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Five Pawsitive Health Effects of Pets

shutterstock_310796843Every year, people make all kinds of resolutions to lose weight, get healthier, get more exercise, and get outside more. One of the best ways to get started is to get a pet. Many scientific studies have proven that pets can have a “pawsitive” effect on your overall health. Did you know: 

Pets can improve your physical fitness: Even small changes can help improve your fitness. Play time along with simply getting up and down to let your pet in and out can be a workout, depending on the pet. Even better? Take them outside for regular walks, or to the park where they can play and run with other dogs. One other bonus – it’s good for your pet’s health, too!

Pets are natural mood enhancers: Studies show that pet owners are generally happier and less lonely than people without pets. A faithful pet companion can provide you with years of unconditional love, and their cuteness factor will definitely lift your spirits!

Pets can help lower your blood pressure: Just petting an animal lowers your blood pressure naturally by increasing levels of oxytocin, a hormone related to emotional bonding that also promotes the feeling of calmness.

Pets can help prevent allergies in children: A clinical study showed that very young children who have been exposed to pets were less likely to develop hay fever, asthma, allergies and eczema as they got older, and had fewer upper respiratory infections than children who had not been exposed to pets.

Pets can help lower your cardiovascular risk: According to the American Heart Association, numerous studies of pet ownership and health risks concluded that pets, particularly dogs, are associated with a reduction in risk and increased survival rates among patients. Pets help lower cholesterol, stress, and blood pressure levels which can help reduce the risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease.

In Celebration of Black Cats (11/17 – National Black Cat Day)

black cat
Do you love black cats or are you superstitious? Do black cats make you nervous or scared? In honor of National Black Cat Day, let’s take at a few pros and cons of black cats and how they balance out.

PRO: Mysterious history full of exotic tales about witches and spells.
CON: Mysterious history full of exotic tales about witches and spells.

PRO: Beautifully silky black fur.
CON: That sticks to your light colored clothing (and everything else).

PRO: Gorgeous bright gold or green eyes.
CON: That scare the pants off of you when they’re all you can see in a dark room.

PRO: In many cultures, a black cat crossing your path is good luck.
CON: Until you trip over them in the dark.

PRO: Black is always in style.
CON: Unless orange really is the new black.

VERDICT: No matter what color the cat, it will make a wonderful paperweight, as it lounges comfortably on that stack of papers you were so desperately trying to organize.

Meet the Best Breeds for Living the Quiet Life

Getting a dog is a happy time – but try not to fall in love with the first furry little face that comes your way. Choosing the right canine companion depends on your lifestyle, and the dog’s temperament and primary breed characteristics. Size does matter, and cute puppies tend to make us forget the realities of full grown dogs. Keeping a Great Dane in a small apartment in the city would be sheer madness. Doing your homework in advance can save a lot of heartache and headaches.

Your lifestyle matters, too. If you’re really active, you’ll want to choose a dog that requires lots of exercise and stimulation. Older people and those with limited mobility will want to choose a quieter, more sedentary breed.

For those with little tolerance for noise, it’s best to choose breeds that don’t tend to bark excessively, if at all. Each breed’s activity level varies. Here are some of the best choices for those who prefer a quieter companion:

basenjiBasenjis – Known for their inability to bark, this hunting breed is of African origin. They’re high energy, and always watching. They have a boundless sense of curiosity and can be prone to taking off to explore on their own. Reward their quiet nature with frequent outings or suffer the consequences.


borzoiBorzoi – From a relatively ancient breed cultivated in Russia, these majestic creatures will quietly drape themselves on a sofa and blend in. They rarely opt to comment on anything, even intruders, and instead will sit, quietly judging you. Perfect for those who want a couch ornament.

Chinese Shar Pei
– Short, stout and wrinkled. Only a Shar Pei can carry it off this look! While bred for hunting, they rarely bark for no reason. If they’re feeling uneasy or threatened, they’ll certainly let you know, but otherwise, they’re happy to just sit (okay, lay down) and just be.



collieCollies – OK, this one is probably a surprise to anyone who remembers the TV series Lassie and the running joke about Timmy falling in the well. Actually, collies tend to be quiet unless they have something really important to tell you like “Timmy just fell into the well again!”. For those who care, Timmy never actually fell into the well on the show – each week, he simply acted as a human decoder ring for Lassie’s rather complex barked messages.



