Who doesn’t love the Fourth of July? It’s a weekend for block parties, barbeques, belly-flops in the pool and parades—all best when enjoyed with friends and family, and even better when you have the day off to celebrate with your pets! Have fun, but remember that certain traditional Independence Day activities might not be so fun, or so healthy, for the four-legged members of your household: yes, we’re talking about fireworks.
Fireworks are loud, and the crowds that go to see them can be scary, too. Animal shelters nationwide are flooded with runaway pets on the Fourth; studies show that nearly one in five lost pets went missing because they were fleeing the sound of fireworks or other loud noises. Losing a pet is not only heartbreaking, it’s also very dangerous for the animal, especially if he or she ends up roaming busy streets.
The best way to keep your pets safe is to make sure they don’t go missing in the first place: Please resist the urge to take your pets to go see fireworks. Instead, keep them safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area at home. Double check leashes and collars and make sure your pet’s ID tag is up to date. Be mindful when opening outside doors. And if the unthinkable does happen, the ASPCA’s new app is here to help: Utilizing the latest field research, this free tool provides users with an individual search plan based on their pet’s behavior and individual circumstances so they can search quickly and effectively to recover their lost pet.
As the nation’s second-largest animal welfare grantmaker, the ASPCA is constantly on the lookout for innovative, inspiring, and admirable programs that can benefit from our support. When we first heard about our latest grantee, Operation Blankets of Love, we knew we had found one such program.
Based in Los Angeles, Operation Blankets of Love (OBOL) is a grassroots organization that connects human services to animal welfare in a very unique way. Recognizing that many homeless people have the same love, dedication, and commitment to their pets’ well-being as more fortunate people do, OBOL’s current project—Homeless People’s Pets Community Outreach Project—will provided critical services to homeless people and their pets who are living in shelters or on the streets of L.A.
“Our program’s primary goal is to provide basic supplies and services to keep pets of the homeless happy and healthy, so that they can stay with their loving human companions rather than being relinquished to crowded city and county animals shelters with high euthanasia rates,” says Eileen Smulson, Founder & President of OBOL.
Tessa Madden, Development Coordinator at PATH (People Assisting the Homeless) has worked with Operation Blankets of Love for over three years. “They actively donate care, comfort and pet items that the residents need for their pets,” she says. “This includes necessary pet items they need to keep their dog or cat healthy and happy—food, treats, pet beds, blankets, towels, leashes, collars, toys, grooming supplies, and more.” In addition to these comfort/care items, OBOL also raises funds to provide spay and neuter surgeries for animals in need.
An ASPCA grant of $5,000 will help OBOL deliver needed items and resources to pet families living at eight shelters and social service centers or on the street, and in collaboration with organizations serving the homeless. While OBOL is able to procure much of their supplies through generous in-kind donations from corporations, foundations, and the public, the ASPCA grant will help defray delivery, transportation, and other operational costs to get the pet food and comfort/care items to where they’re needed most.
We are super excited to announce the launch of our latest mobile app for pet parents. The free app offers customized step-by-step instructions to find missing pets, expert advice on protecting pets before and during natural disasters, and a place to safely store and update pets’ medical records. It’s a handy tool to help pet parents make smart choices when those decisions matter most.
Summer travel season is in full swing, and we think trips are always more fun when you bring your furry friends along. If you’re planning to take a vacation this summer with your pets in tow, we’ve got you covered.
Practice makes perfect: It’s a good idea to practice having your pet ride along for a series of short car trips leading up to your big trip.
Ride safely: Keep your pets safe and secure in the car by having them ride in a well-ventilated crate or carrier. The crate should be large enough for your pet to stand, sit, lie down and turn around in. Secure your pet’s crate so it will not slide or shift in the event of an abrupt stop.
Road trip snacks: Be sure to pack plenty of water, and avoid feeding your pet in a moving vehicle. Your pet's travel-feeding schedule should start with a light meal three to four hours prior to departure.
Unless your furry friend is small enough to ride under your seat on a plane, the ASPCA advises avoiding air travel with pets. However, if you must bring your pet along on your flight, it’s best to plan ahead. We recommend you book a direct flight if possible. Here are a few other suggestions:
Careful with crates: Prior to your trip, purchase a USDA-approved shipping crate that is large enough for your pet to stand, sit and turn around in comfortably.
IDs, please: Be sure to mark the crate with the words “Live Animal,” as well as your contact information and a photo of your pet. Make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date and that your pet has been microchipped for identification purposes.
In-flight food: Attach a pouch of your pet’s food to the outside of her crate, and freeze water in a dish for your pet to drink as it melts throughout the flight.
Today is National Running Day, celebrating one of the best ways to get healthy and stay in shape. Although many people prefer to run solo, you might have an eager running buddy right in your own home! Besides keeping your pet in good shape, a healthy dose of daily exercise also helps prevent behavioral issues in dogs such as chewing, hyperactivity, and rough playing. Going for a brisk walk or run is also a great way to bond with your pup, and there are even 5Ks that cater to the canine fitness crowd!
Here are a few of our top tips for bringing your dog along on your next morning run:
1.Young pups on the run: While energetic young dogs might seem to be the perfect running partner, dogs under 18 months of age should not participate in sustained periods of jogging or running since their bones are still growing.
2.Prevent chronic pain: Rule out any health or joint issues with your vet before taking your dog on the road or trail, and keep an eye out for any signs of soreness or discomfort both before and after an exercise session.
3.Conditioning for canines: Just like humans, dogs need to work their way up to longer runs, too! Start off slow, adding an extra few minutes each week to build up your pup’s endurance.
4.Keep it cool: Consider the weather before taking your pooch out for a run. Sunny sidewalks can scorch your pet’s feet and hot, humid days prove an extra challenge since dogs can’t sweat to stay cool. Bring a portable water bowl for your dog and move your run to early morning or after dusk hours on hotter days.
5.Stay safe & in control: Dogs should always wear a collar with identification and stay on a leash when on a run. Additionally, giving your dog a few minutes at the beginning of your workout to sniff and explore for a bit helps him warm up and will help you avoid having to stop at a tree every minute along the way!
Having a canine companion on your workout can turn that dreaded dose of cardio into a fun bonding activity for you and your dog that you’ll be sure to commit to. Learn more about the benefits of exercise for your dog and find out how you can help other pets in need while running for Team ASPCA.
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