5 Fall Tips for Protecting Your Pet’s Health

If your pet missed his or her annual check-up last spring, consider getting that visit rescheduled……

(BPT) – Whether fall is when you switch out your exercise regimen or schedule your annual flu shot, staying healthy is at the top of most “to do” lists right now. Just remember your four-legged family members when considering seasonal changes to your wellness program. Fall is the perfect time to take steps to keep pets healthy, too.

1) Plan that vet visit. Annual check-ups that include immunizations, physical exams, routine blood work and prescription refills are as important to pet health as they are to human health. Routine wellness visits can also save pet-care dollars in the long run through preventive care and early disease detection. If your pet missed his or her annual check-up last spring, consider getting that visit rescheduled. Most veterinarians offer pet wellness appointments with curbside drop-off and pick-up to help safeguard owners’ health.

2) Get off the couch. Summer’s heat is giving way to cooler temperatures, so resist the temptation to forgo your dog’s evening walk for yet another movie marathon. Not only will outdoor exercise help whittle your pet’s waistline and promote joint health, but getting outside to enjoy the fall colors can boost your own caloric burn and mental outlook as well.

3) Don’t “fall” back on parasite prevention. Just because you aren’t slapping mosquitoes like you did in July doesn’t mean you should stop protecting your pets from parasites. The American Heartworm Society recommends giving heartworm preventives — many of which prevent a host of common parasites — to dogs and cats year-round. While heartworms are spread by mosquitoes, it’s nearly impossible to guess when you’ll see the last one in the fall or the first one next spring. Disease-carrying mosquitoes can also survive as temperatures drop by migrating indoors or to protected areas near houses and other buildings.

4) Rethink your pet’s fall wardrobe. Protective wearables make more than a fashion statement for many pets. Arthritic senior dogs, as well as short-haired dogs or lean breeds that chill easily, will be more comfortable if you slip on a cozy fleece coat when clipping on their leash. Just make sure your pup’s garment has a snug vs. a tight fit — and consider coats with reflective fabric if you favor nighttime walks. And if your fall activities include hunting with your dog, make sure to outfit your four-legged companion with a hunting vest.

5) Hide the Halloween treats. Whether or not your kids go trick-or-treating this year, you may be making plans to stock up on Halloween candy. Just remember that certain human treats may be toxic to your pets. Chocolate is hazardous to both dogs and cats, sugar can throw off your pet’s electrolyte balance and certain artificial sweeteners can cause liver failure in dogs. So go ahead and keep the candy to yourself. Just keep it away from your pets while you’re at it.

Staying healthy has never felt more important than it does this fall. Do your pets a favor and prioritize their health, too.

3 ways to keep senior pets happy and healthy

With regular care, proper nutrition and loving attention, aging pets can live a long, enriching life….

(BPT) – As members of the family, we love our pets unconditionally. We would do anything to ensure they live long and happy lives with us. That’s why as they age it is important to be aware of the different ways to care for our pets to help them remain healthy and energized as they reach senior status.

Purina has answers to these common questions about aging pets to help you be the best pet parent for your furry family member.

1. When are pets considered “senior”?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, our cats and dogs are generally considered senior when they reach the age of 7 years. However, some pets, like larger dog breeds, are considered seniors when they are 6 years old.

No matter what age your pet is, make sure they get regular veterinary checkups and necessary preventive care, like required vaccinations. Your veterinarian may recommend older pets get additional tests to watch for specific health conditions, and more frequent checkups to prevent future problems.

Watch for signs of aging that could need attention. You may notice changes in their skin and coat, their appetites may diminish, or their activity level may slow down.

“Changes in appetite and behavior may indicate underlying health concerns, so it’s worth sharing your observations with your vet,” said Dr. Kurt Venator, DVM, Ph.D. and chief veterinary officer at Purina. “Dogs may also experience hearing, vision or cognitive changes as they age that are hard to detect, so pay attention if your dog responds less promptly to voice commands, bumps into things as they walk or seems to have trouble doing activities he once enjoyed.”

Reduced mobility, limping or having trouble managing steps can also indicate issues like osteoarthritis.

