National Nonprofit Day

National Nonprofit Day Sign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, August 17, is National Nonprofit Day. This day is a 24-hour shoutout to the organizations with a mission for good and not greed. There are many amazing non-profit organizations geared toward a vast numbers of causes.  In an attempt to bring these guys to the forefront, National Nonprofit Day was formed.

A nonprofit organization is one that uses its surplus (extra money) to further its mission rather than distribute that income to its members, leaders, or shareholders. They are responsible for helping thousands and thousands of people around the world. Nonprofits can be as well-known as the Humane Society or be a small startup right up the street from you, and National Nonprofit Day wants people to appreciate both. Here are a few ways you can celebrate the day:

Volunteer your time.

Whether it’s just today, once a month, or twice a week, these organizations thrive on volunteers and your time won’t go unappreciated.

Donate.

Of course monetary donations are always welcome and used to perpetuate an admirable cause.

Use #NND.

Social media is powerful!  Go online and spread the word about your favorite NPOs using #NationalNonprofitDay or #NND. You never know who may take a liking to the cause!

Start Small.

It may seem silly but you can be your own warrior for the cause today – donate groceries to a food cabinet, bring food or other supplies to the animal shelter, pick up trash in your neighborhood – today is about feeling good and recognizing that even little steps can impact a community.

Tell us more about your favorite nonprofit organizations on our Facebook page – don’t forget to use #NND!

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Dog Friendly Beach Activities as Summer Winds Down

beach activities for pets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Say it isn’t so!

We hate to say it, and we really can’t believe it, but the end of summer is  steadily approaching. But, before we exchange our swimsuits and paddle boards for sweaters and pumpkin patches, there’s still some time left to soak up the sun with some summer fun. If you live near a beach or are planning a last hoorah on the coast, here are a few of our favorite dog friendly beach activities.

Swimming, obvi!

The beach is great because pets can gradually get into the water rather than having to immediately swim. So whether they jump through a few waves or blast through them with a doggy paddle they can always cool down while they exercise.

Evening Strolls.

One of the best things about summer is the late sunsets, mix that with the cool evening air and the sound of the waves and you’ve got a gorgeous pre-nighttime activity with your pooch.

Fetch/Frisbee.

The beach extends for miles, making it a perfect place for a game of fetch or frisbee if it’s allowed. Plus the added workout of swimming will leave you with a happily pooped pup who isn’t overheated.

Kayaking/Paddle Boarding.

For dogs with a good center of gravity, hanging out on a paddle board or kayak is a wonderful way to adventure with their owner. Bonus points for finding a private place to pull up and throw the ball around!

Pro-Tip: If it’s going to be a long day on the water you may want to consider eye protection for your buddy.

You could do all of the aforementioned activities and end the day right on the sand. Just make sure the beach or campground is pet-friendly and that Buddy has plenty of food, water, and a bed in the shade to retreat from all the fun.

What are some of your favorite ways to mark the end of summer with your pet? Send us a tweet @StewartPet! 

 

 

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Fido’s Feces: Signs of Healthy Dog Poop

french bulldog sitting on toilet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As pet owners,

there are only so many things we can use to gauge our pet’s health. Both fortunately and unfortunately, dog poop is one of them. Not only is it important to check the stool itself, it’s also smart to periodically peep your pet while they’re going.  You’re looking to  ensure they’re not struggling or straining too much to eliminate.  Poop can be the indicator of many things, but it’s also excellent insight into how their diet is serving them. 

The Scoop On Poop

Generally speaking, a normal healthy-looking poop should be somewhat moist, firm, and have a mild odor. Of course, every dog is different so you’ll quickly learn what to expect from each respective pooch. If your pet eliminates often and/or their waste is overwhelmingly smelly, it could be because their food has unnecessary, non-nutritious ingredients.   Most pets fed a raw diet not only poop less because their body is using more of the nutrients found in the food, but the waste is less smelly and smaller.

