RECALL ALERT: Possible Salmonella Contamination in Lamb Crunchys

May 29, 2014 – Los Angeles, CA. — Pet Center, Inc. has issued a voluntary recall of the 3 oz bags of their Lamb Crunchys dehydrated dog treats due to a possible Salmonella contamination.

WHAT

Products subject to being recalled by Pet Center, Inc. can be identified by:

  • Code LAM-003

  • UPC# 727348200038

  • Dated 122015

WHY

Salmonella was detected by the State of Colorado, Department of Agriculture in a random sample. Salmonella presents a risk to both the pets eating the tainted product as well as the person handling it.

Pets or people infected with Salmonella may present these symptoms:

In rare cases, Salmonella can result in more serious complications in people, such as:

If you or your pet presents any of these symptoms, contact a doctor (or vet) immediately.

THREAT LEVEL

Low

As of now, no sickness has been reported, and the low distribution of this tainted batch (only found in CA, WI, CO, and WA) meaning that this recall has a limited pocket of risk. However, if you have any of the products in question, handle them with caution.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

  • Return any unused product to the store in which it was purchased for a full refund (as per the instructions of Pet Center, Inc.)

  • Keep an eye out for symptoms of Salmonella (in you and your pet)

  • Contact Pet Center, Inc. with any additional questions at (800) 390-0575

ALTERNATIVES

Pets that enjoy Lamb Crunchys may also like:

DON’T MISS ANY RECALLS

 

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Tips for Bathing a Pet Who Hates Water

 

Some pets just love water, but let’s be honest here: it’s a rare pet who is really excited about getting into the bathtub. What do you do when bathing your pet has turned into a wrestling match worthy of a reality TV crew? Here are some tips.

1. Stick to a professional.

Let’s just go ahead and get the “last resort” out of the way. When all is lost and you’re tired of getting scratched up and your pet is tired of getting traumatized, then take your pet to a groomer. They know how to deal with difficult pets and how to be very efficient and calming during the grooming process so that your pet won’t have to suffer too much, even if your wallet begs to differ.

2. DIY, but not in your house.

Take your dog to a DIY dogwash. The anchor leash will help keep your dog’s head still to eliminate struggle. Better yet, between no scuffling, the raised tubs, and the hand-held spray, this should entirely eliminate back strain while you give your pet a very thorough washing.

3. Use a hand shower at home.

Many DIY instructions about bathing a pet include filling buckets of water to pour over your pet to wet and rinse them, but we’ve had the experience of a dog who was much more amenable to being bathed at home once the pet’s parent started using a hand shower for wetting and rinsing the pet’s fur.

4. Use dry shampoo between washings.

If you want to extend the time between trauma – I mean bathing – then try using this Dry Shampoo For Dogs and Cats to make dirt removal gentle and simple without water, and while preserving essential oils in the fur.

You can also try Bio-Groom Waterless Bath No Rinse Shampoo, which contains anti-microbial tea tree oil. Along with cleaning your pet’s fur, this spray can also detangle fur and relieve itching.

Do you have any tips or tales about bathing your pet? Let us know in the comments, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.

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Dogs Can Detect Prostate Cancer 4x Better Than Modern Tests

Finally, we have found a way to capitalize on our dogs’ long-standing affinity for sniffing rear ends.

Recent studies are showing that trained dogs are nearly four times better than modern testing when it comes to detecting prostate cancer.

The Facts

Prostate-specific antigen (or PSA) tests, in which blood is tested for a protein produced by the prostate, have been the most reliable and least invasive way to determine whether or not a man has prostate cancer. However, even that test frequently produces a false positive. In fact, 75% of positive PSA tests turn out to be incorrect, meaning that 3 out of 4 people receiving the bad news had no reason to be put under such stress.

Our canine compatriots, on the other hand, can detect prostate cancer with roughly 90% accuracy. And while this may be initially surprising, should it be? Dogs have been used for their keen sense of smell for hundreds of years. From tracking game, to sniffing out drugs and explosives, dogs’ well-honed schnozzes have been exceptionally useful tools for numerous tasks. And pair that with their ability to learn and perform various jobs, it should come as no surprise that, with the proper training, dogs can detect nearly anything.

