Pet Blog


Tips for Puppy-Proofing Your Home


When you bring a new puppy into the home, you are taking on an enormous responsibility. Having a puppy around is like having a new baby, except they are far more mobile right from the start. Keep the following tips in mind to help you get ready.

Set Up Barriers

The most practical way to puppy-proof your home is by setting up various barriers between different parts of the house. Gates and locks are particularly valuable in this instance. Simply install them in the same places you would not want a baby to go, such as cabinets or private areas like the bathroom and bedroom. These will limit your puppy’s ability to cause trouble and potentially get injured. Blocking the stairs is of paramount importance.

All types of heat source can be dangerous. Ensure fireplaces, wood stoves and ovens are screened off. Never ever leave your puppy on their own in a room with any of these items.

Remove Potenti...

Dog Allergies 101


For those of us who are allergic to dogs, it can mean they miss out on the joys of living with a canine companion. It's thought that as many as 10% of the population in the United States is allergic to dogs. For these people, a hypoallergenic dog would be wonderful, but is there really such a thing?

The prefix "hypo" means "less than usual". For example, hypothermia means lower-than-normal temperature and hypoglycemia means lower-than-usual blood glucose. So, hypoallergenic really means a dog is less likely to cause allergic reactions. It doesn't necessarily mean it never causes reactions but it is certainly less likely to trigger a reaction than a normal dog.

This is because there are many parts of a dog that can trigger an allergic reaction. Some people are sensitive to dog fur or to their pet's saliva when they are licked. Many people react to the dander or cells that normally slough from a dog's skin, and all dogs, even the supposed hypoallergenic breeds, she...

Fear Of Dogs In Children


Some children (and adults) have a fear of dogs that can stem from a few different circumstances. Perhaps they've been chased or threatened by a dog, or maybe they've encountered an exuberant, friendly dog that meant no harm but was just overwhelming and jumpy. They may have been knocked over or even bitten by a dog. Some children notice a parent's nervousness around dogs and feel the same way. Whatever the reason, it's important that steps be taken to alleviate this fear because it's not easy to avoid dogs completely. Their friends or family may have dogs, which can lead to stress when they visit. A stroll to the local store can induce anxiety because there may be a dog on their route.

There are things that can be done to help children overcome this fear. Parents can follow a desensitizing program that is not unlike those used to treat other fears such as arachnophobia (the fear of spiders).

The first step is to reduce any fear associated with dogs in general. Ma...

Experts Caution Against Keeping Exotic Pets


While many Americans are content with having a dog, cat, rabbit, or fish, others may always be on the search for the next exotic pet – a status symbol, perhaps, or an animal they’ve always admired. However, having such pets isn't without its risks.

Experts in Canada have been quick to warn of the perils associated with having exotic pets, such as injury, infectious diseases, and destruction – not to mention the harm that could be caused to these beautiful animals by ill-informed pet parents and those with little to no experience in handling them. What makes having an exotic pet different to any domesticated pet? Well, the clue is there for all to see; domesticated pets are bred for the purpose of being pets, while exotic animals are not. When it comes to the unknown, exotic animal husbandry is littered with uncertainties.

"I can tell you pretty well what a dog or a cat or a rabbit is likely to carry, what the risk is and what we can do to decrease that risk. But ...

Palm Beach Bans Sales of Dogs And Cats In Pet Stores


From scenes in movies depicting bright-eyed and fluffy puppies and kittens being chosen by excitable children, to traditional songs such as "How much is that doggy in the window?" many of us will have grown up with the reality of seeing cats and dogs in pet stores across the country. Isn't that the best place to get a puppy or kitten from, anyway? While it's certainly true that puppies and kittens are still being sold in pet stores, authorities in many states are doing their best to clamp down on the practice, which can promote illegal puppy mills, untreated medical issues, and even cruelty. Palm Beach County has become the latest area to ban the sale of unlicensed dogs and cats in pet stores, but are authorities doing enough?

Under the new legislation, which came into effect on October 1st, pet stores may still sell puppies and kittens as long as they have been purchased from a licensed ...

