Giving Back: PetPlus Announces $10K Donation Initiative

Animal Shelter Charity

Here at PetPlus we are on a mission to remove the limits on pet care. We think that means doing what we can — lending a hand to folks who need a little help providing the pet care their pets deserve. To that end, we are thrilled to announce a huge giving back initiative! PetPlus will be making a $10,000 donation to an animal shelter or non-profit in the fall of this year – but we need your help!

Click Here To Nominate an Animal Shelter For $10,000

How It Works

We’re asking YOU to nominate a local animal shelter or non-profit you think deserves the $10,000. We want nominations for big shelters, little shelters — and everything in between. Whether it’s where you adopted your pet, spend your weekends volunteering, or just a cool organization that you’ve heard about – we want to know about it!

To nominate an organization, please visit our Facebook page and fill out the form. Then SHARE the campaign on Facebook or Twitter to spread the word.

Not on Facebook? Not a problem. Send us an email to community@petplus.com. Include you first and last name, email address, and the name and location of the organization you would like to nominate. Also include a link to their website if they have one.

The Voting Process

The nomination period will close on July 16, 2014. We will then vet nominees based on their legitimacy, mission, and interest in receiving the donation. On July 23, 2014 we will announce 3 finalists and open voting up so you can help us select the winner.

All of the finalists will receive free PetPlus memberships, but we’re asking YOU to determine which organization will receive the $10,000 donation.

Why only support one? Because we believe we can make the biggest impact by focusing on one organization at a time.

Help Us Help Them

Help us make a BIG difference for an animal shelter or non-profit in need. Please make your nomination by visiting our Facebook page and filling out the form. Share this blog post on Facebook and Twitter, and don’t forget to come back on July 23 to cast your vote!

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Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe at the Beach

Keep your Dog Safe at the Beach


The dog days of summer are upon us, and many pet parents are taking their four-legged friends to the beach for some fun in the sun. The beach can be a great place to kick back, relax, cool down, and toss a frisbee with a furry companion, but before heading out to sea, it’s important to be prepared to keep your pal safe on land and in the water. Check out our tips for keeping your dog safe at the beach.

 

  • Before taking your dog to the beach, make sure that your dog is allowed to be there! While many beaches are dog-friendly, others are not, and taking your dog to a people-only beach could result in a citation or fine.
  • If you take your dog to a dog-friendly beach, remember that posted beach rules are laws, so follow them carefully. Common beach rules include keeping your dog off of dunes, cleaning up after your dog, and keeping your dog on a leash which is extremely important in keeping your dog safe on the beach.
  • Make sure that your dog is up to date on their vaccinations.
  • Your dog should wear a collar with an ID tag at all times. Your dog should also know the “come” command if you plan to let them off leash.
  • Be prepared with a pet first aid kit in the event that your dog steps on a piece of glass or has an unfortunate encounter with a jellyfish.
  • Dogs that should not go to the beach include: puppies under 4 months (for their own safety), aggressive dogs (for their own safety and the safety of others), and female dogs in heat (because they could cause fighting amongst intact male dogs).
  • Be a good citizen. Don’t let your dog bother other dogs, bark excessively, or otherwise disturb other beach-goers who are trying to relax. If your dog is causing a scene or making a mess, it is probably time to head home.

RELATED STORY: The 7 Unsuspected Pet Dangers of Summer

Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Water

  • Don’t assume that your dog can swim. While it’s true that some dogs are natural swimmers, others — especially those with flat faces (like pugs) — find it more difficult to take a dip. If you’re not sure about your pup’s water skills, outfit them with a life vest and supervise your dog whenever they get into the water.
  • Even if your dog is an expert swimmer, lead them toward calmer waters and away from dangers like speedboats and riptides, and ask a lifeguard to point out any potential danger spots.
  • Don’t let your dog drink salt water. While you won’t be able to keep your dog from taking a few gulps here and there, you should discourage them from drinking too much as salt water in excess can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even salt poisoning. Additionally, some waters may contain dangerous illness-carrying microorganisms. Bring plenty of fresh water along and offer that to your dog instead.
  • Salt water can also irritate a dog’s skin, so rinse your dog with fresh water before leaving the beach or upon returning home.

RELATED STORY: Pet First Aid: How to Treat Dog Wounds

Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe in the Sun

  • It can get hot at the beach, so look out for signs of overheating and heatstroke, including rapid panting, drooling, loss of coordination, vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, and loss of consciousness. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, get them out of the sun immediately and head to the vet’s office.
  • Hot sand can burn sensitive paws. Bring a blanket or towel for your dog and consider dog booties if it’s a particularly steamy day.
  • Offer a shady place for your dog to take a break, like under an umbrella or a pop-up tent.
  • Dogs with pink noses and light, thin coats are at risk for sunburn and skin cancer. Apply dog sunscreen to your dog’s ears, nose, belly, and any other exposed areas. Some dogs — like those with hair loss or very thin hair — may also benefit from wearing a dog t-shirt.