RELATED STORY: Your Dog Knows Your Smell, Even From Afar

How Do These Dogs Do it?

Dogs have the ability to pick up scents that are as diluted as one part per thousand, thanks to their 200-million-some-odd nasal olfactory receptors (compared to the paltry 6 million we humans are equipped with). It’s that keen sense of smell that makes dogs such natural trackers. In order to use that ability to detect cancer, dogs can be specially trained to sniff out certain chemicals produced by prostate tumors in urine.

In a recent study by Dr. Jean-Nicolas Cornu of Tenon Hospital, out of the 66 tests that were done, Medical Detection Dogs were spot on 63 times, with only 3 false positives in the batch. That is an almost unheard of success rate for a test of this nature.

Skeptics are bringing up some concerns with the initial test, saying the sample size is too small to be making claims, or that the dogs may have been picking up on subconscious cues from researchers. Still, this test does open up the a whole new way to think about testing for diseases.

What do you think about using dogs to help detect cancer? Leave a comment and let us know! Also, consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more.

Sources:
Counsel Heal – Dogs are Four Times More Effective Than Prostate Cancer Tests
WebMD – Dogs Sniff Out Prostate Cancer
Daily Mail – Dogs are FOUR times better at detecting prostate cancer than traditional tests

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What to Do if Your Dog Is Bitten

 


Bite wounds are one of the most common reasons why dogs end up at the emergency vet clinic. Your dog may have gotten into a scuffle with another dog at the dog park, felt the wrath of the neighborhood cat, or had a close encounter with a wild animal. While many bite wounds appear to be small, they can end up spelling big trouble for your dog if left untreated.

Why Are Bite Wounds So Bad?

Bite wounds are puncture wounds, which means that while the outward appearance of the wound may be small, it likely extends deep into your pet’s skin. When the opening of the wound heals over (sometimes very quickly), bacteria from the animal’s mouth that bit your pet can get trapped deep inside, leading to infection and, in some cases, an abscess.

What to Do if Your Dog Is Bitten

#1 Get your dog away from the other animal as soon as it is safe to do so.

It’s not safe for a human to insert themselves into the middle of a dog fight, so be cautious. If the owner of the biting animal is around, ask them if their pet has been vaccinated against rabies (this will be useful information for your veterinarian to know). You may also want to exchange contact information with the other owner in case you need to follow up.

#2 Control the bleeding.

If the bite wound is bleeding a lot (often the case with bites to the ear or face), apply pressure to the wound with a clean towel or other piece of clean fabric. Try not to panic; if your dog sees that you are upset it may cause their blood pressure to rise, which can result in increased bleeding.

RELATED STORY: The Causes of Aggression in Dogs

#3 Head to the veterinarian.

While you might think your dog’s bite wound looks minor, the only person who can properly evaluate the situation is your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will look to see how deep the wound is, how much of your dog’s body area is involved, and recommended treatment.

#4 Treat the wound.

The treatment that your veterinarian recommends will depend on the extent of the injury. In most cases, the area around the wound will be shaved, the wound will be cleaned, and a decision will be made about whether to leave the wound open or seal it up. In the case of a small wound, the veterinarian may determine that leaving it open to drain is the best course of action. Larger or deeper cuts may be sutured up or stapled, and a drain may be placed in cases where damage is extensive or there is a chance of fluid buildup.

In most cases, your veterinarian will prescribe an oral antibiotic to ward off infection, and for minor injuries that are left open to heal, a topical antibiotic may also be prescribed.

Depending on the location of your dog’s bite wound, they may have to wear an Elizabethan collar or “cone” to keep them from licking or further damaging the injury site while it heals.

Follow your veterinarian’s instructions explicitly when it comes to home care of the wound. In some cases you may need to clean it or apply ointment, but you should only do so with products recommended by your veterinarian. Do not attempt to treat a wound with Neosporin or hydrogen peroxide without first consulting your veterinarian, as these products may actually hinder the healing process.

After several days, you and your dog may return to your veterinarian for a follow-up examination.

