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How to Help Kids and Pets Cope When Summer is Over and School Starts
How to Search for High-Quality Pet Food
The Dangers of Retractable Leashes

How to Help Kids and Pets Cope When Summer is Over and School Starts
Summer is winding down and kids are preparing for the school year to begin. Many kids have those back-to-school jitters. And, there are the family pets who will now have to adjust to the new normal when their best friends head back to school. You can keep your pets in the mix so they don’t feel left out.

According to the article, “4 Tips on Preparing Your Dog for Back-to-School Season” at, the following tips can “ensure your dog has the best experience possible once your family’s fall routine goes into full effect.”
1. Before school starts, practice the new routine. This can include setting your alarm and getting up early, taking your dog for a walk the time you will do so on school days, feed your dog at the new meal times, and start leaving your dog in his crate to get used to it.
2. Set times for extra exercise before school and work as well as after. “Just like you, your dog needs physical activity and exercise to stay healthy,” the article said. “They also need it to prevent boredom, which often leads to chewing or other bad behaviors.”
3. Stimulate your dog during the day with puzzle toys or leaving on slow music.
4. Keep it low key when you leave for the day and when you return.

Consider a playdate with a friend who has a dog, and you can return the favor another time, according to the article, “10 back to school tips for your dog” at Dog’s Best Life.

“Hire a dog walker or ask a retired neighbor to take your dog for a walk during the day,” the Dog’s Best Life article said.

For a special treat, try doggy day care. Check out Second Home Pet Resort’s Doggie Day Care.

How to Search for High-Quality Pet Food
An important part about having a pet is the right food. With so many options out there and different types of pet food, how do you choose? Start with research.

According to the article, “How to Choose the Best Dog Food” at, “A good food will keep your dog’s hair coat shiny and sleek. It will strengthen his immune system.”

The article points to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) that “has established guidelines for regulators to govern claims a pet food company can make on its label.”

Things you should do to find the right pet food include:

• Read ingredients.
• Consider glutens and grains in pet food. Note that dogs are rarely allergic to gluten.
• Check by-products.
• Check the pet food’s nutritional adequacy statement.
• It’s a good idea to get your veterinarian’s advice when it comes to food and your dog’s age, lifestyle, genetics, etc.

If you think you have a pet who is allergic to his food, consult your veterinarian to find out what’s going on, according to the article, “6 Things Your Vet Wants You to Know About Dog Food” at Fetch by

Remember “premium” food is not always better. “Stores tend to group dog foods into the categories of ‘popular’ and pricier ‘premium’ or ‘gourmet’ diets, but there aren’t any nutritional requirements for these labels,” the Fetch by WebMD article noted.

For dogs allergic to animal proteins, a vegetarian diet might do the trick. While it might “be tricky to find the right balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and nutrients for vegetarian pooches” it can be done.

Also be sure not to overfeed your pets. Determine the correct serving size based on your pet’s weight, the Fetch by WebMD article said.

The Dangers of Retractable Leashes
Many people love retractable leashes and use them for their dogs on daily walks. Then there are those who feel the leashes are very dangerous.

Some toss up the negatives to human error, while others says its “an accident waiting to happen,” according to the article, “Why Retractable Leashes Are Dangerous” at “Common sense and vigilance is what is needed to walk a dog on a retractable leash properly.”

On the pro side, for a dog who is trained and an owner who properly uses the leash, a dog can walk anywhere from 20 to 30 feet away and have freedom without being off leash.

Then there’s the con side, often associated with human error to include “human frailty, human stupidity and lack of judgment,” the article said. Some cons include:

• A label warns about dangers to fingers that can get entangled. Other injuries include rope burns and gashes.
• People in the way of a retractable leash can get hurt and dog fights can occur.
• These leashes can cause trauma to your dog as they can “wrap around a dog’s leg and cause much more serious injury than a traditional leash,” the article said.
• Retractable leashes can undo training by allowing dogs to pull and not listen to commands.

Oftentimes, the dangers when using a retractable leash happen very quickly and before the owner has a chance to prevent the incident. Dogs darting into traffic while on their leash have been hit by cars.

“There have been cases of dogs getting twisted in the cord and having a tail or leg amputated by the deep cut made when the cord retracts,” according to the article, “Retractable Leashes: Dangerous And Deadly For Dogs And Humans” at “These things happen quickly, often too fast for the handler to react.”

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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.