Feed a Homeless Pet This Holiday Season with Just One Click!

Now you can help a homeless pet this holiday season for free with just a quick click of your mouse button. This month, Iams launched their annual Home 4 the Holidays program and this year, they’ve made it super easy for just about anyone with an internet connection to pitch in. When you ”Like” or “Share” the Rescue Pet of the Day on their Iam’s Facebook fan page, Iam’s will donate a meal to an animal in need. You can also lend a helping hand by registering for their free Iams Lifelong Rewards program. For each registration, they’ll make a food donation to your  local shelter (they’ll also send you some coupons that you can use on Iams products, too!)

In total, the program aims to donate 5 million meals to hundreds of homeless pets living in animal shelters nationwide now through the end of the holiday season, January 2. Partnered with the no-kill animal shelter Helen Woodword Animal Center, they also hope to find loving, long-lasting homes for millions of homeless pets. So far, the program has helped more than 7 million pets get adopted since its launch 14 years ago.

To learn more about the program and to find more ways to participate, please visit the Iam’s Home 4 the Holidays website.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Cat and Dog Breeds Suitable for Allergy Sufferers

If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, adopting a pet is not out of the question! Even if some types of animals have typically sent you running for a Kleenex, you’ll be happy to know that they are a few “hypoallergenic” dog and cat breeds that might just work for you! Because the allergic reaction some people experience is triggered by the proteins found in the saliva or skin glands on pets, certain dog and cat breeds shed much less of the allergy-causing dander, making them a suitable choice for those with sensitivities. Here’s a look at a few dog and cat breeds that are not only allergy-friendly, but make great pets, too.

Bichon Frise – Known for their happy disposition, the Bichon Frise is a great choice for allergy sufferers because the breed does not shed. Their small size (which typically ranges from 10-20 lbs and 9″-12″ in height) and their playful, sociable personality, also makes the Bichon Frise a great choice in pets.

Oriental Shorthair – If you decide to adopt an Oriental Shorthair, be prepared to have a friend for life! They’re extremely loving and devoted to their owners, and they’re not afraid to show it, expressing themselves often with plenty of meows, purrs, and cuddles. Thankfully, the coats on these sweet cats, which vary in hundreds of different colors and patterns, are hypoallergenic.

Irish Water Spaniel – If you’re an allergy sufferer with an active lifestyle, the Irish Water Spaniel would be an ideal choice for you. The playful dog breed loves to run, play, and even swim, and sheds very little.

Siberian Cat – The Siberian cat breed (especially in females) produces very low levels of Fel d1, the primary culprit for the allergic reaction it causes to humans. Affectionate and loyal, these fluffy furred cats enjoy companionship with humans and typically get along great with other pets in the household.

Portuguese Water Dog – The same breed as President Obama’s dog “Bo” (who was chosen in response to daughter Malia’s pet allergies), the hypoallergenic Portuguese Water Dog is outgoing, energetic, and obedient, making them an excellent choice for a family pet.

There are many other wonderful breeds that are also considered to be hypoallergenic. Making the list for dogs is the Bedlington Terrier, Chinese Crested, Kerry Blue Terrier, Maltese, Poodle, Schnauzers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, and the Mexican Hairless. For cats, the Balinese, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Javanese, or Sphinx. Frequent grooming of your pet’s coat will also help minimize any potentional allergens, allowing you to comfortably enjoy their company sneeze-free!

 

Image Credits: Wylio and Photoree

Coordinating Halloween Costumes for You and Your Canine

If you and the kids will be trick or treating with your pet this year, why not try coordinating your costumes together? Using otherwise ordinary costumes, we came up with a few fun combinations that will make you and your pet really stand out from the crowd this Halloween.

Mad Scientist and Frankenstein – It’s alive! Dressed as Dr. Frankenstein ($39.99, Spirit Halloween) and your dog as monster “Barkenstein” ($33-$37 at Dog Halloween Costumes Shop), the two of you will play the parts from the classic horror story.

Ghostbuster and Ghost – Who ya gonna call? Dial into this Ghostbuster Costume with neat inflatable proton pack ($39.99, Target) and Ghost Dog Costume ($40, Baxter Boo) for two ghoulishly good get-ups.

Bacon and Egg – Scramble bacon and eggs together for a well-balanced costume duo. Take a crack at this sunny side up Fried Egg Costume ($34.99, Fright Catalog) while your dog hams it up as Bacon ($16.99, Toys R Us).

Swedish Chef and Chicken – Fans of “The Muppet Show” will recognize this pair from popular sketches seen on the show. With your dog dressed as a chicken (we found this rooster cap to be close – just add red felt for a wattle! $10, Baxter Boo), don this Swedish Chef costume ($49.99, Party City) and bork, bork, bork the night away!

