Category Archives: pet care

Top 5 Tips to Address Separation Anxiety in Pets during Back-to-School Season By Purina veterinarian Dr. Kurt Venator

This post is sponsored by Purina. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the Purina Back to School program, but 4 the Love of Animals only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers.

Back to school can be an exciting and stressful time both for people and pets. You might notice your pet feeling anxious as the routine in the household changes. As always, check with your veterinarian whenever you notice changes in your pet’s behavior to rule out any physical issues. If you find your pet is feeling anxious, the following five tips can help.

Back to school tips for pets

Top 5 Tips to Address Separation Anxiety in Pets during Back-to-School Season By Dr. Kurt Venator

Now that the kids are heading back to school, pets may start to feel lonely or experience separation anxiety. Below, are five tips that pet owners can do to help address separation anxiety in their pets:

  • Get your pet into a routine. Pets love routine because it makes them feel secure. During the summer, kids are always around to make things entertaining and exciting for their pets. When they suddenly disappear, some cats and dogs will feel sad and confused while others may experience real separation anxiety. Thus, it’s important that pet owners help get their pet acclimated to the change by replacing the old schedule with a new one, such as allocating time to play with them after work or keeping a consistent schedule when coming and going from the house.
  • Burn off some energy. Some pets deal with separation anxiety by becoming destructive (e.g. howling, chewing on objects or other parts of the house). A great way to keep your dog from doing this is by taking them on a walk in the morning before you leave the house to help burn off some of that extra energy. For cats, consider playing with them at night as well – whether it’s making them chase a feather wand or play with a ball.
  • Create an interactive environment: Back-to-school season is a great time to buy your pet a new, interactive toy to play with. This will help mentally stimulate them and keep them occupied during the day when the kids are away at school. For dogs, chew toys are a way for them to relieve their anxiety, frustration and boredom. For cats, creating a play area where they can be entertained even when you’re not home, can help ease the separation anxiety. This can include having things like scratching posts or cat furniture in your home.
  • Turn up the tunes and start with baby steps. Try leaving some soothing music on at your home while everyone is out of the house. The music will help drown out distracting noises that your dog may mistakenly associate with the kids coming home. Some animal shelters have even found that playing calming music helps the pets in their facilities relax. Additionally, get your pets comfortable with noises that may indicate your departure. For example, jingle your car keys occasionally and practice opening and closing the door to get them accustomed to noises that could increase anxiety.
  • Spend time with your pet. It’s important to remember that while you may have had a long day, your pet may have been sitting at home feeling lonely waiting for you to come home. Spending some quality time with your pet at the end of the day is critical to helping keep them active and mentally sharp. It may be tough to fit into a busy work schedule, but be sure to build some interactive time – whether it’s a walk or cuddle session – to show your pets you care.

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Pet Obesity Infographic

Keeping our pets healthy is so important, which is why we need to keep an eye on their weight. Weighing too much, or too little, can have negative consequences. This infographic has some great information about pet obesity, and how to help your pet if they become overweight.


Thanks to the great organization called Greyhounds as Pets, who adopts and fosters retired greyhounds into loving homes, for the awesome graphic.

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People are traveling with their pets more than ever before!

Traveling with your dog and cat.The fourth annual travel survey by pet insurance provider, Petplan shows that over 80% of respondents reported that they bring their pets along when they travel. This number has increased each year from 70% in 2012.

Not only are people choosing to travel with their pets – over half (52%) admitted that they’d rather travel with their pet than their two-legged partner! Oops, looks like pets make better travel buddies.

Responses from over 2,200 pet parents also revealed:

  • 50% stay at a pet-friendly resort and over 6% admitted to sneaking their pet into a non-pet friendly hotel
  • 61% shack up with family or friends when traveling with their pet
  • 83% travel with their pets by car and 9% travel by commercial airplane
  • 59% said they would wander more than 200 miles from home with their pet
  • 76% travel with their dog while less than 5% travel with their cat

Petplan veterinarians compiled their top tips to keep pets safe while traveling:

  • ID is key: Pets should always wear proper identification, but it’s especially important when traveling. Make sure your pet’s ID includes a current cell phone number and contact information. Also consider a microchip just in case your pet’s collar was to come off by accident.
  • Vet the (local) vets: 10% of survey respondents needed to bring their pet to the vet unexpectedly while traveling. Before you travel, find the closest vet clinic in your destination city.
  • Harness the hound: Because unsecured pets can leap into a driver’s lap, obscure their vision or cause other distractions, it’s safer for everyone on the road when pets are properly restrained in the car. With lots of options available, from harnesses and booster seats to carriers, pet parents can find a safety restraint that’s just right for their pet’s breed and size.
  • Pack the pet bag: In addition to kibble, toys and treats, pack a first aid kit for traveling pets with bandages, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic wash and a medicine dropper. Petplan has a full first aid checklist to help pet owners be completely prepared.

