The BUSTER ActivityMat: A Playful Thinking Exercise for Your Dog

The BUSTER ActivityMat is an easy and fun way for dog owners to interact closely with their pets. Owners can choose from a series of different tasks that snap into place on the mat to present the dog with different challenges.

Agility World Champions Crowned in Scottsdale

Nearly 1,000 of the world’s best canine athletes from 10 countries competed for five days in Scottsdale, Arizona, this November. In each of six different jump heights, only one dog left with the 2016 Grand Prix of Dog Agility World Championship crown at the Cynosport World Games.

The winners in the following jump heights are:

  • 12 Inches: Diane O’Reily with Rauri Belle, a Poodle from Hockessin, Delaware
  • 14 Inches: Abbey Beasley with Dreamer, a Shetland Sheepdog from Lewis County, Ohio
  • 16 Inches: Ashley Deacon with Dash, a Pyre Shepherd from Pacifica, California
  • 18 Inches: Channon Fosty and Kirk, a Border Collie from Newark, California
  • 22 Inches: Susan Garrett with Swagger, a Border Collie from Ontario, Canada
  • 26 Inches: Laura Pryse with Hot Shot, a Border Collie from Morgan Hill, California

Jump heights are based on how tall the dogs measure at the tip of their shoulder blades.usdaa-2

Cynosport was live-streamed and featured an “instant replay” during each of the tournament finals.

The event was sponsored by Zuke’s, maker of all-natural and healthy dog treats; GlycoFlex, a pioneer in canine joint health; and Multi Radiance Medical lasers.

Besides the World Championship event, three other tournaments were held during the annual Cynosport World Games: the $10,000 Dog Agility Steeplechase, Dog Agility Masters Team Tournament and the Masters Challenge Biathlon.

Besides the opportunity to watch top agility competitors from around the world compete, Cynosport offers other exciting “paws on” events to promote responsible pet ownership, including Splash Dogs, lure coursing and an “Agility 101” event.

usdaa-1The event is hosted by the United States Dog Agility Association, the world’s largest independent canine sports authority. The organization stated in a press release that it was “dedicated to promoting the sport of dog agility as a recreational family sport that fosters responsible pet ownership.”

The dates for the 2017 Cynosport World Games are Oct. 25-29, 2017, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

For more information on pet industry and community events, like Pet Age on Facebook.

Marine Veteran Earns ‘Most Trusted Pet Foods Company’ Award Fourth Year in a Row

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, households around the country have a collective 218 million pets, not counting several million fish. On average, a family spends around $500 per year on their pet for food, supplies and veterinary care. Pet food is an issue that takes center stage, since it is something that is such a big part of caring for our cats and dogs. A U.S. Marine veteran who is revolutionizing the pet food industry has been awarded “Most Trusted Pet Foods Company” for the fourth year in a row by

“I’m thrilled to have won this award for the fourth year in a row, confirming that we have the safest pet food in the industry,” said Will Post, who is a veteran and is the founder and CEO of Hound & Gatos Pet Foods Corporation. “We have gone to great lengths to ensure that our pet food is safe and healthy so that people can feed it to their cats and dogs and know they are doing good rather than harming their health.”

Post explains that it is also critical for people who are feeding their pets dry kibble that they also include 100 percent meat products, such as those made by Hound & Gatos. This will help ensure that the pets have their nutrition needs met, because most dry kibble is filled with unnecessary ingredients and falls short of supplying pets with much-needed nutrients.

Post saw a problem in the pet food industry, whereby the foods were made up of unhealthy ingredients that pets shouldn’t be consuming. Feeling that after 100 years of commercialized pet foods our pets are sicker than ever, he set out on a mission to create a pet food line that was safe and healthy. Inspired by the Marine motto of “Always Faithful,” he carried that same passion and belief into caring for pets and creating the Hound & Gatos Pet Foods product line.

