The Pet Step

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!

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Beating the Heat: Summer Safety Tips

Beating the Heat: Summer Safety Tips
It seems like in the winter months all we do is look forward to summer; and for good reason: summer is a wonderful time of year with its long days, beautiful nights, and opportunity for outdoor activity. But sometimes we forget about the heat, and when summer hits we really just want winter back. Well, we can’t change the seasons, but we can give you a few tips on keeping your pal cool in the blazin’ heat.

  • Shade and Water. Two non-negotiable summer necessities. If your pet spends even 15 minutes at a time outside, there should be some sort of shade provided, as well as access to clean fresh water both inside and out.
  • Cooling Products. Mats, vests, wraps… There are products made to stay cool in the heat that can give your pal a nice break.
  • Limit Exercise. Use discretion when it comes to exercise, don’t make activities too vigorous or go out in the mid-day heat. We often see pet owners with great intentions walking their animal in the afternoon when the truth is it’s just too hot out.
  • Know Heatstroke. Signs of overheating include lethargy, glazed eyes, excessive panting, dizziness or lack of coordination, rapid heartbeat, and even vomiting. If you see your pet exhibiting these signs, drape cool towels over their head, neck, and chest, try giving them small sips of water or to lick an ice cube, and get them in to see your veterinarian. You can also swipe rubbing alcohol on their paw pads for faster cooling.
  • Pavement Test. Hold the back of your hand on the pavement for five seconds. If you can’t, it’s best to wait for your walk or run, as the cement is simply too hot for your pet’s paws and can seriously burn them.
  • Homemade Frozen Yummies. The Internet is chock-full of yummy summer treat recipes for pets, like this one for Peanut Butter Pops. The best part is, you can tailor them to your pet’s preferences!

We’d love to see how your pet stays cool in the heat – share with us!

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Pets in the Classroom Brings Furry (and Scaly) Friends into Classroom Life

Pets can teach us so much, especially at a young age. When children care for pets, they learn about responsibility, empathy, nurturing, and acceptance. As a result, pet care is a character-building activity for kids. Yet some children don’t have opportunities to interact with, love, care for, and enjoy pets.

With this in mind, the Pet Care Trust started the Pets in the Classroom grant program. The ultimate goal of the Pet Care Trust is to introduce 5 million children in 100,000 classrooms to the joys of pet care. The Pets in the Classroom grant program is one BIG step toward that goal. To date, the Pets in the Classroom grant program has issued 76,475 grants, allowing just as many classrooms to experience classroom pets. Those classrooms have set the stage for 3 million children to learn about pets.

All pre-kindergarten through 8th grade teachers in private and public schools across the country are eligible to apply for a Pets in the Classroom grant, which will provide them with financial support in the purchase and maintenance of a classroom pet. Through a simple, online application, teachers can apply to receive the grant of their choice (there are eight grant options) in order to enhance their students’ learning environment with a classroom pet. The Pets in the Classroom grant program will begin accepting applications on August 1st.

We at Pets Add Life believe in the benefits of having classroom animals, which is why we support the Pets in the Classroom grant program—and would like to ask you to do the same! Please tell the teachers in your life about the grant program and how such a little creature can make such a big impact in the lives of their students!

If you believe in the work that the Pet Care Trust is doing through the Pets in the Classroom grant program as much as we do, consider donating to the program so that the Pet Care Trust can continue to provide financial support to teachers as they enrich their classrooms with exciting and educational animals!

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Homeless Pals and You: What You Can Do

August is Adopt a Homeless Pet Month, clearly intended to bring awareness to all the pals out there looking for their forever homes. It’s a sad truth that all over the country there are pets in and out of shelters with no humans to feed and care for them daily, and it can be an overwhelming thought when it comes to helping them. The truth is, every effort matters and we absolutely adore any person who puts a foot forward to help the buddies in their community – and you can too! Below are a few of our favorite ways to help homeless pets.

