Pet Friendly Volunteer Opportunities

Pet Friendly Volunteer Opportunities

Whether you’re searching for enrichment activities or are interested in making an impact on your community, participating in pet-related volunteering work can be a great experience for animal lovers or pet owners. There is a vast range of volunteer opportunities available for various skill sets, and some of the options will be discussed below.

Ways to volunteer with your pet:

Take your pet on a charity run – There are numerous pet friendly charity races that vary in distance, which can range from a mile to a half marathon. These organizations can fundraise for a variety of causes, whether it’s alleviating inequities in animal communities or funding for cancer research. Bringing your pet to a charity race can be a great way to spend time with your pet and get some exercise while making an impact on underserved communities.

Volunteer your dog as a therapy animal – whether it’s at a hospital, nursing home, or a school, volunteering your pet as a therapy animal can be incredibly impactful for many people. Pets are great friends and companions, so lending them to other people for emotional support can help decrease stress and anxiety, reduce loneliness, and improve patients’ overall quality of life. 

Train your dog as a search and rescue pet – As a search and rescue animal, dogs help humans with various tasks. They can track people who are lost in the wilderness, find patients who have wandered off from their facilities, or locate people who have been lost in the midst of natural disasters. Although this may take some training and practice, your dog can save many lives by participating in search and rescue. There are certain breeds, however, that may be more suitable to these tasks, such as blood hounds, german shepherds, labrador retrievers, etc., so make sure to contact the organization about certain requirements before volunteering your pet. 

Donate your pet’s blood – canine blood donations can save many pet lives by assisting in the treatment of anemia, certain cancers, bone marrow disease, etc. The process of donating blood requires the dog to lie on their side or belly, where they are then injected with a small needle that removes about 2 cups of blood. However, there are certain requirements to become an eligible blood donor, so make sure to check in with your local canine blood bank.

Be a foster parent – Although many people adopt pets, fostering is also a great short-term option that can make a positive difference. Many abandoned kittens and puppies are often born with no one to care for them, so they need someone who can temporarily care for them until they are of age and able to return to the shelter. Even though foster parenting isn’t permanent, it can still have a long lasting impact on both the owner and the pet.

Activism – Working as a collective is one of the best ways to motivate change in our local, state, and national governments. By registering as a pet advocate in pet organizations that interest you (at the local to federal level) such as Pet Partners, you can bring greater awareness to topics like the impact of therapy animals, animal abuse, or animal trafficking. 

Shelter environments – Another great way to make an impact is volunteering at a pet shelter. Volunteers generally help introduce adoptable animals to the public and encourage adopters to make a positive decision while providing helpful advice. However, unfamiliar noises and situations can make shelter environments stressful or anxiety inducing for abandoned, lost pets. 

Adopting animals – Over 6 million pets are admitted into U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year and over 4 million of them are adopted by new families! Although adoption rates have increased over the past few decades and euthanization rates have declined, we still have a long way to go in ensuring every pet has a home and are raised/bred sustainably. Join the movement today and choose adoption.,away%20from%20a%20care%20facility.

Why do dogs eat grass?

Why do dogs eat grass?

Although eating grass may seem like normal dog behavior, it can be an indication of an underlying health issue of some sort. Here is a list of what may be contributing to your dog’s grass eating habits. 

Upset stomach – Eating plants is a habit that has been observed in many animal species, especially with domesticated dogs and wolves. Many veterinarians reveal that dogs eat grass when they have an inflamed stomach, as it is a strategy that may induce vomiting. However, there is still much research to be done, and researchers hypothesize that grass consumption may have unknown biological benefits as well. 

Anxiety – dogs may also eat grass for psychological reasons. Eating grass may serve as a mental stimulation or coping mechanism for dogs going through mental health issues, so it’s important to look for symptoms that may indicate a possibility of anxiety. Common indicators of anxiety in pets are constant instances of drooling, shaking, whining, panting, excessive barking, destructive behavior, and many more. Pet anxiety can be treated through modifying behavior and environments or prescribing medication and supplements, but it’s best to inquire with your veterinarian before diagnosing the cause. 

