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The Benefits of Food Puzzles for Pets
How to Keep Your Dog Safe Around the Pool
June Is Adopt A Cat Month: Tips on Adopting

The Benefits of Food Puzzles for Pets
Our pets mean the world to us and they bring so much to our lives. What else can we do for them?

How about helping them do what their ancestors did, such as search for food? “Even though most of the animals who live with humans have been domesticated for thousands of years, they still share a lot of similarities with their wild counterparts,” according to the article, “Food Puzzles for Pets” at Best Friends Animal Society.

Like their wild counterparts, they have a “need to forage for their food,” the article said. One of the productive things you can do for your pet is to provide a food puzzle. It provides your pet something to do to keep him busy. “Food puzzles are also great for pets who wolf down their meals because the animal must eat more slowly and, therefore, can savor the food a bit more.”

There are many food puzzles to buy and you can make your own. Plus pets are not born knowing how to forage so you have to help by teaching your pet.

According to the article, “Choosing the Best Interactive Toys and Food Puzzles For Your Dog” at Preventive Vet, food puzzles are great for:

• Puppies who are teething, as they can actually have something they are allowed to chew
• Dogs who eat fast
• Those picky eaters
• Pet parents who need a break while pets get some mental stimulation
• Keeping crated dogs busy

Keep a close watch over your pet when he is using his new puzzle toy. “This is both for safety reasons (to prevent them from choking on or swallowing chunks of plastic or cardboard) and also for confidence reasons (to make sure they’re able to ‘figure it out’ and don’t get frustrated or destructive),” the Preventive Vet article said.

How to Keep Your Dog Safe Around the Pool
Summer is around the corner and that means fun and pool time. While it’s always important to be safe around the pool, that also goes for your dogs.

So, how do you keep your dog safe around the pool?

Believe it or not, every dog is not a natural swimmer. Start off with some lessons by teaching some basics, according to the article, “Dogs and Water Safety” at Fetch by WebMD.

The article suggests the following:

• Bring your dog to a shallow, quiet spot in the pool.
• Be sure your dog’s leash is on and get in the pool with your dog.
• Begin at the water’s edge and only stay as you see your dog having a good time.
• If your dog is uncomfortable and doesn’t want to go in, do not!
• “When your dog begins to paddle with their front legs, lift their hind legs to show them how to float,” the article said.
• Teach your dog how to get in and out of the pool.
• Never leave your dog alone in the water.

The article, “Five Pool Safety Tips for Dogs” at also offers some great advice including buying a life vest for your dog, especially for one who doesn’t swim very well. “They provide extra buoyancy and a dash of bright colors so that your dog can stay afloat and remain highly visible,” the article said. Even with a vest, never leave your dog alone!

If you have a senior dog, make sure to speak with your veterinarian first to find out if swimming is an option. Learn CPR for dogs; it can save a dog’s life. Make sure you have a fence around your pool so your dog doesn’t fall in.

The more you prepare your dog around the pool, the safer for everyone.

June Is Adopt A Cat Month: Tips on Adopting
June is not only the month when summer starts, it’s also Adopt a Shelter Cat month. What a great way to start off the summer!

While you may not be ready or able to adopt a cat in June, there are other ways to help now (or throughout the year). According to the article, “June Is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month” at, the following are ways to help:

1. Kittens are cute, but consider adopting cats who are often overlooked. These include black cats who are more difficult to adopt, senior cats, and bonded adult pairs.
2. Foster if you cannot adopt. You may be helping to save a life that would otherwise be euthanized due to space.
3. Volunteer at a shelter or rescue. “Although you won’t be promoting cat adoption directly, if you help the organizations that do, you’ll be making their lives a lot easier,” the Petful article said.
4. Donate items, supplies or money.
5. Network adoptable cats through your social media or by speaking with friends and family who may want to adopt.

If you plan to adopt a cat, the following tips from “Cat Adoption Checklist” gathered together by American Humane can help:

• Consider two cats instead of one. “Cats require exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction,” the American Humane article said. “Two cats can provide this for each other.”
• Choose a vet before you adopt, then schedule an appointment after you bring home your adopted cat.
• Buy the supplies your cat will need before you bring her home.
• Cat-proof the home.
• Include your new feline in any family emergency plan.
• Ensure everyone in the home is on board to adopt a cat.

Before you know it your newly adopted cat will be right at home and purring in your lap.