Hound & Gatos has won the prestigious award four years in a row, because of their commitment to quality and safety, including:

  • They are the only global brand that tests every batch of pet food for the correct DNA. Many people do not realize that the meat that is listed on the ingredient packages on some commercial food is not what is actually in it. Plus, oftentimes, the meat is sourced in other countries, where safety standards are not as high as they are in America.
  • Their products are all made from 100 percent meat, which is healthier for pets. Most commercial pet foods have an ingredient list filled with things like fillers, corn, wheat, preservatives and other things that pets should not be consuming.
  • They avoid harmful substances in their foods, such as chemicals, carrageenan, generic livers and flavor enhancers. Most people are not aware of what these ingredients are, but their pets are consuming them in most commercial foods and they can make them sick and unhealthy.
  • All Hound & Gatos pet foods are made in South Dakota in the USA, helping to ensure safety and quality standards are met.

“We have been recognized again as the most trusted pet foods company because of our commitment to ensuring that our food is both safe and healthy,” Post added. “Our mission is to help people around the country keep their pets looking and feeling great and living longer.”

Dubbed “The Original Paleolithic Pet Food Company,” Hound & Gatos offers all natural pet foods for both cats and dogs. Flavor varieties include chicken, salmon, rabbit, lamb, beef, pork and trout. They are also working on an all-natural, safe and wholesome pet treat. Their food is currently available in all 50 states, as well as in Canada, and have never had any of their food recalled.

Meals for Dogs Announces Official Launch Date

Florida’s Broward County’s first canine and feline commercial kitchen and retail store—which has been years in the making—this week announced its grand opening, set for December 7. After years of research and development, Meals For Dogs (MFD) feels they are ready to share their recipes and healthy meals with happy pet owners throughout South Florida.

MFD is taking a concept less pursued in the animal food business and going full force with pet meal preparation using human grade food in an open, commercial kitchen, allowing all customers to the see the process from start to finish. All of the meals are vacuum-sealed and are refrigerated or frozen. Customers can choose to visit MFD to pick up their meals and treats or have them delivered to their home.

“This family owned business means that Broward County residents now have a healthy, fresh food option for their beloved dogs and cats,” said MFD Owner and Founder Catherine Paul-Hus. “We are incredibly thrilled to be opening in Fort Lauderdale and preparing our meals and treats for all our four-legged friends.”

All the MFD meals and treats are cooked with no preservatives, fillers, flavoring or byproducts. They are offering five different dog meals, three cat meals and one puppy meal. All of the recipes are South Florida-influenced and include conch key chicken that consists of USDA grade chicken, long grain white rice, Granny Smith apples, yellow pepper, green beans, lima beans, sweet potato, hemp oil and MFD’s proprietary blend of nutritionally balancing vitamins and minerals.   

MFD’s mission is to be the leader in providing human grade dog and cat food in South Florida. The store’s main objective is to serve the healthiest food possible to every pet. The store is located at the Coral Center Plaza on the corner of Oakland Park Boulevard and U.S.-1. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and closed Sunday.  

“I am so happy to finally have healthy food for my dog, Gibby,” said Julie Escuage, a local resident and dog owner. “It makes all the difference in the world for her coat and overall well-being. She clears her bowl now and licks it clean. I am thankful to know she has a healthy future ahead of her.”

Annual Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo Returns

The Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo returns on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, January 13, 14 and 15, 2017, with fur flying new entertainment, dog sporting competitions and educational acts that will amaze spectators at any age.

The annual pet expo will be held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center for the three-day event. The Pet Expo is designed to educate and entertain the public about the wonderful world of pets and will feature many pet vendors, educational and entertaining performances, special attractions, petting zoo, pet adoptions and outstanding shopping for pet lovers and their pets. The expo is also the perfect way for pet parents to shop and meet with vendors with brand new pet products on the market.

The event is expected to draw over 15,000 attendees over the weekend, and pet owners can bring their well-behaved leashed dogs to the expo. Over 100 vendors and many area rescue groups with adoptable pets will be on hand.

