As part of the BISSELL Pack of Pet Lovers, these posts will cover pet products, stories, and some fun stuff too!

Archive for the ‘BISSELL Pack of Pet Lovers’ Category

More Dog Photo Entries for the Doggie Easter Contest!

Posted on March 28th, 2013

Here are the second round of entries for the Easter Frosty Paws Contest.

What Easter contest, you say?

The one being hosted by Frosty Paws and ThoughtsFurPaws.com. You could win (the coolest pet treats around) Frosty Paws loot courtesy Purina (think stuffed animals and ice cream for dogs!), and PetSmart prizes (treats, toys, etc.) courtesy ThoughtsFurPaws.com!!!!

Please send up to three photos (AT ONE TIME) to thoughtsfurpaws@gmail.com with “Easter Contest” in the Subject Line. Pictures will be posted for viewing only; Administrators will make the final call on winners for this contest.

You are welcome to leave your votes in the comments; READER VOTES WILL BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION.

You have until the day before Easter at 6 pm to enter photos.

Winners, due to a delay in posting photos, will be announced WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3.

And without further delay, here are more cute Easter pup photos:

Akira and Ceasar

Akira and Ceasar

 

Akira

Akira

 

Athena

Athena

 

Boss

Boss

 

Karma

Karma

 

Louis

Louis

 

Louis II

Louis II

 

Max

Max

 

Molly

Molly

 

Molly II

Molly II

 

Molly III

Molly III

 

 

Romeo

Romeo

 

Romeo II

Romeo II

 

Taji and Boudreaux. Bunny Boys...!

Taji and Boudreaux. Bunny Boys…!

 

Tug

Tug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Effects Animals Have on Kids….

Posted on March 24th, 2013

For a kid, there can be a big difference between coming home to an empty house after school and coming home to a four-legged friend every day.

While the role of pets in the home has not always drawn support from doctors and clinicians, studies in recent decades have done much to support the positive aspects of having pets in the home. There are a variety of benefits to owning pets with children in the family, from social development to better physical fitness.

You’ve got a Friend in Me

There’s a reason dogs are called “man’s best friend:” they love unconditionally and are naturally great listeners. These qualities lead to perhaps the most important benefits pets can have in the home, which are lessons in social development and interaction.

For quiet or shy children, these characteristics in pets (even animals other than dogs) can help bring out feelings or thoughts that the kids may not have communicated to adults.

Animals can be easier for children to establish relationships with than other people because of their calming influence and the lack of pressure in communicating with pets.

Basic communication—both verbal and nonverbal—has been shown to improve with pets present, as has empathy.

The general theory is that pets give children an easy-going friend that will always be dependable for an open ear. Young children who have not had much contact with people outside of the family, which may only be parents and a few other relatives, can improve their social skills by spending time with another living thing that they care about.

For autistic children or children in particularly difficult situations—such as coping with divorcing parents or a medical condition—pets can be especially helpful. Hospitals, courtrooms, and specialty clinics have begun to use pets to help children feel more comfortable and communicate better. Of course, these benefits are not limited to the hospital ward: Families can help children deal with difficult times by bringing a pet into the home and giving the child a constant friend.

Extra Benefits

In the past, pets were viewed as detrimental to young children’s health. Some doctors asserted than having pets around young children led to a higher likelihood of infection or future health problems.

On the contrary, recent studies have shown that having pets around newborn babies and toddlers can help increase the children’s resistance to allergies later in life.

Owning dogs can also help encourage children to do more physical activity. Instead of viewing it as a responsibility, many children see walking their dog as a chance to have fun and explore with their pet.

Dog ownership has been shown to decrease rates of obesity in adults, and it can also help children who may not be getting enough exercise otherwise.

Pets can be especially fun and beneficial for kids, but studies have shown that those benefits can spread to the whole family. Because pets are typically such calm, stress-free members of the family, they can improve family dynamics and make families feel closer and more relaxed with each other.

Despite the high rate of dogs reportedly eating homework, pets have actually been shown to improve children’s performance in class. Children coming from households with pets tend to miss fewer days of school, and they generally feel more confident about their schoolwork. Studies on the numerical improvement of students’ work due to pet ownership have are forthcoming, but the benefits that pet-owning children feel may be due to the effect pets have on the development of social behavior.

While dogs are the most popular pets in the US, a variety of animals can be helpful at home.

 

 

Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.

