March 23, 2015

7 Phone Apps For Dog Parents

By Abbie Mood

It seems like there is an app for just about everything, and there is certainly no shortage for dog enthusiasts. With everything from the fun to the functional, here are some of my favorites for the iPhone, though I'm sure many of them are on the Android system, too!

Dog Park Finder Plus - $1.99 - Find the closest dog parks, off-leash areas, beaches, hikes, and rest stops. Includes user reviews and important information about these areas (hours, park type, restrictions).

Clicker Lite - free - Forget your clicker during training? Download the Clicker Lite for free and never be without your training tool.

Pet Dossier - $1.99  - Organize all of your pet's information in one place instead of filing papers.

My PetMinder$.99 - Like a datebook for your dog, keep track of your dog's appointments, health or eating habits, medication, or anything else you need.

Map My Dog Walkfree - Log your walks, map routes, and track calories.

Pet First Aid by the American Red Cross - $.99 - This app is like the WebMD of the pet world. Look up your pet's symptoms and figure out how to either self-treat, or when to get them to the vet asap!

Guide to Dog Breeds - $.99 - Whether you are trying to figure out your dog's breed, or just like learning about them, this little app will be your go to guide!

Photo Credit: William Hook via Compfight cc

March 18, 2015

Is Fair Trade Worth It?

In a word, yes. Fair Trade benefits more than 1.2 million farming families in 70 developing countries.

Ok, but what is it? Fair trade certified products are based on six key principles to benefit the farmers and workers, their communities, and the environment:

  • Fair prices- at least the market price, more if the product is organic.
  • Fair working conditions - safe working conditions and fair wages.
  • Direct trade - importers purchase directly from farming groups as much as possible, eliminating the middle man and empowering the farmers to develop business skills.
  • Democratic organizations- fair trade farmers and workers decide how money is spent in the community.
  • Community development - the farmer organizations invest money back into the community for projects such as schools, leadership training, organic certification.
  • Environmental sustainability - agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited. 
For more information on Fair Trade practices and to find companies that are Fair Trade USA certified, visit the Fair Trade USA website.

March 13, 2015

Celebrate National Wildlife Week

March 9-15 was National Wildlife Week, the National Wildlife Federation's longest-running education program for teaching children the wonders and benefits of protecting our world's wildlife.

While Amazon CARES is best known as a domestic animal charity in Peru's Amazon region, we follow and believe in our mission statement, which includes wildlife animals as well:

Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education, and Safety (CARES) seeks better health and living conditions for ALL living beings in the Peruvian Amazon region. This includes appropriate care, respect, and protection from cruelty and neglect.

Amazon CARES works hard to represent the rights of all animals in the region, and has reported inhumane treatment of wildlife animals, raised funds for neglected animals, and filed a formal complaint about the illegal use of endangered animals as decoration (yes, decoration). Read more about those efforts in our post, Celebrate National Wildlife Day in Amazon CARES. If you want to help support our mission, you can make a donation here.

But what can you do at home?

The National Wildlife Federation has a few great ideas to get involved in learning about and protecting wildlife near you!

  • Join Wildlife Nation - A community of adults working to connect kids with nature.
  • Organize a community event - Organize a trail clean-up, tree planting, building a habitat garden in your community, host a recycle event.
  • Join a local watershed group - Surf Your Watershed can help you find one!
  • Conserve water 
  • Reduce runoff and erosion by planting trees and native plants
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Limit your use of chemicals and plastics
  • Create a water source for wildlife
  • Adopt a wildlife animal

For more information and some great resources from the National Wildlife Federation, visit the NWF website.

 Photo Credit: JPBennett1 via Compfight cc

March 4, 2015

How do dogs develop from puppy to adulthood?

We all know that dogs start as these adorable little puff balls and grow to be a reliable companion, but what exactly is going on in between? What can you expect as your puppy grows into a teenager, adult, and then senior?

Prenatal: The mother’s nutrition and emotions have an impact on her developing puppies. If the mother was malnourished or stressed out during her pregnancy, you may end up with puppies that have emotional and/or behavioral issues.

Birth -approx. 3 weeks: During this time, the puppy’s vision and hearing develop, and he begins to walk.

3 weeks –approx. 16 weeks: This is the socialization period for the puppy. The puppy explores her environment and this is the most important time to expose a puppy to lots of different people and situations in a positive way. During this time is also the fear period (around 8-10 weeks), and traumatic experiences can cause lifelong problems. Most people get a puppy around this period, and it is a great time to give your puppy safe social experiences!

12 weeks –sexual maturity (6-9 months): The puppy is now considered a juvenile, and is becoming more independent. Permanent teeth come in around 4 months –goodbye sharp puppy teeth! This is a period where you may see lots of chewing as your puppy is teething. Most veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering your puppy around 4-6 months.

Sexual maturity –2-3 years: The puppy is now an adolescent or teenager. She may be mature in size (most puppies stop growing around 1 year old), but she is not mature in social skills, and this is a great time to prevent and manage undesirable behaviors. Exercise is also important during this stage.

2-3 years –7+ years: You and your dog have survived the puppy and adolescent stages and reached adulthood! Play and training are still important to keep your dog’s mind sharp and to practice skills.

7+ years: Depending on his size, your dog is considered a senior around this age. Keep an eye out for things like arthritis, declining vision or hearing, andyou should take your dog to the vet at least every year, though some vets recommend every 6 months to catch any problems sooner.Play and training are also still important in this stage, to keep your dog’s mind sharp and to practice skills, though the play and training may be at a reduced level than previous years.

Information Source: Doggie 101 program with Communicate with your Dog
Photo Credit: smerikal via Compfight cc