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Our Time at SuperZoo 2016: From Cooper to Chauncy, A Recap

Wait. What is SuperZoo?


SuperZoo, Click Here for their website, is a once a year event we attend within the Pet Industry. And this year was a great one. We made a lot of new friends and had some great conversations with all those generous folks that walked by and into our booth.

I know, I know, our blog entries tend more towards education not necessarily our adventures, BUT! Our adventures can be educational. And boy, did we learn a lot this year at SuperZoo and it was all for the best


Chauncy on top of the new Peak Roofed Chicken Coop

The Star of our booth was the booth itself.  We went with a different approach this year and utilized the talents of Mike Rios to design our booth. And boy, did it turn out quite lovely.  The booth was warm, open, inviting and allowed us to display our new products with flair. The openness of our booth also catered to the individual walking by. This created many opportunities to make new friends and have great conversations.  The Mandalay Bay convention center is a massive structure and for all of you that made your way to us, Thank you.

On display…

We showcased a few new products this year.



The Row House

The Row House is our newest rabbit hutch within our Pointe Elizabeth series. Also part of our GoneGreen line, the Row House Rabbit Hutch is a unique dual-level home that will give your rabbits everything they need to live a fun and safe life.

Advantek Select Gazebo with the Desert Sunset cover.

Advantek Select Gazebo with the Desert Sunset cover.

The Advantek Select Pet Gazebo was the second big reveal this year. Designed with pets and backyards in mind, the Advantek Select Pet Gazebo is the premium way to shelter your pet and enhance your yard. At the show, the scene was stolen by Cooper, a rescue and cute overload supporter of Adopt a Rescue Pet Las Vegas, our partner for the past few shows. He was adored by everyone who walked by and probably made more friends than we did. But that’s okay, he deserved it.


Cooper at the gate.

The Peak Roofed Chicken Coop was the other big eye catching display.  From Chauncy our main chicken perched on top, to the garden on the roof permeating the scents of fresh basil and rosemary to all SuperZoo attendees. The sweet aroma drew in lots of casual observers and ended up generating lots of conversations about the Peak Roofed Chicken Coop.

This is one of our main designs into our Humane Chicken Coop campaign. You can read more about that by clicking right here.  The product on display also includes two modular runs. They fit on any side allowing you to customize however you prefer. Due to a lack of display space they were omitted from the show., but they provide ample space for chickens to be comfortable, spread their wings and stretch.



The Peak Roofed Chicken Coop (Modular Runs Not Pictured)

We held two contests and gave away four of our Original Pet Gazebos.  One of the contests was to take a selfie with Chauncy and the other was to upload your favorite photo of your pet. We wish that everyone could have won. It’s true, the amount of adorable photos we saw of all your pets and those wonderful selfies were all deserving.


One of our winners of the Selfie contest.



Ryan proudly stands with Chauncy.



CJ always in awe of Chauncy’s many talents.


One of our favorite pet photo entries.


As much fun as we have at SuperZoo every year it is all of you that truly make it special. Thank you for stopping by and saying hi and we can’t wait to go back next year.


Introducing: A New, More Humane, Industry Chicken Coop Standard

A New, More Humane, Industry Chicken Coop Standard

Chicken Coop Standard

When shopping for a chicken hutch you’ve probably seen plenty of coops that promise housing for 6, 8 or even a dozen chickens. Then, once you get home and assemble the new coop you find that not only is it too small for 8, but in fact, it doesn’t even have enough room for the three chickens you already have to live comfortably! Now, you’re likely disappointed in the seemingly false advertising and overestimation of chicken capacities. We want to change that. 

Chicken coops are only as strong as the weakest link within the design. For example, if the nesting box is 12” x 12” x 12” (Which accommodates one to three birds maximum) and the manufacturer of the coop has enough run space for 8 chickens but only that one nesting box, it can’t house eight chickens. Actually, it can only house about two to three.

We noticed that this discrepancy is consistent throughout the chicken coop industry. This is because the chicken coop standard was invented and then copied by other manufacturers in the business. Advantek was one of those manufacturers. Now, the time has come for us to focus on designing humane chicken coops for our backyard chickens. Because of this new initiative, we have updated the correct quantity of chickens are that can reside inside any given coop.


