Posts Tagged ‘pets’

#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.

Purina® Unleashes Summer Love with Pure Love for Pets Instant Win Game

Posted on August 3rd, 2015

Pet Food Gurus Give Away $45K in Prizes Thru August 12th!

Enter to Win Your Own Prize Package Right Here!

Those pet-loving peeps at Purina are at it again folks…This time they’re launching a fun game that’s aimed at giving away $45,000 in prize packages to persnickety pet peeps like you! (And me!)

The Pure Love for Pets Instant Win Game goes on through August 12, 2015 and you can win a prize package filled with goodies for your own pooches or kittehs! PLfPThe packages are valued at $20 apiece and are chockfull of Purina samples. Head over to to enter!

There are also awesome money-saving coupons on the Pure Love for Pets website as well as a list of products appearing in the prize packages.

The best part??? You have a chance to win a prize package right here!

Just leave me a comment telling me about your favorite Purina product, and whether you would prefer a cat package or a dog package, and I’ll choose one winner from the comments!

Contest runs until August 12, 2015 at 9 pm EST. Winner will be notified via email on August 13, 2015.


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

How To Spot Animal Abuse In Your Community

Posted on August 17th, 2012

Today we’re looking at a difficult subject: animal abuse.

It’s often hard to spot the signs of animal abuse, as we can put a lot of tell-tale signs down to a pet’s personality, or illness or simple paranoia on our part.

What’s important to remember, though, is if someone is investigated for animal abuse and there’s no evidence that abuse is taking place, nothing bad happens (and you can report possible abuse anonymously) – whilst if someone is allowed to continue abusing their animal, a wonderful and loving pet could die before they find the equally wonderful and loving owner they deserve.

So long as you report suspected abuse to the relevant authorities, rather than trying to enforce justice yourself, there is very little that can go wrong.

Here are the most obvious signs of animal abuse.

5. Extremely Skinny Animals

‘Abuse’ isn’t just a term reserved for physical harm; failing to provide your pet with an adequate diet is equally life-threatening! If an animal looks undernourished, it is suffering.

This might not even be something the owner is aware of. Aging cats that once caught some of their own food might not be able to fend for themselves so well, and pets of all kinds that develop dental problems will lose weight fairly rapidly.

Weight loss might also be due to an illness. Look for additional environmental factors, such as being tied outside in the same spot every day, or an abnormally large number of other pets in the same household.

4. Obvious Confusion and Disorientation

Animals that are confused and disorientated are much more likely to be suffering from abuse right now than animals who are timid or aggressive.

Timidity and aggression can be lifelong reactions to abuse at an early age. Although tragic, these features might not be the owner’s responsibility.

Confusion and disorientation, though, are symptomatic of undernourishment, untreated illness and a lack of appropriate stimuli in the animal’s environment.

3. Weakness or Awkward Gait

An awkward gait, or significant weakness, often shows up very late.

As always, it’s important to remember that this could be due to illness or old age, but if the animal looks young, and if the animal shows confusion and disorientation or is very bony, then the possibility of animal abuse is very real.

If an animal looks like it’s struggling to get around and its owner doesn’t seem particularly bothered, or never seems to be around, it might be worth reporting.

2. Absent Owners

If there are signs that an owner is rarely present, such as lights that never come on or off regardless of time of day, or the animal in question is always seen in the same place – for example, always tied up in the garden – this could constitute neglect.

There may have been a misunderstanding but owners should not be away from their pets for more than a few days at a time, and obviously ideally they should avoid even that! In fact, young puppies shouldn’t even be left alone for more than a few hours on end.

Absent owners might lead to serious health problems, dehydration and starvation.

Image by Graeme Law

1. Visible Wounds

Of course, the number one sign is visible wounds. It sounds obvious, but people often don’t think of abuse even when they see signs like this.

Many of my friends have stories of driving through deprived areas, and seeing signs of poverty such as burnt-out cars, trash dumped in front gardens… and flea-ridden, mangy dogs with scabs all over their bodies.

It often takes a full minute of me staring at them in disbelief before they realize:

“Hey, maybe I should have called someone about that dog, huh?”


This is the most important takeaway: it’s easy to see signs of abuse without really seeing them.

It’s our responsibility, and no-one else’s, to report these signs as soon as we see them, to as many authorities as possible.

You may just save a life!


Louise Blake writes about animal care for Anicura, which offers a range of pet sprays and shampoos designed to take care of skin conditions such as eczema and mange in pets.

Do’s and Don’ts With Pets This Summer

Posted on July 31st, 2012

We all love to include pets in summer plans and outdoor activities, but it’s important to keep a few safety precautions in mind.

With the season in full swing, take a glance at the following ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts’ on behalf of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) to help keep our four-legged friends safe and happy!


  • Whether hiking, backpacking or traveling, remember to bring plenty of treats and water along for your pets (and yourself)!
  • Road-tripping? Bring Fido along! Include pets in summer travel plans and remember to properly secure them in the car to help avoid driver distraction and keep everyone safe on the road.
  • When walking dogs, try to get out early morning or later in the evening when it’s cooler to help prevent paws from burning on hot pavement.
  • Don’t forget to reward pets for good behavior! Whether you are teaching basic or advanced commands this summer, remember to treat Fido and reinforce the importance of following your orders.


  • Unless you are in a designated area, don’t unleash pets while walking or hiking. For the safety of everyone on the path, make sure dogs are properly and comfortably leashed and by your side at all times.
  • Don’t leave pets outdoors for long periods of time without proper sun protection and safety precautions. Ensure they have plenty of clean and cold water, food, shade and entertainment!
  • Don’t leave pets in the car. Overheating is a serious issue; be sure to look for signs including excessive panting or difficulty breathing.
  • With all the delicious scents in the air during barbeque season, make sure pets stay clear of hot grills and food. Instead, provide dogs with their own tasty treats and kibble.

Top Ten Most Expensive Pets (to Insure…)

Posted on April 24th, 2012

About 62 % of U.S. households own a pet, which equals to 72.9 million pet-owning homes with about 377.4 million pets.

While most pets have to take trips to the vet at some point in their lives, some particular breeds are more prone to ailments and diseases than others and need more expensive or frequent medical treatments.

PetInsuranceComparison’s new infographic “The Top Ten Most Expensive Pets” reveals which pets are high maintenance and rack up the highest vet bills in the course of a year.
Pet Insurance Comparison

( is a service which provides information about pet insurance and pet insurance-related topics.)