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Special Dog Days

Your Pet Holiday Photos

Jul 20, 2012

Tips for dog lovers while taking your holiday

Family photos always seem to find their way into holiday celebrations. Everyone lines up in their holiday dress and smiles big for the camera. And while most might be thinking that it’s all about the parents and the kids, we can’t forget about our four-legged family members too.

Dogs always seem to have some of the cutest pictures, but that’s because we have to work at it. It can be difficult to catch the right angle or keep your young pup looking right at the camera. They always seem to look away right as you press the button.

What day is it?

Of course, keeping your dog’s attention isn’t the only concern of a photographer, because it all comes down to setting up the right scenario that gives your pup the holiday spirit. So, what type of occasion and theme does your holiday have? Christmas? Birthday? Doggy Birthday! (Celebrating your dog’s birthday is a completely legitimate holiday for dog lovers everywhere). Consider what type of theme you want to capture, then you can focus on making it happen.

That leaves you considering how exactly to put your puppy’s pictures into perspective. It’s up to you to set the moment with the season, which means it may be time to be a little creative. For a holiday picture, you’ll definitely want to make sure your dog is in character. Try going with a theme, and be sure that your dog’s theme coincides with the rest of the family. If everyone is in costume, have your dog in costume as well. Consider theme holidays such as Thanksgiving or Halloween. These are great opportunities to set your dog in a theme, like featuring them with a stuffed turkey or a pumpkin to maintain simplicity. You don’t have to take extreme pictures to capture the moment.

Start with a quality situation

So, what about taking pictures in general? Dogs almost always seem to have an unnatural talent for looking away at the last second. Sometimes you even end up with a little “red” in their eyes from the flash. For starters, getting your dog’s attention and keeping their attention are two very different things. Consider only taking a picture when you first get their attention instead of trying to maintain their attention while you try to get the right angle.

Getting rid of “red” glare is actually much simpler than you might think. The “red” is actually just the reflection of your flash. You can solve this by putting your dog in an already well-lit area, such as outdoors, and avoid using the flash in general.

That brings us to the live-action moments. While getting your dog to sit still for your photographs, it doesn’t really capture what makes our dogs so lovable in the first place. Capturing your dog in a moment of curiosity or an excited jump in the air that says “I’m having a great time” can really give your holiday card some extra spirit. Sometimes all you have to do is follow them around for a while and they’ll present you with the perfect picture you’ve been looking for (dogs can be real hams sometimes).

Are you getting the right angle of your dog? Maybe your photos just don’t seem to put your dog in the right perspective. Of course, you must consider the fact that because they walk on four legs instead of two, they tend to see the world from an entirely different angle. What they see is completely different, and getting a picture from their point-of-view can sometimes give your photo just the canine style you want.

Making a decision

What about choosing the best pictures? By the end of your photo session, you may end up with a plethora of different styles, angles, and themes. Some you may not like, while others can be difficult to decide between. Holiday pictures should really maintain a theme, but if you can catch a great moment that you and your dog shared together, you may have exactly what you need to capture the meaning of holidays. After all, nobody can say “happy holidays” like a happy pup.

Setting up and capturing your dog in the right photographic moment is a fun challenge that will really set the mood for your holiday celebration. Whether it’s an invitation, a family newsletter, or a holiday card, a picture featuring your family with your faithful canine companion will be the perfect way to express a special holiday occasion.

Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember.  After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again.  Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!

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Celebrate National Pet Week

May 4, 2012

This first week of May celebrates National Pet Week, exemplifying the importance that our four-legged friends have in our lives. Whilst all pets are appreciated, those within the K-9 category share their own unique qualities that give them a special place in our homes and hearts.

While our affection and attention should definitely be a year-round experience, this week presses the importance of our obligations to our faithful companions that we love unconditionally. There are various ways we as dog owners can celebrate this unique week and really pamper our pups to show them how much we appreciate their companionship.

Responsible pet ownership

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to influence the importance of responsible pet ownership. While most dog owners love and adore their pets, there are still many people out there that do not practice proper dog handling.

