Planning a Wedding? Have Your Pet Be Part!

It’s estimated that we spend a total of $63 billion on animals each year. The pet/companion industry is growing with better food choices, daycares, pet sitting, new and awesome toys, and safer car seat options. And for those of us who going to tie the knot, there are sites that offer services to help include your pet in the wedding and have it be stress free.

One couple who heard other couples wishing to include their pets in their weddings, took the initiative and started Fairytail Pet Care. The owners, Kelly and Ilana, offer several services from wedding planning to photo shoots to pet sitting. Fairytail Pet Care’s wedding services provide transportation, love and care, and playtime for your pet. They also help your pet pose with you for your perfect wedding photo and work to seamlessly integrate your pet into the ceremony.

To date, Fairytail Pet Care has been part of 30 weddings. Each wedding has been unique and magical. They even do photo shoots of the big day from the pet’s perspective.

To learn more about Fairytail Pet Care, visit their website here.


How Much Do You Plan To Spend On Your Pet?

A recent article in Forbes talked about the amount of money millennials plan to spend on pets this season. The reasons cited started with the pet care business growing in the last several years. According to Forbes, the changing dynamic of pets not just as an accessory to the house, but as a family member has changed spending and increased the pet industry. Pet owners spend more on their companions in terms of medical, day care and boarding, and food. The article goes on to talk about holiday shopping.

Holiday shoppers on average used to spend about $62 on pets. The projected amount this season is at $81, followed by $79 from those who are Gen-Xers. Ah, Generation-X… my crew. But it’s not just the usual shopping trips to the pet store to buy new beds, toys, a new cage, or aquarium… the new trend has extended to tech gadgets that allow us to watch our pets when we’re not home, GPS trackers on collars, and point of view tiny cameras to see what the world looks like from where they stand.

To read the complete article, check it out here.

What do you plan on buying for your pet this holiday season? Let us know!

Top 10 Gifts For Dogs (and Dog Lovers)

Holidays are here and as you shop for family and friends, don’t forget about your fuzzy buddy, or your dog lover on the shopping list, because getting something for the dog is about the best gift a dog lover could get – it shows that you care about their dog as well as them. There are a lot of great toys and other pet products out there for dogs. Here are the 10 we liked best.

Top 10 Gifts For Dogs

  1. IQ Treat Ball

    Is it too cold to run around at the dog park? Does your dog seem bored? This toy may be the answer. Fill the ball with treats or kibble and let your dog check it out. Your dog will have to push, paw, and roll the ball for the food to fall out. It’s ideal for dogs that need additional mental stimulation and for those dogs who may eat too fast. You can also adjust the difficulty as your dog learns.
    Find the Interactive IQ Ball on Amazon
  2. Nerf Spiral Squeak Football

    If watching the game isn’t enough with your canine best friend, then pick up this toy and throw those long passes. The football is made from rubber and is brightly colored so you can find it in the grass or twilight hours. It has a squeaker inside and is water resistant. This football is great for winter outdoor session, summer, and a trip to the beach.
    Find the Nerf Spiral Squeak Football on Amazon
  3. Orthopedic Mattress Pet Bed

    This bed sounds nice, so nice I bet you could nap with your dog on it. This bed comes in several sizes and color choices. It’s made of egg crate orthopedic foam and has a water resistant base to protect your floors from any accidents. The cover is machine washable and has a fleece top. The foam mattress can also be washed if needed by hand. It’s a great choice if you have an older dog who needs some extra support or if your dog just deserves to be pampered.
    Find the Furhaven Deluxe Orthopedic Mattress Pet Bed on Amazon
  4. Flying Squirrel

    Sure frisbees and tennis balls are great to toss around but what about a squirrel? This toy is made for sailing through the air. It comes in several sizes so your tiny dog or your big pup can play. It’s made from heavy canvas so it should withstand bites and head shakes. The feet of the squirrel glow in the dark to help you and your dog watch its path in the twilight evening play hours. If your dog has a habit of bopping his/her head with a plastic frsibee, this toy may be a great subistute. It’s flexible and won’t hurt your pup.
    Find the Chuckit! Flying Squirrel on Amazon
  5. Wood Pet Home

