Hilton and Mars offering special amenities for those traveling with pets

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Hilton and Mars Petcare are expanding their partnership established in September 2021, according to a press release. The companies will now offer access to virtual support from the Mars Pet Expert Team (PET) during their stay via Mars PET On-Demand—an online service to answer questions related to traveling with your cat or dog—at more than 4,600 hotels in Hilton’s portfolio across the U.S. and Canada.

This service is available across Hilton’s seven pet-friendly brands: Canopy by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton.

Perfect Pet-Friendly Stays
Guests and their pets staying at Hilton’s pet-friendly brands in the U.S. and Canada will now have access to pet health, wellness and behavioral support resources to answer questions related to traveling with a cat or dog.

The Mars PET On-Demand service content has been curated by a team of Mars Petcare professionals, including behavior specialists from doggy day care and boarding franchise, Camp Bow Wow and trusted veterinary health experts from BANFIELD, BLUEPEARL and VCA Animal Hospitals.

Hilton guests can also take advantage of a special offer from Banfield Pet Hospital, a provider of preventive veterinary care with more than 1,000 general veterinary hospitals in the U.S. and Mexico, with a waived enrollment fee (up to $75 value) for new customers who purchase an Optimum Wellness Plan.

Banfield Optimum Wellness Plans are smart packages of affordable, preventive veterinary services—including 24-7 access to live Vet Chat advice, convenient virtual pet care options, routinely-recommended preventive care like vaccines and physical exams, and a discount on most Banfield services and products not included in the package. To take advantage of this special offer, guests can ask for access to the Mars Petcare online service upon check-in.

“With 23 million families adding pets to their homes over the last two years, this summer will be the first time many of these pets hit the road with their pet parents,” said Jessa Paschke, pet behavior consultant, Mars Pet Expert Team, in the press release. “Through Mars PET On-Demand, we hope to be able to provide pet parents peace of mind through on-demand articles and one-on-one advice to make the whole travel experience, from packing to settling in at the hotel, as seamless as possible so everyone can enjoy their time away together.”

Many of Hilton’s pet-friendly hotels also offer amenities such as pet bowls and extra waste bags. Canopy by Hilton’s Paws in the Neighborhood program provides guests with dog beds, food, water bowls and a “bark bag” filled with a toy, treats and guide to pet-friendly neighborhood activities. Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton team members provide local pet-friendly resources, such as where to find local dog parks, nearby 24-hour vets, pet stores and pet-friendly restaurants.

To learn more, visit http://www.BetterCitiesforPets.com or stories.hilton.com.

Featured photo:

Hilton and Mars Petcarewill now offer access to virtual support from the Mars Pet Expert Team (PET) during their stay via Mars PET On-Demand — a convenient online service to answer questions related to traveling with your cat or dog — at more than 4,600 hotels in Hilton’s portfolio across the U.S. and Canada.

Social media site lets pet lovers connect and share in numerous ways

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“Pet people” might want to check out PETLOVERSCHAT, which, according to a press release, is the first-ever social media platform devoted to connecting animal lovers and owners.

PETLOVERSCHAT was created to connect and strengthend the pet lover’s community through social media. Unique features include:

  • Pet of the Day (headlining a special pet every day),
  • Pet Play Date (where pet owners can arrange a “date” with another pet),
  • Pet Tricks (featuring special pet talents and skills),
  • Pet Wedding Album (memorializing pet marriage),
  • Pet Lost & Found (where those who have lost or found a pet can create a post and facilitate the reunification of the pet and its owner),
  • Pet Adoption (where users can create a post and find a suitable home for pets up for adoption).
  • Our Ad Center utilizes: ad campaigns/packages are designed to generate revenue for businesses of all sizes with real-time reporting of campaign activity.

The website address is: https://petloverschat.com

PETLOVERSCHAT Social Media addresses:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/petloverschat
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/petloverschat
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@petloverschat
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/petloverscha

Many pet owners unaware of safe pet food handling guidelines

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Most U.S. dog owners are unaware of guidelines on safe pet food and dish handling from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a recent survey.

The survey suggests that better education and implementation of the guidelines could reduce contamination.

Dr. Emily Luisana of North Carolina State University in Raleigh and colleagues presented these findings in a recent issue of Plos One.

Multiple outbreaks of bacterial illness among dogs and humans have occurred as a result of contaminated dog food. The FDA has issued guidelines on protocols for safe pet food and dish handling, available online, but the information is limited, and the effects of the recommendations have been unclear.

