Written by Michelle Kretzer
National Pet Month, the perfect occasion for animal guardians to give their
best friends some extra love and attention. Animals aren't tough to please—they appreciate even just a little quality time with
us. Our funny friend Fred
Willard and his canine buddy like
to spend time together practicing table etiquette and trading dog jokes:
ways to tell your loyal companion how much he or she means to you are extra-long
play sessions, a new toy, or homemade treats. Check out these doggone good tips from Ingrid E. Newkirk's
book Let's Have a Dog Party! and purrfect
pointers from 250 Things You Can Do to Make Your Cat Adore You for more fun ways to speak your animal companion's language.
Written by PETA
"We give dogs time we
can spare, and love we can spare. And, in return, they give us their all. It's
the best deal anyone ever made."—M. Acklam
Does your dog get the "leftovers"—leftover
time, leftover attention, leftover energy? We're all busy, but our dogs deserve
more than leftovers. Quality time with their humans—spent playing fetch or
hide-and-seek or getting a massage
or even just a scratch behind the ears or a belly rub—is food for the doggie soul.
Here are some fun, easy "snacks" for your dog's psyche from PETA President
Ingrid E. Newkirk's book Let's Have a Dog Party!
Dogs appreciate the simplest
of gestures. Even a few kind words can send a pup into belly-up bliss. Praise
your dog often with kind words, such as "Good puppy! What a sweetie! We
love you!" and prepare for the wet kisses. Special treats—a new toy (try a
musical one), homemade biscuits, or even cardboard boxes to shred, a sock with
a ball tied inside it, or a branch to chew on—can make a dog's day. A raised
voice can ruin it.
Every dog loves a walk,
and they need the exercise (as do we!). They also need to catch up on all the
local neighborhood news, so let them sniff. If you're using a collar, which can
cause imperceptible but nagging neck injuries even if the dog pulls only slightly,
try switching to a safer and more comfortable harness, which gives you better
and easier control. Never use a choke or pinch collar—they hurt, and they're dangerous.
Your best bet for dogs who pull hard is a Sense-ation harness,
which has a front leash attachment.
When the weather is hot, short
walks (never jogs) during the coolest parts
of the day are best, choosing shady, grassy routes and avoiding hot pavement,
which can burn foot pads. If you can't walk barefoot on it, your dog shouldn't have
to, either. Walk at a leisurely pace and take along water. Overexerted dogs can
quickly suffer from heatstroke because of their fur coats and inability to
perspire through their skin, just as they do when they are left in
a hot car.
A dog party is a great way
to show that you care. There are plenty of excuses to throw one—birthdays, adoption
anniversaries, "bark" mitzvahs, and more. Invite friends to the beach,
a dog park, or your backyard, and treat canine and human guests to fun games,
snacks, and goodie bags.
For more detailed ideas
for giving your biggest fan some star treatment, enter to win a copy of Let's Have a Dog Party! by posting a comment below
telling us how you celebrate your dog.*
Written by Michelle Sherrow
*The winner will be chosen at random
from commenters who tell us how they celebrate their dogs. The contest
ends September 2, 2011, and the winner will be notified by September 16. Rules and restrictions apply.
No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law.
A survey by Purina shows that 60 percent of doggie guardians are including their pooches in their Valentine's Day plans. The survey also found that 26 percent of guardians say "I love you" to their dogs at least once a day—the same percentage that share the sentiment with their significant other on a daily basis. Might as well face it, we're addicted to loving our dogs.
That's why Purina hosted a celebrity-studded "Be My Valentine" Doggie Dinner Party, complete with a red carpet stroll for the canines and live entertainment (Three Dog Night, perhaps?). I wonder if anyone asked for a doggie bag?
If you missed the doggie dinner party in New York, don't worry—you can still host a dog party of your own. (There are lots of fun ideas in PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk's book Let's Have a Dog Party.) Or you could take a cue from a group of kindhearted second-graders in Virginia who delivered valentines to outdoor dogs in hopes of convincing their owners to show love to their dogs by taking them inside.
However you plan to pamper your pooch (or someone else's), here's wishing you a happy Valentine's Dog—er, Day!
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.