Winter Care Tips for your Dog

Most people think that a dog is adapted just as well to being inside as well as outside, and for many breeds, like Huskies, St. Bernards and Labs, to name a few, they can spend hours in the snow and wet of winter and not even feel it. But many other breeds of dogs don’t do so well when the temperature drops, and as their humans, we need to be a little bit understanding of their special needs during this time, to keep them warm, healthy and happy no matter what the weather is like.

So, to make sure your 4 legged buddy doesn’t have any problems during the cold and chill, here are some winter tips for your dog that will keep their tail wagging all season long.

What’s the Temp?

Yes, taking your pooch for a walk is a natural part of owning a dog, and regardless of the temperature outside, your dog will want to get out and go no matter what. But this is the time to understand that, just like in humans, it can be too cold for your dog, whether they know it or not. So, a good rule of thumb here is that, if it is too cold for you to take a walk then it is too cold for your dog as well. That may seem like common sense, but many people force themselves to walk their dog in even the coldest weather, and that could, potentially, do more harm than good.

Protect Their Feet

The first thing that contacts the cold of winter are a dogs feet. Unlike you, who wears shoes and/or boots to keep the snow off and your feet warm, a dog is essentially going barefoot when they are outside. Even on relatively warmer winter days, the concrete or asphalt beneath a dogs feet can be many degrees colder than the outside air.

There are a couple of things you can do to keep a dogs feet warm, and one of them is to get a good pair of doggie booties for them to wear. Your friend may not like them initially, but once they figure out how to walk in them, it will go a long way to keeping their feet warm.

The other thing you can do is to coat their feet in either petroleum jelly or a commercially made pet foot balm made for cold weather. Granted, it will wear off the soles of their feet quickly, but it will prevent snow and ice from packing in between their toes, which will make any snowy walk much more comfortable for both you and your dog.

Doggie Clothing

The smaller a dog is, the less overall mass they have, the quicker they will get chilled during the winter. That’s why doggie clothing can be so important during the colder months of the year, especially for those smaller and less hairy or short haired breed of dogs.

There are many types of clothing that you can get for dogs of virtually any size, from pull-overs to full body suits, and there are even insulated types of clothing especially made to keep the cold away during walks or an extended outside stay.

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Watch Out for Anti-Freeze

Winter is the time when you might start seeing blue or green tinged snow around roads or driveways. Those are spots made from anti-freeze that have spilled from a vehicles overflow hose.

Anti-freeze is sweet tasting, and if your dog gets a chance, they might want to lick it up and taste it. But anti-freeze is potentially deadly for your pet, so you will have to keep your eyes peeled for those anti-freeze spots and make absolutely sure that on any dog walk, you keep your pet well away from these places.

A Few Other Tips

  • Your dog burns more calories in the winter, so feel free to give them a little extra food in their bowl.
  • Always keep a towel on hand to wipe your furry friend down after being out in the slushy cold snow.
  • The best time to walk is when the sun is shining, which can warm up both you and your pooch.
  • Don’t give regular baths during the winter. You’ll be removing essential oils that can keep them a bit warmer during every walk.
  • Wait until spring for major dog grooming. Allowing them to grow their hair out gives them a little extra protection during the cold weather.

Every dog owner loves their dog, and wants to keep them tail wagging happy. By following these winter care tips, you’ll both be able to have fun in the snow and cold, while keeping them ready to go for that next winter wonderland walk.

About the Author 

Mary Nielsen is a passionate dog lover, blogger, and part-time music teacher. She founded MySweetPuppy.net to share her ups and downs of being a pet parent to a bunch of adorable mutts. When she is not playing with them or teaching, you can find her experimenting in the kitchen.

Tips and Tricks for Beating the Summer Heat with your furry friends!

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The warm weather has officially arrived! Temperatures are in the 90’s and it’s easy for us humans to park ourselves in front of the AC or take a cold shower, but cooling off isn’t as easy for our pets!

Here are some tips for helping your four legged friends stay cool this summer!

 

  1. Seize the shade!

Your pets can become easily dehydrated. Whether you’re in the backyard or at the park, make sure your pet has plenty of areas where they can get out of the sun and cool down in the shade. Bringing along a portable water dish and a bottle of water are a great and easy way to keep your pup hydrated. If you decide to enjoy one of the outdoor dining experiences that Philadelphia has to offer, opt for a table in the shade so your pup can stay cool and ask for a dish of water.

