Saturday, August 23, 2014

Pet-Friendly Dating Sites Match up People, Pooches

y SUE MANNING Associated Press
On these dating sites, a passion for pets will help you find more than just puppy love.
Sites like PetsDating.com and YouMustLoveDogsDating.com have found a new niche as singles flock to computers and smartphones to find relationships, connecting dog owners to potential mates who enjoy long walks in the dog park and slobbery canine kisses as much as they do. Many of the sites encourage users to bring their dogs on first dates to break the ice or size up canine chemistry.

Many dating sites cater to religious, cultural and political preferences, but won't focus as heavily on interests like pets, music or travel, said Karen North, a professor of social media at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Journalism.

"If you find somebody with the same lifestyle passion, you don't have to start out at square one," North said.
When Joanie Pelzer signed up with a dog-friendly online dating service a few years ago, she was honest about her Chihuahua — he likes people more than other dogs, craves attention, steals food and can't stand to ride in the backseat of a car.

Even a man who loved animals as much as she did couldn't keep up with her dog's quirks. On their first date, her Chihuahua, Hubbell, stole the man's breakfast as they drove from New York City to Long Island. They only had one more date.

"I still wonder if Hubbell didn't have something to do with that," said Pelzer, 47, an actress who runs her own social media company and met the man on PetsDating.com.

Despite that setback, having a common interest such as pets can help the search for love.
"Having a theme that is ... about one's passion makes it feel like you are looking for a needle in a smaller and far more relevant and appealing haystack," said Michal Ann Strahilevitz, a professor of marketing at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

The founder of one of the dog-focused dating services, YouMustLoveDogsDating.com, agreed.
"Dogs on first dates are amazing icebreakers," said Kris Rotonda, who started up the site last year that now has 2 million members. "You find out right off the bat how everyone in a relationship will fit in."
But other veterans of the dating-service industry say focusing on a canine connection only adds an extra hurdle to finding love.

"When you consider how challenging it already is to find someone who offers what you are seeking in a romantic partner, and who seeks what you are offering, and where there is also mutual chemistry, and the timing is right ... you have to wonder who in their right mind would want to make it even more challenging by insisting on canine chemistry," said Trish McDermott, who spent 10 years as the dating expert and spokeswoman for Match.com.

McDermott points out that new love is hard enough to foster, without any added issues.
"To squeeze doggie behavior under the first date microscope and to analyze every little wag, nip or bark as further commentary on compatibility is just another way to uncover the fatal flaw of an otherwise potential romance," added McDermott, who now works for OneGoodLove.com, a gay, lesbian and bisexual matchmaking service.

McDermott's concerns won't change Pelzer's plans to return to PetsDating.com. She remembers unpleasant run-ins with dates from sites that don't cater to animal lovers — once a man nudged her pooch off the couch.
"That was the last time we were together," Pelzer said. "You don't do that to my dog."

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2013 Estimated Pet Sales

Estimated 2013 Sales within the U.S. Market
For 2013, it estimated that $55.53 billion will be spent on our pets in the U.S.
Estimated Breakdown:                                          
Food                                                      $21.26 billion
Supplies/OTC Medicine                           $13.21 billion
Vet Care                                                $14.21 billion
Live animal purchases                             $2.31 billion
Pet Services: grooming & boarding           $4.54 billion

Sunday, October 27, 2013

FDA proposes strict new safety rules for animal food

Food produced for domestic pets and other animals will have to follow strict new standards under a proposed rule issued Friday by the Food and Drug Administration.
The new regulation, part of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act, would require for the first time that companies that make pet food and animal feed follow good manufacturing practices that encompass basic issues such as sanitation and hazard analysis.

“We have been pushing feed safety for a number of years,” said Daniel McChesney, director of the office of surveillance and compliance at the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. “It’s not, ‘Oh, we’re just making food for animals.’ They’re the first part of the food chain. We're a part of the overall food industry.”

The new rules will be open for public comment for 120 days, and would be adopted as law within 60 days after the comment period closes.

They would apply to all domestic and imported animal food, including pet food, pet treats, animal feed, and the raw ingredients that make those products.

That means, for instance, that the producers of chicken, corn and sweet potato jerky treats made in China and blamed for the deaths of 600 pets and illnesses in about 3,600, will have to meet strict new requirements before their products can be sold, officials said.

FDA has always had rules in place that prohibit adulterants in pet food. That’s why the agency has issued company-initiated recalls for salmonella-tainted bird food, for instance, or dog food contaminated with aflatoxin, a naturally occurring mold by-product.

But, until now, there’s been no requirement that companies analyze the potential food safety hazards of their products or that they follow current good manufacturing practices, or CGMPs, that
specifically address animal food.

“We’re not starting completely from scratch,” said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine. “What’s important is that FDA take a comprehensive approach to food safety that covers the food supply comprehensively.”

The challenge for firms that produce animal foods and pet products will be in meeting the deadlines for compliance, McChesney said. Times will vary according to the size of an operation, with small and very small businesses being allowed more leeway.

