It’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month—and if you can’t bring a new feline into the family, no problem! Whether you volunteer at a shelter, regularly foster kittens and cats in your home or just love DIY crafts, you can still help kitties in your local shelter or rescue group by giving them the spa treatment!
With a little help from shelters all around the country, the team at ASPCApro—the ASPCA’s sister site for animal welfare professionals and volunteers—has put together a special downloadable “Spa Day for Kitteh” booklet, featuring a full menu for pampering felines young and young-at-heart alike. And the best part? These eight great ideas all call for simple, inexpensive materials—many of which you might already have lying around your home:
What’s a spa day without a massage? Here, a simple paint roller does the trick.
Who ordered the special grooming session and refreshing drink? If you’re bottle-feeding itty bitty kitties, a toothbrush acts as a mom cat’s tongue, helping stimulate them to better take the bottle.
All that relaxing calls for a nice nap! Felines love spending time in these cozy hammocks. The “Spa Day for Kitteh” booklet has complete instructions for creating these—as well as fleecy, fuzzy beds for kitties who prefer not to let it all hang out.
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.
Traveling by plane? Unless your furry friend is small enough to ride under your seat, the ASPCA advises avoiding air travel with pets. 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 name, cell phone and destination phone number and a photo of your pet. Make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date, and that your pet has been micro chipped and is wearing a collar with your travel contact information.
In-flight food: Attach a pouch of your pet’s food to the outside of his or her crate, and freeze water in a dish for your pet to drink as it melts throughout the flight.
As summer heats up, it’s tempting to bring your pet with you on car rides around town. Sadly, many people believe that cracking a window is enough to keep their dogs cool in the car while they make a quick pit stop—but they couldn’t be more wrong. When it’s 80 degrees outside, your car will be a staggering 114 degrees in less than 30 minutes.
Worse still, dogs can’t cool themselves down as easily as people, and once they overheat, they can suffer extensive organ damage or die. That’s why leaving an animal alone in a car is more than just a bad idea, it’s a form of animal cruelty. And since the ASPCA can’t be everywhere at all times, we need YOU to be our eyes and ears on the ground. That’s why we’ve created a hot weather safety infographic that you can share with friends and family on your social media networks, alerting others to the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars.
Here are other ways to help:
Immediately call animal control or 911 if you see an animal trapped in a hot car. Local law officials have the ability to enter the vehicle and rescue the pet.
Do not leave until help has arrived.
Notify the managers of nearby businesses so they can make an urgent announcement.
We are working hard to spread awareness about the dangers of hot cars, but all too often, the difference between life and death comes down to the actions of individuals like you. Thank you for advocating for animals in your area!
Summer is in full swing, and temperatures are heating up nationwide. We know that as a responsible pet parent, you want to do everything you can to keep your best four-legged friends cool. So when you look at your Pomeranian, Golden Retriever or long-haired cat wearing a thick, fluffy coat, you might feel tempted to break out your grooming tools and give him a serious hair cut.
But hold those clippers! While you or I would hate to sport a fur coat in 100-degree weather, your pets’ fur coats are actually providing them with heat relief.
“A dog’s coat is kind of like insulation for your house,” explains Dr. Louise Murray, Vice President of the ASPCA Animal Hospital. “Insulation stops your home from getting too cold in winter, but it also keeps it from overheating in summer—and your dog’s coat does the same thing.”
Dogs’ coats have several layers, and these layers are essential to your dog’s comfort in the heat. Robbing your dog of this natural cooling system can lead to discomfort and overheating. And keeping your dog cool isn’t the only reason to leave his coat intact, Dr. Murray warns. Your dog’s coat prevents your pup from getting sunburn and helps protect her from skin cancer.
So what can you do? It is ok to give your long-haired dog a “summer cut”—trimming her long hair may make it more manageable. It is best to allow a professional groomer to perform the haircutting, and never shave down to the skin or try to cut the hair yourself with scissors.
If you prefer not to cut your dog’s hair, that’s fine. Dogs with thick coats naturally shed so that they have a lighter coat in the summer. Remember to brush your dog’s fur and bathe her frequently as clean, brushed fur allows for better air circulation.
Of course, pet parents should remember to provide a shady area when taking your pet outside, and to provide plenty of water during hot days—hydration is key! For more important information on summer pet care, read our Hot-Weather Tips.
Summer is finally here, but do you know which popular warm weather items could be poisonous to your pets? Common hazardous household items include insect repellent, alcohol, sunscreen and glow sticks—the culprits may be surprising!
In preparation for the upcoming summer months, we are hosting a live Twitter chat with Dr. Tina Wismer, Medical Director of the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, and Dr. Justine Lee, board-certified emergency critical care specialist and toxicologist. Join us on Wednesday, June 10 from 3:00 to 4:00 P.M. ET as Dr. Wismer and Dr. Lee answer all of your questions related to protecting your pets from harmful substances.
We’ll also test your pet poison knowledge with a few trivia questions. Two participants will win ASPCA coolers, and one participant will win a T-shirt!