 

  1. Know the signs

Our dogs can’t sweat like we can. So when the temperature begins to climb, our pups start to pant. Panting is normal in warm weather or when your dog is exercising, but it is important to know the signs to determine if your pup is just cooling off, or in danger. An overheated pet can show different symptoms including excessive panting, rapid heart rate and drooling. In some cases animals can also have diarrhea and vomit. Dogs with flat faces and short snouts are more at risk for heatstroke because they cannot pant as well as other dogs. Let your dog be the judge of the heat. If you take your dog out, they will let you know if their long walk needs to be a bit shorter and is ready to head home. Humidity is also a factor. Even if the temperature may not be at its peak, strong humidity can also make it harder for your pup to cool down.

  1. Stop the parking!

A parked car, even with a window down, can quickly become a hot box of danger for your dog (and humans!) So when you can, take your pup along with you, or if you have someone else in the car, let them stay with the dog outside while you run errands

  1. Avoid the big bang

Animals can get spooked by loud noises just like us. When you head out for 4th of July activities, it’s best to leave your pets at home. Never use fireworks around your animal, they can look a lot like toys or sticks and many contain things that can be harmful for your pet.

  1. Sizzling cement

Just like dog’s feet are sensitive to extreme cold in the winter snow, their paws are also sensitive to the hot pavement. If you can’t leave your hand on the pavement without pulling it away from the heat, chances are your pups paws can’t either. Opt for walking in the shade and on grass or dirt that will be cooler. For dogs with especially sensitive paws, the boots they wear in winter are also made for the summer. They help protect from the cold snow, but can also prevent burns and blisters on your dogs paws.

  1. Get creative

Don’t rely on just the AC on those hot summer days. Try out a DIY peanut butter popsicle, or add chicken or beef brother to water to make some tasty ice cubes. There are also products such as vests and mats to help your dog keep cool.

Trust your pet’s instincts. Just like us humans, they know when they’re just too hot and ill let you know! Enjoy the summer sun with your pet. Whether it’s at the park or pool, or the ocean and a campground.

Be safe and have fun!

 

Philly Pet Happenings

super adoption day

Ahhhh… Spring is here and summer’s not too far behind! Tis the season of outdoor festivities and our lovely city has so many to offer during this time of the year. There’s something going on nearly every weekend, catering to just about every group possible — pets and pet lovers included! There are lots of pet-related events coming up, especially during the next few weekends. Grab your pups and check ’em out!:

Sunday, May 17: Citizens for A No-Kill Philadelphia’s Super Adoption Day

Featuring pet adoptions, vendors, food, special guests and more! Free parking, too!

When: Sunday, May 17; 11am-4pm

Where: The Piazza (1001 N. 2nd Street)

Click HERE for more information

 

Sunday, May 17: Ryerss Petapalooza

Featuring pet adoptions, food, a pet parade and more!

When: Sunday, May 17; 11am-2pm

Where: Ryerss Museum & Library/Burholme Park (7370 Central Avenue)

Click HERE for more information

 

Sunday, May 17: Morris Animal Refuge’s Family Fun Day

Featuring pet adoptions, food, live music, vendors, kids activities and more!

When: Sunday, May 17; 10:30am-2:30pm

Where: Lloyd Hall Patio — Kelly Drive (1 Boathouse Row)

Click HERE for more information

 

Wednesday, May 20: Philly Loves PAWS Day (this is not a festival, but it’s a great opportunity to help animals!)

Shop and dine all day at participating businesses and 10% of your purchase will be donated to PAWS — a personal favorite of ours!

When: Wednesday, May 20

Click HERE for more information and a list of participating businesses.

 

Saturday, May 30: The Spayed Club’s Dog Jog & Community Pet Fair

Featuring pet adoptions, food, vendors, animal blessings, kids activities and more!