Bee and Flower – Everyone will be buzzing about your choice in costumes when you come dressed as a Bumble Bee ($36.99, BuyCostumes) and your pup dressed as a Blooming Flower ($12.99, BuyCostumes). Bonus: The flower costume makes for a stealthy disguise if in the event your dog decides to trample through your neighbor’s garden again!

Ernie and Rubber Duckie – Rubber Duckie may have made bath time lots of fun, but “Rubber Doggie” will make trick-or-treat night a blast! Ernie ($49.99, Spirit Halloween) and Yellow Chicken ($31.50-$35, Baxter Boo)

Princess and Frog – Kiss your ordinary costume goodbye. As an Enchanted Princess ($54, Costume Craze), step from the pages of the Brothers Grimm folk story with the Frog Prince by your side.

The Man with the Yellow Hat and Curious George – Monkey around on Halloween night with your pup dressed like the inquisitive little monkey from the popular children’s book series ($15.99, PetCo) and his best pal, the Man with the Yellow Hat ($39.99, Party City).

Little Miss Muffet and Spider – Eat your curds and whey (or candy corn and mini Tootsie Rolls) as you retell the classic nursery rhyme with this Little Miss Muffet ensemble ($19.95, PureCostumes) and not-so-frightening Spider dog costume ($15.99-$17, PetSmart).

 

What will you and your pet be dressed as this Halloween? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Image Credit: Wylio

Black Cats: Don’t Judge a Cat by Its Coat

Cropping up in store aisles and front yards lately, you’ve likely seen loads of spooky Halloween decorations covered in howling ghosts, creepy spiders, cackling witches, and scary black cats. While it may be easy to see why ghosts and spiders give people the creeps, why black cats?

For hundreds of years, black cats have gotten a bad reputation for bringing bad luck to those around them. From pirates to baseball fans, people have long since believed that black cats are sign of evil or impending misfortune. Although some countries, like Ireland and Japan, view the black cat as a sign of good luck, many other cultures still believe in the superstition to this day. Unfortunately, it’s negatively affecting the adoption rate of all-black cats nationwide, as black cats are statistically less likely to be adopted than cats of other colors.

But the truth is, black cats not only bring their owners a lot of luck, but plenty of love, too! Thankfully, a few organizations agree and are doing what they can to help the black cat cause this season. The Black Cat Rescue, a no-kill cat rescue organization in Boston, Massachusetts specializing in the rescue of homeless black-coated cats, is one of them. The shelter has been working hard to find permanent homes for their cats by promoting cat adoption drives and waiving adoption fees this month. Other shelters,  such as the Barrington Animal Control in East Bay, Rhode Island and Public Animal Welfare Society in Cleveland, Ohio, has also been recently waiving adoption fees for black cats in an effort to help place the often overlooked animals.

If you are interested in making a black cat a new member of your family and would like to find a similar event in your area, contact your local animal shelter. You can also search for adoptable cats via PetFinder or AdoptaPet.

In the meantime, if you adore these cats as much as we do (or if you just need a little convincing) here’s a look at a few black beauties in all their glory!

 

Do you own a black cat? Tell us about them in the comments below!

Image Credit: Wylio

9 Helpful Apps Pet Owners Should Keep Handy

Being a great pet owner sometimes takes a lot of work, but that doesn’t mean it has to take a lot of time. These 9 handy apps will help simplify taking care of your pet, all from the convenience of your phone or tablet. From finding dog-friendly establishments to refilling your pet’s prescription, you’ll be on your way to having a happier, healthier pet in just a few clicks!

Dog Park Finder Plus – Whether you’re planning a vacation with your pup, or frequently find yourselves on the go, this app is for you. With it, you’ll be able to locate and map thousands of dog-friendly parks, beaches, rest stops, restaurants and more anywhere across the U.S. The app also displays pertinent information about each destination (such as hours of operation or any extra fees), along with reviews and photos left behind by previous visitors. The cost to download the app is $1.99 on iTunes, but similar apps like Fido Factor or Petcentric are great, free alternatives.

Dog Whistler – Lost your dog in the park? Try the Dog Whistler. With over a dozen sound patterns to choose from, this no-cost app will help you catch your canine’s attention, whether you’re trying to call him from a distance or trying to train him.

iKibble -Before you feed your dog table scraps, you’ll definitely want to reference the iKibble app. The program will help you identify which foods are safe & healthy for your dog to consume via the searchable database containing dozens of various food types.

Pet Care Services – Need to find someone to watch your pet? Encounter an emergency while away from home? Pet Care Services will help you find nearby pet care services in a snap. The free app will help you find everything from doggy daycares, walkers, trainers, groomers, emergency pet clinics and hospitals, pet food stores, and more!

