5 Tips for Moving with a Pet

Whether it’s across the street or across the country, moving can be a stressful and chaotic time for your family. This can be especially true for your four-legged family members, who don’t understand what’s happening. Detailed planning and foresight can help alleviate some of the hassle and make relocating a more positive experience for everyone.

“Moving with a pet requires careful planning to help ensure a smooth transition for the whole family,” said Dave Bradey, vice president of people and organization at Mars Petcare North America. “As someone who recently moved with two dogs, I can’t tell you how valuable it is to have access to pet-friendly public areas throughout the moving process. Mars Petcare is committed to encouraging cities to create more pet-friendly public spaces, like parks and rest stops, which can help make moving with a pet easier and more enjoyable. Our four-legged friends should be welcome wherever we are.”

Consider these tips to help make your move with your pet as smooth as possible, and visit BetterCitiesForPets.com for more information on making pets happy, healthy and welcome everywhere.

  1. Check In with Your Vet – Ahead of a move, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to ensure your pet is healthy and up-to-date on all vaccines. While you are there, ask for a copy of your pet’s records and get recommendations for a veterinarian’s office closer to your new home. If your pet has an ID microchip, be sure to update your new address and contact information.

  1. Research Your New Neighborhood – Before relocating to your new home, research the pet policies and amenities your new town may have. Cities can require pet registration or special collar tags to help keep your pets safe. Municipalities often list the dog parks or public spaces online where pets are welcome, on or off the leash. If your new town is lacking pet-friendly places, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com to find ways to help your city become more welcoming to furry friends.

  1. Pack a Pet Bag – Amid all the packing supplies, it can be easy to lose track of your pet’s belongings. Instead of digging through boxes to find his food once dinnertime rolls around, pack a travel bag for your pet, so food and bowls are easily accessible. Keep a few of your pet’s favorite items, like toys and blankets, on-hand in the car to help reduce nervousness during travel.

  1. Take a Room-by-Room Tour – Once you arrive at your new home, introduce your pet to his new environment, one room at a time. Giving your pet free rein of a new house right away can be overwhelming and confusing, so plan a slower approach to ensure your pet gradually adjusts. Start in one main room, and once your pet seems comfortable, move onto the next room and repeat the process throughout the whole home. In seemingly no time, your pet will claim his favorite spot in the new space.

  1. Give Extra Love and Attention – As exhausted as you may be at the end of moving day, don’t forget to show your pet some extra love. Consider a reward like PEDIGREE DENTASTIX Treats to show your understanding for what your pet has gone through. As a bonus, the oral care treat will help clean your dog’s teeth, giving him a bright smile to make new friends in the neighborhood. Your pet may also need time to adjust to a new environment and may be looking for familiar day-to-day structure. Keeping a normal routine and paying close attention to your pet can help prevent unnecessary stress. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Mars Petcare

5 Ways to Prepare for a New Furry Companion

Bringing home a new furry friend can spark joy while adding new routines for the whole family. When adding a pet to a household, it’s important to take into consideration the type of companion, a pet’s life stage, size and how to select a veterinarian.

Seeking out materials to help you become a better pet parent can make the transition a bit smoother. For example, WALTHAM Brand’s Pocket Book of Responsible Pet Ownership outlines how new pet parents can care for a pet’s medical, dental, nutritional, social and behavioral needs.

When preparing for a furry companion, keep these tips in mind, and find more information at pedigree.com and sheba.com.

  • Research the pet well in advance of picking him or her up so you understand the breed’s energy levels, temperament, trainability and other traits that fit your lifestyle. After all, adding a pet should be mutually beneficial and the right fit for the family.

  • Consider adoption. More than 6.5 million animals enter U.S. shelters every year and nearly half of them get adopted. Shelters can be a source for neutered, vaccinated and trained pets in need of a home.

 

“We know there are countless animals in shelters, and we are committed to spreading awareness for shelter dogs in need of forever homes,” said Bo Segers, associate general counsel for Mars Petcare Americas and president of PEDIGREE Foundation Board of Directors. “Adoption is a great option to consider and can change not only an animal’s life, but your own.”

 

Before a shelter visit, take a look at an adoption questionnaire to get a sense of how to best prepare and create a smooth transition for a new pet.

  • Review available medical records to ensure your prospective pet is healthy and up to date on vaccinations. Request a health report from the shelter at the time of adoption to learn about any health or behavioral issues you should be aware of.

  • Consider your home environment. Think about your lifestyle routines and how they align with a pet’s well-being – specifically take into account both physical surroundings and social interactions.When bringing a pet home, gradually introduce him or her slowly to different areas then expand the accessible spaces. If possible, bringing the pet’s former bedding and toys can help him or her more quickly adapt to the new surroundings.