RELATED STORY: The Importance of Socializing a Dog

How to Prevent Bite Wounds

While there is no way to control the behavior of other animals, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of your dog being bitten:

  • Well-mannered dogs are less likely to bite or get bitten, so consider signing up for an obedience class with your pal.
  • Keep your dog on a leash while you are out walking, and if they are allowed to roam free in your yard, make sure that the area is enclosed and secure so that they can’t escape and other animals can’t find their way in.
  • Be cautious when it comes to other animals. Before letting your dog run free in a dog park, observe the situation and look for signs of tension or aggression. Before letting your dog approach another dog while you’re out on a walk, ask the other owner if it’s safe and okay to do so. The same should go for unfamiliar dogs approaching your dog; either grant or deny the other owner permission first.

Be careful out there. Sometimes, the bite is worse than the bark.

Has your dog ever been bitten by another animal? Leave a comment and tell us about it, and and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more. Check it out at PetPlus.com

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5 Must-Read Safety Tips for Pets in Hot Weather

Dog drinking water outside

 

Earlier this May, a woman in North Carolina was charged with animal cruelty after two dogs died after being left in her car for several hours. Even though she left the windows cracked open, and the outside temperature was only 80 degrees, the temperature inside the car grew so hot, that eventually the dogs succumbed to heat stroke.

Tragic stories like this are a reminder that it’s incredibly important to be extra careful with our pets during the warmer months. Sweltering weather can be uncomfortable for us, but ultimately, we can generally find refuge in air conditioning, make sure to keep drinking cold water, and strip down to as little clothing as possible. It’s not so easy for cats and dogs. Follow these tips to ensure your pets have a comfortable, safe, and cool summer.

1. Know What’s Normal

The best way for you to recognize heat stroke or heat-related distress in your cat or dog is to be incredibly aware of how they usually behave when the mercury isn’t sky high. Does your cat often drape herself along the floor, looking vaguely lethargic? Then it’s likely not a cause for worry, regardless of the temperature. But if your cat doesn’t usually rest that way, or your dog doesn’t typically pant quite so heavily, these could be signs of heat stroke. The more familiar you are with your pet’s habits and behavior, the easier it will be for you to know when something just isn’t quite right.

RELATED STORY: 7 Unsuspected Pet Dangers of Summer

2. Don’t Leave Dogs in Cars

Just like small children and babies, dogs should not be left alone in the car. If you’re running errands, consider leaving the dog at home. Or, bring the dog into the store with you if it’s pet-friendly. Even cracking the windows isn’t enough to keep your dog cooled off, since the temperature inside an enclosed car rises much faster than the temperature outside.

RELATED STORY: 5 Steps to a Safe Drive With Your Dog

3. Be Smart About Exercise

Making sure your pet gets adequate exercise is such an important part of their health, and shouldn’t be neglected just because it’s hot outside. That said, just like you might avoid a 5K run when it’s over 95 degrees, so too should your dog skip strenuous exercise when it’s really roasting outside. If you are going to exercise, see the next tip, and schedule wisely.

Don’t forget, even if your dog or cat isn’t going outside, it’s important to make sure that your home is cool enough for them to stay comfortable: consider keeping the AC going, or make sure there is a cool area in your home for your pets. For a break, try setting up a kiddie pool or sprinkler in the yard for your dog.

RELATED STORY: Which 7 Breeds of Dogs Exercise the Most?

4. Walk in Mornings and Evenings

Schedule your dog walks around the coolest times of day: the early morning and the evening. Keep walks brief if you have to go out during midday, when the sun is at its hottest. Be mindful of the temperature of the surfaces you and your dog are walking on — even though paws are a bit more sturdy than bare feet, if the sidewalk, sand, or brick pathway feels scorching hot for you, it’ll also be quite painful for your dog’s paws.

RELATED STORY: Hiking Tips for Pet Parents

5. Make Sure Water Is Always Plentiful and Fresh

Sometimes cats don’t drink enough water — this is a common problem — but as temperatures rise, inadequate hydration can cause real health issues. Jazz up your cat’s water bowl by putting in a few ice cubes, or, if your cat doesn’t have one already, consider trying out a fountain. Make sure whether you’re inside or outside with your dog, you always have fresh,clean water available.

