Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

Purina & #BetterWithPets Is A Furry Winner Bringing People & Pets Together

by | Nov 6, 2015 | Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care, Sponsored | 2 comments

4131f282-cbaf-4497-a44c-1fb70b838e9d.HRThis post is sponsored by Nestle Purina® and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about the BetterWithPets campaign but Bling, Bitches & Blood only shares information relevant to our readers. Purina is not responsible for the content of this article.

This past Tuesday, November 3rd, I was pleased to attend the 3rd Purina #BetterWithPets event held in Brooklyn, NY. I was able to attend the first one a couple of years ago, and had a conflict last year so was delighted to be invited again. This all day event offered several panels in the morning, followed by afternoon experiential hands-on exhibits (which I’ll blog more about later). Everything was designed with the intention of “Exploring the best ideas for bringing people and pets closer together.”

Purina Better With Pets

PrintThe whole day was a slam-dunk for cats and dogs, and the people who love them. Bravo to Purina for truly bringing together some for the brightest minds in pet science and culture–and allowing pet advocates, media, shelter professionals and more to mingle, ask questions, and share information to improve pet well being. The event was a who’s who of movers and shakers in the pet world, and I had fan-girl moments all day getting to meet (and reconnect) with my heroes.

Better With Pets Speakers & Topics

Those who know me won’t be surprised that there were quite a few Kleenex moments throughout the day…I weep pretty easily especially when it comes to pet topics. The opening keynote by Dr. Arleigh Reynolds, and the ending short movie that also covered his subject, were wonderful tributes for and about the Frank Attla Youth Program that benefits at-risk students in rural Alaska–and how dogs brought a community back to life when everyone in the family learned they had a role to play in caring for the dogs.

DSC05777In his talk, Dr. Reynolds said during his studies, he learned about tidal pools where a multitude of different creatures live alongside each other. “If you remove one, before long several others disappear, even though their relationship isn’t clear.” He says the same thing is true with dogs. “Our relationship goes far deeper than what we can define. Humans and dogs are physically and emotionally healthier when we share our lives together.” When you get the chance, take a look at this brief movie:

DSC05778

Purina Feline Topics Covered, Too!

It was particularly refreshing to have CAT interests so well represented. The first panel was moderated by Hal Herzog, Ph.D. and titled “An Evolving Relationship with Cats?” Dr. Herzog was joined by behaviorist Dr. Sandra Lyn; Mikel Delgado, CCBC; and Christina Ha, the co-founder of Meow Parlour. A few nuggets that came out of this session:

  • We’re shifting how we work and how we communicate, so makes sense that the relationship may change.
  • Most of those visiting Meow Parlour are female millennials and found Meow Parlour through social media.
  • In past dog people could hang out together at dog parks with other dog lovers. Now cats and cat lovers can do the same thing with social media and cat cafes.
  • 31 percent of millennial’s households include cat.
  • Millennials are willing to spend more on cats than in the past.
  • Relationships work better when you let the cat initiate the interaction
  • Dog videos make you cry. Cat videos make you laugh. Can we use that as a platform in how we educate?

IMG_3146

Pet Stress Relief!

The second panel, “Stress, Our Pets and Us,” moderated by Dr. Marty Becker, featured Dr. Ragen McGowan, Heather Lewis, an architect/designer of vet hospitals and animal care facilities, and Dr. Tony Buffington. More nuggets from this session:

  • Cat and dogs see in different light spectrum, so offer enough space, a quiet place, and colors in their spectrum (blues/greens) that are soothing.
  • Cats and dogs like pastel colors best
  • Choice of lighting makes a difference in stress. Incandescent lighting and fluorescent are poor choices compared to the much better LED lights that are perceived more like natural sunlight.
  • Having a cat at a higher level changes the cat’s attitude and reduce stress–be sure cats get higher cage levels in vet clinics/shelters (and make options available in your home!)
  • Some stress is GOOD—such as puzzles or something to learn. Pets often CHOOSE to go with the more difficult challenge (a puzzle toy rather than full food bowl).
  • New “fear free” cages have horizontal bars and a place to “hide” the pet’s face at bottom. Vertical bars obstruct vision for the cats and cause added stress and horizontal provide unobstructed views.
  • Volunteers visiting pets in shelters for just 15 minutes lowers the dog’s stress significantly

 

IMG_3159

Pets & Kids

The third panel, “Raising Pets and Kids” was moderated by Dr. Zara Boland, and featured Jayne Vitale (North Shore Animal League), Stasha Becker (Photographer), behaviorist Dr. Ilana Reisner and Charley Bednarsh, director of Children’s Services, Brooklyn Family Justice Center. Additional nuggets from this great session:

  • Dogs have been with people for 35-40 thousand years, in a symbiotic relationship that today goes beyond simple survival.
  • Are families evolving to fit pets needs, or are pets evolving?
  • Today it’s vital we teach children empathy as a skill.
  • Damaged kids identify with shelter pets–both may be orphans, homeless or have suffered terrible experiences. Pets allow kids to voice their fears and experiences
  • People are made up of memories, and pets can empower people during tragedy that “you can change for the better” and survive.

