October 7, 2014
by Sam Bourne

Why Black Dogs Are Adopted Last and How You Can Help

Learn About the Best Breeds of Black Dogs

Learn About the Best Breeds of Black Dogs

Black dogs get a bad rap when living in crowded animal shelters. These dark, sleek pups are among the last to be adopted by families, despite having big hearts full of waiting affection.

This has led to the development of National Black Dog Day, which occurred on Oct. 1, 2014, AL.com reported. Altogether, black pets are considered the least adoptable in shelters due to a host of stigmas, such as the association of black fur with evil or that these pooches look scary and intimidating. Sometimes, the issue can even be that they don’t show up as well in photographs as light-colored dogs, leaving families to skip over them in favor of more photogenic breeds.

The event has its own website now, detailing the plight of black dogs and the prejudice they can face at shelters. National Black Dog Day is devoted to creating public awareness about these beautiful pups and the joy they can bring to any home around the country.

Showing people the ‘light’ of black dogs
While the stigmas might sound far-fetched, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals corroborates the poor experiences black dogs have in shelters. But these findings shouldn’t dissuade owners from adopting these pooches, as they need loving homes like any other canines.

Paw Nation compiled a list of the top black dog breeds owners should bring into their families. Its choices included:

  • Rottweilers: These large pooches originated in Germany and, unfortunately, get a bad rap due to their intimidating stature. However, Rottweilers are great family pets and love their owners, acting protective of children when playing outside the house or in dog parks.
  • Doberman pinschers: Similar to Rottweilers, Dobermans hail from Germany and have very distinct pointed ears and sleek black coats. Many owners might use these fast, strong pooches as viable guard dogs, but they also love to cuddle up on the couch and nap the day away.
  • Newfoundlands: These canines share a striking resemblance to Bernese mountain dogs, except that their coats are practically jet black. Their strong frames make Newfoundlands great lifeguards around the pool, able to jump in and rescue drowning victims in a flash. They even have large enough lungs to swim long distances without tiring.
  • Portuguese water dogs: Curly hair and long bodies make these pups stand out among light- and multicolored pooches. The Portugueses’ coats are hypoallergenic and non-shedding, making them ideal for families with young children.
  • Neapolitan mastiffs: Saggy jowls aren’t the only identifying aspect of these mammoth dogs, as they can weigh more than 150 pounds once they reach maturity. Despite their physical stature, Neapolitans love to frolic outside and play with their owners any chance they get.

Once you decide on the right black dog to bring home with you, sign up for a PetPlus membership to instantly gain access to an array of supplements and prescription medications that will keep your pooch healthy day in and day out.


October 6, 2014
by Sam Bourne
1 Comment

This Special Cat Has a Little Dog In Him – Literally



Buttercup is basically just your standard orange tabby. He never saved a child from bullies or ran across America to find his long lost family. On the surface he is nothing more than a cat. Go a little deeper, however, and what do you find?

Dog blood.

That’s right. Coursing through Buttercup’s veins is a proprietary blend of cat and Greyhound.

How It Began


As you likely assumed, Buttercup was not born this way. The ordeal began when Buttercup’s owner noticed that he was acting a bit lethargic. After a visit to the vet, it was concluded that he was dangerously anemic, with a red blood cell count as low as 7%. The vet determined that he was in need of an immediate transfusion.

While it may come as a bit of a surprise, it can be quite difficult to get your hands on a couple of pints of viable cat blood at such short notice, even for a vet; let alone getting it in the correct blood type!

With time being a major factor for Buttercup’s survival, a choice had to be made. And the choice was for a xenotransfusion – a ten dollar word for taking one animals blood and putting it in another. Now, I cannot speak to why dogs’ blood would be any easier to acquire than cat blood, but it is.

But How?