2. Do pets need special nutrition as they get older?

A 2020 Purina Pet Ownership Survey found that 93% of pet owners feel it is important to choose food specific to a pet’s life stage. And while most people know puppies and kittens have different nutritional needs than adult dogs and cats, few owners realize that senior animals also need food tailored to them.

An effective senior pet food formula can help control chronic health conditions, manage a pet’s weight and improve their mental focus. For example, Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind Adult 7+ is formulated specifically for senior dogs. It includes ingredients like enhanced botanical oils that are Medium-Chain Triglycerides, which can help improve brain function in older dogs. Purina scientists have spent years developing formulas that help boost energy levels and manage caloric intake for your senior dog, while ensuring that he or she receives the right balance of food and nutrients.

3. How can you keep an older pet active and alert?

Dr. Ragen McGowan, Ph.D., a Purina pet behavior scientist, notes that “just like people, older pets can become set in their ways and naturally slow down as they age. Keeping your senior pet active is a simple, fun and effective way to help them stay healthy and nimble. Remember, that it is just as important to keep your pet’s mind active as it is to keep their body active.”

Try out a couple of these activities with your pet:

  • Play with new toys and games — When was the last time you got your pet a new toy, or played a game of fetch or catch the mouse? Research your pet’s breed (or breeds) to find out what kinds of activities they may like best at all stages of their life. Puzzle feeders and games can go a long way to keeping your pet mentally active.
  • Introduce variety to your pet’s life — Vary your walking route by visiting an unfamiliar park or drive to a walking trail to give your dog a new place to discover. Introduce your cat to the outdoors by taking her on a walk or letting her explore the backyard on a harness and leash.
  • Train your pet — Yes, even older pets can learn new tricks. Consider a training class or watch videos from trainers to learn how to teach your pet a new command.
  • Spend time with your pet — Petting, talking to and playing with your pets can help keep them happy and alert. Grooming them regularly will also give you a chance to bond as well as look for changes in their skin, toenails, ears and coat that your vet may need to know about.

With regular care, proper nutrition and loving attention, aging pets can live a long, enriching life and enjoy every moment they have with you.

To learn more about caring for your senior pet, visit www.Purina.com.

4 Ways Pets Help Impact Health and Wellness

People can enjoy the positive impact pets can have on mental health and wellness at home and on the go…..

(Family Features) Daily life across the country has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and in times of isolation, relationships – human or animal – are as important as ever before.

According to a survey conducted by the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, 85% of people said interaction with a companion animal helped reduce loneliness and 76% agreed human-animal interactions can help address social isolation. As people are connecting virtually with friends and family, they’re also turning to their pets for comfort and companionship.

As part of its BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program, Mars Petcare collaborates with cities to create more welcoming environments for people and their pets so more people can enjoy the positive impact pets can have on mental health and wellness at home and on the go. Consider these benefits pets provide and learn more at BetterCitiesForPets.com.

  1. Pets provide stress relief. Stress management is a key factor to living a happy and healthy life, and these days some people are experiencing more daily stressors. Research has shown that owning a pet can decrease blood pressure and may help manage both anxiety and depression. No matter what life might throw at you, a pet can be by your side to help you through it.


Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

  1. Pets provide comfort. Pets can help soothe people during times of trial, especially as it relates to one’s health. In 2020, Mars Petcare and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt teamed up to bring a full-time facility dog, Squid, to the hospital to provide comfort and support for patients, their families and hospital staff experiencing the impact of intense medical situations. Squid helps provide insights on how pets like him can improve the lives of patients and their families.

  1. Pets help with healing. Pet ownership can have positive healing benefits at all stages of an owner’s life. Increasing research has been done to show the power of pets in providing health and healing benefits. In fact, one study showed veterans with PTSD symptoms experienced improved levels of physiological stress indicators and lower levels of perceived PTSD symptoms after walking with shelter dogs.


Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

  1. Pets combat loneliness. While the pandemic has made it difficult to spend quality time with loved ones, pets can help combat the sense of isolation their owners may feel. In a study by HABRI in collaboration with Mars Petcare, 80% of pet owners said their pets make them feel less lonely, and 89% of people who got a pet for loneliness felt their pet has helped them feel less lonely.


Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock

SOURCE:
Mars Petcare

Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe on a Camping Trip

What is better than camping? Going camping with your dog. To ensure a great time, here are a few tips for keeping your dog safe on a camping trip…..

Planning the perfect camping trip for you and your dog? Here are a few tips for keeping your dog safe on a camping trip.

Educate Yourself

This step is important no matter what pet you are taking camping. Making sure that you have a solid understanding of not only the rules and regulations of the location you’re camping at but also are educated on the surrounding environment.

What exactly do we mean? Knowing your location and the environment allows you to prepare and be cautious about possible wildlife you might encounter while on your trip. Being prepared and educated is the smartest and safest option, especially right now with COVID-19 closures and specific guidelines.

Bring a Brush or Comb

Depending on the area where you are camping, you never know what exactly your furry friend is going to encounter. Not only would bringing a brush and a comb allow you to comb out any and all debris that got in your pet’s coat while camping, but it could also serve as a great tool to help make sure that your pet did not get a tick.

Keep Your Pet Cool

The last—but certainly not least—important tip for you all is to keep that dog cool. Pack plenty of water and make sure that they aren’t out in the sun for extended periods of time. Make sure that the dog is hydrated and doesn’t drink any water that it encounters while out in the environment. Finally, protect your dog from the sun.

Doing both tasks allows you to keep your pet cool. Oh, and make sure you don’t forget the water bowl.

To ensure a wonderful camping excursion for you and your pet, make sure to follow these tips for keeping your dog safe on a camping trip. It is our hope that you and your canine companion embark on an incredible adventure together!

 

4 Tips for Welcoming a New Dog into Your Home

Giving a dog a forever family can be a wonderful thing, but the transition from a shelter to a home can be a lot…

(Family Features) As people continue to navigate the world of social distancing, animal shelters across the country have seen an increase in pet adoptions. People are craving connection and companionship, and few things compare to the loyalty of dogs – from their affectionate snuggles on the couch to their wagging tails when you walk through the door.

In fact, in a survey from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute and Mars Petcare, 80% of pet owners said their pet makes them feel less lonely, which is especially relevant in today’s world. To help encourage more adoptions and celebrate the unconditional love of dogs, the PEDIGREE® brand introduced the One True Loyalty Program, which will cover the adoption fees for new pet parents who adopt a dog and purchase two bags of PEDIGREE dog food (15 pounds or more), through Oct. 31.

“Throughout this pandemic, the silver lining has been the increase in dogs finding their forever homes, which is our mission in everything we do,” said Deb Fair, executive director of PEDIGREE Foundation. “So many loyalty programs take ages to earn a reward, but now, people can get the most valued and truest kind of loyalty instantly – the unconditional love of a dog.”

With so many people adding furry friends to their families, consider these tips from the PEDIGREE brand to successfully welcome a new dog into your home. If you’re considering adopting a dog, visit PEDIGREELoyalty.com to learn more about the One True Loyalty Program and how to get your adoption fees covered.

  1. Create a Safe Space – Giving a dog a forever family can be a wonderful thing, but the transition from a shelter to a home can be a lot for a pooch to take in. Give your dog a spot to call his own where he can feel safe and secure. Get a crate that’s just big enough for him to stand up and turn around in, but not too big where he has extra room to do his business. Drape a blanket or towel over the sides to make it cozy and put one or two of his favorite toys inside.

  1. Establish a Routine – To ease the transition into a new home, it’s helpful to get your dog used to a routine. When he can anticipate his meals, potty breaks, naps and playtimes, he’ll likely be less anxious throughout the day, allowing him to focus more on being your most loyal friend.

 

  1. Take Frequent Potty Breaks – Training a dog to do his business outside takes time and patience. Do your best to stay ahead of any accidents by taking your pup outside frequently – after naps, meals and play sessions and especially if he starts sniffing around in circles. Praise him with love and his favorite treats when he’s successful outside, and soon enough, he’ll get the hang of it.

Photos courtesy of Adobe Stock

  1. Return the Loyalty – The unconditional love and loyalty of dogs is unmatched, and they deserve all of it in return. Shower your dog with love, snuggles, treats and plenty of playtime, and you’ll soon form an unbreakable bond with your new best friend.

