Pet Palace Sponsors the FIDO Project

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today is an extra special day for four St. Paddy’s pups graduating from the FIDO Project in Ocala, Florida. Precise retailer, Pet Palace, is a sponsor of the endeavor and works to help encourage adoptions within the community and promote the importance of pet training.

The Florida Inmates and Dog Obedience Project (FIDO), is a program that partners Marion County Animal Services with select inmates from the Marion County Correctional Institution Work Camp to give inmates the opportunity to spend 10 weeks training homeless shelter dogs in basic obedience and socialization skills. The goal of the FIDO Project is to teach the inmates important life skills and to allow them to learn responsibility. Inmates must first study a guide on how to properly train the dogs. Following suit, they have the opportunity to shadow an officer; the officer is responsible for the training and the treatment of the animals. Each day, the inmates will keep a journal on how the practice sessions go with the dogs.

At the close of the program, the dogs go through the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen training test. Among passing the test at a score of 95%, the pups receive a certificate are able to be adopted out into their forever homes!

During each class, the public is invited to meet with the dogs at outings—normally local businesses or other venues. At this time, adoption applications can be submitted. Marion County Animal Services is responsible for choosing the dogs for this program, as well as coordinating the outings, trainings, and promotions to help get these pups adopted.

Today, Pet Palace is celebrating four FIDO graduates: Penny, Guinness, Clover, and Blarney who have all been adopted! At today’s graduation ceremony, each inmate involved in the program will say a few words on their experience training the dogs, and what this project means to them. Check out the Marion County Animal Services Facebook page for an  announcement on the next trainees!

For more information for about how to get involved, volunteer, donate or adopt visit: www.marioncountyfl.org. Congratulations to Penny, Guinness, Clover, and Blarney!

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National Mutt Day 2016 – Round Two

So, 2016 has taken two days to honor our mutts—and we absolutely love it. National Mutt Day was created in 2005 to celebrate the most unique dogs in the world, our loving mixed breed pups.

On a serious note, mutts happen to be the largest population in animal shelters, with the highest euthanizing rate. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness for these pups hoping to find their forever home. There are many incredible reasons to adopt any dog, but here are four to showcase our mutts:

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#1. Mutts tend to be healthier

There have been studies showing that mixed breeds are actually less prone to diseases compared to the purebred dog. That means they will stay healthier due to their hybrid ancestry—absorbing the best characteristics of each breed they’re made up of. Mutts even have a longer life expectancy and tend to be very active.

#2. No two mutts are the same

A lot of purebreds look very similar, but a mutt is a product of many breeds. You will never find any mutts that look the same; they all have their own distinctive features that make them wonderful, whether it be their size or color. The special pup you adopt will be one-of-a-kind.

#3. They don’t break the bank

Adopting a shelter pup is affordable. Not only is their adoption price lower, since these pets tend to be incredibly healthy, they won’t require as many trips to the vet. You can also get your companion sooner! Just walk into a shelter and fall in love with one; plenty are patiently waiting!

#4. It’s not just a companion

These dogs have many awesome attributes, but those are often overlooked, as an estimated 2.7 million are euthanized, or wait years to be adopted. When you adopt a mutt from a shelter, you are saving a life.

Be sure to do some research before taking the leap to adopt. If you aren’t ready to adopt a mutt just yet, you could always make a small donation to your local animal shelter! We hope you enjoy National Mutt Day, and show our mongrels a little extra love today.

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Three Reasons Why Your Kitten is Hiding

Introducing a kitten to your home is an exciting time. Immediately, all you want to do is snuggle up with your new playmate. Though you’re eager to bond with them right away, their initial transition may create a lot of internal stress, leading them to hide. If you feel like your new feline is giving you the cold shoulder, don’t take it personally. This happens to many pet parents, so know that you’re in good company. Here are three reasons why your new addition may be hiding:

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#1: The Territory Has Already Been Claimed

Have other pets? This could cause a bit of stress. While your kitten’s foster parent or brief bio may have communicated that they’re pretty social, stepping into an alpha’s home can be a bit territorial at first; this is especially true with stray and feral cats, as well as felines of the same gender. Your kitten may be intimidated by your longtime pet’s dominance, so they’re looking for a stress-free escape until the two can become acquainted. To help your new addition with the transition into the household hierarchy, check out these tips from the Humane Society.

