Archive for the ‘Pet Care’ Category

#BetterWithPets Summit Better than the Rest

Posted on December 31st, 2015

Exploring the best ideas for bringing people and pets closer together, the Purina-sponsored #BetterWithPets Summit that I attended earlier this fall/winter was purr-fectly paw-some. Purina really outdid itself in order to bring together the brightest minds in pet science, social media, pet culture and more to show how big, innovative ideas are improving the emotional wellness of pets and the people, ME AND YOU (!), who love them so dearly.

Better With Pets SummitA summit about how people and pets are better together, it was opened by a keynote from Purina’s own Dr. Arleigh Reynolds, whom I deeply respect and admire, that had me laughing, then crying, then laughing again. The keynote was followed by absolutely brilliant presentations from studied feline behaviorists, a session about how stress affects our pets, and another about raising pets and kids. Amazing content? YES! Amazing learning? YES! Paw-some panelists who were super-smart and super-entertaining? Check!

After that and a luncheon, the room opened up to a virtual playground for humans. Purina transformed the space into six immersive gallery experiences where humans could test their dog and cat senses in life-size exhibits. IT WAS AWESOME! Purina experts were available to provide insight; exhibits featured themes like Cognition, Nutrition, Healthy Environments, Reading Your Pet and more.Better with Pets 2015

Of all the pet conferences and social media conferences and learning conferences I have been to in my pet writing career (which is pry about 8-10), I must say Purina’s Better With Pets Summit is one of my top two favorites. Why? Because they think of things to discuss that no one else does, but that are pertinent, interesting, and deserving of conversation and some tête-à-tête a la pet bloggers, animal scientists, behaviorists, nutritionists, therapists, researchers and other animal devotees.

Stay tuned for a second post on my favorite parts of the Better With Pets Summit. And in the meantime, follow Purina for BWP updates and more on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And don’t forget to use #BetterWithPets on social media to show your support and voice your opinion that our pets truly enhance our lives!

*All opinions herein are of the Administrator, JL Smith. This post was written in conjunction with Nestle Purina Pet Care, and the Administrator received compensation. never publishes dishonest, distorted or distended reviews, nor does it perpetuate the spread of misinformation. Please email the Administrator with questions or concerns.

Why Our Dog Loves the Veterinarian (and How Yours Can Too!)

Posted on December 11th, 2015

The veterinarian is to dogs what the dentist is to kids, right? Scary, uncomfortable and painful. Well, it doesn’t have to be! Our dog loves the veterinarian because we follow these simple steps:

Play Doctor

While it may seem silly, the best way to set your dog up for a happy visit to the veterinarian is to practice! If you’ve got a scale at home, practice leading her onto it and having her stand still. Reward her with a treat! Lift her up onto a table (if you can) and get her to stand still. Reward her with a treat! You see where this is going. Lift up her tail, manipulate her legs, examine her paws, praising gently and rewarding calm behavior, establishing the whole process as totally normal and harmless. Not only did this help our dog relax at the veterinarian, but it helps us when we need to examine our dog for real, clean a wound or pick out a thorn from his paw.Dogs and the Veterinarian

Chill out and stay positive.

Dogs are professionals at picking up on your energy. Knowing that your dog doesn’t like the veterinarian means you are anticipating her anxiety and even perpetuating it. We maintain a completely calm demeanor when we are leaving the house and driving to the office. Act as you would if you were taking your dog to the dog park—think we’re going to have a good time today! If your dog is very anxious and you are unable to overcome your own anxiety, it is best that you refrain from handling your dog during the examination. Let the veterinarian and technicians restrain your dog, as they are trained to be calm and effective.

Bring treats and a security blanket.

Veterinarian offices often have treats, but have you ever noticed that your dog doesn’t like them? My dog loves everything, but would turn up his nose at a treat offered by the vet because he was nervous and the smell was unfamiliar. Bring your dog’s favorite treats and a favorite toy. Comforts of home go a long way in calming your dog down. While you’re waiting, in the lobby and in the examination room, play with and praise your dog in order to lighten the mood. Give the office staff and care providers treats to offer your dog, particularly during scary situations, like when he steps on that wobbly scale or is lifted up onto the too-high exam table.

That’s how we got our dog to relax during veterinary visits, and because we committed to these simple techniques, now he loves it! One of the most important pieces is having a local veterinarian you and your dog both trust, one who is committed to helping your dog relax.