  • Establish regular mealtimes. Setting feeding times for furry friends can help create new routines for the whole family. Consider feeding your pet in the same location and similar times each day to minimize stress or conflict that may arise around feeding. One wet cat food to consider is SHEBA PERFECT PORTIONS, an option to help introduce your feline to meaty and seafood flavors. Because they’re appropriately sized for each meal, even the youngest family members can learn about pet responsibilities. (Family Features)

Photos courtesy of Fotolia

SOURCE:
Pedigree

Sheba

Furry Friends and a Welcoming Workplace

Pets are more than just members of the family – they also make great co-workers. As more offices work to create pet-friendly environments, a survey conducted by Mars Petcare shows that workspaces allowing furry friends are more likely to attract and retain (human) talent. Consider these four ways to make your workplace more pet-friendly and find more information at BetterCitiesForPets.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Mars Petcare

4 Tips for Peak Pet Fitness

Sunny days, aromatic flowers and warm temperatures are a few of summer’s most adored qualities. Getting outside to enjoy the sunshine isn’t something only humans love – pets often do, too.

Whether romping through a local dog park or sniffing around the neighborhood, fresh air and exercise can do wonders for your pet. Pairing exercise with a nutritious diet can keep your pet happy and healthy.

Consider these tips to keep your fur pal in tip-top shape, inside and out, and visit IAMS.com to learn more about how you can ensure your pet is receiving the tailored nutrition he or she needs.

  1. Explore the Neighborhood – Exploring the great outdoors is something dogs can enjoy, so give them the opportunity to take a walk around the neighborhood and take in the surroundings. Your daily walks help keep you and your dog active, so adding in extra steps when you can is beneficial to both of you. In fact, studies show people who exercise with their pets get more physical activity on average than non-pet owners.

  1. Provide a Healthy Diet – An easy way to encourage holistic health is to provide nutrition that’s tailored to your pet’s unique needs. For example, IAMS dog and cat food options allow pet owners to choose diets specifically created for their fur friends, based on their age, size, dietary needs and breed type, for a few of the most popular breeds. Not all pets are built the same, so it’s important to feed them according to their specific needs.

  1. Experience Nature – If you’d like to adventure farther with your pet, try bringing him or her along for a hike for more rigorous physical activity. Along with the exercise, it provides an opportunity to experience new places and meet other pets and pet parents along the trail.

  1. Make Playtime a Priority – A simple game of fetch or cat and mouse is a way for your pet to get the exercise he or she needs. Whether inside or outside, playing with your pet gets the blood pumping and helps him or her stay fit. While active playtime can be physically beneficial for your four-legged companion, the mental stimulation can also help increase his or her sharpness and overall well-being. (Family Features)

Photos courtesy of Fotolia

SOURCE:
Mars Petcare

6 Ways to Help Your Dog Maintain Calm Behavior

Summer can be a stressful time of year for dogs who experience anxious behaviors, with triggers like fireworks, thunderstorms, summer travel and more taking a toll on pets. While you may not be able to prevent your pet’s anxious behaviors entirely, there are ways you can ease your dog’s apprehension and manage the behavior it can potentially cause.

In a survey* by Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements, 62% of dog owners reported seeing regular anxious behaviors in their dogs, such as excessive barking, compulsive jumping and shaking or trembling. Yet 35% of owners surveyed believe their dogs’ personalities are among the primary causes of concerning behaviors.

“It’s important to talk to your veterinarian if your dog is displaying undesirable behaviors,” said Jason Gagne, DVM, DACVN and director of veterinary technical communication for Pro Plan Veterinary Diets. “What might be perceived as a characteristic of a particular breed or part of a dog’s personality could really be an anxious behavior that needs attention.”

Gagne suggests pet owners take these steps to help keep pets comfortable and calm.

Start preparing early

For stressful situations near your home, such as fireworks, help prepare your dog by exposing him or her to recorded firework or thunder sounds. Begin training several months in advance and gradually increase the volume while rewarding your dog for maintaining calm behavior.

Create a safe space

Prepare a special area in your home where your dog can feel safe and secure during noisy instances. If crate trained, your dog may feel most secure there with a favorite toy to stay occupied. If not crate trained, put the bed in a quiet place during fireworks or thunderstorms, close the windows and play some music to help muffle sounds.