RELATED STORY: Are Automatic Fountains Good for Cats? Understand the Pros and Cons

Need a new water dish for the warmer weather? Try PetPlus is a new benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more.

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How to Pet-Proof Your Yard

 

Bulbs are popping and seeds are starting to take root. For the green-thumbed among us, you know what this means: Gardening season is here! If you have an outdoor cat or a garden-loving dog, you might need to do some thinking about how you design your yard, what’s planted, and where you allow your pets to play. See below for some tips on pet-proofing your garden.

RELATED STORY: How Do Dogs Get Fleas?

Are the Plants OK for Pets to Eat?

Many of the very prettiest flowers, shrubs, and plants can be toxic to cats and dogs. Even non-toxic greenery, like grass, can cause pets to have an upset tummy. If you know your pets will be in the garden, take time before you plant to make certain you’re not introducing something potentially toxic to your pet’s environment.

RELATED STORY: What Plants Are Poisonous to Pets?

Is Your Fertilizer Toxic?

As well as killing mites and bugs and encouraging blooms from flowers, some fertilizers, pesticides, or insect repellants can contain ingredients that are toxic for pets. If you spray fertilizers or insect repellents on the grass, and your pet walks on the freshly treated area, it’s all too easy for some of the chemicals to wind up on your pet’s paws. Licking the paws later on can lead to your dog or cat ingesting some of the toxins. Aim to use pet-safe fertilizers, and keep your cat or dog off the lawn and away from the yard area just after applying chemicals.

RELATED STORY: 7 Unexpected Dangers to Pets in the Summer

Design With Your Cat or Dog in Mind

As you plot out your garden, think about your particular pet. Is it easy to train them to stay away from certain areas? If so, plant at will — but if your dog or cat has a tendency to go where they’re not wanted, or dig up herbs, shrubs, and flowers, you may want to establish boundaries. Here are a few ideas for how you can lay out your garden to accommodate your pet’s habits:

  • Create Pathways: Generally speaking, many pets will stay on pathways (and away from flower beds).
  • Establish Boundaries: Use materials like bricks, rocks, and leafy barrier plants to form boundaries around areas that should be kept pet-free. You can also put up a gate or fencing if you really want to make sure to keep pets away from vulnerable seedlings.
  • Try Containers: Raised beds, or containers, can be a good way to keep plants and flowers away from paws.

Stay prepared this flea and tick season with PetPlus, a new benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding and more. Does your pet love the garden? Tell us what tips and tricks you use to make your yard pet-friendly.

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How to Protect Your Pet From Wildlife

 


Most pets love the great outdoors, and with the weather heating up, you and your pal are likely to be spending more time outside. However, certain dangers lurk beyond the front door, from fleas and ticks to poisonous plants to extreme weather temperatures. And one additional danger that pet owners often overlook is the presence of other animals.

Depending on where you live, you may have skunks, raccoons, coyotes, rattlesnakes, large birds of prey, or other creatures in your yard or neighborhood. In addition to being carriers of disease, many wild animals are also capable of seriously injuring or even killing your pet.

To protect your pet from wildlife and keep the great outdoors great, follow these guidelines:

1. Make Your Yard Less Inviting to Wildlife

Wild animals often find their way into our yards when looking for food, water, or shelter. If you feed your pet outside, don’t make it a free-for-all; feed them at specific times, and collect unfinished portions when they’re done eating. Make sure that food storage containers and trash cans are secure and difficult for an animal to reach or knock over.

In addition, consider the vegetation growing in your yard. Are there berries, fruits, or seeds? You may be offering wildlife a non-stop buffet. Do you have a fountain or koi pond? It may be the perfect place for an unwanted guest to rehydrate.

Also consider cleaning up your yard to eliminate wood piles, rock piles, or other areas of clutter. These dark, shady nooks offer wild animals a cool and cozy place to curl up or nest.

RELATED STORY: Supplies for Keeping Outdoor Cats Safe and Healthy

2. If You Live In A High Risk Area, Don’t Leave Your Pet Unattended In The Yard

This is especially true for smaller pets who can be easily scooped up by birds like hawks or caught by coyotes. Larger pets can also become prey, so be careful if you live in an area with lots of predators, and remember that many animals hunt both day and night.