How Pets Can Help Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis


Having a pet is good for the soul. They make us smile, provide bountiful opportunities for affection, friendship, and introduce us to a whole new world outside our own human constraints. In addition, pets can change our lives quite literally. You've no doubt heard of service dogs, and are well aware of the great work they can do for those constricted by a variety of disorders. Did you know, though, that our four-legged friends could be used to overcome rheumatoid arthritis and similarly debilitating conditions?

Despite humans having pets for many thousands of years, the study of their effect on our health and wellbeing is still relatively new. Now, however,

Sibling Puppies, Not A Good Idea


If you're thinking of adding a puppy to your family, you may be considering bringing home two pups so they can keep each other company. After all, it can't be much more difficult than having one young dog to care for - or can it?

Raising two littermates can indeed be more challenging than bringing up a single puppy. This is because they've spent their entire lives together and already have a very close bond. This isn't a bad thing, and it is nice to see your two dogs get on well. However, in many cases this bond can interfere with their relationship with you, their pet parent.

Apart from working with two dogs that are often closer to each other than they are to you, there are the practical aspects of raising puppies. Young dogs need attention and training; toilet training is a major task in those early months. Imagine the cleaning up if you have two puppies that are learning to control their bowels and bladders at the same time. It's more time-consuming and can d...

The Benefits Of Having A Pet During Childhood


If you grew up with a family pet, or are currently a pet parent, you'll know just how special that bond between a family and their animals can be. Having a pet during childhood can help little ones to fathom the concept of responsibility, as well as providing fond memories and a deep feeling of love that will last well into adulthood.

Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences Lecturer Dr. Sara Griffin is quick to extol the virtues that are created by a child having a pet: "Children learn about responsible pet ownership by observing their parents," she told Consumer Affairs. "Positive pet interactions with children can help develop non-verbal communication skills, compassion, and ...

Top 10 Checklist for Cat Parents-to-Be


If you've been considering sharing your home with a cat or kitten, there has never been a better time. This month is Adopt-a-Cat Month, a popular annual campaign organized by American Humane Association (AHA). This year's adoption month is extra special, though, as it has been incorporated into the association's centenary celebrations.

AHA CEO and President Dr. Robin Ganzert said: "American Humane Association has rescued thousands of cats in need over the past 100 years. But there are still millions more healthy, adoptable pets in shelters around the country, just waiting for someone to be their hero by rescuing them and bringing them home. American Humane Association's Adopt-a-Cat Month not only encourages people to give loving homes to animals in need, but offers an opportunity to provide a wider focus on the ongoing need these beautiful an...

WikiLeaks Founder Gets A Kitten To Keep Him Company


After four years of living at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, you can imagine that Julian Assange may have started to feel a little lonely. The WikiLeaks founder, famed for leaking confidential documents, sought political asylum at the embassy in 2012 following allegations of sexual assault in Sweden, as well as calls to face numerous charges relating to his hacking activities. Assange, an Australian programmer, journalist, and web publisher, fears extradition to Sweden and the U.S., should he set foot outside the embassy building, and therefore has remained there ever since.

Just recently, though, Assange’s life within the embassy became a little cuddlier, after his children presented him with a kitten to keep him company. The gorgeous bundle of fluff who is yet to be named, already has a Twitter feed of its own. The net-savvy feline is following the U.S. State Department, the British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, and the Foreign Office cat, Palmerston – no doubt c...

Orthopedic Beds For Senior Dogs


Elderly dogs tend to be more sedentary and spend a lot of their day snoozing. Many are also a bit stiff and arthritic, which makes it more challenging for them to move around. The right bed will make their days and nights more comfortable, so consider an orthopedic bed for your senior dog.

These beds are made of special orthopedic memory foam that is comfortable, yet supportive. It eliminates pressure points and alleviates adverse effects of stress on sore joints. It insulates from the cold if it is placed on the ground and also offers many other features that make it a great bed for elderly dogs.

Ideally, a dog bed should be heated, whether they are plugged into a power outlet or have an insert that can be warmed in the microwave oven. A warm bed will help ease elderly joints when it’s cold.

Beds fo...

Tech Breakthroughs Giving Pets The Power Of Speech


ave you always dreamed of the day that your dog would be able to tell you what he is thinking? That time may be closer than you think. According to WIRED, a Georgia Tech scientist named Melody Jackson has been working to create computerized vests meant for service dogs. In an emergency, these vests would allow the service dog to locate a human, pull a lever on the vest, and play an audio message that says, "My handler needs you to come with me!"

