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Ways to Celebrate Your Pet All Year Round

Party Animals – How to Get Creative with Celebrating Your Pet

As a pet parent, it’s our responsibility to shower our beloved companions with love and appreciation every day. However, there may be some special occasions where we want to go above and beyond our regular duties to show them just how much we care. These occasions can include birthdays, adoption days, and holidays. So, how do you make these days extra special for your special friend? Luckily, with a little planning and creativity, there are plenty of unique ways to celebrate a significant occasion for your pet that they will be sure to love.

Give Them a Gift

Nothing says “I love you” like a brand new gift! Surprise your friend with a new toy, treat, or food to show your appreciation. The change in their routine or environment will be extra exciting for them, and they will love you for it. If you have a dog, try giving them a new kind of chew toy that will stand the test of time. Recognize how your pup likes to play and find a toy that suits them best. If they prefer to play tug of war, look for a toy that you can use together. If your furry friend prefers to play fetch, search for a toy that you can throw a greater distance to let them run. For cats, you can never go wrong with toys that test their natural instincts, such as wand toys that have an enticing dangling piece.

When in doubt, take your pet to your local pet store and let them pick out their own toy. Your companion will love the mini-trip and will be sure to love whatever they pick out.

Arts and Crafts

Arts and crafts can be a great way to bond with your pet. Whether it’s making them a homemade gift or creating something together, taking time out of your day to spend time together is a great way to celebrate your pet and make their day special. For some DIY pet presents, try your hand at creating a homemade bowtie for their collar, a new tug-of-war toy for your pup, or a new wand toy for your cat. Making these gifts yourself will make them that much more special for you and your pet.

If you’re in an artsy mood, purchase some non-toxic washable paints, paintbrushes, and a canvas. Using your pet as your muse, paint a portrait of your furry friend on the canvas. To top it off, put some of the paint on a plate, dip your pet’s paw in it, and have them stamp their paws on the portrait. Not feeling up to the task of trying to paint your pet’s portrait? Just dip their paws in different colored paints, then press their feet on different parts of the canvas for a rainbow of pawprints. Whichever way you go, you’ll be sure to create some pawsome masterpieces.

Host a Mini Pet Party

Feeling like a party animal? Then celebrate your pet by throwing them a party! Create a VIP (Very Important Pet) guest list filled with their best friends. To go all-out, decorate your home with streamers, balloons, and pictures of your pet. Make sure to have plenty of enticing toys out so your furry friend and their pals can have a blast. To top it off, document the occasion with a pet photoshoot — party hats are encouraged!

Whether it’s a special occasion or you just want to show some extra love, there are always plenty of ways to celebrate your furry companion. Don’t be afraid to get creative and above all — have fun!

[DISCLAIMER] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month: Dog and Cat Seasonal Allergies

Dog and Cat Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Experiencing asthma and allergy symptoms can quickly put a damper on a perfectly good summer day. Most people know the signs of allergies in humans. However, recognizing symptoms in your cat or dog may be harder to distinguish, especially since they can’t voice their discomfort. May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month — the perfect time to brush up on dog and cat seasonal allergy symptoms, so you can quickly identify potential problems. Knowing the signs can help you make sure your furry friend receives the treatment they need to get on the right path to feeling their best!

What is an Allergy?

Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to foreign substances. Just like their human counterparts, our furry friends can experience unpleasant allergy symptoms. Allergy season for dogs and cats is typically in the spring and summer months. These seasonal allergies arise because plants are blooming during this time of the year, which causes the pollen count to be high. Common allergens for dogs and cats include fleas, pollen, plants, house dust mites, and ragweed. Ragweed is one of the most common allergens in the U.S. and can be one of the leading causes of your cat’s or dog’s allergy symptoms.

Symptoms of Allergies in Your Dog or Cat

The symptoms of your furry friend’s allergies may vary on a case-by-case basis. However, some of the main signs of allergies for both cats and dogs include:

  • Itchiness
  • Itchy and runny eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Constant licking
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry flakey skin
  • Hair loss
  • Bumps/rashes
  • Chronic ear infections

What is Asthma?

Asthma is an allergic disease that occurs due to an allergic reaction in the airways, which then causes inflammation. This inflammation causes the passageways to constrict, making it very difficult to breathe.

Asthma Symptoms in Your Dog or Cat

An asthma attack can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation. That’s why it’s essential to recognize the signs of an asthma attack in its early stages. Symptoms of an asthma attack for both cats and dogs include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Gagging up foamy mucus
  • Panting with a wide mouth
  • Blue lips and gums

Treatment

Treatment for both allergies and asthma will depend on the severity of the condition. For allergies, lifestyle changes may be necessary to remove that specific allergen from your furry friend’s life. In addition, your veterinarian may also prescribe a medication to help control the symptoms.

