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Ways to Donate to Your Favorite Local Animal Shelter

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In the season of giving, we like to think of all the shelters that open their arms to stray and lost animals all year long, and especially of the amazing people who dedicate their time and energy to keeping them safe (let’s not forget that many of those people are volunteers!). While all animal shelters need money, there are other ways to donate as well – almost every shelter could use a helping hand when it comes to daily upkeep.

Below, we’ve rounded up items to donate to your local shelter. It is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’ll give you an idea of what shelters need most. We especially love no-kill shelters like Best Friends, which has several locations around the country.
Cleaning Supplies: It takes a lot for a shelter to maintain cleanliness, and they are always in need of supplies. We recommend Nature’s Miracle, paper towels, newspaper, disinfectant, hand sanitizer and soap, laundry detergent, bleach, sponges, large trash bags, and wipes.

Pet food: Shelters go through LOTS of food on a daily basis. Everything from dry cat and dog food, to canned wet food, and of course lots of treats! Most shelters will have peanut butter and canned tuna in water on hand for extra special treats, and pill pockets are always useful for administering medication. One tip: call your shelter to find out what type of food they buy in bulk.

For keeping the animals comfortable: pet beds, towels or blankets, nursing bottles (for itty bitty kittens and puppies!), and heating pads.

Everyday Supplies: Folding kennels or crates, clumping cat litter, baggies for dog waste, leashes, harnesses, collars, brushes, food bowls, flea and tick treatment, pet shampoo, and nail clippers.

Lastly, donate your time! Shelters are always, always looking for volunteers, or for a family to foster.

Think of anything else? We’d love to hear! And Happy Holidays from Pampered Pets!

5 Holiday Safety Tips for Your Pet

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Last week, we shared our 4 favorite ways to include our furry friends in all the holiday fun. This week, we’re shifting gears to the nitty gritty: how to keep them safe. Because while it’s important they’re included in the festivities, it’s even more important they stay out of harm’s way!

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Ways to Include Your Pet During the Holiday Season

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It’s an exciting season: the holidays are upon us! While pets are not as keen to dress up for the holiday photos as we would hope, they still love to be included in the fun – after all, they’re family! Here are four stress-free ways to include your pet in the festivities, starting with…

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How to Tell if Your Cat is Aging Well

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These days, the average household cat can live upwards of 17 years. That’s close to 100 in human years! If you have a feline nearing its seniority, you may notice some changes. What does thinning fur mean? Why is he sleeping more? Here’s how to know if your cat is aging well…

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Are You Ready for a Dog?

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Are you dying to bring a sweet canine into your life? Today, our resident blogger, Joy, is here to offer a few tidbits and things to consider before taking the leap (because it’s a big one!)…

I adopted my dog, Juniper, right before my 23rd birthday. Nearly four years later, she is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Luckily, I should add, because I didn’t think it entirely through. Owning a dog is a huge responsibility; it’s not just the walks and the vet expenses – it’s much, much more. If you have the puppy fever, set it aside and be honest with yourself when considering the following:

Routine. Are you a person who likes routine and has one already? Establishing a schedule with your new pup will be hugely important in creating a happy, stable environment for Fido. Bonus: there will be something for you to gain, too! Study after study show the endless physiological and psychological benefits from hitting the pavement every day with your furry canine, from managing stress to overcoming depression.

Take a look at your lifestyle. Do you enjoy long, leisurely walks on a weekend? Do you wish you had a warm, furry friend to cuddle with when you’re sick? Great! On the contrary, do you travel often, or spend hours away from home? Is there a park nearby, or place for your four-legged friend to play with others? Take a look at your current lifestyle and imagine it with a dog by your side.

Compromise. No longer can I take a spontaneous weekend away – I have to coordinate dog care for Juniper. I said goodbye to ever owning a jacket that won’t have a few of her hairs stuck to it, and when she was a puppy, Juniper chewed up my absolute favorite pair of leather boots. You make constant compromises when you have a dog in your life – often ones that you don’t expect. Of course, the love for your beloved pet will override the inconvenience of these hiccups, but it’s important to be realistic with yourself when deciding whether or not you can live with them.

And the biggest one: Responsibility (and one that lasts upwards of 15 years!). If you feel ready to take care of another living being, owning a dog is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling life experiences. One thing that I didn’t know? How much of a daily societal responsibility it is. You will be interacting with other dog owners, facilitating your dog’s socialization, and responding to all sorts of situations. And most importantly: you set the tone for how your puppy reacts, understands, and responds to these situations. Every day, your dog will be looking to you. That, I think, is an immense responsibility, and one not to be taken lightly.

Good luck! Whether you already have plans to go to the shelter, or have just started entertaining the idea of a furry friend, we are rooting for you!

Pet Trusts Now Available in All 50 States

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“Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.”

 We all love our pets dearly – in fact, a recent study found that seventy-three percent of dog owners and sixty-five percent of cat owners consider their pets to be “akin to a child or other close family member.” So, it comes as great news (and a relief) that pet trusts are now offered in all 50 states! Read More

The Surprising Way Dogs Tell Time

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We like to stay in the know when it comes to our dogs and cats – from studies on whether our pets love, to groundbreaking research on how well they understand our language — we find it all fascinating, and love to learn more and more about the creatures that bring us such joy. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re like us, and might be just as fascinated to learn about a recent discovery on our furry canines…

An article published on the website “Science of Us” suggests that dogs use their nose not just to track smells and hunt, but to mark the passing of time. How? We wondered the same thing.

To understand, let’s cover the basics. Canines rely on their noses to go about their lives. Every time they smell something (which is thousands and thousands of times a day), receptor cells in the nose transmit the information directly to the brain. “We do too,” states the article, “but dogs have hundred of millions more.” This explains why they can detect a trillionth of a gram of TNT, and are even used to sniff out cancer. Their noses are incredibly powerful, and they don’t need their eyes nearly as much as we do.

What you might not know, and what we didn’t know, was how the two nostrils work together and independently to understand and perceive information. Think of your eyes – they work seamlessly as a pair to see the world as a three-dimensional image, and yet when you lose the vision of one, your perception is greatly impaired.

So how do dogs smell time? Alexandra Horowitz, who recently published a book on her research (LINK), says it has to do with the air. Throughout the day, hot air rises – in a room it will rise along the wall and up to the ceiling – and as this happens, smells change. Dogs, Alexandra explains, may very well be able to tell the time of day by how the air smells. Similarly, a strong scent signifies something recent or current (think, bacon on the stove, or a fellow pup’s urination on the ground), while a faint odor signifies something in the past.

So why does your dog still leap with joy when you return from bringing out the garbage? That might just have more to do with how unconditionally lovable they are.

Read more on the topic: here. and here.

Do Dogs Dream?

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Type “dog dreaming” into YouTube and you will be presented with thousands upon thousands of sleeping canine videos – some with over 7 million views! While it appears as though these dogs must be dreaming of digging holes and running through fields, the topic has been up for debate for some time…

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