DIY Pet Holiday Gifts & Charitable Gifts for Pet-Lovers

Pet Holiday Gift Ideas from the ASPCA are Fun, Festive & Functional!

Enter to Win a Holiday Gift Pack Chock Full of Goodies!

So all of us are uber-busy celebrating and/or preparing for this most festive of seasons, right? The turkey and the trimmings, the brisket and potato latkes…Well, as your fur-baby’s forum hostess, (OK so I’m not a baby, nor do I have fur, but I do own this blog! MOL/BOL), I feel it’s my duty to give you more details on pet lovers’ gifts and gifts for pets this joyous holiday season. The fine folks at one of my favorite animal welfare organizations, ASPCA, put together a helpful gift guide here for those with and without paws because, well, the ASPCA is cool like that! (If you’re down for more pet gifts, check out my ThoughtsFurPaws 2014 Pet Holiday Gift Guide.)


For DIY enthusiasts or those trying to cut back on holiday shopping costs, I suggest these fun Do-It-Yourself pet toys and treats:

  • For dogs, braid together two strips of an old t-shirt for a fun chew toy. Directions and photo here.
  • For cats, use a t-shirt and a few easy to find household items to create a cozy cat tent. Directions and photo here.
  • Since cats love tuna, this quick and easy treat will keep them occupied during your special holiday dinner… Photo with directions here.
  • For tasty a reward, make pumpkin pie cookies (perfect for both cats and dogs) with this simple recipe. Photo with directions here.

If you’re looking for something a bit different, how about considering one of the awesome gifts from the ASPCA’s Online Store? After all, they are gifts that give back…They have delights including:

There are also choices you can make this holiday season to help those less fortunate furballs… The purchase of one or more of the following gifts is considered charitable in that it too can make a significant difference for an animal in need:

So perhaps the best news is this: one lucky person will win an awesome ASPCA holiday gift pack for themselves (or to give to another) on The gift pack includes an ASPCA mug, tote and blanket, plus more items like dog and cat toys, cookies (human) and Swiffer cleaning products!

ASPCA 2014 Holiday Gift PackHere are the rules and details you’ll need to know to enter to win:

  1. Tweet this blog post OR anything about the contest using hashtag #ASPCAT4PHolidays
  2. Enter up to two photos of your dog or cat in a holiday scene by emailing them to me or Tweeting them to me using the above hashtag.
  3. Pets DO NOT have to be dressed up, but we want the photo to have a seasonal tone (wintry, holiday, etc.)
  4. Please use a cute caption with your photo, and/or tell us why you love the ASPCA.
  5. Again, entries are accepted beginning now, via Twitter or via email to
  6. The last day to get your entries in is Saturday, December 27 at noon EST.
  7. One winner will be announced that same day in the late afternoon; he/she will be contacted separately via email or Twitter by the Administrator.
  8. Two original photo entries per person only please.
  9. If emailing, please put this in the subject line: “ASPCA Holiday Pet Photo Contest

*Contest being sponsored by the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), in conjunction with this blog, All opinions herein are those of the Administrator, JL Smith. This post was written in conjunction with the ASPCA and our Administrator. never publishes dishonest, distorted or distended reviews, nor does it perpetuate the circulation of misinformation.

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Win a Trip to the Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge®; Enter Online for More Prizes!

Do you long to experience the California Coastline? Are you craving a bit of beachy-keen excitement? Are you eagerly anticipating the, um, agility course and doggie-diving platform, like me??

Wait, what???

Yeah, that’s right, I said doggie-diving…

Pro Plan FoodPurina® is hosting the Western Regionals for its famous Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge® in Orange County, CA’s dazzling surfing mecca, Huntington Beach, next year. It’s my official bloggerly duty to tell you how YOU could win tickets to it (a 3-day stay!) and to give you the deets on the other paw-some prizes and how to get ‘em!

The Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge® Sweepstakes is a premier event that showcases absolutely uncanny canine talent from all over the US. You’ll be able to see amazing dogs competing in agility, disc, racing and more! The nationwide event is an Olympic-style showcase that will blow your hair back! I actually got to see some of the action at Purina Farms once and I can assure you it’s exciting and like nothing you’ve seen before. (Seeing those Jack Russells race across the field is priceless!) Competitions include head-to-head weave pole racing, large and small dog agility courses, fetching and more. In the doggie diving competition, a crowd favorite event, dogs take a running leap off a 40-foot dock into a 19,000-gallon swimming pool!

The Western Regionals will be held in the spring of 2015 in southern California. One lucky Sweepstakes winner will get two roundtrip airline tickets, a 3-day/2-night hotel stay in hot and hoppin’ Huntington Beach, ground transportation and spending money, PLUS a $500 PetSmart gift card! WHOA!

So how do you enter? Well go ahead and visit the Purina® Pro Plan® Incredible Dog Challenge® Sweepstakes page and enter away! The contest is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, D.C. who own a dog. Internet access and a valid email address are required to participate. The Sweepstakes runs through noon EST on December 30.