Dr. Luisana and colleagues surveyed 417 dog owners. Less than 5 percent were aware of the guidelines, and many owners did not follow many of the recommendations. For instance, only one third reported washing their hands after feeding.

FDA tips for preparing pet food include:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water before and after handling pet food.
  • Wash pet food bowls with soap and hot water after each use.
  • Do not use your pet’s food bowl as a scooping utensil. Use a clean scoop, spoon, or cup instead.
  • Throw out old or spoiled pet food by placing it in a securely-tied plastic bag in a covered trash can.

Complete tips are available at: https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/tips-safe-handling-pet-food-and-treats

To better understand the effects of the FDA recommendations, the researchers tested 68 household dog food dishes for bacterial contamination. After initial testing, they divided the owners into three groups with different instructions for implementing food handling guidelines, then tested the dishes again after one week.

Significantly reduced contamination of dishes was found from owners who instituted the FDA’s pet food handling guidelines, either alone or in combination with the FDA’s human food handling protocol, versus dishes from owners who were not asked to implement either protocol.

Based on their findings, the researchers outline suggestions to reduce contamination in pet food dishes for owners, veterinarians, pet food sellers and manufacturers. These include ensuring household members who feed pets adhere to FDA guidelines and including written information on guidelines with pet food sales.


Press release

Luisana E, Saker K, Jaykus L-A, Getty C (2022) Survey evaluation of dog owners’ feeding practices and dog bowls’ hygiene assessment in domestic settings. PLoS ONE 17(4): e0259478. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0259478



Popular Instagram pets release summer anthem

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A summer anthem for the dogs and cats was recently released by some of the most popular pets on Instagram, including @KellyBove, @LouboutinaNYC, @TheHuskyMoon, @SuperCorgi_Jojo and @White_Coffee_Cat.

According to a press release, “Unleash Joy” is now available on Instagram Reels. The music video can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/JZUbAIty8t8.

The “Unleash Joy” anthem is a light-hearted reminder that protection from fleas and ticks comes with the responsibility of being a pet owner. In its music video, Seresto® brings together its pack of talented spokespets to celebrate the freedom that comes with a Seresto collar because, with eight continuous months of protection from fleas and ticks, it’s time to enjoy summer.

“Summertime is about fun, and no one knows that better than pet owners – whether its hiking adventures, playing at the park, or quiet evenings outside relaxing. But veterinarians know that with the summer fun comes an increased risk of diseases transmitted by fleas and ticks,” said David Gosche, DVM, Elanco Sr. Director Technical Marketing. “Elanco wanted to celebrate the fun that can be unleashed, while also reminding pet owners that protection from flea and tick bites is as important as it is easy.”

Seresto spokespets will be sharing how they do summer on Instagram Reels and encouraging dog or cat owners to join in the joy by sharing their pets’ celebration of summer fun. Instagram users can find the original audio from the @SerestoUS Instagram channel and use the “Unleash Joy” anthem to share videos of their pet’s summer adventures with #SerestoJoinTheJoy.

Source: Elanco Animal Health Incorporated

Featured image: Business Wire

Essential oils and pets don’t mix; here’s why

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Essential oils are popular among people for many reasons, but there is definitely need to be concerned about attempting to use these oils on or around pets.

Although many people assume that, because they are natural, essential oils are safe for use on pets, the truth is that they can actually be very harmful.

There is actually a longer list of essential oils that can be harmful to cats, for instance, versus essential oils that are actually cat safe. You can view more information about these lists here: https://www.embracepetinsurance.com/waterbowl/article/the-truth-about-essential-oils-for-cats

And, here is a link to lists of essential oils that are safe and ones that unsafe for dogs (as with cats, the unsafe list is longer than the safe list): https://www.edensgarden.com/blogs/news/aaa-which-essential-oils-are-safe-for-dogs

One example of an essential oil to keep your pets away from is tea tree oil. While touted as having many external uses for humans (from skin care to ear infections),  this essential oil can be toxic to dogs and cats. While most people can tolerate tea tree oil undiluted, the same can’t be said for our pets, according to http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/what-you-should-know-about-tea-tree-oil-toxicity-in-dogs-and-cats: “A report in the January 2014 issue of Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association documents multiple cases of tea tree oil toxicity in dogs and cats.”

But, not everyone follows that guideline or is even aware of the need for caution. A post on Reddit.com pleads for pet owners to beware of tea tree oil when it comes to dogs. The reader noted that her 14-year-old dog suddenly started showing signs of serious illness, which she believes were caused by her mother’s use of tea tree oil to clean the dog’s feet and help prevent fleas and ticks:

“The vet couldn’t tell us exactly why he was showing signs of confusion and almost depression-like symptoms where he didn’t want to be touched and left alone. I strongly believe he was behaving this way because of the tea tree oil. PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT USE IT ON YOUR PETS! Please share and help me get the word out.”

The “depression-like” symptoms noted by the owner of the dog were definitely consistent with what vetstreet.com relates about tea tree oil and toxicity. According to vetstreet.com, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Animal Poison Control Center center data used in the 2014 report noted above include 337 dogs and 106 cats exposed to 100 percent tea tree oil either via skin or orally or both. Out of the 443 animals exposed, 343 (77 percent) “developed an adverse reaction consistent with toxicity.”

Symptoms developed within two to 12 hours after exposure and lasted up to three days. Most commonly reported reactions were depression, lethargy, weakness, loss of coordination, muscle tremors and drooling.

Other symptoms that weren’t as common included vomiting, skin rashes, collapse, coma and elevated liver enzymes.

The study notes that some of the owners applied the oil externally to their cats or dogs. But, another problem with essential oils for pets is that, even when people intend to use oils externally on the dog, cat or other animal, it is highly likely the animal will end up licking and ingesting some of the oil.

As one person commented on the post about the sick dog, “Not only Tea Trea but other oils as well like peppermint, eucalyptus, etc. They’re toxic even when used in small amount and in a diffuser.”

Another person commented that they used essential oils, but were very careful to make sure it was kept closed and away from pets. This person wrote, “When you put it on (feet/chest/bod) put clothes on over it. You don’t want it in your couch, bed, or carpet. 1-It leaves stains 2-your pet may have a severe reaction to it.”

The same person also added that pet owners who use diffusers should put their pet in another room, writing, “I only use aroma therapy in my bathroom, and the dogs are NOT allowed in there ever.

Both keeping essential oils out of reach of pets and taking precautions to prevent exposure of pets to essential oils are good ideas.

But, what about the large number of pet products out there that actually include one or more essential oils, including ones that are considered unsafe, such as tea tree oil? The extensive availability of these products reinforces the misguided notion that essential oils are generally pet-safe and nothing to worry about. While many of these products contain small amounts of diluted essential oil(s), caution is still highly recommended. This includes reading user reviews on sites where the products are sold, as well as consulting a veterinarian about safety before purchasing anything for your pet that contains essential oil.

The bottom line is probably to remember: Your pet is a member of the family and can sometimes even seem like a small, furry human. But, not everything that is safe for humans is equally safe for them. And, while essential oils are popular for a variety of uses in large part because they seem like such chemical-free, natural alternatives, not understanding their possible dangers can be risky at best and deadly at worst.


Pet biobank study will generate data to help with pet care

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Mars Petcare recently announced an unprecedented scientific initiative designed to improve understanding of pet health and disease.

According to a press release, the MARS PETCARE BIOBANKTM aims to be the largest, most comprehensive real-world study of its kind, recruiting 20,000 pets (10,000 dogs and 10,000 cats) across the United States over 10 years.

Key goals: Early diagnosis and preventive health:

The biobank study will generate data to gain insights about pets that are healthy as they age and pets that develop diseases. By enrolling their pets in the study, pet owners will help enable new scientific discoveries to improve pet health for generations to come.

Today, pets are generally diagnosed and treated when disease is already present. The MARS PETCARE BIOBANK data aims to help scientists identify associations of early disease detection. As part of the biobank analysis, scientists will study biological samples, pet health trends, genetic and behavior data over the next 10 years to identify early signs of potential disease and uncover new ways to support healthy development and aging, disease prediction and prevention, individualized nutrition, and health monitoring.

The biobank is part of a long-standing commitment to investing in innovation, science, and technology. The company has a history in driving pet health innovation through the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, which has focused on pet health for over 50 years; and through Mars Veterinary Health, a network of 2,500 veterinary clinics and diagnostic labs across more than 20 countries.

Dogs lead the way  

The study is now recruiting healthy dogs (older than six months and younger than 10 years old) already visiting select VCA Animal Hospitals™ and BANFIELD™ Pet Hospital locations. The study will begin recruiting cats later this year.

Veterinary teams at participating Banfield and VCA hospitals will see pets for annual health checks and collect samples, such as fecal and blood. Once collected, samples will be analyzed by technicians at Antech Diagnostics and stored for future analysis by  scientists at the Waltham Petcare Science Institute.

Pet owners who enroll their eligible pets will receive an e-gift card after the first clinic visit and free annual routine veterinary check-ups, have annual blood samples reported via their veterinary teams, and receive a WHISTLE™ Fit activity monitor for dogs and a WISDOM PANEL™ DNA test kit for cats and dogs.

For more information about the MARS PETCARE BIOBANK and to apply to participate, visit marspetcarebiobank.com.

Featured photo: provided with press release

Company offers way to bottle your scent to help keep your cat calm

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When you ask yourself what makes your cat happy, your own scent might not be on your list of answers, but piles of dirty laundry or your favorite chair might be appealing to cats in part because of scent.

A company is taking things a step further by helping ensure your cat can smell you via a spray.

Animal Science Labs, makers of K9 Comfort Spray, recently launched their newest “anxiety busting formula,” Kitty Comfort Spray, which bottles a cat owner’s actual scent molecules in a highly concentrated formula and blends it with therapeutic grade essential oils.

  • being separated from owner,
  • new family member or pet,
  • illness or surgery
  • traumatic event

Kitty Comfort Spray is 100% natural and plant-based. Ingredients include therapeutic grade essential oils such as Lavender, Geranium, and Roman Chamomile.

Kitty Comfort Spray is available at Kittycomfortspray.com.

Founded in 2021 by Mother-Son duo Leslie Yellin and Cameron Yellin-Falanga, Animal Science Labs developed its inaugural brand, K9 Comfort Spray, as well as a full line of dog calming products that also contain HME®, all available at K9ComfortSpray.com and Amazon.com.

Every purchase includes a donation of dog and cat toys to shelters, fosters and rescue organizations.

To learn more, visit K9ComfortSpray.com.

Source: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pee-yew-you-stinkand-your-cat-loves-it-newest-pet-product-found-the-key-to-a-cats-happiness-their-owners-scent-301564130.html

Summer safety tips for pets

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Rover.com, an online marketplace for pet care, recently released its summer safety guide, a resource guide designed to help both pandemic pet parents and seasoned owners navigate everything that comes with summer.

Each summer safety topic features expert insights from Rover’s Dog People Panelists and a downloadable graphic with tips for pet parents to keep in mind during 4th of July, backyard parties, road trips and on outdoor adventures.

Categories include fireworks, barbecues and food safety, socialization and outdoor adventures.

Fireworks can cause stress for pets. According to a Rover survey, more than half (51%) of dog owners say their pet is scared of fireworks, and nearly half (45%) of respondents saying they are actively looking for new tricks/tips to help their pet cope with firework stress.

Food safety is also a concern for many pet owners during the summer. 18% of pet parents say they’ve unknowingly given their dog unsafe food from a cookout that made their pet sick.

Summer travel plans can cause anxiety for both people and their pets. According to the Rover survey, 1 in 5 dog owners have never been away from their dog for more than a few hours (less than one full day), and nearly three-quarters (72%) of dog owners are concerned about their dog’s separation anxiety when they leave for vacation/traveling.

While it’s great to be outdoors with one’s pets, nearly one-third (31%) of respondents said their dog isn’t comfortable in crowded and busy spaces, such as outdoor restaurants or breweries. Summer also brings questions about whether a dog is a swimmer, and algae blooms remain a concern for dog owners (29%).

To access the complete summer safety guide and expert insights from Rover’s Dog People Panel, please visit here.

Source: https://www.rover.com/blog/press-release/summer-safety-guide/

Company creates custom, hand-engraved jewelry for pet lovers

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Looking for a memento of a beloved pet?

According to a press release, award-winning goldsmiths and hand engravers from Rebus can meticulously create one-of-a-kind images, for gold pendants or signet rings.

“For thousands of years pets and people have formed strong bonds, and these relationships have represented many valued qualities such as loyalty, companionship and unconditional love,” says Emmet Smith, Founder of Rebus in the press release. “An item of jewelry is a very personal, valued possession, which lends itself perfectly to the creation of something significant to recognize and celebrate the importance of the connection.”

Engraved dog rings

Engraved dog, with initials on a landscape oval Rebus signet ring.
Image courtesy of Rebus

Multiple signet ring shapes are available, including the Oxford oval, round, Landscape round, cushion and marquise. Stone set oval signet rings can be carved directly into the gemstone, with bloodstone, carnelian, lapis lazuli, onyx and sardonyx options to choose from.

In addition, one can choose between 9K, 14K and 18K, available in yellow or white gold.