When: Saturday, May 30; 7:30am: Dog Jog registration/9am-1pm: Pet Fair

Where: Reeves Park, Phoenixville

Click HERE for more information

 

Sunday, May 31: World of Animals’ Sunday Funday

Featuring pet adoptions, food, vendors, K9 Unit and agility demonstrations, kids activities and more! *All proceeds benefit Red Paw Emergency Relief Team

When: Sunday, May 31; 10am-3pm

Where: 3258 Knights Road, Bensalem

Click HERE for more information

 

Looking ahead…

August 22: ACCT’s Duck Dash

Details TBD. Click HERE for more information.

 

October 3: Monster Milers Rescue Run 5k

Lace up your sneaks and run for a great cause! Dogs are prohibited from running in the race, but are welcome to enjoy the post-race Rescue Rally.

When: Saturday, October 3; 8:30am: registration opens/10am: race start time

Where: The Navy Yard

Click HERE for more information

 

October 24: 9th Annual PAWS Mutt Strut

Details TBD. Click HERE for more information.

 

Please come out and show your support for these awesome organizations! They are doing wonderful things for the animals of Philadelphia!

New Puppy Checklist

puppy pic

Congratulations! You just got a puppy! Before bringing him home, you probably made sure to stop at the pet supply store to fill your cart with food, toys, beds and maybe even some clothes for your new furry friend. That’s all he’ll need, right?

Well, not quite…

Bringing a puppy (or any pet, for that matter) into your family is a huge commitment and one that should not be taken lightly. There are many aspects of pet ownership that new pet parents tend to overlook, but that are essential to ensure that your new pet remains happy, healthy and safe throughout his life.

If you’ve just welcomed a puppy into your family or are thinking about doing so in the near future, here’s a new puppy checklist with some important things you’ll need to consider:

Microchip and ID: Every pet owner’s nightmare is for their pet to go missing. But it happens every day. Dogs slip out an open door, jump the fence or dart out of your arms and before you know it, you’re hanging “Lost Dog” posters on every surface you can find. You can greatly increase your odds of a quick and successful reunion, should your pet ever go missing, by microchipping him and making sure he is always wearing an ID tag with your contact information.

Do you really need to do both?

Yes! And here’s why: A microchip is a permanent form of identification, and most animal shelters and veterinarians have scanners which can read the information attached to your pet’s microchip, but there are still some that don’t. Also, not every scanner can read every brand of microchip that is in use today. In a case such as that, an ID tag with your information could be your pet’s only ticket home. Also, microchips can sometimes move out of place in an animal’s body, so if they were to be scanned with a microchip scanner, it may not register if the chip has traveled out of place. On the other hand, if your pet was wearing ID when he went missing and somehow got out of his collar, a microchip could get him back to you. For both microchips and physical ID tags, be sure to keep your contact information accurate, making updates, as necessary, when your address, phone number or email address change.

 Health maintenance schedule: Your puppy should visit a veterinarian as soon as you can get him there. At this visit, the veterinarian will examine him and start him on his vaccination schedule. Vaccines are so, so important for our pets and can mean the difference between life and death for them. We recently read a story about a young dog in Texas who contracted rabies from a skunk in his backyard and then inadvertently exposed dozens of other dogs and humans to the deadly disease during a visit to a dog park. Had he been properly vaccinated, he may still be alive today.

As your pet grows, he will require yearly check-ups and re-vaccination, in some cases. Please, please, please don’t skip out on these appointments!

 Emergency plan: Now that you have another member of your family depending on you for their safety, you’ll have to make sure to include your pet in your family’s emergency plan. Emergencies or natural disasters can strike at any time and the time to prepare for them is now, rather than after they happen. Outline a plan which includes how your pet is to be cared for in the case of an emergency and make sure that all members of your family understand it completely.

 Training: Training your puppy is more than just teaching him how to do cute things like sit or give his paw. Proper training strengthens the relationship between you and your dog and helps to establish his place in the household. Training can also help to curb undesirable behaviors before they become more of a problem (i.e.: nipping, chewing, eliminating in the house, etc.).

 Socialization: Puppyhood is the critical point of your puppy’s life — what he learns during this phase determines the dog he will become — and socialization should be a big component of that time. Socialization not only exposes your puppy to other animals, but to other people, situations, objects and experiences to which he is not familiar. Taking the time to properly socialize your puppy now, will make for a more happy, adaptable and easier to manage dog down the road.