Currently, these vests are designed for dogs who work with diabetics or people suffering from epilepsy. While these dogs are trained to detect dangerous changes in their humans that may signal an oncoming diabetic episode or seizure, sometimes these conditions come on too quickly and the dog is left with an...

A Selfie Stick For Dogs


Only last month, we brought you the news that the tech industry is booming thanks to savvy pet parents and the rise in pet-centric smartphone apps. When it comes to our pets, we'll buy into almost anything to ensure their health and happiness, to keep up to date with the latest doggy developments and kitty creations, and to solve those pet parenting problems that the modern world tends to create. For example, how many times have you tried to take a photograph of your pet only to discover they're looking the other way, or to lose their attention completely? This problem is one that plagues pet parents across the country – and we've been a little stumped.

"It seems today we humanize our pets more and more. They are our fur children, I know mine are. As they are our furkids, it makes sense that we want to create the same kinds of memories we do with other people," explains Jason Hernandez...

The Pet Tech Market Is Booming


We, as a nation, adore our pets and will do anything for them, regardless of how much money that ends up costing us. Indeed, you need only look at how much the pet industry is worth ($62.75 billion, fact fans) to know that we'll buy almost anything if it means that our pets are leading happier, healthier, and more comfortable lifestyles. While the majority of our hard-earned cash goes towards our pets' food, medical expenses, general care, grooming, and accessories, a rising number of pet parents are choosing to invest in technology.

You see, there's something of a tech boom going on within the pet industry at the moment, with an...

Couple Creates Giant Bed To Snuggle With Their Eight Rescue Dogs


As a pet parent to a dog, there's a good chance that you've allowed your furry friend to share your bed at least once during your time together. Whether it was a particularly stormy night, your pup was ill, or you both needed a little comfort, there's nothing wrong with sharing a bed with your furry companion every now and again. However, imagine what life would be like if you had eight rescue dogs vying for a pillow.

Meet Chris and Mariesa Hughes. A doting couple from upstate New York, Chris and Mariesa often attempted to share their bed with their seven rescue dogs, and failed miserably. "At nighttime all of the dogs want to sleep on the bed and sometimes it becomes too cluttered," Chris explained to "We [ended] up being pushed off of the bed or sleeping on the couch."

As founders of Keep Your Indoor Cat Entertained With Food Puzzles


Whether you live in an apartment block with no outside space or prefer to keep your feline friend safe from a busy road, there's probably a good reason that you've chosen to keep your cat indoors; isn't that better for local wildlife too?

While your cat may well be happier inside, those with little to no opportunity to explore the outdoors can become bored and quickly encounter behavioral issues and health difficulties. These can include anxiety, aggression, soiling, and attention seeking, as well as obesity, diabetes, and urinary tract issues. What’s the answer?

A recent study published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery discovered that food puzzles are a gr...

The Use Of Electric Shock Collars In Dogs


When you share your life with a dog that has a behavioral problem, such as barking or escaping your yard, it's not surprising that you want a quick fix to put an end to it. Many people reach for an electric shock collar to teach their pet how to behave.

The use of these collars is controversial. Those in favor of them feel they offer advantages in being able to manage a dog's behavior from a distance. Opponents believe that they cause pain and suffering to dogs, and are responsible for increased stress and anxiety. Anxious dogs are less likely to respond to punishment so the collars may not have as much effect as a pet parent would like.

These collars were first used to train hunting dogs but are now often used to teach pet dogs. They provide an electrical current across two electrod...

A Dog Poop App!


In today’s technologically advanced world, it seems like there’s an app for virtually everything. But dog poop? While you try to wrap your head around this, allow us to tell you more about the mobile application named Machi Repo Izumisano Osecho.

A city in Japan launched this mobile app to monitor their dog fouling problems. Specifically, the app allows locals to report dog poop in public areas so that the city authorities can clean it up.

How Does the App Work?

