Most-Needed Donations to Animal Shelters

Just about all animal shelters and rescue organizations need the public’s help. Most of the time, people will offer cash donations to their local shelters to help fund their need for supplies, food, and medical care. What happens when, in a depressed economy, a cash donation may not be available to members of the public? Donations of other forms are also always needed by shelters and every little bit helps.

Just a single bag of dog or cat food, or a small box of canned food, helps defray the costs of feeding the animals in a shelter. Some shelters house more than two dozen animals at any one time, each requiring at least one meal a day. Larger shelters may house cattle, horses, or other large creatures, and each one of them will need to eat. Most shelters may not be picky about the food they receive; however, when in doubt, phone ahead to double-check.

Cleaning Supplies
Shelters house their animals in cages and cubicles, stables and stalls. For the health of the creatures that live inside them, they need cleaning regularly. Bleach, for instance, helps kill off a lot of bacteria that can kill a dog or cat. Mops, brooms, scrub-brushes: anything that you can think of to help clean out an animal’s pen, usually with concrete floors and drains, would be very appreciated. Also, donating pet-friendly shampoos, both for pest removal or general washing, as well as grooming supplies is never a bad thing.

Leashes and collars wear thin after repeated uses, and some shelters may even send a collar home with the new pet upon adoption. When possible, the animals are walked in some places to exercise them during the day, which requires the right equipment. Donating leashes and collars is a way to aid animal shelters. Old towels that someone might want to toss out in favor of new ones can be donated too: animals don’t care about a stain or a hole post-bath, or when recovering from surgery or illness.

The most overlooked and least expensive donation a person can give a shelter is their time. Volunteering to walk the dogs, socialize them, play with them, or otherwise help the shelter in some fashion goes a longer way in some cases than a monetary donation. It’s good for the animals and good for the soul.

High Temps? Bring WATER!

Dog drinking waterWhen the summer temperatures are hitting highs and breaking records, most people wouldn’t thinking about leaving their home without a bottle of water or other cold beverage. At the very least, bringing money to purchase a bottle of water or can of soda is important. If you’re thirsty because of the weather, chances are good your dog is thirsty as well, and you should make sure you have water for him to drink. Even if you are not thirsty, your dog will be thirsty!

Don’t forget, just carrying a bottle of water for your dog isn’t enough. You’ll also need to bring along something he can drink out of since it can be difficult to drink from a water bottle, especially if it’s poured out. Frankly, more water gets poured on the ground than in his mouth when you try that method (it will work if that’s all you have, but you should be prepared).

Most pet supply shops will have collapsible water bowls that can easily fit into a purse or a backpack. If you often put your pooch in the car to head to the park, keep a water bowl in your car so it’s always on hand when your dog is thirsty. Some parks have water access for both people and dogs, but until you’re familiar with the local parks, don’t assume that you’ll be able to get a drink while you’re there, especially when there is construction. You can also use a cup from a restaurant – that may even be easiest depending on where you are when thirst strikes.

Many dog owners think that if they leave a bowl of water out for their dog, the dog will drink as much as they need. Some dogs, though, get too much water while others don’t hydrate often enough. Personally, I like to give my dog ice cubes because she loves playing with and chewing the ice, and it’s a fun way to keep her hydrated.

As a general rule of thumb, your dog should drink between half an ounce and one ounce of water for every pound of body weight per day. Puppies drink about half a cup of water every two hours to stay healthy. In the summertime, dogs pant more because they’re hot and, in turn, need more water than during the colder months. After exercising your dog, give him small amounts of water at a time.

This rule of thumb isn’t limited to just playing outside. Your dog needs water throughout the day, wherever he is. If you’re spending the night with your dog at a friend’s house, you’ll need to bring a water bowl there for him. Just because it’s not hot in the house doesn’t mean that he doesn’t need plenty of water to stay hydrated.

This may be obvious to you, or you might not think it’s important, but when you’re walking your dog, you should be sure to carry water for you, too. If you want to stay healthy and feel good while outside in the summer, make sure you have enough water for you, too.

Photo: Flickr

Hire a Dog Walker for the Fourth of July

If you’re like most Americans, you probably have plans to celebrate Independence Day in the United States. Many people have or go to barbecues and cookouts, some people go to pool parties, and others do other things to celebrate the holiday. Oftentimes, party and event plans mean that you need to leave your dog alone for an extended period of time.

If you aren’t able to include your dog in your July 4th plans, you need to make special plans to make sure his or her needs are met. Hiring a professional dog walking service will ensure that your dog is walked and given exercise when you aren’t able to do it yourself. If you are going to be gone for a while, your dog walker will also be happy to feed your dog and make sure he’s hydrated, especially with the crazy heat wave that’s enveloped much of the US.

