Help for Costly Vet Bills

There is nothing more depressing and frightening to a pet owner than to know that your beloved family member is in need of veterinary care (sometime emergency care) and you can’t afford it.  This can sometimes lead to untimely euthanasia or owner surrender of a pet to a rescue because of the inability to pay for treatment.  No one should ever have to give up a pet or worse put it down just because of money.  But then there is REALITY.

Well, now there are much-needed options for those in need!  Several organizations provide funds for financially strapped pet owners to help with or cover all of a family pet’s medical needs.  PLEASE BOOKMARK THIS POST – you or a friend may be in need of these services at some point in your pet’s lifetime and you will want to have this list handy!


Thanks to the VIN News Service, the news media arm of the Veterinary Information Network, for this graphic.

Read more about veterinary financial assistance for struggling pet owners here.

For an comprehensive list of resources, check out our Pet Related Financial Assistance page.

Wouldn’t it be great to talk to your dog – and have him talk back??!!

Well, it might not be quite that easy, but this new book from the American College of Veterinary Specialists, Decoding Your Dog, is getting rave reviews from many industry insiders.  Edited by Edited by veterinary behaviorists Debra F. Horwitz, John Ciribassi and certified dog behavior consultant Steve Dale, it is composed of essays answering the most stubborn and frustrating issues face by dog owners.  I already bought my copy!!  Have you read it yet?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


Read a full review of this book at

10 Must-Have Apps for Dog Owners

I’ve been an app-junkie ever since getting my first iPhone back in 2010.  I’ve downloaded and tried out more than 700 apps to date.  My husband says that I need a 12-step program for my “app-diction.”  So, when I saw this article published on Mashable – 10 Must-Have Apps for Dog Owners – how could I not share it???
While I am delighted to see Petoxins from the ASPCA listed on here, I do have to say the author has been a bit negligent in not also having ICE for Pets on here too.  Whether you frequently travel in the car with your pet(s) or just take them out for a walk, when do you not also have your phone with you??  So, if you should be incapacitated and an emergency worker grabs your phone to look for your ICE (In Case of Emergency) info – shouldn’t they also have access to your pet’s info?  What if you were involved in a car accident and both you and your pet were injured?  So, if you do nothing else – download this app and fill in the information!!  Place it on your home screen in the top left corner (just to the right of your ICE info). It’s available for free in the iTunes App Store & on Google Play.

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 12.11.32 PM

10 Must-Have Apps for Dog Owners 


1. Tagg 

Tagg is essentially a GPS attachment for your dog’s collar, and because of its many features, it can give you peace of mind. The app will track your dog’s activity and send you a message if he goes beyond the boundaries you set. Not only that, Tagg allows you to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise by measuring movement.

Available on iOS and Android .

Screenshot courtesy of Tagg


2. DoggyDatez 

DoggyDatez is a mobile social platform for dog owners and their dogs to make friends. The main idea is that you can “mark your territory” and see who else visits your spot. You’re also able to search for other DoggyDatez users by gender, age, dog gender, dog age and/or dog breed.

Available on iOS and Android .

Screenshot courtesy of DoggyDatez


3. Pet Phone 

The Pet Phone app lets you track your dog’s health with ease. You can keep track of vet appointments, medications, allergies and food preferences for each of your pets, and the app can be synced with your calendar to get reminders.

Available on iOS .

Screenshot courtesy of Pet Phone


4. iCam 

If you want to see what your dog is up to in real-time, iCam is the app to get. You can watch your canine friend remotely, just to make sure everything’s all right. This is especially useful if you’re leaving your dog home for the first time, you recently moved or you’re traveling.

Available on iOS and Android .

Screenshot courtesy of iCam


5. Petoxins 

It’s tough, if not impossible, to know everything that is harmful to your dog. The Petoxins app from the ASPCA helps you out by having a impressive list of poisonous plants, and most of them you probably didn’t know. For example, did you know that tulip bulbs are hazardous? Now you can keep similar vegetation out of your dog’s reach.

Available on iOS .

Screenshot courtesy of Petoxins


6. MapMyDogWalk 

With MapMyDogwalk, you and your dog can get fit at the same time. You can log your walks, track your calories and map your favorite routes using GPS. The app also has sharing and geotagging features for photos and data.

Available on iOS and Android .