#2: There’s too much to explore

Curious kittens enjoy becoming familiar with their new home. It is incredibly important for them to explore, but too much exploration can be overwhelming. Be sure to facilitate this on a small scale by providing them with a safe room. This space should contain all of your feline’s essentials: their litter box, food, water, and toys. In this room, be sure to continue with your daily routine—not worrying about normal noises that may initially startle your feline, like opening the fridge or flushing a toilet. Be sure to talk with them in an uplifting tone to begin building their trust. It’s important for your cat to become familiar with these noises and your voice, so try not to tip-toe. Once you notice your cat is comfortable in their safe room, begin letting them explore other areas little by little.

#3: They’re simply nervous to be in a new space

Do you remember what it was like to transition to a new home? Whether you moved out of your parent’s house, or remember starting the dorm days of college, it’s a life-changing move that isn’t always easy. Cats each have their own unique personality. You may bring home a furry friend who immediately feels right at home, and enjoys its new lifestyle, or, your cat may be a bit timid, and need some time to adjust. If you find your feline hiding for most of the day when you first bring them home, it’s okay. They’re just adjusting to the new space in their own way. Let them rest, and try not to move them from their spot. Carry on with your normal daily duties, and be sure to stop by their spot and talk to them with an uplifting tone throughout the day. Leave treats outside of their spot, to encourage them to come out. After a little coaxing with the treats, they will eventually explore the space, and be ready to bond. Keep in mind that it may take a week or two for your cat to fully adjust.

Remember, this behavior is completely normal in cats. Be patient and caring with your feline during their transition process. Try not to drag them out of their hiding place, as this could scare them and prolong their transition. Do what you can to make them comfortable, and make them realize that they are in a safe space. Just because your feline needs some alone time, doesn’t mean that they aren’t a fan of their new abode. Give them time, and eventually they will come around—literally!

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Six Tips to Help a Stray

Have you ever encountered a stray dog or cat as you’ve been on a stroll? It’s always tough to determine what steps to take to ensure a safe and valuable encounter. Of course the animal intrigues us, but we sometimes get nervous about the animal’s health and behavior. No need to panic, the Precise team has compiled some helpful tips to make you feel more comfortable if you ever find yourself in this scenario.

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#1 – What’s the situation?

The first step to take is to assess the situation. It is necessary to make sure you, the animal, and the people around you are safe. Safety is key in this situation. If you are in a vehicle, determine if it is safe to pull over. Once you take a good look at the animal and the environment, decide if you want to make contact, or keep your distance.

#2 – Let the Animal Approach You, or Walk Away

If the animal seems aggressive, rabid, or threatening in any way, the best option is to call the local animal control and let them know where you’ve found the animal. However, make sure not to panic and run from the scene. If you start running, it may prompt the animal to do the same.

If the animal seems calm and friendly, then let them come up to you. Find ways to coax the animal closer. Never run up to the animal as it could startle them due to their skittish, hungry, and/or thirsty state.

#3 —Stray or lost animal?

The next step is to figure out if the animal is a stray or is simply lost trying to find his or her home. Look for an ID tag. If there is one, be sure to contact the number provided so the stressed pet parent can finally find their furry friend. If you have ever lost a pet, you know how amazing it would be to receive that phone call! If there is no tag, consider how you are willing to help the animal.

#4 — Contain the Animal

This is the tough part. More than likely, this animal will be very frightened and could be hesitant to approach you. Talk with an inviting and humbling tone to make the animal feel comfortable. Attempt to corner the animal slowly with a piece of clothing, leash, or a rope. If you are lucky, you may have some type of treat or food with you to lure them.

#5 — Take to Local Shelter or Your Home

First, stop by the local shelter with the animal. The shelter could have access to a device to see if there is a tracking microchip placed in the animal. The shelter could even have heard from the animal’s parents. Talk to the shelter and see if it is better to leave the animal at their facilities (to say they even have the capacity for it) or take it home until the owner is found.

#6 — Go the Extra Mile for the Animal

Do whatever you can to make sure the animal can make it back to its home or to safety. If your pet was ever in a time of need, you would hope that the person in your shoes would do the same. Post flyers with an image and a description of the pet around local spots or even through social media. Do some research yourself and see if anyone has posted regarding this lost animal.