In treating mild or ongoing asthma attacks, your veterinarian may prescribe a medication that can be taken either orally, or through regularly scheduled injections with your veterinarian, or through nebulization. Lifestyle changes may also be necessary to help ease your dog’s or cat’s asthma symptoms. These can include washing their bedding regularly, using dust-free litter, and wiping off your pup’s feet after being outside.

Our beloved pets are unable to tell us what is bothering them. We are in peak time for seasonal allergies, so keep a close eye on your furry friends that may be experiencing allergies or asthma-related symptoms. It’s our job as pet parents to help recognize the signs of allergies and asthma, and get our furry friends the help and medical attention that they need to feel better!

[DISCLAIMER] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Why Animals are Good for Your Health

 

Is it good to have a pet? We may be biased, but our answer is a resounding YES! Without a doubt, having a pet is good for your health. Here are five great reasons why animals are good for you and your health.

  1. Pets provide love and companionship. Get a pet and you’ll never feel alone. Pets provide us with unconditional love, lots of affection, and are great for prompting laughter with their antics, so it’s hard to feel lonely with a furry friend by your side. Even better? Pets are always happy to see you, even when you’ve only been gone for a few minutes! (Many pet owners will tell you that dogs are much better at this response than most cats.) 
  2. Better mental health. According to an article in TIME magazine, research increasingly shows that owning a pet can improve your mental health. Many hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities often have a pet in residence to help soothe anxiety. Pet owners are also less likely to suffer from depression. 
  3. Reduced stress levels. Petting a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe you when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Since stress is a significant risk factor for serious health conditions, a pet can help lower your stress levels and in turn, reduce your risk for experiencing health problems. 
  4. Reduced risk for allergies and asthma. Numerous scientific studies have shown that having a furry friend in the home can make children less susceptible to developing allergies or asthma later in life. 
  5. Lower blood pressure. Did you know that simply petting a dog or cat can help lower your blood pressure? It’s true. Getting regular exercise can also help lower your blood pressure. Dog owners tend to get more exercise than non-dog owners, as dogs are a great reason to get outside and take a walk. 

Still not convinced? According to the CDC, some of the health benefits of having a pet include:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Decreased cholesterol levels
  • Decreased triglyceride levels
  • Decreased feelings of loneliness
  • Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
  • Increased opportunities for socialization

One final note: better health associated with owning a pet isn’t limited to just cats and dogs. Whether your pet is sporting fur, scales, fins, or hooves – it’s the simple act of caring for another living being that makes being a pet owner worthwhile. Don’t have a pet yet or thinking of getting one? Check out our blog on how to choose the right pet for you and your family.

Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Pet Entertainment – Best Chew Toys to Keep Your Pet Happy & Engaged

Best Pet Chew Toys for Dogs & Puppies

As many pet parents know, finding the perfect pet chew toy for your furry friend can seem like an impossible task. Just like humans, each pup has its unique personality, desires, and interests, which can significantly impact what kind of toys they prefer. On top of this, some dogs need high-quality toys that can pretty much withstand going through a woodchipper. As many pet owners know, without quality and durability in a toy, you might come home to find it torn to bits while your dog watches you with big, innocent “I didn’t do it” eyes from the couch.

However, you don’t need to burn a hole in your wallet while on the search for the best dog toy. By recognizing your furry friend’s unique interests and personality, you can quickly identify the pet toys that they will be sure to love.

Best Toys for Hyper Dogs

If your dog requires lots of long walks, runs, and plenty of playtime to burn off some energy, then you need to invest in dog toys built for hyper pups. These toys help them work up a sweat, without you having to sweat too much yourself. For dogs that have a little more energy than the rest, consider pet toys that are easy to pick up and throw long distances. While balls can be great, frisbees also make for a fun alternative to bring with you whenever you visit the dog park. You can easily throw a frisbee a greater distance, while still having the ability to play some light tug-of-war to entice your pup to play. Plus, if your furry friend likes to swim, then you can easily find a multi-purpose frisbee that will float on the water.

If you need a break from playtime but your pup is still ready to play fetch, consider purchasing a ball thrower. These accessories take the hassle out of doggie recess by acting as an extension of your arm. Just scoop up the ball with the thrower and launch it further and faster. This toy is an excellent option for hyperactive pups that can play for what feels like hours.

 Most Durable Chew Toys for Puppies

Puppies experience a period of rapid development during the first 2 to 10 months of their life where their little fuzzy bodies drastically grow and change. Along with this development comes the fun stage of teething where puppy teeth make way for the adult teeth. This stage brings much discomfort for their gums and causes them to chew on shoes, pillows, chairs, and whatever else they can get their little jaws on.