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The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet and Why You Should Register The Chip
Looking to Adopt a Specific Breed: Try a Breed-Specific Rescue
Why It’s Not Safe to Walk Your Dog on Hot Pavement

The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet and Why You Should Register The Chip
Is your pet microchipped? A microchip can actually help reunite pets with their families in the event a pet gets lost.

The implantable computer chips “encode a unique identification number to help reunite you with your lost pet,” according to the article, “Microchipping 101: Why is it Important to Microchip My Pet?” at PetHealthNetwork. The tiny chips are about the size of a grain of rice, implanted under your pet’s skin by way of a needle and syringe, and they can’t fall off as a collar can.

“They work by receiving a radio signal from a scanner and transmitting the encoded chip identification number back to the scanner,” the article said. “With the chip identification number in hand, the vital contact information is only a phone call away.”

It has been proved that lost pets with microchips are much more likely to be returned to their pet parents when found. Along with a collar and tag, it is extra security for your pet especially since pets can slip out of their collars leaving a microchip the way to identify the animal.

Countless dogs and cats are lost every year and owners feel the heartbreak of possibly never seeing their pet again, but microchips are often the answer. According to the article, “Why Microchip Your Pet?” at, estimates by The American Humane Association show there are more than 10 million lost or stolen cats and dogs in the U.S.

“Only about 22 percent of lost dogs that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families,” according to the Petfinder article. “However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 percent (a 238 percent increase).”

After microchipping your pet, register your current information with the microchip company and update your information if you move or change your phone number.

Looking to Adopt a Specific Breed: Try a Breed-Specific Rescue
There are so many dogs needing homes. Many people want certain breeds and believe the only way to get one is through a breeder or a pet store.

To help curb the overpopulation of pets, you can actually adopt specific breeds through breed-specific rescues that often take in dogs relinquished at city shelters.

Along with mixed-breed dogs, shelters across the country also have purebred dogs of all shapes and sizes as well as puppies.

According to the article, “Adopting from an animal shelter or rescue group,” at The Humane Society of the United States (, “6–8 million animals end up in shelters each year, half of which will probably not be adopted.”

Additionally, 25 percent of the pets that end up in those shelters are purebred. That’s when the breed-specific rescues step in to take adoptable dogs and puppies.

“There’s also an unfortunate misconception that a purebred dog you adopt might not be as close to breed standards as a dog from a breeder,” according to the article, “Why Breed Specific Rescues Matter,” at VetriScience. “In truth, many pups up for placement by breed-specific rescue groups are there because of lifestyle changes among their owners—or because a puppy mill has been shut down.”

There’s a wealth of knowledge from the people who run and volunteer at breed-specific rescues. Volunteers often know characteristics, health concerns specific to the breed, and know quirks as well.

“Like every reputable rescue organization, a breed-specific one will put the needs of the animal above your needs,” the VetriScience article stated. “Focused knowledge allows staff members to be highly discerning, so there may be a battery of questions before you and your home can be deemed forever-home worthy for a certain pet.”

Why It’s Not Safe to Walk Your Dog on Hot Pavement
There’s a reason you probably don’t walk barefoot on the pavement during the hot summer months. So, if you can’t touch the ground without it scorching your feet, you definitely don’t want your dog’s paws to touch it either. Ouch!

While the footpads of a dog’s paws are pretty tough, given that they walk on so many different surfaces, “a lot of human-made surfaces can burn your pooch’s paws, including concrete, metal, pavement, sidewalks and asphalt,” according to the article, “Beat the Heat: How to Protect Your Dog’s Paws” at

The article talks about certain symptoms that could mean your dog’s paws are burned. They include:

• Limping
• If your dog avoids walking
• Chewing or licking feet
• Your dog’s paw pads are darker than usual
• Damaged paw pads
• Paw pads that are red or have blisters

There is something called the “3-Second rule” when it comes to knowing whether the pavement is too hot for your dog, according to the article, “Is the Pavement Too Hot for Your Pup’s Paws? Here’s An Easy Way to Find Out!” at The Dogington Post.

It’s pretty simple and makes a lot of sense. “Before walking your dog, place the back of your hand on the ground and hold it there for 3-seconds,” The Dogington Post article said. “If the heat is unbearable, find another place to walk, outfit your pup with a pair of booties, or reschedule your walk for another time when the ground isn’t so hot.” Your dog and his paws will thank you.