  • Adopt. That’s the name of the game with this awareness holiday. Of course this is a more serious approach to the cause, but adopting any animal is an amazing way to help the homeless pet community – and your life! Adoption is so rewarding – not only are you saving your new pal’s life, but you just made room for a pet who needs the shelter’s care.
  • Donate. Food, litter, bleach, paper towels, regular towels, blankets, beds… There are so many things shelters need daily that any number of these products would be gladly accepted. You can always call your favorite facility and see if there’s anything they really need, but donating anything useful is always a welcomed gesture.
  • Prevent Litters. Spaying and neutering your animal is one of the most direct and responsible ways to ensure the number of unwanted pals doesn’t grow. It may seem like the routine thing to do, but it does make a difference.
  • Volunteer. Throughout the month of August or all year ‘round, volunteering is such a heartening way to spend your time. Whether you walk the dogs, clean kennels or litter boxes, or even assist with adoptions, it’s the volunteers that are the real heroes to these pals.

Show us your favorite way to help homeless pets in your area on our Facebook page.

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Going Back To School is Better with Pets

Is it that time already?

It sure is!

 By now, both the parents and the kids are probably ready to get back into the swing of things and bring back that school routine. Families are running through the checklist of school supplies, preparing the grocery list to pack school lunches and maybe even buying a few new outfits. One thing that is not generally on back to school lists, but should be, is a classroom pet!

With benefits like increased self-esteem, decreased in-class tension and a better understanding of responsibility, classroom pets are a wonderful resource for teachers to make learning fun in all subjects! Questions like “how much does this hamster weigh,” “what does this snake eat” or “what part of the world do ferrets come from” are all great ways to incorporate new styles of learning into every lesson plan. Even reading to classroom pets can be a great way for children to practice in front of a non-threatening listener and gain confidence in their skills.

Pets in the Classroom is a grant-funding program, which provides financial support to teachers, who often have a very limited budget, to purchase and maintain small animals in the classroom.

To find out if a class you know of is ready for a classroom pet, or to hear from other teachers about how pets in their classrooms have positively impacted their educational environment, click here.


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We Love Mutts!



July 31st is National Mutt Day, a shout out to the mixed breeds that keep us smiling (and guessing!) We love this ‘holiday,’ because it reminds people that a dog doesn’t have to be purebred to bring pure joy. Big dogs, little dogs, wiry, short, curly, or straight hair, active or lazy – whatever you want in a pal, we guarantee there’s a perfect mixed breed waiting at your local shelter or rescue. The fact mutts come in essentially any combination of looks and personality is just the tip of the iceberg though, friends. Here are a few more fun facts about the pups that mix it up.

  • Mutts tend to be healthier. Studies from both North America and Europe have found that mixed breeds are less susceptible to certain health issues than their purebred counterparts and have longer life spans, too.
  • They’re Not-for-Profit Pets. By adopting a mutt, you don’t run the risk of supporting irresponsible breeders that look to make fast money with no regard to the breed’s health or integrity. (Please note: Certainly not all breeders are irresponsible, but it can be tricky to tell at times.)
  • Mutts Save Money. Not just potentially on vet bills, but their adoption cost is much lower than purchasing a pure breed. (Seriously, they can save you thousands.)
  • Mutts Lie somewhere in the Middle. Meaning you don’t run into as many extremes in temperament as you do with pure breeds; in fact, mixed breeds tend to rank higher in regard to stability, friendliness, protectiveness, shyness, and aggression because they’re an even-keeled mixture of personalities.
  • They’re One of a Kind! If you like your things to be original, there’s nothing more unique than a mixed breed. There’s no way your neighbor will also happen to have a chow/corgi/shepherd mix with four different colored paws.

Show us your mutts! Post a picture of your amazing mixed breed to our Facebook page!

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8th Annual Pets Add Life Children’s Poetry Contest Winner: Anna R., 8th Grade

By: Anna R. 

Did you ever think that dogs have ESP?
The way they know when you are sad,
Or you’re happy,
Or you’re mad.
They’ll cheer you up with a kiss
Their soft pink tongue will make you miss
The reason why you were upset.
The time when they run to the door
Ten or fifteen minutes before
The door opens and you step inside
Back from where you were, your long car ride
They’ll bark and then
You’ll know exactly when
Your loved one’s coming home.
They know what the other is thinking
They communicate without speaking.
Do dogs have ESP?
It seems that way to me.

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