Pica – Your dog’s grass eating behaviors may be a sign of Pica, a medical behavioral condition. UC Davis Veterinary Medicine reveals that Pica is the constant consumption of nutrient deficient substances, despite its lack of physical benefit. It is deemed as one of the most common behavioral issues in dogs. While Pica may not seem harmful, it has been proven to cause many health issues, such as dental problems, poisoning, and gastrointestinal blockage. 

Seeking attention – Just because you see your pet eating grass does not mean there is any immediate health issue. Oftentimes, dogs like the attention they receive from their owners, and will go about a variety of ways getting it. Dogs are extremely intelligent creatures. If they see larger reactions from you or others after performing a certain action, they are more likely to continue doing it in the future. If this persists, consider seeking medical advice on how best to train your dog to avoid this habit.

Nutritional factors – Like humans, it is important for a dog to maintain a proper diet. If they aren’t fed a correct balance of nutrients, they can and will find other sources of food such as grass. Their instincts lead them to grass for its fibrous content, especially since the most common domesticated dog diets include only about 2-4% fiber when the required intake is upwards of 5%! If you suspect your dog is malnutritioned, speak with a professional about creating a plan to restore their natural health.

House Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

House Cleaning Tips for Pet Owners

With pets tracking in various amounts of germs and odors, it may be incredibly difficult for pet owners to maintain cleanliness in their homes. However, there are many simple cleaning hacks that can combat the muddy lifestyle that comes with owning pets.

Removing pet odor:

People who own pets know how awful pet smell can get. Within mere days after taking a bath, pets may already start to smell bad, and it can even start stinking up the house. The odor may be stuck in carpets, couches, or even beds. Although there are cleaning agents made specifically for pet odors, it’s simpler and more affordable to make your own concoction. One way you can neutralize the smell is by sprinkling baking soda on the affected area and vacuuming the remnants after waiting for the compound to sit in for a while. Another common homemade anti-pet smell concoction can be made with white vinegar and baking soda. All you have to do is mix white vinegar with a little bit of baking soda and pour it into a spray bottle. The liquid will act as a deodorizer, so you can spray it on carpets, curtains, or even around the house.

Cleaning up pet hair:

Using vacuum cleaners is the fastest and most reliable way to clean up your pet’s loose hair, so it’s important to vacuum clean frequently. Another way to prevent a furry environment is by reducing the amount of hair that your pet sheds, which you can do by rolling their body with a lint roller. For smaller areas, you can also use a lint roller or duct tape to remove hair from clothing or furniture.

Frequently wiping down your pet:

Everytime your pet goes out for a walk, they track germs, dirt, or even mud into your home. Especially if your dog rolls around in the grass or runs around in the dirt, they may likely bring unwanted odors and pests to your door. To mitigate the amount of foreign substances they bring into the house, use a baby wipe or specialized pet cleaner to wipe them down before entering the house.

Masking pet paw scratches:

If your pet has sharp or even dull fingernails on their paws, it is likely that they have scratched or at least marked furniture around the house. You can easily mask shallow claw marks and scratches by applying gel stain with a brush and rubbing using a fine-grit sanding sponge. Unfortunately, scratches that dig too deep into the furniture can not be repaired easily, so consider also buying protective casings (like Plexiglass sheets or a removable cover made of cloth) for delicate items around the house.

Muddy paw prints:

Although it may be frustrating when your pet leaves a long trail of muddy paw marks across the house, refrain from cleaning it up while still wet. This can cause smearing and leave you with a bigger mess than you began with! Instead, let the mud dry off first before wiping. A vacuum can also be used to small up smaller particles much easier.

Meal time:

Rather than scooping out pet food from large bags, consider buying no-mess food dispensers. And if your house is prone to insects, especially ants, a simple trick to prevent them from getting into your pets food is to place their food bowl in a surrounding pan of water. This way, your pet will have no trouble accessing their food while also keeping out any unwanted bugs!

Legalizing Telemedicine for Pets in California

Legalizing Telemedicine for Pets in California

What is Assembly Bill 1399?