From now on, all of our chicken coop capacities have considered the following:


  • 2-3 square feet per chicken for roosting and space. 1 square foot on the roosting bar
  • 12” x 12” x 12” for a nesting box per 1-3 chickens max
  • 3-6 square feet of running space


Multiple reports have stated that, unsurprisingly, chickens living in humane situations are healthier, live longer, and produce more eggs. Chickens stress very easily (this can’t be emphasized enough) and when stressed, egg production may cease and chickens could become ill.

Going forward, we will be featuring the humane chicken coop standard capacities vs. industry standards on our packaging. You may also notice that our chicken capacity counts have already changed across all of your favorite e-commerce retailer’s websites. Our goal here at Advantek is to safely shelter all animals in sustainable and healthy environments; to see each and every animal within a happy home.

Chickens are great pets and they contribute so much more than fresh eggs to the household. Keeping them healthy and giving them enough space to thrive creates benefits for the chicken and the chicken parent that are priceless.

That is the story. One simple observation that led to the questions. Those questions led to answers that lead to something great. Just wait until you see the results.

Explanation of Research Process by Dave Bloom, Chief Researcher of this project

When I was hired by Advantek in late 2015, I knew at the onset that my responsibilities would include writing about chickens. This is a company that focuses on pet products so this was by no means a shock to me. But at the time, pretty much the only things I knew about chickens were a few jokes, recipes and the fact that they poop–like a lot.

I wanted to learn everything I could about chickens, especially how to care for them and try to understand what a backyard chicken goes through on any given day. We design chicken coops and I needed to know how the coops are created to cater to chickens; not only what was the chicken coop standard, but what were the other practices in place to care for chickens? I did some research online, more or less in passing; reading people’s thoughts on their blogs and other somewhat unreliable information. I would do an internet search every few days to get my feet wet with information and I started to feel confident in my introduction to the world of chickening. With so much untrustworthy content online I needed confident sources that I could cite and utilize going forward. I did some exploring about chickening books and started my education with these three books; Chickens For The Backyard Homesteader by Suzie Baldwin, Raising Chickens For Dummies by Kimberly Willis and Robert T. Ludlow and The Backyard Chicken Bible by Eric Lofgren. I then followed it up with these two magazines that had special issue dedicated to chickens; Amundsen, Lucie B. “How To Raise Chickens.” Modern Farmer. Spring 2016 and Williams, Christian. (Ed.). (2016). Guide to Backyard Chickens: [Special issue]. Grit. The information in the magazines echoed everything I had read in the books and my confidence continued to grow.

After all of that reading I ended up with a new question for every question answered.


Looking at the products that exist out there I noticed that there was a clear industry standard for chicken coops that benefits the chicken owner, but not best constructed for birds, and in some cases are downright bad and unhealthy for them. We want to make products that benefit both. The biggest takeaway from some of these authors is that they themselves are backyard chicken owners, not reporters or writers assigned a story. Most of the chickeners that wrote these books went the Do It Yourself approach to build their coops. This of course, is always an option for you if you decide, but the core of building your own or purchasing a Humane Chicken Coop remain the same. We want chickens to live in environments that cater to their health and well being. The ideals put forth in our humane chicken coops educate on proper space for chickens in coops, correct size of a roosting bar, adequate run space and how exactly a nesting box should be sized for your chickens.

There will soon be a lot of new humane content on our website. Visit often as we’ll add information on Proper Practices, DIY Ideas and of course, The Humane Chicken Coop Standard. Are you as excited as we are?

Keeping Chickens Cool During The Summer

Keeping Chickens Cool is not a terribly difficult process but one that needs to be in place to help facilitate the care of our pet chickens during the hottest months.  Almost every type of climate if affected by this; while the south will see warmer months more frequently than the north, spikes in temperatures occur most everywhere, so please be cautious and aware to keep our chickens safe.

Keeping Chickens Cool

I stay cool by looking this good.