Some of this year’s highlights are:

  • Flyball Tournament by Hard Drive Flyball Club: The ultimate relay race for dogs, Flyball is one of the fastest dog sports and comprised of dog teams. With dogs racing by in a blur, it promises to be pure excitement.
  • Gail Mirabella and The Dynamo Dogs Variety Act: You can teach your old new tricks. These veteran-performing dogs will knock spectators’ socks off with their Trick Dog Show Routine, Frisbee Dog Acrobatics and dynamite performances. Mirabella and her canine friends will wow the crowd as they do all over the country.
  • Rainforest Reptile Show: Take an exciting, fascinating adventure through the rare and endangered reptile world. Many exotic reptiles will be at the show for kids and adults to learn about.
  • Rabbit Hopping and Guinea Pig Agility: Rabbit Hopping is not the bunny hop you’re thinking of, but talented rabbits who love to jump. Guinea Pit Agility? Move over border collies there’s a new agility in town! Allikatt’s Bunnies will present an agility demo of rabbits hopping and guinea pig agility all weekend, and there is even a seminar so you can learn how to get involved in this sport with your own hare.
  • Superfit Canine: Come and see Disaster Working Dogs show how they find people missing in a disaster. Plus, see their amazing ladder skills.
  • The Delco Bird Club: The club will show various species of birds and provide information on the birds’ care, diet and natural habitat.

In addition, attendees can enjoy pony rides and learn about and meet alpacas and other unusual, exotic animals.

The event is a perfect opportunity for film and video coverage of exotic pets and outrageously entertaining

“We are excited to have some new additions this year, including Guinea Pig Agility demonstrations and seminars on how to do this with your own Guinea Pig at the show. You also don’t want to miss any of the Flyball Competition, which was a big hit at last year’s show.  This is one of our biggest pet expos and we are so happy to be in Philadelphia again,” said show organizer Karen Garetano of Family Pet Shows which hosts the annual Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo. “We strive to make our events family and pet friendly and we highly endorse responsible pet ownership.  At the expo, attendees can expect to learn, be entertained by many high flying and educational pet talent acts, and meet and see animals they have never seen before.”

Attendees can also participate with their purebred dog in the Parade of Breeds on Saturday, January 14. Check out the expo’s website for the information and forms.

The Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo will be held on Friday, January 13, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (which is Family Night, and kids 12 and under are admitted free), Saturday, January 14, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sunday, January 15, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for children (ages 11 and under), kids 3 and under are admitted for free. You can go to the website at for discount coupons or to purchase tickets online. Check the expo’s Facebook page for promotional codes for the online tickets.

For additional information, vendor space or how to become a sponsor, call (631) 423-0620, email or visit the expo’s website.

Sideline Products, LLC, Manufacturer of Saddle Sidekicks, Announces New Products Lines

Sideline Products, LLC, is a southern York County, Pennsylvania-based designer and manufacturer. Its new product, Saddle Sidekicks, was founded out of necessity for both the smaller rider and the horse. Smaller saddles can pinch and irritate the horse, limiting comfort and performance. The Saddle Sidekick is designed so that the rider is able to maintain proper riding position where heel, hip and shoulder align, preventing bad habits from starting with young riders.

The Saddle Sidekick, a patented kid booster seat for a western saddle, fits over a full-sized saddle in seconds and is made of durable EVA foam in fashionable, fun colors. It also has a laminated neoprene bottom for extra grip. Saddle Sidekicks is a safe alternative for smaller riders, enabling them to utilize a larger, properly-fitted saddle, which is safer and more comfortable for the rider and the horse.

Saddle Sidekicks now carries a full line of support products for the Saddle Sidekick, including stirrups, replacement straps and cords, and tapaderos. Saddle Sidekicks are available with and without tapedaros, and durable elastic cords allow for quick attachment to the front and rear of the saddle.

Texas Farm Products Company Announces Corporate Name Change to TFP Nutrition

Texas Farm Products Company, a leading manufacturer of quality pet food and feed, announced that as of December 2, it has changed its name to TFP Nutrition. In consideration of recent changes and the future direction and focus of the company, the company has determined that this change in its corporate identity will reinforce the primary purpose of the company: to support the health of animals through balanced and wholesome ingredients.

“While we have a rich history of producing products for the ag marketplace, and continue to do so, we now reach beyond that market. We believe it is important for our name to better reflect our expertise to the ag community and beyond,” TFP Nutrition Chief Executive Officer Bud Wright said.