Runny poop can be a red flag.

What’s confusing is diarrhea could be as simple as an upset stomach.  This can be due to dietary changes or stress. Diarrhea can also be serious as a parasite or intestinal obstruction.  How do you tell the difference? Look for blood, mucous, worms or eggs in thier stool.  Also take note of the color, as a dark runny stool can be indicative of blood being eliminated from their system. If you see any of these things, call your veterinarian. If your dog is exhibiting signs of lethargy, disorientation, or feeling warm to the touch along with diarrhea, call your veterinarian. 

If your pet is behaving normally and their poop just seems excessively soft, try withholding food for 12 hours.  FYI- Never withhold water.  After 12 hours, offer a bland diet like boiled chicken and sweet potato or ground turkey and 100% pure pumpkin.  If the stool doesn’t return to normal after 12-24 hours of a bland diet, call your veterinarian.

Lastly, it’s important to watch them while they go to ensure they aren’t straining too hard; even pets with diarrhea can exhibit signs of struggle while eliminating which isn’t healthy for their colon or digestive tract.

You know what’s normal for your pet. If you see a soft stool it’s not a time to panic, but it is a signal to watch them a little more closely and make sure it’s not something more serious.

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Summer Feeding – Should I feed my dog more in the summer?

Healthy golden retreiver with fresh carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To some, summer is a time to chill inside with the AC cranked to the max.  Others consider the warmer weather the perfect time to get outside and be active.  We recently received an email from one of our fans asking about summer feeding that we thought we would share.

Hi Stewart,

My dog and I are very active in the summer.  we hike, swim, go for morning runs, and in general, spend a ton of time outside. The other day after our hike realized how much hungrier I am when I’m active and it got me thinking: should I be feeding my dog more to compensate for our activities? I definitely don’t want to run the risk of weight gain but I also don’t want him weak or malnourished on our adventures. Should I adjust my dog food for summer feeding?  -Thanks!

Great Question.

You may already know this, but extreme temperatures alone can require more energy from pets to keep themselves warm or cool; combined with added exercise, it’s fair to assume a small increase in calories will help provide the energy they need to sustain. The short answer is yes, you can certainly feed your pet more if they’re burning more with physical activity but the question is how much.

On the days you know they’ll be extra active, we recommend increasing their portion by about 10% and monitoring their weight and energy. To give you a range, keep in mind that some working dogs need up to 40% more food to maintain the energy needed to do their job, but we’re talking cattle/police/hunting dogs who engage in vigorous activity all day multiple days per week. Also know that you can play around, maybe make their pre-workout portion a little bigger but keep their dinner portion the same and see how they do with that. As our writer said, avoiding weight gain is really important too. On the days you know you guys will be lounging inside, keep them with their regularly-scheduled portion.

Also, the quality of your pet’s food makes a big difference in how their body breaks it down and utilizes it; consider a food that’s rich in protein, low in fat, and doesn’t use any fillers; just like health-conscious humans, active dogs need a food that can provide the nutrients needed to fuel their energy and replenish their muscles.

 

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4 Tips For Taking The Perfect Pet Pics

perfect pet pics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, July 11, is All American Pet Photo Day and with pictures, posts, and likes being all the rage right now we figure we’d help our loyal readers out by offering up a few tips to get those perfect pet pics.  Here are 4 tips for the picture-perfect selfie with your bestie.

Check the background.

Most people underestimate the background of a picture; make sure there’s nothing behind you that’s unsightly or embarrassing!

Lighting makes a difference.

Lighting is everything! Get the lighting right to ensure there aren’t any weird shadows or unflattering tones once the moment’s captured.

Be candid.

Show your pet’s personality! If you have a lazy cat, snap a selfie with them sleeping next to you or in the background, if your dog is your best friend snap a pic of you side by side with your arm around them.

Be ready.

And by that we mean, be prepared to bribe them with Pro-Treats. Our favorite tactic is to hold the treat right where we want them to look.