Consider a probiotic

Pay your vet a visit to discuss your dog’s behavior and see if he or she could benefit from a probiotic that’s been shown to help dogs maintain calm behavior, like Pro Plan Veterinary Supplements Calming Care. This probiotic supplement, available through veterinarians, also helps dogs maintain positive cardiac activity during stressful events, promoting a positive emotional state. It may take up to six weeks to see results, so give yourself plenty of lead time.

Make your dog comfortable

Giving your dog a special treat or favorite toy during a potentially upsetting event might help establish a positive association with these loud noises. Calming wraps may help for some dogs, too. Like swaddling for infants, these may help your dog feel secure during stressful situations.

Make car travel a positive experience

If car rides bring out your dog’s anxious behaviors, get him or her used to the idea of car travel before summer road trips. Use a crate or dog carrier that’s large enough for your dog to lay down comfortably. Use a reward such as a favorite treat or interactive toy to get him or her excited to get in the car and crate before taking a trip.

Stay calm

Pets look to their owners for reassurance, so showing them a calm, relaxed demeanor helps them understand there is no real danger.

For more information, visit Purina.com or speak to your veterinarian.

*The survey data was collected by Relevation Research via an online survey from Aug. 15-19, 2018. Eight-hundred-twenty-six nationally representative dog owners qualified for and completed the survey. Qualified participants were men and women age 18 and older, owned one or more dogs (age 13 months or older), were household members most responsible for taking the dog(s) to a veterinarian and had taken the dog(s) to a veterinarian in the past 12 months. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Purina

4 Ways Pets Make Humans Better

While pet owners are responsible for taking care of their four-legged friends, they don’t always stop to think about how their pets take care of them in return. From their unconditional love to their ability to combat loneliness and teach empathy, pets provide physical, mental and emotional benefits that can help their owners be better people.

“We know that pets make our lives better,” said Mark Johnson, President of Mars Petcare North America. “They provide joy and companionship for people of all ages, help keep their owners active and can even contribute to a more dynamic social life. We created the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, which advocates for fewer pets in shelters and more public places where pets are welcome, so more pets and their owners can live happier, healthier lives together.”

Consider these ways pets can make their owners’ lives better, and visit BetterCitiesForPets.com to learn more about the benefits of pets and how pet owners can return the favor to their four-legged friends.

  1. Providing Companionship – Pets love unconditionally. No matter what, dogs are excited to see their owners and never try to hide their happy, wagging tails. The companionship of a pet can be especially beneficial as pet owners age. Pets can motivate their aging owners to stay mobile, help them feel needed and provide structure to their daily lives.

  1. Teaching Responsibility – Pets depend on their owners to provide food, shelter and care. Adding a dog or cat to the family can bring a sense of responsibility to its owners, especially children in the house. Every pet is special in his or her own way, so children can learn about how to be gentle with animals, respect boundaries and understand empathy and responsibility. Adopting a pet can also teach children about helping those in need and giving back.

  1. Increasing Socialization – Whether it’s on a walk or at the dog park, furry friends are almost always up for meeting new four- and two-legged friends, which can help their owners be more social as well. Pets have the ability to bring people together, and their openness and instinctive curiosity can teach pet owners to open their hearts to make lasting friendships with others. In fact, a study from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition found that kids that grow up with pets tend to have greater self-esteem, enhanced social skills and are less lonely.

  1. Enjoying the Moment – When pets chase their favorite toys, they’re usually stress-free and living in the moment. People, however, can sometimes move too quickly and forget to celebrate small joyful moments. Pets are known to help reduce stress and can serve as a reminder to stop and smell the roses (sometimes literally). (Family Features)

Photos courtesy of Fotolia

SOURCE:
Mars Petcare

5 Ways Pets Make Life Happier and Healthier

More than 84 million U.S. homes have a pet, according to the National Pet Owners Survey, and in many of those homes, pets are a big part of the family. However, there are several barriers that can prevent people from spending time with their furry friends, including outdated housing rules and limited green space in communities.

To help create a more pet-friendly world, Mars Petcare introduced the “BETTER CITY FOR PETS” certification, as an extension of its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program. The certification celebrates cities that have made progress toward becoming more pet-friendly by evaluating them across four categories: shelters, homes, parks and businesses.

“The presence of pets can help make people healthier – both physically and mentally,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “We hope to inspire more cities to take real action that leads to a better quality of life for people and pets in their communities.”

Consider these benefits of pets, along with research from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition that shows a number of ways pets make people and communities happier and healthier, and visit BetterCitiesForPets.com to learn more and to find out how to help make your city more pet-friendly.

  1. Ease Kids’ Minds – Pets are beneficial to people of all ages, but especially young children. Kids with pets tend to have less anxiety and loneliness, as well as greater self-esteem and social skills. Kids have also reported feeling more positive when completing a task if their dog is with them.

