Daily Archives: December 29, 2011

12 Resolutions to Help Homeless Pets in 2012

from petfinder.com

We’re ringing in 2012 with 12 ways you can make a difference for homeless pets. Whether you resolve to do one throughout the year, or try a different one each month, you’ll be sure to spread a little joy to homeless pets with these New Year’s resolutions:thinkstock-101537207-tags.jpg

Thinkstock

1. Get yourself new sheets and towels — then donate the old ones to a shelter or rescue group. You’ll be recycling, helping homeless pets stay warm and comfy andgetting new linens. Want to beat that? Ask your friends and neighbors to do the same!

2. Print out and post adoptable pet profiles at your office, dog park or grocery store. Does your local dog run, your office or your grocery store have a place for fliers? Ask if you can post a new adoptable pet’s profile there each week. Simply click the print icon on a pet’s Petfinder profile to get a printable page with all the pet’s info!

3. Give a list of local shelters to your vet’s office. Vets are often the first place pet parents go for recommendations on anything pet-related — including where to find a specific kind of pet. Give your vet’s office a list of local shelters and rescue groups and help get the word out to people who may not otherwise adopt. View shelters and rescue groups by state to get started!

4. Photograph or video an adoptable pet for their Petfinder profile. Help shelters and rescue groups show off their adoptable pets by donating your artistic skills. A great photograph or cute video might just convince someone to come visit that pet — and hopefully take him home. Check out our blog post about how to take great photos of shelter dogs and tips for taking adoptable pet video.5. Help lost pets get home again. Join a nationwide network of 650,000+ PetRescuers keeping an eye out for lost pets. Sign up to receive lost pet alertsfrom HomeAgain when a dog or cat goes missing in your area.

6. Volunteer your lunch hour at a shelter. Even one hour a week can make a huge difference to shelters and rescue groups. Find an adoption group near you and ask what kind of help it needs. Volunteers can take on a lot of different roles doing anything from walking dogs, cuddling cats, cleaning cages, washing dishes, answering phones and even helping screening potential adopters. (Learn more about volunteering at a shelter here.)

7. Organize a pet food drive. Help pets and people too by organizing a pet food drive at your office. Simply put a box in your office where coworkers can donate a can of cat food, a bag of dog food, treats and other pet supplies, then bring them to your local shelter or rescue group. (Call ahead of time to find out if there’s a brand of pet food the shelter needs most.)

8. Help your dog overcome his fears. If your dog suffers from anxiety, you can buy a Thundershirt to help ease his tension and 15% of your purchase will go to thePetfinder.com Foundation to help homeless pets. (Find out how one Petfinder staffer helped her dog overcome his fear of thunder.)

9. Help an adoptable dog overcome his fears. Don’t have a dog that needs a Thundershirt? Lots of shelters and rescue groups do! Donate a Thundershirt to a participating adoption group and help an adoptable dog overcome his fears, increasing his chances of finding a home. Simply visit Thundershirt’s donation page and pick a participating group from the drop-down list at checkout.

10. Publicize adoptable pets on your website. Add a free adoptable pet widget to your website and show off adoptable pets all year long! The widgets pull information directly from Petfinder’s adoptable pet lists so there’s no need to update or manage the information.

11. Publicize pet adoption on Facebook. Have a Facebook brand or business page? Add our free “Why Adopt a Pet?” custom Facebook tab and give your visitors four great reasons adoption is the best option. Add the tab to your page here.

12. Sponsor a homeless pet. If a particular pet on Petfinder touches your heart — but you can’t foster or adopt him — you can still make a difference in his life. The Petfinder.com Foundation’s Sponsor a Pet program lets you sponsor a homeless pet by donating toward the cost of his or her care while in the shelter. Find a participating shelter near you.

Of course, it should go without saying that adopting or fostering a homeless pet is a great resolution any year.

Tell us: What’s your pet-related New Year’s resolution?

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Worlds Smallest Drug Sniffing Dog

VIDEO: Policeman proud of his partner — the world’s smallest drug-sniffing dog

Chicken Doggy Gravy

Ingredients
1 large chicken breast, bones removed
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups unsalted chicken broth
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup of drippings from roast beef
1/2 cup flour
4 cups unsalted beef broth

Boil the chicken breasts in a large saucepan for about half an hour. Remove the breasts from the water and save the water.
Put the chicken breasts aside and allow them to cool.

Add the flour to the water and whisk or beat with an electric mixer until no lumps remain.

Mix the beaten eggs into the gravy mixture and cook it on low heat until it’s thickened.

Blend the cooled chicken breasts in a food processor and add them to the gravy mixture. Add more water if the mixture is too thick.

Drizzle your doggie chicken gravy over your dog’s dry food. Store any unused portion in the refrigerator and use it within three days.

How’s Your Cat IQ


By Cherise Udell, Care2

How well do you know the feline family? Here is a fun selection of true or false questions that may surprise you!1. Cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, which is similar to an idling diesel engine. True or False?