Now that you’re prepared, go have some fun! Do you take your dog to the beach? Leave a comment and tell us about it, and to keep your pet safe and healthy all year round, consider signing up for PetPlus! PetPlus is 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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Blind Dog Duffy Can Finally See His Family Again

This is Duffy, the formerly-blind dog. Having lost his vision to diabetes, Duffy the Irish Terrier was blind for over a year. However, thanks to the miracle of modern science, he was recently given back his sight. And he could not have been happier.

RELATED STORY: What Causes Blindness in Dogs?

Watch as he sees his family for the first time in over a year!

THE VIDEO

 

Keep in mind that he knew nothing but darkness for over a year! In the video, Duffy is overcome with joy at seeing his people again. Just look at that tail go!

A BLIND DOG’S LIFE

When Duffy was adopted roughly 9 years ago, his family knew that he was a somewhat unhealthy pup. He had signs of liver disease and the onset of diabetes was looming on the horizon.

RELATED STORY: Causes of Diabetes in Your Cat or Dog

Duffy’s condition worsened due to complications with his medication. The most devastating blow came when Duffy lost his vision. “I can only imagine what went through his mind the day it all went black,” said the dog’s owner, Benjamin May, in the original Reddit post.

However, as frightening as it must have been for him to lose his sight, it must have been that much more exhilarating to have it come flooding back. You can see it in the video — he can barely contain himself!

Duffy’s insulin treatment cost his family approximately $350 a month, and the surgery cost $5,000. While some think that the amount of money spent is too high, the May family has a different view on it. “He’s happy and he makes us happy, he’s family to us, you can’t put a price on family,” (Reddit).

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, vet visits, boarding, and more.

Source:
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/06/17/the-beginning-of-this-dogs-story-broke-its-owners-heart-the-ending-brings-tears-of-joy-to-her-eyes/
http://www.reddit.com/r/videos/comments/286it4/our_dog_duffy_went_blind_due_to_diabetes_after_a/

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Bringing Your Dog to Work Could Make the Office Run Smoother

Bringing Your Dog To Work

 

Ever thought about bringing your dog to work? Office life can be a drag; they don’t call it “the 9-to-5 grind” for nothing. A typical corporate setting with confined work spaces, stressful presentations, and limited friendly interaction can quickly drain someone of their zeal for the job.

That’s why companies across the country are starting to think creatively when it comes to improving office morale. One such method seeing positive results is “take your dog to work day.”

 

Certain work spaces are now allowing their employees to bring along their furry best friends with the hope that their presence will help improve the overall vibe of the office.

In pet friendly offices, people get to interact with dogs throughout their day, breaking up the routine in the most cuddly way imaginable.

Also, it can help humanize the employers as well — it is hard to view your boss as a tyrant when they are playing a game of fetch with your dog.

 

Some offices are implementing a Dog Day once a week to give employees something to look forward to, while others are keeping their doggy door open 24/7, turning their office into an all day puppy party. Either way, employees in dog-friendly offices have reported significantly lower levels of stress.

Beyond that, while employees in a standard office claim to have increasing levels of stress throughout the day, people in dog-friendly offices tend to relax as the day progresses. (Center for Human-Animal Interaction at Virginia Commonwealth University, 2012). It seems bringing your dog to work calms down your coworkers!

 

However, despite the various benefits to bringing your dog to work, only 5% of offices in America allow pets.

Part of the reason for such a low number of dog-friendly work spaces is the legal ramifications of a canine-related mishap.

Things to consider are employee allergies or phobias; some people feel alienated by the presence of something they fear or that physically irritates them.

 

Another potentially complicated matter is the fact that some dogs are simply not socialized well enough to be safe in an office environment. How do you make sure that the dogs being brought in are up to the task?

Opening your office’s doors to dogs requires that you place a lot of trust in your employees’ judgment.

You don’t want to find out too late that someone’s dog doesn’t do well in crowded places when bringing your dog to work.

 

So while the inclusion of dogs in the office is by-and-large a good thing that could make the day-to-day minutiae a little more tolerable, the fact that dogs are not universally adored, along with people’s allergies, leads companies to play it safe and take the common stance of “keep your pets at home.”

