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Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Lucrative Pet Industry

Standard Poodle, Hattie, watching a video of her Mom. Photo: Jenn Ackerman, NYTimes

We love that the pet industry (those who make food and products to help you better care for your pet) is growing each year. According to the American Pet Products Association, humans spent upwards of $55.8 billion last year alone—all to care for, and yes, pamper us pets. And this recent article in The New York Times focuses on the start-ups in the pet business—those entrepreneurs who have a great idea to help you, say, commune with your pet while you're at work—see Ms. Hattie above, but don't necessarily have the money to get their idea to market.

Enter Kickstarter and savvy investment groups who see the skyward direction of the pet industry, and you've got a great combination that should ultimately benefit pets. The idea is that many of you who own pets, see us more like children, and in some respects, we think that's a good thing. The human who built the pet food giant Iams (which he ultimately sold to P&G for $2.3 billion), calls this change  "quite a shift from the days when the dog slept in the garage, ate table scraps and 'occasionally got their burrs taken out'".

Anything that encourages humans to better care for and interact more with their pets is a positive step forward in our book! We hope you enjoy this glimpse into the expanding pet products world—let us know what you think.

Here's my high tech device to help Parental Unit and me interact...

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day Resolutions For Your Pets And You!

            Are you going to enjoy the outdoors this Earth Day?

The forecast calls for rain in our neck of the woods, but we hope all of you and your pets get to enjoy some outdoor time today. We all know by now that it's the little things we do that can add up to a big impact on our planet—whether for good or ill. So for Earth Day 2014, we thought we'd share two separate tip sheets, one for us pets and one for you humans. But notice how they nicely overlap!

First up are "Top 10 Green Pet Tips for Earth Day" compiled by Donna Spector, DVM,  a holistic veterinarian who works for Halo Pet Foods. She recommends, of course, using biodegradable poop bags, and even composting your pets' waste.  The good doctor also recommends cutting back on the amount of fish food you give your pet, because our forage fish numbers are rapidly depleting, and the pet food industry uses a significant percentage of our global supply. She also offers lots of other unique earth-friendly tips to help both you and your pet go green.

One of our favorite environmental organizations is the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), and their  recent newsletter offers nifty resolutions for humans to polish their planet-friendly skills. Think reusable bags and containers, composting food waste, eating only seasonal produce and eating less meat. If you don't know why these habits will help lesson your impact on our planet, join the NRDC and subscribe to their monthly newsletter, "This Green Life"—it's wonderful!

        So what will you do to celebrate Earth Day? Let us know!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

And The Winner Of The Special ASPCA Gift Pack Is...!

As usual, we're putting our trust in Random.org and its spooky Random Sequence Generator to pick our lucky winner. We plugged in the numbers 1-10 because we received 10 comments on our giveaway post, and here's what came up...

Random Sequence Generator

Here is your sequence:
Timestamp: 2014-04-21 00:18:23 UTC
The first number is four and the good dogs who left the fourth comment are our good friends, Lily and Edward, the two French Bulldogs! Let's all put our paws together in a round of applause for Lily and Edward! And thanks to all who entered—we really appreciate your support!
And please don't forget to support the ASPCA and the good work that they do, particularly their work to help educate all of us about the evils of dog fighting.

              A joyous Easter and Passover to all of our blogging friends!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bouncing Dogs...Trampoline Style!

Has your pooch played on a trampoline? Well, neither have I, but these dogs sure look like they're havin' some fun!

P.S. Don't forget to enter our giveaway that ends tonight at 8:00EST: You could be the lucky winner of a special ASPCA Gift Pack!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Taking The No-KIll Strategy With Feral Cats

           Photo of feral kitty by Ruth Fremson for the NY Times

This New York Times story gives all cat lovers something important to ponder: How should humans handle the expanding feral cat population, particularly in large urban areas? The solution appears to be down to two options, neither of which are terrific. One is the trap, spay/neuter, release strategy advocated by many animal rights groups like Alley Cat Allies. The idea is that true feral cats really have nowhere else to go but the streets because they are not socialized to humans. The best strategy then, is to unleash an army of volunteers to trap as many cats as possible, take them in for surgery and then release them back to their native colonies. While this option clearly will stop the exponential growth of cat colonies, it does nothing to prevent the cats from "obliterating wildlife", says a representative from the American Bird Conservancy. Statistical counts show that feral and even indoor/outdoor pet cats contribute to millions of backyard bird deaths each year.

And then there's the round 'em up and take 'em to a shelter strategy, which practically ensures that 70% or more will be euthanized. So what to do? We think the good news, at least for the cats, is that the trap, spay/neuter, release strategy is gaining popularity across the country. And in New York City, at least, there's currently about 5,500 or so volunteers ready to ensure that thousands of cats can no longer reproduce—and that is no easy task. We salute these dedicated volunteers in New York and across the country for their generous donation of time and resources to help permanently reduce the feral cat population.
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