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The Challenges of Moving with Pets and How to Make It Work
The Benefits of Fostering a Pet In Need
What Are Community Cats and How Can You Help Them?

The Challenges of Moving with Pets and How to Make It Work
Moving is something many people dread. It’s kind of like taxes. But take moving and add in pets and it’s an entirely more stressful situation. There are challenges, but if you plan ahead you can actually make it less stressful.

Whether you’re moving to a new home or a different apartment or condo, there’s preparation before moving day, there’s moving day, and then settling into the new place.

When you bring home moving boxes, pets may have a strange reaction to something unfamiliar in their space. With all that’s going on, including packing, doors opening and closing, you want to ensure your pet is safe. “It’s much safer to keep your pet somewhere safe during this process—maybe in a closed-off room or maybe at a friend’s house or doggie daycare,” according to the article, “Moving With Pets: 4 Common Mistakes to Avoid” at It’s also a good idea to keep pets safe and confined when you get to your new place.

Get your pet used to the crate or the car before moving day. By acclimating your pet to the crate, you’ll make moving day easier for everyone involved, according to the article, “Moving With Your Pet” at

Pet-proofing your new home is also important. This includes ensuring windows have screens, make sure electrical cords are safely tucked away, and remove poisonous plants and/or pest control poison traps, according to the ASPCA.

When you arrive you don’t want to overwhelm your pet, so take it slowly. “Start by allowing them to adjust to one room—their ‘home base’—which should include their favorite toys, treats, water and food bowls and litter box for cats,” the said. Slowly introduce them to the other rooms.

Before you know it you and your pet will be right a home.

The Benefits of Fostering a Pet In Need
There are many shelters and rescues across the country. Many are overwhelmed with pets and don’t have the room to take in more. Fostering an animal is a great way to volunteer, and it helps a pet acclimate to a home while also allowing a shelter or rescue to take in other animals in need.

“Fostering a pet does not require that you have loads of free time or advanced dog training skills,” according to the article, “Top 10 reasons to foster a pet,” at “In fact, most shelters offer foster opportunities that fit your schedule.”

Best Friends offers reasons to foster, including:

• The shelter can be stressful for animals and foster homes bring out the best in pets.
• From walks to the park or playing with a cat, fostering is a lot of fun for you and the pet.
• You might be able to find a potential adopter through a long walk in the park.
• While fostering you gather important information about the pet that you can disclose to potential adopters.
• “Fostering is a temporary commitment with permanent rewards,” according to the article.

When you foster, it can be for a short time or until the pet is adopted. There are other reasons why foster homes are needed. According to the article, “Why Foster A Dog and What Does It Involve?” at “A rescue group doesn’t have a physical shelter and depends on foster homes to care for dogs until suitable homes are found,” the article said.

Another reason has to do with puppies who need a safe place until they are ready to be adopted into a home.

No matter the reason why a pet needs a foster home, you’ll be doing something positive to help that pet find a forever home.

What Are Community Cats and How Can You Help Them?
If you have witnessed a large group of cats in your neighborhood, don’t be alarmed. They are most likely community cats—also known as feral cats. They are not socialized, not people-friendly, and live within their own colonies.

There are things you can do to help. “Community cats live outdoors,” according to the article, “How to Live With Cats in Your Neighborhood,” at Alley Cat Allies. “Like all animals, community cats settle where food and shelter are available, and they are naturally skilled at finding these on their own.”

According to the article, since they are unsocialized they cannot live inside with people so they are unadoptable. However, if brought to a shelter, they will most likely be euthanized. “Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is the humane, effective, and mainstream approach to addressing community cat populations,” the article said.

“In a TNR program, community cats are humanely trapped, brought to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, eartipped (the universal sign that a cat is part of a TNR program), and then returned to their outdoor homes,” according to Alley Cat Allies. TNR is effective and humane and a “collaborative way for communities to coexist with cats.”

Oftentimes community cats are cared for and fed by caring people in the neighborhood. The most important thing is to ensure that someone does TNR on the cats so that no more unwanted litters occur.

If you are not sure how to help the community cats in your neighborhood or want to ensure the cats get TNR, there may be local help. “If you’re really lucky, there is an organization or agency in your area that can help you TNR the feral cats you’re feeding,” according to the article, “How individuals can help community cats,” at The Humane Society of the United States (