Imagine you’re strolling through a park in Izumisano, a city located in the central Osaka Prefecture. You’re enjoying a nice walk and the sound of the birds in the trees when you look down and notice an unattended pile of It’s Not Thor's Day


We all know what it's like to lose, or damage, our favorite possession; perhaps it's an item of clothing we've accidentally shrunk in the wash, or a gadget ruined beyond all recognition. That feeling is going to take a little while to subside. It turns out, though, that the ability to mourn a treasured possession in such a way isn't reserved for humans alone - particularly when the item is a Frisbee, and the owner is a German Shepherd/Great Dane called Thor...

There are two things that you need to know about Thor; firstly, he lives with his owner, Madeline Paige Bruener, in Naples, Florida. Secondly, he really, really loves that bright yellow Frisbee. Imagine his utter devastation, then, when that beloved chunk of yellow plastic shattered...

The Disadvantages Of Retractable Dog Leashes


It’s not uncommon to see people walking their dogs on retractable leashes. The idea is that it gives the dog a little more freedom and reach to explore their surroundings while remaining on leash. It sounds good, but in reality, it’s not.

Retractable leashes are dangerous and have caused injury to both dogs and pet parents. There are a number of reasons that they shouldn’t be used. Let’s explore them one by one.

Your standard run of the mill six-foot cloth leash can be used to pull your dog close to you fairly quickly, while with the retractable leash, you’re relying on the button and cord mechanism to work properly. If it doesn’t work, you may not find that out until you need Fido back by your side in a hurry, and this can leave him in an unsafe situation.

A retractable leash gives a pet pare...

Pet Food Recall Alert (February,9 2018): Redbarn Pet Products


Manufacturer: Redbarn Pet Products

Risk Factor: Salmonella Contamination

Announcement: Company press release February 9, 2018

Products recalled: UPC # 7 85184 25105 8 - 7-inch Bully Stick three pack, 2.4-oz - Lot Code 112120ABC - Best If Used By: 11/21/20

Manufacturer Statement: Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian. Again, no illnesses, injuries or complaints have been reported. Consumers with ques...

Pet Food Recall Alert (February,8 2018): Smokehouse Pet Products Inc


Manufacturer: Raws For Paws

Risk Factor: Salmonella Contamination

Announcement: Company press release February 8, 2018

Products recalled: UPC # 78565857957 - Beefy Munchies, 4-oz - Lot Code 449294 - Best If Used By: 10/25/19

Manufacturer Statement: Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or hum...

Pet Food Recall Alert (February,8 2018): Raws For Paws


Manufacturer: Raws For Paws

Risk Factor: Salmonella

Announcement: Company press release February 8, 2018

Products recalled: The recalled product is packaged into 1-pound and 5-pound sealed plastic tubes, also known as chubs. The chubs are packaged into regular Turkey Pet Food cases and Pet Food Combo Pack cases, which contain a variety of pet food products. The products in question have case codes of 9900008, 9900009, 9900014, and 9900015. The manufacture date of Turkey Pet Food cases is 10/12/2017, and the manufacture dates of Combo Pack cases are between 10/12/2017 and 2/2/2018.

Manufacturer Statement: Raws for Paws of Minneapolis, MN is re...

Pet Food Recall Alert (January,19 2018): JustFoodForDogs


Manufacturer: JustFoodForDogs (JFFD)

Risk Factor: Listeria monocytogenes

Announcement: Company press release January 19, 2018

Products recalled: Beef & Russet Potato, Fish & Sweet Potato and Turducken dog food meals (7 oz, 14 oz, 18 oz and 72 oz).

Manufacturer Statement: JustFoodForDogs (JFFD) of Los Alamitos, CA, is voluntarily recalling its Beef & Russet Potato, Fish & Sweet Potato and Turducken dog food meals in all sizes. JFFD is recalling all of the above mentioned products made from the dates of November 1, 2017 through January 14, 2018. These represent Best By lot code dates on all three of the JustFoodForDogs’ recalled products of 11/01/18 through 01/14/19.JFFD uses 100% USDA and other restaurant grade ingredients in all of its pet food, and because the green beans used in these meals may be con...