 

SOURCE:
Pedigree

Wood County Humane Society Cancels Annual Garage Sale

 Cancellation of the annual garage sale comes in the wake of a number of other event cancellations for the organization.  

Wood County Humane Society Cancels Annual Garage Sale 

 Bowling Green)—After careful consultation among organizers, volunteers, and Board members, Wood County Humane Society has decided to cancel its annual garage sale for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 In an email to Shelter Manager Erin Moore dated July 15, co-organizers Stephanie Ringler and Joseph Schroeder cited concerns over the health and safety of both volunteers and patrons as their rationale for cancelling the event.  

 “It is with great heaviness in our hearts that we have come to the conclusion that we will not be able to run a successful garage sale that would be socially distanced,” the co-organizers wrote. 

 At their monthly Board meeting in July, Board members of WCHS unanimously supported Ringler and Schroeder’s decision to cancel the event. 

 Originally slated for late-May, the sale initially was postponed by its co-organizers in hopes of re-scheduling the sale for fall. Recent developments in Wood County and across the state forced the organization to re-evaluate its earlier decision to postpone.  

 Held every May since 1993, the WCHS garage sale has been the largest annual fundraiser for the organization for nearly a decade. In 2019, the sale raised $19,407.40, exceeding 2018 sales by $2,277.75.  

 Cancellation of the annual garage sale comes in the wake of a number of other event cancellations for the organization.  

 Those who would like to support WCHS to help compensate for some of the lost fundraising revenue can visit its website at wchumane.org. 

 The Wood County Humane Society, located in Bowling Green, Ohio, is a private, non-profit, managed admission shelter providing care for homeless abused, or/and neglected pets. The organization receives no funding from nationalhumaneorganizations for daily operations, instead relying on earned revenue and the generosity of individual donors and businesses to fund programs such as Humane Investigations, Safe Pets, food assistance programs, low-cost spay/neuter opportunities, and educational presentations. The WCHS provides care for over a thousand animals each year—from dogs and cats, to the occasional pocket pet or farm animal. All animals admitted into the adoption program are housed and cared for as long as it takes to find their adoptive home. 

Fire Safety for Furry Family Members

If an emergency occurs, every member of the household should be accounted for, including pets….

(Family Features) If you have a fire escape plan in place for your home, you’re steps ahead of many Americans. According to the National Fire Protection Association, only 30% of American households have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. It’s important for families to stay ahead of the curve and be prepared in the event of a fire.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

If an emergency occurs, every member of the household should be accounted for, including pets.

Every year, 500,000 pets suffer from smoke inhalation and 40,000 die due to home fires, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation. With 90% of pet owners stating they consider their animals members of the family, according to UBS, it is important to be prepared to rescue four-legged friends when disaster strikes.

“Pets are part of our families, so it’s important to recognize they’re vulnerable to the same fire risks as people,” said Sharon Cooksey, Kidde’s fire safety expert. “There are simple ways to keep pets safe at home. Most importantly, recognize every second counts in case of fire, so pet owners should install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms as well as fire extinguishers. Make sure alarms are replaced every 10 years and fire extinguishers every 12 years.”

Protect your pet – and your human family – with these tips.

Minimize smoke alarm reactions. Dogs may become unsettled or anxious when a smoke alarm sounds, running and hiding rather than heading toward the door. Particularly if your pet shows signs of agitation when you test the alarm, enlist assistance from professional trainers to help your canine friend learn how to properly respond. Some websites offer online tips, too.

Use window cling alerts. In an emergency, first responders need to be able to quickly assess the number of pets in a home. Consider attaching a non-adhesive decal to a window near your front door to let rescuers know how many animals are inside.

Account for pets in evacuation plans. Pets should always be included in a family’s evacuation plan. Always involve your pets and stay aware of their typical hiding spots or safe places where they often nap, in case you must evacuate quickly. Be sure to practice your evacuation plan periodically. Also assign a family member to be responsible for each pet’s escape. Keep an emergency kit with food, medication, a leash and collars near the exit.