For more information about Rebus, visit https://rebussignetrings.com/US/.


Source: ARTFIXdaily.com

Thinking of a road trip with your pet? Here’s a list of top 10 cities for traveling with your furry friend(s)

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In honor of National Pet Day on April 11, BestPlaces and Motel 6 have partnered to present the best cities in the United States for visiting on a road trip with cuddly companions.

“When you’re on the road it’s important to enjoy the trip, and that means finding cities like these which not only have great resources but also plenty of activities and sights to see,” said Bert Sperling, BestPlaces president.

The best cities for traveling with your pet were selected by analyzing the availability of local dog parks, greenspaces, hiking and walking trails, pet stores, veterinarians, climate, and dog-friendly dining options.

Here are the top ten cities for traveling with your pet :

#1 – Santa Monica, CA:

It’s located right on the Pacific Ocean with hundreds of nearby hiking and walking trails to let you take full advantage of SoCal’s near-perfect climate. And you can share a meal with your fur-buddy by dining at the popular open-air patios.

#2 – Rockville, MD

Rockville is a great place to stop for a while on your road trip, maybe just an afternoon or even longer. It’s a good base for your exploration of the DC area and all its sights, with dog parks, greenspaces, nearby state and national parks, and local veterinarians.

#3 – Santa Fe, NM

Thehigh-desert setting has its own special beauty. Like our other top picks, it has plenty of pet-friendly amenities like pet stores, vets and a dog-friendly policy which allows them in outdoor dining venues.

#4 – Mount Pleasant, SC

Just north of Charleston is the city of Mount Pleasant. Visit or stay as you and your pet travel Highway 17 along the Atlantic coast. And its mild winter climate is a warm and welcoming change to the chilly Northeast winter.

#5 – Newport, RI

Newport has been a popular tourist destination for hundreds of years. You and your pet can enjoy the brisk sea air and pleasant summer climate. You’ll find plenty of dog parks, greenspaces and parks to stretch your legs.

#6 – Gloucester, MA

The fishing town of Gloucester, MA is about an hour north of Boston, and steeped in New England history. There are a number of nearby hiking and walking resources, and plenty of pet amenities available when you need them.

#7 – Richmond, KY

If you’re taking a road trip through the South, you’ll want to consider stopping in Richmond, KY. Near St. Louis and just south of Lexington, it’s rich in history.

#8 – Bend, OR

Bend is fast becoming an outdoor recreation hotspot, with a strong dog-friendly culture. There are plenty of opportunities for your dog be part of your adventures in mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, skiing and climbing. And Bend is in the drier high desert region of Oregon.

#9 – Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC loves its dogs. IBegin your journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which rambles nearly 500 miles northward from Asheville. There are literally hundreds of spots to take a walk or hike through the woods along the Parkway. Or you can just hang out in town and enjoy Asheville’s hip and laid-back, yet cosmopolitan vibe.

#10 – Charlottesville, VA
Charlottesville is located just 30 minutes from the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which stretches to the south along the backbone of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There’s plenty to do in and around Charlottesville too, which is home to the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson’s famed estate, Monticello.

Here’s the rest of the list of the best places in every state to travel with your pet:

-Wasilla, AK
-Daphne, AL
-Bentonville, AR
-Tempe, AZ
-Fort Collins, CO
-Stamford, CT
-Newark, DE
-Tallahassee, FL
-Marietta, GA
-Kailua, HI
-Council Bluffs, IA
-Twin Falls, ID
-Naperville, IL
-Fishers, IN
-Leavenworth, KS
-Lafayette, LA
-Scarborough, ME
-Ann Arbor, MI
-Edina, MN
-Branson, MO
-Biloxi, MS
-Helena, MT
-Mandan, ND
-North Platte, NE
-Derry, NH
-Princeton, NJ
-Boulder City, NV
-Cooperstown, NY
-Lima, OH
-Edmond, OK
-State College, PA
-Rapid City, SD
-Chattanooga, T
-Frisco, TX
-Ogden, UT
-South Burlington, VT
-Seattle , WA
-Madison, WI
-Morgantown, WV
-Cheyenne, WY

BestPlaces (http://www.bestplaces.net) is a source for finding your best place to live. Founded by author and researcher Bert Sperling over 30 years ago, BestPlaces helps users make informed decisions about where to live, work, and retire.

Motel 6 is an economy lodging brand with company-owned and franchised locations throughout the United States and Canada. For more information, visit http://www.motel6.com.

Source: prweb press release