One of these is proper training. Consider the fact that many people attain a dog only to neglect their needs and essential training. They keep their dogs without ever teaching them social skills like the human and dog interaction that is necessary for safety and happiness. These are crucial for ensuring a dog’s effective importance in society, including the ability to not only protect you but help those around you. These key elements in a well-trained dog make for an excellent addition to the world we live in, providing a dog with a happy and purposeful life.

This means that we must educate others about dog week. Because the internet is so influential in this electronic age, we can take advantage of the various social mediums to effectively get the message across. Share, explore, and learn what everyone has to say about dogs.

The press release is one of the best things to post. Saying something that has a predisposition to influence can be a powerful tool in influencing proper dog care and even events. It only takes a few minutes to research and find some valuable information that could help your fellow dog owners, so make an effort to bettering the lives of dogs everywhere.

Party time

The event is what really makes your dog happy. A great chance to explore and enjoy the company of other dogs can ultimately be an effective event in your dog’s life. While your dog runs and plays, you can also utilize the event to share and incorporate other dog owners to help educate them on proper training methods and care-taking processes that can ease and even simplify their lifestyles.

Treats are a favorite for dogs, but always be sure that what you feed your dog is good for them. There are plenty of unhealthy and even dangerous foods for dogs like grapes and other fruits. There are even certain dog food products which have recently proven to be potentially harmful to our pets, so be sure you properly educate yourself before feeding your companion something dangerous.

Amongst favored treats are the homemade peanut butter and banana treats. Online sources can provide a definitive amount of treats you can make at home to help your dog celebrate an exciting event.

While dog parks are fun, be sure that you utilize flea and tick collars or powdered applications to help prevent the spread of any annoying insects and parasites. These precautions are not only friendly to our dogs, but also imperative in preventing the spread of diseases and even worms. Feces is renowned for its ability to spread worms through fleas, so in order to protect your dog and the companions of others, be sure you utilize flea and tick inhibiting products.

Take your dog in for a checkup

Because it’s not always an expense we can often afford, taking your dog to the vet is becoming an uncommon event. Unfortunately for our dogs, this can result in serious issues arising later on that we could easily prevent with a simple checkup. Consider your dog’s health and take them to the vet this week, if only to satisfy yourself with the knowledge that your dog is doing well and in good health.

Dog owners should help each other learn and grow through their own knowledge. As we interact, we can effectively become better pet owners, and will be able to provide the best home possible for our beloved four-legged friends that trust and adore us. Treat your pup especially well this week, because they deserve all the love and appreciation you have to offer.

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3 Ways To Participate In Love Your Pet Day

Jan 27, 2012

Our daily lives can often get so busy that we don’t always have a lot of time to really enjoy the companionship of our four-legged friends. Work, school, and chores leave us a little exhausted with little time to play with and show some quality affection to our dogs. But, this year we need to set some time aside for our canine companions. This February, Love Your Pet Day gives you a special opportunity to really spend some quality time with your companion and give them the attention and love they need to really enjoy life.

Just around the house

Start by scratching them behind the ear just a little bit longer. Then you can move on to more generous ways to give your pup some love. Perhaps you could give them a belly rub and puppy massage. Puppy massages can be a great experience for any dog, especially our older senior companions. It stimulates both blood flow and the nervous system to keep your dog healthy and active. Don’t forget to rub their paws, too! Even the more “grooming” related of activities can give your dog the attention and affection they want. Bath time isn’t popular for every dog, but for some, it can be an experience to feel fresh and get any dirt out of their fur for their special day. You could finish by giving them a good brushing to get tangles and stickers out of their fur (plus if feels great on their skin too).

Playtime outside

As for the methods by which we get dirty again, that brings us to playtime. There are certain places where our friends can’t always run free to enjoy their special day, so try to avoid most of them. Instead, take them to the park where they can be off their leash and play a good game of fetch. Make sure you bring plenty of tennis balls, Frisbees, and even a tug-o-war rope to keep things versatile and exciting. There may even be a couple of friends there that are celebrating the same thing with their canine companions, so it’s your dog’s chance to make some new friends. While you’re there, you can try and teach them a new trick or go through the old ones to keep up the practice. If you’re having trouble finding a place where your pup doesn’t have to be on their leash, you can always enjoy a walk together through the park or better yet- a new park that your pup has never been to before, where they can sniff and explore to keep their senses tuned and their tail wagging.