 

Easter Contest – Dog Photo Entries

Posted on March 23rd, 2013

Here are the first entries for the Easter Frosty Paws Contest. What Easter contest, you say?

The one being hosted by Frosty Paws and ThoughtsFurPaws.com. You could win (the coolest pet treats around) Frosty Paws loot courtesy Purina (think stuffed animals and ice cream for dogs!), and PetSmart prizes (treats, toys, etc.) courtesy ThoughtsFurPaws.com!!!!

Please send up to three photos (AT ONE TIME) to thoughtsfurpaws@gmail.com with “Easter Contest” in the Subject Line. Pictures will be posted for viewing only; Administrators will make the final call on winners for this contest. You are welcome to leave your votes in the comments; READER VOTES WILL BE TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION. You have until the day before Easter at 6 pm to enter photos.

And without further delay, here are Bailey, Benson and Jester:

Bailey and His "Peeps!"

Bailey and His “Peeps!”

Bailey is "Eggcited" about Easter!

Bailey is “Eggcited” about Easter!

Benson Likes to "Hug" Jester...!

Benson Likes to “Hug” Jester…!

 

Jester and Benson, from left to right, in their ducky hats!

Jester and Benson, from left to right, in their ducky hats!

 

Benson in his ducky outfit!

Benson in his ducky outfit!

 

Re-homing Your Pet; How to Give Up a Pet for Adoption

Posted on March 16th, 2013

When you make the decision to adopt a pet, hopefully you don’t make it lightly and do the very best you can to give your new companion a forever home.  Adopting a dog and then turning around in a few years and dumping him off at the pound because you no longer want to spend the time it takes to take care of him is just plain cruel and only contributes to the problems of pet overpopulation and overcrowding in shelters.

When you make the decision to adopt an animal, you are committing to taking care of them for the rest of their life.

Unfortunately, life is unpredictable and you very well may find yourself in a situation where you absolutely cannot continue caring for your pet. If you happen to find yourself in such a situation, simply giving up your dog to the pound is not a decision you should take lightly.

Rethink Re-homing

Many people give up their dogs because they feel that they don’t have the energy to deal with behavioral problems. Unless age or other physical or mental ailments are preventing you from taking care of them, you have some options. There are a lot of things you can do to change the unwanted behavior. Consult with a reputable trainer or consider going through obedience training with your dog. Training is just as much about training the owner as it is about training the dog so take some time to work together to achieve the results you are after.

Consider what is truly in the best interest of your dog. If you are considering rehoming your dog because you are in a situation that forces you to move into a small apartment, ask yourself if living in an apartment with you is worse than going to the shelter and risking not ever being adopted back out. The answer is likely to be no. You can always take your pup on long walks outside so he gets the exercise he needs.

Find a New Forever-Home

If circumstances absolutely won’t let you continue caring for your dog, try to adopt him out to your own contacts first. It’s likely that some of your family and friends have a connection with your dog already and you will know that he is going to a good home.  Petfinder.com is another avenue you can take to find him a new home while you are talking to friends and family.

Don’t just give him up to the first person who wants to take him. Make sure he is going to a good home first. Screen potential adopters and don’t be afraid to ask them questions. You may even want to ask for references and visit their home to make sure you are giving your dog up to a good home. Most potential adopters will understand and if they don’t, there is probably something going on that wouldn’t make them the best match for your dog.

You may not find your dog the perfect forever-home right away but don’t get discouraged and give up! Finding a new home for your pet will take a considerable amount of time and effort but finding the best home for your dog is worth it.

Shelter as a Last Resort

You should only take your pet to a shelter as a last resort. Remember that the number of animals that need homes far outweighs the number of people looking to adopt so when you take your pet to a shelter you run the risk of him never being adopted out.

Most shelters are running at full capacity and often have to euthanize other animals to make room for the incoming ones. Before you choose a shelter do your homework. Does the shelter use euthanasia as a form of animal control or do they classify themselves as a “no-kill” shelter? How do they classify adoptable pets versus non-adoptable pets? Even if your pet seems perfectly adoptable to you, a shelter might deem them as non-adoptable because of something as simple as a cold or tooth decay. These are all things you should consider before signing over ownership of your pet.

If you do take your dog to the pet shelter, don’t lie about why you’re there. Saying that you are giving him up because he isn’t good with kids or cats when that isn’t true will only make the adoption process more difficult.  The more information the shelter has, the more likely they will be able to adopt out your dog.