While proper ventilation should be built into the chicken coop that you own, finding ways to add additional air flow is key to keeping chickens cool as the weather heats up.  This includes adding a fan inside of the coop–that isn’t always a viable option depending on the size of the coop, but if a workaround can be done, go for it. The usual warning applies here in regards to live wire or cords that chickens could get injured on.  To assist in cooler temps inside, ensure that there’s only a thin layer of shavings on the ground. This will act as an insulator and keep the coop warmer.

Freeze It

On those extreme hot days where we open up the freezer door and just stand there letting the cold air envelop us, think of that kind of cold relief for your chickens too.  One of the best ways of keeping chickens cool is to put ice in their water. Keeping their H2O fresh and clean is a no-brainer task and adding ice to the bowl helps keep the water cool as your chickens drink it up. It also helps maintain proper body temperature of the chickens.

Be careful of the choice in feed for those really hot days. Certain foods take longer to digest which in turn creates additional body heat. Put some berries into the freezer and share them with your chickens. Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are ideal for a frozen treat. melons work great too. Cut one in half and freeze it and let your chickens pick out of the melon bowl will go a long way in keeping your chickens cool. Here’s a link for a quick read on what to not feed your chickens.


Keeping chickens out of direct sunlight is the obvious answer to the shade situation, but there are many small ways that shade can be offered and it will make a huge difference. Having a roof over your chicken coop is smart for many reasons, but the sun is sneaky and can find ways to shine right upon the chickens. If you use Advantek’s Medium Gazebo,   

Keeping Chickens Cool

the inclusion of the Sun Shade makes a huge difference blocking that direct sunlight. 

 Keeping Chickens Cool

Any additional shade could be the difference between healthy and unhealthy chickens. 


A lot of these practices translate from how we would take care of ourselves during the hottest of days.  Avoid allowing chickens to exert themselves too much and ensure that they aren’t huddled together. Giving them proper space in the shade to remain cool is key. Keep their dust bath area nice and shaded too. The cooler earth will feel good as they bathe and wait out the hottest hours of the day. 

Chickens are easily stressed animals and it’s our job to take care of them. Much like we keep them and ourselves warm in the winter we need to ensure we keep them cool in the summer.  What ideas do you have? Share them below.



Teacher Appreciation Week (And Those Classroom Pets)

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!


It’s Teacher Appreciation Week and while we here at Advantek believe teachers need to be appreciated this way all year long, we wanted to give a special shout out to those that take the chance and have animals in the classroom as pets.

Teacher Appreciate week


There are so many benefits to having pets in the classroom. Not only does it take an animal that might not have had a home and surround it with a family, pets in the classroom have the ability to assist in educating our children.

Teacher Appreciation Week


Did you have pets in the classroom while you were in school? What kind of pet was it? What are your memories? What did you learn? We’d bet your take away was a lot more than you realize. That’s why, this Teacher Appreciation Week, we wanted to mention those furry and or scaly classmates that bring our children added benefits and thank the teachers that take the chance on bringing in pets for our education.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Have you said thank you during Teacher Appreciation Week?

Pets in the classroom is a website the advocates such a practice.  Some of their insights and research reveal that, “Classroom Pets Stimulate Learning Classroom animals are wonderful resources for teachers to make learning fun in all subjects!” They go on to say, “Whether it’s Math (“how much does a hamster weigh?”) or Science, (“what does a snake eat?”) Geography (“what part of the world do ferrets come from?”) or Grammar (“what words would we use to describe a goldfish?”) students will approach learning all these subjects with a new enthusiasm and interest. Other classes can even come visit your classroom pets and your students can create special presentations about the animals.”

They also talk about how having a pet in the classroom enriches the learning experience.

“• Even kids with no exposure to animals or nature in their home environment can see, feel, touch and make connections to the wide world of animals.
• Observing and caring for an animal instills a sense of responsibility and respect for life.
• A pet brings increased sensitivity and awareness of the feelings and needs of others—both animals and humans.
• Kids learn that all living things need more than just food and water for survival.
• Students will see directly how their behavior and actions affect others.
• Studies show that the presence of animals tends to lessen tension in the classroom.”

