October 21 is Reptile Awareness Day, and here at PAL we get pumped about any day that calls attention to the buddies that don’t get much attention. The main focus of reptile awareness day isn’t really ownership but rather habitat loss, as these guys get pushed further and further out as the human population continues to grow. But there are more ways than one to celebrate! Here are a few of our favorite ways to ring in Reptile Awareness Day.
- Donate to one of the many awesome reptile conservation or legal groups, like the United States Association of Reptile Keepers (oh yes, it exists.)
- Speak Up. If this is a cause that speaks to you, don’t be afraid to write to your local representatives and ask what they’re doing to consider the reptile population in their decision-making.
- Share the Love. If you’re a reptile owner, consider doing a show-and-tell at school or at home and let everyone know why you’re raving about reptiles! Or, you can leave a few copies of a reptile-focused magazine around… you never know who will fall in love with lizards, snakes, and frogs while waiting for a teeth cleaning!
- Check ‘em Out. Spend some of the day at your local zoo’s reptile habitat or looking for reptiles and amphibians in your own backyard – it’s not only fun but educational too. You can also make a vow to check out at least one reptile show before next year.
- Now’s the Time! If you’ve been considering a reptilian pal, what are you waiting for? October 21 is the perfect time to ‘hop’ to it!
Sunday, October 16 is Feral Cat Day, intended to influence the big-hearted humans out there to help a community of felines that are misunderstood and sometimes mistreated.
What is a feral cat? Feral cats, sometimes referred to as community cats, are felines that are un-socialized and typically fearful of humans. They live in groups called colonies and share food and territory – sort of like a family. Most colonies originate from unneutered stray cats, which is why spaying and neutering is of the utmost importance. Feral doesn’t mean “wild”, as the majority of these guys rely on some sort of human-based food source – be it a kind neighbor who leaves food out for them or scraps they find, they don’t survive primarily on hunting like wild cats do. Feral is also considered behavioral and not biological, meaning a cat can be born in the outdoors and come around to being socialized (depending on their personality and how long they’ve been on the streets) and vice versa – a socialized pet can become a stray and, after surviving on their own for a bit, become fearful of humans.
What can you do for the cause? Talk to your local shelter or veterinarian about any Trap Neuter Release (TNR) options in your community, as it’s the best, most humane approach to helping curb the number of cats on the streets. TNR is exactly what it sounds like: the cat is humanely trapped, taken to a facility to be neutered, then released to the same area they were found to rejoin their colony without the ability to contribute to its growth.
We know plenty of people in our lives that get a lot of satisfaction out of leaving food and water out for their community cats – some have even been able to be the ones to take the cat in to be neutered, which is a major win for true cat lovers.
Lastly, spreading the word helps, too! Making sure people understand community cats and don’t mistreat them is incredibly important – trust us… they may not be able to thank you, but those feral felines will undoubtedly appreciate it.
Our “Pet Step” video contest is in full swing! In case you missed it, pet owners can submit a video telling us why they opened their heart and home to a pet for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card to the pet store of their choice! It really is that easy!
Our September winners are Beverly N. and Melinda G.! Check out their stories below:
The contest is still open and you have plenty of time to enter! The last winners will be chosen on October 31, 2016.
Step up and show us your pets! Submit your video here.
Saturday, September 24, is International Rabbit Day, a shout out to the long-eared loves of our lives who, in our opinion, don’t get enough credit. Not only are rabbits entertaining and affectionate, they’re also pretty easy to care for. If you’ve been curious about bringing a bunny into your brood, now’s the perfect time! In honor of International Rabbit Day, here are a few of our favorite reasons to adopt a rabbit pal.
- They’re Perfect for Apartments. They don’t require much living space, they certainly won’t bother your neighbors, and you won’t be leashing up for any bathroom breaks.
- An Alternative for the Allergic. There are many people who are allergic to dogs and cats but not to rabbits, making them a wonderful option for animal companionship.
- They’re Playful and Full of Personality. Just like dogs and cats, rabbits have varying personalities and levels of affection. They’re just as capable of interacting and forming a bond with their human, and can even be taught to play games!
- They’re Smart. Rabbits are no dummies, they can be trained to do things like come when called and use a litter box with the right training.
- Adoptable and Easy to Care For! Not only are rabbits less maintenance than their more popular peers, they’re also completely adoptable through your local shelter.
Already have a hippity hoppity PAL? Share with us all month long!
For many households, September marks back to school – a time to get back into the routine of homework and after school activities on top of daily needs like dinner, showers, and a solid night’s sleep. For humans, this is transition is expected and relatively easy; for our furry pals, though, it can be a sudden onset of loneliness and unwanted separation. While most pets get the hang of the new schedule after a couple of weeks, here are a few small things you can try to help distract them in the meantime.
- Interactive Treaters. They’re puzzles for pets! Available in varying difficulties, pets have to lift and slide flaps to get to the hidden treats underneath. A perfect distraction while you slip out the front door.
- Frozen Treats. Take a durable toy with an open center and fill it with peanut butter or cheese spread, then pop it in the freezer. When it’s time for everyone to leave, reward your pet with the long-lasting treat – by the time they finish, the excitement and commotion of everyone leaving will be through and they can relax in the quiet house.
- Morning Walks. We know it sounds crazy but waking up just thirty minutes earlier and walking the dog will make a huge difference to both of you; while it’ll help Fido burn some excess energy for his day in, it’ll help boost yours with some fresh air and movement while kick starting your metabolism for the day.
- The Classic Bone. If there’s a bone or chew toy your pet is particularly fond of, use it to your advantage! Only give it to them when you’re about to leave; they’ll be so excited by the chewy they’ll forget all about you. Plus, it can eventually become a marker to indicate to Fido that he’ll be on his own for a few hours.
In case you missed it… our “Pet Step” video contest launched at the beginning of this month! Pet owners can submit a video telling us why they opened their heart and home to a pet for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card to the pet store of their choice! It really is that easy!
Our August winners are Geoffrey H. and Amanda E.! Check out their stories below:
The contest is open now and we are accepting submissions through October 31, 2016.
Step up and show us your pets! Submit your video here.
Did you make the decision to open your heart and home to a pet? If so, you took what we like to call the “Pet Step” and are now eligible to win a $1,000 gift card to the pet store of your choice! What is the “Pet Step” exactly? It’s the phase in life where individuals, couples or even roommates make the decision to add a pet to their life. For some, it’s the new step in a relationship and for others it’s the logical profession toward “parenthood” before having a baby. For many, a pet means companionship, an exercise partner or just a step toward becoming a more responsible adult!
If this is you, we want to hear your story! Grab your pet and make a quick video (no longer than 60 seconds) telling us why you chose to take the “Pet Step” and add a pet to your family. Submit your video here, and wait for it to appear on our Facebook page where you can share it! It’s really that simple! TWO winners will be chosen and announced on our Facebook page each month through October 31st, 2016. Not sure what to talk about? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- What inspired/motivated you to take the “Pet Step”?
- How did you choose which pet you would take the step with?
- Did you take the “Pet Step” with someone (a significant other, roommate, etc) and why?
So go on, step up and show us your pets!