The FDA will hold three public meetings in November and December to seek input on the proposed rule.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dangers of Dogs Riding in Pickup Truck Beds

You may see it quite often as you're driving around town: dogs riding in the back of trucks. You might even know someone who does it. Why not? It seems so convenient to just load your dog up in the back and take them with you.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, 100,000 dogs are killed each year in accidents involving riding in truck beds. In addition, veterinarians see numerous cases of dogs being injured because they jumped out or were thrown from the bed of a pickup truck. If these dogs are lucky enough to still be alive, broken legs and joint injuries are among the most common types of damage that they sustain and often result in amputation. There are many dangers of having your four-legged friend loose in the bed of a truck while you're ramming the roads.

Eye, Ear & Nose Damage
This may not have even occurred to you, since dogs always have a tendency to stick their heads out the window of a moving vehicle to smell all of those new smells on the open road. But being in the open air traveling at high speeds (whether their head is out the window or they're in the back of the truck) can likely cause damage to the delicate parts of their face. The swirling of the air currents in the bed of a pickup truck can cause dirt, debris and insects to become lodged in the dog's eyes, ears, and nose.

Being Ejected from the Truck
We've all had to slam on our brakes while we're driving at some point; it's inevitable. Now imagine slamming on your brakes while your beloved dog is in the truck bed. He's going to get a serious jolt and it's possible that he could fly right out of the bed and into the road. You also run the risk of getting into an accident while you're traveling with your precious cargo which could also force him out of the bed. And if you think that securing him with a rope or chain is any better, you're wrong. There have been cases where dogs were thrown out of the back of the truck while still attached and being dragged on the road while the owner is still driving. Talk about a nightmare situation.

Jumping Ship
Even if you don't slam on your brakes or get into an accident, your dog may have plans of her own. Does your dog get easily distracted by squirrels, dogs, or other animals? Who's to say she's not going to willingly jump out in order to better investigate a situation? How long would it take you to realize she's gone? How will you be able to protect her from getting hit by other cars or straying too far away while you're in the driver's seat?

What are the Laws?
In February of 2009, Senator Norman Stone Jr's bill to ban riding around with dogs in truck beds was defeated on the Senate 30-17. Although the bill was passed by the House unanimously in 2008, some Senators questioned whether or not it was a real problem. Others worried that farmers would be unable to ride with their dogs, leading to a lot of unhappy dogs.

There are, however, a number of individual states that have banned this type of pet travel and other states have bills pending.

What's the Alternative?
Even though it's not against the law in all 50 states, traveling with dogs in the bed of your pickup trucks should never be an option. The Humane Society of the US notes that they don't know of any brand of harness that is safe for the back of the truck. It's best to have the dog in the cab with you, and if it's an extended cab, the dog should be restrained in the back and away from the windshield. For trucks, pet travel crates, pet safety belts, and pet car seats are the safest bets. And if none of these are available to you at the time you're taking your truck (or any vehicle), consider keeping your dog safe at home.

About TripsWithPets.com
TripsWithPets.com is the #1 online resource for pet travel. Named best pet travel site by Consumer Reports, TripsWithPets.com's mission is to offer resources that ensure pets are welcome, happy, and safe while traveling.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Animal Supply Co. Acquires Pet Food Wholesale

Animal Supply Company has acquired Pet Food Wholesale, a Brea, Calif.-based wholesale distributor of pet products in the Southwest.

Over the next six months the two companies will combine as one operating unit into a state-of-the-art 100,000-plus square foot distribution facility. Pet Food Wholesale and Animal Supply's current Southern California businesses will operate separately until the move into the new warehouse is complete.

Bob Johnson, Ken Bacon and the entire PFW team will continue in their current roles serving Southern California and surrounding markets. The combined businesses will have eight outside sales reps and 80 employees covering Southern California, Arizona and Nevada.

The acquisition enables Animal Supply and Pet Food Wholesale to offer their customers and manufacturers an unmatched level of services, breadth of products and geographic reach. The business will represent over 60 pet product manufacturers in the area and deliver to more than 600 local pet retail stores.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Heard of a “veterinary resort”?


 In 2011, Dr. John Boyd opened the doors to Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort in San Diego based on his revolutionary concept of a “veterinary resort.” This all-inclusive grooming, veterinary, obedience training and boarding facility is wagging tails and turning the heads of discriminating pet owners. Designed from the pet’s perspective, the veterinary resort concept is based on a social living system which mirrors the genetics and evolutionary history of dogs.

At Dr. Boyd’s, each dog has its own private den for sleeping, resting and eating. For the duration of the day, dogs romp within their respective packs, determined by each pet’s personality. A color coded collar system is used to categorize dogs into specific playgroups after an initial behavioral assessment. This San Diego facility includes indoor and outdoor “playcare” spaces, so there is plenty of room for canines to socialize.