But if you work in an environment where there are no persons opposed to the presence of a dog on a regular basis, float the idea and see how people respond. Assuming the dog is well behaved, most people will jump at the opportunity to include a fur baby in their daily office routine.

PetPlus is 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.

Source:
The Washingtonian – Working Like a Dog

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Top 4 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Always Hungry

 

The Top 4 Reasons Your Dog is Always Hungry


Does your dog devour their food the second the bowl hits the floor? Do they then beg for scraps at the table, scavenge for snacks in the trash, or cruise for crumbs under the couch?

You might wonder what’s making your dog so hungry. Are you feeding them enough? Are they sick? Do they simply have a big appetite?

Let’s take a look at some reasons why Rover might seem so ravenous.

1. A Dog’s Biological Appetite

Dogs started out as scavengers, and some canine behaviorists suggest that dogs continue to act as if they have limited access to their most vital resource — food. Therefore, dogs seize any opportunity to eat food because it might not be there the next time they need it.

Another theory suggests that if your dog was rescued off the streets or from a situation in which they didn’t have regular access to food, they may more easily remember what it feels like to go hungry and thus may be more likely to scavenge.

2. Giving Your Dog Attention + Rewards

You know that if you slip your dog a piece of chicken from your dinner plate, they’re only going to be more inclined to beg for another morsel; yet sometimes it can be hard to resist feeding that friendly, furry face! Many dogs beg for food because they know it works, and that they’ll instantly get attention and a reward. So even if your dog isn’t actually hungry, they might still beg because it’s a fun and tasty game.

3. Improper Feeding In Dogs

In some cases it may be true that your dog isn’t getting enough to eat. The type of food that your dog eats and the portion size will depend on a number of factors, including your dog’s size, age, and activity level. Ask your veterinarian to recommend an appropriate food and portion size for your unique pup.

4. Dog Medical Issues

There are certain medical conditions that can contribute to an increased appetite, including diabetes, Cushing’s disease, and pancreatic disorders. Some dogs may also develop an increased appetite in old age or as a result of a medication they are taking. If you notice that your dog is hungrier than usual or is exhibiting other unusual symptoms, contact your veterinarian.

Does your dog have a big appetite? Leave a comment and tell us about it, 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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Should Your Pets Be Allowed to Sleep in Bed With You?

 

Who sleeps in your bed at night? Are your pets allowed to sleep in bed with you and your loved ones? If you’re like many pet owners, your cat or dog is one of the family members snuggled up under the covers.

According to figures from the CDC, around 50 percent of dogs sleep in bed alongside their owners, and 62 percent of cats cuddle up with their pet parents at nighttime.

Is Co-sleeping With Your Pets Healthy?

But is this good for you? According to research done by Dr. Duthuluru, recently presented at an annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, more than 60 percent of people co-sleeping with their pet reported poor sleep quality, and a third of respondents also mentioned waking up during the night due to their pet’s movements and activity.

RELATED STORY: All About Cat Sleep

So yes, there are many reasons it’s best for your pet to sleep in their own bed. Most likely, if you sleep pet-free, your sleep will be a bit sounder.

And, if you’re at all allergic to pet dander, keeping pets out of the bed will help limit your symptoms. Of course, allowing your cat or dog in the bed can increase your chances of exposure to fleas or ticks, as well as muddy paws and little bits of cat litter.

RELATED STORY: Is My Dog Sleeping in My Bed a Bad Thing?

Why Do So Many Pet Owners Allow Pets in Their Beds?

Yet for all these factors arguing against co-sleeping with your pet, there’s a reason so many people do it. Having a pet in your bed is comforting and reassuring; it’s nice to have a cozy companion right there as you drift off to sleep. In a way, the reason for sleeping with a pet are similar to why we sleep with our spouses and significant others: the need for closeness.

As Jon Methven writes for the Atlantic, “We sleep together not because it’s fiscally responsible, but because we are affectionate beings. Our minds need rest, but our minds also need camaraderie and intimacy and whispering.”

My cat, Vera, was the runt of the litter, weighing in at around eight pounds.

Despite her petite size, some nights, it feels as though she is occupying fully a third or half of the bed, taking up as much room as a tiger. But for all that — the restless nights, the awkward positions to accommodate her foot-of-the-bed spot — I wouldn’t trade her nighttime presence for anything.

She’s a warm, loving, purring comfort. And bonus: on winter nights, she doubles as a foot-warmer.

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How Big Will My Dog Get? Tips for Estimating Your Dog’s Full-Grown Size

blog-dog-size


Size is one of the most important factors to consider when adopting a puppy. Do you want a small dog that will fit on your lap, or a large dog that you can take hiking and camping? Or perhaps you want something in between — a medium-sized dog that is the best of both worlds?

