A New PAL for the Holidays: Tips on Integrating a New Pet


For many parents and pet owners, the holidays seem like a great time to gift a new pet into the household. While we’re all about getting your pet or kids a furry new PAL, taking on a new pet is a major responsibility that requires ample consideration and dedication. Think about your household – your current pet’s temperament, your kids’ energy level and know-how on the proper treatment of animals, even your neighborhood could be a factor (if you live on a busy corner, an indoor/outdoor cat may not be the best, or you may need to fence in your front yard for a dog).

Now that you’ve properly considered your current situation and have decided to add a pet, we have a couple tips on how best to introduce them so you can all live happily every after. Keep in mind that individual cases vary – only you know your current pal’s disposition, prey drive, and willingness to engage with other animals. Introductions between dogs and cats, cats with other cats, and dogs with other dogs also have slightly different protocols – so feel free to conduct further research on the best approach for what you’re working with.

When it comes to dogs, we highly recommend a meet and greet at the shelter prior to bringing the newbie home (your shelter or handler may even require it). On the way home, a romp around a park or other neutral territory is good for gauging their play, eliminating your current pet feeling territorial, and burns energy for a tuckered out return home. Once home, simply keeping an eye on the two and taking an active role in ‘refereeing’ will help the new dog learn the ropes and avoid any spats.

If you’re bringing a new cat home, it’s recommended to designate a room for them to decompress and get acquainted. Go ahead and put food, water, a bed and/or cat tree, and litter box in the room so they’re comfortable. Consider putting a shirt or other article of clothing in there, too, as this gets him acquainted with your scent and can later be used to get your current pet used to theirs. Be prepared for your current animal to be incredibly curious and eager to see what’s behind that door. Try your best to have a calm demeanor and not get flustered, as both animals will pick up on your energy.

The next step is up to you – some people recommend putting current pets in a room and letting the newcomer to sniff and roam, then allow a calm, monitored introduction. Some go right for the introduction, either holding the new animal or on leash in a dog-meets-cat situation; depending on the interaction, some animals may require 5-10 minutes intervals to get used to one another.

In every situation, the most important tip is to be present – keep a watchful eye on both pets and separate them when/if necessary. Don’t scold either one, as it could deter them from engaging at all, simply separating them should do. Make sure you’re giving them both ample attention, as it can calm their nerves and make them feel less ‘on edge’ about the new situation.

If you have any tips on how you successfully introduced your two PALs, feel free to post them on our Facebook page and as always, we love to see photos of your companions! Happy paw-lidays!



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Celebrate National Get a Pal For Your Pet Day TOMORROW!

pal day 1

Celebrate pets tomorrow during PAL’s National Get a Pal For Your Pet Day, November 19, a special day created to spread awareness of the importance of providing your pets with another pet pal for added companionship! Join the celebration and help spread the message by changing your social media profile photos to custom Get a Pal For Your Pet Day images all day, as well as using #Pals4Pets on all social media channels. We encourage you to share and post photos of your own pets throughout the day, post to Instagram, Pinterest, share Vine videos of your pets together, and most importantly, show your support by encouraging family and friends to consider adding another pet to the family!

We’ve created custom Facebook and Twitter profile and cover images along with a general share photo, all available for your use here. And don’t forget to visit the PAL YouTube channel to view and share a variety of entertaining videos featuring “talking” pets in need of pals!

We look forward to seeing photos of your pet pals tomorrow (and every day!) and we thank you for your support and help in spreading the message that pets need a pal to talk to!

pal day 2

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C’mon, Get a PAL For Your Pet!







November 19 is National Get a PAL For Your Pet Day, an awareness holiday established by yours truly to prompt the idea of adding an additional pal to your household, whether they be furry, feathered or scaly!

While we’re attuned to the health benefits of pets in humans, giving your pet a buddy to play with and lay with is just as good for them. Think of it like loneliness in people – simply having one other person to confide in and support you is a tremendous aid in going through life… and the same goes for pets.