Happy Holidays 2015 Doggie Gift Guide – the Ultimate Dog Holiday Guide (for Their Persons, too!)

Posted on December 9th, 2015

Hi all!

Holiday Dog Gift Guide

Studious Howard helping me write reviews…! BOL!

It’s that time of year…The time where we spend countless hard-earned dollars on our furry friends at home for the holidays – oh yeah – and their persons, too!

Considering that in 2014, $58.04 billion was spent on pets in the U.S., I thought you guys could use a heads-up as to some of the newer, more original dog products and supplies out there this giving season. So we studied very hard (you’ll notice Howard’s studious face in the pic above!) to compile you a handy gift guide with some of our favorite dog products from the past few months. 

From yummy dog treats to grooming necessities and cleaning products that actually work, here’s the best of the best in pet dog products for the holidays this year.

Here’s a handy T4P 2015 Doggie Holiday Gift Guide PDF so I can avoid taking three hours to post graphics and copy here and you can avoid having to maneuver my annoying wide sidebars! XO! Happy Holidays to you and yours! 

Cat Myths Called Out: Truths to 12 Common Cat Myths

Posted on November 14th, 2015

Cats are fascinating creatures, believed to have been domesticated since Ancient Egypt, when they were regarded as Gods, and they have been kept as pets ever since. Many myths about cats have been perpetuated since then and some are just as common today as they have ever been! Have you ever heard these cat myths?

  1. Myth – Cats have 9 lives

Truth – An old wives tale that has stood the test of time but is unfortunately untrue. Whilst we would love our kitties to be able to have a get out of jail free card (or 8!) in life, a cat only has one life.

  1. Myth – Cats always land on their feet

Truth – Cats are a tree climbing species and as such have extraordinary balance and a great ability to survive falls. Cats are therefore very good at landing on their feet when falling; however, it is by no means a sure thing! Cats can land awkwardly and sustain injuries from falls.

  1. Myth – Pregnant women should stay away from cats

Truth – It has been said that toxoplasmosis can be caught from our feline friends; however, whilst the infection is a danger for foetuses, it is very unlikely to be caught from petting a cat. The parasite can be found in the excrement of an infected cat however and so it is advised to clean the litter box daily and with gloves to avoid contact.

Cat Myth Truths

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  1. Myth – My cat is eating grass – they must be ill!

Truth – It has been suggested that cats may eat grass in order to regurgitate inedible food that cannot be digested. Although the reasons why cats munch on grass are not entirely clear, it is not something to be worried about. However if your cats grass eating becomes excessive, it is time for a visit to the vets.

  1. Myth – Cats only purr when they are happy

Truth – Everyone loves to hear a purring cat, as it is often a sign of happiness and contentment. However, this is not the only reason cats purr: purring can also be heard when a cat is giving birth or when in pain or distress. Purring is the emotional response of a cat and may well be a mechanism for rest or repair as well – just as a purr can be therapeutic for us to hear, so it can be for the cat.

  1. Myth – My cat is healthier on a vegetarian diet

Truth – Cats are obligate carnivores that require at least 20% of their diet to be protein. In addition, the ability of the gastrointestinal tract to digest and use plant-derived nutrients is severely diminished in cats. Felines also require increased levels of certain amino acids, which cannot be provided by a vegetarian diet.

  1. Myth – All cats hate water

Truth – Many cats do seem to be averse to getting wet during a bath or rainstorm, however this is not true for all cat breeds. In fact, the Turkish Van cat delights in getting wet! Although a lot of cats do not like being fully immersed in water, many find water fascinating and will play with a bowl of water or a tap.

  1. Cat Myths Demystified

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    Myth – Cats expose their belly because they want it rubbed

Truth – It is a familiar situation – you are petting your cat and getting on great when he rolls on his back asking for a belly rub. You proceed and get thanked by being bitten and clawed – why is this? For cats, exposing their belly is a sign of trust and although it seems like they want their belly to be rubbed, this is not necessarily the case. Being stroked on the belly may trigger a defence mechanism to protect their vital organs.

  1. Myth – Cats steal the breath of babies

Truth – Cats do not steal the breath of babies, however, it is well known that cats love warm places, the body heat of a baby may seem perfect to a cat which could accidentally suffocate a baby, who does not have the ability to move their head. Due to this, it is a good idea to keep cats away from babies when unaccompanied at naptimes.

