Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

February 20th, 2014 at 12:46 pm

It’s National Love Your Pet Day!

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Today is National Love Your Pet Day, which seems kind of odd because we love our pets EVERY day, but it’s definitely nice to designate a day to really celebrate how much they mean to you. Whether you’ve got a dog, cat, rodent, reptile, fish or any other type of pet, give them some extra TLC today. Spend more time than you usually do with them…either playing with them or just holding, cuddling or petting them. Extra treats won’t hurt either! In our busy day-to-day lives we don’t always have time to give them, so make today great for both of you! What will you do with your pet?

Photo Credit: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

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November 14th, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Daisy’s Story

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For those of you with big families, you can probably relate to my parents who raised five girls. We always had pets growing up…dogs, cats, birds, gerbils, lizards, snakes (much to my mother’s dismay), you name it.  Now that all of us have families of our own, they live in a big house by themselves. Last month my mother started talking about adopting a dog and asked for my help in finding the best pup for her and my father. As an animal lover with two dogs myself, I was really excited to take on this responsibility and find my parents the perfect new addition.

I started by quizzing her on her preferences regarding size, gender, shedding, personality, look, etc. so that I could narrow it down to a few breeds that would suit them. We did a lot of research and decided that a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was a perfect choice. I hit the Internet to search Cavalier rescue groups, local shelters, and Petfinder.com, all great resources when looking to adopt a pet. I spent most of October filling out applications, providing references, and calling shelters. The adoption process is very detailed if you work with a credible shelter/organization…when they require multiple references, adoption fees, and sometimes even home visits, it’s a good thing because it means they care about where these dogs end up and that they go to a family who will give them a loving “furever” home. Surprisingly, many of the dogs we were interested in were adopted before we could even check them out.

Finally, while browsing Petfinder.com (which had become my daily routine), I stumbled upon a brand new listing for a tiny Cavalier…the pretty little girl you see in the picture above. She had been rescued from an Ohio puppy mill by the Champlain Valley Canine Rescue, a group of volunteers dedicated to rescuing animals from puppy mills across the country. I immediately contacted them about this pretty red and white colored girl (her coloring is referred to as “blenheim”). Thankfully we were first in line, and after submitting all the necessary materials and doing a phone interview, my parents traveled to Vermont to pick her up from the foster mom. They decided to name her Daisy. A happy ending for both the puppy and my parents…there is truly nothing like the unconditional love of a dog.

 

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August 14th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Throwing a Birthday Party for Your Pet

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My little Comet turns 1 year old today (or at least that’s our guesstimate based on how old he was when we adopted him). And yes, I planned a birthday party for him.  I know I’m not the only person out there who loves their pet so much that they’ll throw parties for them! If you are so inclined to celebrate your pet’s birthday, try some of these fun ideas:

Decorations.  Pawprint tablecloths, balloons, and other “paw-ty” supplies will make everything festive.  If your pet allows, feel free to adorn him with his own party hat or a special bandana.

Food.  Keep your pet at the top of your mind when making food. For a dog party, you can serve hot dogs for the humans and kibble for the dogs. For a cat party, humans can feast on fish filets while Kitty can enjoy Fancy Feast or a small helping of canned tuna, and of course, catnip.

Activities.  Be sure to set aside some playtime!  Play fetch or tug-of-war with the dogs.  Dangle a piece of yarn or have your cat chase a flashlight beam.

Cake.  It’s not a party without a birthday cake! Use a bone- or fish-shaped cake pan for the humans and give something special to the guest of honor, such as this tuna birthday cake for Fluffy or this tasty cake for Fido.

Be sure to keep your pet’s personality in mind. If he prefers quiet, then consider keeping the party to immediate family or maybe invite one animal friend.

Have you ever thrown your pet a birthday party?

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July 10th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Pet Adoption Basics

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Adopting a pet can be one of the most rewarding things you ever do. Not only are you giving an animal a loving home, but you’re also accepting a significant responsibility and a whole lot of unconditional love! There are a lot of things to consider before moving ahead. Being a responsible pet owner is important, so first, ask yourself these questions:

1)   Do I have enough money for a pet?

2)   Do I have enough time for a pet?

