big presh (David Precious) [Flickr]

It is not easy to keep your pet safe from the dangers posed by the Christmas tree.  It may be best if the tree is in a room with a door that you can close, so your four-footed buddy cannot have unsupervised access to the tempting holiday decorations!


fineapps2013 (Werner Reischel) [Flickr]

Most of the foods we enjoy at Thanksgiving are not good for our pets, but pumpkin is pet-friendly and healthy!  Make sure you feed your furry friend only the meat of the pumpkin (not the skin, stem or leaves), and use only fresh or pure canned pumpkin.


Greencolander (Michelle Tribe) [Flickr]

This is a time of year when there are fewer puppies and kittens available to adopt.  But shelters still have lots of great adult animals and even some older (senior) pets who need good homes and loving owners!


T3l Erick (Erick Pleitez) [Flickr]

If you have a great animal shelter in your community, let them know you appreciate the work they do.  If your shelter is not so great, maybe you can help to make it better, not just for the animals but for everyone.


National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America

As the NAVTA website says, veterinary technicians (vet techs) find themselves caring for a wide variety of animals, some with fur, some with feathers, even some with scales.  They are the nurses of the veterinary world, and can help make sure your pet gets the best possible health care.  So, hug a vet tech this week!


NatalieMaynor [Flickr]

If you take your pet to a local Blessing of the Animals ceremony, make sure you have it either on a leash or in a cage or carrier.  That way, everyone can be focused on enjoying the special event!


World Rabies Day 2015

Sep 26, 2015
Harlequeen (Neil McIntosh) [Flickr]

The animals that are most likely to carry rabies in your neighborhood are raccoons, bats, foxes and skunks.  Do not try to handle these animals and teach your children to stay away from them.


christopdesoto [Flickr]

Can you spot the pets in this house?  Without help, neither can a firefighter.  Knowing where to look and how many animals to find makes it more likely firefighters can rescue pets from a house fire.


Working Animals

Sep 5, 2015
American Humane Association

Bretagne epitomizes the relationship between humans and working animals.  Trained for search and rescue, her first assignment was the World Trade Center on 9/11.  Not only was she very good at her job she also took on the role of comforter for firefighters and other first responders, nuzzling close and letting them hold her and pet her.  She was trained to search, but her love for people made her special.


American Humane Association

The 2015 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of eight categories: Service Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Law Enforcement, Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs.

    A Guide Dog is trained to lead, follow commands, ignore distractions, and even disobey a command that would put its human partner in danger. The human also must be trained on how to handle the dog and how to be a good leader of the team. A Hearing Dog is specially trained to alert its deaf owner to sounds we all take for granted. Unlike a Guide Dog that must be of a certain body size in order to lead a person, a Hearing Dog can be large or small, pure-bred or mixed breed. Many are shelter animals who are determined to have the intelligence and temperament to serve as a Hearing Dog. It is a perfect blending of needs - deaf individuals have the opportunity to live an independent life, and dogs who may literally die for lack of homes are given a purpose and owners that will love and care for them. Guide dogs and hearing dogs are living examples of the trust bond between human and animal.

In the world of Search and Rescue operations, dogs have a very special place.  Their keen sense of smell, excellent night vision, extremely sensitive hearing and endurance have made them crucial in efforts to locate people or animals who are missing or trapped.


American Humane Association

The  Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of eight categories: Service Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Law Enforcement, Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs. 

Interacting with an animal can be very theraputic for humans. While other animals, such as horses and cats can be great therapy animals, dogs really excel in helping humans who are going through a difficult or troubling time. A certified Therapy Dog can make a significant contribution to many treatment programs.

Dogs began helping our military forces as early as World War I, but it wasn't until World War II that the Army established its first K-9 Corps. They serve as scouts, detection specialists for explosives, and assist on guard duty to protect US service men and women around the world. Nowadays, dogs have their own military service records and can be awarded commendations for outstanding service. It is not possible to count the number of lives military dogs have saved, sometimes at the extreme cost of their own. The Military Dog category seeks to recognize the dedication and valor of these extraordinary animals.


American Humane Association

The 2015 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways.  Dogs are nominated in one of eight categories:  Service Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Law Enforcement Dogs, Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs. 

The Law Enforcement Dog category includes what we often think of as police dogs, animals specially trained to patrol, search buildings, track criminals, and to detect drugs, narcotics and explosive devices. 

The Arson Dog category includes animals trained to sniff out accelerants that may have been used to start a fire.  Every year hundreds of lives (and billions of dollars in property) are lost as a result of fires that were set intentionally.  The dog works with a handler who is a law enforcement officer trained to investigate fire scenes.


American Humane Association

The 2015 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of eight categories: Service Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Law Enforcement Dogs, Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, and Guide/Hearing Dogs.

The Service Dog category includes animals that assist people with disabilities other than sight and hearing. Most have received special training.