Having a playmate won’t just prompt more play in your current pet, it also offers healthy activity, socialization, and a camaraderie that’s innate to the well being of pack animals. But not all pets are going to hit it off simply because they’re there. If you’re considering getting your pet a pal, know that you’ll have to take a few extra steps and remember your current pet’s opinion is the most important one!

But don’t worry! Unless your pet is downright antisocial (and we’re sure you’re well aware if that’s the case), there is most certainly a perfect pal out there waiting to be adopted by your family. Here are a couple of tips on choosing your pet’s pal and how to introduce them to your brood.

  • Similarities – While you don’t have to get your pet a companion that’s the same age or even the same breed or species, certain similarities – like how they play and how often they like to relax – should be considered. If your pet’s a submissive playmate then don’t get them a companion that’s too domineering and rough; if your older dog likes to nap, consider getting them a 3- or 4-year-old buddy, rather than a hyper young pup. A meet and greet between the two is a great way to pinpoint these behaviors and will help gauge if they are a fit.
  • Talk with the shelter –The shelter should be eager to tell you everything they know about the pet you’re interested in, but be sure to ask outright if they’re good with other animals. Some dogs may do just fine with similar-sized dogs but not so well with small guys (or vice versa), which is important to know. Be sure to ask if they’re territorial over things such as toys or food bowls, too.
  • Introduction – After the meet-and-greet and once you’ve committed to adopting, it’s time to introduce your pet to the household. There are a few different ideas on how best to do this, but you know your [current] pet best and we want you to opt for whatever is best for them. You may not have to do any of these things if you’re confident in your pet and there were no causes for concern when they first met at the shelter.

A slow introduction is necessary so nobody feels overwhelmed or threatened. A great way to slowly introduce pets is to put your current pet either outside, in a crate, or in a room, and allow the new pet to roam around and get used to the sights and smells – then switch – put the new pet ‘away’ and allow the other animal to roam around and get to know the new pet’s scent. You could also rub both animals down with a t-shirt or other cloth and give that to the other to familiarize them. Next, depending on if you think it’s necessary, you can allow pets to see each other either through a baby gate, screen door, or crate and gauge their reaction – as long as there’s no growling or aggressive behavior, you should be okay to allow a supervised meeting. With dogs, you can do this on or off leash – some people feel more comfortable with the dogs on leash but, for some dogs, being on leash can make them feel anxious and vulnerable, but you should be aware if your pet exhibits this behavior.

  • Monitor and Enjoy – It’s up to you to play referee in the beginning. Make sure you’re closely monitoring both pets’ behavior and correcting it accordingly. Other than that, enjoy! Watching your pet goof around with a new friend is as heart-warming as it is entertaining and you should know you just did something great for your pet.

Of course we LOVE seeing photos of your pets! Simply head to our Facebook page to share! And for more information on National Get a PAL For Your Pet Day, visit here

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Now Open! Shelter Showdown Contest To Award $50,000!


The Shelter Showdown contest is back and awarding a total of $50,000 to the top three winners!

To ultimately help more pets find loving homes across the nation, our Shelter Showdown contest will award $50,000 to three winning organizations, and EVERY VOTE COUNTS! Now through November 19, 2014, shelter supporters can simply “Like” the Pets Add Life Facebook page and visit the Shelter Showdown Contest app or head to www.ShelterShowdown.com, search for their PetFinder organization of choice and vote once per 24 hour period. Remember to vote daily and keep an eye on the updated leaderboard!

The winning organization with the most votes will receive a grand prize of $25,000, followed by the second place winner receiving $15,000 and third place receiving $10,000.

Winners will be announced November 19, 2014 during PAL’s National Get a Pal For Your Pet Day!

What are you waiting for? Head on over, vote, and remember to return once per day. Every vote counts, so be sure to tell your friends and family!