Read more about pets in the classroom here. 

One teacher that we spoke to said this about pets in the classroom, “It’s not solely about responsibility, it’s about respect for animals (my passion.) I plant a seed to one day try and have all animals loved, resulting in no animal shelters and no animal abuse.” We couldn’t agree more.

The Be Humane website has findings on pets in the classroom. They say, “A class hamster, guinea pig, lizard, or even goldfish can be fun and exciting for schoolchildren, but it also has real educational, leadership and character-building value, according to a new study from American Humane Association in collaboration with the Pet Care Trust. Phase I of the two-phase “Pets in the Classroom” study features surveys and interviews of nearly 1,200 teachers and reveals that having a class pet can teach children important values like compassion, empathy, respect, and responsibility for other living things, as well as give them much-needed leadership skills and stress relief.” Read the entire article here. 

There’s been a lot of dialogue about having pets in the classroom and the benefits involved. An internet search reveals a lot of content on the subject.

The website Animal World listed a bunch of bullet points in their report. Below are three of them.  Visit their page to read all of the benefits. 

1. Pets teach compassion – Children learn to care for another living creature. They don’t always know how to interact with other creatures and this can teach them to touch softly, feed an animal and become in tune to their feelings. For instance, petting comforts an animal.

2. Pets teach responsibility – You are never too young to learn how to coexist with other living things. Pets are dependent on their owners for feeding and care. Children can learn how to feed a pet on a regular schedule, give them exercise and also clean out their cages.

3. Pets teach kids to think – While children learn to read and write in school, they also need to think through situations. If a pet is limping, something is wrong with it that needs attention. Cleaning a cage takes thought. The pet needs to be moved to another location before the tank can be cleaned. Where will you put the pet?

What are your thoughts about pets in the classroom? What benefits do you see? 

Make sure to tell your teacher thank you, not just during Teacher Appreciation Week, but as much as you can.


The Time Is Now To Plan That Summer Dog Road Trip

Honestly, when is summer not on our minds? As we reach the midpoint of spring, those warm sunny days of summer are incredibly close. What plans have you made for the good ole American Road Trip? It’s a thought that always crosses our minds… But this year, make it a Dog Road Trip year. Yep, bring our furry family members along and make it a summer of memories for our pets too.

Dog Road Trip Planning Guide

We love spontaneity as much as the next animal lover or dog, but when it comes to some (most) of our National Parks, reserving a campsite during peak times will be a challenge without planning ahead. If camping or visiting a National Park is the main destination or theme, you should check out one of our favorite website resources. Pet Friendly Travel has an in depth look at all of the National Parks and National Forests and what is needed for our dogs to join us as we admire their beauty.

Planning ahead cannot be emphasized enough.  One of us here at Advantek recently secured a campsite at Yosemite for Labor Day Weekend. They go on sale five months ahead of time and usually sell out within hours. The more popular destinations, if included on your list, usually book fast and need to be planned out well in advance to secure your time there.

National Parks aren’t on your list of destinations for a Summer Dog Road Trip? No problem. What excites you about the open road? Seeing the largest ball of twine (Kansas) in America? Or a fantastic Route 66 museum (Afton, OK)? How about driving into the never ending blue sky horizon? Or seeing mile and mile of farmland after mile? There’s something out there for all of us.

Dog Road Trip

Sorry, rabbits, but it is not the best idea to take you on a road trip.

Basics First for the Dog Road Trip

  • Is your dog road trip ready?
  • Does your furry family member suffer from motion sickness? While some dog trips will be on straight roads, some camping adventures very well may be windy.
  • Is the documentation in place? License and collar are up to date? Immunization records are taken with?
  • Did you use a dog travel packing list? We like to think we remember everything, and maybe we do, but to make it easier here’s a solid list.
    • Toys
    • Leash
    • Blanket or sleeping cushion
    • Treats
    • Water and Food
    • Non spill dishes for food and water
    • Pest control (ticks & fleas e.g.)
    • Brush
    • Poop Bags
    • Remember that being able to secure your dog down within the car is a big safety necessity too.  The need to stop short or swerve will ideally never come about, but if it is necessary, severe injury can be avoided with the use or a crate or doggy seat belt.