The Emerging Hero category honors the partnership that often develops between human and dog. Some of these animals are trained in such areas as detection of diseases such as cancer,  others are just pets who, without any special training, instinctively assist their human companions, and some are overcomers who have triumphed over adversity in an extraordinary way.



1RN2GSD (Christine K) [Flickr]

The Fourth of July is a day to celebrate America, but it's important to remember that the safety of our family is the most important consideration.  If your family includes a pet, it's up to you to keep them safe to enjoy all the family celebrations for years to come.


Rob Bixby Photography

Keeping your best friend safe in a disaster is easier if you plan ahead.  Put together a kit with all the important supplies, then make sure you take your four-footed companion and get out of harm's way in plenty of time to keep you both safe.


Beverly & Pack [Flickr]

This puppy looks cute and sweet, and not at all vicious.  He is an American Bull Terrier, often called a "Pit Bull".  If he is raised with love and gentleness he will be a great family pet.  If he is taught to be mean and aggressive, people will be afraid of him.  Part of preventing dog bites is in how the animals are raised and trained.


What the Dog Ate

May 16, 2015
mt-sign (Marc-Andre Trage) [Flickr]

Limiting your dog's access to harmful items may not be easy, especially if your dog is intelligent or crafty.  But it's worth the effort if it keeps your best friend safe and healthy. 


Pet Moms

May 9, 2015
firepile (Robin Zebrowski) {Flickr]

Nowadays, we can buy pet costumes for Halloween, take our dog or cat out in a pet stroller, board them at pet daycare, even buy veterinary health insurance for them.  We can even adopt (as opposed to "buy") them from our local animal shelter.  Legally they may be considered property, but humans are treating their furry companions as part of the family!


American Humane Association

Be Kind to Animals Week is a great time to celebrate the unique bond between humans and animals.  Whether you focus on taking proper care of pets, or compassion for the plight of animals in need, or simply the enjoyment of the beauty animals add to our world, our lives are enriched - especially so by the ones we call our best friends!

First Aid for Pets

Apr 25, 2015
theOpie [Flickr]

Pet owners should know how to recognize the signs of heat stroke in their furry friend, and how to respond.  It's also good to know the proper way to wrap and dress a wound, and maybe even how to perform CPR on an animal.  (CPR is different for dogs and cats.)  A little know-how could help your pet survive in an emergency


Dog Flu Epidemic

Apr 18, 2015
NightRStar (Roman Soto) [Flickr]

Dogs are naturally social animals, but during the dog flu epidemic it might be up to you to keep it company.  After all, that's what best friends are for!


Bark in the Park

Apr 11, 2015
Tuscaloosa Bark in the Park [Facebook]

Free admission, free dog wash, fun, games, contests, all in a great dog park created for humans and their canine friends to enjoy.  Just be sure your pet is at least four months old and on a leash (for your best friend's safety).


The Easter Bunny Quiz

Apr 4, 2015
Mike Procario [Flickr]

How much do you know about caring for rabbits?  Take this little quiz to see if you really might want a rabbit as a pet because, like it or not, that cute baby Easter bunny will be a full-grown rabbit before you know it!


Taro the Shiba Inu [Flickr]

How a pet fits into your household and into your life is often an evolving relationship, much like most of the other personalities that fill our lives!


Springtime Pet Babies

Mar 21, 2015
Jessica Favaro [Flickr]

Puppies and kittens are so cute, and so plentiful in the Spring - too plentiful. in fact.  If you are considering adopting a new pet, this is the perfect time of year because so many are available and looking for a home!


The Irish Cat

Mar 14, 2015
Sister72 {Flickr]

On the Isle of Man, the home of origin for the Manx cat, some folks still use the term "stubbin" to refer to the felines without a tail.  Throughout their history they have been valued as rodent hunters, but today they are prized as great pets!


World Spay Day 2015

Feb 28, 2015

If you want to help reduce the problem of pet overpopulation, begin by having your own pet spayed or neutered . Once you have done that, perhaps you might be willing to support efforts in your community to spay and neuter strays and feral animals.


Dental Health for Pets

Feb 21, 2015
Helena Jacoba [Flickr]

Pet breath may never smell particularly fresh to us humans, but it should not be really odorous.  But good dental health for pets is about more than the smell; it's about making sure your best friend is healthy from nose to tail.


Valentine Pets

Feb 14, 2015
DianaDesignsNY and the Gs [Flickr}

The bond that develops between human and pet has been the subject of study and even research.  It's real, on both sides, and most of us call it love because English does not have a different word to describe the special feelings we develop for our furry friends - and they for us!


Israel Cats

Feb 7, 2015
Mindy Norton

Stray or feral cats pose a number of problems for their human neighbors, including unpleasant odors and noisy encounters between the animals.  TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) has proven effective in reducing the problems, but one organization in Israel has an enhanced approach to improving the situation for both humans and cats.