Pet First Aid - Did Buddy get another bruise or bump? Come to his rescue with this Pet First Aid app. With important information, photos, and video, the app will help guide you through tending to your pet in the event of an injury, illness, or other medical emergency. The app will also allow you to keep track of your pet’s weight, allergies, medications, and more so it can be quickly referenced if you should need to visit the vet. Another similar application choice, PetTech PetSaver, is another great choice that offers many of the same wonderful benefits as listed above.

Pet Master Pro – Keep all of your pet’s vital information organized with Pet Master Pro. The app will keep track of each of your pet’s medical information, appointments, important contacts, insurance records, and microchip data.

Petometer – Get your pet in tip top shape with the Petometer. This free app from Purina will help you track each dog walk, including the path, distance, pace, and time traveled, plus suggest other exercises that will be beneficial to your pet.

Pet Poison Help – You may not know it, but that bouquet of flowers on the table or plants in your garden may be poisonous to your pet. Find out which products and plants in your home are safe or toxic with this Pet Poison Help app. Using the app, you’ll also has the ability to quickly connect to a 24/7 animal poison control helpline in the event you need extra assistance or advice.

PetWise – This free app will allow you to easily sync up with your pet’s veterinarian’s office. From the app, you can schedule an appointment, refill your pet’s prescription, access their medical records, and more all from your handheld device!

 

Do you have a favorite pet app that you find helpful? Let us know in the comments below!

Pups Think Pink For Breast Cancer Awareness Walk

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and thousands of people across the country are doing their part to raise awareness for the disease. But supporting the cause isn’t just for people. Now, pets are sniffing out a way to show their support, too, and the non-profit organization Celebrate Spot is giving dogs the opportunity to do just that.

On October 14th, the non-profit organization will host their 5th annual walk in Forest Park, Missouri. Dogs and their owners will join together to journey 1 mile to 5 through the scenic paths in the park. The fundraiser will benefit the Young Women’s Breast Cancer Program and Director’s Discovery Fund at the Siteman Cancer Center in nearby St. Louis. The YWBCP is one of the few corporations that dedicates themselves to researching and supporting women under the age of 44 diagnosed with breast cancer.

After the walk, participants will be invited to kick their paws up and enjoy a little rest and relaxation in the “Celebrate Spot Lounge.” Guests and their pets can participate in a raffle, have their fortunes read by the Dr. J the Amazing Pet Psychic, have their pics snapped in the On the Spot photo booth, personalize a free puppy collar, and enjoy food and beverage from the food trucks on hand. Several doggy contests will also be held at the event, with prizes being awarded to winners in categories like “Best Dressed Dog” and “Most Look-A-Like.”

The cost to participate begins at $30. To find out more about the Celebrate Spot Walk , visit their website. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Image Credit: Celebrate Spot & Celebrate Spot @ Facebook

Charity Spotlight: The Sam Simon Foundation

If you’ve ever watched an episode of The Simpsons, you may recognize Sam Simon’s name from the credits. Simon is the co-creator of the animated series, and has worked as producer and director for hit shows like Taxi, The Tracey Ullman Show, Cheers, and The Drew Carey Show. When not working on The Simpsons, Simon trades in his pen for paws. For years, he has been an active PETA fund-raiser, and since 2002, Simon has been dedicating himself to his own self-funded charitable program, The Sam Simon Foundation. The non-profit organization is one of L.A.’s largest free spay/neuter providers, helping low income pet owners receive care for their pet the foundation’s mobile clinic.

But The Sam Simon Foundation doesn’t stop there. The foundation truly lives up to their motto of “saving the lives of dogs to enrich the lives of people” through its efforts to rescue and rehabilitate homeless dogs. The Sam Simon team will care for and train these animals to become service dogs to those in need. Some dogs will become hearing dogs, assisting those with hearing handicaps, while others will go on to become loyal companions to military veterans coping with post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Even before the animals complete their training, the dogs will begin their work helping others by visiting people who reside in assisted living communities. Lending their loving hearts and friendly faces, the dogs spend time each month with the residents. The visits are mutually beneficial, allowing the dogs to gain valuable socialization skills, while improving the mental, physical, and emotional health of the people they visit.

Sam Simon with his own beloved dogs Casey, Petula, and Harvey

To learn more about what the foundation is doing to help dogs and humans alike, visit The Sam Simon Foundation website. You’ll also be able to view a list of adoptable pets, find free and low cost veterinary services, and receive tips and advice for choosing and caring for your shelter dog. The Sam Simon Foundation can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Image Credit: Sam Simon Foundation

Homemade Fall-Flavored Dog Treats That Will Make Fido Flip

If the change in season has you in the mood for fresh baked fall goodies, why not bake up a few for Fido, too? These delicious homemade dog treats are chock full of autumn’s best flavors, like apple, pumpkin, nuts, and cinnamon spice. And because they’re made from natural ingredients, they’re a healthy addition to their regular doggy diet, too.