Give them a treat

Amongst your dog’s favorites is the always pleasing treat. So what does your dog enjoy the most? Perhaps there is a tasty treat that they favor? Or you might even cook up some new ones for your dog to try. Puppy muffins or even banana related treats can be delicious and best of all…new for your pup. When it comes to snacking, the best things are often something they’ve never tasted before, especially when you cook it just for them.

But you don’t always have to stick with the edible treat- give your dog some new toys, too. Chew toys, squeaky toys, and tug-o-war ropes that are new to their environment tell your pup that today is definitely a good day to be a dog. Dogs love new and interesting toys, so you might even invent some of your own. While very simple, few dogs can resist this particular toy, and plus, there’s no stuffing to clean up if your dog likes to pull their toys apart.

Try this: One-gallon water jugs are noisy and hard for a dog to catch, and when you combine two of them with a simple shoe string, it can make for a special, but very noisy, toy that they can chase around and get a little wild with. Just make sure to remove the caps and any extra water inside. You can even hold onto one jug while your pup holds onto the other for a fun one-on-one gaming experience.

Remember that February 20 is a special day to help remind us that we should love our companion every day of the year. Don’t let the fun stop on the 21st. Spend some quality time with your faithful friend every day. After all, that’s why we have them, and they have us.

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National Dress Up Your Pet Day

Jan 11, 2012

Do you enjoy seeing your pup strut around with a cute hat on? Maybe something simple like a handkerchief around their neck to add some charisma to their style? Well, this January 14 is National Dress Up Your Pet Day and that means that your pup has their own special day to get dressed up for the occasion. But you don’t have to stop at dressing up – you can plan yourself a puppy party to make the day fun for everyone.

Dressing up for the occasion

When it comes to dressing your dog up, you should take into consideration personality, weather (especially since it’s colder right now), and general comfort. Since the day is about your four-legged friend, it’s important to make sure that they’ll enjoy the occasion.

Not every pup is going to enjoy spending time in a bulky costume, especially our corgi and collie friends who prefer the cold weather. But they can still join in the fun, so consider something simple or perhaps even a little entertaining like some alien antennae or a “super” cape that they can chase around.

Since comfort is a big part of dressing up (even we don’t enjoy wearing something that doesn’t feel right for very long), make sure that what your pup dresses in isn’t going to bother them. The last thing you want is to buy a nice costume that they’re just going to rip off and turn into a chew toy. Make sure your pup’s costume fits them properly, and that you don’t have any tags or seams that might irritate them in certain spots.

Get creative

There are various costumes, hats, and other charismatic articles that you can buy. But you don’t always have to spend a lot of money to have fun. If you don’t want to go out and buy a costume, go ahead and put your own creative and innovative talents to the test. Maybe that Halloween costume from last year needs a few changes to turn it into something new (and maybe a little less uncomfortable). Change around hats, or add a pair of bunny ears.

Puppy party time

Aside from dressing up, we can throw a party to really make the day enjoyable. Why not organize a puppy party where all of your friend’s pups dress up too. Of course, your pup isn’t the only one who gets to get into costume. You and your friends can join in as well. Perhaps even have your pup go dressed up as a sheep and you as a shepherd. Then, you’d be able to find your four-legged friend no matter where they run off to (and everyone will know who belongs to who). You can even trade places with your pup. All you need is a tail and some doggy ears, and your pup can wear a hat and tie. The leash would only add to the style if it looks like your pup is walking you.

The nice thing about throwing a puppy party is that you can theme it any way you want to. Perhaps an elegant dress-up with a doggy tuxedo to look good for their special day, and there are stylish dresses for the girls, too. Both you and your pup can look nice for the occasion, even if they do manage to find some dirt to roll in. But that’s what the washing machine is for.

Don’t forget the puppy treats to add some flavor to your party. You and your friends can bake your own doggy biscuits or soft banana strips that your pups can enjoy.

