Cheers and Celebrations for National Puppy Day!

Do you know what day March 23rd is? YES, it’s National Puppy Day, and during this celebration, there is no better day than to bring home a cute little pup!

And while we give cheers and celebrations for this day, and hopefully you’ll find a new BFF of the 4 legged variety, there are some things to consider first before you bring a buddy home.

Rescue Puppies

The National Puppy Day motto is “Adopt instead of shop,” and there is a good reason for this too. Your local shelter has many cute and lovely little rescue puppies that need a forever home. By adopting instead of shopping, you’ll be freeing up valuable kennel space, you’ll provide funding for more rescues and you’ll be making a puppies dreams come true! There is no better feeling than this win-win situation of helping your shelter and bringing home a pupper!

Size and Space

One of the biggest things to consider is space for your puppy to grow. This is especially true if it is a large dog breed. Granted, a little pup will be happy almost anywhere, but you need to think about size and space in the coming year or two. Larger dogs need a larger space, so make sure you have the room for the size breed your puppy will grow up to be.

Plenty of Exercise

Your puppy will need plenty of exercise, including walks, runs and play. They need these activities for normal development and muscle growth. You have to make a commitment to make sure they get this type of exercise, preferably once per day walks and runs, to keep them healthy and happy.

Puppies Cost Money

When you first bring home a pup, your only thought may be about making sure they have food and water. And while that is a regular monthly expenditure, it’s only a small part. You’ll also have vet visits, shots, worming, grooming, toys and other kinds of expenses that you may never have thought of. In truth, having a puppy may run you around $300 dollars per month, and if you can’t afford that, then you can’t afford a puppy.

Open Your Heart

National Puppy Day is almost here, and if you have the room, have the space, have the time for vet visits, walks and runs, and if you can afford it, then adopt instead of shop, open your heart, and bring home a sweet little bundle of 4 legged joy!

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2017 Tournament of Tails

Playing off the popularity of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, Petplan’s Tournament of Tails features adoptable pets from 32 shelters across the country vying for the crown of top dog or cat. More importantly, the tournament brings much-needed awareness for the need of pet adoption.

Tournament of Tails

It’s not an easy bracket to fill out though! These cuties are all so adorable. Half of the first-round (Terrific 32) action of the popular Tournament of Tails is already over, but you can still get in on the fun. Visit the site and vote on the current cat and dog match ups, download your bracket to play along, and of course, be sure to share on social media!

In its fourth year, Petplan’s Tournament of Tails is a bracket-style challenge, which lets fans vote to advance their favorite pets to the next round. There is nearly $11,000 up for grabs with the champion earning $5,000 for its host organization and no pet goes home empty-pawed when eliminated from the challenge. Those bounced from the Terrific 32 receive a $100 donation for their shelters, players whose run ends at the Spirited 16 receive $200, pets knocked off in the Eager 8 round receive $300, while those who claw their way to the Final Fur net $500.

Head over to make your choices now! May your bracket win!

Posted in cats, dogs, people helping animals | 1 Comment

The Oscar goes to… The Pup-nosticators

Petplan’s Pup-nosticators are back at it. After having a successful run during the NFL playoffs, when they went 7-4 in game predictions and more importantly all puppies were adopted, they are now tackling this weekend’s Academy Awards (Sunday, February 26).

The Pup-nosticators Take On The Academy Awards!

The 89th Academy Awards are this Sunday, February 26th!We needed the help of our Pup-nosticators to pick the big winners! This week's Pup-nosticators, were five, ridiculously adorable Shepherd/Lab/Beagle mixes (Saffron, Dill, Pepper, Cinnamon, and Chili!) from All 4 Paws Rescue in Chester Springs, PA! ????These fur babies are all available for adoption! Simply visit www.all4pawsrescue.com for more info! ????And as always, a huge bark-out to The Honest Kitchen for providing the yummy, nutritious food in the bowls!