Keep alarms current. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms must be replaced after 10 years. In addition to testing alarms once each week, check the manufacture date on your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they’re current. If they’re older than 10 years of age, it’s time to replace them. Some options, like Kidde’s Wire-Free Interconnected Alarms, feature built-in 10-year sealed batteries and offer simple setup without the hassle of hardwiring or a Wi-Fi connection.

Plan ahead for emergency care. If the unthinkable happens, make sure your pets will be cared for. Save contact information for your veterinarian in a place where you and other family members can easily access it, such as your phone contacts list or a cloud-based shared file. Research local boarding options, hotels that allow pets and friends or family members who might take in your pet temporarily. Also be sure your pet’s microchip information is current in case you become separated in an emergency.

For more pet fire safety tips, visit Kidde.com/petsafety.

SOURCE:
Kidde

4 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet

Fostering is a great way to learn about the responsibilities of pet ownership and bond with a pet before making him or her a permanent member of your family,

(Family Features) Across the country, people are fostering and adopting furry friends more, with the number of animals in foster homes 43% higher than it was in 2019, according to 24PetWatch. With this uptick in fostering, potential pet owners are determining if they are ready and able to care for a pet permanently, and shelters are bracing for a time when these pets may be returned once people go back to work.

Mars Petcare is continually working to end pet homelessness and help pets find their forever homes, which is why it introduced the FOSTER TO FOREVER™ program. With the support of its brands, this program promotes pet adoption and provides kits containing essential resources like pet food and veterinary visits for pets getting settled in their permanent homes after being fostered.

“Fostering is a great way to learn about the responsibilities of pet ownership and bond with a pet before making him or her a permanent member of your family,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “The FOSTER TO FOREVER™ program fits perfectly with our mission to end pet homelessness and offers support for families welcoming foster pets permanently into their homes.”

Consider these steps before welcoming a pet into your family. If you are thinking about adopting a pet, or for more information about the FOSTER TO FOREVER™ program, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com/FosterToForever.

Photos courtesy of Adobe Stock

  1. Foster a pet. Fostering is an easy way to discover if pet ownership is right for you while also doing a service for your local shelter or rescue. By fostering before adopting, you can get a more thorough understanding of the lifestyle and schedule changes required to accommodate caring for a pet.

  1. Consider the appropriate pet for your lifestyle. Whether this is your first pet or you are adding another furry friend to your family, make sure your lifestyle and household can fit their needs. If you are looking to adopt a dog, look for a dog with an energy level equal to or lower than your own. If you have another animal in your house, make sure he gets along with your new pet before finalizing the adoption. Each pet has his own unique personality and set of needs that are important to take into account.
  1. Check out how pet-friendly your neighborhood is. Before deciding to adopt a pet, make sure your community is pet-friendly. If you live in an apartment or multi-family residence, confirm that your building or complex allows pets. Depending on the type of activity level your animal requires, make sure you have access to outdoor green space. Along with encouraging cities to implement pet-friendly policies, the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program provides additional resources to help make your home more pet-friendly.

  1. Don’t overlook senior pets. Whether old or young, pets of all ages can provide love and companionship. Senior pets can be an option for households looking for a more independent pet or one that may be housetrained. Young pets, like puppies, can require more energy and time when it comes to training and handling. There are many loving pets, old and young, looking for forever homes that can be perfect additions to a family.

SOURCE:
Mars Petcare

Guidance for Handlers of Service and Therapy Animals

If you have a service or therapy animal, follow your local guidance for acceptable business and social practices. ….

Updated June 16, 2020

Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. A therapy animal is used in a type of animal-assisted intervention. In this case, in a goal-directed intervention in which an animal meeting specific criteria is an integral part of the treatment process.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, service animals must be permitted to remain with their handlers.

We are still learning about the virus that causes COVID-19, but it appears that the virus can spread from people to animals in some situations. CDC is aware of a small number of pets, including dogs and cats, reported to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, mostly after close contact with people infected with COVID-19.

If you have a service or therapy animal, follow your local guidance for acceptable business and social practices. Consider local levels of COVID-19 transmission when evaluating the risk to yourself, your animal, and the people you might come into contact with.

Follow CDC’s general recommendations for protecting pets from infection, when possible. For example, avoid unnecessary contact with people or other animals outside the household. Use your best judgment when taking an animal into a location where it could be exposed to COVID-19.