  1. Provide Stress Relief – As people get older, pets continue to be there for them. Even in the face of significant stressors – such as the loss of a loved one – pets are by their owners’ sides to help them through times of grief.

  1. Offer Therapy in Times of Need – Disasters can take many forms, and people need ways to cope and make sense of it all. That’s where the healing power of pets comes in. After tragedies, communities have brought in therapy pets to be a source of healing for people coping with hardships.

  1. Encourage Socialization for Pets and Owners – Pets help people connect. In fact, dog owners are five times more likely to know their neighbors than non-dog owners. While dogs socialize with people and other furry friends at the dog park, their owners have a chance to build relationships with other local dog owners. People also tend to feel safer in their neighborhood when walking their dog.

  1. Encourage Owners to Be Active – People who walk their dog tend to get more physical activity more days a week than those who don’t. Pet ownership can even make a difference in the survival rate for heart attacks. In a Waltham study, 94 percent of heart patients with pets survived serious heart attacks for at least a year, compared to 72 percent without pets. (Family Features)

Photos courtesy of Fotolia.

SOURCE:
Mars Petcare

Help Pets Ward Off Winter Risks

When temperatures drop, humans know to bundle up and avoid excess time outdoors. The same approach should be taken when it comes to pets. They may be covered by cozy fur coats, but not all of those coats are created equally.

“Hypothermia is a real danger for pets in the wintertime, and despite pets’ natural fur coats, it doesn’t take long for hypothermia to set in and cause serious problems,” said Jennifer Freeman, DVM, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert.

Freeman recommends keeping an eye out for the initial signs of hypothermia, such as skin that’s cold to the touch, pale skin and gums, intense shivering and lethargy. In addition, she offers these tips to help protect your pet from a blustery winter:

Outdoor access: Limit walks in extreme cold weather and monitor your pet’s behavior for signs of stress or discomfort. Never leave a pet outside during a winter storm. Do not let your dog off its leash after snowfall. Snow masks familiar scents and your pet may become lost and disoriented.

Chemical hazards: Snow-melting products like deicers, antifreeze and salt can cause skin irritations and, if ingested, can be fatal. If you live in an area where these products are used, it’s important to thoroughly rinse your pet’s paws and belly after a walk.

Adding extra layers: If your pet is small and short-haired, he or she is likely sensitive to the cold. The same goes for older pets and those that may be frail or ill. You can’t take your pet’s temperature by touching its nose, but a shivering body means he or she needs a sweater. Larger and long-haired pets can usually tolerate cold weather for longer periods of time, and even though you might bundle up, your pet has a long, thick coat prepared for long winter walks. Just remember paws get cold and sharp objects may be hiding under the powder – consider putting booties on your pet’s paws for added comfort.

Skin-saving solutions: Many pets get dry skin during the winter season. When they do need a bath, try using a pet-friendly moisturizing shampoo to help keep their skin healthy and pH-balanced.

In addition, a pet emergency preparedness kit should be packed and contain the supplies needed to help keep your pet fed, warm and secure in the event of emergency conditions such as blizzards and extreme cold weather. Items like a sweater, insulated vest, paw booties or wax, pet-safe ice melt and a heated bed or pad can all help head off risks associated with cold weather.

Emergencies can also create circumstances for pets to become separated from their families. In addition to ensuring your pet is wearing a tag with your cell phone number along with microchipping and registering him or her with current contact information, also tuck a copy of your pet’s vaccination and medical records, veterinary contact information and a current photo of your pet in your emergency kit.

Keeping your pet well-fed through an emergency also requires advanced planning. Store a one-week supply of food in a waterproof container, along with bottled water, portable bowls, a manual can opener (if your pet eats canned food) and a list of feeding routines and behavioral considerations in case someone else must take over care.

Also be sure to gather any other care items your pet may require, such as puppy pads, waste bags, litter box supplies and calming spray.

Find more advice for keeping your pet safe this winter at PetSmart.com.  (Family Features)

SOURCE:
PetSmart

5 Ways to Show Your Cats You Love Them

Cats take on so many different roles within their owners’ lives and families, such as cuddle buddies, emotional support animals, quiet companions and purring playmates. Each furry feline deserves the best, so as a cat owner, it’s important to shower your pet with love and make him feel special all year round.

Here are five ways you can show your cat just how much you care. For more information on caring for your cat, visit Sheba.com and TemptationsTreats.com.