Stay tuned for the next blog on the “experiential” side of the event. And meanwhile, you can learn more at this link to #BetterWithPets.

YouTube Button

Subscribe to Amy’s YouTube Channel

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

2 Comments

  1. Deb Barnes - Zee and Zoey

    This was my first summit and I was so excited to be a part of it. The noticeable rise of information on cats is encouraging and I am glad to know Purina is doing so much research in that area. Great recap, and, as always, great seeing you!

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Terrific seeing you there, too. It was my 2nd summit but missed last year. And of course the fur-kids adored the “gift bag” when we arrived home…they tried to crawl inside the sack to get to the samples, LOL!

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Purina's #BetterWithPets & Bright Mind for Dogs - […] event held in Brooklyn, NY, an all day event offered that several panels in the morning, which I blogged…

Leave a Reply

Categories:

Recent Posts

What Makes Humans Happy? And Where Do Pets Fit In?

When we look at the principles of Positive Psychology (the study of what human wellbeing and fulfillment is made of – including happiness) it’s easy to see why so many of us attribute our happiness and wellness to our pets! I’ve frequently written about how pets show love, and what dogs want out of life. So why not explore what makes humans happy, too?

Read on to learn about th 5 Elements of Human Well-being According to Positive Psychology…

How to Prepare for a Disaster: Pet Preparedness & Tips

With the latest hurricane and more on the way, it’s time to revisit your pet disaster plan. You do have one, right? After Katrina and Harvey, everyone should understand the importance of disaster preparation.

I posted this in June for National Pet Preparedness Month. September is Disaster Preparation Month. Hurricane Ian drives home the importance of having a disaster plan not only for yourself when Mother Nature throws a tantrum but also to keep your pets safe. Whether you must deal with tornadoes, floods, landslides, typhoons, wildfires, or other emergencies, there’s a rule that we must always PLAN FOR THE WORST.

And then pray it doesn’t happen. For those going through issues now, refer to these resources:

Florida Animal Shelter Emergency Response
Mobile Phone: 941-525-8035.
Office Phone: 863-577-4605.
Email: sthayer@spcaflorida.org.

Florida Animal Shelter Emergency Response

American Humane Red Star Disaster Response

American Red Cross

Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief (Government)

What Cats Want Out of Life & What Cats Need

Whether you share your pillow with a kitty, or care for feral, stray or community cats, always consider what cats want out of life. I’ve written about what makes humans happy, as well as what dogs want out of life, and it’s time for the cats. We love our cats all year long, but sometimes lose sight of what cats need out of life. It’s important to channel your “inner kitty” to learn how to keep the purrs rumbling 24/7 to provide what cats need.

Dark Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Books Galore! Booksweeps Giveaway, Emily Kimelman & More!

👀 I spy a steal…If you haven’t read my first September & Shadow Thriller, you can enter to win it on BookSweeps today — plus 55 exciting Dark Mysteries, Thrillers & Suspense books from a great collection of authors… AND a brand new eReader 😀

I’ve teamed up with fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of mysteries and suspense thrillers to 2 lucky winners!

Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader? 😁

Adopting “Other-Abled” and Less Adoptable Pets

September 19-25 is National Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week, founded by PetFinder.com. The organization encourages shelters and rescues to create special week-long events devoted to giving overlooked pets like those with disabilities a better chance at finding homes.

This struck a chord with me, especially after living with a tri-pawd dog when Bravo lost his leg. He didn’t act disabled, though. Have you ever adopted an other-abled pet or less adoptable pet?

What Is A Less Adoptable Pet

Why less adoptable? They’re the wrong breed or have special needs. Overlooked pets include deaf dogs or deaf cats, blind pets, or those missing a limb. Many folks prefer the ‘perfect’ cute puppy or kitten and don’t want a crippled pet, or just don’t like the color of the dog or cat. Of course, we know black dogs and cats, and those with only one eye, or three legs, still love us with all their furry hearts! Read on…

Do Pets See In Color?

I love this question. What do you think? Today’s Ask Amy topic is Do dogs see in color? What about cats and dogs, do they see things differently?