    This pet bed is awesome. It’s a bunk bed for your small dog. The bottom bunk is a cubby hole and the top is an open bed. You could set this up next to the couch, your bed, or anywhere where your pup wants to hang out. If you have two dogs, they could share. The pet bed is made from cedar wood and can be easily wiped down if there are accidents or if it just gets dirty. The pet home can also be placed outside as a dog house.
    Find the Wood Pet Home on Amazon
  6. 12 Tuff Balls

    Need to replenish all the lost tennis balls in your yard? Get a dozen. These are thick and have an extra bounce. The outer felt is non-abrasive to prevent wearing down your dog’s teeth. Ration them out or dump them all at once and watch your dog go nuts trying to grab them all.
    Find the 12 Tuff Ball on Amazon
  7. Chompion Chew Toy

    This toy is designed for strong chewers. If you wonder if your dog is actually a goat or a beaver, this toy is a necessity. It’s made from rubber and will help exercise the jaw and act like a toothbrush as it help remove tartar from your pup’s chompers. This tough toy is a great teething toy, chew toy, and works well for those small tug of war sessions.
    Find the Chompion Dog Toy on Amazon
  8. Cozy Round Pet Bed

    Does your dog need a new bed? Here’s one that is round for your dog to curl up in. it’s soft, cozy, and sized for the small dogs. It measures about 22×6. The edges are stuffed and act as a bumper or pillow. The bed is washable and is made from polyester.
    Find the AKC Casablanca Round Solid Pet Bed on Amazon
  9. Kong Biscuit Ball Toy

    Kong has a great reputation of making long lasting, tough and durable dog toys. The ball toy has openings where you can pop in some treats for your dog. This toy will keep your dog busy and happy as s/he rolls the ball around, tugs at the treats, and exercises. The ball can be washed and is made from 100% rubber.
    Find the Kong Biscuit Ball Dog Toy on Amazon
  10. Greenie Dental Treats

    Every dog likes treats and if you want to have a treat that doubles as a cleaner these are the ones to get. They help reduce bad breath, fight tartar, and are packed with vitamins and minerals. The treats are made from all natural products and come in several sizes.
    Find Greenie Dental Treats on Amazon

10 Places to Buy Pet Supplies On A Budget

When buying supplies for your pets, there are many places to go and the most obvious one are your local pet stores and big chains. However, if you’re on a budget or just trying to cut down on the number of places you need to drive to when running errands take a moment the next time you’re in your pharmacy, grocery store, or online to see what pet supplies are available. The choices might limited but the quality can be the same and sometimes the price is cheaper.

Here are 10 best places for budget pet supplies:

1: Amazon

Amazon has a substantial selection and has, in my experience the best prices across the board for just about everything. Combine that with free 2-day shipping and a great selection of other items, it is no wonder they are the largest online retailer.

2: Other internet shopping sites

Besides Amazon sites such as Craigslist, Ebay, Freecycle, and other sites offer great bargains on pet supplies. Do not ever buy medications from individuals or un-reputable companies but dog crates, cat carriers, cat trees, dog beds, accessories, and costumes can often be found for your pet at discount prices.

3: Pharmacy

Aside from being able to buy shampoo, cough syrups, and pick up your prescriptions, many drugs stores also sell dog and cat food, toys, brushes, leashes, and beds. The prices are often lower than pet retail stores because of membership club cards and specials.

4: Membership clubs

Places like Costco and Sam’s Club have deep discounts on many things from bulk food to clothing and books. They also often have pet supplies like beds, carriers, and toys.

5: Thrift stores

Want to get your cat a scratching post but don’t want to pay a lot? Hunt around the thrift store next time you’re looking for those vintage jeans or steampunk outfit and see what pet supplies people have donated. You can find some slightly used but in great condition beds, car seats, and cat trees.

6: Hardware store

Some hardware stores have a housewares department where they sell some general cleaning supplies and other things for your house. Some will have a pet section with cleaning, grooming, and food.

7: Dollar store

Your local 99 cent store sells pet supplies and toys. Save a few bucks and get that new leash and collar set, bowl, or squeaky toy that your dog deserves.