  1. Give Them Their Own Space – They may be small, but cats need their own space to exert energy during the day. Provide them with an area to call their own to play with and store their toys. If you live in an apartment or a smaller home, vertical space works great for cats. For example, giving your furry pal a cat tree to climb on shows you understand his needs.

 

  1. Know Nutrition – It’s important to understand the ingredients you are feeding your feline and the effects they may have on his body. When in doubt, look for food and treats made with real meat to provide protein cats need, like the SHEBA® brand. Many of the premium recipes come in innovative, single-serve packaging to provide fresh feline meals every time.

  1. Incorporate Hygiene into Your Routine – Treating your cat to a nightly routine of brushing is a great way to show some love while maintaining hygiene. Keeping your cat’s coat healthy and shiny can also make him an even fluffier cuddle buddy, so you can both benefit from the bonding experience of a nightly brush and cuddle session.

  1. Make Playtime a Priority – Cats have a natural curiosity and love to get their paws on things. Make sure you’re giving your cat lots of love by knowing what kind of toys will give him the best experience, like the TEMPTATIONS™ SNACKY MOUSE™ Toy. It’s a mouse-shaped wobble toy, designed to dispense delicious treats and provide a fun, playful treating experience for both cats and owners.

  1. Stay Proactive with Health – An easy way to show love for your cat is to schedule annual visits to the vet. Don’t just wait for signs of illness; be proactive and keep your furry friend up-to-date on all shots and checkups to help ensure a happy and healthy life together. (Family Features)

Photos courtesy of Fotolia.

SOURCE:
Sheba

Temptations

Patriots and Animal Lovers Unite to Help Guardians of Rescue Save Hilal

The Guardians of Rescue are raising funds to help bring Hilal back to America

Imagine being an American soldier stationed in a part of the world where a “holy war on dogs” has been declared. In America, dogs are considered man’s best friend. But in some places in the Middle East, the complete opposite is true, creating a harsh environment for the animals. One U.S. Army Specialist stationed in the Middle East couldn’t idly stand by and watch a puppy being left for dead. Not only did he step in to save it, but he reached out to Guardians of Rescue to help relocate it back to America, where he will make the dog, he named Hilal, a part of his fur-ever family. 

“He has a heart of gold, has saved this dog, and can’t bear to leave it behind in a place where it will likely lead to its death,” explains Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue, an animal rescue organization. “Hilal deserves better than that, and so does this soldier who has served his country and is only asking in return that we help get his dog back to the states for him.”

Army Specialist Joseph Gomez found Hilal as a puppy and saved her from the despair that so many dogs in that part of the Middle East succumb to. While for security purposes he cannot share the details of how he rescued her, he can share the condition he was in. He was extremely dehydrated, starving, and in need of medical care. He rescued him, led him to good health, and has created a solid bond with him. Knowing that he would return to the U.S., he reached out to Guardians of Rescue to see if they could help with the risky mission of helping him relocate the dog back to America. 

“I saved Hilal once and now I’m hoping that through the Guardians of Rescue people can help me save him a second time,” added Gomez. “I can’t live with the idea of leaving him behind, because I know what will happen to him, and we have a strong bond. I need to take him back to Oklahoma with me.”

Guardians of Rescue are experience at helping soldiers bring their dogs back to the country. They have a team of experts who work at every step of the mission to ensure the dog makes it safely back to the country. Hilal will first be flown into New York, and then will be taken on to Gomez’ home state of Oklahoma, where the two will be reunited for good. It’s a mission that is not only risky, but is also costly, which is why the rescue group is teaming up with those in the public who support the mission and can help make it a reality.

“When we pull off a mission like this we cannot do it alone,” adds Misseri. “This is a mission that takes the support of people in the community who want to give back and help this soldier and his dog. Even small donations help, because they all add up quickly.”

This is a time-sensitive mission, so the rescue group will need to act quickly. All donations are welcome and appreciated, with no amount being too small. True patriots and animal lovers who want to help can log online and make a donation: https://guardiansofrescue.networkforgood.com/projects/57164-bringing-hilal-home.

Guardians of Rescue provides assistance to animals out on the streets. They are located in Long Island, New York, and have chapters in Louisiana and Miami but they help animals in many places beyond where their chapters are located on a national/international level. They are also instrumental in helping military members with their pets. To learn more, get involved, or to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue, log onto www.guardiansofrescue.org.

About Guardians of Rescue

Based in New York, Guardians of Rescue is an organization whose mission is to protect the well-being of all animals. They provide aid to animals in distress, including rehabilitation, assisting other rescue groups, and providing support to families, both military and not, who need assistance due to economic factors. To learn more about Guardians of Rescue, visit the site at www.guardiansofrescue.org.