If you’d prefer to do something a bit lower key, then you can take part in the social media contest I’m having, too/instead! Simply head to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook and useIncredible Dog Challenge the hashtags #GreatDog2014 and #ThoughtsFurPaws; then explain how the photo exemplifies your dog being a great dog. If you’re entering on Facebook, you do not have to use the #T4P hashtag: you may post directly to the page to enter here.

Three winners will be awarded a bag of Purina® Pro Plan® valued at $17.99. This contest, presented by Purina® and hosted on, starts TODAY – NOW!

You may enter through December 30, 2014 at noon EST; three winners will be announced later that evening. Don’t forget to show me some grrrr-eat dogs in your photo entry – and use #GreatDog2014 and #T4P.

About Purina® Pro Plan®

Bring out the best in your dog! Formulated by experts. Trusted by pros. From dry dog food to wet entrees to nutritional supplement bars, Purina® Pro Plan® products are formulated to help you bring out the full potential of your dog. For more information, visit, or find the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

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Your Happy, Yappy 2014 Holiday Pet Gift Guide

Deck Their “Jawls” and Paws with Dog Toys, Cat Treats & Other Jolly Pet Supplies

Of all things holiday on your mind, particularly shopping (but let’s not leave out wrapping, cooking, baking, etc.), sometimes the last “person” to get crossed off that famous holiday gift list is the family pet (or pets). (This is definitely not the case in my house BTW. The pets each get their own sizable box!). Some people choose to spoil their animals during the holiday season, some don’t celebrate, and some do but just don’t overdo it like we do here in the Smith household…  (@#$#! B/MOL) 

So no matter what type of holiday pet shopper and gifter you are, I’ve compiled a pretty darn sweet list of dog Christmas gifts, holiday cat gifts, and holiday-themed pet-lover gifts just for you to make it easier for you to be choosy and safe. From PetSafe® to Kyjen®, I present a thorough and well-rounded pet holiday gift guide for you! Feel free to leave me any feedback in the comments if you wish!

 ThoughtsFurPaws Pet Holiday Gift Guide

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Why You Need To Insure Your Pets

Posted on November 19th, 2014 in Cats, Dogs, Pet Insurance

We are a nation of animal lovers. Nationwide, there are millions of domestic animals kept as pets. From dogs, cats, fish and rabbits right through to more exotic pets like snakes and pot-bellied pigs, it is extremely easy to become emotionally attached to your animals. Most of us take pets in as if they were a part of the family, and people enjoy the experience of living with and caring for their animals. In many cases, it is the human characteristics and personality traits in a pet that make them so endearing, and people of all ages can find an immediate bond with the pets they choose.

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Image source:

Like humans, pets can from time to time fall ill. This can be a difficult time for pet owners to endure, mainly because of the emotional bonds that have been formed. Pets tend to have shorter lifespans than their owners, so in many respects this is an inevitable part of pet ownership – as with ultimately saying goodbye. This can be traumatic, especially for children, or for those who have spent many years in the company of one particular animal. What is often worse is the fact that veterinary bills can run into the hundreds, even thousands of dollars, for treatment that may be essential to the survival of your pet.

The answer to this is to insure your pets. Every responsible pet owner owes it not just to themselves, but also to their animal, to find pet insurance that covers them in the event of illness and shocking vet bills. No animal should ever have to suffer as a result of the financial incapacity of its owner, yet many do because of a lack of adequate pet insurance cover. Considering the low cost nature of this type of insurance, it is an absolutely essential purchase.

Veterinary bills are often considered to be expensive. In reality, this is a reflection of the degree of specialization and training that has gone in to providing the diagnosis, in a similar way to a medical doctor. In most cases, vets have studied for longer than doctors to reach qualification, which makes sense given the sheer diversity of animals and their inability to communicate specifics about their problems. Vets need to be able to diagnose across species and without these benefits, making it essential to have an in-depth knowledge of the science and anatomy involved. The cost of veterinary drugs is also expensive, again as a result of the degrees of specialization involved. This isn’t helpful for pet owners who need the treatment, but is an essential part of commissioning vet services.

Insurance allows you to effectively spread the costs of any treatment, and if your pet does fall serious ill, or develops a more significant condition, you will save even more money. Insurance effectively

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Image source:

enables you to define your total costs for vet cover, which is often paid up on a monthly basis. This means that you can predict what your outgoings are going to be, rather than taking the chance that your animal won’t fall seriously ill during its lifetime. For the low cost of pet insurance, this really is common sense.

One of the worst situations to find yourself in as a pet lover is seeing your animal suffering, and not having the financial means to pay for it. This can be as raw as it would be with any family member. Nothing could be more distressing. Insurance removes this problem altogether, because you know that if your animal does need treatment, the money is there to provide it. Similarly, you don’t want to ever have to hesitate before phoning the vet. If veterinary care is needed, it is needed – regardless of the costs. Unfortunately, too many uninsured pet owners find themselves in this extremely unfortunate predicament.