Posted by Petplan Pet Insurance – North America on Monday, February 20, 2017

About the Pup-nosticators:

  • Petplan Pet insurance (www.gopetplan.com) has embarked on this social good campaign on Facebook to help raise awareness for pet adoption.
  • According to the ASPCA – Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats. Each year, approximately 2.7 million animals are euthanized (1.2 million dogs and 1.4 million cats… click here for more stats.
  • To date all 10 dogs that have been a Pup-nosticator have been adopted.
  • Visit www.gopetplan.com to learn more about protecting your pets from unexpected Vet bills.
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House Cats and Big Cats Differ in Size, But That’s About It

Written by Suzanne Redfearn for Nat Geo WILD and USA Today
Article originally appeared in a special edition of USA Today for Nat Geo WILD

Soul of the Cat
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA- A female Siberian kitten, climbing down a tree, very cautiously. (Photo credit: Creative Being/Beverly Joubert)

Did you know that there are very few differences between your house cat and endangered big cats like the lion, tiger, cheetah and leopard? The main difference: size. Otherwise, genetically and behaviorally, they’re pretty much the same.

Even in the lab. Scientists recently were able to sequence the genomes of tigers, snow leopards and lions, and found that they share 95.6 percent of their DNA with domestic cats sitting in window sills and lying on beds across the world.

That’s not a surprise. Just look at all the behaviors and other traits they have in common.

1. Night vision: You can see your cat’s eyes glow at night. The same thing goes for big cats. All cats have a “tapetum lucidum,” a layer of tissue in their eyes that reflects light back through the retina, increasing available light to the photoreceptors in the eye. The result? Night vision that’s six times better than ours. All the better to stalk prey.

2. Sensitivity to movement: The thick shaft of the cat whisker is filled with tiny, super-sensitive nerves that help your furry buddy — and a lion — easily judge the size of the space they’re in, measure distance and detect changes in the air to suss out what’s around them. It’s like a very sophisticated GPS and radar system, helping big cats be the apex predators that they are, and helping your house cat catch mice and other critters.

3. Retractable claws: Over time, cats both big and small evolved to be able to bring their claws out when they’re needed for digging into prey or scaling a tree, then pull them back in to preserve their sharpness until they’re needed again for tearing or climbing. There’s an exception, though: the cheetah. A cheetah’s claws stay out at all times, to better grip the ground as they move at high speeds after prey.

4. Agility: All cats are nimble and agile, with their long tails aiding in their extraordinary balance. House cats and big cats alike can jump very high and land very well when descending from high up.

5. Stalking their prey: Both big cats and house cats will watch their prey from a distance, moving extremely slowly toward it with muscles tensed, then suddenly run at it in a burst of speed, ending with a pounce.

6. Climbing trees: House cats climb trees and so do big cats. Leopards are known for climbing up trees with their prey in tow, so they can eat without being disturbed by other predators. Cougars, cheetahs and even lions sometimes climb up trees.

7. Marking territory: Big cats and house cats alike will spray to scent-mark their territory with urine. Big cats like lions and jaguars will rub secretions from glands onto objects to mark them like your house cat rubs on you with the side of his face and neck to mark you as his.

8. Tight spaces: Your house cat likes to be in boxes and under the covers. Big cats like leopards and cheetahs like to be in dens. Both especially want small, private spaces when it comes time to give birth or nurse a wound.

9. Stripes and spots: Cats big and small have stripes, spots or rosettes throughout their coat. Big cats like cheetahs, leopards and tigers use their unique patterns for camouflage, while solid coats like that of the lion blend into open territory. House cats still have these patterns from their ancestor, the African wildcat, from which they descended 10,000 years ago when some African wildcats were brought to the Middle East and domesticated.

10. Grooming themselves: All cats big and small groom themselves. They have a sandpaper texture on their tongue, called “papillae,” that does double duty, helping cats work meat off of bones and work dirt out of their coats.

So when you tune into Big Cat Week tonight to watch Soul of the Cat and see a lion stalking a wildebeest or a leopard climbing up a tree, look down at your furry pal with a new appreciation for his genetic code and the awesome abilities he shares with his wild cousins.

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