New Program Shows That Cats Help Students Read

 

Can Cats Help Students Read?

A new way to encourage struggling students to improve their reading skills has suddenly cropped up, and it is cuddlier than you might think.

THE PROGRAM

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County, PA, has recently set up The Book Buddy program, in which students having difficulty reading get to practice on one of the least judgmental audiences imaginable — a room full of cats.

RELATED STORY: How to Adopt Shelter Cats

It all began when volunteer coordinator Kristi Rodriguez’s son was having trouble reading. She told him to try reading to a few of the cats in the shelter, and it worked like gangbusters. Now her son is reading better than ever.

And thus, The Book Buddies program was founded.

HOW IT WORKS

One student, Colby Procyzk, had lots of trouble reading and his difficulty ended up impacting his sense of worth. Says Katie Procyzk, Colbys mother, to the Huffington Post: “He’d get himself so frustrated and upset. He’d cry, ‘I can’t do this, I don’t want to, I’m dumb and I’m stupid,’”

Luckily, his grandmother has ties to the Berks County Animal Rescue League (ARL), and had heard about The Book Buddies program. It did not take long for Colby to fall in with the program, learning that reading doesn’t need to be a chore. Since his involvement with the program, Colby’s reading in school has gone up two grades, and he even started reading for his own enjoyment.

In a different case,The Book Buddies program helped Cheyenne Boyles overcome her fear of animals. Previously frightened by the mere presence of pets, Cheyenne was enrolled in the program by her father, a volunteer dog walker. After a few weeks of reading to the kitties, Cheyenne has learned that pets are nothing to be afraid of, and now even helps her dad take shelter dogs on walks.

CATS HELP STUDENTS READ? WIN WIN

It doesn’t stop there, either. Yes, the program is a great way to stimulate interest in reading, as well as provide struggling students a safe environment to practice, but it also helps the cats as well. The Book Buddies program is a great way to get these cats socialized. Many strays are wary of human contact at first. However, after being around children that are simply minding their own business and speaking to them in soothing tones, these cats start to come out of their shell.

RELATED STORY: What Can Cause a Scared Cat to Panic

The program has also managed to stimulate adoptions, with parents wanting to take home the special cat that helped their child overcome their difficulties with reading. So, while The Book Buddies program was set up with the only goal of helping children become more comfortable reading, it has evolved into a multifaceted service that helps children, pets, and the shelter alike.

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 Clicker Train Your Dog

So what’s the point of clicker training? Don’t you get dependent on a device to get your pet to do anything?

Great questions!

Here is how to clicker train your dog.

The point of clicker training is to get your dog’s attention in a consistent fashion, which can make training go faster. You don’t become dependent on the device, because over time, your dog will recognize your commands, regardless of whether you’re using the clicker or not. Eventually, you can stop using the clicker altogether.

1. Choose your signal.

The first step is to choose the signal you will use to inform your pet that a command has been given and there’s a potential for treats to be earned.

You can buy an inexpensive clicker, or you can simply choose a different sound, like snapping your fingers, tapping your foot, or clicking your tongue.

See what works best at getting your dog’s attention.

The most important part of any training method is that you’re consistent, so see what works and stick to it in order to clicker train your dog successfully.

2. Choose a reward.

To start, it helps immensely to hold your dog’s attention if you use a mixture of treats and praise. Choose the most delicious treat in the world to your dog.

Then over time, as your dog begins to respond reliably to commands, you can phase out the treats and rely on praise alone.

3. Choose consistent commands.

There’s the word “consistent” again. To get any training to stick, you need to be steadfast in your methods. When it comes to commands, keep them to one or two words, such as “Sit,” “Stay,” “Heel,” and “Come.”

Make a list of commands to practice with your dog so you remember which commands you chose. Don’t make your dog think too hard about what you’re saying; it’s enough to learn how to obey!

4. Watch your dog’s attention level.

Stick to regular meal times. You want to keep make sure your dog isn’t starving when it’s time to train, or their energy will be drained and they won’t be able to focus as well.

As training progresses and your dog earns treats, they will feel fuller and they won’t be as motivated to work for your rewards.

When going about clicker train your dog keep sessions focused and short so your dog doesn’t get stuffed, bored, and burned out on training.

