Five Reason to Procure a Puppy

March 23 is National Puppy Day, a national nod to the magic that is puppies and the love and light they consistently bring to our lives (because let’s face it, you can’t NOT smile when those derpy balls of fluff come around.) While there are so many great ways to celebrate Puppy Day, the meat and potatoes of the holiday is to get people to adopt a young dog from a shelter or rescue and save its life for good. In an attempt to persuade anyone with a fuzzy perspective on puppies, here are five amazing reasons to bring a fluffy, squishy, curious baby canine into your life.

  • Lower Stress. You’ve seen all the feel-good field studies on how puppies made people smile in times of stress… Multiply that by like, every day and you’d have your life as a pup owner.
  • Hello, Social Gateway. Like we said – there are few things cuter than puppies, making them a perfect conversation starter; whether it’s the adorable icebreaker someone needs to approach you or you strike up a conversation with a cute stranger about the joys and hardships of puppy raising, when it comes to meeting people, we’re telling you: they work.
  • They’ll Keep you on your Toes. Puppies are full of energy and require ample attention and activity to keep them happy and out of trouble. The best part is, leash training a puppy is so much easier than a grown dog with already-established bad habits – now’s the time to mold your perfect workout buddy!
  • Improve Emotional Awareness and Responsibility. In kids and grown-ups alike, caring for a young animal teaches empathy and is certainly a daily dose of ongoing, important responsibility. Which is totally worth it because…
  • They’ll Be the Best Friend You’ll Ever Have. Raising a dog from puppyhood definitely does something for your bond that nothing else will; you have the opportunity to raise your pet as you see fit and they innately learn your lifestyle and habits because it’s all they’ve ever known. We know puppies can be a challenge but with a little time and consistency they turn into a tailor-made companion.

Have an adorable puppy PAL or a favorite way to celebrate Puppy Day? Share with us!

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The Sun Will Come Out… Tomorrow

We know it might be a little premature for some areas of the country, but when March rolls around we inevitably start getting really excited about warm weather fun. With more hours of daylight and nights getting warmer, we hope everyone’s thinking of ways to make the most of their time outside –  especially for pets! Even if we are a little early, here are a few of our favorite warm weather activities you and your PAL can get excited about.

  • Swimming! Most dogs (heck, maybe even some cats and ferrets) enjoy a nice, cool dip on a hot summer day just as much as we do. Some buddies may need a floatation vest, while others may dive right in like they’re part porpoise, but being safe is the most important thing – as long as your pet’s recall is good and the water’s calm, you’re in for an enjoyable day.
  • Evening Strolls. Since there’s still sunlight after work, take the opportunity to stretch your legs and leave your desk behind with a nice walk with your dog, cat, or ferret in the crisp springtime air.
  • Afternoon Playtime. The afternoons are absolutely perfect this time of year to get outside and play! Whether it’s going to the dog park, lounging in the sun with your cat, or even letting your small animal run around in their ball in the fresh air, we hope you seize these perfect afternoons and get outside as much as possible.
  • You could do all of the aforementioned activities on a fun camping trip with the whole fam! Just make sure your pet is comfortable, has plenty of food, water, leashes, and a bed in the shade to retreat from all the fun.

What’s your favorite outdoor activity to commemorate warmer weather? Tell us here!

 

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Love is a Three Letter Word: P-E-T

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With Valentine’s Day around the corner, even the most cynical human is reminded of love and companionship between two people. Around the Pets Add Life offices, though, we’re reminded of our pets – because nothing fills our hearts more than four paws and a tail (or scales!)

It may sound silly, but the relationship we have with our pets is one of the easiest, most satisfying relationships we’ve invested ourselves in and it only gets better with time. They offer us the perfect combination of compassion, companionship, and consistency without any questions, arguments or doubts – plus, we never have to feel insecure about who loves who more, chewing with our mouths open, or how we look in the morning. Yep, suffice to say the love of a pet is the purest and most accepting relationship a human can be graced with. Whether it’s a dog, cat, ferret, bunny, turtle, whatever!, just being able to care for something and know it’s appreciated through a look, nudge, or friendly approach, we think, is an incredibly fulfilling thing.

As a quick safety reminder, try to keep flowers and all candy – especially chocolate! – out of pets’ reach, and only dress them up in that adorable V-Day outfit if they truly don’t mind clothing.

So whether you’re single or not this Valentine’s Day, don’t let the sappy cards or happy couples get in your head because there’s someone waiting to snuggle in your lap as soon as you come home, and they don’t care if it’s February 14th or not.  We hope you honor the love you share with your pet every day, but if you’re doing something special for the holidays – share with us on Facebook!

