Black Cats’ Bad Rap from a Witch’s Brew of Superstition and Misconceptions

It’s almost Halloween, the time of year for ghosts, goblins and, you guessed it, black cats. Black cats are known throughout America for being bad omens, bringing bad luck to anyone that crosses their path. We’d like to clear up some common misconceptions about our black-coated feline friends. Let’s look at the history of black cats and you can decide for yourself whether or not to believe in the superstition.

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Cats in modern times have often been associated with bad luck, but in ancient times, as far back as 3000 BC, they were revered for their grace and ability to deal with pests. Some cultures, such as the Egyptians, modeled certain gods or goddesses after cats and even mummified cats. It was even considered a capital crime to harm a cat (as it should be)!

So what went wrong? Well, our feline friends started to get a bad reputation when they became associated with witchcraft during the Middle Ages. One of the main reasons that cats were associated with witches is because older women accused of witchcraft would often care for the stray cats in the area. The link between black cats and witches became so strong that many during that time believed that witches turned into black cats to cause trouble! That’s why people fear seeing a black cat crossing the road; they believe supernatural mischief is soon to follow!

Fast-forward to modern times where fortunately, not all cultures believe that cats are bad. In Scotland and Japan, a black cat’s arrival signifies the coming of prosperity and good luck! In the English Midlands, giving a black cat to a couple is thought to bring good luck to them in the future as well.

Now that we’ve laid out the facts, you can see that the black cat’s bad reputation is based entirely on superstition and witch hysteria from our forefathers! Want to make up for all of the bad publicity that your black cat has picked up over the years? How about putting some Precise Hollistic Complete in their trick-or-treat bags this year! Wicked!

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PSP: Pumpkin Spiced…Precise?

Fall brings the changing of the leaves, harvest festivities, and one very important season; and no, we aren’t talking about football season, we’re talking about pumpkin season. From jack-o’-lanterns to pumpkin spice lattes to your grandma’s pumpkin pie, it’s safe to say that America absolutely loves its pumpkins during the months of October and November. However, humans aren’t the only species that love pumpkin; cats and dogs are crazy for pumpkin too! Not only do they love the taste, pumpkins have been scientifically proven to be a healthy supplement to your pet’s regular diet! Let’s take a look at some of the tasty benefits of adding pumpkin to your pet’s food.

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Nutrition

Pumpkin is full of beneficial nutrients for your pet! If your furry friend is especially active, you will be happy to find that one cup of pumpkin has more potassium than a comparable amount of banana. Pumpkin can also help your pet’s immune system by supplying a high level of Vitamin C and a healthy dose of beta-carotene, a proven anticancer supplement and source of Vitamin A. Other vitamins and nutrients that are featured in pumpkin include iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc and helpful antioxidants. In addition, pumpkin seeds are a fantastic source of omega 3 fatty acids. Bake pumpkin seeds to make a fantastic treat for your dog or cat! Make sure that you feed them one by one or grind them up as a topping for their food.

Digestive Tract

One of the most highly documented benefits of pumpkin is the aid that it can give to your pet’s digestive system. It is packed with fiber, nearly three grams per cup! Fiber is especially helpful for cats that are experiencing diarrhea or constipation. Older cats are especially susceptible to constipation, so introducing pumpkin into their diet can be a helpful answer to an otherwise difficult problem. Additionally, a teaspoon or two of pumpkin a day can move furballs through felines’ digestive tracts and prevents the development of new furballs.

Weight Loss

Not only is the fiber in pumpkin good for your little friend’s digestive tract, it can also help them lose weight! The fibrous nature of pumpkin will fill your pet up quicker, preventing them from overeating. It is a great way of helping your pet lose weight without feeling like you are leaving them hungry!

Hydration

A diet that is composed primarily of dry, processed food can cause your pet to become dehydrated over time due to the increased acid and enzymes that the body has to secrete in order to digest its food properly. Although you might think of pumpkin as a dense, fibrous fruit, it is also 90 percent water, making it a fantastic food for rehydrating your pet!

Your pet can consume raw or cooked pumpkin with ease, but make sure that it is fresh; pumpkins can decay very quickly, causing toxic bacteria to form in the pumpkin. If you don’t feel like going through the effort of buying and preparing a fresh pumpkin, canned pumpkin works just as well! Make sure it is organic and that it doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners, added sugars or spices like you would see in a pumpkin pie mix! As long as you follow these steps, pumpkin will be a perfect addition to a bowl of Precise Naturals!

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The Therapeutic Power of a Dog’s Love

We widely recognize our nation’s military personnel as heroes because of their service and sacrifice. It warms our hearts and spirits to welcome them home; however, their journey does not always end when they reach U.S. soil. Shari Duval experienced this reality when her son returned home from Iraq. Duval’s son, who worked with the bomb squad overseas, returned home with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which had a tremendous impact on their family. In efforts to help his son and after extensive on service dogs, Duval decided to create K9s For Warriors in 2011 to help her son and other veterans with their PTSD and their re-acclimation into society outside of the military. K9s For Warriors is a non-profit that provides service dogs to veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other forms of trauma following experiences overseas.

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These dogs are trained at a young age to be service dogs as they must be between 8 months and 2 years old when they start the program. Before the dogs are accepted, they go through an in-depth screening process in which physical requirements as well as personality traits are tested and must be present including a lack of aggression, low anxiety, medium to low drive, friendliness and many others.

Initially, the dogs are taught basic obedience, relaxation and control; three traits that are necessary for each service dog. They are then desensitized to handling and new stimuli so that they will not react to new conditions when they are out in the real world.

