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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Three Tips on Finding a Pet Sitter

Happy Professional Pet Sitters Week! We want to celebrate all of the wonderful caretakers in our fur babies’ lives and help our friends who don’t have a pet sitter to find the right fit for their family!

Unfortunately, we can’t always take our four-legged friends on the road with us, so it’s up to you to decide who to call to watch your fur baby while you’re away. If a family member or friend is not available, and a kennel is out of the question, you’re going to have to enlist a pet sitter you may have never met before. Not to worry, this intimidating process becomes easier with these three tips to help you find the very best temporary caretaker for your pet:

#1. Interview potential candidates

It is important to trust the person you are planning to let in your home to spend one-on-one time with your pet. Ask friends and family if they know of any trustworthy candidates to start your search. If the list comes up short, check out reliable websites like Care.com which features profiles of caretakers, highlighting the pet sitter’s experience, location, age, hourly rate, and service ratings. Once you gather all the information that you need about these contenders, pick a top three to interview either by phone or in person. When you meet, ask them about their experience with animals, and highlight your pet’s unique needs and habits that the caretaker will need to know. If you feel the need, be sure to ask for references from the sitter so you can learn more about their reputation as a caretaker.

#2. Make sure they are reliable 

We want our caretakers to be trustworthy, but also to be someone we can rely on to show up and love on our pets while we are away. Let’s be honest, our fur babies rule the roost of our households, but they still need to know what they can and cannot get away with. Make sure the new sitter knows your house rules and routines so they can maintain the same schedule for your pet.

#3. Introduce your pet

The most important factor we don’t have any say in is your pet’s opinion! Introduce your pet to the caretaker, and to see how your pet interacts with them. Their first meeting should not be when you plan to leave the caretaker with your pet, as your pet may not be comfortable around this sitter. At the end of the day, your pet is going to be spending time with this person and if they don’t respond well, it may not work. Allow some time for your pet to warm up to their new friend. Be sure to let them play and see if your pet approves of your choice.

In celebration of Professional Pet Sitters Week, let’s take some time to show our fur babies’ caretakers some love (don’t worry, your pet is still your number one fan). Have you recently conquered the hunt for the perfect pet sitter? Share your tips for finding a reliable caretaker below.

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Four Signs that Your Pet May Have the Flu

Flu season is among us, and in some areas, it’s even becoming an epidemic. Though you may feel a bit relieved after receiving your flu shot this year, it’s important to note that we two-legged folks aren’t the only ones susceptible to the respiratory illness—our furry friends are as well. Not to worry, catching these signs early can save your pooch or feline from feeling under the weather for an extended period of time.

Look out for these four signs in your pet’s behavior that could indicate influenza:

#1. Coughing

Like in humans, when pets get the flu, they develop a cough. This cough can cause your pet’s throat to become sore. Be sure to keep plenty of fresh, clean water available for your pet if their dry cough is giving them trouble.

#2. Sneezing

Unfortunately for our furry ones, tissues aren’t exactly a pet’s best friend. When your pet sneezes, their germs from their illness spread to surrounding areas. If you notice your pet sneezing, be sure to separate them from other animals in the home, as the flu is highly contagious.

#3. Lack of Appetite

Is your pet not taking advantage of meal time like they usually do? That’s not a good sign. While your pet’s palate may change over time, neglecting to eat could mean that they are not feeling their best.

#4. Restlessness

When you are sick, it’s safe to say that you don’t feel like doing much of anything. The same goes for our pets. If you notice your spunky pooch or kitty is a little more lethargic than usual, monitor their behavior. If it extends over a long period of time, contact your vet.

Knowing your furry friend isn’t feeling their best is a tough burden to carry. If you notice any of the above signs in your pet’s behavior, be sure to consult your veterinarian as soon as you can, as the flu can turn into pneumonia if ignored. Your pet will likely be treated with antibiotics to prevent the illness from becoming any worse. When there is illness like the flu in humans or pets – close contact should be avoided and practicing good sanitary habits, like washing your hands with soap and warm water, is always a good idea. A healthy, nutritional diet and hydration are also essential in fighting off the flu.

There are also many natural remedies you can use to stop the illness in it’s tracks. For more information, click here.

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Three Homemade Treats for Your Furry Friend

Our pets are more than just pets; they’re family. Their main priority is to keep us happy, and we’re pretty alike in that mindset—all we want is to keep them happy, too. Show your pet some love by rolling up your sleeves, and preparing them a nice homemade treat from the heart. We’ve scoured the internet for three of the tastiest, Precise approved, pet treat recipes we could find. Let’s get cooking!