Pet Food Recall Alert (December,13 2017): Darwin’s Natural Pet Products


Manufacturer: Darwin’s Natural Pet Products

Risk Factor: Salmonella

Announcement: Company press release December 13, 2017

Products recalled: Natural Selections Duck Meals for Cats, frozen, 2 lb. net wt., Mfg. Date 06/01/17 (Lot No. 38277), Natural Selections Turkey with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, net wt. 2 lb. Mfg.Date 08/24/17 (Lot No. 39937), Two lots of Natural Selections Turkey Meals for Dogs, net wt. 2 lb., Mfg. Date 08/24/17 (Lot No. 39937), and Mfg. Date 09/20/17, Lot No. 40507, Natural Selections Duck with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, net wt. 2 lb. Mfg. Date 09/29/17 (Lot No. 40487), Natural Selections Chicken with Organic Vegetables Meals for Dogs, net wt. 2 lb., Mfg. Date 09/26/17 (Lot No. 40727)

Manufacturer Statement: Darwin’s Natural Pet Products has recalled specific production lots of its Natural Selections brand Meals for Dog...

Appetite Stimulation In Dogs


Dogs are usually good eaters, with some breeds like the Labrador Retriever known for their enthusiastic appetite. If your dog refuses food, it can be very stressful. For some pups, their disinterest in food is because they're hoping for something better than what is in their dinner bowl. These dogs need to learn that their optimism is misplaced and that they really should eat what they're given.

For other pets, they're not eating because they're recuperating from an illness or injury. Some medications can cause a loss of appetite, and nausea from treatments (for example, chemotherapy) can put them right off their meal. If pain from a surgical procedure isn't well managed, it's unlikely a dog will be enthusiastic about their meal. The concern in these circumstances is that the lack of good nutrition can slow down their heali...

Cranberries For Canine Urinary Tract Infections


If your dog has ever had a urinary tract infection, or UTI, you noticed how uncomfortable and unsettled they appear to be. These infections aren't easy to detect until it's obvious your pet has difficulty passing urine or has blood in their urine. Your dog can't tell you when things start to pain before those symptoms are noticeable, so it's essential to try to prevent illness where possible. It appears that one way of preventing urinary tract infections is by giving dogs cranberry extracts.

Urinary tract infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract through the urethra – the tube leading from the bladder to outside the body. Because the female urethra is shorter than that in the males, UTI's are more common in girls. Symptoms can include frequent urination or passing just small amounts of urine or even blood in the urine. Diagnosis involves a combination of evaluating a dog'...

Should You Feed Your Pet A Raw Food Diet?


When it comes to choosing a food for your pet, the options are almost endless. Do you feed canned or dry? Grain-free? Or perhaps you're leaning towards a raw diet.

Many people support feeding raw to their pet. They feel that it's a more "natural" diet for dogs and cats and results in better health. However, these diets can have the opposite effect and make both pets and pet parents ill.

Whether you prepare your own raw food for your pets or purchase a commercial raw diet, there is a risk of bacterial contamination. Raw meats can harbor Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli bacteria. These can affect pets that eat the food with symptoms such as diarrhea, vomitin...

Pet Food Recall Alert (June 16, 2017): United Pet Group


Manufacturer: United Pet Group

Risk Factor: Possible Chemical Contamination

Announcement: June 16, 2017

Products Recalled:

Manufacturer Statement: "United Pet Group received very limited reports of pet illness based on the volume of possibly affected rawhide chew products manufactured and distributed. The primary complaint received from consumers was that the affected product had an unpleasant odor. Diarrhea and vomiting were also reported. Exposure to quaternary ammonium compounds through direct ingestion may cause the following symptoms in dogs: reduced appetite, and gastric irritation including diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms may require treatment by a veterinarian depending on severity. The affected product was distribu...

Pet Food Recall Alert (May 5, 2017): Smallbatch Pets Inc.


Manufacturer: Smallbatch Pets Inc.

Risk Factor: Possible Salmonella Contamination

Announcement: Company press release May 5, 2017

Products Recalled: Chicken Blend for Dogs and Cats frozen 2lbs. bags ( Lot # D032, UPC 705105970974, expiring February 1, 2019)

Chicken Blend for Dogs and Cats frozen 2lbs. bags ( Lot # E058, UPC 705105970974, expiring February 27, 2019)

Manufacturer Statement: "Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other a...