It is easy to become attached to such sweet, appreciative souls, so be careful not to fall too madly in love with this animal; they may already have a forever home. If you are never contacted, you may consider adopting the pet yourself (a new furry companion, yay!) or bring it somewhere safe to be adopted.

Our soft spot for furry friends leads us with the immediate ‘want’ to walk up to whatever animal we see. When it comes to strays, use these tips to have a positive and safe interaction. It is critical to know that not all strays need our help, and we must use our best judgment if the situation presents itself. If the animal does need your help, always remember what can be accomplished by the kindness of strangers!

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Shout-Out to Our Adorable Mutts this July 31

Did you know that nearly 75 percent of dogs in shelters are mutts, just waiting to find their forever homes?

National Mutt Day graced our calendars in 2005 by pet expert and Animal Welfare Advocate, Colleen Paige.  Paige created this holiday to bring awareness to, and celebrate mixed-breed dogs—and you know the Precise team is all-in when it comes to honoring our loveable mutts.

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To celebrate, the Precise team has made a quick list of things you can do to for loving mixed-breeds this Sunday:

1.) Share a picture of your favorite mutt and tell us what their favorite Precise formula is

2.) Give a shout out to your local shelter, bringing awareness and support to the forefront of your newsfeed—or even,

3.) Stop by your local shelter and volunteer, make a donation, or adopt if you can! Mutts are great companions that come in many lovable shapes and sizes with incredible personalities—absorbing the best traits of each breed they stem from.

Run out and hug your mutt, and be sure to take an adorable selfie of you and your pet to showoff how amazing your mixed-breed is this weekend.

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The Scoop On Pet Adoption

Thinking of adopting a four-legged friend for your family? There are plenty of animal rescues throughout the nation – small and large – that are filled with dogs and cats in need. If you are considering adoption, think about these questions prior to heading to your local rescue:

  • What size pet will work best with your lifestyle? If you are looking for a dog and live in a smaller apartment, a large breed such as a Shepherd or a Labrador may not work as well as a smaller breed.
  • Are you willing to invest in medical assistance? There are a number of pets left in shelters due to health conditions that may require a decent amount of veterinary aid. Many of these health issues can be treated but require someone who is dedicated to the cause.
  • Do you have patience? This question should be addressed when thinking of bringing a pet into your home, whether adopted or not. Depending on the personality of a sheltered pet, often their previous upbringing can determine how quickly a cat or dog responds to training. Have patience and know that a well-behaved pet doesn’t happen overnight.
  • Most importantly, are you ready to make a long-term commitment? So many of the four-legged creatures found in shelters are there because a previous owner wasn’t up to the task. Before you decide to adopt, realize what responsibilities will come with your new companion.

Visit Petfinder.com to locate an animal rescue in your area. While adopting a dog or cat may have initial challenges, knowing you are providing a forever home to an animal in need is a reward in itself. Happy adopting!

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Pet News Roundup: Beach safety, DNA tests and adopt a pet via Twitter!

Here on The Dish, we’ll keep an eye on the latest news in the pet food industry. We’ll have a mix of articles, statistics, news and fun facts from a variety of pet industry sources and Twitter.

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Upcoming Event: Wags to Riches Save the Animal Benefit in Oakland, Fla.

If you’re in the area this Saturday, the good people of Florida Animal Networks are hosting their annual “Wags to Riches” Save the Animal Benefit and one of our fabulous retailers, Pawsh Pet Resort & Spa of Oakland, Fla., will be passing out samples of Precise, Precise Plus and Precise Holistic Complete. Here’s the information:

When: Saturday, February 5th, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Cranes Roost Blvd – Altamonte Springs, Fla.

What: The benefit features a rummage sale, bake sale, silent auction, doggie vendors, doggie activities, an animal adoption and supply drive, food and entertainment. Tickets are $7.50 and can be purchased on the event website. Proceeds go to local animal rescues, so come out and show your support!

Special thanks to Pawsh Pet Resort & Spa for bringing Precise to this event!

Ron Pierle is the Southeast territory sales manager at Precise Pet, and can be reached at rpierle@texasfarm.com. See a photo of Ron and his cat Nala in our Pet Zone image gallery.

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