Before bringing a puppy home for good, it’s important to know what you’re getting into. Your dog’s eventual size will have an impact on their exercise needs, grooming requirements, and cost. So how can you figure out how big your dog will get? Let’s take a look at answering the question, “How big will my dog get?”

Estimating the Final Size of a Purebred

Estimating the final size of a purebred dog is not all that difficult. You can get a good idea by looking at the pup’s parents and at breed standards on the American Kennel Club’s website, where you’ll find each breed’s typical weight range, height, and more.

Measuring Mixed Breeds

Figuring out the final size of a mixed breed pup can be more tricky, especially if you adopt a dog from a shelter and the dog’s breeds, age, and parents’ sizes are unknown. However, there are some ways to estimate a pup’s growth potential, outlined below.

Growth Considerations

There are certain considerations that can help you project your pal’s eventual size:

  • Look at the breed and size of both parents. If the parents are the same breed and around the same size, you can get a pretty good idea of how large your dog will grow. If the parents are different breeds and different sizes, the bitch’s size will have more influence on your pup’s eventual size than the sire’s.
  • Some suggest that you can estimate your pup’s size by doubling their weight at 4 months old. For giant breed dogs, double their weight at 5 months instead.
  • While it’s not an exact science, looking at your pup’s paws can help you predict their final size. A pup with petite paws isn’t going to grow to a weight they can’t support, and a dog with large, floppy paws isn’t going to end up a dainty puffball.
  • Height vs. weight: a dog will stop growing in height before it stops growing in weight. Most dogs will be at 75% of their final height at around 6 months old, but they can keep putting on weight for another 6 months to another year, depending on the breed

When Do Dogs Stop Growing?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including size and breed. In general, small breed dogs stop growing sooner than large breed dogs. This will help answer your question of “How big will my dog get?” and give you ample time to prepare.

No matter how big your dog get, PetPlus makes it easier to give them the care and protection they deserve!

Interested in trying PetPlus? Sign up here and get your first two weeks free!

national-dog-day

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What to Do if Your Dog Is Stung by a Bee


The official first day of summer is fast approaching, and chances are you’ve already started spending more time outside with your dog. Perhaps you’ve started noticing more flowers blooming too, and with them, more bees buzzing. No one likes getting stung by a bee, but for most people it’s only an annoyance unless you’re allergic.

Dogs, on the other hand, can suffer serious kidney problems from bee stings if they are stung by multiple bees at once.

So what if your dog is stung by a bee?

There are even cases of dogs dying from multiple bee stings, so it’s a good idea to know how to keep your dog safe and what you should do if your dog is ever stung.

Bees vs. Wasps

Both bee and wasp stings can be poisonous to dogs, and if you end up needing to take your dog to the veterinarian following a sting, you’ll want to be able to tell the vet just what type of insect stung your pup.

Worker bees are rounder and smaller than wasps. Worker bees have barbed stingers that are designed to lodge into the skin, killing the bee when the stinger detaches from the body.

Bumblebees have a “fuzzy” appearance. Bumblebees have smooth stingers that can actually sting multiple times and the bee will not die as a result.

Wasps have longer, smoother bodies. Wasp stingers are not barbed, but they do tend to be more painful, and if provoked, a wasp may sting multiple times.

RELATED STORY: Poisonous Plants to Dogs and Cats

Avoiding Bee Stings

Here are some useful tips for avoiding bee stings:

  • Most dogs get stung on the face while poking around near flowers or investigating or chasing an insect that’s capable of stinging. While it’s not possible to avoid every flower, you can keep your dog away from high risk areas on walks and hikes and discourage them from playing in your garden.
  • Keep your yard clean and clear to avoid attracting bees and wasps. Put away leftover food, clean the grill after BBQing, and make sure all garbage cans are secure.
  • Check your yard regularly for bee and hornet nests. If you find one, call a professional to safely remove it.
  • If you plan to go on a walk or hike with your dog, avoid wearing strong smelling perfumes, lotions, or deodorants. Bees are attracted to strong, sweet smells, and your dog may end up suffering the consequences of your fragrance.

RELATED STORY: The 7 Unsuspected Pet Dangers of Summer

What to Do if Your Dog Is Stung

Regardless of how safe you are, bee stings can still sometimes happen, and it’s important to know what to do if the situation ever comes up.

