Vol. 4 #3 | September 2021
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Contents PET LIFESTYLES
20 Barkuterie & Baking 22 No More Horror Stories For Black Cats
5 PET SPOTLIGHT 5 MIRANDA LAMBERT: Lifting Up America’s Shelter Pets 11 COUNTRY STRONG! Country Music’s Finest and Their Dogs
PET FASHION 19 Country and Western Tailgating Style for Fall
The Natural Pet Relief Option.
24 Hush Puppy Getaways
PET RESCUE 26 Save The Oceans: Adopting Ocean Life 29 From Racetrack to Retirement
PET WELLNESS 34 36 38 40
Hang Up Those Flip Flops Raw Diet For Felines Loving Our Senior Pets Tricks For A Pet Safe Halloween
clean up with the best holiday gift
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Greetings all! We’re Country Strong! for this Autumn 2021 issue. Celebrating the queen of rescue, country music superstar Miranda Lambert’s immense dedication to the plight of animals in need, we’re letting her lead the way for stories on how we all can care for our pets better, longer and wiser. What’s country without music? We’re not only bringing you up to date on Miranda’s marvelous music but we profiled seven of your favorite country western artists including Pryor and Lee whose recent livestream concert premiered an acoustic version of the heartfelt, “Good Ol’Dogs and God” while it benefitted more than 100 animal rescue groups around the world. Giving knows no bounds with these two alums of NBC’s The Voice. Considering a raw food diet for your kitty? We’re sharing the best options for feeding Fifi. When it comes to decking out your pet in rodeo-ready duds, we’ve got the looks for you. Horses need help too. We profile those who rescue and rehab Thoroughbreds, giving them a beautiful and purposeful new life after the racetrack. Enjoy the change of pace this issue brings, listen to the music we’re showcasing while you tailgate, ride or just play fetch with Fido.
Vol. 4 #3 | September 2021 President / Publisher BILL MASON Editor in Chief Lori Zelenko Senior Editor Melanie Carden Michael La Chance Jennifer Kennedy Monie Schulling
Photography Geoff Tischman Videographer David Katzive
Editors at Large Beth Stern Steve Whitney
Art Director Eric Duncan
Veterinary Editors Features Dr. Lynn Bahr, DVM Sue Baldani Dr. Eric Dougherty, DVM Crystal C. Chan Dr. Jill Elliott, DVM, Holistic Veterinarian Lana Van De Mark Dr. Ann Hohenaus, DMV, DACVIM Debbie Zmorenski Dr. Brett Shorenstein, VMD Executive Vice President of Sales LYLE SELTZER Sales Bill Mason Sr. - Director of New Business Development Brett Caldwell - Director of Integrated Sales and Marketing Director of Operations Kurt Nesheim Internet Presence Scott Cuollo Magazine Distribution The Garrido Group New York Sales Office (646) 259-2651
All the best,
Marketing Coordinator Judith Moskowitz
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Editor in Chief Lori Zelenko with her dogs Bikini and Annabelle. ©Geoff Tischman www.tischmanpets.com Cover Photo by Becky Fluke
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MIRANDA LAMBERT LIFTING UP AMERICA’S SHELTER PETS By Jennifer Kennedy
ountry music superstar Miranda Lambert will never forget how helpless she felt watching Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in her home state unfold on the news from her London hotel room. The most decorated artist in the Academy of Country Music history was wrapping up a European tour and immediately called her parents. “What is happening in Texas?” she pleaded as record rainfall created catastrophic flooding in Houston and chilling images filled her news feed. Two hundred miles north of the category four storm’s landfall, Bev and Rick Lambert were safe in the family’s hometown of Lindale and packing their vans to leave. Instead of evacuating, they were mobilizing volunteers and loading boats onto trucks to head into the destruction. The governor’s office and The Humane Society enlisted MuttNation, the shelter support foundation that Miranda and her mom, Bev, founded in 2009, to provide relief to animals in need - especially in the face of natural disasters. “You can’t imagine what that much water looks like until you see it for yourself,” Bev recalls, “It’s devastating.” “I’ll meet you there. I’m flying out tonight,” Miranda told them as she quickly packed. “You’re exhausted. Can I talk you out of this?” her manager chimed in. “Nope.” was her determined response. The Lambert family and a team of volunteers were “boots on the ground” working around the clock for five days through strenuous conditions and little sleep. There was an urgent need to transport animals from crowded shelters to make room for stranded pets so they could be reunited with their owners.
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“Anyone that is working disaster relief knows how grueling and emotional it is. It was one of the hardest but most rewarding things I’ve ever been a part of. Nobody likes to look adversity in the face but it’s worth it to help innocent creatures that couldn’t help themselves. That’s greater than anything else even if it is exhausting and there are tons of tears shed,” Miranda tells Pet Lifestyles Magazine. They transported hundreds of animals to Oklahoma to be vetted, fixed and later sent to partner shelters to find their forever homes. The 2018 Country Music Hall of Fame Artist in Residence immersed herself in the arduous day-to-day work and instagrammed stories of adoptable dogs to her millions of followers. MuttNation created a social media page and hotline. “We seized the day. The greatest thing is every dog we rescued lived and was adopted. They all made it,” Bev says. She adds there are likely many pets named Harvey and Harvetta out there. This wasn’t their first encounter with disaster relief, nor would it be their last. Years earlier when an EF-5 tornado leveled the town of Moore, Oklahoma just 100 miles from Miranda’s home, buildings and houses were destroyed leaving animals distressed and displaced. The governor’s office granted MuttNation permission to convert the state fairgrounds into a makeshift shelter, complete with a pet bulletin to help with reunification. Bev remembers, “When you see a family come in disheveled, desperately looking for their pet and they find it – it is something to behold. It’s breathtaking. They thought they’d never see them again and then to be able to tell that family that lost their home – don’t worry, we’ll take care of your pets until you get reestablished. You take care of you and they’ll be right here when you get back.”
To further the relief, Miranda joined a star-studded list of musicians for an emotional performance in the “Healing for the Heartlands” benefit concert that raised millions for tornado victims. Last year MuttNation provided disaster relief for the tornados in Nashville, wildfires in California and Oregon and Hurricane Laura in Louisiana. As 2020 created novel challenges, the foundation rose to greet them with innovative support. They partnered with organizations for a historically large Covid-related transport from Hawaii to Washington State and supplied dog food to Musically Fed for struggling music community members with pets. When Miranda’s back-up singer’s dog became ill just as the pandemic was halting live performances, they were inspired to offer a new kind of assistance. The MuttNation Fund at Waggle is structured to help those in the music industry financially impacted by the pandemic with vet bills. The Foundation was recently the recipient of a generous grant from the Country Music Association allowing it to continue providing aid during post-covid recovery. Fans and fellow artists have joined her crusade. Through the Fill the Little Red Wagon program, ticketholders bring requested supplies to concerts and carloads of donations are then delivered to local shelters. Emmylou Harris is part of MuttNation’s new adoption outreach campaign, Love Harder, that aims to bring attention to dogs that are often difficult to adopt. The program highlights the beauty of senior dogs, dogs with disabilities, big black dogs and pit mixes through a yearlong multi-platform effort that will include radio and televised PSAs. Miranda stresses how important it is to open your heart and not overlook these special dogs when searching for a pet, “Dogs choose you anyway, all of my dogs have done that.” Choosing rescue as her platform was no surprise to her animal loving family. Miranda’s most determined mom, Bev, laughs as she describes their holiday gatherings, “There are more dogs than people.” The Lamberts, who ran a private investigating firm, were always “taking in whatever needed taking in” on their Texas farm. The Foundation, she says, “Is born out of our hearts and souls.” From Miranda’s very first dog, Scooter Brown, who slept underneath her crib from the day she was born, the Pistol Annies’ singer loved each and every one of the stray dogs, cats, rabbits and chickens who called her family farm their home. Bev distinctly remembers the first time she saw Miranda “truly live out that compassion on her own.” Bev’s husband Rick found a small puppy with mange and horribly matted fur. Seven-year-old Miranda comforted the dog as they worked for hours to clean and care for her. “I saw her singlehandedly take over the job and immediately take this little animal as her own. She doesn’t just watch, she gets in there with both hands to help.” 6 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
Westin Hefflin- Love Harder Campaign Miranda and Emmylou Harris
Today the Best Country Album Grammy winner is a proud mom to six dogs, two cats, five horses, two mini-horses, and two goats. A sign that says, “There’s always room for one more dog,” proudly hangs in her Nashville home. Her clothing line “Idyllwind” is named after her first horse, Elle Idyllwind. She fell in love with riding at age thirty but describes the experience as “fun and a bit scary at the same time.” The brand of stylish clothing, boots and accessories mirrors those feelings of “taking risks, being brave and trying something new.” Three years ago when she met her husband Brendan McLoughlin, she had a record twenty-two pets and laughs as she recalls telling him from the start, “I hope you like animals.” Although the former NYPD officer was an animal lover, growing up with six siblings in the city, he never had one of his own. Miranda says he’s handled the adjustment with ease and more time together at home with their animals on their Tennessee farm was an unexpected blessing of this past year. “It was the first time in almost twenty years that I’ve had some time off. I think I learned how to balance life better going forward. Push hard at the times you are supposed to and then let it be okay to take time off.” As life returns to normal, she is thrilled to be performing again in front of fans and celebrating her new Nashville restaurant Casa Rosa with friends. The Tex-Mex Cantina is the first on Nashville’s Broadway from a female artist. The nine-time Female Vocalist of the Year is also proud of an authentic new project with fellow singers and songwriters Jack Ingram and Jon Randall. The Marfa Tapes is a raw acoustic album written and recorded entirely in the small, middle of nowhere, desert town of Marfa, Texas. They used just two microphones and did only one take of each song with the sounds of nature echoing in the background. She describes the experience of creating a record outside of a studio, as “very freeing, organic and pretty magical really.”
Miranda, who recently won Music Video of the Year for “Bluebird” at the CMAs, is thankful for the immense platform her career has provided, giving her the resources to support her lifelong commitment to rescuing animals. “I’m glad I’ve been able to use what country music has built for me for the greater good. This is what I am called to do. Holding hands with those that have the same goals; that is my favorite thing. I’m grateful to be able to shine a light on the incredible people I am able to work side by side with. It’s a hard job, I’ve done that kind of work in shelters, and I know it’s exhausting - especially for your heart. With MuttNation we are able to ask: ‘What do you need? How can we make things better?” Bev explains that the foundation doesn’t operate a shelter but instead, “We hold up the arms of those who do. This is where we belong and worth everything we have put in the last twelve years.” Their many valuable programs and mobile adoption events are designed with this goal in mind. A partnership with Tractor Supply Company allows them to sell an exclusive line of MuttNation On the Farm pet food, as well as bedding, toys and supplies in stores and online to help support the foundation. For those hesitant to adopt a mutt, Miranda is quick to point out that she sees the uniqueness that mixed breed dogs offer as a plus, “You get all these amazing qualities of these different breeds mixed into one. I think it’s fun to try to figure it out and wonder about the mystery.” She adds that even if this isn’t the right time in your life to own a pet, there are still countless ways to give back to animals in need. Volunteer at shelters to walk dogs, play with puppies or foster a pet. Even a small step goes a long way to improve the quality of life of a shelter pet.
