It's one of my favorite times of year. Yes, I love Christmas, and I have a deep and abiding affection for Halloween (it's such a great time to dress my cats and dog up in costumes). I also love to welcome the seasons and other holidays, but they're not the time I'm thinking of right now.
So what am I so excited about? Why, Global Pet Expo, of course! It rolls into Orlando every spring, bringing over 1000 vendors who showcase every conceivable type of pet product. It's like Christmas for pet parents, and I'm always amazed at my new finds.
The expo runs March 12, 13, and 14 in Orlando this year, so tune in for all my updates, which will be followed by a long parade of new product reviews. As you can see by the photo below, which shows last year's haul, Global Pet Expo always gives me plenty to write about:
GPE is only open to vendors, buyers, and the media, but there are plenty of pet expos that are open to everyone. If you find one in your town, check out this article on how to make the most of it.
It's Academy Awards night, and that means that some lucky stars and movies will take home shiny golden Oscars as a symbol of their achievements. In the spirit of this big night, here are the most common movie-inspired pet names, as compiled by Veterinary Pet Insurance from among its database of insured pets:
- Milo (1,130) - The Adventures of Milo and Otis
- Otis (558) - The Adventures of Milo and Otis
- Sassy (532) - Homeward Bound
- Shiloh (309) - Shiloh
- Toto (105) - Wizard of Oz
- Babe (98) - Babe
- Jinx (88) - Meet the Parents
- Beethoven (33) - Beethoven
- Lassie (21) - Lassie Come Home
- Snowbell (3) - Stuart Little
Want some more related names? The VPI database lists 1208 named Oscar, plus nine named Ellen, the same moniker as this year's host, Ellen DeGeneres. There's even a pet named Cinema.
February is Pet Dental Health Month, and people usually focus on their cats and dogs. Yes, our feline and canine friends need us to help them take care of their teeth, but so do many types of small animals. For example, did you know that pocket pets like rabbits and guinea pigs have continually growing teeth? They can have major problems if you don't provide them with a proper diet that helps them wear their teeth down.
When I first got guinea pigs, I thought they just needed pellets to stay healthy. I soon learned that they need a continual supply of hay, which is an important part of their diet and which also wears down their teeth. People often buy chew toys for their piggies, but they shouldn't need that extra assistance if you're giving them enough hay.
If you'd like to read some more facts about guinea pigs, check out this list.Pocket pets like ferrets, rabbits, guinea pigs, and even hamsters and mice, definitely aren't the low maintenance critters that many people think they are. Always do your research before adding any type of new animal to your household.
Since it's Pet Dental Health Month, I'd like to share some quick facts, courtesy of Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI):
- Puppies have 28 temporary teeth. These teeth begin to show in your puppy's mouth at about 3 to 4 weeks of age
- Dogs have 42 permanent teeth that generally grow in between 5 to 7 months of age
- Just as in humans, periodontal disease is the most common dental issue among dogs
- Kittens have 26 temporary teeth. These teeth begin to show in your kitten's mouth at about 2 to 3 weeks of age
- Cats have 30 permanent teeth that generally grow in by 5 to 6 months of age
- Common feline dental issues include tooth resorption and ulcerative stomatitis
Here's some more information on your pet's dental needs:
I always laugh when people tell me they got a certain dog breed because it's hypoallergenic. Science has proven there's no such thing, as you can read in this study.
It also makes me sad to see people jump on the hypoallergenic bandwagon because it means they buy pricey breeds for a reason that doesn't exist when they could be adopting instead. Even the President of the United States jumped on the hypoallergenic bandwagon, and many people imitated him by buying Portuguese Water Dogs. Imagine how many shelter dogs would have found homes if he'd adopted instead.
If you have allergy problems in your home and you want to own a dog, the only way to reduce allergens is through good old fashioned bathing. A bath every week will help keep those allergens at bay, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Your dog might not be thrilled with the frequent bathing, but your nose will thank you.
Two of my favorite helpful items for bathing dogs are the Oster RapidBath and the Booster Bath Dog Bathtub. They won't make your dog dislike the process any less, but they make things go a little more quickly and easily.