But where can you enjoy such costume parties? While dog parks might seem like a nice place to meet-and-greet with other puppy party goers, it isn’t always sanitary or safe health-wise for dogs. A secure location, such as your own backyard or home would be much safer and probably more enjoyable for you pups, especially if they want all those delicious treats to themselves. Plus, you won’t have to worry about someone else’s huge dog knocking anyone down and taking off with their costume hat.

This January, you can celebrate spending some time with your pup by dressing up and throwing a puppy costume party. Have a few friends over, play a few games with your four-legged friends, and even get dressed up yourself. It’s time for everyone to get dressed up and have some fun.

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National Animal Shelter Week

Nov 9, 2011

photoAnimal shelters do more than just hold on to furry critters until they can find a home- they play a big part in your community’s efforts. Along with sheltering our four-legged friends, they also protect against cruelty, animal neglect, locating and reuniting lost friends, and even provide efforts to reduce animal overpopulating through spay and neuter services. All these services take a lot of effort to maintain, and it can be hard with the very little funding they receive.

National Animal Shelter week is dedicated to acknowledging and promoting the role shelters play in their communities. What we can do is carry that torch onward and help support the animal shelters in our community by doing our part to help our four-legged friends find some happy homes and families.

Spread the word

Word of mouth is a well-known marketing skill- and it works. Tell your friends about what’s going on, and bring it up in conversations. Nowadays, there is wide spread use of the internet which is connecting everyone to everyone else. Consider linking your local animal shelter’s information to your Facebook page or Twittering a link to help get the word out. Awareness is often the biggest part of any event.

You can also try promoting your local shelter with the classic flyers and banners. Simple as it may sound, a simple letter or flyer letting folks know what’s going on can really get the word out there. Post them on telephone poles or on bulletin boards so that others can see and know.
Children will someday be adults, so involving them with supporting pet adoption can help them become aware of the world they will one day grow into. Let them know what animal shelters do and their role in their community.

Promote adoption

If you’ve been thinking about adding a friend to your own homestead, November is definitely the time to do it. Tell your friends about adoption as well. Many people don’t know that you can easily adopt a pup from the animal shelter and give a homeless pup a happy home. You can even take a moment to support adoption efforts by clicking the “like” button on the Shelter Pet Project page on Facebook.

Donations to keep those tails wagging

Some of us want to help directly by donating to the cause. Financially, many organizations have made contributions, both big and small, that help their local shelters continue their efforts and reach out to help others as well. A few coins here and there can really add up, so don’t think that you shouldn’t drop that extra change in your pocket into their funds just because it isn’t enough. When you’re helping, anything you can do is better than doing nothing at all.

Supplies!

Donations aren’t limited to monetary amounts. Items such as blankets, towels, and toys can help as well. Often, your local animal shelter will have a “wish list” posted on their website. You’d be surprised at how much a few items can really help, especially with the cold winter approaching.

Throw in a helping paw

Many shelters will welcome volunteer workers. If you have a few hours or some extra time, consider helping your four-legged friends this November. There may be a variety of types of shelters around, so find one that is right for you.

Take a few moments to thank your local animal shelter for the love and care they give our animal friends. And remember, supporting your local animal shelter doesn’t have to be extravagant, any and all help is appreciated. So do what you can to keep those tails wagging towards a happy home.

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Keep the Frights Away

Oct 26, 2011

photoHalloween is nearing, and with it will arrive haunts and treats alike. But, for those that have pups, it may be a little too spooky for our friendly canine companions. Not all pups are ready for all the excitement that one spooky night brings, as masked strangers roam the streets.

Preparing your pup for Halloween night takes a little bit of insight on your part. You’ll need to have an idea of how your pup will act, and if you don’t know or are unsure, it is best to keep them away from the excitement in general. Some dogs can be sensitive, especially when it comes to noises, and strange smells. If you feel that your pup is a little protective, arriving trick-or-treaters will likely turn their protective instincts up. Don’t be afraid to seclude your pup in their crate or a room where they will be away from the front door. But remember that Halloween is a time of fun and enjoyment, so don’t leave your pup locked up without their own fun. Get them a rawhide bone and toys to play with to keep their mind busy. You may even leave a television or radio on to distract them.