Due to the teething stage, the best pet toys for puppies are ones that are durable, enticing, and encourage good behavior. For example, if you want to discourage your pup from ripping apart your shoes, avoid teething toys shaped like everyday items, such as squeaky sneakers. Consider KONG toys as an alternative as they are made with strong, non-toxic rubber that’s also dishwasher safe.

Another great way to help soothe sore gums is by investing in chewy toys that can be frozen to provide cooling relief during the teething process. Find a puppy chew toy that you can fill with 100 percent purified water, pop it in the freezer for a bit, and let your little furry friend chew away.

 Best Toys for Dogs that Get Bored Easily

While nothing can replace the true value of quality one-on-one playtime with your pup, sometimes your furry friend wants to play when you’re away. When your dog gets bored while at home alone, it can lead to unfavorable behaviors such as tearing up your belongings or rummaging through the trash. To entertain your dog even while you’re away, consider investing in some durable and fun puzzle toys for your pet.

Puzzle toys often hold treats or little pieces of food to encourage your pup to play. These toys can be as simple as food dispensing balls that require your dog to roll them around to retrieve the food, to something as complex as a puzzle with levers to reveal treats. Depending on your dog’s personality and level of patience, there’s a perfect puzzle toy for every pooch to enjoy.

You don’t need to spend tons of money to find the best pet chew toy for your furry friend. By recognizing your pup’s unique personality and interests, you can easily find the perfect match for them that will keep those tails wagging and stand the test of time.

How Pets Help Relieve Stress

Stress Relief Animals: The Pawsome Health Benefits of Pet Ownership

Pet stress relief. Is this really a thing? Yes! As a source of companionship and unconditional love, pets give us an abundance of opportunities to laugh, connect with others, and create funny YouTube videos. While regular trips to the vet are vital for keeping your pet healthy and happy, did you ever stop to thank your pet for the health benefits they provide for you?

Chronic stress is a gateway to all sorts of health problems. Without a doubt, having pets has a strong correlation to stress relief. OK, maybe not so much during the puppy and kitten stage when they can be like miniature weapons of mass destruction, but with a little patience and training, it’s well worth the effort.

Numerous studies show that pets are not only good for our minds but also good for our bodies. Here are just a few of the ways that animals and pets help reduce stress and improve our health.

Pets have an uncanny ability to make us laugh. Doctors always say that laughter is the best medicine, and in many ways, it’s true! According to the Mayo Clinic, laughing activates and relieves the body’s stress response, soothes tension, relaxes tense muscles, and stimulates circulation. In addition:

Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.” – Mayo Clinic –

You might be wondering, how does petting animals reduce stress? Humans have an innate need for touch. Physical touch not only builds trust, but also reduces stress and gives the immune system a boost. For instance, just the simple act of petting a dog or cat can lower your blood pressure several points. People can reap the benefits of touch by petting a dog or cat, but it’s especially important for people who are elderly or live alone. Having a pet can improve overall mood and health, and help reduce fearfulness and feelings of worry and isolation, which are contributors to stress.

Dogs relieve stress in humans in a variety of ways. While many of us hate the thought of getting up and going to the gym, we’re not quite so reluctant to get up, get outside and take a walk with the dog. Not only do we get the benefit of exercise and fresh air, walking the dog can even help us meet new friends or even potential partners – another mood booster!

Can cats help reduce stress? Yes, for all the same reasons that dogs do. Stress can compromise our immune system, so stress relief is an important part of maintaining your overall health. You might be surprised to learn that cats and dogs also help boost our immune systems. Studies show that children in homes with pets are less likely to develop allergies, so disregard all the old wives’ tales. Early exposure to pets and pet dander – this especially applies to cats – can reduce a child’s risk for developing allergies by up to 80 percent! Click here to learn more. In even more recent studies, pets – specifically dogs – are credited with boosting the immune system of children. Click here to learn more.

Animal therapy for stress is becoming more common every day. Pets reduce anxiety and help relieve the symptoms of depression and feelings of loneliness, which is why more hospitals, nursing homes, schools, rehabilitation centers, and even prisons are incorporating animal-assisted therapy programs into their organizations. For instance, the beloved local nonprofit, Gabriel’s Angels, brings the healing magic of pets to help abused, at-risk, and neglected children learn to develop trust, respect, empathy for others, and other important life skills.

While you might think that all of these positive health benefits are limited to connections made with our furry friends, you’d be wrong! Many scientific studies show that interacting with fish, birds, horses, dolphins and many other animals can also help relieve stress. Whether they’re furry, feathered, or scaled, remember to thank your pet for all the health benefits they give to you by taking care of their health. Regular wellness visits to the vet, annual vaccinations, and consistent dental care can help keep your pet well, happy, and with you for many years to come.

[DISCLAIMER] Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.