Screenshot courtesy of MapMyDogWalk


7. Pet First Aid 

Raising pets is fun, but it’s also a big responsibility, which means there can be some scares. If anything should happen to your dog, Pet First Aid helps you take the right steps to make sure he’ll be OK. Detailed videos and illustrations include restraint, muzzling, CPR, bandaging and more.

Available on iOS and Android .

Screenshot courtesy of Pet First Aid


8. Pet Minder Pro 

Pet Minder Pro helps you keep track of your dog’s actions, and it’s presented in an easy way so you can use it while interacting with your dog. By tapping custom buttons, you’ll never forget when you last gave your dog medicine, fed him, took him for a walk or took him to a play date. You can also track training phases for puppies, set up reminders and share information via notifications.

Available on Android . For an iOS alternative, check out MyPetMinder .

Screenshot courtesy of Pet Minder Pro


9. Petsie Dog Breeds 

Answering the question “What kind of dog is he?” isn’t always easy, especially if your dog is a rescue or mix. As a tool, Petsie Dog Breeds can help you figure it out, but it’s also full of adorable photos and information. You can even use it as a fun social network by creating a profile for your dog.

Available on Android . For an iOS alternative, check out Guide to Dog Breeds .

Screenshot courtesy of Petsie Dog Breeds


10. Weather Puppy 

It’s useful to check the weather before you take your dog out for a walk, but Weather Puppy takes it to a new (and very cute) level. The app shows more than 100 dogs depending on the time and weather, and you can even add a pic of your own dog. Weather Puppy partners with non-profits and shelters across the U.S.

Available on iOS and coming soon on Android. In the meantime, a good Android alternative is Weather Dog .

Screenshot courtesy of Weather Puppy


BONUS: Foursquare 

This might seem like an obvious one, but it really comes in handy for dog owners. You can organize all of the dog parks in your city, find nearby pet stores and vets when you need them and see if any friends with dogs are in your area.

Available on iOS , Android and BlackBerry App World .

Screenshot courtesy of Foursquare

Beau Races for PAWS for People!

This weekend is our big 5K race and we’ve decided to do it as a family.  Jenni, Beau and The Husband and the Little Boy will all be running the 5K together.  Come out to see us!  Or you can pledge your support here.  The 5K Wag n Walk (the only 5K in Delaware where you can officially run with your pup) supports all of the great efforts of PAWS for People, a local area pet-assisted visitation volunteer service – in other words PAWS provides pet therapy to those in need!


This was Beau after last year’s Wag N Walk 5K!


Dogs Learn to Commute by Train to Find Food

I know this story was published awhile ago, but I just discovered it via the I Fucking Love Science Facebook page…although the story was originally published by Virginia Wheeler of The Sun.  I love the pictures because the pups are adorable – and the one in the photos looks surprisingly German Shepherd-like (and we all know how smart they are!)  But what is more interesting is how the homeless dogs have “learned” how to commute to the cities by taking the train in search of food.  They know which stop to get off on to find the best location for food and have been seen ‘playing’ while riding.  It’s a pretty amazing “tail” – and yet again I’m thoroughly impressed with the intelligence of the creature we call Man’s Best Friend.

Wild dogs take Chewbilee Line 

Canine commuter ... wild dog waits on the platform

Canine commuter … wild dog waits on the platform VIRGINIA WHEELER Last Updated: 12th January 2011

STRAY dogs are commuting to and from a city centre on underground trains in search of food scraps.

The clever canines board the Tube each morning.

After a hard day scavenging and begging on the streets, they hop back on the train and return to the suburbs where they spend the night.

Experts studying the dogs say they even work together to make sure they get off at the right stop — after learning to judge the length of time they need to spend on the train.

The mutts choose the quietest carriages at the front and back of the train.

They have also developed tactics to hustle humans into giving them more food on the streets of Moscow.

Well train-ed ... dog enjoys a nap on the underground

Well train-ed … dog enjoys a nap on the underground

Scientists believe the phenomenon began after the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990s, and Russia’s new capitalists moved industrial complexes from the city centre to the suburbs.

Dr Andrei Poiarkov, of the Moscow Ecology and Evolution Institute, said: “These complexes were used by homeless dogs as shelters, so the dogs had to move together with their houses. Because the best scavenging for food is in the city centre, the dogs had to learn how to travel on the subway — to get to the centre in the morning, then back home in the evening, just like people.

Dog tired ... mutt kips on tube seat in Moscow

Dog tired … mutt kips on tube seat in Moscow

Dr Poiarkov told how the dogs like to play during their daily commute. He said: “They jump on the train seconds before the doors shut, risking their tails getting jammed. They do it for fun. And sometimes they fall asleep and get off at the wrong stop.