Do you have any stories or tips to share about training your dog? 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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Top 3 Tips To Stop A Dog Stealing Food

 


When you consider dogs started out as scavengers, it’s not surprising some dogs find it hard to resist sneaking a nibble from an unoccupied dinner plate or raiding a tray of appetizers left out for guests. So it’s only natural then that people would see a dog stealing food.

However, it is annoying, and it can also be hazardous to your dog’s health if they steal food that is poisonous to dogs. Fortunately, there are ways to teach your dog to keep their paws — and tongue — off the table. Let’s take a look.

Here are our top 3 tips to stop a dog stealing food.

1. Don’t Let Your Dog Learn a Bad Habit

From the first time your dog successfully steals food from the table, they probably won’t hesitate to try it again. To prevent easy access to food, put away all leftovers, keep breads and baked goods in bins and jars, and keep foods that need to be left on the table or countertop in Tupperware containers.

In addition, don’t feed your dog scraps from the table while you’re at the table. If you do, your dog may learn that it’s okay to take food from the table. If you wish to reward your dog with a bite of dog-friendly human food, take it to their bowl instead.

RELATED STORY: Your Dog Food Questions Answered

2. Teach the “No” and “Off” Commands

The “no” command will come in handy if you catch your dog in the act of stealing. However, you shouldn’t use the “no” command or otherwise punish your dog if they’ve already eaten the stolen food; they won’t understand why you’re upset.

The “off” command is another useful command you can use if you have a small dog who jumps on tables or a large dog who counter surfs with their paws. Just remember never to “shoo” or push your dog off a table; they could get scared, fall, or injure themselves.

Pick your dog up and put them down or let them jump off if it’s safe to do so.

3. Teach Your Dog to “Lie Down” When Food is Around

When you want to teach your dog to stop stealing or begging, the “lie down” command can be a real lifesaver. When food comes out, give your dog the command, wait for them to lie down, and then offer a treat. Keep offering treats every 15-20 seconds or so, even as you eat.

After some practice, start spacing out the time between treats. In a matter of weeks your dog should learn that they are more likely to get a snack if they lie down nicely than if they poke their nose around and beg.

You can also integrate your dog’s bed or favorite blanket into this training. Ask them to lie down on their bed instead of the kitchen floor, then offer a treat.

Your dog will learn that being on their bed earns them a jackpot, and over time you should be able to move their bed to an out-of-the-way location while you’re eating dinner or entertaining. Just be sure to keep rewarding your dog for their good behavior.

RELATED STORY: How to Calm Down a Dog

A Note About Deterrents

Some trainers recommend using deterrents such as tin can pyramids, booby traps, and cookie sheets that will make loud noises or scare your dog off when they attempt to steal food.

However, these methods can sometimes do more harm than good as they may set your dog up to become anxious in the kitchen or afraid of everyday items like cans.

If you find that your dog is stubborn and doesn’t respond to the other methods suggested above, talk to a trainer and see if deterrent training is a good technique for your particular dog.

Does your dog steal food? Leave us 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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Top 5 Ways to FInd a Lost Pet

 

One of the best ways to increase your chances of finding a lost pet these days is to have had the foresight to get your pet microchipped so that in the case your pet is found, their address can be traced back to yours.

Of course a good collar with a sturdy and clear ID tag can do the same thing, as long as your address and phone number are visible and your pet doesn’t lose their collar.

If you want to get more immediate knowledge of your pet’s location, collar clip-ons like Tagg and Pocket Finder stream GPS information on your pet to your laptop or phone.

But let’s say your pet is lost out there, microchipped or not, and you want to take action to bring your pet home. Here are some tips in finding a lost pet.

Here are our best ways to help finding a lost pet.

1. Search nearby.

Your first step is to fan out with friends and family in the area where your pet was last seen with treats and your pet’s favorite squeaky toys. You can also leave clothing or a pillow that has your scent on it outside your house.

2. Distribute a flyer.

Create a flyer with your pet’s photo, name, and your phone number. Distribute the flyer to your neighbors, plus local businesses, vets, shelters, and rescue organizations. Post flyers wherever you can in a one-mile radius.

RELATED ARTICLE: Runaway Beagle Found; Shelter Refuses to Return Dog to Family

3. Visit your local shelters.

Call local vets and visit local shelters in person every one to two days.