 Puppy-proofing: Puppies have a tendency to get into everything and anything! Many people liken having a puppy in the house to having a toddler in the house. The second you take your eye off of them, they’re into something! Take the time to puppy-proof your house. It’ll keep your puppy safe and will save your stuff (and your sanity!).

 Vacation care: Oh no! You’re going away next weekend and don’t have anyone to watch your puppy!

Don’t let that happen to you. When you can’t be there to care for your pet, providing him with the proper care is essential. There are many options out there and we at Philly Pet Care pride ourselves in providing the best pet care services in Philly! Contact us to set up a meet and greet so we can talk about your vacation needs.

› Insurance: There’s no way around it — pets are expensive. Between vaccines, regular vet visits, and unexpected injuries and illnesses (they do happen, unfortunately), keeping your puppy healthy can become quite pricey very quickly. Pet insurance can help you save money on your puppy’s healthcare needs and may be a good option for you and your pet. Head online to do some research on your own or talk to your veterinarian to see what they recommend.

Congratulations on your new addition! We wish you and your puppy many happy years together!

14 Ways to Show Your Dog Love This Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. TOMORROW!! Are you ready?!

Forget the flowers; forget the chocolates; forget the fancy dinner reservations. If you’ve got a dog, you’ve got the perfect Valentine and, best of all, he doesn’t care about any of that stuff. As long as he has your love, he has all that he needs. Here are 14 ways to show your dog just how much you love them this Valentine’s Day, or any day, for that matter:

  1. Bake them homemade treats: what dog doesn’t love treats?! Have you ever considered making your own dog treats? It’s simple and cost-effective to do and you have absolute control over what ingredients end up (and don’t end up) in them. Here’s one of our favorite recipes and the internet is full of tons of others that your pooch will be sure to love.
  2. Take them out exploring: there is so much to see and do in our city! Don’t let the cold weather hold you back. Bundle up and head out for an adventure! Check out this post from our blog archives, which talks about five super cool places in Philly to explore with your pooch.
  3. Brush their teeth: even if they hate it. It’s one of the best things you can do for their health. Most pets end up with dental disease at some point in their life, but by getting them on a regular dental routine, which includes brushing at home, you can add up to two years onto their life expectancy!
  4. Set up a photo shoot: our pets don’t live long enough — that’s their only downfall, I think — so be sure to capture the moments you’ll want to remember forever. Set up an impromptu photo shoot with your pet. It can be staged, or candid, but should capture your pet’s true personality and interests.
  5. Make a paw print casting: this is another easy and fun way to make a memory that will last a lifetime. You can buy a kit online or from most craft stores, but it’s simple enough to make your own using a basic salt dough recipe.
  6. Challenge their mind: dogs are among the smartest animals in the animal kingdom. Keep their minds sharp with new training routines or brain games to make them think a little harder than usual.
  7. Have a play date: does your dog have a best bud? Invite him over for some fun!
  8. Go to a dog park: a trip to the dog park is a great way for Fido to burn off some extra energy and help him work on his social skills. We should also mention that dog parks are great places to meet other dog-loving folks, too. Who knows… maybe you will meet next year’s Valentine there!!!
  9. Make them a new toy: play is such an important component to a dog’s life and they should have access to a few fun toys to keep them entertained. Toys don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, though. In fact, you can even DIY toys out of stuff you probably already have laying around your house. Your dog will love them just as much as any fancy and expensive toy from the pet store.
  10. Give them your undivided attention: your time is the most precious gift you can give anyone and your dog would love to have your undivided attention for a few hours. Put down the phone, turn off the TV and do whatever your dog wants to do, whether that be a good snuggle on the couch or a fun game of fetch in the yard.
  11. Groom them: it’s a good idea to get your hands on your dog as often as you can to check them over for lumps, bumps, bruises, scratches or irritations and grooming time is a great opportunity to do so. Learn what their normals are so you can recognize a problem as soon as it arises. And what dog doesn’t love a good brushing?!
  12. Make an emergency plan: this one may not be fun, but it’s so, so important! An emergency can strike at any time, and if you’re not prepared, it can mean the difference between life and death for your pet. Check out RedRover.org for tips for creating an emergency plan that’s right for you and your pets.
  13. Update their ID: the only jewelry your pet needs is a reliable ID tag. If they were ever to become lost, it’s their best chance of finding their way safely back to you. If they don’t have an ID tag, get them one. If theirs is hard to read, get them a new one. If your information has changed, update their ID. If your pet is microchipped, don’t forget to check your contact information for accuracy. ID and microchips only work when the information they contain is accurate!
  14. Make a donation in their name: of course you love your dog, but so many other wonderful animals are not fortunate enough to know what love feels like. For those who are still waiting for their forever homes, shelters and rescues may be their only chance, and those organizations can only operate if they have adequate funding. Consider making a donation in your pet’s name and help another deserving dog get his chance.