8: Consignment stores

a number of consignment stores have a pet section where you can find gently used toys, bedding, crates, and more. The prices can range from being a great deal to being so so but you can find great quality items for your pet.

9: Local animal shelters

Humane societies and animal shelters often have a pet supply section for new parents to purchase supplies. Their prices are comparable to pet stores but sometimes they offer sales and discounts plus the money benefits the shelter.

10. Feed stores

If you live near the outskirts of town, in the country or even in further out suburbs, you might have a feed store nearby. These can be great sources for pet supplies and have good deals because they generally focus on moving larger quantities of products so what they have may be a better deal.

Have other ideas?

Let us hear about them in the comments below!

10 Best Gifts For Your Cat (or Cat Lovers)

It’s time to start shopping! As you go through your list of friends and relatives, don’t forget about your best friend in the world, your cat. Or your best friend’s best friend (sorry, but it’s probably true). If you’re not sure what to get him/her, don’t worry. We got you covered.

Top 10 Gifts For Cats

  1. Variety pack of toys

    If your cat is picky this is a good deal. There are 20 different types of little toys in this bundle. Plastic balls, rubber balls, and a lot of stuffed catnip sacks are sure to keep your cat happy. This is perfect for kittens and older cats. The toys come in a zippered back for storage so you can ration out or collect them back up as needed.
    Find the Fashion Talk Cat Toy Variety Pack on Amazon
  2. Pet Cat Tunnel

    This is cool. If your cat likes hiding under the blankets or scurrying under things, the cat tunnel may be the perfect gift. It has three different openings that lead to a center. The center has a hole where you cat can poke his/her head out of and say “hi!” It’s durable, collapsible, and easy to clean.
    Find the Prosper Pet Cat Tunnel on Amazon
  3. Hot Pursuit

    Does your cat chase your feet under the blanket? Mine do. I wake up to two cats pouncing on me every morning. This toy might distract them from me. It’s an electronic toy that has a mat and a wand with a bead on the end. The wand is under the mat and moves. The movement has several settings and the mat is durable. Your cat may spend hours trying to catch whatever is under the mat or may just dive under… either way, take video.
    Find the SmartyKat Electronic Motion Toy on Amazon
  4. Cat Scratcher

    This cat scratcher is pretty cool. It has several pieces that can be repositioned and replaced. Aside from distracting your cat from tearing up the leather couch, the scratcher can be “new” to your cat each time you rebuild it. Simply stack the cardboard scratching pieces onto the base and rotate them to create bumps and corners or make it a smooth tower. The scratcher stands about 2 feet high and stable.
    Find the Catit Senses 2.0 Scratcher on Amazon
  5. Cat Dancer

    I have this for my cats and they love it. It’s a simple toy made from wire and cardboard. Simple, cheap, and hours of fun. The cat dancer is a lure that can be attached to a wall or held by you. It moves in an erratic way that mimics flies. Cats will jump, swat, and try to bite the cardboard pieces. It also lasts a long time.
    Find the Cat Dancer on
  6. DIY Cat Condo

    Ok, this is a cool house. It’s a cat condo that is customizable based on your imagination. The condo comes with 28 solid panels to create walls, 9 panels that have holes for your cat to walk through, and a cat hammock. If you’re a lego master, this cat condo may be fun for you too. Rebuild it to keep your cat interested and amused.
    Find the DIY Cat Condo on Amazon
  7. Cat Scratcher and Lounger

    Scratching is hard work. Why not give your cat a two in one gift? After the scratching is done, your cat can collapse on the cardboard scratcher and catch some Zs. The scratcher is large to accommodate a full size kitty. It’s light so you can move it around the house as needed.
    Find the Homodox Cat Scratcher on Amazon
  8. Automatic Laser Toy

    Looking for a hands free toy that your cat will play with while you get some chores done? Then this gift might be the one for you. It’s an automatic laser pointer. Simply turn it on, and watch your cat try to catch the ever elusive red dot! It has several settings to adjust the speed and path the laser pointer takes. For best results, place the base on a table to prevent your cat from bumping it or trying to catch the red dot from the base. You don’t want your cat to stare directly at the laser.
    Find the FroliCat DART on Amazon
  9. Vesper Cat Lounger and Scratcher