Dr. Boyd’s is feline-friendly too. Cats are treated to a tree house and private quarters which include climbing spaces, natural lighting, climate control and sounds of nature to comfort even the most timid tabby.
Services offered at Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort include pet boarding, dog daycare, dog training, grooming and veterinary services. Dog training at Dr. Boyd’s is designed to address basic obedience and complex behavioral issues. Knowledgeable trainers put expertise and patience to work, using positive, sensible and humane training methods to ensure pet parents cultivate meaningful and rewarding relationships with their canine companions.

Open 24 hours a day, pets are supervised by trained staff members, and monitored as they sleep and play to assure the comfort and safety of every furry guest. For pet parents, this new concept means there is now a one-stop shop for pet needs. From veterinary care to grooming and training services, doggie daycare and overnight boarding, a “veterinary resort,” like Dr. Boyd’s Pet Resort is a great way to meet your furry family members’ needs.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Top Tips for Safe Pet Car Travel

Top Tips for Safe Pet Car Travel
Before you start planning trips to the beach and summer getaways, keep in mind that it's important to plan ahead for pet travel and always keep the best interests of your furry, four-legged friend in mind. Traveling with your pet can be a wonderful and bonding experience or a not so pleasant one. It's all a matter of proper planning and preparation.

Here are the top tips to ensure your getaway with your pet is a safe one.
  • No Heads Out the Window: Although many pets find that sticking their head out the window is the best part of the road trip, it's not safe. Your pet can easily be injured by flying debris. This should go without saying, but NEVER travel with a pet in the back of a pickup truck. Some states have laws restricting such transport and it is always dangerous.
  • Frequent Pit Stops: Always provide frequent bathroom and exercise breaks. Most travel service areas have designated areas for walking your pet. Be sure to stay in this area particularly when you pet needs a potty break, and of course, bring along a bag to pick up after your pet. When outside your vehicle, make sure that your pet is always on a leash and wearing a collar with a permanent and temporary travel identification tag.
  • Proper Hydration: During your pit stops be sure to provide your pet with some fresh water to wet their whistle. Occasionally traveling can upset your pet's stomach. Take along ice cubes, which are easier on your pet than large amounts of water.
  • Watch the Food Intake: It is recommended that you keep feeding to a minimum during travel. Be sure to feed them their regular pet food and resist the temptation to give them some of your fast food burger or fries (that never has a good ending!).
  • Don't Leave Them Alone: Never leave your pet unattended in a parked vehicle. On warm days, the temperature in your vehicle can rise to 120 degrees in minutes, even with the windows slightly open. In addition, an animal left alone in a vehicle is an open invitation to pet thieves.
  • Practice Restraint: Be sure that your pet is safely restrained in your vehicle. Utilizing a pet safety harness, travel kennel, vehicle pet barrier, or pet car seat are the best ways to keep your pet safe. They not only protect your pet from injury, but they help by keeping them from distracting you as you drive. A safety harness functions like a seatbelt. While most pets will not have a problem adjusting to it, you may want to let them wear the harness by itself a few times before using it in the vehicle. If your pet prefers a travel kennel, be sure it is well ventilated and stabilized. Many pet owners prefer vehicle barriers, particularly for larger pets. Vehicle barriers are best suited for SUVs. Smaller pets are best suited for pet car seats. The car seat is secured in the back seat using a seat belt and your pet is secured in the car seat with a safety harness. In addition to it's safety features, a pet car seat will prop up your smaller pet, allowing them to better look out the window. No matter what method you choose, back seat travel is always safer for your pet.
  • Safe and Comfortable: Whatever method you choose to properly restrain your pet in your vehicle, be sure to make their comfort a priority. Just as it's important for your "seat" to be comfortable for your long road trip, your pet's seat should be comfortable too. Typically their favorite blanket or travel bed will do the trick. There are also some safe and very cozy pet car seats available that your pet may find quite comfy.
Careful preparation is the key to ensuring that you and your pet have a happy and safe trip.

 From - TripsWithPets.com

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Connecticut Attempting to Ban Sale of Dogs from Puppy Mills

a cooperative effort between CT Votes for Animals, the ASPCA and HSUS,
Our Companions Animal Rescue has been working very hard this session to make CT the first state to ban the sale of commercially-bred dogs and cats at pet shops.

H.B. 5027, as amended by Representative Brenda Kupchick, would prohibit CT pet shops from selling commercially bred dogs and cats and instead require that only dogs and cats who are humanely-sourced from animal control facilities and non-profit rescue organizations be sold or adopted out in pet shops.
This measure would help put an end to the suffering of dogs in puppy mills and would reduce pet overpopulation in shelters and the resulting high euthanasia rates.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pet Friendly Restaurants Now on TripsWithPets!

On a trip far from home or just out for a long Sunday drive with your pet?  You'll probably be dining out at some point to refuel and recharge.  Search their directory of pet friendly restaurants that have outdoor seating and allow pets to accompany their humans while they eat.  Well-mannered pets only, please.

Pet Friendly Restaurants