Ways to protect service animals

  • Service animals may need to be around other people and animals while working. When possible, both the handler and the animal should stay at least 6 feet away from others.
  • If a service animal is sick, call a veterinarian, and do not go out in public with the animal.
  • When possible, do not take a service animal into settings in which people are infected with COVID-19 or facilities where you cannot prevent interactions with people who may have COVID-19.
  • Avoid contact between sick people and the service animal as much as possible. If contact cannot be avoided, the sick person should wear a cloth face covering when around the animal.
  • CDC recommends that everyone wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
  • Clean and disinfect service animal collars, vests, leashes or harnesses, and other supplies frequently.
  • Do not wipe or bathe service animals with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any other products not approved for animal use. There is no evidence that the virus can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets.
  • Do not put face coverings on service animals. Covering an animal’s face could harm them.

Ways to protect therapy animals

Facilities that normally use therapy animals may not allow them at this time because people in many of these settings are at higher risk for serious illness with COVID-19. Follow local guidance and facility protocols for social distancing, face coverings, and other ways to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. If therapy animals are invited to a facility or other setting, follow the steps below.

  • Therapy animal visits require some level of contact between clients and the therapy animal team. When possible, keep animals at least 6 feet away from people and animals not participating in the visit. Handlers and participants should wear a cloth face covering during the visit.
  • Do not take therapy animals to visits if the animals are sick or have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • When deciding if it is safe to visit a household, refer to CDC guidance on When You Can be Around Others After You Had or Likely Had COVID-19.​
  • People with symptoms of COVID-19 should not touch, be close to, or interact with therapy animals. If someone was sick with COVID-19, they should wait until they recover to interact with therapy animals.
  • Before and after every contact, the handler and anyone petting or having contact with the animal should wash their hands.
  • Do not use items that multiple people handle, particularly if items are brought to multiple facilities between therapy visits (for example, leashes, harnesses, toys, or blankets). If items like leashes must be brought between facilities, disinfect them after each use or facility.
  • Do not let other people handle items that go into the animal’s mouth, such as toys and treats.
  • Disinfect items such as toys, collars, leashes, harnesses, therapy vests and scarves, and food/water bowls frequently.
  • Do not allow therapy animals to lick or give ‘kisses’.
  • Do not wipe or bathe therapy animals with chemical disinfectants, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, or any other products not approved for animal use. There is no evidence that the virus can spread to people from the skin, fur, or hair of pets.
  • Do not put face coverings on therapy animals. Covering an animal’s face could harm the animal
 

If you are a service or therapy animal handler, and you get sick with COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19, follow recommendations for what to do if you get sick and recommendations for protecting pets if you get sick.

If your service or therapy animal gets sick after contact with a person with COVID-19, call your veterinarian. If the animal tests positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, follow recommendations for what to do if your pet tests positive.

Additional Resources

5 ways to help pollinators flourish

Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, flies, bats and hummingbirds transfer pollen between flowers and other plants, helping them grow and produce the fruit and vegetables we all eat….

(BPT) – You may already be aware that pollinators are important to everyone on the planet. But did you know that one in every three bites of food is made possible by native pollinators?

Pollinators such as bees, butterflies, flies, bats and hummingbirds transfer pollen between flowers and other plants, helping them grow and produce the fruit and vegetables we all eat — and that our beloved pets eat.

Because pollinators help grow the pumpkins, apples and cranberries used to make Beyond, a sustainability-minded natural pet food, the team has collaborated with The Nature Conservancy to initiate Project Blossom, with the mission of helping protect the declining population of pollinators. Purina’s Beyond has donated $100,000 to The Nature Conservancy to help its mission to support a healthy planet, to protect pollinators.

“The Nature Conservancy works around the globe to protect pollinators from challenges such as the loss and degradation of habitat, climate change and more,” said Chris Helzer, director of science for the Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. “By partnering with Beyond and being a part of Project Blossom, we are advancing our work to support a healthy planet for pollinators and all the other species we rely on for a healthy ecosystem.”

How you can help

Here are some simple things you can do to help pollinators thrive. They are fun, easy and educational projects you can enjoy with the whole family, especially while you’re spending more time at home and in your own yard and garden.