3. Vaccinate Your Pet

Make sure that your pet is up to date on their vaccinations. The rabies vaccine is especially important when it comes to encounters with other species, and if you live in an area known for rattlesnakes, you can also ask your veterinarian about the rattlesnake vaccine. And did you know that many dog obedience schools also offer classes for rattlesnake avoidance?! Pretty cool.

4. Practice Night Safety

Have you ever seen a skunk scurrying along a dark street? Or a band of raccoons feasting on spilled trash under a street light? Many animals come out at night, and an accidental encounter could spell trouble for your pet. When walking your pet at night, keep them on a leash, and be aware of your surroundings. Be careful about letting your pet sniff or walk around in dark bushes — this is how lots of dogs get “skunked.” And look out for groups of coyotes who may try to lure your dog away under the pretense of “play.” You can also make your yard safer by lighting it up; many wild animals avoid bright lights.

RELATED STORY: Hiking With Dogs: A Pet Parent’s Guide

5. What to Do if You Encounter Wildlife

If you encounter a wild animal while you are out on a walk, don’t panic; most animals are more afraid of you than you are of them. Your response to an encounter will depend on the animal and your distance from the animal. In many cases, an animal will run off on their own, but other times you may need to scare them away or defend yourself. Runner’s World has a great article on handling animal encounters.

Do you live in an area with wildlife or have you ever had a wild animal encounter with your pet? Leave a comment and let us know! Another way to protect your pet? Sign up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding and more. Check it out at PetPlus.com.

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Meet Muttville, A Senior Dog Rescue Organization

If you’ve ever owned a senior dog, you know how special they can be. Most are happy to spend their golden years lounging on the sofa, taking easygoing walks, and offering lots of cuddles. Unfortunately, many senior dogs lose their owners to old age or are abandoned because of medical or behavioral issues. In San Francisco, that’s where Muttville comes in.

Muttville is a senior dog rescue organization that was founded in 2007 by Sherri Franklin, a long-time volunteer at local animal shelters and a member of the San Francisco Commission of Animal Control and Welfare.

“I’ve always loved the underdog,” says Sherri who, in addition to being the founder of Muttville, is also the organization’s Executive Director. “I’ve learned that it takes a village to do it well, and our Mutt-village grows larger every day. Muttville has hundreds of volunteers and foster parents, and for each and every person, I am grateful that they care about abandoned senior dogs as much as I do. It’s gratifying to save each and every life and see the impact every dog has on the people that care for them. Then, to see a rescued senior find a new beginning with an adopter is the icing on the cake!”

The Rescue Process

So how do senior dogs end up at Muttville? The organization receives hundreds of requests each week from California shelter volunteers, workers, and individuals asking that Muttville step in and help save a senior dog. Currently, Muttville’s capacity is 65 to 75 dogs at any give time.

“We do the best we can with our capacity,” says Sherri. “They come to headquarters in San Francisco by plane, van, and automobile. Volunteer pilots with Wings of Rescue and Pilots ‘n Paws, as well as our own transport volunteers make it happen!”

Once a new dog arrives at Muttville, it receives a number, a name if necessary, a Muttville ID tag, a harness for outside walks, and as volunteer Patty Stanton says, “lots of love from reassuring volunteers.” This is all followed by a bath and a visit to Katy, Muttville’s in-house Vet Tech, who uncovers any health issues and addresses any immediate health needs. Then the dog is matched with a foster parent with whom they will stay and await an adoption application.

Reasons To Adopt A Senior

Some people may wonder why anyone would want to adopt a senior dog if it only has a few years left to live. The fact is that there are plenty of good reasons, from helping a dog’s final years be good ones to benefitting from the lessons that a senior dog has already learned.

“Seniors come with life experience, manners, and gratefulness,” says Sherri. “We believe Muttville has helped to make senior dogs more desirable. After all, some people want a dog that is already housetrained and has a pace to match their lifestyle.”

In addition, Sherri says that potential adopters should know that a senior dog that was once someone else’s pet has nothing but love to give.