Insuring your pets doesn’t have to be expensive, but it could save you a massive amount of money on the cost of vet bills later on. Most animals will require some form of vet treatment at some stage in their life. Not all of this will be covered by your insurance policy, but the most expensive operations, procedures and illnesses should be covered with the right degree of protection. You still need to choose your insurance provider wisely, as with the degree of cover you need for your pets. But by ensuring you have cover in place, you can sleep easy in the knowledge that you – and your pet – will be safe.

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Big Heart Pet Brands Offers Big Fall Fun for Pets This Holiday Season

DIY Pet Projects, Seasonal, Creative Dog Craft Ideas & Videos Help Your Dog Give Thanks


∗Disclosure∗: Post sponsored by lunchbox™, but all opinions herein are those of the Author and Administrator of this blog, JL Smith. never publishes dishonest, distorted or distended reviews, nor does it perpetuate the circulation of misinformation.

I don’t know abou#TreatThePups Dog Treat Gift Ideast you all, but in our fur-baby-run-household, Frankie Fancy-Face is getting on board for his second Thanksgiving (he was only 3 months old his first). And thanks to the kind folks at Walmart, who provide us dog devotees with safe and reliable pet products from Big Heart Pet Brands for #TreatThePups like Milk-Bone™ and more in their stores as well as online, this holiday season will be super furry and fun!

How so?

And what is #TreatThePups?

Dog Treat Gift Ideas

First things first. The first answer will have pet- and craft-lovers everywhere rejoicing – I have some seriously exciting dog craft ideas for Fido, thanks to Big Heart Pet Brands (which, BTW, entirely includes Milk-Bone™, Pup-Peroni® and Milo’s Kitchen®). This tempting and tantalizing trio of treats is ideal for any gifting you might be thinking of doing around this time period of first snows, giving thanks, and enjoying turkey-time and togetherness. BOL! A perfect dog treat basket may be the “Cornucopia of Treats” or the “Thanksgiving Treat Jar” as seen on the Walmart #TreatThePups webpage, or it could include what Frankie and I put together in his basket for Taco, his teeny-tiny doggie best friend who lives across the street. (Sometimes they stare out the windows through the blinds at each other longingly – it’s quite comical!) The homemade dog gift included Frankie’s faves…

Homemade Dog Treat gift

Tie a ribbon around a mason jar of treats with some other special enhancements! Voila!

Taco weighs about 8 pounds soaking wet so we got him itty-bitty things where we could, including the mouth-watering Milk-Bone Mini’s Flavor Snacks®. We also threw in some other must-haves: Milk-Bone Brushing Chews® Daily Dental Treats (these things are imperative for clean canine chompers), Original Beef Flavor Pup-Peroni® ($.50 an ounce = AWESOME!) and finally some Milo’s Kitchen® Chicken Grillers Dog Treats (yummo says Husky boss Frankie Four Paws…). We then took a few of each out of the box and put them into separate jars, then tied different color fall ribbons around the different jars of treats. Now Taco has four treat jars! (Okay, he got two and we gave two to other friends!)

Anyhow, with the amazing and mouth-watering variety of affordable treats available from Big Heart Pet Brands, you can make any dog’s day more worthwhile this Thanksgiving (he may need motivation from all the nap-inducing tryptophan in the turkey, BOL!). Plus, all the pet gift items are quite affordable! So who knows? Crafting tasty treats for special furry friends could turn into a new Thanksgiving/fall holiday tradition for you and your dog! Kinda like making Christmas cookies!

What’s the Deal with #TreatThePups?

Frankie Four-Paws, aka Frankie Fancy-Face or Fancy-Face Frank gives four-paws up to Big Heart Pet Brands and Mishka's video!

Frankie Four-Paws, aka Frankie Fancy-Face or Fancy-Face Frank gives four-paws up to Big Heart Pet Brands and Mishka’s video!

#TreatThePups is like the newest pet related hash tag that you need to pay attention to!  Created to nurture the bond between pets and people, the #TreatThePups page on Walmart offers so much for pets and their peeps. You can find the coolest crafts and all kinds of other ideas and fun content to help you include your pet in festivities this fall. Check it out for seasonal, DIY pet project ideas that are and totally reasonable in both effort and expense. (And, of course, rewarding in love and QT.)

On the #TreatThePups page, you can also watch funny videos (I mean, the Husky, c’mon… how cute can you be?) and read about tips and tricks for pet safety around the totally turkey-mongering holiday coming up (aka Thanksgiving). Personally, I found two articles to be helpful: one on pet manners when company is over and one about why dogs and decorations don’t mix.

P.S. for the hoomans, and a secret pee-mail to our canine companions: Frankie Fancy-Face advises that you absolutely watch the funny Husky video on the #TreatThePups page; it’s super cute and will give you a good chuckle. It’s called “Mishka’s Thanksgiving Day.” And he’s not biased. At all…

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