Pets face many of the scariest hazards out on the street: speeding cars, aggressive animals, and inconsiderate people are just a few of the terrors that keep us pet parents up at night. But some of the most terrifying dangers come from items lying around our own homes. Last year, the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center fielded over 165,000 phone calls from panicked pet owners worried that their companions had been exposed to toxic substances. Here are the top five things you should lock up tight, and it doesn't hurt to keep the ASPCA's 24-hour hotline (888-426-4435) handy for your own emergencies.
June 4 is National Hug Your Cat Day, and while we advocate this loving action every day, it's the purr-fect time to spoil Kitty through embraces and other means. We've rounded up our favorite feline-coddling tips to help you spoil her to your heart's content.
It doesn't seem as though a pet would have a large carbon footprint, but when you stop to think about where your dog's food, toys, and other equipment come from, his environmental impact can actually be quite significant. However, it doesn't take an extreme life makeover to turn your pooch's routine into a green machine. Just follow these easy-peasy tips, and tell us: what do you do to green up your pup's daily activities?
Source: Flickr User akaporn
Recently, Lauren Conrad couldn't resist the big brown eyes of a puppy in need at her local animal shelter, and really, who could blame her? Puppies, kittens, and other young animals tend to be adopted first because they are just so darned cute. But this means that shelters often overflow with older animals who can make even better companions than their baby-faced counterparts. As the parent of a 14-year-old Jack Russell whom I raised from a pup, I can tell you that I look fondly on her wild and wacky days at the dog park, but I appreciate these last few golden years of mellow neighborhood walks and long afternoon naps.
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, so in honor of all the older ladies and gents who still need a loving home, I'm providing a handful of reasons why you should consider adopting an aging pal and a few ways you can make them feel right at home.
Source: Flickr user normanack
Even though you're probably familiar with the underwater dog images that took the Internet by storm earlier this year, the photographer of these wild and wacky pups, Seth Casteel, may not yet be a household name at your pad. But in fact, the pet portraitist has been on the photography scene for several years now, snapping endearing shots of pets for magazine covers and celebrity moms and dads. Yet it's the gleeful images of dogs plunging into swimming pools, chomping after their favorite toys, that have put Casteel on the map as one of this country's premier — and innovative — pet photographers.
We tapped the man behind the camera for his tips on how to take awesome action shots of your pet, so check out his pointers and some images from his new book, Underwater Dogs, available today!
Source: Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel
It's nearly the most fur-raising time of the year as humans and pets alike prepare creepy getups for All Hallows' Eve. But if this is your pet's first time going incognito — or he's a little spooky around dressing up — it's important to take it slow. You may think his costume is the cat's meow, but he's going to need some extra TLC while getting comfortable with his cute new outfit so you don't end up in the doghouse!
Kitty, Meet Costume
It's important to introduce the costume and allow him to get acclimated to the actual item before his big debut. I recommend starting at least a week before Halloween, especially if he's not used to being dressed up. First, let him sniff the costume and get used to its scent. Then place it on top of (but not fully on) him and reward him with praise and a treat. Consider this your pet's dress rehearsal!
A Pup in Disguise
Never force a pet to wear a costume. Talk to your pet in a soothing voice as you dress him up. Some pets dislike certain parts like the over-the-head or under-the-belly process, but this shouldn't be a huge struggle. If your pup doesn't appear to approve of your costume choice and fights back, by all means stop.
Have a Happy Halloween!
If at any time during the festivities your pet looks uncomfortable, take off the costume. Make him feel extra special by lavishing him with praise and special attention. And watch out that the clothing doesn't get caught on ordinary household items. That can ruin the fun of a costume really quickly! Since Halloween comes only once a year, don't forget to take plenty of pictures of your pet and his awesome disguise, and feel free to provide him with an extra pet-safe treat or two!
Did you know that 53 percent of adult dogs and 55 percent of adult cats are considered overweight by their veterinarians? Our pets are there for us through thick and thin, so it's easy to think there's no harm in giving them one more treat. But as pet obesity can cause a myriad of health problems — think: osteoarthritis, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, breathing problems, kidney disease, and shortened life expectancy — that cute belly pudge that your pet is carrying is no longer so, well, cute. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention has proclaimed today National Pet Obesity Awareness Day, so in support of pups everywhere who need to lose a few, we're breaking down the organization's tips for helping pooches lose weight through walking.
Talk with your hands! While tiny treats are key motivators to any positive training session, there's something else you should be doing — In addition to using the chosen words for sit, stay, and more, also select a distinctive gesture for each command. It's really up to you to choose the hand movement that feels natural, as long as you stick to it once you settle, but get inspired by standard signals and start this slideshow.
Not every dog is lucky enough to fly presidential class on Air Force One, but no matter what part of the plane your pet will travel in, check out this seven-step timeline to fly the friendly skies. Even if you're not taking to the air, several of these are good tips to remember when traveling by car. Start living the high life when you check out this slideshow!