50|50 Giveaway Winners Announced!

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Drumroll please….

With the 50|50 Giveaway submission processed officially closed, we are pleased to announce our Top 50 winners – one per state – and award a grand total of $50,000 to ultimately help more shelters and rescues help more pets across the nation.

Organizations were able to enter by simply telling us how they would best spend an extra $1,000 and the outpouring was tremendous. We thank all of our participants and couldn’t be more pleased to see so many dedicated pet-lovers making a difference across the nation.

Stay up to speed on your state’s winner and other winners across the country as we announce one winner per day on our Facebook page.

Thank you!

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PAL is Giving Away $50K in 50 Days!

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Is that free money we smell?

It’s that time again, when Pets Add Life has an itch to give away cash to deserving organizations, like your community’s rescue or adoption shelter! This year, PAL will be giving away $1,000 every day to one shelter in each state based on your submissions – and entering is simple: just tell us how your shelter could benefit from the extra money.

All you have to do is enter here between March 1-15 and submit your shelter’s story. Starting March 16, we’ll be spreading the love for fifty days straight and announcing the winners on our Facebook page. We’ll accept one submission per person.

We can’t help but be grateful for rescue organizations and the people who dedicate their time to the incredible and undoubtedly overwhelming mission of saving pets’ lives.

GOOD LUCK!

 

 

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Keeping Pets Healthy in the New Year

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Usually when the New Year rolls around, people focus on their health and well-being and, while the year might not feel so new anymore, we think it’s important to include pets in the resolution too! As a pet owner, you’re in charge of your pal’s health, which is a big responsibility, but it’s not so hard once you get the hang of it. Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Diet – This is probably the main contributor to their health. Make sure to research the best diet for your pet type and do your best to consistently provide it. It’s also incredibly important to account for treating. If you like to treat your pal, that’s okay! You just have to make sure to make up for it at feedings; whether you feed them a quarter-cup less kibble or fewer pellets, be sure to skim a little off of their recommended feeding amount, as pet food companies can’t exactly predict owners’ treating habits.
  • Exercise – For dog owners, exercise can come in the form of walks, hikes, or even swims. For everyone else, though, it’s a little harder to throw a harness on their pet and take ‘em for a stroll (though we’d love to see it if your pal enjoys it.) For small animals, a wheel or ball is a great way to entertain them and keep them fit. For cats, play with them! Get them pouncing and jumping! Drag a feather or string across the floor or dangle a safe toy from the doorknob.
  • Grooming – While we recognize a full-blown pawdicure might be over the top (seriously, no judgment), keeping your pet’s coat, teeth, and nails in check do play a role in their overall health. Dental health is a major contributor – make sure your pet has things to chew on and/or treats specially formulated for dental health. Most animals require bathing of some type and can benefit from a good brushing. Lastly, make sure nails (or beaks) are trimmed properly, as long nails are not only uncomfortable but can lead to a break that requires serious medical attention.
  • Routine vet visits – While you should always be monitoring for abnormalities in your pet, be sure to keep up with routine vet visits. Not only are these necessary for vaccine boosters, they offer an opportunity to talk with a professional about something you (or they) may have noticed.
  • Pet massage – Just kidding! (Though it does exist and we have no doubts your pet would just love it!)

Of course we’d love to see photos of your happy pals! Head to our Facebook page to share!

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Last Call! National Children’s Poetry Contest Closes January 31!

PALIt’s that time of year again, and our 7th annual national children’s poetry contest is coming to a close, January 31.

Students in grades 3rd through 8th are encouraged to write a unique poem(s) about the happiness pets bring to their lives, whether they be finned, feathered, or furry! One winner in each grade level will be selected to win $250 plus a $1,000 scholarship for their classroom to spend on pet-related education such as a classroom pet or pet-related educational materials.

To learn more about the Pets Add Life Children’s Poetry Contest, submit online, or download a printed submission form, head HERE!

Good luck!

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

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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!

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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!

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C’mon, Get a PAL For Your Pet!

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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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