Written by Michelle Kretzer
animal companions give us all the time, attention, and affection that we want,
and in return, they deserve the best care that we can provide. Here are the top
six ways to return the favor:
people, animals need high-quality, nutritious food, which is the basis for good
health. They also benefit from having moist food, which is more palatable and
helps prevent urinary tract infections. If you are concerned about supporting
factory farms when you buy pet food, check out PETA's factsheet on feeding dogs and cats vegetarian
or vegan food. And, of course, we
wouldn't want to drink out of a dirty glass, and our animals don't want to
drink out of a dirty bowl, either. So give them fresh water daily in a clean
It's Potty Time
Have you ever
walked into a public restroom stall only to turn around and walk right back
out? Cats prefer a clean bathroom,
too, so scoop at least twice a day. Similarly, a backyard filled with "land
mines" is no fun for people or
dogs, so be sure to scoop regularly. And dogs shouldn't be expected
to "hold it" all day (not only is this painful, it's also harmful to
their kidneys), so if someone can't go home at lunchtime to let the dog out,
hire a dog walker or, if you have a yard with a secure privacy fence, install a
Don't Keep the
An annual veterinary
visit for a check-up is a must, but if your animal shows any signs of not
feeling well, be sure to schedule an appointment right away. Fleas and ticks
torment dogs and cats, so they must be controlled (try using natural, nontoxic products), and heartworms and intestinal
worms can be easily prevented with once-monthly medications. Additionally, spaying and neutering not only eliminates the
risk of reproductive organ cancer but also prevents females from suffering
through heat cycles and reduces the risk that animals of both sexes will contract
contagious diseases. And why not take an animal CPR class to make sure that
you'll be ready in case of an animal health emergency?
Dogs need regular
brushing to keep their coats clean and to prevent matting. Avoid giving them too
many baths, though. Dogs need to retain the oil in their coat to keep it
healthy, and if your dog has a chronic "doggie odor," that usually
means that a change in diet is called for.
Tiny Chip = Safe
Tags are a great
way to I.D. your dog or cat, but they can fall off or be removed. However, a microchip is permanent, as
evidenced by the recent story of a woman who was reunited—thanks to a microchip—with the dog who had
been stolen from her seven years earlier.
Hannah and I have found our favorite activity: enjoying the sun and surf at the beach.
care is important, what our animals appreciate most is quality time—playing
fetch, taking a walk, chasing a piece of string, or having a cuddle session. You
and your dog could even enroll in a fun, rewards-based agility class. Our
animals depend on us for their exercise and enrichment. By trying out various activities
and toys, even simple items like balled-up paper or an empty paper towel roll,
we can discover what our animal companions really enjoy and have a lot of fun
in the process.
Written by Jeff Mackey
PETA always encourages guardians to take the best care
possible of their animal companions. These three recent news stories about dogs
at risk remind us why it's so important to stay mindful of canine care:
a frightening echo of the illnesses and deaths tied to melamine-tainted foods
from China five years ago, Chinese-made Waggin' Train and Canyon Creek Ranch jerky treats for dogs and
Milo's Kitchen Home-style Dog Treats have been implicated in kidney failure, liver disease, and other
illnesses in almost 1,000 dogs, with one death reported so far. Milo's Kitchen has even paid off at least one
sick dog's guardian in exchange for a release of liability. Please check your
cupboards and be sure you're giving your dogs only healthy, wholesome treats—you
can even make your own!
is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can help reunite a Texas man with his
beloved dog, Dolly, who has been missing ever since PETCO groomers carelessly let her escape from the
store. Unfortunately, this isn't an isolated incident—another dog was lost (though,
fortunately, found) after bolting
from groomers at an Illinois PetSmart.
Choose your groomer carefully, and stay away from PETCO, PetSmart, and other big-box stores.
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
all hazards are physical. Anyone who's suffered a broken heart knows that a
divorce or other romantic bust-up takes an emotional toll on the former
sweethearts and on their children, but companion animals can be hurt, too. An
excellent feature in the Chicago Tribune
points out what can go
wrong—or right—when guardians go their separate ways.
more tips on repaying our four-legged pals' love and devotion, check out PETA's
guide to caring for dogs.
Sophie lives with a PETA staff member and receives lots of TLC
Written by PETA
Can you trust your groomer? A dog named Sadie died a hideous death from burns and other injuries when a PETCO groomer left her locked inside a cage dryer. Now her guardian, Teresa Gilland, is suing the company, seeking to have cage dryers banned in their grooming locations. We concur. Cage dryers can be death traps, and one needless death in a grooming salon is one too many.
This isn't the first time—and it almost certainly won't be the last—that an animal has been injured or has died because of PETCO's negligence. Countless animals have suffered from heat exhaustion after being left unattended in front of hot dryers, and at least one dog accidentally hanged herself when she was left unattended and tried to jump out of a grooming tub.
The best way to protect your dog from all this trauma and danger and yourself from the risk of losing a family member is to learn to groom your dog yourself. It isn’t hard, and patience is required, but it is worth it. Still going to the groomer? Then PETA offers these safety tips:
For more information, see PETA's grooming accident factsheet.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
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.