The holidays are a time for having family and friends come over, but they also mean an added risk of losing your pets. My cats stay strictly indoors, but they're been known to try to escape. My dog, Bolt, also thinks it would be great to make a break for freedom so he could search the neighborhood for new doggy buddies.
If you don't want to lose your pets when people are coming or going, make sure they're wearing some form of identification. Even if they're microchipped, an ID tag ads an extra layer of protection. Finders don't have to take the animal to someone with a scanner. They can just read the tag and give you a call.
My cats have breakaway collars for added safety. It took a few weeks to get them used to wearing collars, but now they're find with their "kitty jewelry."
Bolt has something extra in the "track down your lost dog" department. He wears Tagg the Pet Tracker, a GPS device for dogs and cats that attaches to his collar. It monitors his activity level and would also help me find him if he ever escapes. Thankfully, that's never happened, but the risk is always bigger in the holiday season. You can ready my review of the device here.
This year, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving fall on the same day (Hanukkah actually starts at sunset on Wednesday, but Thanksgiving is the first full day of the eight-day Festival of Lights).
These holidays are fun for humans, but they pose some risk for pets. Here are some quick tips to keep your dogs and cats safe while you're celebrating:
Candles are an integral part of this holiday, but pets and open flames don't mix. If you're doing a traditional celebration, you'll be leaving the candles in your menorah lit for at least half an hour. Make sure the menorah is on a stable surface where it can't easily be knocked over by a jumping cat or dog. It should also be far enough away from curtains or other flammables to reduce the risk of accidentally igniting something if a pet bumps it.
If you're having company at your house, make sure your dog and cat have ID tags in case they slip outside. Tags are essential even if your pets are chipped because veterinary offices and animal shelters are closing for Thanksgiving, so if anyone finds your dog or cat, they won't have access to a scanner. Locking animals in a safe room or crate will help protect them from the chaos and prevent accidental escapes.
I reviewed an intriguing product for tracking lost pets this year. Jump to this article to read about Tagg the Pet Tracker, a GPS device that monitors your pet's activity level and also helps you find a wayward cat or dog.
Don't let your pets overindulge in human food. Thanksgiving is all about feasting, and it might be tempting to give your cat or dog a plate of turkey and other goodies, but it's better to offer a special treat that's made for animals. Many Thanksgiving foods, like the herbs in stuffing, can upset a pet's stomach.
Happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah to all my readers from my household and from my pets to yours!
Two cats named Frisco and Jake are living high on the hog after inheriting $250,000 from their late owner. Their inheritance also includes a 4,270 square foot house in a gated community.
The legally binding will states that the cats will live in the house until Frisco, the older of the feline pair, dies. Then family members inherit what remains of the estate, with the stipulation that they care for Jake for the rest of his life. Jake doesn't have to stay in the house after his kitty buddy passes on, according to WMC-TV.
While $250,000 and a house might sound like a large inheritance for a pet, it pales in comparison to the $12 million Queen of Mean Leona Helmsley tried to leave her dog, Trouble. Courts later reduced the amount to $2 million.
Even if your cat isn't in line for a huge inheritance, you can spoil him or her with some inexpensive but fun toys and goodies. Here are four of my favorites, which also make good kitty stocking stuffers:
I know that winter is steadily creeping across many parts of the country, but as a Floridian I love this time of year because it's getting cooler and more comfy outside. It's too hot and humid in the winter for energetic activity outdoors, but now the temperatures are just right.
I recently reviewed the LazyBonezz Lazy Jogger stroller, which you can read about here. My dog, Bolt, has short legs, so even though he's a willing walk companion, he eventually gets exhausted. Now I can take him on longer walks and load him into the stroller to rest.
Of course, we do get some cold snaps here in Florida, and I'm prepared for those, too. Bolt has a variety of warm outwear, like the cute Duck Dynasty coat shown below.
To read more about the Duck Dynasty products, check out this article.
If you're both a dog owner and a Duck Dynasty fan, you'll love the new line of Duck Dynasty-themed dog toys and apparel from Quaker Pet Group.
You can learn more about the entire product line in this article. It includes dog apparel like t-shirts, coats, and beards and adorable duck toys themed to the characters. You can see my dog Bolt enjoying two of the products in the photo below:
The Duck Dynasty doggy goods are out just in time for Christmas and are available at Petco. Add them to your shopping list if you know a fan or treat your dog to a cute little stocking stuffer.