While transfusing blood from an entirely different species generally presents a bit of a hurdle, for Buttercup and cats everywhere, there exists a nifty loophole. Cats lack the antibodies to ward of the antigens found in dog blood. That means a cat’s body won’t have the ability to identify the fluids as being foreign, allowing for a successful xenotransfusion.



However, this is only a one shot deal. After the initial transfusion, the cat’s body will produce the necessary antibodies to fight against canine antigens from here on out.

Lucky for Buttercup, the one shot is all it took. Since the transfusion, Buttercup has been more active and high spirited. He is on steroids and antibiotics to help with the transition to having dog blood, but the medications aside, Buttercup’s outlook is looking up.

Now we’re just waiting for a story about an orange tabby that fetches sticks, chases mailmen, and barks.



Miami Herald – It’s Cat-Dog! Keys feline gets blood transfusion from dog
UPI – Dog blood transfusion saves cat’s life

October 1, 2014
by Sam Bourne

Surf Pups Highlight the Thrill of Athletic Dogs

Surf Pups Highlight the Thrill of Athletic Dogs

Surf Pups Highlight the Thrill of Athletic Dogs

While the summer season may technically be over, warmer parts of the nation have people still running outdoors and swimming to beat the heat. Although many humans like to “hang 10″ and surf the waters of California, some pooches love to get their paws wet on the surfboard.

RT News reported that dozens of canines – all shapes, sizes and ages – participated in the sixth annual Surf City Surf Dog competition that was held in Huntington Beach, California, on Sept. 28, 2014. The event drew roughly 2,500 people and raised more than $6,000 for nonprofit partners who helped spread the word about the contest. Approximately 65 pooches paddled out to face the waves and shred the Pacific Ocean.

Breeds were broken up into various categories based on size, from small, to medium, to extra large. There were even tandem teams of canines who were eager to hit the water together. All pooches who participated received a medal, with winners from each category also earning a commemorative award for their prowess on the surfboard. Champions were granted a $25 gift certificate to local pet shops.

According to RT, dog surfing was first mentioned in the U.S. during the 1920s. Since then, it’s taken off in popularity thanks to events like the Surf Dog competition in Huntington Beach. However, surfing isn’t the only sport that canines have sunk their paws into.

Learn the best athletic dog activities
It’s well-known that the majority of canines love to play as much as humans do. Running around outside is one of the best ways to keep your young pooch both mentally and physically challenged, Better Homes and Gardens magazine explained. Anything that lets your furry friend’s natural instincts run wild is a fun option!

  • Agility: According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Agility is a sport that pits your athletic dog against the clock. With you as a guide, your dog races to complete a challenging obstacle course that tests his or her ability to change directions, follow orders and move with speed. This sport can be done competitively against other canines or just for fun in your own backyard. While it takes a lot of time and dedication, it helps forge a strong bond between dog and owner through extensive training.
  • Dock diving: The image of a canine leaping into the water after a toy might sound picturesque, but this is a real dog sport that’s been around for almost 20 years. Better Homes and Gardens explained that this popular sport started in 1997 and has dogs compete to see who can jump the farthest from an elevated platform or dock. It’s reached such popularity that contests are frequently featured on cable TV from areas across the country. Typically, larger breeds like Labrador and Chesapeake Bay retrievers are the leading dock divers.
  • Flyball: The ASPCA suggested this game is fun for both pooches and owners alike. Your canine is grouped with four other athletic dogs and must sprint over a series of jumps along a 51-foot course, touch a trigger that releases a ball, then retrieve the ball and bring it back to the starting line so the next team member can repeat the process. The first group to return all five balls is the winner! If this kind of intense and healthy competition interests you, check out the North American Flyball Association website to learn more about this community.

Canines can be amazing athletes with the right practice. By joining PetPlus, you gain access to dozens of discounted accessories that facilitate training, such as harnesses and treats. Sign up today and start saving!