Italian Greyhounds – A smaller, nervous and somewhat delicate looking breed, Italian Greyhounds tend to be quiet in favor of showcasing their flair for the dramatic. They’re easily stressed, and prefer to rest quietly on comfy fainting couches.


newfoundlandNewfoundlands – These gentle giants tend to walk softly among us, cradling tennis balls in their mouths and drooling happily. They’re friendly, and rarely bark without good reason.




St. Bernards – Another breed of gentle giants. When properly socialized as puppies, they’ll grow up to love everyone and will rarely bark unless provoked.


whippetWhippets – Bred mainly for hunting and racing, these delicate wisps could be called the supermodels of the dog world, but they are really couch potatoes in disguise. Barking is a waste of energy.




It’s Happy Cat Month!

happy-catIt’s Happy Cat Month!

Cats are curious creatures – so it’s important to provide them with lots of engaging activities that satisfy their stalking instinct and keep them stimulated. Since September is Happy Cat Month, we have a few tips to making sure your feline friend stays happy and healthy!

1/ Keep them indoors – cats do not need to go outdoors to be happy. There are plenty of opportunities to entertain cats inside the safety of the home – plus it minimizes the chance of finding a slaughtered bird, mouse or snake in the middle of your floor, or worse, tucked into your bed as some kind of kitty “love offering”.

2/ Invest in a cat tree and place it next to a sunny window. Cats love to climb, and they love sunning themselves even more. Placing a cat tree in your home allows your cat/s to get exercise, stretch and climb, and enjoy “cat TV” by looking out the window.

3/ Play with your cat every day. It’s no secret that cats love to stalk, chase and pounce – whether it’s fishing and toys with bells, cardboard boxes or paper bags, cats will find a way to amuse themselves and keep you laughing at the same time! Provide a variety of toys to keep them on their toes!

4/ But or plant a container of cat grass. Cats love to graze on grass – it’s a delectable treat that’s typically oats, barley or wheat. You can buy or plant a container of cat grass that’s easily accessible. It helps satisfy their craving for fresh greens while providing trace vitamins and minerals they may not be getting from regular food. It adds fiber to the diet, aids digestion, and helps reduce hairballs.

5/ Always, always keep the litter box clean and fresh. When it comes to the bathroom, cats are neat freaks. Seriously, who wants to step into a dirty box full of waste? Don’t wait until they throw litter all over the room to let you know their toilet needs cleaning. Litter boxes should always be kept fresh as possible – scoop daily or every other day to help keep your cat healthy and happier – we guarantee you’ll be happier, too!

Five Great Ways to Help on National Homeless Pet Day


It’s National Homeless Pet Day – so let’s take a moment to review some ways we can all make a difference.

1/ Adopt a homeless animal: Skip the breeder or pet store – visit your local shelter or rescue group and adopt your next best friend!

2/ Always spay or neuter your pets. Nearly 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the United States, and many will never find homes or go on to be euthanized. Spaying and neutering can help reduce the number of homeless animals.

3/ Volunteer at a local rescue or shelter: Without volunteers, many shelters and rescues would have to shut down. Volunteer to walk or play with shelter dogs and cats, help clean cages, refill water bowls – every little bit helps!

4/ Make a donation to your local rescue or shelter: Food, toys, treats, blankets, beds, grooming tools, collars, leashes and other items are always in short supply – so why not make it a neighborhood project?

5/ Get kids involved! Everyone loves a good lemonade stand or bake sale – and most kids are passionate about helping make the world a better place. Set up in front of your home or business (be sure to get permission first) and let everyone know that their purchase will go towards saving homeless animals. Don’t forget to put out a donation can – many people will skip the treats and donate anyway.

Ready to get started? Here’s a list of shelters and rescue groups around Phoenix: