April Is Autism Awareness Month

The April Autism Awareness Month cover image is courtesy of  autismservicedogsofamerica.com 

Autism Awareness Month

This is an additional break from normalcy in the content we have been writing in our weekly blog; although, this is much different in topic from our time at Global Pet a few weeks ago.  April is Autism Awareness Month, and the day that is marked for World Autism Awareness is April 2nd. This year it happens to fall on a Saturday. There are events happening all around the country and it’s suggested to wear blue to support the cause. One of the biggest organized outings is the walks for awareness. Our focus will be on how pets have the ability to help in certain causes when it comes to children diagnosed with autism.  All the information that is shared is data found from outside sources. No one here is a medical doctor nor able to confirm any assessments made. We simply want to help spread the joy of what pets bring to the world.



The idea is captured very well from this 2015 post by petsintheclassroom.com.

They report, “In the past few years, numerous studies have been done and articles have been written discussing the benefits that animals can have with autistic children. The articles and studies point to significant improvements in social skills and decreases in behavior problems when classroom pets are present:


Effects of classroom animal-assisted activities on social functioning in children with autism spectrum disorder.

Social Behaviors Increase in Children with Autism in the Presence of Animals Compared to Toys



Autism Speaks – Autism and Pets: More Evidence of Social Benefits

Autism Speaks – More Evidence that Pets Foster Social Skills in Children with Autism

Huffington Post – Pets May Help Improve Social Skills Of Children With Autism

LA Times – Teacher’s pet? Guinea pigs may help autistic kids in classroom

Healthline.com – The Power of Pets: Animals Can Help Autistic Children Socialize

These studies and articles show that, through something as simple as a classroom pet, autistic students can make strides that their teachers and parents might not have otherwise thought possible.”



The petmom wrote a wonderful piece in 2015 on the importance of service dogs that are trained to specifically help with children diagnosed with autism. Below are a few snippets from the article. Read the entire piece here.

Pet mom says, “How does one train a dog to specifically work with those who have autism?

It’s certainly not as cut and dried as I would imagine other service dogs work – for example vision and hearing guide dogs.

Paws With a Cause, an organization that breeds and trains dogs specifically for life as a service or guide dog, has this to say about Autism Service Dogs:

“Service Dogs for Children with Autism act as constant companions to children with autism to help them improve social interactions and relationships, expand verbal and nonverbal communication, teach life skills, increase interest in activities and decrease stress within the family. A PAWS Dog doesn’t pass judgment, but breaks into the world of autism and becomes a crucial part of the family’s life.”

Hmmm, that’s pretty cool! I did some homework on this, and here are some of the things Autism Service Dogs can do (courtesy of the website Canines 4 Hope):

  • Impulsive Running – dog will help retrieve and get child back to parent
  • Self Harming Behavior – dog will interrupt behavior and alert parent
  • Awakening at Night – dog will bark to alert parents
  • Interpret Mood Swings – dog will crawl into child’s lap to calm child
  • Interrupt Social Isolation – child tends to focus on dog companionship
  • Non-Verbal Child – child learns to give dog commands
  • PICA – dog will stop child from eating inappropriate items
  • Self Stimulation – dog can interrupt behavior

Safety, security and protection – priceless

Safety and protection are another great perk of Autism Service Dogs. They can be trained to watch over a child who has a habit of running off (this is a very common problem among younger children with autism – we had many heart-stopping moments when our then non-verbal son would take off at the speed of light and disappear with no warning, leaving us panic-stricken and filled with anguish. 911 was called on more than one occasion). They can alert the parents and can track the child immediately. Some children have tethers with their dogs (who are trained to guide them this way), which adds an extra amount of security and safety.”

Please give the entire article a read. Here’s the link again.



Autism speaks puts out this reminder. It’s not just about the child, it is also about the dog.

This is an article written two years ago and is another great and informative read. View the entire article here.

They say, “A new study lends support to the idea that interacting with a pet benefits many children with autism. However, the author emphasizes the need to consider each child’s sensitivities as well as family dynamics in carefully considering pet ownership.

The study, published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing, surveyed parents of children who had autism about the children’s interactions with dogs. Nearly two thirds of the families owned a dog. Of these, 94 percent said their child bonded strongly with the pet. Even in the families without dogs, 7 in 10 parents said their child enjoyed interacting with dogs.

Previous research involving children with autism found that those who had a family pet from a young age tended to have greater social skills. Still other research has shown how social behaviors in children who have autism temporarily improve after even a short play period with a live animal such as a guinea pig (versus a toy). And a number of Autism Speaks Community Grants have supported successful equine-therapy programs for children with autism.

“Children with autism may especially benefit from interacting with dogs, which can provide unconditional, nonjudgmental love and companionship,” says the new study’s author, Gretchen Carlisle. Dr. Carlisle is a research fellow with the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. Although her study addressed dog ownership, Dr. Carlisle emphasized that other pets may be better suited for particular children and families.”

Autism Awareness Month

Dogs Are Awesome


We already know this, but yes, dogs are awesome. What they can potentially do for children that suffer from autism is nothing less than extraordinary. Hug your dog today.

What do you think?



Top 5 Easter Pet Reminders

Easter is one of those holidays that sneak up on us and our pets. We’ll get to Easter Pet Reminders in a minute, but first… This sneaking upon us is mainly due to the fact that sometimes Easter is in April or late March and then April again and then back to March and so on…  Have you ever wondered why? It’s a rather easy explanation.   Easter is to be held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox.  Store that neat little tidbit in your back pocket.  Want more insight? Click Here for a more in depth explanation.

Now, whether or not you celebrate this holiday, the exposure of its influence is hard to ignore.

Easter Pet Reminders

This Army of Marshmallow Treats invades your local drugstore.

While we enjoy all the food and decorations Easter offers us we must remember that these simple joyous pleasures are harmful to our pets.




Easter Pet Reminders

Courtesy of candogseatthis.com

Chocolate is a huge-big-never eat-don’t let it happen-harmful-bad-damaging-painful-unsafe-toxic-food that dogs should not ingest.  Unfortunately, it happens too much, and our dogs don’t know any better.  They sniff out what smells wonderful and go for it.  Chocolate bunnies and eggs and many other shapes of candy are all around us this Sunday. Please do everything you can to prevent your pets from ingesting it while truly enjoying it yourself. Want more information on dogs and chocolate? Click Here.


Easter Pet reminders

Courtesy of aspca.org

What is xylitol? It’s a sugar substitute. I’ll let aspca.org explain… “Xylitol is used as a sweetener in many products, including gum, candy, baked goods and toothpaste. It can cause insulin release in most species, which can lead to liver failure. The increase in insulin leads to hypoglycemia (lowered sugar levels). Initial signs of toxicosis include vomiting, lethargy and loss of coordination. Signs can progress to seizures. Elevated liver enzymes and liver failure can be seen within a few days.”

Bottom line? Don’t let your pets get into the Easter candy.



Easter Pet Reminders

Petmd.com has a fantastic and in depth article about how eggs can be hazardous but also how your dogs can enjoy them this holiday weekend. Since it is Easter, it’s not just dyed eggs we need to worry about… Chocolate, (which we’ve already discussed) and plastic eggs are also easy objects for our pets to find and be curious about. Give the Petmd a solid read. It is incredibly valuable information.



Easter Pet Reminders

If adopting rabbits is in your future considerations, that is fantastic. But we ask that you do your due diligence in researching how to adopt these wonderful little creatures. Just because it’s Easter and bunnies are a symbol of the holiday is not a valid reason.  They are fragile animals and need a specific environment to thrive. Read this article for great insight on how and when to add to your family.  It’s a very important read.



Easter Pet Reminders

Whether you celebrate the holiday or not, we can all agree that time with our families is important and vital. If you celebrate, Have a lovely Easter holiday. If you don’t, have a fantastic weekend!

Pet Safety Tips For Spring

As winter days become spring evenings and the snow showers change to thunderstorms we dream of finally storing all of our cold weather gear and only think of patio dining in the warm sunshine. Playing with our pets outside has been building up all winter and now that we can get away from the indoors of winter, we sprint towards the park. As anxious as we are to get outside we must remember to take proper care and utilize prevention.  Let’s take these late winter weeks and early thawing days to get out pets ready for the sunshine. Here are some Pet Safety Tips and ideas for spring.



Pet Safety Tips


Creating a plan is essential. For a basic checklist pint sized treasures offers one that covers from daily to monthly needs. If you’re more of a legal pad type that works too, but remember, having any sort of list is highly recommended and will simplify the process. It’s simply part of the organizational process.

Get motivated in your organization. It’s not just for you but for the overall health of your pet. Not unlike New Year’s Resolutions, getting yourself overly psyched up about the idea of being determined to finally do it this year isn’t always met with the best success. Now, while this isn’t a New Year’s Resolution specifically–more like a transitional period disguised as a resolution–but it is spring, a time of rebirth, a time to say goodbye to the old and hello to the new.  Very few people that set out to accomplish new things at the onset of a new year actually achieve their new goals. When it comes to our pets, let’s be successful! Grab that pen and paper and get going!

Pet Safety Tips

Okay… Organizing. There are many places to find materials to help in your organization process.  The Container Store, The Dollar Store, garage sales, second hand stores all provide options for any spending amount.  Storage space for all your pet products is important in creating a healthy environment. All toys should be washed and put in a clean storage container, medications, vitamins, shampoos and other hygiene products should be separated and put into clean storage units. Don’t forget the treats and other food! Those need to be cleaned out as well to avoid bacteria and other harmful elements.  And don’t forget to update your pets first aid kit. Ensure items haven’t leaked, been compromised or have expired.



Pet Safety Tips

Their coat grows longer and sheds more around the house. Your pet, while not smelling poorly, has a slight odor of winter and it’s time to freshen up and get that scent of sunshine throughout the house. A professional grooming trip is recommended to get that full cleaning. Dogs can hide any number of tiny things all over–from fleas, to pollen, to dust mites and various bacteria. Before we can bring them back to the park, let’s get them prepared to go.



Pet Safety Tips

As the sun shines longer and temperatures make their way up the thermometer, we’re all going to do some purging or cleaning throughout the house. Maybe it’s time to paint inside the house or plant the seeds in the garden, either way; we need to keep our pets in mind and safe from these tasks that could be hazardous to our pets.  Keep the away from fresh paint and out of rooms where fresh coats are applied. The breathing of the fumes and the oft chance our pets ingest or could get covered in paint is not worth the risk. Ensure the area is aired out before allowing your pet to go back inside.

When getting the rad ready for spring and your garden planted, beware of standing puddles from snow melt. Bacteria can easily hide in the water and make your pet sick if they decide to drink.  Do you use fertilizers or other potential poisonous materials in the yard? Keep your pets away from these to avoid any possible illness.



Pet Safety Tips

It’s Spring! It’s getting warmer. Go out and enjoy it. A safe pet is a healthy pet and a happy pet.

What are your Spring Safety Suggestions?


Advantek At Global Pet Expo 2016


We are taking a short break from our usual posts to bring you an update from the road. That’s right, we’ve left our sunny California office for the, hmmm… the… Sunshine State.  Yep, we’re representing at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida this week at the Orange County Convention Center.  We look forward to flying out to The Everglades State this time every year. We’ve made new friends and anticipate our annual Florida trip to see them and to meet new folks, like you! We’ll be in booth 1409 and we’re revealing some great new items.

Follow us on twitter for live tweets throughout the show.

Global Pet Expo

Setting up our booth.

Pictured left center is the Pagoda Rabbit Hutch (fully assembled). This is our newest rabbit item from the Pointe Elizabeth Collection and we couldn’t wait until Global Pet Expo arrive to show it off. “Your furry friend deserves the comfortable and cute Advantek Pagoda Rabbit Hutch. This two-story rabbit hutch makes living life outdoors comfortable and safe for your rabbits. It features a comfy indoor nesting box and the hutch has a pull-out tray for easy cleaning and maintenance. An access door allows rabbits to go down the ramp into the outdoor space, which is enclosed with rabbit-friendly wire. Galvanized hardware prevents rust and a non-toxic, waterproof asphalt roof insulates the entire nesting box and rains warm air in winter and cooler air in summer. This rabbit hutch is built of durable cypress that is naturally decay- and rot-resistant. The Eco-Friendly cypress is grown in government controlled, sustainable forests.”


Global Pet Expo rooftop

Fiona the Hen enjoys her coffee in her brand new Rooftop Garden Home.