Although many dog walkers require several days notice to walk a dog, and some will require a longer term contract and/or a meet and greet first, there are plenty of dog walkers who are looking for work and would be happy to accomodate you – even at the last minute. Please search right now to find a dog walker in your area.

One thing that is very important to keep in mind is that the July 4th fireworks will probably scare the heck out of your dog. We recommend that you be with your dog when the fireworks display is going off so you can comfort him. Here are some fireworks tips for dog owners so you can be sure your dog stays happy and safe during the holiday.

Best Dog Parks in Philadelphia

Whether your best four-legged friend is eight pounds or 108 pounds, taking him out of the four walls in your apartment has many pros. Walking Fido around your community will allow him to exercise and expend energy. To get in more exercise and socializing, check out one of the many Philadelphia dog parks. Be sure your dog is up to date with its shots; then grab its leash and head out to one of these parks for Fido.

Schuylkill River Park Dog Run
This Astroturf Philadelphia dog park is a favorite among dogs and owners. Like most dog parks, it has a separate area for small dogs, and the park provides plenty of water to keep Fido hydrated. One of the main reasons dog owners take their four-legged friends here is the sense of community, as attendees who frequent this park with their dogs claim other park goers are friendly and conscious of their dogs.
Where: 2500 Lombard St., Philadelphia, PA 19103

Triangle Dog Park
This off-leash, fully fenced neighborhood park is popular with Fishtown neighborhood residents. It is a community-run dog park, and it is well kept. Dog owners love coming here because it’s a great place to meet other dog owners, as well as other well-behaved dogs. The park also has plenty of room for your dog to roam, explore and meet other four-legged buddies. While your dog roams free, watch him mingle from one of the benches or picnic tables under the trees. Remember to bring extra water and waste bags to clean up after your dog.
Where: 898 Aramingo Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19125

Chester Avenue Dog Park
Dog owners in the Angora neighborhood in Philadelphia will be happy to know there’s a dog park located in the neighborhood. Chester Avenue Dog Park is a fenced park with lots of open space for Fido to run free. The park also features agility equipment, plenty of toys and a puppy pool for the dogs to play in. And if your dog gets thirsty, there is plenty of water around. The park is members-only with a membership fee, which goes toward the fresh water supply, garbage, fences and overall maintenance.
48th Street and Chester Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143

Seger Dog Run
Located in Washington Square West, Seger Dog Run is exactly what you wish your backyard was like for Fido. It includes lots of space to run, plenty of trees to stay out of the sun and a fence to keep him from running away. Nearby are a few great spots to walk your dog, such as Rittenhouse and Washington Square. After a walk, let your canine pal run off some energy at Seger while playing with other friendly dogs. The park is well maintained, thanks to the members and the membership contributions.
Where: 1000 Lombard St., Philadelphia, PA 19147

Find an pet-friendly apartment in one of these Philadelphia neighborhoods near your favorite dog park.

Ronald McDonald House Family Fun Dog Walk

Ronald McDonald House of New York and Angel on a Leash are presenting its First Annual “Family Fun Dog Walk” to benefit therapy dogs and the children whom they help. This charity event is a 2K walk that is open to the public. Anyone interested in helping to raise funds for this charity can participate. The proceeds from this event will benefit children and their families staying at the Ronald McDonald House New York during their treatment for cancer. Funds will also go to creating therapy dogs for Angel on a Leash programs in healthcare facilities.

The Family Fun Dog Walk is being held at Riverside Park in Manhattan on Saturday, August 18, 2012 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. On-site registration will be available for a $10 donation. Registrants are provided with a customizable online donation page where they may solicit pledges toward each participant’s individual goal.

The event is being hosted by the voice of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and author of “Angel on a Leash” David Frei. A special surprise co-host will also be attending this exciting event.

An assortment of prizes will be available to participants, and will be awarded based upon the amount of individual funds raised. Prizes from doggie toys to water bottles, to customized dog leashes and grooming sets will be awarded. The top prize includes two box seat tickets to the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show held on February 11th and 12th; your picture taken with David Frei, the host of the event; an autographed copy of David Frei’s bestselling book “Angel on a Leash: Therapy Dogs and the Lives They Touch”. Raise anywhere from $50 to over $2000 to be eligible to redeem a prize. The prize redemption table will also be open from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.

Anyone who is interested in helping out children and their families, as well as the therapy dog program, can join in on this fun-filled charity even. Registrations can be taken online at A liability waiver is required of all Dog Walk participants.

Be sure to join Ronald McDonald House and Angels on a Leash on August 18th to support this great cause.