California has always been on the cutting edge of technology, from the famous startups of Silicon Valley to the emerging biotechnology industry in Los Angeles. Yet at the same time, the state is one of the most strict when it comes to healthcare technologies like veterinary telemedicine. As medical professionals and their human patients rely more and more on virtual visits and digital checkups, we strongly believe that this same freedom should be given to our pets. Assembly Bill 1399, in short, would remove much of the unnecessary red tape and regulation surrounding veterinary telemedicine care in California and we need your help!

Why is it important?

Many people in the Golden State do not live within close proximity to a proper veterinary facility. Others in lower income neighborhoods may also lack the proper insurance or healthcare plans. Some are unable to get to the vet in the first place because of unequal access to transportation. Veterinary telemedicine changes all of that! Not only is it oftentimes cheaper than a traditional visit to the vet, but it also allows anyone no matter where they live to gain equitable access to professional care for their pets.

How can I help?

While our actions cannot fully guarantee the passing of this bill, there are still many ways we can contribute. Some of the ways we can encourage the success of this bill is by signing petitions, bringing awareness on social media platforms, or even emailing your state senator to vote YES on the Assembly Bill 1399. Remember, every little contribution helps! Use the link below to send an automated email to your local senator!

Recent Updates

The Assembly Bill 1399 was last amended on July 13, 2023 by the Senate. As of right now, the amended law states that a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR) is needed to perform veterinary medicine. A VCPR requires that both the patient and vet understand the medical professional’s responsibility to diagnose the pet’s medical condition, the veterinarian has enough knowledge of the client’s pet to diagnose the condition, whether through virtual and in-person means, and the vet is available for followup appointments. In order to partake in veterinary telehealth, the vet must hold a license authorized in the state of the client, include prior warnings about the use and limitations of telehealth, and ask for client consent. This bill also makes it so that veterinarians can order or prescribe medication for animal patients. This upcoming August, the Bill will go through another committee vote, so it’s important that you do your part and encourage the passing of A.B. 1399 as the voting date comes closer. Read the actual bill here:

Fourth of July Pet Safety

Fourth of July Pet Safety

Steps to Take Before Celebrations

  • Make sure that the identification tags on your pet’s have up-to-date information on them in the case they are lost
  • Microchipping is another great option to allow you to get your pet back if they get lost
  • Take a recent photograph of your pet to help identify them amongst other dogs of the same or similar breed
  • Consider leaving your pets at home during celebrations if they are historically anxious or rowdy during large gatherings or with many noises

Steps to Take During Celebrations

  • When attending parties, it’s best to leave your pets safe at home, since loud fireworks, other loud sounds, and unfamiliar environments can be anxiety inducing for your pet. Another option is keeping them in another safe space, such as a crate or room during firework displays, to avoid causing unnecessary stress or anxiety.
  • Make sure to keep party decorations or celebratory items from your pet’s reach (i.e. glow sticks, sparklers, or fireworks), as they can be a choking hazard. It’s also a good idea to keep them away from the barbecue while it’s still running.
  • During the summer season, when heat and humidity are commonplace, your pet is more susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke. It’s best to keep them inside, or feed them plenty of water (cold water preferably) when outdoors. Just make sure you’re not leaving your pet outside for long periods of time, as it can be extremely dangerous.
  • Try to keep your pets away from human foods at 4th of July potlucks, as many of the foods may contain unknown ingredients that are toxic to pets. If you think your pet is suffering from food poisoning, and reveals symptoms such as excessive drooling, lethargy, diarrhea, and/or vomiting, contact the Animal Poison Control Center right away.
  • If you’re traveling on the holiday weekend, it’s always a good idea to leave your pet behind with a pet sitter, as they may feel more comfortable in a familiar space. However, you can also bring them on vacation, as long as you follow safety precautions.

Steps to Take After Celebrations

  • If you hosted a celebration party at your home, check for any debris from fireworks or other party goods to ensure that your pet does not accidentally ingest them
  • If you used lighter fluids for a backyard campfire, check to see if it was put away properly and that no extra liquid leaked out onto the ground as it is hazardous to both humans and animals
  • If your pet shows any odd behavior following the party, consider looking into it as they may have swallowed food scraps or reacted poorly to loud noises like a fireworks display or from large crowds