To avoid the chance your pet could be euthanized if brought to a shelter, be vigilant about visiting the shelter in person in case your pet was found and the shelter staff on duty at the time isn’t aware of your case.

4. Use social media.

You can start a Facebook page for your lost pet and spread the word quickly by sharing with all your friends, like this family who lost their dog, Harley.

You can also search for a local Facebook page that specializes in lost pets, like LostFoundDogsVA, and post your pet’s photo there.

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Find a Lost Pet

5.  Register your pet as lost.

Look online for places to register your pet as lost. Whether your pet is microchipped or not, you can add your pet to some lost pet registries. Some options are:

Pet Key

Pet Amber Alert

Fido Finder

The Center for Lost Pets

You can also place an ad on Craigslist with a photo of your pet and details on where they were last seen, and how to return the pet to you.

Have you ever recovered in finding a lost pet? Let us know how in the comments, and consider signing upfor 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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What to Do When Finding a Stray Animal

 



If you’ve ever had your pet go missing, you know what a relief it is to get the phone call telling you they’ve been found. Many times, lost pets turn up thanks to the help of do-gooders who stop and help when finding a stray animal.

If you wish to intervene the next time you see a pet wandering the street, it’s a good idea to know the best way to go about it. Be safe, follow the laws, and think about what you’d want someone to do if they found your missing pet. Check out our tips on what to do if you find a stray animal.

Safety First

Consider your safety, the animal’s safety, and the safety of those around you.

  • If you are finding a stray animal in the middle of the street, don’t slam on your breaks or run out into traffic! You can’t help the animal if you get hurt, and you could cause an accident.
  • Remember that a confused, scared, and possibly sick or injured animal may behave unpredictably. If the animal looks threatening, you feel nervous, or you’re at all unsure of the animal’s temperament, stay in your car or at a distance if you’re on foot.
  • If you choose to approach the animal, do so slowly. Sudden movements and loud voices may cause an animal to bolt. Use a calm, reassuring voice and try to get the animal to come to you first by offering treats or animal-friendly food.

RELATED STORY: How to Foster a Cat

What to Do With the Found Animal

  • The Humane Society suggests restraining the animal if possible by creating a barrier or using a crate, carrier, or leash. If you cannot confine the animal and they are out near traffic or injured, divert cars around them if you can do so safely.
  • When finding a stray animal, if you cannot restrain them, call your local animal control agency or the police. Ask them how long it will be before someone can come and help. If you can, stay with or near the animal until help arrives.
  • In some cases you may be able to lure the animal into your car to wait for help to arrive. However it is usually not a good idea to transport an unrestrained stray animal in your car as they may become anxious or aggressive.
  • If you are able to safely restrain the animal, you may be able to transport them. Take them to the nearest animal shelter or veterinarian so that they can be scanned for a microchip. If the animal does not have a microchip or ID tag, you can choose to leave the animal at the shelter or take them home (if you wish to keep the animal in the event that the original owner is not found).
  • Keep in mind, however, that laws vary from state to state. Just because you find an animal, it does not necessarily mean that you automatically own it. In most states, the animal is not owned by the person who found it until the state’s holding period for strays has passed, the finder has made attempts to find the original owner (such as making flyers), and the finder has taken certain steps to prove that they wish to care for the animal, including getting vaccinations, a license, and an ID tag.

RELATED STORY: How to Adopt Shelter Dogs

Things to Consider When Rescuing a Stray

  • Animal shelters and control agencies are not always able to provide care for injured or sick found animals. In addition, many shelters have budget and space limitations. If you take a found animal to a shelter, understand that they may consider euthanizing the animal if it is sick or if the shelter is overcrowded.
  • If you decide to take a found animal to the vet because it appears sick or has injuries, be prepared to pay for any treatment out of pocket.
  • Think about what you would want someone to do if they found your missing pet when you’re finding a stray animal. Even if the animal isn’t very friendly or especially cute, you should make every effort to return them to their original owner. Put up flyers, post to the internet, and make sure that the shelters around you have a description of the animal and your phone number.

Rescuing an animal can be a wonderful thing — and even more so when the animal is reunited with a worried owner — but always remember that not every stray animal is safe to approach, and you should use your best judgement to keep the animal, yourself, and those around you safe.

When in doubt, contact your local ASPCA or animal control agency.