Get the right angle.  Where you hold the lens absolutely matters so make sure you’re holding it at angle that flatters you both!

The theme is All American so show us your patriotic pets! Post your selfies and tag us on Instagram or Twitter!

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Summer’s Here! 5 Hot Weather Safety Tips For Pet Owners

 

Hot Weather Safety Tips

It seems like during winter all we do is look forward to summer – and who can blame us? It’s a wonderful time of year with long days, beautiful nights, and opportunity for outdoor activity. And for those who dread the heat… Well, we can’t change the seasons, but we can offer up these 5 hot weather safety tips to keep your buddy cool in this blazin’ heat.

1. Shade and Water.

Two non-negotiable summer necessities. If your pet spends even 15 minutes at a time outside, there should be some sort of shade provided, as well as access to clean fresh water both inside and out.

2. Cooling Products.

Mats, vests, wraps… There are products made to stay cool in the heat that can give your outdoorsy pup a nice break.

3. Limit Exercise.

Use discretion when it comes to exercise, don’t make activities too vigorous or go out in the midday heat. We often see pet owners with great intentions walking their animal in the afternoon when the truth is it’s just too darn hot out.

*Pro-Tip: Hold the back of your hand to the pavement, if you can’t keep it there for 10-15 seconds, it’s too hot for your pet’s paw pads.

4. Know Heatstroke.

Signs of overheating include lethargy, glazed eyes, excessive panting, dizziness or lack of coordination, rapid heartbeat, and even vomiting. If you see your pet exhibiting these signs, drape cool towels over their head, neck, and chest, try giving them small sips of water or to lick an ice cube, and get them in to see your veterinarian. You can also swipe rubbing alcohol on their paw pads for faster cooling.

*Pro-Tip: Consider keeping a first aid kit handy so you have gauze and alcohol should you ever need it on a walk or trail.

5. Make Frozen Yummies.

Throw some peanut butter and a few Pro-Treats in an interactive treater or a few pieces of fruit in an ice tray and freeze it for a long-lasting cool summer treat!

We’d love to see how your pet stays cool in the heat – share with us!

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It’s Pet Appreciation Day! 5 ways WE benefit

pet appreciation day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Pet Appreciation Day!

Grab the Pro-Treats and the car keys because June 4 is Pet Appreciation Day! A perfect opportunity for some extra spoiling. Now, we know you love and appreciate your pet every day but do you even really know why? (Aside from their adorable faces, of course.) The truth is pets have a multitude of positive effects on human health, many of which you can’t even see.  Here are 5 of our favorites:

1. Perfect for kids

According to some experts, pet ownership can reduce a child’s allergy development by as much as 33% and strengthens their immune system.

2. They make us social

Pets can make us more social. Whether it’s at the dog park, or out for a quick evening stroll, who can resist not saying hello to your cute side kick?

3. Overall health

Pet owners have lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels than non-pet owners.

4.  Keeping us fit

Owning a dog can prompt exercise; a study of 2,000 adults found that those responsible for walking their dog exercised more and were less likely to be obese.

5. Pet’s make us happy

Pets boost feel-good emotions and thwart depression and loneliness.

Don’t believe us? Research it yourself! Aside from the thousands of anecdotal stories of pets essentially saving lives, there are plenty of fact-based findings that prove how good they are for us. So the next time you go to pet, treat, or walk your animal – today and every day – just remember all the favors they’re [unknowingly] doing for you, too.

Walks. Treats. Being brushed. Car rides. Floor cuddles. An extra long fetch session… What are some your favorite ways to show your pet they’re appreciated? Share with us!

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Homemade Fresh and Fruity Frozen Dog Treats

dog with sunglasses

Summer is well on its way, which means the produce section is finally going beyond apples, oranges, and bananas and providing delicious berries, juicy watermelons, and tangy pineapples for a sweet, healthy frozen dog treat. Yep, summer fruits are definitely a delight – and not just for humans! Of course dogs would love something natural, refreshing, and different as a reward during these warm months – so, in addition to our   Pro-Treats, here are a few of our favorite DIY fresh and fruity treats. (Pro-Tip: You may want to feed your pet these juicy treats outside to avoid sticky tile or stained carpets!)