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Join Us in the Pies 4 Paws Challenge!

PIESThe Ice Bucket Challenge is so August; we’re switching up the cause with Pies 4 Paws, an idea cultivated by PAL spokeswoman Jill Rappaport and executed by pet lovers like you to help pets in need across the nation. It’s simple, really! All you have to do is take a pie in the face, donate to a shelter or organization of your choice or adopt a pet, and challenge four people to do the same! Don’t forget to capture the action on film and use the hashtag #JillRappaportsPies4Paws and enjoy watching your friends and others take a pie to the face for an incredible cause!

If you don’t have the money to adopt or donate, that’s okay! There are plenty of ways to help your shelter simply by donating your time. You can walk the dogs, feed the animals, help wash towels – anything helps. Ideally, we would love to see every participant adopt or foster a pet in need, but the cause is simply to bring homeless pets and their shelters into focus. We can’t wait to see your videos! Make sure you post them on our Facebook page or @ mention us on Twitter so we can share the fun!

For more information, visit here.


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PAL buzzes on The Daily Buzz tomorrow!


Start off tomorrow morning with PAL! In honor of Adopt-a-Dog Month, we’re thrilled to be a part of The Daily Buzz tomorrow morning (October 2nd) where they’ll be sharing some fun facts about dog ownership and why these furry pals make great companions to adopt.

The daily morning show airs across the country, and we encourage you to check your local listings to find out what time and channel it airs in your neck of the woods. We hope you’re able to tune in, and if not, check back with us as we’ll post the segment afterwards as well!


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9/27 Is International Rabbit Day!


Tomorrow, September 27, marks International Rabbit Day, a day dedicated to our long-eared pals and their care! Much like the dogs and cats we dote on, rabbits are smart, curious, affectionate, and social. They can even be trained to do certain things like use a litter box or come when called!

When well cared for, rabbits can live for 7 to 10 years (or more), making them a solid companion animal and worthy investment of your time. They’re relatively inexpensive, with the only ongoing expenses being litter, food, chews/toys, and rare veterinary bills. And, the best part is, you can ADOPT them! There are often many rabbits in shelters just waiting for their forever homes.

Now, a few tips on their care. The most important part of a rabbit’s diet is grass hay, such as timothy or brome – they should have unlimited access to this, as it keeps their intestinal tract healthy. For added nutrition, however, they’ll need high quality pellets (it’s recommended to opt for a diet that’s 15-19% protein and 18% fiber.) If your rabbit is grown, feed them about 1/8 – 1/4 cup per day per five pounds of body weight; if they’re not yet fully grown, they can free feed. The last piece of this nutritional puzzle is fresh, leafy greens like collard greens, carrot tops, or other dark lettuces – recommended feeding is a minimum of 2 cups per 6 pounds of body weight. And, of course, constant access to fresh, clean water is a must!

While a commonly mundane chore, cleaning a rabbit’s cage is incredibly important to their well being, so be sure to empty out that old litter and clean the cage at least once a week, twice being optimal. If you notice your rabbit favoring a particular corner as their bathroom, try setting up a small newspaper-lined box in that corner, which will make cleaning their cage easier, prompting you to do it more often. Never use pine or cedar shavings for their cages, as the fumes can be bad for their livers.

Rabbits need veterinary check ups about once a year and should be spayed or neutered. And, like any other pet, pay attention to their food and water intake as well as their excrements – as these are all windows into your rabbit’s health.

Rabbits have varied personalities and getting to know yours is one of the best parts of being a rabbit owner! Make sure when handling your rabbit that you’re using, soft hands, supporting their rears so they feel safe, and talking in low, calm tones so as not to startle them. These simple care instructions should be all you need to get started with your pet rabbit, but if you’re curious about particular behaviors or specialty diets, consult your veterinarian!

We hope these tips are helpful, and as always, we’d love to see photos of you and your floppy-eared pals on our Facebook page!

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