“Seniors are more mellow and soulful. They know who butters their bread,” says Sherri. “I also hear from many adopters about how rewarding it is to give one of our older dogs a second chance at love in their golden years. Many adopters have come back to adopt a second or even a third dog from us!”

Thus far, Muttville has placed over 2,300 dogs into loving homes, and more are adopted every day. If you are interested in adopting, head over to Muttville’s “How To Adopt” page. And if you are a senior (62+ years old), you can check out Muttville’s Seniors For Seniors program.

“Muttville’s senior dogs are the perfect companions for senior humans,” says Sherri. “They’re mellow and well socialized, and they want nothing more than the gentle care of someone who loves them.”

Other Ways to Help

If you aren’t in a position to adopt, there are other ways to help Muttville, including fostering, volunteering, and donating.

Muttville’s foster homes are in the San Francisco Bay Area and play a large part in the adoption process. The dog is able to live in a relaxed, family environment (rather than a busy shelter) and establish a daily routine. In addition to day-to-day care, foster parents take their dogs to Muttville adoption events at least once a month, and if someone applies to adopt the dog, they take part in the process to determine if the situation is a good fit.

You can also volunteer with Muttville if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each day of the week, dog-loving volunteers are on site to help with walking, cleaning, feeding, bathing, grooming, and more.

“We also have volunteers who enjoy talking about the available dogs at outreach events, or give their marketing skills to Muttville,” says Sherri. “Others plan events, volunteer as adoption counselors, or are part of the Seniors for Seniors team. A Seniors for Seniors example is our monthly Cuddle Club, whereby senior citizens from senior centers come to Muttville and cuddle the older dogs with the help of a team of volunteers helping to make that happen. It’s pretty adorable!”

Don’t live in the San Francisco area but still want to help out? Consider making a donation via the “Donate” button on Muttville’s Facebook page or the “Give” button on Muttville’s site. You could also become a monthly Mutt Guardian, whereby an amount starting at $10 is deducted from your credit card once a month. Mutt Guardians help sustain Mutville’s rescue efforts as the organization spends $900 on average for each rescued dog’s vet care.

Our Gift to Adopters

As a thanks to senior-loving pet parents, PetPlus will offer a free trial of our benefit program to the next five dogs adopted from Muttville! PetPlus provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, boarding, and more. To become a member, learn more at PetPlus.com.

Upcoming Event

If you live in San Francisco, you can help celebrate Muttville, Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days, and the recent naming of “Rescue Row” on May 31, 2014. Rescue Row is the honorary name of the section of Alabama Street between 15th and 16th streets that is home to four animal welfare organizations, including Muttville.

On May 31st, you can join the organizations for an official unveiling. It is the first of its kind in the nation! Read the press release or visit RescueRow.org for more info.

 

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PetPlus and 2 Million Dogs Join Forces to Fight Cancer

 

What is the 2 Million Dogs Foundation?

Cancer is a condition that affects us all — that includes our dogs. As it stands, one out of four dogs will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. For the unlucky ones, while treatment is still an option, it’s often expensive, invasive, and ineffective.

To help bolster the fight against this debilitating disorder, 2 Million Dogs is dedicated to uncovering the links between people, their pets, and cancer, hoping to close in on how to best prevent this condition from developing in the first place.

LIKE US on Facebook; we will donate 25 cents per like to the 2 Million Dogs foundation!

How They’re Helping

 

2 Million Dogs puts all of its resources into providing funding for comparative oncology studies. Comparative oncology is an area of cancer research in which doctors study and aim to treat cancer in animals, with the hope that what they learn from treating pets will result in advancement in the field of cancer treatment in general.

As it happens, cancer in our pets is not so different from cancer in people. Pets and owners both share many of the same environmental risk factors, and the biology of pet and people tumors are remarkably similar. Also, since cancer moves quicker in pets – often advancing in months what would have taken years in a person – studying cancer in pets allows for a quicker completion of clinical trials. In short, comparative oncology works to cure and prevent cancer in our pets with the idea that the discoveries made will translate to improving cancer treatment for people.

2 Million Dogs raises money for comparative oncology by hosting their “PuppyUp” dog walks all across the country. During these walks, participants sponsored by friends and family walk two miles with their dog and thousands of others to raise funds and awareness for 2 Million Dogs. In this way, 2 Million Dogs manages to bring like minded people together, increase awareness about their cause, and draw from a large pool of donors all at once.