Have you ever found a lost animal? Leave a comment and let us know. And to keep your pet safe and healthy, 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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How to Teach the “Come” Command: Recall Training Dos and Don’ts

 


The “come” command is more than just a neat trick; it’s also important for your dog’s safety. If there is ever an emergency or if your dog ever wanders too far, the “come” command — when used appropriately — will get your dog back to you quickly and safely.

Here we’ll look at how to teach the “come” command as well as some dos and don’ts of recall training.

How to Teach the “Come” Command

What you’ll need:

When you should train:

  • Before you feed your dog — this will make whatever treat you offer especially enticing
  • Not after a walk — a dog who is tired may lose interest or fail to obey because they are worn out

Where you should train:

  • An outside area free of distractions, such as your yard or a quiet park
  • Change your location if the dog seems distracted. You can also change the location once your dog has started to learn the command. This will allow you to practice the command in new, unfamiliar, and challenging places.

RELATED STORY: Pet Microchips 101

Training Steps:

  1. Attach the 10-foot training leash to your dog’s collar.
  2. Take them outside and let them go the length of the leash, sniffing and exploring while you hold firmly to the other end.
  3. After several minutes, use your noisemaker and shout “Come!” Keep using your noisemaker and shouting “Come!” until your dog returns to you.
  4. When your dog returns, offer immediate praise, a treat, and show excitement!
  5. Repeat until your dog can perform steps 3-4 successfully several times in a row.
  6. As your dog begins to understand the command, add distance with longer training leashes, by connecting multiple leashes together, or in a fenced-in yard. Eventually you should be able to phase out the noisemaker.

RELATED STORY: How to Train Your Dog to Watch You

Recall Training Dos and Don’ts

  • DON’T chase or try to catch a dog that does not “come” on command. Your dog will think you are playing a game, and this will unravel the training process
  • DON’T yell at or punish your dog for not coming. This will cause your dog to have a negative association with recall, and that’s the last thing you want.
  • DON’T call the dog repeatedly once they have started to understand the command. Only say it once. If the dog doesn’t obey, ignore them. This will teach your dog that the only way they will get a reward is if they obey it the first time.
  • DO end your training session on a positive note. Allow your dog to successfully “come” before you quit for the day.
  • DO reinforce the “come” command alongside other commands. For example, ask your dog to “sit,” “stay,” and then “come.”

Does your dog have good recall? Let us know how you trained them, 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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How The Yellow Dog Project Could Have Saved My Dog

The Yellow Dog Project

 

While everyone wants to think that their dog is the greatest creation to come out of the cosmic laboratory (and I am not saying that yours isn’t), simply put, some dogs are not good around strangers. Whether their bugaboo be children, other dogs, or strange faces in general, there are a handful of otherwise lovely dogs that, under the right — or wrong — circumstances, can become downright frightening.

 

RELATED STORY: How We Misunderstand Dog Aggression

Whether the root cause is a lack of socialization (as is the mainly the case), a breed-specific disposition, or damaging past experience, being the parent to a snappy dog can be a tremendous burden. Luckily, there is a movement in place to help better identify these troubled dogs – The Yellow Dog Project.

 

Many people make the argument that every dog has the potential to be safe and social. However, for some families it is safer to simply identify that your dog has issues, work on them in your own time, and do what you can to let strangers know they should steer clear during the interim. And I come from a place of understanding, because a few years ago, I was a part of one such family.

RELATED STORY: How to Stop Dog Aggression

Meet Finbar

 

When I was 13-years-old, my father finally decided to get our family my most sought-after addition: a dog. However, this story does not have a storybook ending. Heck, it doesn’t even begin like one.

From the first time I met Finbar, it was all bared teeth and flat-back ears. In his defense, these were clearly signs of fear and not outright aggression, and while I was curious about the root of this fear (we always thought he had a cruel owner before we got him), that did not stop me from shaking in my boots the second I saw those chompers.

RELATED STORY: Reading Dog Body Language

After a few days of cohabitation, Finbar stopped seeing me as a threat and the two of us became fast friends — playing in the yard, teaching him tricks, and watching TV with his head in my lap. However, despite how well he got along with all of us, anytime a new face was introduced — human and dog alike — Finbar would lose it. And what made it worse is that he wouldn’t snarl or give any indication that he was afraid — just sit like everything was fine, but when your hand got too close…WHAM!

