Having a pet in the family is a personal choice, of course, but children can benefit from pets in many ways. In addition to being lots of fun, pets can also:
• Provide a source of emotional and physical comfort
• Help boost a child's confidence and self-esteem
• Support a connection to nature and a respect for living things
• Promote exercise with walks outside or interactive games
• Teach responsibility, especially to older kids who can help care for a pet
Browse the ASPCA® Kids and Pets Interaction Guide on the ASPCA's website for more information.
Are you adding a furry friend to the family? Maybe you've met your human love match and need to combine pet households. It can take time and patience, but even cats and dogs have been known to live happily ever after. Here a few tips to help:
Dog + Dog: Keep initial interactions short and supervised. Watch for signs of aggression and separate them if you sense trouble. Praise and reward them when they get along well.
Cat + Cat: Take a staged approach and keep them in separate rooms at first. Once they get used to hearing and smelling each other, let them spend time together under your supervision.
Cat + Dog: Make the introduction as stress-free as possible. For instance, consider keeping an energetic dog on a leash. Let the cat set the pace, and never force interaction.
Don't hesitate to ask your veterinarian or an animal behaviorist for advice on your specific situation. You can also find more suggestions from our friends at the ASPCA® on bringing together dogs and dogs, cats and cats or cats and dogs.
If your canine hasn't earned a diploma from obedience school, you may be looking for some training help. In that case, there are a few options you can consider:
Training in a small group can be great for teaching basic skills and socializing puppies.
If your pet has a specific issue, one-on-one time with a pro may be the way to go.
Don't have time to devote to your dog's training? This may be a good choice for you.
Talk to your veterinarian about specific training recommendations for your dog. Our friends at the ASPCA® also have more advice at their website.
Does your pup have a fillable KONG toy? If so, our friends at the ASPCA® have some great stuffing recipes you may want to try.
If your dog doesn’t have a KONG, you can learn more about this non-toxic, dishwasher-safe rubber toy with a hollow center here. KONG toys make your dog work for their treat and, in turn, help ease boredom and reduce destructive behaviors.
Join our Vegging Out Twitter Party! We’re hosting a pet-friendly vegetable-themed party on Twitter on Thursday, August 15 from 2-3 p.m. EST. Use the hashtag #PetVeggies to join the conversation, and play our trivia contest for 3 chances to win.
Tips for joining a Twitter party:
• Sign up for a Twitter account
• Follow the party hosts. For the Vegging Out party, make sure you’re following ASPCA Pet Health Insurance and our co-host, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.
• Twitter parties are easiest to follow if you’re using a dashboard like TweetChat, Tweetdeck, or Tweetgrid.
• Use the party hashtag (#PetVeggies) in every tweet to be a part of the conversation.
No purchase necessary. See official rules here.
Did you know obesity during puppyhood could lead to continued weight problems for adult dogs? Pudgy puppies can make some of the cutest and cuddliest companions, but our friends at About.com know when portly can become a problem.
They also have some tips on how to reduce the diet of pudgy playmates, and our friends at the ASPCA® offer a quick overview of not only what causes obesity, but how you and your pet can work together to counteract it.
If you are thinking about adopting a second pet, our friends at Dogster have five things you may want to consider to make sure you’re prepared. For instance, just like with children, pets don’t necessarily reinforce each other’s good habits, and multiples can get into twice as much mischief without proper training.
If you decide to take the plunge and expand your family, our friends at the ASPCA® offer these great tips for introducing cats to cats, dogs to dogs, a new cat to your dog, and even a new dog to your cat.
Some dogs get the treat of a car ride most days, while others may only ride along for special trips to the veterinarian or park. Regardless of how often your pup gets to ride shotgun, Dog Care Journey has some important tips you should read before hitting the road.
If you’re planning an extended journey with your dog, our friends at the ASPCA® have a great checklist available with all sorts of travel tips. They also have information available if your furry friend is afraid of riding in cars.
What’s the first thing you should do before petting a dog you don’t know? If you answered, “Ask the pet parent for permission,” then you are correct!
While some dogs seem to want to jump straight into your arms, not all pups are that sociable. PawNation offer these tips about petting a dog you don’t know, which can help keep both you and the dog safe.
Also, if you have a dog who seems timid or afraid of people, our friends at the ASPCA® have some great information about what might cause this behavior and how to treat it.
Are you looking to spruce up your living space? We’ve found some great tips from Pet Hooligans that will help you make sure your interior design plans are pet-friendly.
And if you really want your pet to be an integral part of the new design, check out these “10 Awesomely Clever Pet Friendly Furniture Items.” Our favorite is the night stand/dog bed!