As far as her own recues, many of which she found herself as strays, Miranda says, “I have a very public job, but they just know me as mom. It keeps me humble and has added so much joy to my life. No one is more excited to see me when I come home than my babies. What I give them is not even close to what they give me back. It’s unconditional love. I love all animals, but there is something different about a rescue dog or a shelter pup. It’s like they know…and they appreciate it forever.” • SEPTEMBER 2021
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MUTTS ACROSS AMERICA ONE NATION UNDER DOG By Jennifer Kennedy
n 2014, growing donations to MuttNation Foundation from Miranda Lambert’s fans across the USA led her mother Bev to come up with a creative way to spread the financial resources needed to help animals across the nation. Mutts Across America was created to award a shelter or fosterbased rescue in each state a surprise $3,000 donation each year. A former private investigator, Bev meticulously researches each organization before choosing, along with other Board members, which outstanding nonprofits to honor. The carefully vetted selection criteria ranges from a successful adoption rate and impressive volunteer activity in the community to fiscal responsibility. This year thanks to the generosity of title sponsor Tractor Supply Company, Mutts Across America was able to increase each of the 50 donations to shelters in need to $5,000. Since the initiative’s inception, the program has supported more than 300 shelters with over $1.3 million in grants. 2021 Pennsylvania recipient, Home at Last Dog Rescue Director Colleen Scheuren emphasizes that the much-needed funds couldn’t have come at a better time. The rescue was unable to hold in-person fundraisers due to the pandemic, creating significant financial challenges from mounting medical bills. Scheuren feels the importance of their support extends beyond the unexpected donation, stating, “There is a growing need for rescue, advocacy and nationwide exposure for all the dogs in need. MuttNation Foundation has been amazing, very much at the forefront in not only saving dogs, but being a help to all of us in the rescue and shelter community as an advocate by continuing to shine the public eye on our commitment and our cause.” Tractor Supply Company has evolved from a Mutts Across America sponsor and business partner into one of the organization’s largest fans. While MuttNation awards the surprise donations to deserving shelters, Tractor Supply CEO Hal Lawton had one of his own for the foundation– an additional $200,000 check presented to a shocked Miranda’s after the company’s Neighbor’s Club Concert in May. The Grammy winner says, “Tractor Supply’s generosity has exceeded anything I could have imagined. Their dedication to the welfare of animals has always been something I admired – it’s such an important authentic part of who they are as a company and as individuals. I’m so excited about all of the good we’re doing together.” To help support Mutts Across America and other programs MuttNation products are available at Tractor Supply Company stores and online at tractorsupply.com/tsc/cms/muttnation. The lifestyle retailer is the exclusive home to the MuttNation On the Farm line of pet food, bedding, toys, and supplies. A percentage of each sale goes directly to the foundation to promote the adoption and wellbeing of shelter animals. •
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DOGS RULE! COUNTRY MUSIC’S FINEST SHARES THE LOVE FOR THEIR BEST FRIENDS By Lori Zelenko
hat’s a Country singer without their dog? There’s hardly a star or a song who hasn’t written a song about adventuring with their dog or feeling lonely without their dog, loving their dog or losing their dog. PET LIFESTYLES picked five of our favorite Country music artists to share their dog stories, read on to laugh or cry, dogs have empowered each of these artists to be their personal best. They mean more to them than a lifetime of Gold Records and chart-topping singles. Together they are Country Strong! GOOD OL’DOGS AND GOD: PRYOR AND LEE DOG CRAZY DUO “There is no love like a dog’s love for their people. I don’t care how bad your day was or how s---ty of a person you might be that day. It doesn’t matter. They love you no matter what. The closest thing we can liken it to is God’s love for us. We are a little too crazy about our dogs sometimes. We absolutely love our dogs. They are just as much of our family as anyone else, and Doug knew that. So, he ended up playing this song for us that he had just written. And as soon as we heard it, we fell in love with it.” “He played “Good Ol Dogs & God” for us after a four-hour meeting about songs we might want to cut. It would have saved us a lot of time if he had OVERDUE ROWDY COMES TO COUNTRY played that one first.” The heartfelt song has gone and taken on a brand-new meaning for Pryor & Lee, as it now serves as an anthem of sorts for all those Country duo Pryor Lee pride themselves on being devoted dog lovers, in fact, they say “that’s a love worth who work to ensure that pets remain a vital part of people’s lives. singing about, because there is nothing like it.” This deep, In fact, the two showcased the song at a special livestream concert. Partnering spiritual belief is the backbone of the country duo’s new with Greater Good Charities, a national nonprofit organization that benefits single “Good Ol’ Dogs & God,” a song their producer people, pets, and the planet, Pryor & Lee connected with exactly 130 humane Doug Johnson wrote. organizations, rescues and shelters across the country and in Brazil, Puerto Black River Entertainment recording artists Pryor Rico and Canada to take this special song to animal lovers everywhere. Baird and Kaleb Lee are the epitome of how sometimes, Producing the show to raise funds for these organizations, there were no two is better than one. This unexpected discovery guidelines for the help, Pryor and Lee wanted the groups who benefitted came after they were brought together as roommates to use the money “for whatever they need, whether that is for awareness while competing as solo artists on NBC’s singing or to raise money to fulfill a mission that they have.” With the country duo competition, The Voice. In January of 2020, Black River performing a special acoustic version of “Good Ol Dogs & God,” their show signed the duo, and the guys decided on the name “Pryor was “one of the most special shows of the year. To get the chance to do a & Lee.” Then it was off to the races, literally. “Pryor & livestream for so many people at one time and see our song make an impact Lee” kicked off the Daytona 500 with a pre-race concert and later performed the televised National Anthem at in real-time —just amazing.” the NASCAR Bank of America ROVAL™ 400 at Charlotte “Organizations such as these have always been important, but became even Motor Speedway. American Songwriter said it best, “Pryor more important during the pandemic,” Baird wants us to realize. “Pets & Lee bring some overdue rowdy to country radio” as were vitally important for all those people that didn’t have anyone over the they released their first single, “Y’allsome,” written by quarantine and such. If they didn’t have anyone, these shelters allowed them Rhett Akins, Marv Green, and JT Harding. After 2020 to adopt a dog or cat or whatever they wanted. Companionship helped a lot closed in on everyone, the guys rounded out a mostly virtual radio promo tour, appeared in an episode of of people get through some really tough times.” NBCUniversal and Xfinity’s Camp Tonsafun, wrote and recorded new music, and played a New Year’s Eve show on a Daytona Beach stage facing a rowdy audience multiple stories high on their hotel balconies. With a new year comes new music, and on March 26, the duo released two new songs, “Good Ol’ Dogs and God” and “Carry On.”
This fall, Pryor & Lee are set to hit the road on their Right Now Tour and release new music. For more information and tour dates, please visit www.pryorandlee.com and follow them on socials. SEPTEMBER 2021
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POP MEETS COUNTRY: EXILE DOGS AND THE BAND
Every day is a good day when you are greeted with a wagging tail and unconditional love!! I learned from their example.
—Sonny LeMaire – EXILE
We have had Huskies for a long time, and Zachary has the sweetest personality of any of them. Through the years, I never saw him angry at me or any of our other dogs or even cats. He is such a good boy that when one of our other Huskies became blind, Zachary watched out for him. —Marlon Hargis - EXILE
I love Bella and Toastie because they always seem glad to see me, it is so rewarding the way they appreciate my affection. And the reverse is true! Dog’s rule! —J.P. Pennington - EXILE
Marlon Hargis and his boy Zachary
J.P. Pennington,Toastie and Bella
Sonny LeMaire with Addiebelle, Trudi Petunia and Ginger
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Since Exile formed in 1963 thinking they could play small clubs in Richmond, Kentucky, but their music took off amassing three Gold Albums and eight million records sold. They were inducted into The Kentucky Hall Of Fame in 2013. Two members have been recognized as Songwriter of The Year by BMI and were recently recognized with seven Million Airplay Awards (three were for four million!). Exile is the longest running American self-contained band! Their most successful hit, “Kiss You All Over,” spent four weeks at the top of Billboard’s pop chart in 1978. In the early 1980’s, Exile started to focus on country music with ten No. 1 singles including “I Don’t Want to Be a Memory” and “Give Me One More Chance.” Their hit, “Kiss You All Over” was used in the 1996 Adam Sandler movie, “Happy Gilmore,” and in the 2006 film “Employee of the Month.” They have toured with Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, The Oak Ridge Boys, Kenny Rogers and The Judds. The five original Exile members re-formed in 2008 and continue to tour today. Current members of the band include J.P. Pennington, Les Taylor, Sonny LeMaire, Marlon Hargis, and Steve Goetzman. 2021 celebrates 58 years for the band and 43rd anniversary of the hit song “Kiss You All Over.” Stay current with Exile on their website exile.biz.
JOY TO THE WORLD TALKING DOGS: KENT BLAZY AND HIS CANINE FAMILY
Kent Blazy and his dogs Jessie James, Mick and Black Dog
“Folks talk about how animals have unconditional love, which is true, yet to me the greatest gift is watching them grow into their own personality and how they relate to each family member with that perspective. It is also how they relate to the other dogs in their pack. The joy they bring being who they are in every moment spreads that joy to everyone.” Kent Blazy and his dogs Mick, Jessie James and Black Dog
Kent Blazy is an American country music songwriter from Lexington, KY who now calls Nashville, TN home. His credits include several singles for Garth Brooks, as well as singles by Gary Morris, Diamond Rio, Patty Loveless and Chris Young. Blazy has a total of seven number one hits to his credit. Raised in Lexington, Kentucky, Blazy started at an early age playing rhythm guitar and singing in various local bands, citing The Byrds, Rodney Crowell and Joe Ely as influences. He later played for Canadian singer Ian Tyson. Later on, Blazy met former Exile member Mark Gray, who suggested that Blazy move to Nashville, Tennessee. Eventually, he signed a publishing contract, but the publishing company closed. But undaunted, Gary Morris sent Blazy’s “Headed for a Heartache” into the top five on the country charts. By the late 1980s, Blazy met with a then-unknown Garth Brooks, who gave him the idea for a song entitled “If Tomorrow Never Comes.” He and Brooks co-wrote the song, which went on to become Brooks’ first number one hit. Brooks continued to record Blazy’s material throughout the 1990s, including the singles “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up),” “It’s Midnight Cinderella,” “She’s Gonna Make It,” “Somewhere Other Than the Night,” and the George Jones duet “Beer Run (B Double E Double Are You In?).” He also co-wrote “That’s What I Get for Lovin’ You” by Diamond Rio and “Can’t Get Enough” by Patty Loveless in the late 1990s. Blazy, along with songwriters Pat Alger, Tony Arata and Kim Williams, recorded an album entitled A Songwriters’ Tribute to Garth Brooks, which included their renditions of songs which they had written for Brooks. Other songs that Blazy has co-written include, “You Can Let Go” by Crystal Shawanda and “Gettin’ You Home (The Black Dress Song)” by Chris Young, as well as American Idol season 8 finalist Danny Gokey’s debut single “My Best Days Are Ahead of Me.” Stay current with Kent Blazy on his website kentblazy.com. SEPTEMBER 2021
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SONGS AND STORIES: JOHN BERRY ALL IN THE FAMILY John Berry with wife Robin at Gallatin Theatre ©Moments By Moser Photography
John Berry ©Moments By Moser Photography
MEET CHILD #4 “Bentley is part of our family. He is almost human! Robin and I often refer to him as child #4. He goes everywhere with us: on the road, in the theater, visits with Nana, trips to Lowe’s and Home Depot. The guys in the band have adopted Bentley, they named him the Official Road Dog. One of the band guys created a tour lanyard that is a picture of Bentley sitting in the driver’s seat of the bus. Bentley loves being in the theater while we are setting up and sound checking. His favorite game is for us to hide a toy in one of the seats of the theater. He goes up and down every isle until he finds it. Bentley makes me laugh. He warms my heart, and he is a treasured friend.” 14 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
Grammy award-winning country star, John Berry is gearing up for the release of a new album in 2021 and the 2021 Christmas With John Berry, The Silver Anniversary Tour. He took advantage of being off the road for much of 2020 to explore new opportunities, including partnering with Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt for his weekly series, “Songs and Stories For Kids,” which has charted multiple times on the Pollstar Live Stream Chart. He released a new video and re-recorded a new single for “The Graduation Song,” started a new podcast, Faith Family & Friends with John & Robin Berry and ended the year with his 24th annual Songs and Stories, a John Berry Christmas. In 2019. John Berry celebrated the 28th anniversary of his first record deal. He released “The Richest Man,” dedicated to his father from the new album, “Thomas Road.” All this after overcoming throat cancer in 2019. The accolades and chart-topping hits have been a norm for Berry for some time, he twenty singles on the country hit parade charts earned him numerous Gold and Platinum records, six of which went Top 5 as well as a No. 1 on the Billboard and Radio & Records country chart not to mention a GRAMMY Nomination and win. He was nominated for CMA Vocal Event of the Year for “Long Haired Country Boy” with Charlie Daniels and Hal Ketchum. Both fans and media took note when “There He Goes” was released as a duet with Patsy Cline. Berry’s two most recent albums, ‘What I Love The Most” and his holiday album, Christmas, can be downloaded from his website, iTunes, and other digital platforms. Follow John at johnberry.com.