1. Learn

Kids find pollinators fascinating, and there’s a lot to learn about what they do for our ecosystem.

  • Visit The Nature Conservancy website as a starting point to discover more about how pollinators work.
  • Check out other websites, books or local outdoor gardens to explore native plants and pollinators that live in your area.
  • Make a list, map and/or photo project to describe what kinds of pollinators help which plants grow in your region.
  • Seek out resources to learn more about different types of pollinators and the threats they face. For example, when most people talk about bees, they assume honeybee, but there are more than 5,000 species of bees found in North America alone that need our support.

2. Plant

Once you’ve identified regional plants, flowers and shrubs that pollinators love, decide which ones to add to your outdoor space.

  • Involve the whole family in growing a variety of pollinator-friendly plants outside your home.
  • Avoid using pesticides in your yard or garden and learn which ones are least likely to affect bees and pollinators.
  • If you have limited outdoor space, use a small raised garden bed or a planter on your deck, balcony or patio.
  • Set up a pollinator window box.

3. Make

Collect supplies, like pieces of wood, and involve your kids in making a small project to help sustain pollinator communities in your own backyard.

4. Donate

Make a monetary contribution to the cause.

  • Make a donation to The Nature Conservancy, which helps conserve and protect land and water around the world.
  • Consider encouraging donations from friends and family.

5. Share

An easy way to spread awareness about pollinators is to create a conversation about them on social media.

  • Share the Project Blossom website with friends and family.
  • Post pictures of your pollinator projects or gardens to inspire others to join your efforts.

“We’re committed to keeping pets healthy and happy, which is why we’re committed to helping protect our planet and ultimately, pollinators that play an important role in our ingredient sourcing,” said Diane Herndon, senior manager of sustainability at Purina Beyond. “At Beyond, we hope Project Blossom will inspire people everywhere to help protect pollinators that play a vital role in nutritious ingredients that go in our cat and dog recipes.”

Visit BeyondPetFood.com/ProjectBlossom to learn more about what you can do to help your neighborhood be a friendlier place for much-needed pollinators.

conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends

4 smart steps to manage cat allergens at home

Many people think that cat hair itself is the allergen, but it’s actually what’s on it that is problematic……

(BPT) – As millions of Americans spend unprecedented amounts of time at home, it also means spending unprecedented amounts of time with their pets. And for cat owners who have sensitivities to cat allergens, this can create unforeseen challenges.

According to a recent study by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute and Purina Pro Plan, three in four cat owners say their relationship with their cat is a core part of their health and well-being. However, 26% of households with cat allergen sensitivities also stated that cat allergens have caused huge problems in their life.

Having a cat shouldn’t mean choosing between enjoying time with them and living a healthy, full life. Fortunately, there are steps cat owners can take to help manage cat allergens at home.

Step 1: Vacuum and dust regularly

It’s best to vacuum carpet at least twice a week, according to the Carpet and Rug Institute. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to help capture higher levels of allergens. Make sure to focus on spaces where cats play and lay frequently, including below furniture and the furniture itself. This ensures even those cozy corners get clean and don’t become a hot spot for allergens.

Hard flooring such as tile, wood and laminate should be cleaned regularly as well to eliminate dust and dander. Vacuum on the low setting to get the suction closest to the hard flooring. Don’t forget spaces such as the litter box area because dust from litter can contribute to airborne allergens. Additionally, wet mop at least once a month to more fully clean hard flooring in your home.

Keep in mind, even though your pet can’t reach some surfaces physically doesn’t mean their allergens won’t get there. Microscopic allergens can float through the air and land virtually anywhere, so dust surfaces high and low with a damp rag or microfiber cloth to capture these particles and remove them from the home.

Step 2: Update your cat’s diet

Many people think that cat hair itself is the allergen, but it’s actually what’s on it that is problematic — the major cat allergen called Fel d 1, a protein that cats produce naturally in their saliva. When cats groom themselves, the Fel d 1 is transferred to the hair and skin through saliva. The allergen eventually lands in the environment as the cat’s hair and dander shed naturally.