It became exceedingly difficult to have people over, and even simple tasks like a walk around the block became an ordeal. “What if someone tries to pet him and I don’t react in time? What if he snaps at another dog and ends up getting into a scuffle?” Finbar was a danger to others, as well as himself. And despite all the behavior training we went through, nothing seemed to help.

RELATED STORY: The Cause of Aggression in Dogs

THE INCIDENT

Everything came to a head at one of my sister’s soccer games. We were sitting on the sidelines watching her play when tragedy struck. The mother of one of the other girls came over to pet Finbar, which ended up causing her a trip to the ER and a handful of stitches. She reached her hand down and before any of us could react, Finbar had lunged and sunk his teeth into the back of her hand.

RELATED STORY: What You Can Do About Your Dog’s Anxiety

After that, we decided we were unable to keep Finbar and also feel safe. So we found a couple with a nice little farmette in upstate New York to take care of him; that’s right — he actually went to a farm upstate.

Now, had The Yellow Dog Project been in existence then, and had more people been aware of it, we could have popped a yellow bow on Finbar’s leash. It’s possible some people on the street might have known to avoid him. Maybe Mrs. Church would have never needed to seek immediate medical attention on that fateful day. Furthermore, had we been able to properly ID Finbar as an antisocial dog, who knows how long we may have been able to hear the pitter-patter of his paws running up and down the stairs?

So, for Finbar’s sake, if you know someone with an antisocial, infirm, or elderly dog that does not play well with others, let them know about The Yellow Dog Project and help us prevent another pee-wee soccer incident from occurring.

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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Is Your Dog Bored? 5 Dog Jobs Your Dog Can Do

Dogs are meant to live active lives. Dog jobs keep that activity alive. Their wild ancestors spent the majority of their time hunting and scavenging, and over time domesticated breeds began working alongside humans in hunting, farming, and protection capacities.

Today, many dogs live sedentary lives that involve no work whatsoever, and in many cases, very little activity. Maybe your pup gets an hour walk in the morning and then spends the rest of the day lounging around the house.

Sound boring? It can be, and boredom combined with excess energy often leads to behavioral issues, such as anxiety and destructive chewing. If you want to help your dog release some of that energy and live a happier, more fulfilled life, consider putting them to work! Here are 5 jobs that your dog can do.

1. Have Your Dog Carry a Backpack

Going on a walk or a hike? One dog job is to put your dog to work by outfitting them with a dog backpack filled with whatever supplies you need (poop bags, treats, water, etc.) Dog backpacks are perfectly safe when fitted correctly and loaded with the appropriate weight for your dog’s size (check with your veterinarian). It’s one of those dog jobs that both you and your dog can benefit from on long adventures!

If this job is the right fit, your dog will feel like they are performing an important task by carrying a haul. Your dog should be both mentally and physically stimulated, and that’s what you want in a job for a dog.

2. Teach Your Dog to Help Around the House

Do you sometimes forget to turn off the light before getting into bed? You can teach your dog to turn it off for you.

Do you sometimes leave the front door open after walking inside with an armful of groceries? You can teach your dog to shut it.

How can you do this? With a training method known as targeting.

How to Target Train Your Dog for Household Tasks

First, teach your dog to “touch” a target, such as a post-it note.

1. Hold the post-it note a couple of inches from your dog’s nose.

2. When they learn forward to sniff or inspect it and you see them make contact with the post-it note, say “touch!” and offer a treat. Timing is incredibly important; you should offer the treat the instant that your dog touches the post-it so that they will know what’s earning them the treat.

3. Repeat this exercise until your dog catches on.

4. Once your dog understands targeting, you can place the target (the post-it note, for example) anywhere you’d like, such as on a light switch.

Repeat the above exercise and over time make the target smaller and smaller by tearing off small pieces of the paper and change the command word from “touch” to “lights.” Once your dog reliably touches the light switch, remove the target altogether.

RELATED: 5 Tips for Dog Safety Around the Home

3. Play Retrieving Games

Many breeds — such as Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Poodles, Newfoundlands, and Cocker Spaniels — were primarily bred to retrieve birds or other prey for hunters. A lot of dogs still perform these duties today, but those who do not — and don’t have another outlet for their energy — may become anxious and high-strung.