My dog Bolt loves to dress up for Halloween, but I also deck him out at other times of the year. Often it's for a purpose, like keeping him warm in the winter chill with his Duck Dynasty coats and t-shirts, but sometimes it's just for fun.
This weekend Bolt scored a first place win in a Canine Couture competition at our local Posh Pooch festival while sporting his taco costume. He got it from Petco for Halloween, but it made the perfect outfit to edge out the other cute pooches in the contest and score him the blue ribbon.
Bolt settled in happily with his award, as shown below:
It was a great ending to a day of doggy fun.
Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) scoured its database of 500,000 names to come up with the top 10 romance-themed dog and cat monickers. Here's a list of those names, with the number of pets sharing each name listed in parentheses:
1. Angel (1,120)
2. Beau (687)
3. Honey (586)
4. Sugar (546)
5. Candy (202)
6. Rose (187)
7. Sweetie (185)
8. Snuggles (147)
9. Cuddles (136)
10. Babe (99)
VPI also awarded three honorable mentions: Valentine (52 pets), Lovey (50 pets), and Cupid (35 pets). Quirky romance-inspired pet names in the VPI database include Fluffy Snow Angel, Lady V Sweet Coco Love and Misses Kisses.
If you plan to pamper your dog on Valentine's Day, this article has some great gift ideas.
The food was sold in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia. The affected products are:
40 lb Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food, best by 05 06 14, Lot 096 13 SM L2 2A, UPC 1219033878
40 lb Hubbard Life Happy Hound Dog Food, best by 05 06 14, Lot 096 13 SM L2 1A, UPC 1219033878
40 lb Hubbard Life Maintenance Dog Food, best by 05 06 14, Lot 096 13 SM L2 2A, UPC 1219033875
20 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food, best by 05 07 14, Lot 097 13 SM L2 2A, UPC 2351780103
40 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food, best by 05 07 14, Lot 097 13 SM L2 2A, UPC 2351780104
40 lb QC Plus Adult Dog Food, best by 05 07 14, Lot 097 13 SM L2 1A, UPC 2351780104
18 lb Hubbard Life Cat Stars Cat Food, best by 05 06 14, Lot 096 13 SM L2 1A, UPC 1219033873
15 lb Joy Combo Cat Food, best by 05 06 14, Lot 096 13 SM L2 1A, UPC 7065407721
40 lb Joy Combo Cat Food, best by 05 06 14, Lot 096 13 SM L2 1A, UPC 7065407713
40 lb Joy Combo Cat Food, best by 05 06 14, Lot 096 13 SM L2 2A, UPC 7065407713
You can find more information about the recall on the FDA website. If you have any of this food, return it for a refund. Direct questions to Pro-Pet at 1-888-765-4190.
Do you joke about your cat or dog's bad breath? Beware! It could be a sign of dental problems that need attention. According to Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), policyholders spent more than $11 million on dental problems for their dogs and cats, and related claims were the fourth most common submitted to the company in 2013.
February is Pet Dental Health Month, a perfect to nip your pet's potential problems in the bud. The American Veterinary Medical Association says to watch for these danger signs in your feline or canine companion:
Red swollen gums or brownish-yellow tartar on teeth
- Bad breath
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Frequent pawing or rubbing at the face and/or mouth
- Reluctance to eat, which mean manifest itself by the pet picking up food, then spitting it out
There are plenty of products to help you keep your cat or dog's mouth healthy, from toys to water additives to toothbrushes and toothpaste. You'll find more information in this article.
Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and if you're wondering what to get for your picky pooch, PetSmart has a great suggestion. It just introduced those old favorite, the Care Bears, in an adorable plush pup toy line that includes Tenderheart Bear, Love-A-Lot Bear, and Cheer Bear.
These cute squeaky toys will show your dog you love him, and they also help homeless pets. PetSmart is donating 10 percent of the purchase price for each toy to PetSmart Charities. Brighten your own dog's holiday while making the day happier for needy pets a at the same time.
PetSmart has other Valentine's Day options for dogs, like Blue Buffalo Be Mine Bars, a treat made with wholesome ingredients like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
For other fun Valentine's Day ideas for dogs, jump to this article.