    Here is a very nicely designed cat tower. It has three rope pillars for your cat to scratch and a top shelf. There is also a cubby hole for napping. Each level has padding for ultimate comfort. There is assembly required. It is sturdy and will last years. It’s easy to wipe down since it’s made from pressboard similar to bookcases and desks.
    Find the Vesper V-Base Tower on Amazon
  10. Fling a String

    This toy is just plain silly. Attach it to a door knob and turn it on, the string loops around in up and down which can drive your cats nuts. It’s perfect for play time. The string is moved by a conveyer belt. When your cat catches the string, the toy stops moving. As soon as your cat lets go, it starts looping again.
    Find the Moody Pet Fling A String on Amazon

Polar Bear Pets A Dog

You may have seen the video of a polar bear gently pawing at a dog. It’s an “awww” moment for sure. There were some questions I had when I saw the video like, “where is this?” and “who owns the dog?”

Turns out, the dog belongs to a man named Brian Ladoon, who owns a dog sanctuary. The video is from Manitoba, Canada. It was shot by David de Meulles, a tour guide for North Star Tours. According to CNET, conservation officers removed a bear from the property of Ladoon a week prior to this video because the bear had killed one of the dogs. However, this polar bear seems more curious about the dog. The bear sniffs the dog, paws him, and does not seem to have any desire to harm the dog. The dog does not seem scared or startled by the bear. In fact, before the pawing starts, the two are sitting next to each other in the sun.

If you haven’t seen the video yet, here it is:

Dog Dictionary

Ok, so if you read the articles on here, you know that sometimes my cats leave me letters on my computer or iPad telling me to shape up or to stop petting that dog down the block. Sometimes they have told me secrets about the lives of cats. Mostly it is just them complaining that they don’t like their senior prescription cat food or the fact that I sometimes try to brush their teeth. Well, luckily I’ve been spending some time with a corgi in my apt complex and have had some interesting conversations with him.

The other night I asked him what dogs think about baths, commands, and other things. I took notes and here’s what I walked away with, a small dictionary of terms.

A Dog’s Dictionary

Bath: A punishment for rolling in the grass. It starts off with warm water which isn’t that bad and the shampoo part is nice too but the rinsing it awful. To survive, dogs must shake and shake and shake to ensure that the rinsing process also rinses the ceiling, walls, floor, and human.

Bicycles: Two-wheeled exercise machines for humans. To get maximum aerobic benefit, dogs must hide behind a bush and dash out, bark loudly, and run alongside; the person then swerves and falls into the bushes. The dogs walk back home happy.

Bump: The best way to get your human’s attention when they are drinking a fresh cup of coffee or tea. Typically use the top of our heads and bump the arm, wrist, or hand. Use the sad puppy dog eyes with a wagging tail to avoid being yelled at.

Deafness: This is a selective malady which affects dogs when their human wants them to do something and the dog would rather do something else. Symptoms include staring blankly at the person, then running in the opposite direction, or lying down.

Dog Bed: Any soft, clean surface. Examples include: the white bedspread in the guest room, the couch, pulling the coat on the floor and laying on it. It’s rarely the assigned dog pillow on the floor.

Drool: Is what you do when the human has food and the dog doesn’t. To do this properly, dogs must sit as close as possible to the human and look sad and let the drool fall to the floor, or better yet, on their laps. Practice the sad puppy eyes.

Garbage Can: A container which neighbors put out once a week to test canine ingenuity. Dogs must stand on their hind legs and try to push the lid off with their nose. If you do it right, you are rewarded with random scraps of food.

Goosing: A maneuver to use as a last resort when the Bump (see above) doesn’t get the attention you require. Your person will usually jump and drop whatever it is they are holding. Very effective at BBQs or a human party. Dogs must walk up behind the human and nudge them with their nose, then step back with a wagging tail and maintain eye contact.

Leash: A strap which attaches to the collar, enabling the dog to lead his/her human around the neighborhood.

Love: Is intense affection, given freely and without restriction. Show love by wagging the tail and looking into the human’s eyes. Love is often returned with head pats and a hug. If the human kisses the dog, the dog is obliged to kiss back.

Wastebasket: This is a dog toy filled with paper, envelopes, and old candy wrappers. When bored, knock it over and push the papers all over the house.