If you also own cats, don't make them feel left out for Christmas. You'll find five fun stocking stuffer ideas for felines in this article.
November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and Petcarerx is sharing some information that could help save your pet.
Do you know the signs of cancer in cats and dogs? If not, keep an eye out for these ten things:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A growing or changing lump
- A distended abdomen
- Unexplained bleeding
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained lameness
- A dry cough
- Straining to urinate
- Excessive diarrhea or vomiting
- Oral odor
If you notice these symptoms in your pet, contact your vet immediately. PetcareRx warns that cats are particularly susceptible to cancer, with one in five felines getting it in their lifetimes.
Good nutrition is one way you can help your pet prevent disease. Check out this list of four essential supplements for cats and dogs.
Winter is coming fast, and if you're in a part of the country where it snows, you're in for a sloppy time. Your dog will be tracking in mud and slush, so you'll want to be prepared.
Since I live in Florida, my slop season is in the summer because of all the thunderstorms. I love the Soggy Doggy Slopmat (pictured below), which is a staple in my family room, near the door and dog crate. You can read my review of it here.
No matter what you use, make sure it's something durable enough to protect your floors and stand up to pet traffic. It's the best way to ease some of your winter housekeeping chores.
I know that bettas are jumpers because I lost a previous betta to a suicide when he was housed in an open-topped habitat. This time, I really thought a fish wouldn't be able to get out the small gap. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
I knew something was wrong when I went to turn off Kenny's tank light for the evening and didn't see him in there. I checked in and around the tank, and there was no sign of him. The only think I can guess is that he jumped out and either the dog or one of the cats got him. A very sad ending for a cute little fish with a lot of personality.
Cartman is still alive and well in his Edge, but I missed having a fish in the Spec, which is small enough to fit in my workspace. Thus, meet Klaus (pictured below):
I used a lunch meat tray to rig a (hopefully) escape-proof bubble over the tank opening with a plastic lunch meat tray:
No matter what kind of betta habitat you get, I strongly recommend that you cover any opening or get one like the Spec that's completely covered. I never would have believed that these colorful little guys are such adept escape artists, but with the body count now at two, I've learned my lesson.
November is "Adopt a Senior Pet Month," a time to consider adding an older dog, cat, or other pet to your household.
Everyone loves puppies and kittens, but their cuteness comes with some inconveniences like peeing, chewing, and never-ending energy. Older dogs and cats have established personalities. They're often potty trained, and that adult pup probably knows at least a few basic commands.
I'm a big fan of adopting adult pets, although I usually choose one between the ages of two and five. However, earlier this year I unknowingly adopted a senior cat (pictured below winning me over from her cage). She was supposed to be three years old, and she turned out to be 15.
Mewsette is the old lady of my household, and she rules with an iron paw. Even the dog gives in to Her Royal Highness.
Older pets have a lot of love left to give, but sadly, most never get a chance. People flock to the puppies, kittens, and younger cats and dogs, while the pets that have some mileage on them meet a sad end.
If you have it in your heart to adopt a senior pet, there are many products to help you take care of your feline or canine in his or her golden years. Check out this video on things you can get for older dogs and this video on products for your senior cat.
The calendar is counting down to Black Friday, and Petsmart has announced that it will offer 3,200 great gifts for at least 50 percent off on that highly anticipated shopping day.
Most Petsmart stores will open at 7 a.m. on Black Friday, and if you're among the first 100 shoppers, you'll get a special stocking stuffed with $130 worth of coupons and dog and cat treats. Even if you don't want to line up early, you can still take advantage of some great deals:
The Sunbeam Indoor/Outdoor Sonic Egg will be only $19.99. The device works great for problem barking. You can read my review here.
Top Paw Orthopedic Dog Beds will be $39.99. It's a great way to pamper your senior pet.
Luv-A-Pet Breed Specific Throws will be $14.99. Breed-specific gifts for dog lovers are always a great idea.
The Bissell Spot Clean Pet Plus will be $79.99. I'm a big fan of Bissell pet cleaners, which you can read about in my review of the Spotbot.
All models of the FURminator Deshedding Tool are half off. This is another item that I use regularly in my own household, as you can read here. As you can see in the photo below, Stitch approves of this product.
Of course, you don't have to wait until Friday to start the savings. Petsmart is kicking things off on Monday with three days of pre-sales. Then, on Thanksgiving, you can order the Black Friday specials online starting at 6 a.m. Shipping is free, and there's no minimum order.