  • Stay calm and move your dog away from the area, as there may be other stinging insects or their nest nearby.
  • Examine the sting area. If you see a stinger, you can try to remove it to reduce the amount of venom that is injected into your dog’s system. Do not squeeze a stinger or try to remove it like you would a splinter. Instead, flick it with your finger or the edge of a rigid object like a credit card.
  • In the case of a single sting, you should be able to manage symptoms at home. Apply a mixture of water and baking soda to reduce the pain, and use an icepack to minimize swelling and inflammation.
  • Keep an eye on your dog’s sting. If it begins swelling up, go to your veterinarian or an emergency clinic right away.
  • If your dog has been stung multiple times, go to the veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately. Treatment typically involves fluid therapy, corticosteroids, and close monitoring of your dog’s vital signs.

 

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The Top 5 Dog Separation Anxiety Tips

 

When you leave your home to head to the office, do the sounds of your dog’s whines, barks, and howls follow you out the door? If your dog feels down when he has to spend the day alone, try these tips to make it easier for you to leave, and to help keep your dog entertained while you’re away.

Here are our top 5 dog separation anxiety tips.

1. Tire ‘Em Out

Take your dog for a long walk, a quick jog, or a game of tug of war or fetch. A tired dog will rest and nap for much of the day, and will have an easier time with your departure.

2. Distract When You Leave

For many dogs, being alone during the day is just fine, but that moment when you depart can provoke anxiety. If that’s the case for your dog, make it your mission to provide a delicious distraction during that distressing moment. A food-filled toy like a kong will keep your pup occupied while you ease out the door.

RELATED STORY: Is Your Dog Suffering From Separation Anxiety

3. Hire a Dog Walker

Especially when they’re young, a full day is a long time for a dog to spend alone. Hire a dog walker to come by in the middle of the day. Not only will your dog get a bathroom break, but they’ll also enjoy some social time.

4. Provide Tons of Toys

Avoid having chewed-up slippers and remote controls: Provide your dog with plenty of stuffed animals, chew toys, and other doggy delights to keep them occupied while you’re away. Get new toys occasionally so they don’t get bored, and leave an assortment of toys readily available each day.

5. Give Your Dog Something to Watch

What’s your dog going to do all day long while you’re gone? There’s napping, eating, playing — but maybe your dog needs a few more distractions and entertainment options. Think about leaving the television on (maybe to a nature program), having a fish tank, or setting up a bird feeder in your backyard to provide something interesting for your dog to watch. These dog anxiety tips have helped us at PetPlus before and we hope they’ll help you too!

 

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Houston Animal Rescuer Gives Second-Hand Pet Supplies New Life

While working at a pet store back in 1997, Janet Huey — a long time Houston animal rescuer — had a thought: where do pet supplies go when a pet dies or outgrows them?

“This was way before eBay, Craigslist, etc.,” Janet says. “There was no niche anywhere.”

She decided to leave her job and start Pet Resale Stuff, a mobile microbiz serving the huge pet community in Houston, TX. Pet Resale Stuff does just what it says — resells discarded pet stuff. Janet’s inventory is made up of items that pet owners trade in, items found at thrift stores, and items that she collects through referrals from veterinary clinics.

If you live in the Houston area, be sure to stop by Pet Resale Stuff’s Facebook page to find out about upcoming sales and offers.

“Recycling pet items is increasing in popularity,” Janet says. “Younger people are really liking the ‘green’ aspect.”

At any given time, Janet may be selling crates, beds, leashes, toys, grooming supplies, pet clothes, and more at deep discounts. She also sells non-pet items that become pet items with a bit of imagination.

“Sleeping bags make great, inexpensive beds for big and little dogs,” Janet says. “And pillow shams with a thick piece of foam make inexpensive beds, as they usually come in pairs.”

Because Janet cares about the safety of her two-legged and four-legged customers, she makes sure to clean and disinfect anything she plans to resell.

“For cat trees, for example, I replace the sisal and let the tree sit out in the sun before using lots of carpet cleaner,” Janet says.

And if an item doesn’t meet her standards for reselling, she’ll keep it for herself if she can use it for her own dogs, cats, or cockatiel.

Pet Resale Stuff is mobile and sells at the Westbury Animal Hospital in Houston on weekends. Janet also makes deliveries. Her client base is made up of employees at vet clinics, loyal shoppers who like the delivery option, and a spay/neuter clinic that buys up every crate Janet can find.

“I love everything about my job,” Janet says. “I get the most joy out of keeping a dog in a home when the humans were ready to give up on them. And I’m able to save Houstonians money while keeping stuff out of landfills.”

And if you want to save on pet care and you don’t live in Houston, sign up for PetPlus! PetPlus is 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. Find out more at PetPlus.com.

Thank you, Janet, for all that you do!

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