#1. Tasty Tuna Crackers via ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance

Does your cat enjoy Precise Naturals® Simmered Seafare? If so, they’ll love this simple fishy cracker treat. Look in your pantry for a 6 oz. can of tuna. Grab one cup of cornmeal, one cup of flour, and 1/3 cup of water. Mix all of the ingredients together. Once everything is completely mixed, roll into 1/4-inch pieces on a greased baking sheet. Bake the Tasty Tuna Crackers for 20 minutes at 350° Fahrenheit. Try and keep your kitty at bay until the treats have cooled completely, and then, let them dig in!

#2. Yogurt Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treats via Cooking with Janica

So, we’re not going to lie…these treats look good enough for humans to eat. If your pup is a fan of peanut butter, you will surely have their tail wagging over this yummy treat. This recipe calls for one large banana, 32 oz. of plain yogurt, one tablespoon of honey (optional) and three tablespoons of peanut butter. Slice up the banana and throw it, along with your other ingredients, into a food processor or mixer. Blend everything together. Once your ingredients are nice and mixed, pour the contents in a silicone mold; Janica recommends these cute paw prints. Freeze for at least two ours. Then, enjoy!

#3. Chicken Pot Pie Biscuits via Doggy Dessert Chef

These unique biscuits are tasty treats for your dog and cat alike! Head to the kitchen and preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. For this recipe, you will need: 1/2 cup of cooked and shredded chicken, 1/2 cup of cooked and mashed peas, 1/4 cup of shredded carrots, 1/2 cup of chicken broth, and 1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour. Combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Roll the dough on a floured surface and make 1/4-inch shapes on an ungreased baking sheet. Poke the biscuits with a fork to prevent air bubbles. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Cool the cookies, and chow down!

We’re sure that your feline and canine friends will appreciate the extra effort you put into their special treat! You may even have some of these ingredients lying around your kitchen. If that’s the case, “bone” appétit!

Have you contrived your own furry-approved snack? Share your recipe with us in the comments below!

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Five Things Your Purring Kitty’s Telling You When They Knead

Happy World Cat Day! This honorary day not only brings awareness to cat adoptions, it also celebrates our kitties at home! We show our cats affection with treats, toys and cuddles, but how do they reciprocate the love? If you’ve seen your cat “making biscuits” that’s a good sign! Here are five things your purring kitty is telling when they knead:

#1. It’s their kitten instinct to nurse

When our cats were kittens and started to nurse, the kneading motion on their mama’s belly was a way to stimulate milk flow. This sweet interaction tells their moms they are receiving the nutrients they need.

#2. It’s getting cozy

Like people, cats have definite preferences for where they are most comfortable. As our kitties age, kneading becomes a way to show they are relaxed. There is a therapeutic, self-soothing element to the motion of kneading, even if it is on your arm, a blanket, or a pillow. Once you see those sweet eyes start to squint, and you hear that soft purr, its clear your kitty is comfortable and maybe ready for a cat-nap! When cats cuddle on your lap, it  offers 3 benefits: it’s elevated, and many cats like to roost up off the floor; laps are warm, cats are attracted to body heat (especially in the colder months); laps are a safe place, cats can cozy up and have a sense of security.

#3. Telling you they love you

Kittens not only knead on their mothers for milk flow, it’s also to show their love for their mom. Their instinct to knead is a sign they feel the same way about you! All of our kitties “love languages” are different but you can be sure if you see your purring fur baby start to knead, they are telling you they love you.

#4. They are happy!

We all know our kitties are in a good mood when they start purring or chirping at us. Just like with our pets, people can tell if someone is happy is through their body language. When our cats snuggle up and start making biscuits—you know they’re happy. It’s that cranky, swift wagging tale you have to worry about.

#5. Marking their territory

Did you know cats have scent glands in the pads of their feet? When they knead their little feet get warm and excrete their scent, essentially marking their territory. This is why you’ll notice your cat sleeping in the same spots. It’s a way for your kitties to make themselves feel at home, safe and secure.

In honor of World Cat Day treat your kitties to extra cuddles and don’t stop until they start purring and kneading! How are you going to celebrate with your cat? Comment below!