3)   Do I have enough room for a pet?

4)   Am I ready for the responsibility?

There are so many different types of pets, the key is finding which one is right for you. It is best to research the pet you have in mind to make sure it’s a good choice. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the adoption:

Research More

  • Research the adoption facility. Make sure it is reputable.
  • Ask friends and family who have adopted to give you recommendations.

Buy the Essentials

  • Before you bring the animal home find out what you will need to care for them.
  • You will need food, bowls, treats and a few good books on caring for your pet.
  • For cats you’ll need a litter box, litter and possibly a scratching post.
  • For dogs you’ll need a collar, a leash, and a tag.

Choose a Good Veterinarian and Make an Appointment

  • A newly adopted pet should always be seen by a veterinarian within the first few days. This is to ensure that the animal is in good health and up to date on vaccinations.
  • For young pets, you should discuss neuter/spay options with the doctor.
  • Like humans, pets should see a doctor at least annually.

Have you adopted a pet lately? Tell us about it.

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June 5th, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Cat Care

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June is Adopt a Cat Month.  There are many reasons why cats make great pets: they’re easy to take care of, easy to transport, and can be just as playful and affectionate as a dog.  While I love all animals and have lived with them my entire life, I have never had a more loving and fun pet than my 10-month old kitten, Comet, who we adopted from a shelter at Christmastime. But just because cats are easy to care for doesn’t mean they don’t require any of your time and attention!  If you think that a cat or a kitten might be the perfect pet for you and your family, consider whether you can provide the following care:

  • Feed your cat a balanced diet.  I feed Comet twice a day with healthy wet and dry food, like Blue, Merrick, and Tiki Cat.  Of course, as with a human child, they’re entitled to a treat every now and then and I’ve never met a cat that resisted Temptations!  Also be sure your cat ALWAYS has fresh water to drink.
  • Provide a litter box and keep it clean.  I’ve never had to “potty-train” a cat; I just showed them where the box was and they knew to use it.  Most will not use a dirty one, so be sure to clean it out as often as possible.
  • Buy a collar and an ID tag with your contact information.  Even indoor cats should wear a collar at all times.  Make sure it has a breakaway buckle, like this one from Petco, for your cat’s safety.
  • Groom your cat regularly.  Brush your cat regularly for a healthy coat and minimal shedding.  Make sure you also have nail clippers and styptic powder to trim their claws. A scratching post will also help trim them down.
  • Annual trips to the vet are a must.  Keep your kitty up-to-date on shots and vaccinations.  Have him or her spayed or neutered if this hasn’t already been done.

Finally, even though cats are known for their independence, they still crave human love.  Provide him with catnip and toys to keep him stimulated, but remember that his favorite toy is you!  These guidelines for cat ownership will help ensure that you have a happy kitty and that your family will have a loyal friend for years!

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May 23rd, 2013 at 10:00 am

Summer Pet Safety

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With the unofficial first weekend of summer upon us, it’s important to keep some important things in mind for our furbabies that we don’t have to think about the rest of the year.  Follow these tips to make sure your pet stays safe in the season of extreme heat, fireworks, and outdoor parties:

1)      Make sure your pet stays cool.  Even if I’m not feeling particularly warm, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be in a fur coat when the temperatures are rising.  Put on the air conditioner or fans for your pet and make sure he has plenty of fresh, cold water to drink throughout the day.

2)      Do NOT keep your pet outside (or in a closed car, for that matter) for any extended period of time.  If they must be outside, make sure they have a shady spot to lie down and cold water to drink.

3)      Especially leave them inside on Memorial Day and the 4th of July.  It can be easy for your dog to get lost or into trouble if you bring them to an outdoor event with a lot of people, and fireworks can be dangerous, not to mention frightening, for them.

4)      Practice safety around water.  Don’t just assume that your pet can swim on its own in a big pool or a lake.  Now they make small pools especially for dogs so Rover can stay cool and safe.  For larger bodies of water, make sure they are wearing some kind of flotation device.

5)      Be careful what you feed them.  If you’re having a barbecue, take special care to ensure that your pet can’t get a hold of anything they shouldn’t be eating or drinking, especially chocolate, onions, raisins, grapes, and alcoholic beverages.