What we are thrilled to debut in Orlando at Global Pet Expo is our Roof-Top Garden, the newest Chicken Coop from the Pointe Elizabeth Collection. “House your feathered flock and grow your own garden in the Advantek Roof-Top Garden Chicken Coop, part of the Pointe Elizabeth collection. This beautiful garden-hutch mix and run provides a safe and spacious living area for your chickens. This coop kit is made with top quality lumber and hardware for superior durability and functionality. The Advantek roof-top garden chicken coop gives your feathered friends plenty of space to move around and enjoy happy, healthy lives. The hutch provides plenty of room to rest and roost with two nesting houses and two roosting bars. A strategically-placed rooftop garden allows you to grow your own fresh herbs. Advantek’s Gone Green line of chicken hutches are a great way to safely shelter an animal from the elements. Grown in government controlled, sustainable forests, these shelters are constructed from durable cypress fir which is naturally decay- and rot-resistant

Global Pet Expo

Pet Gazebo Select Series

Our biggest and most anticipated reveal is the line of Select Pet Gazebos. This line provides a market-top cover available in a variety of colors making customization easily catered to your personal preference. Colors include, Beach Sand, Desert Sunset and River Grass, and many more! There are other great new features too, of course, but we’re just so excited we want you to see them for yourself! Come to our booth (1409) and say hi!   Cj, Ryan and Joe are all there waiting for you to say hello or slap a high five.

Can’t make it to Global Pet Expo this year? Don’t worry; we’ll give you all the details soon.

Global Pet Expo

Chauncy The Guard Chicken Waits for you to say hello.

How To Find The Best Rabbit Hutch For Your Money

When it comes to providing for our pets we will go to any length to ensure their comfort and happiness. However, there are times when amenities may be cost prohibitive. But owning the best rabbit hutch doesn’t have to mean it will be an expensive rabbit home. Here we will discuss ways to get that best rabbit hutch that will be the talk of the neighborhood and keep your bunnies cozy while not over spending.  



Fantastic! You’re a DIY person or one that knows their way around a toolbox. This method will be the most effective way to not break the bank. A simple internet search for designs or plans for the best rabbit hutch (or the old fashioned way and seek out ideas at your local bookstore) revealed a lot of ideas and instructions on how to build a rabbit hutch using parts that are easily accessible from your neighborhood hardware store. The pieces you need may very well already be in your possession from previous projects. You never know what might be hiding in your garage.

This one courtesy of binkybunny.com takes an old hutch and turns it into, well… a hutch.

Best Rabbit Hutch

Courtesy of binkybunny.com


If you have the space in your yard, consider this idea via grit.com.

Best Rabbit Hutch

Courtesy of grit.com

A great complement to an already beautiful backyard, these rabbit hutches can expand into structures that do more than just house your bunnies. Not only will you have the best rabbit hutch and be the talk of the neighborhood, installing solar panels or a rooftop herb garden to these buildings creates multiple functions and keeps you even greener.

Best Rabbit Hutch

Courtesy of theownerbuildernetwork.com

Much like this idea above, the best rabbit hutch sometimes is the best garden option too, especially if you live in an urban area with a small yard. What better way to grow fresh basil, rosemary, mint, sage and any other commonly used herb in your recipes.



Okay, so you don’t know the difference between a flat head or a phillips head screwdriver. That’s fine.  There are many options out there ranging from plastic to wood to the durable cypress fir that Advantek utilizes in our bunny hutches.

Shopping for the best rabbit hutch that is the perfect match will take a little research. You want to make sure it is ideal for your bunnies… we totally understand why. Since we all love our pets, we may tend to overthink the process. This is normal and nothing to worry about. We all want to provide the best quality that we can.

Start simple.

Where do you live? Is it urban, suburban or country? If you have a flat in Providence with no defined walls, how much space can you designate to your furry family members? What if you live on a farm with endless outdoor space? Or what if you just want the best rabbit hutch in the living room? Or just outside?

Do you need to worry about predators? While we never want to think about it, we do need to be proactive and not reactive when it comes to protecting our pets.  Do you live in coyote or snake country? Don’t forget about the safety of your rabbits when searching for the best rabbit hutch.  The Stilt House by Advantek is a great option that won’t break the bank.

Best Rabbit Hutch

Advantek’s Stilt Rabbit Hutch

There’s also the old fashioned way.  Go to your local brick and mortar locations and compare. While we may spend most of the time on the internet doing the research there’s still something about going out there and taking your pet with you (many pet stores welcome our furry family members inside) and letting them sniff (or gnaw) out what the best rabbit hutch is for them.

The biggest thing to remember is that the best rabbit hutch you choose is primarily used for sleeping. Confining the rabbits inside a hutch all hours is not healthy for them.

What are your ideas for the best rabbit hutch? Tag us and send us your ideas.