Image Credit: DoggyDessertChef.com

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Treats
Fill their morning belly with a fresh from the oven Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Treat, which is made simply from flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, an egg, and a scoop of applesauce.

Image Credit: DogHillKitchen.com

Nutty Bacon Dog Treats
With ingredients like crispy bacon, creamy peanut butter, and sweet maple syrup, you’ll have trouble not sneaking a nibble of these Nutty Bacon dog treats (don’t worry, we won’t tell anybody.)

Image Credit: SimmerTilDone.com

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits
Nothing says fall like pumpkin, and as it turns out, it’s an excellent source of fiber and vitamins for dogs. No carving required, you’ll need just a half a can of pureed pumpkin to produce 50-75 yummy pumpkin biscuits.

Image Credit: 17apart.com

Sweet Potato Dog Chews
Made simply from sliced sweet potatoes, these dog chews are a great alternative to rawhide. Bake them in a low temperature oven (or food dehydrator) before bedtime and they’ll be ready for gnawing by daybreak.

Image Credit: AllRecipes.com

Turkey and Cranberry Dog Bones
Why wait til Thanksgiving? Give them an early taste of the holidays with this recipe for homemade dog bones, which calls for whole wheat flour, chicken broth, turkey, and cranberries.

 

Do you have a favorite homemade dog food recipe like the ones above? Tell us about it in the comments below?

Image Credit: Wylio.com

Cute Critter Cams Worth Watching

If you’re looking for an extra dose of cute pets in your life, then you just might think that these animal webcams are the cat’s pajamas. From kitten and puppies to pandas and penguins, tune in to watch the furry lives of dozens of different animals unfold via live streaming video feeds. Between their wagging tails and wet nosed cam kisses, you’ll find it hard not to smile or aww (or be productive at work!) Here’s a list of some of our favorite critter cams we think are totally paw-some!

The Scientist Kittens
Join kittens Darwin, Newton, Eistein, and Tesla, along with the kitten’s mother, Marie, for plenty of adorable kitty hijinks. Foster parent, John Bartlett (who is temporarily caring for the feline family on behalf of Purrfect Pals) keeps the live feed steadily active and also often provides updates about the kittens activity and growth.

Service Puppy Live Cam
Not one, not two, but six precious pups for your viewing pleasure! Watch as the 3-month old doggy half dozen are trained and cared for at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The litter will graduate the program within the next 10 weeks and will then move on to become service dogs and loyal companions to disabled vets.

Brooklyn Bunny
As the “longest running bunny webcam on the internet”, Roebling the bunny has been broadcasting his cotton-tailed adventures for 7 long hoppy years from his owner’s Brooklyn, New York apartment. The black-eyed bunny can often be caught getting brushed by owner Kevin, munching lunch during “Oaty Time”, and snuggling up for a nap in one of his many cardboard boxes.

Discovery Reef Aquarium
The HD webcam attached to the Columbus Zoo’s Discovery Reef aquarium provides a crystal clear shot of the fish, shark, stingrays and sea turtles that call the 88,000-gallon saltwater tank home. You’ll also catch a glimpse of one of the largest live coral exhibits in the United States as you soak in the the cool, calming view. The best part? You can control the camera!

San Diego Zoo Panda Cam
There are only about 1,600 giant pandas in existence, so the opportunity to getup close and personal with this endangered animal is very rare. But thankfully, the San Diego Zoo makes that possible for anyone who tunes in to their panda cam. Panda bears Bai Yun, Gao Gao, Yun Zi, and at times, the newborn baby cub, can be seen engaging in all of their bear necessities while viewing the zoo’s streaming video.

Sea World Penguin Cam
Hang out with 300 penguins in an ice cold 25°F climate without having to bundle up in a coat! With SeaWorld San Diego’s Penguin Cam, the black and white birds can be seen and heard wailing, wiggling, and waddling their way through the day via the live high-definition video.

 

Do you have a favorite animal cam? Share it with us in the comments below!

Image Credit: Warrior Canine Connection @ Facebook

Baby’s Best Friend: Cute Pups and The Pipsqueaks That Love Them

Dogs make great best friends to children. As pets, they make wonderful secret keepers, the perfect partner in crime (acting as a lookout when sneaking cookies and providing them with someone to blame for broken glass), and they’re just the right size for side-by-side cuddling. But more than just someone who will help them secretly polish off unwanted veggies from their dinner plates, dogs supply kids with an unconditional love and companionship that the child will remember for the rest of their life.

It’s true, there’s nothing quite like the friendship between a dog and child. Here’s a look at a few pooches and the pint-sized people they lovingly call pals.

 

 

What kind of pet did you have when you were growing up? Tell us about them in the comments below!

Image Credit: Wylio