  1. Myth – Cats can only see in black and white

Truth – Cats are actually capable of seeing colours and are capable of distinguishing between several different colours. However, the colour discrimination of cats is not as great as in humans and cats can struggle to distinguish between colours of longer wavelengths (i.e. reds).

  1. Myth – Cats are nocturnal

Truth – Cats are in fact crepuscular, which means that they are most active during periods of dawn and dusk. The eyes of cats allows them to see in a lot lower light levels than humans, which is perfect for hunting during these periods.

  1. Myth – Cats are unfriendly

Truth – Cats have gathered an unfair reputation due to their constant comparison with dogs -as more independent creatures, cats come off looking cold and unloving; however this is simply not the case. Cats can be extremely loving and loyal companions, hence why they have been such popular pets for such a long time!

This article was provided by helpucover. helpucover is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc, an insurance company that offers a range of coverages including Pet Insurance & more. Visit them online at

YOU Can Help Give Back to Pets and Their Vets (Veterans that is…)!

Posted on November 14th, 2015

Online Trivia Questions Trigger Donations at

Purina Partners with Non-Profit Dogs on Deployment to Help Military Community Enjoy Lifelong Pet Ownership

What if you could answer a few fun trivia questions and then consider it a day’s work (in terms of donating to charity anyhow)?

Well you can! It’s so cool!

At, there is the most paw-some movement happening. I can’t just call it a campaign or a “thing” because it’s a movement. ..An attempt to bring military families closer to their pets… An effort to keep our furry friends safe while their Moms and Dads are deployed. It’s pretty darn special.

Dogs on Deployment Partners with Purina

The equally special folks at Purina® have partnered up with the noble non-profit Dogs on Deployment this Thanksgiving season to ensure troops and vets continue to receive needed assistance: now through Wednesday, November 18th, you can simply visit the site and answer fun trivia questions to trigger 25¢ donations for every correct answer. Purina will donate up to (up to) $40,000* to Dogs on Deployment when all is said and done!

Dogs on Deployment is unique, a foundation that’s dedicated, respected and wide-reaching. According to the group’s website, Dogs On Deployment is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit which provides an online network for service members to search for volunteers who are willing to board their pets during their owner’s service commitments. Dogs on Deployment promotes responsible, lifelong pet ownership by military pet owners by advocating for military pet owner rights, providing educational resources and granting financial assistance for military pet owners during times of emergency. Dogs on Deployment aids pets of all types that belong to active duty, reservists, guard, honorably discharged veterans and their families.

Purina Pure Love for Pets & Dogs on DeploymentThe Pure Love for Pets website from Purina is informative and purposeful about the perfect pairing. Accompanied by a heart-wrenchingly sweet reunion gallery section, the site also features a coupon section and a mass of information, including details on how to donate and more information on getting involved in the movement, for example by fostering or boarding with Dod, which has branches near all major military bases in the US.

And with fun and light-hearted trivia questions like, “It’s raining:  a. puppies and kittens b. cats and dogs c. cats and kittens d. puppies and dogs,” and,” What have you done if you let the cat out of the bag? a. revealed a secret b. bought a cat c. saved a cat d. set a cat free,” the trivia game is an inventive way to promote general animal welfare awareness and pet fun facts. Participants can answer five questions a day through this Wednesday, Nov. 18th to help raise the committed amount ($40,000) and help all those awesome military heroes and their precious pets!

So head over to and click on the Trivia link now! It’s a rewarding few minutes and I just bet you’ll find something interesting about Dogs on Deployment to read or watch and share with friends!

Check out Dogs on Deployment on Facebook; follow Purina on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more details.

*Ending at 3:00 p.m. EST on 11/18/15, or when the maximum aggregate donation of $40,000 is reached, whichever comes first, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company (“Purina”) will donate $0.25 to Dogs on Deployment for every correct trivia question answer on Limit 5 questions per person/e-mail address, per day. Valid in the 50 U.S. and D.C. Must be 18+. Void where prohibited. 

**All opinions herein are of the Administrator, JL Smith. This post was written in conjunction with Nestle Purina Pet Care, and the Administrator received compensation. never publishes dishonest, distorted or distended reviews, nor does it perpetuate the spread of misinformation. Please email the Administrator with questions or concerns.