However, you don’t have to become a hunter to satisfy your dog’s natural instincts. Instead, teach your dog to “fetch,” and then take them to new and interesting locations that will help them tap into their innate talents. For example, throw a stick in a river or a stuffed toy in a field. Just make sure that your dog has good recall if you plan to take your game into the wild.

4. Train for Therapy Dog Work

Therapy dogs travel with their owners to places like nursing homes, hospitals, and schools to offer support and affection. Friendly, well-socialized, and healthy dogs are the best fit for therapy dog work, and after training and certification, you can find volunteer opportunities in your area.

Your dog will not only be mentally stimulated, they’ll also do a lot of good. For more information, check out the PetCareRx article “How to Get Therapy Dog Certification for Your Dog.”

RELATED STORY: How to Teach Your Dog to Kiss and Snuggle

5. Take Some Classes

Training classes will put your dog to work as they learn new skills, and in doing so offer plenty of mental and physical stimulation. There are loads of dog training classes to choose from outside of basic obedience. Once your dog masters obedience training, check out other ways to challenge your dog, including tracking (nose work), agility training, and more.

Does your dog “work?” 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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RECALL ALERT: Hill’s Science Diet Recalls 62 Bags of Food

Hill’s Science Diet Has Recalled Dog Food

June 4 – Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. of Topeka, Kansas is voluntarily recalling 62 bags of their Hill’s Science Diet Adult Small and Toy Breed dry dog food due to a possible contamination with salmonella.

WHAT

The limited production, consisting of only 62 bags suspected of contamination, can be identified as such:

Product NameBag SizeSKU“Best Before” Date/ Production Code
Science Diet® Adult Small & Toy Breed15.5 lbs.909708 2015 M094

 

The SKU number of Hill’s Science Diet can be found on both sides and the bottom of your bag.

WHY

The product was accidentally released to the public, even though it was deemed unfit for consumption

THREAT LEVEL

Low

Only 62 bags have been identified as contaminated, 17 of which have already been identified and collected.

WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you have a bag of the aforementioned dog food, stop feeding it to your dog immediatly and contact Hill’s directly at 1-800-445-5777 to have them come and collect the contaminated product directly. Upon collection, Hill’s will issue a full refund. You should also consider seeking medical attention if you or your dog begin to exhibit symptoms of salmonella. To read more about salmonella, visit this page.

ALTERNATIVES:

Pets that are on Hill’s Science Diet might also like:

Natural Balance L.I.D. (Limited Ingredient Diet)

Wellness CORE Grain Free Ocean Diet

Solid Gold Just a Wee Bit Small Breed

DONT MISS ANY RECALLS

 

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5 Ways to Help Keep Your Cat Hydrated

 

Keeping Your Cat Hydrated

Not drinking enough water can be very detrimental to your cat’s health. But your very persnickety and particular cat might not be content with a drinking from his water dish. If you worry that your cat isn’t ingesting enough liquid, encourage him to hydrate with these five tips.

RELATED STORY: Is Your Cat a Picky Eater?

Always Provide Fresh Water

Always have clean and fresh water available for your cat. Understandably, your cat will avoid drinking dirty or stale water.

Provide clean water as part of your morning routine, and check throughout the day to make sure the water is still fresh.

RELATED STORY: 5 Reasons to Use Fish Oil

Ice It!

Slip an ice cube into your cat’s water to jazz it up. The cold, slippery ice provides an exciting sensory experience for your cat, and can lead to an increased interest in drinking keeping your cat hydrated.

Switch to Wet Food

Compared to dry food, wet food has a higher water content, so it can help keep cats hydrated even if they’re avoiding their water bowl.

To make wet food extra hydrating, include a spoonful or two of water with every portion of the food; the water will become flavored with the wet food, and your cat is likely to slurp it up.

RELATED STORY: What’s the Best Pet Food for Your Cat?

Try a Fountain

The trickle of running water can be deeply appealing to cats.

If you find that your cat likes to drink from the bathroom sink or other faucets around the house, consider getting a cat fountain, which will provide your cat with running water at all times.

RELATED STORY: Are Cat Fountains Helpful?

Use a New Dish — Or, More Than One!

Consider having more than one water bowl available for your cat — perhaps you’ll want to have one in the living room or kitchen, and another up on your second floor.

You can also try swapping out different types of dishes until you find one that your cat likes.

 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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