Following a decade of research, Purina has introduced Pro Plan LiveClear, the first and only cat food that reduces the allergens in cat hair and dander. Instead of trying to manage the allergen once it’s already in the environment, the allergen is neutralized at its source in the cat’s mouth. When cats eat the food, the key ingredient — a specific protein sourced from eggs — binds to Fel d 1 and safely neutralizes it. In a published study, the food was shown to reduce the allergens in cat hair and dander by an average of 47%, starting in the third week of daily feeding. Learn more at www.proplanliveclear.com.

Step 3: Groom and brush your cat

An important step in managing allergens at the source is to keep your pet clean. Regularly groom or brush your cat, particularly if they are prone to matted hair. The act of grooming reduces loose hair and thereby reduces the overall allergen load. Some types of brushes will groom and massage at the same time, so once acclimated, many cats enjoy the massage, which can potentially help reduce some stress or anxiety.

Step 4: Wash household items

The next step is to stay on top of cleaning household items. For example, bedding and blankets make a warm bed for pets and therefore harbor a multitude of allergens. Be sure to wash all sheets, blankets and pillowcases in hot water at a minimum of 130 F to remove allergens and kill other triggers such as dust mites, according to the Mayo Clinic. Consider making a habit of washing bedding and blankets weekly to remove allergens from your home.

By combining these allergen management strategies, cat owners can better handle their current situations and be closer together with the cats they love.

5 Tips for Bringing a New Pet Home

When bringing a new pet into the family, set up a proper introduction with any current pets to help make the transition easier…..

(Family Features) Bringing a pet home for the first time – even if you already have other pets – can be an exciting moment. However, it’s important to involve the whole family in discussing whether your family will foster or adopt, and what each family member’s responsibilities with the new pet will be. It also takes preparation and patience to ensure a smooth transition.

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Regardless of the type of companion you’re welcoming into your home, adjusting to a new environment can be overwhelming and could lead to anxiety. Because dogs and cats do not communicate like humans, they often express anxiety by misbehaving, which makes it important to be willing to spend the first several days bonding with your pet and forming good habits.

Visit your local shelter or animal welfare organization to complete necessary forms and background check, and consider this advice from the experts at PetSmart to help set you and your new furry friend up for a successful homecoming.

Introduce Your Pets
When bringing a new pet into the family, set up a proper introduction with any current pets to help make the transition easier. For dogs, schedule the initial meeting at a neutral environment outside of your home. Cats typically need a more gradual introduction to get comfortable. Start by keeping your felines in separate rooms with their own litter boxes, but let them see each other periodically through a glass window to get used to sharing the space. Allowing your pets to play with each other’s toys can also create familiarity with their new housemate’s scent.

Pet-Proof Your Home
Because new pets can be especially curious and jump onto high surfaces or squeeze into small spaces, ensure clothes, cleaning supplies, electrical wires or cords and other potential hazards are out of reach. Other measures you can take to pet-proof your home include keeping toilet lids closed, covering vents and latching trash can lids. Also create a pet-friendly space with a bed or another way to divert attention, such as a scratching post for cats.

Prepare the Necessities
Decrease stress before bringing your new companion home by getting as many of the necessities ahead of time as possible. Ensuring your pet comes home to his or her own crate or bed, food and water bowls, a collar with identification, leash, food, necessary pest treatments and a variety of toys can make the adjustment to new surroundings easier.

Create a Schedule
Creating a routine for your companion’s mealtimes, bathroom breaks and playtime can help make the transition easier on both you and your pet. When building out the schedule, keep in mind that younger pets typically need to relieve themselves more often, and puppies and kittens also often require more exercise than older pets. Plan time for daily walks, solo playtime and trips to the park or backyard to play fetch.

Keep Your Pet Happy and Healthy
While a proper diet and plenty of exercise can go a long way toward keeping your pet feeling his or her best, ensure your furry friend looks the part by regularly bathing him or her and maintaining a healthy coat by brushing often with at-home grooming tools. It is also important to find a veterinarian who’s equipped to handle breed-specific needs and schedule routine checkups to stay on top of vaccines and any potential health concerns. Speak with your foster coordinator to find out about foster-specific requirements.

Find more tips for welcoming a new pet into your household at petsmart.com.

SOURCE:
PetSmart