The dogs have learned to use traffic lights to cross the road safely, said Dr Poiarkov. And they use cunning tactics to obtain tasty morsels of shawarma, a kebab-like snack popular in Moscow.

They sneak up behind people eating shawarmas — then bark loudly to shock them into dropping their food.

With children the dogs “play cute” by putting their heads on youngsters’ knees and staring pleadingly into their eyes to win sympathy — and scraps.

Dr Poiarkov added: “Dogs are surprisingly good psychologists.

The Moscow mutts are not the first animals to use public transport. In 2006 a Jack Russell in Dunnington, North Yorks, began taking the bus to his local pub in search of sausages.

And two years ago passengers in Wolverhampton were stunned when a cat called Macavity started catching the 331 bus to a fish and chip shop.

Article found @

Tech Gadgets for Pups & Their People

How could we not pass this one on??  Thanks to ReadWriteWeb for this great article!

5 Tech Tools For Pet Lovers 

You won’t find dog-walking robots here, but there are plenty of other technologies pet lovers should, well, love.

5 Tech Tools For Pet Lovers

Remember the robot that walks a bunch of dogs in the movie I, Robot? How awesome would that be—for both the owner and the dogs? I mean, we do have iOS apps for animals now, but Hollywood has trained me to expect more.Just because dog-walking robots don’t yet exist, there’s no reason pets should be underdogs when it comes to technology. Naturally, I went looking for some cool pet tech and doggonit, I found some! (Now, if only iRobot made a Roomba-like automatic pooper scooper .)

A Fitness Tracker For Your Dog 

For humans, there’s Fitbit. For dogs, there’s Whistle , a sleek fitness monitor that attaches to your canine’s collar.

Whistle tracks activities like walks, playtime, sleep and even swims (yes, it’s waterproof). Whistle can even track who your dog has been hanging out with (friends or family, for instance).

As with human activity trackers, you can set goals and easily view activity in a sleek dashboard. If your dog exhibits any behavioral changes, Whistle can alert you so you can check it out. Another great feature? The ability to auto-generate reports for your vet.

Play With Your Pet Via Smartphone 

Petcube , currently a Kickstarter project that looks to have an excellent chance of reaching its funding goal, consists of three awesome components: a wide-angle HD camera, a microphone and speakers and, of course, a laser pointer. This means that while the cat—in this case, the human, meaning you—is away, the mice (your cats or dogs) will play. So will the cat. I mean, you.

Unlike that previous paragraph, the Petcube makes a lot of sense. I’m always curious what my pets do when I’m gone. Now I can see for myself and share the best photos and videos of my pet’s shenanigans online.

Talk To And Reward Your Pet Via Smartphone 

PetziConnect , which blew past its own crowdfunding goal on Indiegogo, has many similarities to the Petcube. It can take HD photos and videos of your animals and it will let you have a conversation (inasmuch as that is possible) with your pet via two-way audio.

The biggest difference here is that the PetziConnect forgoes a laser pointer for a treat dispenser. Additionally, the PetziConnect plugs directly into a wall outlet, so it isn’t as mobile as the Petcube. Which one is the best fit for you may depend on what excites your pet the most: chasing a red dot or receiving a treat.

Digital Pet ID Tags 

If you are still using a regular old “dumb” pet tag, it’s time to get with the times. The PetHub  embeds a QR code on the back of a normal metal engraved dog tag that others can scan should they find your lost pet.

Here’s what’s cool: when a person scans your pet’s tag with their phone, it will display your pet’s profile and information—plus, and this is the great part, it’ll immediately notify you, too. Perhaps this will help cut down on pet piracy (finding someone’s lost pet and not returning it). I mean, who can resist scanning a QR code on a pet tag to see what you might learn?

Find An Awesome Dog Sitter Near You 

DogVacay is like Airbnb, but for dogs. Next time you leave town and need someone to watch your pooch for awhile, don’t just drop Fido off at the nearest kennel. Instead, browse hosts online, read reviews, pick the perfect place, schedule it andhit the road with peace of mind.

That last part is important, and DogVacay takes it seriously by hand-approving all sitters (because even humans need to get vetted) and offering comprehensive protection. Additionally, each host must pass an online training course, for what it’s worth. Does your usual boarding location offer a 100% guarantee?

Lead image via Flickr user WB – CMH