How You Can Help

 

PetPlus is offering to donate 25 cents for every new “LIKE” we receive on our Facebook page, so if you haven’t liked our page yet, now is a great time to do so. And if you’ve already liked us, then share this post with your friends!

We would also like to encourage you to reach into your coffers and donate a little something yourself, or look at their events calendar and participate in a walk near you. Or, if you’re so inclined, 2 Million Dogs is always looking for volunteers, as well as new venues to host a walk. So, if you have some time to spare, or live in a place that would embrace the 2 Million Dogs mission, reach out to them here.

And remember — if we all work together, we can put a “paws” on cancer!

LIKE OUR FACEBOOK PAGE TO DONATE

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How To Find A Good Dog Kennel

 


Summer is just around the corner, and that means lots of weekend getaways and even longer vacations. While it can be fun to bring your dog along with you when you hit the road, it isn’t always convenient. That’s where dog kennels come in.

Dog kennels are traditional boarding facilities where dogs mix and mingle with other furballs during the day and in most cases, sleep in crates at night. Many pet parents like kennels because they cost less than fancy dog hotels, and give your pal more opportunities to socialize than in-home boarding or pet sitting.

It’s easy to jump on the internet and find a kennel in your area in a matter of minutes, but before you decide to drop your dog off, there are some important things to consider. Here we’ll provide tips for how to select a good dog kennel so that you can feel confident taking a few days off.

Tip #1: Take a Tour

When considering a kennel, ask if you can take a tour of the facility. You should be allowed to view the play areas as well as where your pup will be sleeping at night.

  • Check for signs of cleanliness, such as clean floors. While pet messes are normal occurrences in kennels, they should still be cleaned up immediately to prevent the spread of disease and parasites.
  • Make sure that fresh water is available at all times.
  • Make sure that there are sleeping crates available to accommodate your dog’s size.

If the kennel doesn’t want you to take a tour, this is a red flag, and you should move on.

RELATED STORY: What’s the Cost to Kennel a Dog?

Tip #2: Observe Staff and Dogs

A good kennel will have trained staff members keeping watch over the dogs at all times. Take some time to observe the play area. Are the staff members distracted or engaged? Are they stepping in to stop problems before they escalate? Are dogs allowed to behave aggressively?

  • Look for a kennel with staff members who seem to genuinely enjoy dogs and who are paying close attention to what’s going on around them.
  • While a little wrestling is normal dog behavior, dogs should never be allowed to fight or bite.
  • The safest kennels separate dogs by size, reducing the likelihood of small dogs becoming injured or frightened.

Tip #3: Ask About Requirements And Insurance

A good kennel will require that your dog be up to date on their vaccinations, protected from fleas, and pass a temperament test to ensure that the kennel will be a safe place for all dogs. In addition, your dog’s kennel should be bonded and insured. If the kennel you are considering doesn’t have requirements or they aren’t insured, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Tip #4: Check Out Reviews

Thanks to the internet, reviews of businesses such as kennels are right at your fingertips. Sites like Yelp make it easy to search either for a specific business, or for those within a certain geographic location, and then read customer reviews. Look out for horror stories and read the positive reviews, too! Ideally, you’ll get a complete picture of the kennel you’re considering.

RELATED STORY: Kennel Cough Symptoms and Treatment

Tip #5: Ask for a Free Trial

Before committing to several days or several weeks, ask for a one day free trial. This will allow you to get a feel for the arrangement, and most good kennels are happy to oblige.

Tip #6: Decide What Is Important to You

Dog kennels really vary when it comes to amenities and services. Some kennels provide “report cards” on your dog’s behavior and activities, some have webcams that allow you to look in on your dog while you’re away, and some offer additional services like grooming. Decide what matters to you in a kennel, and go from there.

Do you take your dog to a kennel? What do you like about it? Leave a comment and let us know, and consider signing up for PetPlus, a benefit program for pet owners that provides member-only access to medications at wholesale prices, plus discounts on food, supplies, vet visits, boarding, and more.

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