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N. California Evacuation Centers

See a list of evacuation centers below:

CHICO

Silver Dollar Fairgrounds, 2357 Fair Street (UPDATE: This center is now full)

A large animal shelter has been set up at Camelot Equestrian Park,1985 Clark Road

St. Johns Episcopal Church, 2341 Floral Avenue (small animals accepted if leashed and crated)

Neighborhood Church at 2801 Notre Dame

PARADISE

Paradise Alliance Church at 6491 Clark Road (Small animals are accepted, RVs allowed in parking lot)

Elks Lodge at 1100 Elks Lane

ORLAND

Glenn County Fairgrounds at 221 E. Yolo Street

COLUSA

Colusa County Fairgrounds at 1303 10th Street

GRASS VALLEY

Nevada County Fairgrounds at 11228 McCourney Road (Enter Gate 1)

PLACER COUNTY

Placer County Fairgrounds, 800 All American City Boulevard in Roseville

SUTTER

Sutter High School, 2665 Acacia Avenue

YOLO COUNTY

Yolo County Fairgrounds Home Arts Building at 1250 East Gum Avenue, Woodland

YUBA COUNTY

Alcouffe Center at 9185 Marysville Rd, Oregon House

Beale Air Force Base at 6000 C Street

Yolo County Fairgrounds at 1250 Gum Ave, Woodland

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Three Tips for Training Your Pet Using Positive Reinforcement

Whether your pet is a newborn puppy, an old timer, or a hyperactive fluffy tornado, a little obedience training goes a long way with pet behavior. Teaching your pup basic commands is a wonderful opportunity to not only bond with your pet, but also to train them to behave. Though teaching your pet commands is no walk in the park, pet obedience allows more opportunities for adventure in public places (yes, like the park) to socialize with other animals and people. How do you get there? The Precise team has the answer: a little positive reinforcement.

#1. Give them some love!

When you were a kid and accomplished something, a huge hug always let you know that you had done well. The same goes for our furry friends. When your pup masters a command, be sure to show them some love, and give them a great big petting.

#2. Use an uplifting tone

As you’re petting your pup, be sure to praise them! Use an uplifting, cheery tone to assure them that they have accomplished their task! On the flipside, if your pet is becoming frustrated, and is having trouble understanding your commands, continue to use an encouraging tone. Try not to become frustrated and exude that in your voice. This will discourage your pet, and eventually stop them from performing the command.

#3. Grab the Healthy Habits Treats

Reward you pet each time they follow through with a command correctly with a treat. This continuous reinforcement will communicate to your pet that they have accomplished the command. Once your pet becomes a master at the command, you may begin to add on a second step (sit…stay; down…roll). Over time, be sure to reduce the number of times you reward your pet with a treat, but always continue to praise them with an uplifting tone and a pet for when they have accomplished the command.

Be sure to start with the basics. Keep in mind that these commands are new territory for your pet, and it may take some time for certain commands to stick. Positive reinforcement is the correct way to encourage your pet to follow through with obedience training. Be patient and continue to practice; they will learn to master these commands before you know it!

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Five Reasons Why Our Pets Need to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

If we brush our teeth daily, why don’t our pets do the same? This is what we’ve been pondering in honor Pet Dental Health Month. Yes, we know, the idea of adding another task into our busy schedules sounds daunting, but as good pet parents, it is our responsibility to make sure our pet’s oral hygiene is up-to-par. Our pets rely on us for all of their basic needs, so we can’t forget about their pearly whites! Here are five reasons why we should make our pet’s teeth a priority:

#1. Their oral hygiene is just as important as ours!
For all the same reasons oral hygiene is important for humans, it is equally important for our animals. Regular dental checks and brushing can keep your pet healthier and prevent small dental problems from becoming bigger issues down the road.

#2. Healthy teeth = better breath
Regular brushing reduces the effects of bad breath. Think about it, animals use their mouths to clean themselves and to discover their surroundings…which can get a bit messy. As much as we love their kisses, we don’t want to catch a whiff of what they may have found in the trash!

#3. Reduces the risk of gum disease and keeps teeth strong and healthy
Animals can suffer from plaque buildup too, which can cause periodontal gum disease. Now, your pets may not like having their teeth brushed, so there are other options for reducing plaque and keeping their teeth healthy. Dental chews, PlaqueOff, and regular appointments with your veterinarian are all great ways to keep your pet’s teeth in check!

#4. Regular oral care can save you money
Regular brushing and dental appointments with your veterinarian can help to prevent serious dental issues, which as we all know can get expensive fast. These small investments in your pet’s well-being can save you from pricy, more serious visits down the road.