Happy Valentines Day, everyone! Enjoy your time with your four-legged loves!!!

Sitter Spotlight: Amanda

In this business, trust is not an option — it’s a necessity — and one way to trust us more completely is to get to know us better. Throughout the coming months, we’ll be featuring members of our Philly Pet Care team in a series of posts we’re calling “Sitter Spotlight.” These posts will help to give you a better idea of who we are and why we make such a great team. First up… Amanda!

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Amanda and Oscar. Amanda’s the one in the tan hat. :)

Amanda was born in Canada, raised in Boston and attended college in Philly. After graduating with a BFA in Acting from UARTS, she decided to stay right here in our city and we are so happy she did!

“Amanda’s good nature is contagious,” says Philly Pet Care owner, Kristie. “She is the kind of person you just want to be around because she is so fun. Kids and dogs sense it, too, and they love being with her,” she adds.

Amanda has loved animals since birth and in particular, is especially fond of dogs and birds. One of her fondest memories of her own pets is of her bird, Koko, a Budgie, who accompanied her to college. “My friends loved to visit with him during finals to alleviate some stress. Whenever you put on music he would dance and sing and everyone loved to watch him run across the floor like a little dinosaur!”  She loves being able to call her daily time spent with animals work. “One of my favorite things about being a sitter is that it allows me to be outside for a few hours everyday,” Amanda says. “I have so many friends who work in office jobs who sit inside from 9-5 and when I’m out biking from pet to pet, it doesn’t feel like work at all.”

If you’re looking at Amanda’s photo and thinking to yourself, ‘Boy, she looks familiar!,’ it could be because you’ve seen her recently in another spotlight. Since graduating in 2012, she’s been in several productions in Pittsburgh and New York, in addition to shows right here in Philly. She’s currently working on creating a one-woman-show about a soldier returning from Afghanistan with PTSD and she aspires to become a full-time, Philadelphia-based actress and to travel throughout the US and Canada performing.

In addition to acting and spending time with animals, Amanda enjoys painting and creating mixed media art, jigsaw puzzles, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.

We love having Amanda as part of the Philly Pet Care team and for those of you whose pets know her, we’re certain that they love her, too!

Gifts that Give Back

dog gift

The holiday rush is here! As you’re trimming the tree, decking the halls, fa-la-la-ing and shopping ’til you drop, keep in mind that it’s not only the season of giving, but of giving back, as well. If you’ve got some animal-lovers on your shopping list, are on the lookout for something exciting for your own pets, or maybe want to treat yourself to something new, check out the awesome companies below. They offer wonderful products for both humans and animals and each gives back to animals in need.