Don’t leave your pup alone in the backyard! You’d be surprised at how many children still play tricks even when you give them treats. Animals are a target for mischief on Halloween, often victims of harassment or thrown objects such as eggs, fruit, or unwanted treats. Though these objects might not always hurt your pup directly, they may enjoy eating them- which can hurt your pup.

If you decide that your pup would be okay to enjoy some of the fun, it is still wise to supervise them at all times. Use a leash, especially if you’re out and about with the kids. Watch for any signs of stress, such as barking, whining, or growling (and hair on their neck standing up). Don’t let other children give your pup treats, too. In large quantities, chocolate is toxic for pups, and they don’t have fingers to open wrappers, so they eat the whole thing. They aren’t picky either, so they’ll eat leftover wrappers, too.

Not all pups like to play dress up, so don’t force your doggy to look like a pumpkin if they don’t want to. Though it may look cute, they can get hot fast, and with all the excitement they may get a little anxious or stressed.

It’s important to prevent children from harassing, teasing, or worse- scaring your pup. Dogs are naturally territorial, and when spooked, they will often attack in self-defense. Whether your pup is friendly or protective, it is still best to keep your pup away from the front door in general, as a curious pup will make a break for the excitement. Then, you’ll end up chasing that rascal around.

At the end of the night, make sure you toss out any pumpkins, candles, candy wrappers or anything else that your pup may get into and eat. Remember that just about everything looks tasty to a pup, especially the curious ones.

Be cautious for your pup on this spooky night, and make sure that it’s enjoyable for them, rather than stressful. No one should have to miss out on a good time, so do your best to ensure that your pup can enjoy the night too.

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Take Your Dog To Work Day, June 25, 2011

Jun 8, 2011

Every once in a while, we want to experience something different at work to relieve us from the stress that normal day-to-day work routine brings. Companies have days like summer outings or family day, any gig that will change the office environment even for just a day. But what better way to enjoy a day at your office than sharing your day with your dog at work. It’s going to feel like you are home and he will get a chance to meet other dogs to play with.

photoPet Sitters International created the event Take Your Dog to Work Day in 1999 and every year since, the event is celebrated by companies all over the nation to recognize how great dogs can be as a companion.  Both big and small businesses participate in this annual event to show how great having a dog is and encourage people to adopt a canine companion and provide them with decent homes.

The event is a chance to enjoy your office environment with your favorite companion to help you unwind a little even though you are working on stacks of paper work. Imagine an office with cute dogs that your dog can socialize with. Your office will look like a dog park on a Sunday afternoon.

You might think that a pet in the workplace is a bad idea but according to studies, pets in the office help boost the morale of employees and increase productivity. There are actually dog-friendly policies that are being implemented in some companies and this results in less stress among pet owners who have a home-alone dog. Studies also show that those who don’t have a pet tend to enjoy those that they see at the office.

Joining the celebration is a step to welcoming our canine friends to humane society even for just a day. The day will be a time for you to enjoy your dog in the office and not worry about him being lonely or making a mess at home. This is our chance to give back to the animal community.

If your office is supporting this movement, there are guidelines that you can follow in preparing your dog for the big day at the office. Some tips include having your dog on a leash when not in an office or cubicle and having a backup plan just in case your dog feels uncomfortable in your work environment. If you are interested to let your office join the event, there are ways to get involved.

Take Your Dog to Work Day is indeed a celebration that one should participate in, especially for dog lovers out there. Show off your canine friends and promote how they can be a great companion to others. Spread the movement of owning a pet and encourage others to adopt their own. This day will also be your chance to talk about how your dog helps you in any way. Celebrate this event with your co-workers and the rest of the nation.

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World Pet Memorial Day, June 12, 2011

Jun 6, 2011

Having a pet adds joy to a home and the experience of raising one is invaluable. The bond that we develop as they grow up by our side and witness everything that we go through as life unfolds; they are there for us just like a true friend.  But like everything in this place, there will come a time that they have to go.

It is painful to lose a pet and sometimes it is difficult to accept that they are gone. We grieve for them and remember the times when they were around to make things alright and relieve us from life’s difficulties. We all have different bonds with our pets but we all consider them as a friend, a great companion. The memories stay with us.

photoWorld Pet Memorial Day is a time where everyone who lost a pet pays their respects to their departed friends and remembers the memories that was once shared with them. During this day, you can do a memorial in honor of your lost pet. It can be a simple memorial or you can join communities that gather on this day of remembrance and exchange memories and experiences with them.