Mother Nature Network has a great snippet on a newer idea, but one that shouldn’t be all too surprising.

They say, “While we’re talking about apps, you probably want to download a few more that will make road-tripping easier. Dog Park Finder Plus is a great app for locating a dog park or a dog-friendly park no matter where you are, and BringFido helps you locate these as well as dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, stores and even events. Basically, if there’s a place that’s dog-friendly nearby, you’ll probably be able to find it with this app. It’s a perfect app when you’re on the road.”

Almost every rest stop along the major highways has a pet friendly area for them to run around and do their business. If you choose to avoid the main roads, please ensure your dogs are getting exercise throughout the day wherever and whenever stops happen.

Go Pet Friendly has a great article about road tripping with our dogs.  One of their highlights is, “Keeping A Schedule: Maintaining your pet’s feeding and exercise schedule as much as possible during your trip will reduce any anxiety they may feel about being away from home, so allow for stops along the way to let your pet stretch, run, or burn off some energy – isn’t this what being on vacation is all about, after all?”

One other item to consider is the Advantek Pet Barrier.

Dog Road Trip

The Pet Barrier is a secure way of keep your pet safe during many of your travels.

Go on now! Get planning! There’s so much to see out there and the road is one of the greatest ways to go exploring. Bringing our dogs along to ensure our entire family is along for the ride makes the experience whole.

Let us know where you’re going!

And have fun!

Dog Road Trip


Dog Road Trip Dog Road Trip


Happy Earth Day 2016!

April 22nd is Earth Day 2016 and it happens once a year, but it’s meaning should be recognized every day. Earth Day 2016

But What Does It Mean For Our Pets?

There are many things that can be done on the individual level in regards to keeping Mother Nature healthy, and a lot can be done in regards to our pets. For Earth Day 2016 consider these many options. has compiled a great list on how to get started. This is their post from last year. We can apply these to our Earth Day 2016.

They wrote…

Earth Day 2016

Take a Walk With Your Dog

What better way to commune with Mother Earth than by getting outside and surrouding yourself with nature. Take your dog to a dog park and let him roam free, or take a longer-than-usual walk around the neighborhood. Explore a new walking path or spend a few hours at a neighborhood park.

Buy Green

Do a little research to find and purchase eco-friendly pet products that are made by companies using sustainable practices and materials. This can go a long way to limit both your and your pet’s carbon footprint. Check out Nashville-based, makers of eco-friendly hemp collars, leashes, harnesses, beds and chew toys.

Make Spring Cleaning Count

Instead of throwing out those gently used pet toys, blankets, leashes and beds, donate them to a local shelter or to a family or older neighbor who might not be able to afford new items. Not only will you be helping our furry friends and fellow animal lovers, but you’ll be keeping those items from ending up in our landfills.

Spend Earth Day With Your Friends and Neighbors

You and your pets are invited to Centennial Park on Saturday, April 18, to celebrate Earth Day Nashville. There will be live music, a beer garden, and a reuse arts and crafts village, sponsored by Turnip Green Creative Reuse. This year’s festival will help the community take another step toward Mayor Karl Dean’s goal of making Nashville the greenest city in the Southeast.

Read All About It

For more Earth Day ideas, check out the annual Green Issue of Nashville Paw magazine. You’ll find directions for creating an eco- and dog-friendly backyard retreat as well as a list of dog-friendly adventures in and around Nashville that will help you explore the city’s greener side.

 We Can Also…

Follow these wonderful ideas for Earth Day 2016 from They wrote these ideas a few years ago and each one still holds true to this day.

They wrote…

Earth Day 2012 is April 22 and will be on that day for the next 22 years. Every year more and more events are held on Earth Day worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment. So what can you do if you’re a pet lover to enjoy Earth Day and reduce your pet’s pawprint? Your pets can have a huge impact on the environment, and aside from buying natural and recycled products for them, and shopping at a shelter or rescue’s thrift store, below are four ideas I have for easy ways you can help lessen the negative impact your pets can have on our planet. You can use these not just on Earth Day, but every day!