  • Rescue Chocolate: Seriously — who doesn’t love chocolate!? Rescue Chocolate offers an array of delectable chocolate confections (With adorable names, we might add!) and gives back 100% of its profits to animal rescues around the country. Rescue Chocolate products are available online and at select retailers. All products are vegan, kosher, organic and made with fair-trade ingredients.
  • Dog for Dog: This company, specializing in all-natural food and treats for dogs, operates on a “one-for-one” business model. You buy one, they give one. They are available online, as well as at many retail locations throughout the country. Buy your dog a treat or two for his stocking and know that your purchase is providing the same for another dog in need.
  • The Animal Rescue Site: This is a one-stop shop for all the animal-lovers on your shopping list. Here, you’ll find everything from jewelry and apparel to home decor and trinkets. A portion of sales and 100% of the site’s sponsor advertising fees are donated to programs that help homeless animals.
  • BarkBox: If you really want to spoil your dog this holiday, sign her up for a BarkBox subscription! Each month, she’ll receive a box full of goodies to keep her happy and entertained. The best part? BarkBox is all about giving back. They give a portion of their proceeds to animal charities and donate more than 1,000 BarkBoxes each year.
  • ASPCA Store: The online store of the ASPCA, one of the oldest animal-welfare organizations in the country, offers something for everyone — whether they’re four legged or two-legged. Proceeds from sales go to fund their life-saving programs.
  • Be Pawsitive: Like Dog for Dog, Be Pawsitive also operates on a one-for-one platform. They offer yummy treats for dogs and have an option for monthly subscriptions and when you buy from them, they donate product to animal shelters and rescues across the country. All treats are organic and wheat-free.
  • Thrift for Tails: Located right here in Philadelphia, Thrift for Tails is a pet-specific thrift shop, run by Street Tails Animal Rescue, which funnels all profits back into the rescue. Pick up some gently-used stuff for your pet this holiday at a nice discount and help animals at the same time! We love this concept!! The shop is always looking for donations of gently-used pet items, so if you have some stuff you’d like to get rid of, contact Thrift for Tails to find out how to donate.

Have we sparked your interest at all? Maybe given you some gift ideas for your pets or animal-lovers on your shopping list? We sure hope we have! Now… Go do some shopping! It’s for a good cause! 🙂

All of us here at Philly Pet Care wish you, your families and your pets a very happy and healthy holiday season!!

Things to Think About Before Giving Thanks

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Thanksgiving is next week! Eeek! Where has this year gone?! Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays and I don’t think we’re alone on that sentiment. Feasting, family, friends and fun — what’s not to love about it?!

As you are preparing to gather and give thanks, keep your pets in mind, as well. During this time of year, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but taking a few moments, now, to ensure your pets’ safety and well-being during Thanksgiving, will allow both you and your pets to enjoy the holiday to the fullest.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind:

ID: Be sure your pet is wearing proper identification, whether your pet is traveling with you over the holiday, or if he/she is staying home. With all the comings and goings during this time of year, it’s easy for Fido or Fluffy to slip out the door and even if they’re microchipped, an ID tag will up the chances of a timely reunion if they were to go missing.

Travel: If you’ll be bringing your pets along to friends’ or relatives’ homes for Thanksgiving, make sure your pet is traveling safely. If you’ll be driving, keep your pet confined to a travel crate or use a seatbelt-type restraint. It’s safer for both you and them. If flying or taking a train, be sure to follow all guidelines set forth by the airline or rail line and take a look at this post from the Humane Society of the United States for important information about the risks associated with pet travel.

Table scraps: Of course, most of us want to include our pets in our Thanksgiving feasting, but it’s not the best idea. Certain foods can cause a very painful and potentially serious condition called pancreatitis and some foods are downright toxic to pets. Small amounts of foods like plain veggies or rice are okay to feed as a special holiday snack, but be sure not to overdo it! No one wants upset tummies on Thanksgiving night! Below are two handy charts which give ideas about what foods are and are not okay for your pets to snack on:

Thanksgiving-Foods-That-Are-Dangerous-to-Dogs-and-Cats-Learn-More-at-IrresistiblePets.com_1    

Thanksgiving-Food-Dogs-and-Cats-Can-Eat-Learn-More-at-Irresistiblepets.com_

Garbage: Just because you don’t feed it to your pet doesn’t mean he or she won’t try to get it themselves. A trashcan full of bits of Thanksgiving goodness can be irresistible to a dog or cat. Aside from food scraps they shouldn’t be eating, garbage such as tin foil, strings, and packaging can pose dangers to pets who may raid the trashcan in search of a snack. Be sure to keep trashcans and full trash bags secured away from where pets can reach them.

Plants and decorations: Traditionally, the day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas season. If you’ll be decorating next weekend, keep in mind that certain plants, including pointsettia, holly and mistletoe can be harmful to your pets. Opt for pet-safe plants, or artificial ones, instead. Also, if your holiday table or decorating will include candles, be sure to keep them clear of curious pets’ reach.

If your pets won’t be taking part in Thanksgiving festivities this year, make sure to enlist the help of a trusted friend or relative to check in on them while you’re gone. Better yet, hire a professional! Our spots are filling up fast, so if you’ll need pet care services from us over the holiday, contact us as soon as possible to see if we can accommodate you.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!