Taking this advice into account will ensure that your pet will have a safe and happy summer!

Photo Credit: CesarsWay.com

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January 3rd, 2013 at 5:00 am

Winter Pet Safety Tips

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Winter has just begun and temperatures will continue to drop for a little while.  It’s easy enough for us to survive the harsh season, but make sure you also protect your pet from the colder weather!  Here are a few essential safety tips for your furry friend:

  • Never EVER leave your pet alone in the car. You probably already know that summer can turn your car into an oven. Well, winter can turn your car into a refrigerator and be just as deadly to your animal. Also be sure to clean up any antifreeze spills from your car, as antifreeze is a highly poisonous chemical for dogs and cats.
  • Bring your animal inside during the colder months and make sure they have a warm place to sleep, such as a blanket that’s away from drafts.  If you live in an area with many outdoor cats, provide a warm shelter for them that’s lined with old blankets and regularly check the bedding to make sure it’s still dry.
  • Be sure to wipe your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in from the snow.  Otherwise, he could be ingesting salt or other dangerous substances while licking his paws.
  • Consider outfitting your short-haired pet in a coat or sweater for when they do need to go outside. Some of you may think it silly to put clothes on animals, but your little critter may thank you for it!  PetKaboodle.com has some adorable options!
  • Make sure your pet is wearing his ID tags at all times!  More pets are lost during the winter than any other season, so make sure your pet can be easily identified so he can be returned home more quickly.

Pets are our family, so do everything you can to protect them this season!  How do you prepare your critters for the winter?

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November 28th, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Homemade Dog Treats

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For many of us, our pets are like furry children. We often let them sleep in our beds, get away with being naughty and spoil them rotten. We also want to make sure they’re healthy and happy, so feeding them delicious and nutritious foods is important. Frequent pet treat/food recalls and common unhealthy ingredients like BHA and BHT make it difficult to find good treats. Making your own from scratch will ensure that your pup is eating safe, healthy foods that they’ll love! Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

 Bacon & Cheddar Dog Treats

 Peanut Butter & Honey Dog Treats

 Apple-Cheddar Dog Biscuits

Have you ever made homemade treats for YOUR pets?

Photo Credit: thescrumptiouspumpkin.com

 

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October 23rd, 2012 at 5:00 am

Pet Costumes for Halloween

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We have written about Halloween quite a bit over the past few weeks. We have talked about games, parties, apps, costumes, even making a costume out of a Garanimals outfit your son or daughter can wear all season. Halloween would never be complete in our Garanimals community without including the option for your pets!

Here are a few of our favorites:

Every family thinks they have a Superdog, why not have them dress the part?

Is your pooch a little on the devilish side? Let his true colors shine through with this costume.

How about this pirate costume? We are still wondering how they got that dog to sit still for the eye patch!

This one is simply hysterical. We would imagine the cheerleader is dating the quarterback.

Do you dress up your pets for Halloween?

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September 26th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Best First Pets/Bird Category

Parakeets (Budgerigars or Budgies, as they are sometimes called) make great first pets for families. There are more than 120 species of parakeets and they come in a rainbow of colors. The word “parakeet” means long tail, and these small members of the parrot family can live 15-25 years.

Parakeets are lively pets with big personalities. They are also good talkers and do best at mimicking the higher pitched voices of women and children, which delights little ones. Parakeets tend to be much quieter than other birds, which will please your neighbors.

Their small size makes them more economical pets than larger parrots, as they require smaller, less expensive cages and toys.

While many birds tend to bond strongly with only one person, parakeets are vey social and can get to know the whole family. When given lots of love and attention, they tame quickly.

The best way to start is to wrap your parakeet in a small towel with only its head exposed. Cup him gently in one hand and scratch the back of his head with the other. As he calms down, pick up a small piece of apple or grape with your free hand and slowly release the tension on the towel. He’ll end up sitting in your other hand enjoying his treat before you know it.

Related Picture Books
Brian’s Bird by Patricia A. Davis
Parakeets (Pet Care for Kids) by Kathryn Stevens

Photo credit: Bedroom Eyes by PuppiesAreProzac via a Creative Commons license.

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