#5. Tooth aches can be painful
Our pets can’t speak to tell us when they’re hurting. Practicing regular oral care and dental checks with your pet reduces the risks of developing serious dental problems. By adding oral care into your pet’s daily routine, you can prevent them from losing teeth, or having dental problems go undetected.

So, in honor of Pet Dental Health Month, grab a tooth brush and get scrubbing! Your local pet store may have a toothpaste that your pet may like a little better than ours. Or, for easy fresh breath, throw your pup a Healthy Habits Treat, made with peppermint!

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Get Outside and Play with Your Pet Today

Did you know your pets crave vitamin D just as much as you do? It’s true. January and February are known for being the busiest months in the gym, so let’s take your workout outside with the ultimate partner, your pet. The Precise team has come up with a few reasons why giving your pet time outdoors can make a positive impact on their daily lifestyle:

Improves Mental Health

Exercise is proven to reduce stress and improve mental well-being in humans, and the same goes for our furry friends. Try bringing your pets with you to local greenways, lake trails, or state parks to explore and release some energy! Be sure to bring a leash along for the ride, as not all parks have leash-free zones. Also, don’t forget to bring a bowl and plenty of water so your companion stays hydrated during your excursion.

Reduces Risk of Illness

Did you know 75% of dogs don’t get enough vitamin D? Plenty of time outside paired with our Precise Naturals Chicken Meal and Rice Foundation Formula can help reduce the risks of calcium deficiency, heart conditions, and high blood pressure in our furry companions. Less visits to the vet sounds pretty great—and we’re sure Fido would agree.

Social Interaction

It’s no secret that a great way to bond with your pet is by dedicating time with them daily. The simple commitment to visit a dog park on the weekends, or to go for a 30-minute walk everyday are both great opportunities for your companion to interact with other pets and people.

Improvement in Behavioral Traits

Let’s face it, when you return home from a day jam-packed with classes, or another day at the office, your pet gets a little excited when you come home and may even show you through chewing, scratching, or jumping. The impact of taking your pet outside to release their built up energy will decrease the likelihood of destructive behaviors when you return home.

Now it’s up to us, as pet parents, to commit to spending more time outside with our fur babies. It’s pretty safe to say your pet will be thrilled to be included in your pact to be more active together. How do you plan to spend more time outside with your pet this year? Comment below!

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Five Signs that Indicate Your Pet is Under Stress

You’re not the only one who occasionally feels “under pressure;” our furry friends can too. Though they can’t tell us with words if they’re feeling distressed, their actions can. Sometimes, signs of stress may be an indication that your pet isn’t feeling well, and may need to go to the vet for further evaluation. As their owners, we need to make sure we are cautious of these five signs that indicate our pet is stressed:

#1. Unusual Aggressive Behavior

If your normally playful pet begins to scratch or growl out of character around people or other animals, this is a clear sign that something is wrong. Be sure to keep your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date, so when you consult your vet about your pet, they can quickly rule out any underlying medical issues.

#2. Decrease in Appetite

Is your pet’s favorite time of day feeding time? We’re familiar with that feeling. If you notice that your pet’s appetite dramatically decreases, or if they are having trouble keeping their food down, this is also a sign of stress and anxiety in our pets. When pets begin rejecting their meals, it’s important to contact your veterinarian immediately.

#3. Fatigue

If you notice that your animal is sleeping often during the day, keep an eye on their activity levels. Try to make time to encourage them to play inside and out to raise their energy. If you notice that their out of the ordinary sluggish behavior persists, they could be stressed or have a cold.

#4. Upset Tummy

This can be difficult to notice if your pet is mainly outdoors; however, if your housetrained pet has trouble getting to the litter box, or if they have trouble getting to the doggie door before they relieve themselves, anxiety could certainly be an indication. If these symptoms last longer than 24 hours, it could be a gastrointestinal issue that needs medical attention.

#5. Where’d you go?

If your clingy pet suddenly becomes MIA for long periods of time, this is also a sign that they are not feeling their best. Be sure to give them quiet time, and try not to pull them out of their hiding place; only remove them from their area if it could become dangerous for your pet to stay there.

Make sure that the environment that your pet is in is relaxed and not hectic. Try to avoid making loud noises, and be sure that your pet has a “safe,” comfortable area that they can escape to if they begin to feel overwhelmed. PetMD also identifies other tips for helping out an anxious pet in this article. Stress in our pets can be caused by a multitude of things. From health issues to environmental changes, if you notice that your pet’s behavior is out of the ordinary, be sure to contact your veterinarian for further consultation. Do you have any tips on how to relieve your stressed pet? Let us know in the comments below!

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