t leave prep to the last minute. With the weather still kicking up out there, it’s important to have a plan in place sooner rather than later.
As pet lovers and owners, we’ve heard all of the stereotypes appropriated to the various species – Cats always land on their feet. Dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans’, etc., etc. But, these are just examples of the many myths that have been making the rounds for years. And, while some have some truth to them, others are as far-fetched as a turtle with wings! So, let’s dive in and debunk some of the most common pet myths:
- Myth: Dogs only see in black and white. While dogs can’t see every color or see as vibrantly as humans do, they can in fact perceive color. For instance, they’re able to see shades of yellow, green, and blue.
- Myth: Dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans’. Dogs’ mouths actually contain as many bacteria as humans’ mouths, so it’s hard to determine which is in fact “cleaner.” The real difference is that a dog’s mouth contains different kinds of species-specific bacteria compared to a human’s.
- Myth: Wagging dog tails and purring cats are a sign of happiness. While both of these responses can mean that your pet is happy, they can also be a sign of stress, anxiety, pain, sickness, or just be a form of self-comfort.
- Myth: Cats always land on their feet. Cats do possess those quick, air-righting reflexes that help them to land on their feet, but that doesn’t mean that they’re always able to do so successfully. For instance, when cats fall from lower heights, they tend to land on their side, which can cause injury. Similarly, if they fall from greater heights, the impact could cause serious injury.
- Myth: You can skip your pet’s flea and tick prevention during colder seasons. The fact is, fleas can live outside even in the coldest temperatures, and ticks can come back with the fluctuating temperatures that we see even in winter. So, it’s recommended that you keep your pet’s flea and tick regimen going year-round for their continued protection.
- Myth: Dogs eat grass when they’re sick. Dogs can actually eat grass for a number of different reasons, not just when they’re feeling sick. Sometimes they eat it to improve digestion, fulfill some sort of nutritional need, or because they’re just bored.
- Myth: Dogs can feel and express guilt. While many dog owners certainly believe this when looking into those puppy eyes after scolding their beloved four-legged companions for doing something bad, we’ve only proven that dogs feel the primary emotions – happiness, sadness, and fear. Guilt is a secondary emotion that isn’t innately in them. So, it is believed that this perceived guilt response is actually something dogs learn from their human’s reaction. They’re simply responding to what their owners are doing and feeling.
By unlearning these common myths and gaining a better understanding of who your pet is underneath all of their unconditional love and snuggles, you can learn how to better care for and support them. And, that can ultimately make your bond stronger.
Pet owners know that one of the most beautiful gifts our pets have to offer us is their unconditional love. Every time you open your front door, a dog will always run to you in excitement, ready to cuddle and play. Their love is true and loyal. After all, there’s a reason they’re called man’s best friend! So, how can you best relay that same message of love to your four-legged companion?
It’s all about understanding how to speak their language. Dogs respond to body language and gestures in a way that you may not even be aware of. So, let’s take a look at some easy ways you can tell your dog you love them in their own special dog language.
- Training – Training is one of the best ways you can learn to communicate with your dog. The key is to make sure you’re teaching with positive reinforcement. Dogs thrive when it comes to structure and structured learning. This is how you convey your love for them. Training with positive reinforcement will quickly become a favorite form of motivation, whether they’re getting food, praise, or play from it. The point is that your dog will hear and see you communicating with them, then they know they get something (a reward, treat or praise) more that they absolutely love. Your dog will learn that when the two of you work together, everyone is happy and feels the love.
- Reading – That’s right! Bedtime stories aren’t just for kids. Dogs love the chance to snuggle up next to their owners, and they love to hear the soothing sounds of your voice. So, make it a new part of your weekly routine to have story time. Try getting cozy on the floor with them with a good book, and don’t forget to be animated with your eyes and facial expressions. Trust us, they’ll get into it!
- Talking – Yes, you can and should engage in deep conversation with your pet! They won’t mind one bit that you’re talking to them; in fact, they’ll come to look forward to your chats. You can talk about absolutely anything you want, and the great news is, not only is this another form of bonding, it’s also a great release for you, as studies have shown that talking to and petting dogs can lower blood pressure.
- Family Time – A little human touch goes a long way with our pets, so remind them that they’re a part of the family too. Whether you’re just telling them about your day in soft, soothing tones, giving them back and belly rubs, giving them praise, or just having everyone sit down for meals at the same time, all of these things are expressions of love that your dog will understand and appreciate.
The next time you want to show your pet some love, give these simple bonding techniques a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much of a deeper connection you will feel with your pet, and you’ll have the added comfort in knowing that they know that you’re saying “I love you.”
There’s nothing quite like that comforting feeling of a sweet, furry companion that comes running to greet you after a long day. Pets are family members to so many of us. We love them, and they love us, unconditionally.
These days, it’s estimated that nearly 70% of American households actually count a pet as one of their family members, and it’s not surprising why. Pets do so much more than provide us with something cute to love on. They actually provide many incredible health benefits. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the ways pets impact our emotional and familial well-being each and every day.
Health Benefits of Pet Ownership
Having a pet by your side isn’t just a great mood booster. They also provide incredible physical health and emotional health benefits, including:
- Minimizing Stress – Owning a pet can help significantly reduce stress levels. Studies have actually shown that the company of a pet during routine tasks lowers stress levels compared to the companionship of people during those same tasks.
- Lowering Blood Pressure – For those who suffer from high blood pressure, pets have been proven to help lower blood pressure and heart rates. The soothing companionship and dedication to their owners helps to alleviate stresses that you may be internalizing. Pets allow you to shift focus and generally encourage an overall healthier lifestyle.
- Reducing Anxiety – Pets can also help reduce anxiety. This helps with everything from your mental health to alleviating chronic pain, especially for those who suffer from migraines, arthritis, or are recovering from illness or injury.
- Improve Heart Health – Those with pets have even been found to have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than those without.
Home and Family Benefits of Pet Ownership
Pets ownership also provides many wonderful benefits within your family circle and home. They can help:
- Socialize – Children who grow up around pets tend to learn better social skills. Pet ownership even increases their verbal skills and helps hone emotional awareness.
- Teach Responsibility – Through the care of pets, kids and parents alike learn responsibility, gain confidence, and even learn how to better express emotions.
- Reduce Loneliness – People who live in homes with pets tend to experience less feelings of loneliness, as pets are often instant mood boosters, improving your overall outlook on life and your surroundings.
- Reduce Illness – That’s right. Kids who grow up in homes with pets tend to get sick less often, as they’ve built up stronger immune systems.
- Provide Safety – Dog ownership, specifically, gives a lot of families increased feelings of security, and rightfully so. Not only will they act to protect you, they also act as a sort of automatic deterrent to any would-be home invaders who see them through the window or in the yard.
Bringing a pet into your home is great for the whole family. They have the ability to provide so much positivity to our lives and so many amazing health benefits. And, of course, that love and care goes both ways. So, the next time your happy little buddy comes running your way, say a little extra thank you.