There are many ways to memorialize our departed pets. I remember holding a small burial for my dog when I was a kid. I had him for almost 5 years. That may not be a long time for some, but when you’re a kid a dog is all you have for company and we were really close. I specifically chose a spot at the back of our house so I could still visit him. I was there every day, lay flowers on his grave and talked to him. I did this until we moved to a different city but I still remember him. I never had a dog again or a pet after him.

If you can’t get a burial ground at your house, there are other ways. Ask if your community has a pet cemetery, this is quite common in some areas. You can also do a living memorial by planting a tree or a flower bed to symbolize him. You can also keep something that will remind you of him like a framed photo or his favorite toy. If you have taken numerous pictures together, you can try making a scrapbook as a reminder of your friendship. When you remember him, try to write a poem about him or write him a letter.

As a way to participate in the World Pet Memorial Day, you can volunteer at your community animal shelter and help out or participate in other memorials and candle-light ceremonies. If you think you are ready to have another pet, try to adopt one and give your new pet a nice home that he deserves.

However, what matters is that we remember them and that we give our respects. Participate in the World Pet Memorial Day and together, let us all take this time to thank them for the friendship and lessons that they gave us.

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Is Your Puppy Graduating?

May 11, 2011

For many of us, our dogs are our children.  So, by show of hands – who has graduates this year?

photoHas your pooch recently graduated puppy kindergarten? Here are some fun ideas for your beloved pet’s graduation party.

* What’s a party without guests? This is a great opportunity for your puppy to socialize, so invite his fellow graduates and friendly neighbor dogs.

* Get a cake from a doggie bakery, or make one yourself. You can find plenty of dog cake recipes on the Internet. Top the cake off with a candle that looks like a dog, a bone, or a fire hydrant!

* If you’ll be having human guests, be sure to feed them, too! Serve cupcakes and other party food with dog themed plates and napkins.

* Don’t forget to take lots of pictures! You’ll want to look back on this event in the future.

* Make graduation hats for all the graduating canines to wear.

* You can also prepare goodie bags filled with treats for the dogs to take home.

* Get balloons with paw prints on them, or stamp plain balloons with dog themed patterns. Use these to decorate the party area.

* Blow bubbles! Dogs love chasing and chomping on them. Be sure to use a solution that’s especially formulated for canines.

* If the puppy graduation party is taking place in the summer, serve doggie smoothies to keep the dogs cool. Again, you can look for recipes online.

* You can also turn the graduation party into a pool party. Get a kiddie pool for the dogs to splash around in. Remember to tell the owners to bring their own towels.

* Have games like puppy races, tag team Frisbee, or musical sit/stay! Musical sit/stay is similar to musical chairs. Play music, and when it stops, the owners will have their puppy sit/stay. The last one to do so is eliminated.

* Give your pet a new treat and/or toy to congratulate him for completing puppy kindergarten!

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April is National Pet Month

Apr 13, 2011

What?

photoDuring National Pet Month, thousands of people across the UK will be celebrating life with their pets, sharing information on responsible pet ownership, or holding events to raise money for their favorite charity.

Every year, the message of responsible pet ownership is conveyed by running the events under a central theme. For 2011, the theme is “Happiness is…time with your pet”.

Why?

The objectives of National Pet Month are to:

* Encourage responsible pet ownership
* Spread the word on the mutual benefits of living with pets
* Inform people about the role of pet care specialists
* Increase awareness of the significance of working and assistance companion animals

When?

This year, National Pet Month will be celebrated from April 2nd to May 2nd.

Who?

National Pet Month is a registered charity that brings together animal welfare groups, professional bodies, schools, pet businesses, youth organizations and pet lovers, with the common goal of improving the welfare of pets. Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA), National Office of Animal Health (NOAH), and Pet Care Trust (PCT) are the trustees.

How?

If you’re interested in holding an event for National Pet Month, you can visit www.nationalpetmonth.org.uk to register your event and get a free events pack.

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