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How Responsible of a Pet Owner Are You, Really?

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These days, pets are so much more than vermin hunters, cattle drivers, and protectors, they’re beloved family members. Their health, well being, and safety are our responsibility, which is why being a responsible pet owner is, well, really important. February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, a shout out to the people who are doing it right and an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our pet parenting style and ways we can do better. We don’t want to be too stern, but the truth is that taking on the responsibility of a pet and not taking it seriously can have a serious ripple effect – people can get hurt, the homeless pet population could grow, you could even lose your animal. We’re here to help. Below is a quick responsible pet owner checklist for you to run through – where do you fall?

  • Spay/Neuter. Not just to prevent unwanted litters, it also reduces their chance of developing cancer in their reproductive organs.
  • Knowing where they come from. Whether you adopted or paid top dollar, you know to research the breeder or facility your pet hailed from to ensure they’re healthy and support responsible practices.
  • Are your pet’s tags and microchip information up to date?
  • Routine check-ups. Because nothing replaces proper veterinary care.
  • Know your animal, and be involved. You recognize when your pet is wrong and have no problem removing them from uncomfortable situations.
  • You don’t just feed your pet, you know what they’re ingesting. You read labels and monitor your pet’s weight almost as closely as your own.
  • Clean up! You either always have poop bags or your pal’s cage or litter box gets cleaned regularly without question.
  • You treat them like a family member. Whether it’s sleeping on the bed or just playing and cuddling with them as often as you can, you celebrate your pet any chance you can.

SCORE:
7 or 8 – Top Dog! On behalf of your pet and the people around you, thank you for being so dang responsible and taking such great care of your pal.
5 or 6 – Relax, You’re Responsible. You’re conscious and trying to be the best pet parent you can be but perhaps forget a poop bag here or there.
3 or 4 – You’re on the Right Track. But you might want to step it up a little on behalf of your best bud.
Less than 3 – Try Harder. We hate to be blunt, but your pal deserves the best!

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The “Pet Step” Video Contest January Winners

What inspired you to get a pet? Submit a short video telling us why added a pet to your heart and home for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card to the pet store of your choice!  (Pro Tip: Include your pet for extra cuteness!) We will pick two winners each month through April!

Our January winners are Karen B. and Rodolfo M. Check out their stories below:

Thanks to everyone who has participated thus far. We’ve received so many wonderful submissions! You can submit your video here and wait to see it on the Pets Add Life Youtube channel.

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These Paws Were Made for Walkin’!

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And that’s just what they’ll do this January because it’s National Walk Your Dog Month! So get up, grab the leash, and get movin’ this month and here’s why:

  • It boosts metabolism and lowers the rate of weight gain. An Australian study of 822 participants found that the average person gains 3.5 pounds over four years – except those that walked to work on average gained 1.5.
  • It boosts your mood. Robert Thayer, Ph.D., asked people to describe a problem in their life, then sent them on a brief 10-minute walk. When the participants returned they described their problems as less severe.
  • Lowers the risk of heart disease. A 2013 study found that both daily runners and walkers lowered their blood pressure by at least 4.2 percent and their risk of heart disease by at least 4.5 percent.

 

Of course these benefits extend to Buddy too, plus he can exercise the natural instinct to get somewhat familiar with his surroundings. For those who may need a little help on a leash, here are a few quick tips to keep in mind to ensure you both enjoy this time. And remember: practice makes perfect, the more you two get out together the more your dog will improve.

  • Curb their Enthusiasm. If your pet goes nuts when you pick up the leash, just stand still and don’t react until they relax. It’s also not a bad idea to sometimes pick up the leash and just set it down, so they don’t always associate it with getting out.
  • Keep ‘em Close. Start them on a short lead at first so that, eventually, it’ll turn into a loose-leash walk because your pet is used to staying close. It’s also a good time to treat them so they want to stay close to your hand.
  • Walk Quickly. Don’t give your pet the opportunity to dawdle and stop to smell every crack in the sidewalk; walk at a brisk pace and set the tone that now isn’t the time for all-out exploring.

 

We’d love to see you and your pet out and about this month on Facebook!

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The “Pet Step” Video Contest December Winners

We just love hearing about you and your pets so much, that we’ve extended our Pet Step contest… AGAIN! It’s easy, submit a video telling us why you opened your heart and home to a pet for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card to the pet store of your choice! We will pick two winners each month through April!

Our December winners are Vinnie L. and Heather W.! Check out their stories below:

Thanks to everyone who has participated thus far. We’ve received so many wonderful submissions! You can submit your video here and wait to see it on the Pets Add Life Youtube channel.

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