Petplan has also created a full Pet Travel Guide that covers everything from road and air travel to pet sitters and boarding options. Be sure to check it out before you take your next vacation with your furry friend.

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Dog boxes help homeless and struggling dog owners

Homeless and struggling dog owners in Bristol are set to get some additional support from August, with an innovative new business that gives out free ‘dog boxes’ to those in need.

A Hound Haus volunteer met Mark and his dog Brian while out and about in Bristol.
A Hound Haus volunteer met Mark and his dog Brian while out and about in Bristol.

The Hound Haus is a subscription service that allows customers around the UK to receive a monthly box of dog goodies; the company then uses the profits to produce and distribute free boxes to struggling or homeless owners.

A sample box that is available for the public to buy.
A sample box that is available for the public to buy.

The free boxes contain food, blankets, leads, bowls, flea and worming products as well as treats, chews and toys and will be distributed weekly throughout Bristol.

The boxes are an important aid to struggling or homeless owners as it gives owners the confidence that their dogs are being cared for and lets them concentrate on their on other struggles be it employment, financial difficulties, disability or something else.

The aim is to support owners to prevent more dogs from ending up in shelters. With as many as 200 dogs a day being abandoned or given over to shelters around the UK, The Hound Haus aim to help the dogs, the owners and in turn reduce the demands on animal shelters.

The Hound Haus are also starting a free dog walking service that aims to help homeless or struggling owners who may be suffering with depression or anxiety to get out and about with their dogs.

The Hound Haus is run by Verity Jones, a young Bristolian entrepreneur, who has help from friends and family volunteers to get all the boxes out and dogs walked. She said:

“I have always loved dogs and have been working with homeless people for a while when I decided there needed to be a service that helped struggling owners out. Dogs are so rewarding and can be so much more than a pet to many people so to be able to help people and dogs to live a better life is an important job.”

“There are sometimes some negative responses around homeless people owning dogs, but there are many of unfortunate reasons why someone may end up homeless, and keeping a beloved pet can mean a number of things. For the dogs; it keeps them out of kennels and away from the stress that separation can cause. For the owners, dogs can be a great sense of comfort, safety and companionship for someone suffering homelessness, depressions or a stressful situation.”

All information for either the public wanting to buy boxes or homeless or struggling owners seeking free boxes is available in their website:

We think this is a great initiative and are happy to help spread the word! Please share this post if you can.

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Take Your Dog to Work Day June 26

image004June 26th is Take Your Dog to Work Day! It’s a day when offices allow workers to bring their pets with them to work. Personally we wish everyday included that, and at Petplan, headquarters they do!

image003After sharing their office with pets for 10 years, they have learned a few things along the way – consider it an expert list of do’s and don’ts for successfully working alongside dogs (and cats and snakes and lizards!) Petplan’s Chief Veterinary Medical Officer, Dr. Jules Benson, shares his top three tips for a pet-safe office:

A Wheel Nightmare: “Rolling office chairs can be a real problem,” says Benson. “Tails and paws are often easily run over if people aren’t careful. If pets are in the office, get in the habit of looking around your chair before rolling away from your desk.”

image002Don’t Share Your Lunch: Benson also recommends keeping human food away from dogs to prevent accidental ingestion of onions, avocados, grapes and other foods that are poisonous to pets, adding, “If you have ‘human’ treats in the office like we do, be extra careful about pets getting access to chocolate, which can be very toxic.”

It’s also important to keep trash cans out of paw’s reach. Investing in ones with pet-proof lids is great or simply remove waste baskets from the floor for the day.

ID is Key: “Our office policy is that all pets must have a collar ID and be microchipped,” says Dr. Benson. “One of Petplan’s feline friends, Milo, actually escaped from the office during one of his visits and a police officer found him (at the grocery store down the street!) Thankfully he was wearing proper identification and was safely returned to us.”

image001Taking these few steps to create a pet-friendly space can help pet parents and dogs alike can enjoy a pleasant day at the office on June 26. Thank you Petplan for the great tips!

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