And there’s your short dictionary of dog terms.

Image from Comic Book Mom

Pet Events in December in the USA

Brrrr. The days are shorter and the nights are colder. But this doesn’t mean that you and your canine buddy can’t go out and meet other pets and their owners. The holidays can become quite busy for us and our pets may wonder what the decorations and running around is all about. Take a day and spend it with your dog at a pet friendly event near you. Many of them benefit your local pet rescue organizations or shelters and you may find an awesome toy or new treats that your pet will just love.

Check out some of the events listed below and if you’re not near these, check with your local humane society and newspaper for local pet events.

With so many pet events across the country, this list can’t be quite comprehensive – at least not without your help. Is your pet event, or one in your area, missing from our list? Please help us update this list to keep it current by leaving the information in a comment below!

Pet Events in the USA – December 2016

Stuff-A-Stocking at PetSmart

When: December 3-4, 2016 12pm to 4pm
Where: PetSmart 2076 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Charleston, SC
Admission: Free
More information: (843) 573-9220

Come to PetSmart and shop for your pet and then stuff a stocking free of charge with chewy, crunchy, and jerky treats from Milk-Bone and Pup-Peroni. Even if your pup has enough treats already, you can always gift the stocking to another pup in need!

Santa Paws Pet Night and Adoption Pop Up

When: December 5, 2016 6pm to 8pm
Where: 239 Los Cerritos Center, Cerritos CA
Admission: Prices vary
More information: SPCLA

Time to meet Santa! Bring your dog or cat (must on a leash) to the Los Cerritos Center for their holiday picture. $3 from every package of photos purchased will go to help animals looking for their forever homes. If you’re thinking of growing your fuzzy family, don’t forget to check out the pop up mobile adoption that will also be there.

Champions For Change

When: December 10, 2016 4:30pm to 7:30pm
Where: Private Malibu Estate
Admission: $75
More information: Modern Dog Magazine

Pull out your best evening wear and support lawmakers and news reporters who help promote animal welfare. The event will have live music, food, drinks, raffles, auctions, and awards. The honorees are Marc Ching, Anita Krajnc, and Diane Warren who have all worked for animals around the world. The address of the event is private until you purchase a ticket and it is tax deductible. All the proceeds go to helping animals.

Best Friends Super Adoption

When: December 16 – 18, 2016
Where: 125 West 18th St, NY, NY
Admission: Free
More information: Best Friends

This is going to be fun. If you are ready to adopt a new friend, head to the Super Adoption. Meet a bunch of lovable and adorable pets who are looking for forever homes. Each rescue group that is participating will have its own booth and adoption application. Many will have same day adoption so you can head home with your new fuzzy buddy that afternoon. If you are planning to adopt, remember to bring ID, a copy of your rental agreement if you rent to show pets are allowed, and a form of payment like a credit card or check.

Puppy playtime at Unleashed

When: December 31, 2016 12pm to 12:30pm
Where:Unleashed Petco 2302 W. Burnside St, Portland, OR
Admission: Free
More information:

Attention all dogs in Philly: Come out and play! For half an hour at Petco chase white tennis balls, run in packs, and burn off some of the extra treats you got for the holidays. This play time is for puppies 8 weeks to 6 months of age. It’s a safe environment to learn social skills and meet new friends. There will be dog trainer on site to help facilitate the event and answer any questions you have about training your new buddy.

Crumbs & Whiskers Opens in LA

Cat cafes have slowly been opening up in cities across the U.S. The latest cafe is now in LA. It’s a chain, owned by Kanchan Singh, with one cafe in DC and now as of September, the second one in west Los Angeles.

Singh first became inspired to open a cat cafe after she visited Chiang Mai, Thailand and spent some time at a cat cafe there. She returned home and thought about how a cat cafe could positively impact shelter cats needing a home and people who may need to take a break and grab some coffee and pet a cat.

The cats at the LA cafe are from Karma Rescue. The cats have free reign over the area and there are staff on hand at all times. For those who wish to visit, a reservation is necessary. The prices start at $22 for about 75 minutes of time to spend with the cats. Crumbs & Whiskers asks that customers allow the cats to come to them, rather than picking one up or possibly bugging a cat who may need some quiet time.