Finally, they also obtain ability to recognize and react to certain traits or actions that their warrior might display. These situations include mood swings, potential danger situations and anxiety attacks.

The entire training process can take anywhere from four weeks to six months depending on the veterans needs. Once they begin training with their companion, they are taught how to cater to any specific needs that the warrior may have due to physical disabilities.

Many have said that their furry companion has helped them overcome severe depression, and in some cases, suicidal thoughts. “You empowered me to BREATHE again, to LET GO, to LIVE, to HOPE and to FEEL such tender moments again.”

Read the letter in its entirety here

95% of the dogs in the program come from rescue shelters, and some of them have histories as scarred as the veterans that they walk beside.

Interested in learning more? Please visit the K9s For Warriors website for more information on the non-profit’s volunteer opportunities. Through the website, you can also donate or apply to be a part of the program.

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A Pet Owner’s Guide to Beds

During the day pets love eating and having a great time their owners. But when the stars come out, it’s time for your pet to catch some z’s and have visions of Precise kibble dancing in their dreams.

Sleep is one of the most important facets of your pet’s health, so it’s important that they have a bed that caters to their needs. To help you in your search for the perfect bed, we’ve looked into the characteristics of your dog or cat that will determine which bed will provide your dog or feline with the best possible sleep.

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Image Credit: Pixabay

Bed Types:

Simple:

For those with a smaller budget, simple beds will often do the job. Simple padded beds come in a variety of shapes and sizes so that you can pick the perfect bed to fit your pet’s needs. They are quite common, but there are varying degrees of quality. If you are looking for a bed like this, look for beds filled with polyester, cotton or down, and make sure that it has a removable cover so that you can wash it!

Another kind of simple bed is the cot. It is great for outdoor dogs because it allows the dog to be removed from the ground while still being breathable enough to keep them cool. Cots are very sturdy, which means that they are great for dogs that like to chew!

Bolster/Nest/Framed:

For owners that want more stability and little more substance in their pet’s bed, check out these three types. Bolster beds are simple padded beds that have added siding that will allow them to rest their head on an elevated surface while providing more support. Nest beds are designed to make pets feel contained within the “walls” that surround it. Perfect for pets that love to curl up and secure and secure. If you are looking for a bed that will go with the décor of your house, look at framed beds. Framed beds resemble small human bed frames that are made out of wood or steel with a small mattress to support your pet. All of these beds have a higher quality than the simple beds, but can also be very expensive depending on the materials used to make them.

Specialty:

Some pets require specialty beds to handle a particular condition. If your pet has arthritis or hip dysplasia, you might want to look into an orthopedic bed. These beds are designed to keep your pet as far off the ground, which keeps your furry friend comfortable while also keeping the temperature of the ground from affecting their joints. Speaking of temperature, if you live in a particularly extreme climate, look for heated or cooled beds to keep your pet nice and comfortable. These beds can be quite expensive, and it may be better to find more creative and cost-effective ways of controlling your pet’s temperature.

Pet Characteristics:

The sleeping style of each pet can vary dramatically. Does your dog like to sprawl out on the floor when they are sleeping? Does your cat prefer to curl into a ball on the couch? Pets that like to sprawl out might want a flatter bed like the simple padded beds while a pet that likes to curl up would prefer a bolster or nest bed. Pay attention to how your pet sleeps so that you can pick the best possible bed for them!

Obviously, not all dogs and cats are built the same way or with the same activity levels. Smaller pets might prefer a smaller, plush bed, while larger ones might require something sturdier. You may also need to adjust to whether your pet is outside or not, as some beds have covers that can be washed when they are dirty.

As always, when you are making a purchase, ensure that you don’t go outside of your budget. Generally, the better the bed, the more expensive it will be. However, with some research, it is possible to find a bed that is perfect for both your little companion and your wallet!

Allowing your pet to have its own bed will make it feel special and can make its’ life much more comfortable. Sleep and nutrition are two massive factors in your pet’s health, so make sure you have the right bed to go along with Precise Naturals pet food!

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Lights, Camera, Action! The First Annual Dog Film Festival hits the Big Apple

Hit the showers, Air Bud; the competition has arrived! The first annual Dog Film Festival will be taking place tomorrow, Oct. 3rd in New York City where dogs will be taking the film industry by storm. The festival serves as a celebration of the amazing bond between humans and man’s best friend. Forty films, ranging from 1-30 minutes, have been submitted to the film festival and will all be featured in the event. Some titles of the movies premiering include “Biscuit/Return to Sender,” “Game of Bones” and “Le Sauvetage.”

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On Oct. 2nd, the night before the film festival, a Gala Premiere Pooch Party will take place at Ruby and Jack’s Doggy Shack. The gala is intended for both dog owners and companions, and will feature a variety of attractions like a Green Carpet event, fashion show, doggy sketch artists and animal experts. Buying a “Founding Member” ticket to the event will also give you full access to the film festival the next day.

The film festival will be held at Peter Norton Symphony Space on the Upper West Side. The 765-seat venue is home to a variety of events and artistic disciplines including music, film, theatre and dance.

All proceeds from the event benefit Bideawee, an animal welfare and adoption non-profit organization that has been in business for over 110 years! They provide adoption centers, animal hospitals, pet therapy programs and pet memorial parks for domestic animals in the New York area. Bideawee has multiple locations that operate out of Manhattan and Long Island.

Pop a bag of popcorn for yourself, pour a bowl of Precise Hollistic Complete for your dog, sit back and enjoy the show!

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