LESSONS LEARNED: JEANNIE SEELEY EMPOWERED BY LOVE
Jeannie Seely and Shadpoke
Jeannie Seely Opry ©Moments By Moser Photograph
THOROUGHLY MODERN JEANNIE Known as “Miss Country Soul,” Jeannie Seely will celebrate 54 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry on Sept 16, 2021. Her current album, “An American Classic,” includes her duet with Willie
“From the very beginning, Shadpoke had a tremendous job ahead of him. I found him on the street, filthy, injured, hungry and afraid…he had a rough job just trying to get well following surgery, but he made it. By then his sister, Love, a 5 lb. Maltese, was in the end stages of her battle with cancer. It became his job to watch her, whenever she got up, he would come tell me she needed me. After the painful loss of Love, it was his job to comfort me. For an 8 lb. Shi Tzu, he shouldered his responsibilities very well. When we heard of a little girl dog in danger of being sold to a puppy mill, we drove to Florida and brought her home with us. We named her Cheyenne. He knew his job now was to take care of her, be her big brother; they were inseparable until Cheyenne and I had to say goodbye to him. He taught me that you could love more than one dog, but I will always treasure the life and times of Shadpoke.”
Nelson, “Not A Dry Eye in The House.” In her six decade career, there’s been no shortage of chart-topping songs from her 1966 Top 10 Billboard album, “The Seely Style,” to her most recent self–produced album, “Written In Song,” a CD project recorded by Country Music Hall of Famers, legends including Ernest Tubb, Dottie West, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Faron Young, Jack Greene, Little Jimmy Dickens, Chris LeDoux, Ray Price and more. She earned a Grammy for her recording of “Don’t Touch Me” in 1967 and in 2018 Seely was honored to receive a star on the famed Music City Walk of Fame. Ranking #2 in Billboard’s Top TV Songs Chart for January 2018, her song “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand),” was originally written in 1964 and recorded by Irma Thomas. The song is the trailer theme song for “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” It inspired Seal and Boyz II Men to record their own versions and is featured in the Netflix science fiction anthology, “Black Mirror. “ Working tirelessly behind the scenes on behalf of fellow artists and musicians, Seely is says, music critic Robert K. Oermann, “one of country’s most completely modern female personalities.” Keep up with all things Jeannie Seely at jeannieseely.com. SEPTEMBER 2021
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MAKING MERRY: ALLIE COLLEEN AND HER XMAS PUP
THE GLORIA STEINEM OF COUNTRY: SIMONE REYES
“To me one of most special things about Merry is something I often run into with rescues, it’s their tremendous ability to love despite what they have been through. Merry (short for Merry Christmas) was scheduled to be euthanized December 26th. Even though she came from a very unsafe environment and has, to this day, a lot of mental and physical issues, one thing is for sure, I have never had a more loving and protective dog than Merry.”
“I like to call pets ‘companion animals’ and instead of owner I call myself ‘guardian’ or ‘parent.’ Companion animals mean everything to me. I truly believe that they are lifelines. I have known people who suffer from depression (even suicidal) who credit the presence of their companion animal as vital players in their journey towards healing.”
Allie Colleen and Merry
LAYERS OF LOVE The room never fails to fall silent when Allie Colleen begins to sing about the layers of love and heartbreak that have shaped her. One of her original songs, Close Enough, gained more than 715K views on YouTube and a number of her songs and videos have gone viral. Persistently working to alongside top industry professionals, she performs at venues around Nashville and nationally. Allie Colleen’s debut single, “Work in Progress” is a sweet sentimental ode to her introduction to the music industry. Her first radio single, “Ain’t The Only Hell (My Momma Raised),” broke the top 30 on Music Row Breakout Chart and landed at number 9 on CDX TRACtion True Indie Chart. Her well-received debut album, STONES, is a popular downland and her live shows premiere future digital singles, “Playin’ House,” “Don’t Give Your Heart To A Cowboy,” “Make Me A Man,” “Pink Lemonade,” and “Only Oklahoma.” Stay current with everything Allie Colleen on her website: alliecolleenmusic.com. 16 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
“For me, having an animal companion is the difference between feeling lonely or supported, feeling sad or happy, feeling misunderstood or seen. They are the light in the dark.” Simone has boldly shed her clothes for PETA’s “Rather Go Naked” demonstrations and Stray Cat Alliance and earned recognition as “The Gloria Steinem of the Animal Rights Movement.” She is a well-known speaker on animal rights at events such as TedX, The Seed in NYC, WorldFest and the National Animal Rights Conference, appearing alongside founding leaders in the animal rights movement. Simone is a 20+ year vegan and has been a grassroots animal rights activist for most of her adult life.
FROM HIP HOP TO COUNTRY New York City native Simone Reyes may have gotten her start in hip hop but her dream and her passion is country music. She is dedicated to honoring the timeless country sound of her idols such as Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, and others with her songs which have contemporary appeal and authentic true country roots. Her music is available on iTunes and on major streaming platforms, Spotify, Apple Music and iHeart Radio. Simone, who is of Irish/Asian/Spanish descent is also an exreality star, world renowned animal activist, TEDx speaker and author. Gratefully proving that dreams don’t have an expiration date, Simone now spends time in the studio recording /co-writing songs, conceptualizing music videos and letting her voice finally be heard. It is her prayer that she will lead by example for others, especially women, who have a song in their heart that has yet to be heard and whose time has come to fly. To keep up to date on Simone Reyes, simonereyes.com. •
With an architect at our helm, Square Paws designs unique environments from concept to installation. In 2019, when North Shore Animal League America wanted to create something special to honor Billy Joel, they called on us to conceive and produce two free-roaming cat rooms, such as the Piano Man room pictured here.
What can we create for you?
a tailored approach to pet furniture
COUNTRY-WESTERN FALL FASHION FOR YOUR TAILGATING PET By Crystal C. Long
all is the favorite season of many, and it’s easy to see why: this season is all about pumpkin everything, hot apple cider, Thanksgiving, and best of all - the fall fashion! Besides, when the Fall season is upon us, who can forget the good ole’ American pastime, football – yes folks, it’s football season! Whether it’s tailgating with your four-legged best friend or going for a good romp at the park to play in fallen autumn leaves, why limit the dressing-up-in-cute-fall-fashion to just us humans? Read on for our favorite fall fashion for our furry friends guaranteed to make you, um, fall in love! (no pun intended!) IT’S TIME FOR TEAM SPIRIT COUNTRY-WESTERN LOVE Root for your favorite team alongside your favorite furry friend with this NFL dog t-shirt from Pets First. Made with a 100% poly-cotton blend with handsome, striking stitching details, not only will your pup feel great, he’ll look great too. With 25+ teams to choose from, your pup will no doubt shine on game day in this officially licensed NFL t-shirt. Info: chewy.com.
Have your pup saying “Yee Haw!” with this Lucky Star Dress & Tank from Pet Flys. This tank and dress are full of southern charm with a beautiful bedazzled horseshoe design encasing a blue rhinestone heart in the middle. Pair with a cowboy hat and a bandana for a country-western look that is sure to dazzle. Info: bloomingtailsdogboutique.com.
A PET’S FAVORITE THINGS
Transform your furry boo into an adorable buckaroo. Your cat or dog will be ready for the rodeo with this country-western ensemble featuring an adjustable cowboy hat, built-in bandana and faux lasso. Plus the front walking style doesn’t get in the way of a collar and leash so you two can giddy-up for a walk. Info: chewy.com
There’s nothing quite like camo that says country, and we are loving this Furry Boss Camo Dog T-shirt from Bond & Co. With dashing, rugged camo-print sleeves and black piping, this hunter green dog t-shirt features a graphic that shows who’s the boss. Bring out your pup’s wild side with this t-shirt from Bond’s Fall apparel collection. Info: petco.com.
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PERFECT IN PLAID
A denim jacket is a pup’s must-have for the Fall season – versatile, durable, and not to mention, timeless. And it doesn’t get better than the Fido Canine Trucker Jacket in seven sporty and sustainable variations from premium denim brand, DL1961. Your pup will be lookin’ good with details like a traditional shirt collar, snap button closures, and a harness hole. Info: dl1961.com.
Inject some Fall vibes into Fido’s (or Fluffy’s!) wardrobe with this Buffalo Plaid Printed Personalized Dog & Cat Bandana from Frisco. Made of an oh-so-soft polyester, it features an easy roll-able design –suitable for four-legged friends of all sizes, guaranteed to become a Fall season staple. Give it extra flair by adding your fur-baby’s name via the personalization option. Info: chewy.com.
Dress your furry friend to the nines with Frisco’s dapper Polka Dot Chambray Dog & Cat Button Up Shirt. With a fun polka-dot print and a little red bowtie, this casual-chic chambray button-up embodies effortless style. Featuring a built-in leash hole and a step-in design, your handsome pup will always be ready to go out on the town! Info: chewy.com.
GAME DAY VIBES
THE FALL STAPLE
The NFL Reversible Dog Bandana is a game day necessity for you and your pet. Versatile, it features an embroidered team logo on one side and a printed name and logo of your favorite NFL team on the other. With over 25+ teams to choose from, this official NFL licensed accessory is truly a winner! Info: chewy.com.
What could be more comfy for faithful Fido than a Flannel Plaid Button-Up Look Pet Shirt from The Worthy Dog? Made with soft brushed cotton flannel fabric, this Falltastic pet shirt with hook and eye closures allows for easy in-and-out plus nifty details like decorative buttons, mock shirt tails, and a crisp collar. Info: target.com. •
PUP IN BOOTS It’s not Fall for your doggo without at least one pair of cute boots. These Shearling “DUGGZ” Dog Shoes from Pet Life fit the bill nicely in suede with a warm and cozy fleece lining. Sure to keep your furbaby’s paws toasty on chilly Fall days. In five colors (love the brown!), they are sure to please any doggo. Info: petsmart.com.
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BARKUTERIE & BAKING SPOILING YOUR DOG IN THE KITCHEN By Melanie Carden
pecial pups deserve special treats. Whether you want to bake your boxer a birthday cake or create a barkuterie board for the neighborhood dogs, we’ve got all the inspiration and supplies you’ll need. If you follow the trending dog stories on social media, you’ve likely seen barkuterie boards circulating. Charcuterie-style snack boards for our besties are a fun, creative way to treat them. New to barkuterie? No worries. Our friends at Polkadog Bakery sent along some tips. When organizing a barkuterie for Fifi and Fido, two divergent technical presentations should come to mind: the Board, and the Magic Bowl. Consider carefully the temperament of your fine guests, and you will know which barkuterie is best. Add a variety of shapes and flavors that includes crunchy as well as chewy. • The Board: plate assorted treats around the rim of a large platter. Add carrots, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, and blueberries to the center. Place two or more ingredients on a teaspoon, and allow your pooch to experience a variety of combinations. • The Magic Bowl: carefully arrange all ingredients into a bowl for each guest. Then…um…close your eyes because it’s about to get messy!
Board in the Kitchen makes barkuterie a breeze with over 15 different dog-themed boards. Your pup will be ready to Chow Chow down on his crafted-with-love snack creation. Info: boardinthekitchen.com/ product-category/dogs/
Fresh-baked biscuits might seem too timeconsuming to bake regularly. Dough ReMia Doggie Dough is a total game changer. This biscuit dough arrives mixed and prepped. Just roll, cut, bake—and rejoice in the wiggles and wags! Info: doughremia.com/
What pairs well with a barkuterie board? Dog beer, of course. 10 Barrel’s Good Sit Pup Ale is a glucosamine enriched malt product (no alcohol) to help our furry friends keep their joints healthy for athletic activities. Info: 10barrel.com/goodsit/
PRESSED FOR TIME
LET THEM EAT CAKE
ITTY BITTY BUFFET
A press-and-go option for making nutritious, homemade goodies for our canine companions? Sign us up! Dash offers this affordable (and super cute!) Mini Dog Treat Maker. It’s a pawsitively genius way to make treats in less time. Info: bydash. com/products/dash-mini-dog-treat-maker/
Bir thdays and celebrations require cake! Heck, even a random Wednesday sometimes requires cake, right? Maybe your Pomeranian prefers peanut butter and your Basset Hound likes banana. Pooch Cake offers three varieties of cake mix. Frosting included, woo-hoo! Info: chewy.com/ s?query=pooch+cake&nav-submit-button=
Polkadog Bakery is a one-stop shopping for barkuterie treats in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. Chips, bits, nuggets, rolls, and more—their options make it easy to create an Instagram-worthy doggo delight. Editor dogs’ favorites include Cod Skins and Chicken Littles. Info: polkadog.com/ collections/dog-treats
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BISCUIT BONANZA If you want to be a Betty Crocker to the Cocker Spaniels, Cooper’s Treats is your path to baking glory. Their powdered biscuit mixes get you one (big) step closer to being top chef. Grab your boneshaped biscuit cutters and get to it! Info: coopersdogtreats.com/
BIRTHDAY SPRINKLES It’s your best buddy’s birthday, but you don’t like baking? No judgments, here. In fact, we’ve got the perfect solution—The Lazy Dog Cookie Co. Their mini cookie cake comes ready-to-serve with frosting and sprinkles! Info: petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/ the-lazy-dog-cookie-co-the-original-pup-pie-happy-birthday-pieshaped-dog-treat-for-a-darling-girl
RED VELVET VIBES
Barkuterie boards are better with a theme, and the folks at Bocce Bakery are always serving up seasonal goodies. September is perfect for camping and fire pits. Help your floofmeister celebrate the outdoors with a seasonal board. Info: boccesbakery. c o m / / ? u t m _ s o u rc e = G o o g l e & u t m _ m e d i u m = p p c & u t m _ term=general+natural&utm_campaign=conversion
Puppy Cake mixes arrive in perfectly pup-sized boxes—ready to wow! They offer 6 flavors including carob and even red velvet. If your goals loom larger, no worries. They also offer ice cream and cookie mix as well as personalized dog cakes! Info: puppycake.com/
FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT
Sometimes you just want the experts to handle it. That’s when you visit Amanda Yu-Nguyen, owner of Barkuterie Boards LLC. Her extraordinary boards are artistic and luxurious. Hand-pressed veggie and fruit shapes and dog-names created out of cheese? We’re totally bow-wow-wow’ed! Info: barkuterieboards.com/
If your big baking plans burn-out, the folks at P.L.A.Y. can help out. Their bakery-themed toys are sure to be a big hit. We think this croissant is the perfect solution if you accidentally flaked-out on puppy baking 101. The Barking Brunch Collection offers 5 plush—Eggs Benedict, Chicken and Waffles, Bloody Mary, Croissant, and Avocado Toast! Info: petplay.com/products/barking-brunch-plush-toys/ •
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BOO! SHOO THOSE MYTHS AWAY NO MORE HORROR STORIES WHEN IT COMES TO BLACK CATS By Sue Baldani
t’s Halloween, a time for carved pumpkins, spooky ghosts, bags of candy and scary black cats. While these aspects of the holiday can be fun, those decorative displays of hissing black cats with their arched backs give black cats a bad rap all year long. What’s Halloween without a black cat? Nowhere near as spooky. Witches’ familiars they may be, but black cats don’t deserve their evil reputation. Some people see them as spooky, or linked to witchcraft, or as harbingers of bad luck. And if there is a cat to be found in a horror movie, you can be sure it’ll be black and diabolical. Think Edgar Allan Poe’s disturbing short story “The Black Cat”, which became a popular film in the 1930s, or the fearsome black cat in “The Legend of Hell House.”
And, of course, witches are often portrayed with their menacing black cats by their sides. Even pretty Sabrina the Teenage Witch had a black cat named Salem. Salem, hmm, what does that bring to mind? Let’s face it, these movies and shows just wouldn’t be as scary or fun with a white angora or an orange tabby purring delicately in someone’s face. Of course, there are some cultural differences when it comes to black cat superstitions. It’s been noted in Japan that when a black cat crosses someone’s path, it’s a sign of good fortune to come. But in many Hispanic cultures, it can be seen as the ultimate curse. Americans tend to go both ways; while some love black cats and their sleek panther-like moves and looks, others tend to avoid them at all costs. Speaking of panthers, according to a study done by seniorcatwellness. com, Marvel’s movie, Black Panther, greatly increased black cat adoptions when it came out originally in 2018 and the trend has prevailed. It has given black cats a 10th life, you could say - they’re now elevated to action-hero status. And Halle Berry could not have been sexier as a lethal Catwoman. Her black-cat ensemble was far from soft and furry; hard-edged and threatening was her on-screen image - not unlike the misperception of black cats in real life. So Hollywood, maybe it’s time to start making more movies with cool black cats and likeable feline characters. 22 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
Don’t confuse allure with danger. The truth is, black cats are just as smart, just as sweet, and just as lovable as other lighter-hued cats. Many have the most beautiful, glossy coat and sparkling green eyes. Even with all this beauty going for them, they don’t always photograph well, which leads to them being more often and easily scrolled by on adoption websites. A study presented at an International Society for Anthrozoolog y conference a few years back found that coat color influences people’s perceptions of personalities of pets. Participants were shown pictures of cats of varying colors, and the researchers discovered that white cats were considered the friendliest, orange cats the second friendliest, and black cats, the least friendly. And, in a survey by Petfinder, their member shelter and rescue groups reported that most pets are listed for 12.5 weeks on Petfinder, whereas less adoptable pets (such as black, senior, and special-needs pets) spend almost four times as long on the site. That’s way too long for these feline friends.
The discerning cat's answer to the cardboard box!
For sure, hissing black cats are often seen as fearsome creatures that haunt us on Halloween. But menacing image aside, give a black cat a chance! So this Halloween, while getting ready for those tricks or treats, go ahead and decorate your home with scary ghosts and goblins and dress up as your favorite scary character, but give black cats a break. Maybe leave those hissing cat decorations stored away in the basement, or better yet, throw them out. And if you feel so inclined, and really want a great treat, stop by your local animal shelter and meet some beautiful, loving and kind, black cats waiting patiently for their forever homes. You might end up leaving with one. Think of a black cat as a healthier alternative to all that candy you and your family are likely to consume on Halloween. Instead of cavities, you all will get plenty of love. Snuggle up with a black cat and no trick, cuddles will be your treat. What could be more scrumptious?
Your furry feline (or small canine friend) will spend hours happily squeezed into this mod box and will look great doing so! The Whisker Box design is based on “compression therapy”, the scientifically proven feline desire for compression, which translates to a sense of calm and security for your pet. Comes in 4 fabulous colors with complementary snap color options. Constructed of antimicrobial nylon canvas with an eco-felt core.
Clean with a damp cloth or lint brush. Easily unsnaps for flat storage or travel. Black cats need wonderful, loving homes, just like other pets. Choose a pet who fits your personality and lifestyle, regardless of its color, and you’ll live very happily together all year long. Take it from me. This author has two wonderful black cats named Boo and Grover who fill her life with kisses, not hisses. Happy Halloween! • SEPTEMBER 2021
www.whiskerandbox.com BORN IN BROOKLYN. MADE IN USA. WHISKER and BOX, LLC
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HUSH PUPPY GETAWAYS TRAVELING WITH YOUR NOISE SENSITIVE DOG By Melanie Carden
love traveling with my sassy Catahoula Leopard Dog, but she really struggles during storms or fireworks. Nevertheless, adventure is a big part of our lives, so I’ve picked up a few best practices along the way. If you have a noise-sensitive dog, it’s always a good idea to chat with the hotel or property before you confirm reservations. They can often give you the inside scoop on any local festivals or celebrations that might involve fireworks. Camping or glamping? Ask if there is hunting or a rifle range nearby. Once you’ve done a bit of research and booked your outing, plan to also bring along some calming support—just in case. These dog-friendly getaways eliminate most of the guesswork and are devoted not just to welcoming your pup—but spoiling them from head to tail! LEDGES HOTEL— HAWLEY, PA
A TINY RESORT—CATSKILLS, NY
Hovering over the gentle waterfalls of Wallenpaupack Creek in Hawley, Pennsylvania, Ledges Hotel is naturally serene. However, that wasn’t good enough for Gracie-the-Labrador—the hotel’s honorary Director of Pet Relations. Gracie has also implemented an official “no fireworks policy.” The hotel’s pet concierge ensures you and your bestie will make the most of your stay with cozy accommodations, walking and hiking suggestions, and extra snuggles. Their hos-pet-ality includes daily treats, a brand new chew toy, food and water bowls, and a supply of waste bags. Guess what? Their second property, The Settler’s Inn, is also a no-fireworks property! Info: ledgeshotel.com/specials/gracies-wagawaypet-package.