The cafe is another outlet for rescue cats to find loving homes. Those who visit and want to adopt can fill out an online application with Karma Rescue. The applicants are then screened and contacted for additional information. If everything is cool, the cat has a new home.

Crumbs & Whiskers is located at 7924 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA and is open from 11am to 7:45pm. For more information visit their website at: Crumbs & Whiskers.

Thanksgiving Pet Tips

It’s almost Thanksgiving, and for pet owners that means in addition to thinking about how we’ll handle our own excesses over the holiday we need to be aware of how our pets will deal with it, too. This can be a really hectic time, with more people in the house than usual, so it’s important to think about this stuff beforehand – that way you don’t end up cleaning up unexpected messes or emergency trips to the vet when you’d rather be sleeping off your oversized meal in front of the big-screen TV!

Here are some tips to make sure your Thanksgiving is pet safe.

1. Be careful about any turkey you give your pet

If you decide to give your pet a little bit of the big ol’ bird, make sure it is completely cooked and has no bones. Do not offer raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella. If your pet is on a diet or has food allergies, avoid giving any “people” food to him and keep him on his regular feeding schedule.

2. Know what’s not safe for your pet to eat

Just because it’s okay for you to eat doesn’t mean it’s okay for your pet. For instance, onions, garlic, sage, and grapes aren’t good for pets; uncooked bread dough can expand in the stomach and cause abdominal pain; and things like corn and bread are difficult for them to digest. Ask your vet for lists of what foods your pet can and can’t have, and when in doubt – don’t let them have it. If you feel bad about depriving them of a treat, have extra pet-friendly treats on hand.

3. Avoid giving out bones to your pet

Turkey bones may seem like the ideal dog treats, but those bones can break easily, which means they could be a choking hazard or even cause internal damage by cutting your pet’s stomach or intestines.

4. Take out the trash frequently

Determined pets can – and will – go digging through the trash to get hold of those yummy-tasting scraps, especially if you’re being careful about not giving them any. Take the trash out on a regular basis throughout the day, and make your in-kitchen garbage can difficult for them to access or get into.

5. Keep candles and pets away from each other

We often light candles at the Thanksgiving table, which may be one of only a few times each year that we have candles going. Pets are excited enough about all the heady food smells and extra company, so they’re even less likely to notice if (for example) their tail catches fire when they brush by a lit candle. Make sure you’ve extinguished candles when you’re leaving the table, and don’t leave lit candles unattended.

6. Be conscious of the issues when mixing guests with pets

Not everyone loves animals as much as we do, and some of your guests may not want to have a dog or cat roaming around the dining room during the Thanksgiving meal. Not only that, even if your pet isn’t a beggar, that won’t stop your cousin’s youngest kid from handing out scraps under the table (which may include things that are unsafe for your pet to eat). It’s probably best for everyone if pets are kept out of the dining room during the meal.

7. Consider keeping your pet in a separate part of the house for the whole day

It may not be enough to just keep your pet in another room during the meal – you might want to do that for the whole day. Your pets are likely to be more excitable during the holidays, so even if you’ve usually got an exceptionally well-behaved dog or cat he or she may not obey commands once the house is full of new people. If you can sequester your pet in another part of the house during the busy part of the day, that might be a good idea – especially if your pet tends to get stressed out with too much change. You might consider boarding your pet for the day, too – you’ll know what’s best for your pet.

8. Make sure your pet has proper identification

It may sound strange, but remember that anytime you’ve got a house full of guests that means the door is being opened numerous times – including times when you’re not paying attention. If your pet isn’t locked in a different part of the house when Uncle Carl steps outside to get something from the car (leaving the door open because it’s “just going to be a second”), you may not notice he or she is missing until much later. Making sure your pet has ID tags and is microchipped means a better chance you’ll get reunited quickly.

9. Have extra treats on hand for your pets

You’ll be focused on making sure you and your guests have a good time, but don’t forget your pets! Have some special pet-friendly treats on hand to let them know it’s a special day for them, too – dole them out throughout the day, or as a reward for good behavior at the end of a hectic Thanksgiving.

All of us at PetsWelcome hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!