Today, take a fun look at this YouTube video discussing the question. And weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments–does color matter to your fur kids?

How to Manage Fur Shedding

When dog shedding and cat shedding creates hairy tumbleweeds, it creates a fur-ocious mess you need to manage. At one time, our German Shepherd Magic’s fur shedding turned our cream carpet to gray. Today we live with two short-haired pets. But Karma-Kat’s silver fur and the Shadow-Pup’s undercoat become furry dust mice on the kitchen’s slate floor, float through the air, and cling to upholstery and clothing. Knowing what to do goes beyond keeping the house clean. Proper fur care can prevent skin problems and also help manage hairballs.

Exposure to sunlight or artificial light determines the timing and amount of shedding. “It is a normal process which can be accelerated under certain circumstances,” says Steven Melman, VMD, an internationally known expert on veterinary dermatology and the founder of DermaZoo.com. In fact, indoor pets exposed to artificial light shed nonstop, even during triple-digit summer or frigid winter months.

Whatever time of year shedding occurs, it’s aggravating, and a nonstop cleaning challenge. Why do pets shed fur, and how can we manage the mess?

DON’T Hug Your Dog on National Hug Your Hound Day! Here’s Why

Several years ago when I wrote for the puppies.about.com site (now TheSprucePets) I took issue with a promotion advertised by a big-name pet food company that encouraged people to post pictures of themselves hugging dogs. Hoo-boy…Oh dear heaven, by the comments I received you’d think that I said cute babies are evil, apple pie is poison and advocated BEATING YOUR DOG! Part of that has to do with folks reading only the title and ignoring the content of the message. Oh well. That drives home the importance of titles, I suppose.

The promo really struck a chord with pet lovers. After all, who doesn’t love a hug? Hugs mean love, hugs mean happy happy happy, hugs are tail-wagging expressions of the joy we share with dogs. Right? RIGHT?!

Uh, no. And glory be, the promotion lives on, declaring September 11 as “Hug Your Hound Day.” Before you tar-and-feather me, read on to learn WHY hugging your dog can put you, and your dog, in danger…

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP): Treatment Hope On The Horizon

Since September celebrates Happy Cat Month, I wanted to share some recent good news about FIP. Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease of cats first described in the late 1950s that continues to challenge our understanding today. Until recently, FIP was considered a death sentence and veterinarians had little help for diagnosing the disease. On September 1, 2022, The American Association of Feline Practitioners and EveryCat Health Foundation announced the publication of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) Diagnosis Guidelines appearing in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. PLEASE let your veterinarian know.

Dr. Niels Pedersen, now professor emeritus at U.C. Davis, California, has studied FIP since the 1960s. I had the honor to interview Dr. Pederson for an article about FIP that appeared in CATS Magazine (no longer printed) back in the 1990s, and later to hear him speak at prestigious veterinary conferences and at the Cat Writers’ Association events. You can read a 2017 Winn Feline Foundation recap of one of Dr. Pedersen’s sessions on the topic here.  

Today, FIP can be treated, and some cats like Wizard (in the pictures) possibly cured of the disease.

What A Pain! Understanding Pet Pain & What to Do When Pets Hurt

September is Animal Pain Awareness Month, so I wanted to share this vital information again. We know pain hurts, but pain in pets and treating pet pain when pets hurt confuses us. They can’t tell us they feel pain, or where it hurts. Not like humans.

Because I get to work at home, there are certain perks I enjoy–such as going barefoot to work. But one afternoon last fall I moved too fast and kicked the whey outta my big toe. This wasn’t just a stubbed toe, either—it lifted and peeled the nail back to the quick, bled everywhere and hurt like the devil! Yes, I said a few choice words as I hobbled down the stairs from my office (trying not to leave a bloody trail) to get bandage material. Ooooooh, that puppy throbbed and made me whimper and howl, let me tell you.
I understand how Magical-Dawg felt several years ago. After a run in the field playing fetch, he started shivering when he came inside. The ninety-degree weather argued that he was not chilled. I checked him head-to-tail, and found nothing wrong. But later in the week, he again started shivering, and even growled at me when I asked him to move—very uncharacteristic.

Finally, after several days and two vet visits, we figured out his problem. He’d torn a dewclaw back to the quick. it hadn’t come off, so the injury remained hidden. Seren-kitty had this happen once, too, when her claw caught on bedding as she leaped from the pillow. She hid. But Magic’s short temper, shivers, and hyper-alert behavior resulted from being in pain. Here’s what you need to know to help your pets.

Visit Amy’s Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching

AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.

Awards

Memberships

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This