2. Cats have been known to survive falls up to 200 feet. True or False?

3. Catnip is similar to human hallucinogens. True or False?

4. All cats are susceptible to the brain altering chemicals in catnip. True or False?

5. A cat sweats through its tail and ears. True or False?

6. In the Middle Ages cats were thought to have poisonous fangs and many of society’s ailments from stale beer to the spread of diseases were blamed on cats. True or False?

7. With the spread of the Plague in Europe, the reputation of cats was salvaged. True or False?

8. Cats have been domesticated twice as long as dogs. True or False?

9. A group of cats is called a “clowder.” True or False?

10. Cheetahs can purr, but they cannot roar. True or False?

Now, the answers!

1. Cats purr at about 26 cycles per second, which is similar to an idling diesel engine. True or False?True.

2. Cats have been known to survive falls up to 200 feet. True or False? True. A feline named Andy, once owned by a Florida State Senator, fell a dizzying 200 feet and survived!

3. Catnip is similar to human hallucinogens. True or False? True. The primary active compound in catnip is Nepetalactone, which is chemically analogous to human hallucinogens.

4. All cats are susceptible to the brain altering chemicals in catnip. True or False? False. Some cats are entirely unaffected. Others appear to have devoured a dozen pot brownies!

5. A cat sweats through its tail and ears. True or False? False. A cat actually sweats through its paw pads and nose.

6. In the Middle Ages cats were thought to have poisonous fangs and many of society’s ailments from stale beer to the spread of diseases were blamed on cats. True or False? True. Because felines were associated with femininity and sensuality and seen as inherently dangerous and untrustworthy, the Church declared the cat evil and a symbol of Satan. Hundreds of thousands of cats were skinned alive, tortured and crucified – and as we all know, thrown into fires with “witches.” The Middle Ages was NOT a good time to be a cat.

7. With the spread of the Plague in Europe, the reputation of cats was salvaged. True or False? True. For 200 years, cats had been targeted and exterminated and consequently the rat population exploded. In 1799, cats suddenly came back into fashion.

8. Cats have been domesticated twice as long as dogs. True or False? False. Cats actually have been domesticated for only half as long as dogs.

9. A group of cats is called a “clowder.” True or False? True. That said, have you ever heard the term used?

10. Cheetahs can purr, but they cannot roar. True or False? True. Unlike true “big cats,” cheetahs cannot roar, but they do purr and chirp.

Did you know the answers to most of these questions? Did any of the answers surprise you? Do you have any other fun true/false questions to share?

How to Clean Your Dogs Bed

We spend a lot of time keeping our homes spic and span, especially when there are four-footed friends to constantly clean up after. So it can be quite dismaying to see the way said furry friends keep their own abodes – a dog’s bed is his castle, and too often it’s a castle coated with mud, hair, slobber and something that smells suspiciously like the pile of trash your dog was rubbing himself in at the dog park.

Dog beds come in all shapes (sometimes odd ones) and sizes – some are covered with a slipcover and other doggie nests are piled high with blankets. Today we’ll discuss how to best clean your dog’s bed and the accessories that come with it.

Cleaning Foam Dog Beds

  1. If you’ve got a foam dog bed, we hope you’ve got it somewhat safe from pet hair inside a slipcover. If so, unzip the cover, take it outside and shake out as much of the hair and dust as you can. If any hair remains, try a once-over with a lint roller.
  2. Next, soak the cover in the sink or bathtub in very hot water for 10-15 minutes before popping it in the washing machine to kill any insect eggs that could potentially be lurking. Wring the water out and pop the cover into the washing machine on the heavy-duty setting.
  3. Vacuum the foam bed thoroughly to get any dust or hair that may have snuck in.
  4. Fill your bathtub with hot water and some mild detergent (don’t use the same water you washed the cover in!). Once the water is warm enough to be tolerable, use your hands to work the soap into the foam and perhaps put something heavy on it to hold it down while it soaks.
  5. Drain the soapy water and refill the tub with clean water. Don’t forget to squeeze the foam bed to get the soap out – keep at it until all the suds are gone.
  6. Bring both the cover and bed outside and lay them in a sunny spot. Don’t pop them in the dryer – that could shrink the cover.
  7. Reunite foam with cover and repeat the process in a few weeks after Fido stinks it up to his liking.

Note: If you bought a stuffed dog bed that doesn’t have a detachable cover, vacuum the bed thoroughly then follow the same steps listed above for foam beds. And for those with washable covers, consider replacing it once a year.

Cleaning a Dog Crate

  1. If your dog carrier is your pet’s main place to rest, try to clean it every other week (or more often if you have a puppy who hasn’t quite mastered his potty training). The first step is to remove the bedding and wash it as described in the tip above.
  2. If you have a home with a yard or driveway, spray the crate with water outdoors using the spray nozzle on your garden hose. If you live in an apartment, wipe it down with antibacterial wipes or a damp sponge.
  3. Use an ammonia-free cleaning solution to sanitize the hard shell of the crate. Dog urine is ammonia-based, so the scent of a cleaner that contains ammonia can confuse your pet and make him think it’s OK to pee inside the crate. If you have a soft-sided crate, soapy water and a rag will do.
  4. Air dry your crate and then put the bedding back in it for your pet’s comfort.