Pawberry Banana Pupsicles
You’ll need:
¼ large banana
3 strawberries
Ice cubes
Blender
Ice mold of your choosing – preferably in a fun, summery shape!

What to Do:
Combine in a blender, pour into mold, freeze and treat!

Have fun with this! You can use a handful of blueberries, a few scoops of watermelon, ¼ of a mango or an ⅛ of a pineapple – just combine with ¼ of a banana and ice cubes, pour, and freeze for a delicious variety pack your dog will love!

Frozen Pawtermelon Surprise
You’ll need:
¼ of a watermelon, cut
Blueberries
Blender
Large ice mold

These are a breeze; simply blend the watermelon into a puree, pour into the mold, pop a blueberry in the middle, and freeze. (We admit to making extra for ourselves!)

We’d love to see your dogs enjoying some frozen summertime treats, snap a pic and share it on Facebook!

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Brace Yourself for National Wine Day with Pet Friendly Drinks

national wine day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 25 is National Wine Day,

which we feel needs no explanation or justification – it just is, and we love it. While one might think this is a human-only holiday, you should know by now that the pet world leaves no stone unturned when it comes to mirroring human trends. Oh yeah, vino’s gone to the dogs (and cats) with pet friendly drinks!

Before you call animal control to report barking under the influence, you should know these are pet friendly drinks [obviously] that are non-alcoholic and made with pet-friendly ingredients like filtered water, Alaskan salmon oil, beets, and chicken flavoring (among others) and can be purchased primarily online.

For pet people who like wine, this is a bit of a dream – in fact, a few girls in the office are already planning their Wine Day & Puppy Play soirees complete with Pinot Noir and ZinfanTail. Totally serious. And for those who really want to wow their furry friend, consider a little pairing – our delicious Raw Naturals™ Beef Recipe would pair beautifully with a full-bodied MalBark, while the Chicken Recipe would go nicely with a light Chardognay.

How do you plan on celebrating National Wine Day? Let us know on Facebook!

 

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Recognizing Dog Depression

depressed dog

May is Mental Health Month,

an important reminder to take care of yourself, but also to pay attention to those around you for any changes in behavior. This includes your pet. To some, it may sound silly to think that an animal could suffer from depression.  To others, it may make perfect sense. But, the truth is, animals can go through bouts of sadness just like humans, though long-term dog depression is a lot more uncommon.

Recognize the signs of dog depression

Much like humans, symptoms of depression in pets include social withdrawal, lack of appetite change in sleeping habits, and simply not enjoying or participating in the things they once did. The difficult part is that most of these symptoms can also point to pain, so anytime your pet exhibits these behaviors you should make an appointment with your veterinarian.

Causes of depression

Most of the time a major life change is to blame for the onset of depression in animals. Things like moving to a new home, having a new baby or partner come into your lives. Depression can be brought on even by adding another pet. In most professionals’ experience, long-term depression was brought on by one of two things: the death of an owner or the loss of a fellow pet. In the event of serious depression, prescriptions do exist to alleviate anxiety or balance mood but it’s important to be diligent in monitoring your pet’s behavior to be sure it’s depression before utilizing this option.

What you can do

If your pet seems a little blue, you can certainly try to cheer them up! Take them on car rides, walks or trips to the dog park. Add something special in their food. Give them a little extra TLC in your downtime. Just remember, it’s important not to overtreat while they’re moping, as they may interpret it as a reward and continue the behavior. You know your pet – if you think their sadness seems to excessive, don’t hesitate to call your vet.

Has your pet ever been treated for depression? Was there a time you knew they were sad but you were able to cheer them up? Tell us your story this month on Facebook.

 

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