Located in the Catskill Mountains of New York, A Tiny House Resort provides a quiet escape for you and your furbaby. They have 15 stylish tiny houses set along Catskill Creek. If these itty-bitty wonders look especially glam, it’s because owner, Bob Malkin, used to run an iconic pop-art store in Soho! Well-behaved pups can say hello to the free-range chickens on their way to the tiny woodland houses and live their best life with their dog park, dog wash, and 1/2 mile of creek frontage. The newest tiny houses even provide a private dog run! Start the day by joining the owners—and their goats—on sunrise walks…or just chill by the creek, enjoy nature, and make s’mores. The large property is known for its peace and quiet—a great spot for noise-sensitive dogs. Info: atinyhouseresort.com.
THE WHITNEY HOTEL—BOSTON, MA Take your Beagle to Beacon Hill! The Whitney Hotel—a 65-room luxe property in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood—offers its Whitney Wags program to spoil your dog. Your regal pooch will sleep soundly on a luxe Plush Lion + Wolf bed and dine in style with a pet feeder designed by architect and designer EJ Tanu. Did someone say complimentary treats? Get ready for some major tail wags—the folks here are serving up delicious bites from My Zone Blue dog treats. The hotel is part of the Independent Collection. Most of the properties within the brand are pet-friendly such as The Rittenhouse in Philadelphia! Though the hotel does not explicitly have a nofireworks policy, Boston generally only has city-wide fireworks on the 4th of July. Hotel staff can answer questions about other local festivals. Info: whitneyhotelboston.com/the-hotel/pet-friendly. 24 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
INN BY THE SEA— PORTLAND, ME Inn by the Sea has welcomed man’s best friend for over 25 years with complimentary stays. Perks include water bowls, beach towels, cozy L.L. Bean dog blankets, and handmade treats at turn down. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on the seaside terrace for al fresco dining—or the fireplace lounge. Of course, you’ll spend plenty of quality time with your dog, but for those hooman-only outings, they offer dog walking and doggie daycare. In chatting with the property, they shared that they can’t remember a time they’ve heard fireworks—but, of course, watch the weather forecast for storms. For one week in October, the pool closes to people and opens for pets only to enjoy! Check with the hotel for details on seasonal beach rules—due to nesting seabirds in the summer. Info: innbythesea.com.
GRAVITY HAUS— BRECKENRIDGE & VAIL
HUTTOPIA— MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
KIMPTON HOTEL MONACO— WASHINGTON, DC
Adventure hounds unite! The Gravity Haus Hotels in Breckenridge and Vail know Fido loves playing in the outdoors too, which is why they welcome four-legged friends with open paws. Upon arrival, dogs can be photographed, and “sign” the doggie guest book, and get set up with their own doggie bed, bowl and treats. The best part? Gravity Haus properties are not your average hotels; these folks have created a cool community of people who live an active lifestyle and thrive on new experiences. Although membership is not required to go to their sustainably-minded hotels, they offer their members additional adventurers, ongoing insider experiences, and special discounts. They partner with environmentally-minded companies and understand the best way to explore is to bring your best buddy along too! They’re happy to chat about local events and answer any dog-related questions. Info: gravityhaus.com.
Fireworks are a total no-no at these woodland utopias. Huttopia offers fresh-air therapy—for you and your furry friend—in California, Canada, the Adirondacks, Southern Maine, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Their Adirondacks location is the perfect spot for you and Fido to rejuvenate. Just inside the “Blue Line” that marks the boundary of six million acre Adirondack Park, and only a few miles from Lake George Village, you can escape to a secluded forest featuring wood and canvas tents with all the comforts of home. When you’re not hiking with your pup, you can PAWS at the on-grounds restaurant, bar, or heated swimming pool. Info: canada-usa.huttopia.com/en/site/ adirondacks/.
Kimpton Hotel Monaco invites you to bring your furry, feathery or scaly family member — no matter their size, weight, or breed, all at no extra charge. If your pet fits through the door, they will welcome them in! Not only will you have access to their concierge list of pet-friendly restaurants, parks, groomers, and pet boutiques, but your room will be adorned with plush loaner beds, bowls, and mats. Courtesy bags are provided for walks, and door hangers alert other hotel guests and staff that your cat, dog, or other beloved pet is in the room. Check with the reservations staff about any pre-planned fireworks in the area; they’re ready to help you select the perfect dates. And don’t forget to attend their nightly wine reception—pets are welcome to join the party at select hotels! Info: monaco-dc.com.
PETITE RETREATS— COAST TO COAST
DON’T FORGET THE ELLEVET CALMING TRAVEL COMPANION Traveling is exciting, but it can be a little stressful at times too. If your dog has noiseinduced anxiety or gets a little nervous in the car or plane, Ellevet Sciences has a full line of CBD solutions to help. Vets highly recommend their line because they work and are also backed by a Cornell University study. Info: ellevetsciences.com.
Get a travel companion for your travel companion? Absolutely, especially if your dog gets a little skittish at times. Calmeroos are more than just the cutest darn plush ever—they have a soothing heartbeat to help calm your buddy during travels, storms, or stressful situations. Info: calmeroos.com.
Tuxbury Tiny House Village in South Hampton, New Hampshire boasts a no fireworks policy, and is one of many dogfriendly adventures offered by Petite Retreats. Presented by Encore RV resorts and Thousand Trails campgrounds, they feature more than 180 locations across North America. You and your pup can enjoy unique vacation accommodations, including tiny houses, colorful cottages, cabins, yurts, and more. Info: petiteretreats.com.
BACK YOUR BAGS We’ve given you an epic list of adventures to tackle with your best bud—from chill mountain vibes to luxe city expeditions. Time to pack your bags—and Fido’s too. Orvis has thought of everything with their Dog Weekender Travel Kit. Pack all your buddy’s outfits, leashes, and medications in the tote. The kit also includes a polypropylene-lined inner bag for storing 4-5 lbs. of dry food and two collapsible, easy-to-clean travel bowls for food and water. Info: orvis.com/orvis-dog-weekendertravel-kit/8T2R.html. •
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SAVE THE OCEANS: ADOPTING OCEAN LIFE By Lana Van De Mark
ver the past few centuries, our oceans and the species that inhabit them have been rapidly facing destruction as pollution, overfishing, illegal fishing, mining, and global warming take their toll. Pollutants alone pose a massive threat each year to thousands of ocean species, damaging the natural structure and compromising the central role of the oceans: To provide humans with the adequate food, water and oxygen supply needed to thrive on this planet. Ocean conservation experts estimate that at least 17.6 billion pounds of plastic enter the oceans each year, and more than 100,000 marine animals die every year from plastic entanglement and ingestion. Many ocean species including sharks, rays, fish, dolphins, seals, whales, sea turtles and sea birds have now become classified as endangered. These species integral to ocean life are on the verge of facing extinction because of the ongoing lack of conservation efforts. The ocean life we share on this planet needs our help now more than ever. If you’d like to climb aboard this mission and seek an alternate way to help beyond a simple donation, then join me and many others in adopting an ocean life. Sea Turtle Concept Trapped in Plastic
Sea turtles are one of the estimated 100,000 ocean animals fatally entangled in plastic every year. Research suggests 52% of the world’s turtles have eaten plastic waste. Sadly, this contamination has placed them on the endangered list. For more information: worldwildlife.org.
WHERE TO GO TO ADOPT A MARINE CREATURE There are many ocean conservation organizations out there that have established ocean life adoption programs. Some of the most respected include: • • • • • • • •
Oceana Marine Wildlife Adoption & Gift Center gift.oceana.org. World Animal Foundation worldanimalfoundation.com. Pacific Whale Foundation pacificwhale.org. Oceanic Society oceanicsociety.org. Aquarium of the Pacific aquariumofpacific.org. National Marine Life Center nmlc.org. The Marine Mammal Center marinemammalcenter.org. World Wildlife gifts.worldwildlife.org.
Even the smallest gift can make a difference. Help save the oceans. Help preserve our planet’s natural resources. Give to get help to the marine creatures who need it - all over the world. My Adopted Shark Melvin
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ADOPTING MELVIN When you think of adopting an animal, it’s probably a cuddly puppy or sweet kitten that comes to mind, not a shark. But believe it or not, you can adopt a shark like our good buddy Melvin, whom the writer adopted through the World Animal Foundation. Melvin belongs to 1 of 111 shark species at risk of global extinction because of overfishing. Around 70 million sharks are killed each year by humans primarily for their fins. Over the past 40 years, shark species such as Hammerheads, Threshers and Porbeagles have lost around 80% of their populations. Despite the reputations sharks like Melvin have gained from humans over time, very few shark species are known to attack humans under unprovoked circumstances. Surprisingly, there are more crocodile, hippo, and pig attacks on humans yearly than there are shark attacks. Yet with movies like Jaws and events like Shark Week, sharks are infamous. Unfortunately more and more frequently, sharks are being seen closer to shore at densely populated beaches where it was once safe to go in the water. To learn more info about sharks who are among the world’s most misunderstood creatures, check out adopting one for yourself. For WAF’s adoption details, visit worldanimalfoundation.com.
DID YOU KNOW… • The amount of plastic dumped into our oceans every minute is equivalent to one garbage truck load of trash. • Plastic waste can take up to at least 400 years to break down, Styrofoam 80 years and aluminum 200 years. • The amount of plastic floating in the ocean is enough to circle around Earth 400 times. • There are currently 500 dead zones in our oceans global-wide where ocean life no longer exists. • A majority of ocean life can’t tell the difference between pollutants and their prey. The result? Marine animals starving to death from clogged stomachs due to consumption of plastic and other man-made, nonbiodegradable materials. • By 2050, it’s predicted that 99% of sea birds will ingest plastic. • By 2050, it’s predicted the amount of plastic dumped in our oceans will outnumber the fish population. • Trout and perch, among humans’ favorite fish, have ingested plastic and microfibers.
Message in a bottle
For more info about ocean pollution facts and statistics, visit condorferries.co.uk/marineocean-pollution-statistics-facts. Happy Healthy Dolphin
THE BENEFITS OF ADOPTING AN OCEAN ANIMAL Little things mean a lot. Consider helping the future of our oceans by adopting a marine animal. Help not only your chosen animal, but the entire critically endangered species, receive the care they need. Aid their recovery and help restore their population through medical treatment, shelter, food and breeding opportunities. Give marine conservationists the ability to expand their research and initiate global campaigns to save our oceans and the marine animals that depend on clean, safe waters for survival. • SEPTEMBER 2021
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FROM RACETRACK TO RETIREMENT A SECOND LIFE OUT OF THE LIMELIGHT FOR THOROUGHBRED HORSES By Michael La Chance
he life of a racehorse can be glamorous—filled with accolades and affection. And with proper care and dedication, life’s not so bad for them once they’re past their prime either! From Secretariat to Seabiscuit, we’re no stranger to the dramatic story of racehorses beating the odds to win beyond our wildest expectations. The life of a racehorse can be glamorous. The accolades and affection never stops when they’re in the winner’s circle. But what happens when the races are over and the horse is ready for retirement? Retired racehorses aren’t just put out to pasture and left to fend for themselves, they need loving, consistent, and hands-on aftercare once they’re past their prime. Thankfully, there are several organizations to help. Before we jump in, what exactly do we mean when we say a “racehorse”? While we’re going to discuss primarily Thoroughbreds here, Kristen Kovatch Bentley, Program Manager with The Retired Racehorse Project (therrp. org), says the term can refer to any breed of horse that competes on the racetrack: “In North America, that is most commonly the Thoroughbred.” Retired Thoroughbreds can have a rich and rewarding life thanks to what’s known as aftercare programs. They can be rehabilitated and retrained, transformed into horses suitable for equestrian sports or teaching children. Dot Morgan, Executive Director, New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program (newvocations. org), tells PET LIFESTYLES much the same. She adds, “The major racing breeds are Thoroughbreds - they carry the jockeys in races such as the Kentucky Derby - kentuckyderby.com), and Standardbreds - they pull a cart at a trot or pace, as in during Little Brown Jug - littlebrownjug.com. Arabians and Quarter horses race at a few places, but not with the same frequency or tremendous national exposure as thoroughbreds.”
SPOTLIGHT ON THE THOROUGHBRED While some Thoroughbreds are raised for riding sports like dressage or jumping as we just saw in the Tokyo Olympics, most are bred for racing. Jonathan Horowitz, President of CANTER USA, (canterusa.org) explains, “The origin of the breed, starting in the 17th century in England, with three founding sires, was for racing purposes.” Although Thoroughbreds originated as racing horses, they are also raised for riding sports like dressage or jumping, Olympic sports with a huge global following. Since they’re bred specifically to be athletes, they are versatile enough to have successful second careers in several fields after they retire. “They have stamina, speed, and heart—all sought-after qualities in sport horses. Racehorses also receive training applicable to a riding career,” Kovatch Bentley adds. Racehorses start their careers relatively young. “I thought a 5-year-old horse was an old horse the same way sports fans think a 35-yearold quarterback is ‘old.’ However, now that I’m involved with retired racehorses, I know there are so many possibilities. The end of a racing career does not have to be the end of a rewarding life for a horse; it can become the beginning of a second or even, third chapter for them,” Horowitz adds. SEPTEMBER 2021
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IN THEIR PRIME We know the horses start racing young—but at what age are they in their prime? “Depending on the individual, Thoroughbreds generally race from age two to four or five, but some may start later, and many race longer. While it’s unusual, you can still find horses successfully racing at ages seven, eight, or nine, and sometimes even a little older,” Kovatch Bentley says. “I would say a racehorse actually reaches its top ability between four and six years old,” Horowitz tells PET LIFESTYLES. Morgan adds that potential racehorses can begin early lessons as soon as 18 months. This varies according to the breed, she explains, adding, “Many Standardbreds race beyond age 10, up to mandatory retirement at 15.” Horowitz adds, “The best Arabian racehorse in the United States, Paddys Day, is a 10-year-old. I’ve known him since broadcasting his debut in Colorado when he was three!”
LIFE IN THE FAST LANE Dot Morgan, who has been associated with racing for over five decades, and married into a five-generation harness racing family, tells PET LIFESTYLES, “Far and away the vast majority of racehorses are treated exceptionally well. Of course, there are exceptions, and those get the press. However a solid trainer and owner will treat a racing Thoroughbred like a hothouse orchid; their every need catered to: blankets when it’s cold, fans when it’s hot, massages and chiropractic treatments to keep them feeling good. Ample human and horse contact, constant grooming, very, very clean stalls, appropriate exercise whether hand walking and grazing or relaxed riding, along with speed work; racehorses in their prime can certainly have a great life.” A Thoroughbred is typically treated like a hothouse orchid, their every need a constant focus. Ample horse and human contact plus time to graze at leisure helps sustain a long and healthy life for them. For most racehorses, aside from the danger the track itself presents, the challenge is after retirement, when they can be neglected. When they are no longer moneymakers or star attractions, the owners may not have the resources or the experience to maintain them. So what happens? Morgan says, owners can “dump the horse on a dealer that will take it off their hands. Then the dealer is going to sell it at what I call a ‘junk auction,’ and that’s where the slaughter buyers could pick them up.”
WHAT ABOUT POST-RETIREMENT? As with any animal, there’s the unfortunate possibility that they may not be cared for past their prime. Some, especially those that have been retired several years, can be found in kill-pens, neglected, and abandoned, or even at junk auctions, a particularly seedy sort of horse transaction. Of course, as Kovatch Bentley says, “Most racetracks have strictly enforced rules regarding connections sending horses to these sales (junk auctions). Efforts are being made to curb this practice. Increased tracing efforts including microchipping (now required for all Jockey Club-registered Thoroughbreds born after 2017). Individual tracks have their own reporting systems to trace where horses are going when they exit the track.” These rules, coupled with organizations that care, help a majority of retired racehorses. “The upper-level horses go to breeding farms as stallion and broodmares. Many mid-level mares become broodmares, as well, just maybe not commercially, but for people that breed to race their own offspring rather than to sell them at public auction as yearlings,” Morgan tells us. Some Thoroughbreds, Kovatch Bentley, tells PET LIFESTYLES, “enter the breeding industry and go on to produce the next generation of Thoroughbreds. A handful can stay on the racetrack, working as pony horses, these are horses used to accompany racehorses to the track or starting gate or to be ridden by trainers to supervise their horses in training. Some are fully retired to pasture life by their connections.” As Horowitz says, “The possibilities are endless for retired racehorses.” Thanks to organizations like those that spoke to us at PET LIFESTYLES, there’s a growing market for the off-the-track Thoroughbreds. They can go on to eventing, jumping, dressage, polo, barrel racing, ranch work, and much, much more. You’ll also see them as therapy horses or working jobs such as police mounts. There’s a growing market for off-the-track Thoroughbreds. There’s not much they cannot do with the right training. You may even find them on the streets of the city as police mounts. 30 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
NOT ALL THOROUGHBRED HORSES RACE! Not all horses that are bred to race eventually make it to the races—some simply can’t cut it. This can be because they physically matured too slowly, never showed any racing aptitude, or suffered early injuries. It can seem grim to think of racehorses that never made it to the races—but the outcome is not all bad. “Much like horses who did race, unraced horses go on to the same second career options; some equestrians specifically seek out unraced horses to restart as sport horses,” Kovatch Bentley says. She adds that while injuries could limit second careers, some have great futures, giving us a recent example of a horse called Business Ben. He was “plagued by an early tendon injury that prevented him from ever racing,” she says, “but that did not stop him from recently competing at the highest level of the sport of eventing.” Injuries can sideline a Thoroughbred early and deter a racing career. But a horse can have a second or even a third chapter with options outside the racetrack, everything from the elite sports to mounts for young riders or family pleasure. Morgan adds that the athletic qualities are also prized in “different equestrian competitions such as hunters, jumpers, dressage, polo, barrel racing, foxhunting, competitive trail, endurance riding, mounted patrol and more, as well as for general family pleasure mounts.” And, as Horowitz says, it’s a great thing when racing connections realize that for some horses, the best options are outside of the racetrack. “Two of the six Thoroughbreds currently on our farm—Super G Sporthorses in Parker, Colorado—never raced. One has been a successful eventer and lesson horse, and the other is a three-year-old that we’re just starting to work with and think has tremendous potential,” he explains.
WHEN ALL’S SAID AND DONE “It’s common to think of adopting a horse as “rescuing” it — but that’s not necessarily the case when it comes to Thoroughbred aftercare. These horses were bred with a purpose in mind. When their racing days are over, most connections work hard to ensure that their horse is in good hands and will have good care as well as a worthy purpose for the rest of its life,” Kovatch Bentley tells PET LIFESTYLES. She adds that while some horses do come from dire rescue situations, thankfully, it isn’t drastic for most. Things like aftercare and adoption are simply “the next chapter in their life story,” as she puts it. And with greater awareness for these options for the next chapter in a former racehorse’s life, hopefully there will be fewer and fewer Thoroughbreds in dire straits when they retire. So, what does she think readers of PET LIFESTYLES should take away from the current state of racehorses, rescue, and adoption? “When you purchase or adopt a racehorse, you are taking on an athletic, versatile animal whose training foundation and natural ability lends itself well to just about any equestrian sport,” she says. She adds that it’s important to remember that the transition and retraining process from racing to a new equestrian sport takes time and skill but is well worth the effort. Aptly closing the interview, she shares a vital call to action, reminding us all that “with an exracehorse, the best question to ask is not ‘what can they do?’ but ‘what can’t they do?’” President of CANTER USA, Jonathan Horowitz a former horse racing announcer discovered riding not that long ago. Dedicated to helping retired racehorses find new outlets for their athleticism, he rides Sorority Girl, whom he announced when she raced under the name Grand Moony. • SEPTEMBER 2021
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DIFFERENT WAYS TO HELP Not everyone can afford to keep a horse—as Morgan says, “it can easily cost $20-25/day,” adding up to hundreds or thousands a month and the vet bills are not insignificant; for many people these costs are not a feasible financial option. However, if you’d like to help sponsor a retired Thoroughbred without the financial burden of actually owning one, there are adoption programs across the country open to donations, they are always in need of funds. You can help make a difference with a quick tap on your smart phone. As she explains, “organizations also appreciate people following them on social media and sharing posts about adoptable horses. The more exposure these retired horses get, the quicker they are adopted. It’s great to see new ones fill those stalls and keep the cycle going.” “Consider a donation to a Thoroughbred aftercare program—the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance accredits aftercare programs all over North America and is a great place to start,” Kovatch Bentley suggests, explaining that volunteering goes beyond simply cash donations. Other services can help too, like office time, property maintenance, or even tech support. For volunteers at the Retired Racehorse Project’s annual event [the Thoroughbred Makeover], volunteers don’t even need prior experience with horses! “There is strong movement behind retired racehorses, and it’s been wonderful to see it grow over the past decade since I first became involved with off-track Thoroughbreds,” Horowitz adds. Ashley Horowitz rides rehabilitated racehorse Columbia Rivr Rose proving there is life after the racetrack for a Thoroughbred thanks to “makeover” programs like CANTER USA.
GET INVOLVED There’s (thankfully!) a good number of racehorse adoption programs across the country. Commonly called “aftercare programs,” they help horses get rehabilitated, treat injuries, and find adoption avenues. “Among aftercare organizations, some specialize in starting the retraining process, they place horses that have begun training in a second career after racing, while others place horses relatively fresh from the track,” Kovatch Bentley tells PET LIFESTYLES. Here’s what a few organizations are doing: The Retired Racehorse Program: “The Retired Racehorse Project takes a market-based approach to aftercare, seeking to educate and inspire equestrians to select a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse as their next competition or recreational partner,” Kovatch Bentley says. The organization achieves this goal through an award-winning quarterly publication called Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine, various educational resources, and training demonstrations produced at horse shows and events around the country. She adds, “We also produce the annual Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, the largest, most lucrative competition for recently-retired racehorses, and a national gathering place for individuals and organizations who work in Thoroughbred aftercare. We’re expecting about 900 horses to compete in this year’s Makeover event!” You can donate your time, subscribe to their magazine, purchase Thoroughbred/RRP logo wear, or make a direct donation. All contributions are appreciated. Find out more: therrp.org. New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program: The largest equine charity of its kind in the country, New Vocations was established 29 years ago in 1992, since they’ve placed over 7,500 retired racehorses in carefully screened and monitored homes. Today with locations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New York, and Louisiana, New Vocations provides “a safety net for retiring Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds through rehabilitation, retraining, and adoption.” With a focus on adoption rather than retirement, New Vocations emphasizes, “nearly 70% of the horses that come in must be rehabilitated from track injuries prior to vocational training and placement.” The horses need additional care before adoption, and frequently, extensive rehabilitation efforts, New Vocations gives them the time they need to heal. Get in touch to help. Find out more: newvocations.org. CANTER USA: For Horowitz, working with retired racehorses came about through announcing horse races. “I became interested in learning to ride and started taking lessons from an eventing trainer on retired racehorses in 2015 when I was 30. Now, I compete with a horse that I used to announce at the races. It’s incredibly meaningful to make a difference with the animals in the sport I love,” he says. CANTER USA has helped re-home over 25,000 retired racehorses since it was founded in 1998. It does so in two ways with 15 affiliates across the country. “One is by connecting racing connections with people interested in buying retired racehorses through a listing service on our website and on social media. The second, is adopting horses directly into our program; we rehab and retrain them ourselves before adopting them out,” Horowitz adds. Get in touch to help. Find out more: canterusa.org.
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Save a Sea Turtle Today! Be a part of history by helping to preserve the future! Sea Turtle Recovery, STR, is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of sea turtles and educating the public on the important ecological role of sea turtles, threats endangering them, and ways to protect their future.
Only 1 in 10,000 sea turtles will make it to adulthood, but you can help change that! Sponsorship Adoptions are just $30 and make a great gift! Your support will help with general sea turtle care including food, medication, vet supplies, etc. Naming opportunities are also avalable.
HANG UP THOSE FLIP FLOPS! TIME FOR A FALL RESET FOR YOU AND YOUR PETS By Debbie Zmorenski
s much as we love the sand, surf, and sun, it’s time to hang up our flip flops, pack away our bathing suits, and shake the sand from our sneakers. Fall has arrived, bringing cooler weather and a kaleidoscope of autumn leaves. Time to turn off the air conditioning, throw open the windows, and push the reset button! Now that the weather is cooler, you and your fourlegged pals can explore together - hunting, fishing, hiking, biking - and the ever popular you rake the leaves and your dog jumps into them! When it comes to living safely and comfortably with your pets, we have done the two-legged work for you. Here are suggestions from PET LIFESTYLES to make a Fall reset as enjoyable as a summer breeze. WHAT PETS? A CAMPING WE WILL GO OUT! DARN SPOT! We don’t want to embarrass Ms. Meow or mortify Mr. Fido but here’s a no hassle way to banish pet odors. We love the pureAir Small Space purifier. Just plug it in and let the combination of activated oxygen and ionization go to work for you. It works wonders on those scents our furry friends leave behind. Info: greentechenv.com.
KIT AND CABOODLE
Company coming? Looking to chase those pet smells from your space? Marlie Mist makes a difference with three refreshing scents: Peppermint and Rosemary, Chamomile and Lavender, or Grapefruit and Sandalwood. Each is a high-performance odor neutralizer made with soothing essential oils ready to re-scent your home. Plus, it’s great to know that Marlie Mist is never tested on animals! Info: paw.com.
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Summer may be over, but mosquitos, ticks, fleas, and more remain. Don’t let these pests ruin your outdoor fun. Sawyer Repellents offers all natural repellents that protect you and your fur kids. So throw that sleeping bag on the ground, walk through the woods, hike the trails with confidence, and keep an eye out for Big Foot! Info: sawyer.com.
Fido may not appreciate a hot stone massage, but he or she will definitely appreciate Spaw Products from Skout’s Honor. When the change of seasons makes Fido’s skin dry and itchy, the Spaw kit is on hand with a probiotic shampoo, detangler, deodorizer, and ear cleaner. Editor’s note: Love the shampoo! Makes my pups’ coats so soft and shiny. Info: skoutshonor.com.
We all know how frustrating pet stains can be. Still trying to vacuum the last of the beach sand out of your carpet while the furballs are trekking in the mud and autumn leaves? All natural Emmy’s Best Pets Odor and Stain Eraser makes cleanup as easy as a walk in the park! Info: emmysbestpets.com.
FOREVER GREEN Imagine if your lawn could be permanently green? Well, it can with Smart Turf artificial grass, an environmentally-friendly solution that’s allergen-free. Best of all, it’s easy to maintain, even when your pets do their business on it. Pets and kids stay clean while playing in the yard, so fewer cleanups in the house. Smart Turf is a win-win! Info: smartturf.com.
PET SPOTS BEGONE When you see your lawn from Google Maps, does it look like an abstract green and brown quilt? Brown spots everywhere from pet urine? Rejuvenate your lawn with Lawnbright Pet Spot Repair, an organic, spray-on formula, safe for you and your pets. It is an eco-friendly way to repair damage and prevent future dead spots. Info: getlawnbright.com.
THE WHEELS GO ‘ROUND AND ‘ROUND Taking a drive with your highway vagabond, heading home from the dog park or from a hike in the woods? Muddy paw prints on your back seat take the fun out of the day. However a machine-washable FurHaven Quilted Car Seat Cover not only protects your car, but it also provides a soft and comfortable ride for your fur kid. Info: chewy.com.
LEAVING ON A JET PLANE
GOTTA GO, GOTTA GO
We may not know when we’ll be back again, but with this soft, airline-approved, expandable pet carrier by EliteField, you and your furry travel companion won’t care. Great for small to medium cats or dogs, this practical and attractive carrier becomes a suite with two expandable sides and three door openings. After all pet parents, you’re not the only one that needs to stretch your legs during a layover. Info: chewy.com.
Travelling to trick or treat? Taking a ride to Grandma’s for Thanksgiving? The Necoichi Portable Litter Box is the cat’s meow. Convenient and compact, it folds down for easy portability. The seamless waterproof liner makes cleanup easier than getting your cat to come when you call. P.S. Ms. Meow will love you even more for taking her along. Info: chewy.com.
SCOUT ON THE LOOKOUT Planning a road trip? That’s no time to let your four-legged best friend be bored. Let them look out the window, watch the scenery go by, and have conversations with other fur-faces at the red light. Safe and sturdy, the HDP Deluxe Lookout Small Animal Booster Seat makes long stretches of highway or country roads entertaining for Fido or Fifi. Info: happydogplace.com.
DIGGING AND SCRATCHING – OH MY! Allergies make it tough to choose what household cleaners to use. Add pets to the mix and it’s critical to find a cleaner that not only works for you but will be safe for your pets. Sensitive Home understands how you want to live with your companion animals, so their products are natural, plant-based and without toxic residues. Info: sensitivehome.com. •
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RAW DIET FOR FELINES KEEPING YOUR CAT HEALTHY AND FIT! By Monie Schulling
our favorite feline’s diet is critical to your kitty’s health and longevity! Dr. Eric Dougherty DVM, Medical Director, The Cat Practice, www.thecatpractice.com states: “Cats are obligate carnivores which means they need an entirely meat-centric diet and very minimal carbohydrates. A wet food diet that consists of high-quality meat-based protein and is also grainfree is a great place to start for a healthy cat. I also advocate for wet food diets since dry food can contribute to a variety of health problems long term and be a contributing factor in illnesses such as diabetes, urinary issues, constipation, obesity, chronic dehydration, and so on. Dry food has a significant amount of carbohydrates as well, so it is better to use it as a treat or as a meal on occasion. Even if cats love dry food, feeding them a diet closest to what they would be eating in nature is more important for their wellbeing.” My cat has been eating the same food for years and seems pawsome! Your cat has not had a choice. Pet food is often targeted to what owners think sounds and looks good and contains food coloring, fillers, chicken meal and many other ingredients that can cause health issues, and you feed what is within your budget and convenient to buy and feed. If you could improve your kitty’s health, energy, longevity and wellbeing; would you? Illness is very expensive as cats age; feeding a raw diet now will help eliminate costly health issues in the future. We as guardians need to ensure our cat has the best food we can provide. Your cats will thrive on a raw food diet! Other benefits of a raw diet are: healthier coats, less hair balls, weight loss if overweight, increased energy, good dental health, urinary health; no crystals, less poo in the litter box and less smell. All of these benefits will save on trips to the vets, medication and increase their life span. My Purrfect feline doesn’t hunt! Even domesticated cats will hunt and kill rodents, rabbits, amphibians and birds when given the opportunity! That said, please keep your kitties inside so they don’t encounter the dangers domestic cats experience outside. Cats ingest very little water in the wild - they instead get moisture from their raw diet. A mouse is 65% water and cats will eat every part of a mouse. A cat’s natural diet doesn’t include any carbs, although cats will eat plants to induce vomiting to rid themselves of hair balls. Is a Raw Diet Safe for my Cat? A raw diet which is uncooked, is what cats eat in the wild. Your kitty catches birds, mice, lizards, and eats the meat, organs, and bones. Raw food has a high moisture content. Raw food is the most nutritious diet for your favored feline, and has many health benefits. Raw diets are safe for all healthy adult cats that have a strong immune and digestive system and no health issues. Check with your vet if your kitty is on a special vet recommended diet and discuss any changes. Raw diets are not recommended for kittens under 4 months. 36 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
Gradual transition to any new Diet. When transitioning to any new cat food, you want to do it gradually so their digestive system adapts. Some cats will adapt sooner, but start by giving them 25% of the new food with 75% their current diet, moving to 50% of each week 2, 75% new food week 3 and move to 100% of the new food on week 4. Once you start your favorite feline on a raw diet; whether you prepare it at home for them or buy raw diets, your cat will benefit by having a more beautiful coat, energy and long term they will experience less illness. You will need to be patient and move them over gradually as they get used to new textures, tastes and smells. Ideally, if you adopt a new kitten, being a great pet guardian would be to start them on a healthy diet at 4 months or over. Recommended Prepared Raw Food One of the reasons we feed our felines the food they are eating is cost, and convenience. You can make a raw diet for your cat; and there are Facebook groups and web sites that will give you instructions. If you love to prepare food, that might be for you, but most of us need the convenience of buying high quality prepared food. Answers™ Pet Food is a nutrient-dense line of fermented raw wholefoods specifically formulated by a nutritional scientist to find the most species-appropriate diet for pets of all ages. Their Complete and Balanced Diet for Cats of all life stages is a complete and balanced raw wholefood diet, with naturally occurring essential vitamins and minerals. Scientifically formulated to provide our feline friends, a fermented raw diet naturally high in protein, taurine, healthy fats, and moisture from raw pastured meat, organs, finely ground bone, and organic eggs. Answers Pet Food provides the biological requirements that cats need, that directly ensure energy, vitality and wellbeing. Answers™ Pet Food is veterinarian used and recommended. Available at Pet Food Stores and Vets – check locations on their web site. answerspetfood.com. Fegnion™ Feline Rare Nutrition is a family owned and operated raw cat food company. Fegnion’s passion, mission, and beginning can be traced back to one of the most beautiful boroughs of New York City-Queens. The line is complete Raw, Feline Prey Appropriate Nutrition your carnivore craves and was born to eat. Their recipes are evidence-based and formulated by a team of clinical pharmacists and veterinarians who share a common goal of delivering the ultimate in feline raw nutrition. Fegnion recipes are meticulously handcrafted in micro-batches by their developers in their Brooklyn facility. The goal at Fegnion is to give cats what they really want and were created to eat, not what’s appealing and convenient to their human parents. What is appealing and nutritious to you is not necessarily good for your cat. What they leave out is as important as what they include in the recipes. They believe that every cat should enjoy all the benefits of being fed true raw, Bio-Appropriate nutrition such as Fegnion. Info: fegnion.com. Bobcat Raw Food is a natural raw cat food made in Houston, Texas. No grains, hormones or steroids. At Bobcat Raw Food, the top priority is using the highest quality ingredients. Bobcat Raw Food was founded on our passion for cats’ health and vitality. Mother Nature intended for cats to eat a diet rich in protein. All of our raw cat food contains only high-quality meats and organs, with added essential vitamins and minerals, and has no grains, starches or added fillers. Bobcat Raw Food is handmade in small batches with only human-grade ingredients, and absolutely no byproducts, ever! Bobcat Raw Food comes in single 3-ounce portions. This takes the guesswork out of the feeding process so that you know exactly how much you are feeding your cat. Delivers locally in Houston, Ships frozen nationally. Info: bobcatrawfood.com. Darwin’s Natural Pet Products offers a line of premium raw cat foods, hand crafted using 100% cage-free poultry and free of grains and fillers. Top-quality ingredients, consciously sourced from farms they trust, recipes formulated under the guidance of veterinary nutritionists to fit your pet’s ancestral diet, and minimally processed meals to preserve the bioavailability of vital nutrients. Darwin’s has a convenient auto-ship program, introductory offers for new customers and free menu consultations. They also feature a prescription kidney support formulation raw food for cats with certain medical issues. Info: darwinspet.com. Stella & Chewy’s manufactures raw freeze-dried and raw frozen meals. Its products include frozen raw, freeze-dried patties, meal mixers, raw coated kibble, raw blend kibble, and treats for dogs; and frozen raw morsels and freeze-dried morsels for cats. Stella & Chewy is convenient to buy as they sell products through a network of retailers. • SEPTEMBER 2021
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LOVING OUR SENIOR PETS By Dr. Jill Elliot
haring our lives with an animal, dog or cat, or for that matter any living animal that we might have as a pet: rabbit, ferret, bird, fish, turtle, reptile, etc. adds tremendous joy every day. We love them and they love us back. However, as time passes, we may start to notice slight changes in our beloved pet both physically and mentally. PETS AND MIDDLE AGE
For most cats, middle age is probably around 10 years old. For dogs, generally the larger the breed the earlier middle age will be. A Great Dane may start showing changes at five or six years old. A medium breed dog, like a Keeshond might show changes at seven or eight years old. A small breed dog like a Yorkshire Terrier might show changes at age 10 or 11. When you start to notice any change in your pet as they age, take them to your veterinarian to find out what the cause might be.
As cats age, they are prone to sleeping more during the day. And you may notice changes in their emotional state. Don’t let this go unattended.
When you start to notice any change in your pet as they age, take them to your veterinarian to find out what the cause might be. Holistic practices can help.
With cats, physical changes to look out for are: sleeping more during the day; less jumping and climbing (due to possible arthritis); missing the litter box and fecal or urinary issues; constipation; gaining/ losing weight; poor appetite; difficulty eating, chewing. Increased appetite; pain on eating; difficulty bending down to eat; bad odor from the mouth; bumping into things (poor vision); dilated pupils (a sign of hypertension); cloudy eyes; decrease in hearing. All of these changes may point to illness like kidney disease, hyperthyroidism; diabetes, etc. As your cat ages there may be changes in its organs: kidneys, heart, liver, urinary tract. The faster you can address this and start on a treatment plan, the better. You may notice a change in the cat’s mental/emotional state. This may look like the cat meowing/howling/vocalizing more, especially at night. The cat may be hiding more, be less affectionate, or overly affectionate all of a sudden. You may notice the cat staring into space, getting caught in a corner of the room, under a chair and not able to get unstuck. This behavior is likely to be associated with age-related changes in the brain.
Dogs too may sleep more and be reluctant to go on long walks as they age. Stiffness sets in with arthritis symptoms and cognitive issues may occur too. There are holistic treatments that can help.
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With dogs many of the same signs and symptoms may be present: Sleeping more, not wanting to go for long walks, not jumping up on furniture, difficulty getting up from lying down, difficulty walking up and down stairs, falling; limping (due to any muscular/skeletal issue); weight gain as a result of not exercising or over-eating; difficulty chewing/eating due to dental issues; bad breath; bumping into things; staring into space; eye and ear discharge increased; cloudy eyes; constipation, lumps and bumps appear on body. Mentally the dog may ask for more attention or be more independent or even be more aggressive. It may seem confused and unable to follow commands as well as before.
If you notice any of these physical or mental symptoms take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Many people wait for weeks and sometimes months to take the pet to the vet, thinking the problem will resolve on its own. Please do not wait and hope.
When you start to notice these changes in your pet, take it to the vet without delay. The problems of an aging pet do not resolve themselves on their own.
For muscular skeletal problems chiropractic and low level (cold) laser treatments can greatly improve the pet’s ability to function at almost normal levels. Acupuncture can also help these pets. In addition, these treatments can also help animals with constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, hyperesthesia, wound healing, mental agility, and more. Adding supplements like Glucosamine can help with joint problems while Omega-3 fatty acids help with skin and overall well-being. Probiotics aid digestion. Aminavast supports kidneys. Feeding a high quality diet and keeping the pet hydrated, all these elements help to improve and sustain the pet’s quality of life. For cats, I recommend a canned diet only. Canned food has 80% moisture, whereas dry food has 15% moisture. The added moisture in the diet helps to hydrate the cat and may help with preventing kidney disease, urinary blockages, and constipation.
Supplements as well as acupuncture and cold laser treatments can improve a pet’s ability to function. Explore these holistic options to improve the life of an older pet.
RECOGNIZING THE SIGNS OF AGING
Good dental care is essential; a lack of dental care can lead to systemic disease later in life. Brush the pet’s teeth; give them healthy treats to clean their teeth; have a professional dental cleaning annually. Be sure they get appropriate exercise. Play games with them. Hide their toys or food-stuffed toys like Kong’s for an extra mental challenge. If you are home cooking, be sure you are feeding a nutritionally complete diet (www.balancit.com). Provide good bedding for pets with joint/back issues. Get a litter box with a lower lip so the cat does not have to step up to use it. Have fresh water available all the time. Get ramps for climbing. Carpets for better traction. Fearful animals can benefit from medication or homeopathic remedies too. If not attended to, it’s likely the pet’s condition will worsen with age. Certainly visit your vet who may have medication suggestions but also, consider seeking out a holistic veterinary practitioner for a second opinion. In many instances, natural, non-invasive treatments can improve and extend your pets life. With all the medical advances in veterinary medicine, many cats and dogs are living much longer. Let’s help them experience the best quality of life possible.
WHEN YOUR PET IS READY FOR HOLISTIC CARE An older pet does not have to be a lazy pet. Keep your dog or cat stimulated. Don’t overlook dental care and assure they are getting a nutritionally complete diet.
For more information on the holistic practices of Dr. Jill Elliot, DVM, at NYC’s West Village Veterinary Hospital go to www. nyholisticvet.com or email email@example.com. • SEPTEMBER 2021
PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE | 39
PETRIFIED POOCHES & SCAREDY CATS TRICKS FOR A PET-SAFE HALLOWEEN By Dr. Brett Shorenstein, VMD, Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic
alloween 2021 is hopefully going to be a lot more like it was in pre-pandemic days: the Village Halloween Parade is back on, and packs of kids will likely be trick-or-treating at townhouses and in apartment buildings again. While Halloween is a treat for humans, it comes with many tricky hazards for pets. Whether you’re heading out with a costumed canine or staying in with a friendly feline, here are some tips for keeping your companion safe and serene on this spookiest of Holidays: • Unless you’re headed out for a costumed pet event, keep your pet indoors on Halloween night! This is especially true for black cats, which sadly, are often a target of people with bad intentions on this particular night. • Speaking of pet costumes, I’m going to be a bit of a buzzkill and say I don’t recommend them for most animals—but I know some pet parents just can’t resist. • You’ll want to make sure in advance that your Devil Dogs and Puptown Girls not to mention Feline Fiends feel comfortable in their costumes: be sure he or she can move freely, that the outfit doesn’t cause discomfort, and won’t block their vision. • It’s also a good idea to remove any bells, noisemakers, or strings from the costume, as they can scare your pet. Keep an eye out for choking hazards too, be sure collars are neither too loose or too tight and take an extra look to assure that no dangling pom poms or other décor can be mistaken for a treat.
Kids will be trick or treating again this Halloween. But fun though the holiday is for humans, it can be dangerous for our pets, black cats are frequently victimized on this Holiday. Black cats are a target of Halloween crazies. It’s best to keep your black cat indoors on Halloween night.
Halloween night brings predators lurking unseen, blending into the darkness. Unfamiliar animals and people too - can spook your pet. Be sure Fido or Fifi is microchipped, that’s the ticket home for a lost pet.
When it comes to pet costumes, make sure your dog or cat is safe and comfortable, double check for choking or other hazards. Go to www.petcostumecenter.com for fun pet-safe costumes. Your Devil Dog or Feline Fiend will love you for the extra care.
• When expecting trick-or-treaters, put your dog or cat in a quiet place away from the door for the evening. Provide treats, toys, and a comfortable place to curl up and feel safe. Don’t let them get worked-up every time the doorbell rings and trickor-treaters arrive. • Keep bowls and bags of candy far out of reach. Chocolate and the sweetener xylitol—often found in gum and peanut butter—can be very toxic to dogs and cats. Kids should also be reminded not to feed candy to pets. 40 | PET LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
• Finally, be aware that Halloween usually means lots of loud noises, decorations, and unfamiliar people in strange outfits that can genuinely spook a pet. • Please make sure your pet is wearing identification, or better yet, has a microchip and that the registration on it has your current information. Should your pet run off or get lost, that chip is his or her ticket home. As always, if you have questions about pet safety, don’t hesitate to give your favorite veterinarian a call. Preparing your pet can be the difference between a happy Howl-oween…and a howling nightmare! The caring team of vets at Abingdon Square Veterinary Clinic in NYC’s West Village (abingdonsquarevet. com) is standing by to make sure Halloween fun is a safe and happy time for all. •