Author Bio:

Ron Rutherford is a writer with a passion for nature and a soft spot for Thai food.  He currently freelances for havahartwireless.com, which specializes in dog doors. In his spare time he enjoys taking his dogs Sam and Bosco to the local dog park. His dogs often tire of fetch before he does.

Paws Off! Preventing Pet Poisoning!

Posted on March 4th, 2013

No matter how protective a pet parent you are, chances are there are still some things in your home that can be toxic to pets. Veterinary practices see thousands of cases each year of pets accidentally poisoned by everyday household items. With Pet Poison Awareness Month right around the corner, it’s smart to arm yourself with some information that could potentially save your pet’s life.pet poison

When you think about “accidental toxin ingestion,” fruit is probably not the first thing that springs to mind, but something as simple as a handful of grapes can sour a situation in a matter of seconds. Small breeds, like the Chihuahua or Maltese, show signs of distress pretty soon after ingestion, but even larger animals are at risk – dogs can go into acute renal failure within 48 hours after eating grapes (or raisins!).

Wondering what other everyday household items that can spell trouble for our furry friends? Here’s a list of some of the most common culprits:

Prescription or Over-the-Counter Medication

Human medicines, whether prescription-strength or not, are dangerous in the wrong paws. In fact, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin and ibuprofen, can present big problems for pets. I’ve seen dogs sickened from snacking on a bottle of aspirin, but I’ve also seen patients come in because their pet parents administered the drug thinking it would work for their dog the way it does for them. While there are some medications that work for both species, always, always check with your vet before giving your pet any type of human medicine. In the meantime, keep pill bottles behind closed cabinet doors.

Table Food/Drink

Kitchen staples like chocolate, onions, alcohol, coffee grounds and sugar substitutes (or foods containing sugar substitutes) are all a recipe for catastrophe. I see dogs come into the clinic who have eaten an entire pack of sugar-free gum from an unattended purse. Trust me; the minty-fresh breath is NOT worth the trip to the vet. Keep all food and drink meant for human consumption under lock and key – especially fatty foods. Even a single incident of eating high fat food can trigger pet pancreatitis, a potentially fatal disease from fatty foods that causes inflammation of the pancreas and requires prompt medical attention.

Cigarettes

Nicotine poisoning is also a danger to our pets. If you are a smoker, you pet’s health may already be compromised by secondhand smoke, but if he gets his paws on a pack of cigarettes and eats them, he can really get burned. The toxic level of nicotine in dogs is 5 milligrams of nicotine per pound of body weight. Just one cigarette contains 15 to 25 milligrams of nicotine – if your pet tears into half a pack, the overdose can be deadly.

House Plants

Every spring veterinarians see an increase in pets poisoned by lilies, and during the holiday season poinsettias pop up on our radar. Azaleas, tulips and autumn crocus are other threats, and in in regions that have sandy soils in tropical climates (Florida, California, and Texas, I’m looking at you!), sago palms are both common and extremely toxic if ingested. It’s worth a mention for our friends in Colorado and Washington (and maybe a few other states) that marijuana is toxic to pets, too. Keep all leafy greens planted firmly out of reach.

Zinc

If you have a baby in the house, watch out for diaper rash creams containing zinc. Also be sure to keep coins, screws, bolts and other galvanized metals out of reach, too, as they all contain dangerous levels of the element. Pennies are particularly toxic, so be sure your rainy day savings is safely stowed away.

These are some everyday items to look out for, but there’s plenty more around the house and garden that can make a pet sick. For a more complete list, check out a resource like Pet Poison Helpline for more information. Once a pet has snacked on something unsavory, time is of the essence. Get him to the vet immediately for the best chance of saving him from danger.

Dr. Jules Benson, BVSC, MRCVS, is a graduate of the University of Liverpool Vet School. Since arriving in the U.S. eight years ago, Dr. Benson has worked in a small animal practice near Philadelphia and is currently on the Board of Trustees for the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association and the Board of Directors for Second Chance Rescue. Now serving as the VP of Veterinary Services at Petplan pet insurance, Dr. Benson continues to practice veterinary medicine part time — both in the practice where he once spent all of his days, and at home, where he is both dad and vet to four cats, two rats, one rabbit and a gecko. He contributes regularly to Petplan’s Vets for Pets blog.