1. Pick up after your dog
Dog poop pollutes if it is not picked up & properly processed.
Make sure to use biodegradable pick-up bags.
Take it up a notch: Install a dog-waste mini septic tank.

2. Pick up after your cat
Scoop into paper lunch bags or biodegradable dog pickup bags.
Use a recycled, biodegradable cat litter: my favorite is Yesterdays News from Purina. (Available at PetSmart and online.)

3. Protect wildlife from your pet
Keep your cat indoors, on a harness, or in a catio.
If you hike with your dog off-leash, train him to come when called, even if he sees a rabbit or squirrel.

4. Adopt a “recycled” pet!
Pets at shelters and rescues can become your recycled pet! Someone careless may have thrown away their pet, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable or wonderful as your “new” family friend.



It all comes down to the idea that what we can do for ourselves we can do for out pets.

Biodegradable poop bags? CHECK.

Reusable Tote Bags for purchases for our furry family members? CHECK.

Being out in Nature? Walks in the Park? Exercise outside? CHECK.

Grain Free Food = Less Poop? Yes! That is an option!

Eco-Friendly toys? Yes! Those too!


Did You Know?

For Earth Day 2016, think outside the box. Some urban areas allow pets on public transportation.

There is some much we can do to aid in keeping Mother Nature happy and healthy. Click Here for internet search results on what more we can do as Earth Day 2016 approaches.

What are your ideas?

Share below.


National Poetry Month or How Do I Love Thy Pet?

Happy National Poetry Month!

Aside from many other designations, April is also National Poetry Month.

National Poetry Month

Well, while the above might be advisable, April really is National Poetry Month.  We want to take advantage of this space and time to realize one of our biggest muses, what inspires every day to write and love. Yes, our pets.  How many of you have written a poem about your pet dog, or cat or hamster? As a child i’m sure most if not all of us wrote about our pets, either for a school assignment or just because we love them and wanted to.  We will be posting across our social media channels poems dedicated to the wonder and joy that are animals.  Certain poets will most certainly be recognizable, while others may not be so mainstream.  Those non mainstream poets may or may not include some employees of Advantek.

Never considered writing about your furry family members before? Here are 15 prompts for writing about pets from Journal Buddies.


  1. Have children write a poem about their dream pet. There are no rules, here. Just fun. They can even draw a picture if they would like.
  2. Write a story from the point of view of one of your children’s pets.
  3. Describe your favorite pet. What do you love about it? If you do not have a pet, describe the one you would like to have the most.
  4. Invent a brand new pet. What would it look like? How would you have to care for it?
  5. Write a conversation you would have with your pet (or dream pet) if you could talk with animals. (You could even read passages from Doctor Doolittle to go along with this prompt.)
  6. What if you had a pet like your favorite cartoon character? Who would it be? What kind of adventures would you have?
  7. If you would like to have a pet, make a list of the things you would have to do to care for your pet. If you already own one, write a paragraph about how you care for your pet.
  8. You can choose to be the pet of anyone in the world. Who would it be? What kind of animal would you be?
  9. Which pets are the best? Why?
  10. Let your students finish this story: “If I were a pet, I would be a _____, and I would….”
  11. What would the world look like if cats acted like dogs and dogs acted like cats?
  12. What if we kept wild animals for pets? Which one would you chose?
  13. What would happen if you lost your pet? How would you feel? What would you do?
  14. If someone were to care for your pet (or dream pet) while you were away, what things would they need
  15. What would your day be like if you were a cat? Or a dog? Or a fish? What sorts of things would you do? What would be your favorite time of day?

Give some of these a try or come up with your own. And don’t forget to share. We love all things pets and look forward to reading yours! We may even share it!


What do you think? Do you have a poem about your pets?


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April Is Autism Awareness Month

The April Autism Awareness Month cover image is courtesy of 

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

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 – 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

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

What is xylitol? It’s a sugar substitute. I’ll let 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 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?