September 30, 2014
by Sam Bourne
1 Comment

Hero Dog Chases Rogue Black Bear Out Of Kids’ Room


Two weeks ago, Priscilla Epperson from Gatlinburg, Tennessee, had quite a start when she heard her dog barking hysterically. Unsure of what was causing her dog to go nuts, she went downstairs to check. It was then that Priscilla saw it — a black bear lumbering around the house, with all three of her sons asleep in the same room.

“When I came down the stairs the door was opened and I saw black fur which I knew it was a bear and I saw my dog, her tail end was wagging and she was going crazy,” said Priscilla.

Luckily, before Priscilla had a chance to act, Coco, with her incessant barking and running around, had managed to scare the bear back outside. “I was afraid she might get mauled by the bear but she’s really fast, kept running circles around the bear… The bear was [trying to shoo away Coco], and finally the bear shot up the driveway, and I called her to come back,” said Epperson.

Nervous that the bear would come back, Priscilla let Coco keep barking and running around until she decided to stop on her own. And even after she was done puffing out her chest and protecting her people, she still would not let them out of her site, sitting by the foot of Priscilla’s bed with her hair straight on end.

Priscilla believes that the bear wandered in through the side door, which was often left unlatched. Lucky for them Coco was around to scare off the beastly intruder.

What Would You Do?

While Pricilla and her sons were lucky enough to have such a brave protector on hand, others may not be so lucky. In the event that you encounter a bear, either in your home or (more likely) in the woods, here are a few handy tips:

  • Do NOT approach the bear – especially if she is with cubs.
  • Stay calm and avoid making sudden movements
  • If the bear has not yet spotted you, calmly walk away quickly and quietly.
  • If the bear does see you, try to get his/her attention before they are close. Waive your arms and talk in a normal voice.
  • If you are being persued, toss something on the ground. Hopefully the bear will be distracted, giving you time to escape to safety.
  • If the bear charges, stand your ground. Many times bears charge as a bluff, veering off or backing down before getting close.
  • For more tips, check here –> usparks.about.com


ABC-WATE- Dog chases bear out of Gatlinburg house, scaring it away from family
US Parks About – Bear Safety

September 29, 2014
by Sam Bourne

RECALL: Bravo Pet Food Has Possible Salmonella Contamination


Sept 27, 2014 – Bravo Pet Food is recalling certain lots of Bravo Turkey and Chicken pet foods for dogs and cats, as they may be contaminated with Salmonella. This bacteria can be a concern for not only the pets consuming the contaminated food, but also for the humans handling the tainted product.


The products being recalled due to a potential Salmonella contamination are:


Product Number: 31-102

Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes

Best used by date: 11-05-15

UPC: 829546311025

Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats

Product Number: 21-102

Size: 2 lb. (32 OZ) plastic tubes

Best used by date: 08-11-16

UPC: 829546211028

Keep Frozen

Products being recalled out of an abundance of caution, as they were produced at the same plant on the same day as the potentially tainted products, are:

Premium Turkey Formula BRAVO Balance RAW DIET

Product Number: 31-405

Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes

Best used by date: 11-05-15

UPC: 829546314057

Keep Frozen

Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend diet for dogs & cats

Product Number: 21-105

Size: 5 lb. (80 OZ) 2.3KG plastic tubes

Best used by date: 08-11-16

UPC: 829546211059

Keep Frozen


After a routine testing by the Nebraska DOA revealed the presence of Salmonella in the two lots, a recall was issued.



As of now, there has been no reports of human sickness as a result of the aforementioned foods, and the amount of food affected is relatively low.


If you have a bag of the recalled food in your home:

  1. Dispose of it immediatly
  2. Keep an eye out for the symptoms of Salmonella
  3. Contact your veterinarian
  4. Call Bravo for any related information: (866) 922-9222


For a few good alternatives to the tainted diets listed above, try:

Wellness Core Grain Free

Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato and Bison

Nutrisca Dry Dog Food

For more info, check with the FDA