Places We Love: PAWS Old City

Philadelphia is home to some pretty awesome places. From historical sights to spacious parks and exceptional dining and recreation options, Philly has something for everyone — pets included! This post marks the first in our “Places We Love” series, which will feature spots throughout the city that we think deserve your recognition. First up: PAWS Old City!

paws logo

Adopting a pet is a wonderful thing and is the ultimate win-win situation. You get a loving, new family member, and your adopted pet gets a new lease on life. We think adoption should be everyone’s first option when considering bringing a pet into the family, but we know how daunting it can be to step foot in an animal shelter. That is, unless, we’re talking about the PAWS Old City location.

The Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) shelter in Old City is not your typical animal shelter. You will not find row upon row of barking, anxious dogs or stacks of cats in cold-looking cages.

Not here.

Instead, this forward-thinking, boutique-style shelter displays its adoptables with their comfort in mind. Dogs and puppies are limited to only a few at a time and all are given private rooms which offer views of the outside. Cats and kittens live in community rooms which cater to their distinct personalities and preferences.

The results? Happier animals, a more pleasant experience for visitors and most importantly, a positive adoption rate. PAWS, the city’s largest no-kill animal shelter, operates two adoption centers (their second location is in the Northeast) and a wellness clinic. Through their tireless efforts, they place hundreds of animals in new, loving homes each year and help to improve the lives of the cats and dogs of Philadelphia.

We think that PAWS Old City rocks! We love that their unique shelter environment paints a more pleasant picture of animal shelters than the cold, dark, noisy places that they are sometimes portrayed to be and of course, we love that they’re helping our animal friends!

PAWS Old City is located at 100 North 2nd Street (on the corner of 2nd and Arch Streets) and is open seven days a week. They rely heavily on volunteers to do their life-saving work, so if you’ve ever wanted to make a difference in the lives of animals, consider volunteering with PAWS.

Has anyone been to the PAWS Old City location to visit or volunteer with the adoptable cats and dogs? Tell us about your experience!

Pet Costumes

halloween dog

Halloween is just a few days away… Have you picked out your costume yet? How about for your kids? And don’t forget the pets! Whether you’re planning on bringing your pooch along for Trick-or-Treating, entering him in a costume contest, or just want to celebrate at home on Halloween night, it’s easy and fun to include your pet in the festivities.

If you need a costume for your four-legged pal, but are having a hard time coming up with ideas, check out these tips to help you decide on the perfect one!

Stick with a theme

If your kids are being superheroes, let the dog be one, too! Everyone knows a superhero needs a super-dog sidekick! Just about every theme you could imagine can include a canine member or two.

Play up a unique trait

Maybe your dog has a ton of brown, shaggy fur. He’d make an awesome Ewok. Or, maybe she has only one eye. A perfect pirate. Maybe he’s white and a little pudgy. Turn him into a marshmallow! Play up what’s already there.

Give DIY a try

If the thought of making a costume for your dog makes you shudder, don’t let it. It’s not as hard as you may think. Check out some DIY tutorials for an inexpensive option. DIYing is the way to go for last-minute costumes.

Throw in some wit

Think outside the box a little for a humorous twist. Poop factory, anyone? Or, maybe you can dress up your dog’s back end, instead. Heck, he doesn’t even need a costume at all! Tap into that creative side for a one-of-a-kind costume.

Keep it simple

If you’re stuck for ideas, stop thinking so hard. Raid the kids’ dress-up box or even your own closet for inspiration. Put a cowboy hat on your pooch and tie a bandana around his neck or wrap a feather boa around her and throw on a strand of faux pearls. Voila —  instant cowboy or glam girl!

Hit the internet

If all else fails, hit the internet for inspiration! Type  “dog costume ideas” into a search engine and get lost in the results. You’re bound to find something that catches your eye! Here are some of the coolest ideas we found:

Play it safe

Whatever costume you decide on for your dog, please remember to keep their safety your number one priority! Costumes should not obstruct their sight or ability to walk, eat and drink normally. Be sure to keep small parts or anything they could chew off away from their mouths and remember, no candy for Fido!!!

Happy Halloween, everyone!!