For more information, visit the company’s new website or call 936-564-3711.

Recall: Intermountain Farmers Association 50-Pound Bags of Rabbit Pellets

The following is an announcement posted on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s website and was confirmed by Pet Age with Dr. Jamie Allen, PhD, quality assurance/compliance manager:

Intermountain Farmers Association (IFA) of Draper, Utah, is recalling its 50 pound bags of rabbit pellets (item #1220) manufactured between March 14, 2016, and September 15, 2016, because the product may contain higher than acceptable levels of Vitamin D, which may cause health problems to rabbits.

The recalled rabbit pellets were distributed through IFA country stores and independent dealers in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico.

The product comes in a 50 pound poly paper package marked with lot number containing #1220 and a date between 03/15/16 and 09/15/16 on the side of the blue label. The dates listed, in the previous sentence, represent the first use of the formula in question and the last date the formula in question was used.

Rabbits consuming this feed would be at risk for developing clinical hypercalcemia when fed diets containing very high levels of Vitamin D as a sole source of nutrition. Clinical signs of hypercalcemia include such things as increased thirst, increased urination, weakness, decreased appetite and possibly death. IFA has recently received two complaints that reported illness and deaths of some of the customer’s rabbits. IFA is working with these customers to address these concerns.

The recall was initiated immediately after IFA received a report of death of a customer’s rabbits and the preliminary investigation indicated a formulation error. It was discovered that rabbit pellets manufactured during the above dates contained high levels of vitamin D.

IFA has quarantined any unsold product from the manufacturing period listed above. Any rabbit pellets manufactured by IFA after September 15, 2016, have been confirmed to contain the correct Vitamin D level and is safe to feed to rabbits. The company will continue to work with the FDA to ensure that the problem has been corrected.

Consumers who have purchased 50 pound bags of #1220 Rabbit Pellets with the above manufacturing dates are urged to return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-801-619-1367, Dr. Jamie Allen, PhD quality assurance/compliance manager Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except holidays.

Banfield Pet Hospital Presented with Leading Environmental Practice Award

Last night, Washington’s statewide business organization, the Association of Washington Business (AWB), selected Banfield Pet Hospital as the winner of its Leading Environmental Practice Award.

This award recognized Banfield’s new environmentally-friendly headquarters, located in Vancouver, Washington. The campus was designed to reflect Banfield’s values, including an open office environment, environmentally sustainable features, dog-friendly amenities and a design that echoes Banfield’s roots in the Pacific Northwest.

“Washington employers are leading the way on environmental protection by reducing their carbon footprint through innovation and investment, and Banfield Pet Hospital is another great example of this,” said Kris Johnson, president of AWB. “When it came time to build a new headquarters, Banfield demonstrated its commitment to the environment by building a state-of-the-art, ultra-green building that requires less than half of the electricity needed for a typical building of its size. It’s an impressive statement about the company’s desire to protect our natural resources for future generations.”

The three-building campus was designed to obtain the highest U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification possible. While official LEED-designation is still pending, the headquarters has achieved at least LEED-Gold designation.

“At Banfield, we are passionate about improving the wellness of our communities, and that extends to the environment we share with the pets and people we serve. I am so proud of our new campus, which brings to life many of the core values that guide our culture as a Mars company. In keeping with our principle of responsibility, we designed our new headquarters to be not only beautiful but also sustainable,” said Vincent Bradley, president and CEO of Banfield Pet Hospital.

Some of the sustainable features integrated into the new campus include:

  • Geothermal heat exchange system which provides heating/cooling to the building via buried ground loop
  • 20,000 gallon rainwater reclaim tank
  • Roof mounted solar hot water array
  • Low-demand LED lighting fixture layout
  • Daylight dimming lighting fixtures at perimeter
  • Data center heat recovery to central plant
  • Variable speed pumping
  • 60 percent reduction in irrigation water usage
  • Utilization of low-VOC emitting building materials
  • Daylight and exterior views for majority of occupants
  • Bicycle racks and showering facilities provided for building occupants
  • Twelve charging stations for electric hybrid cars
  • Regionally sourced building materials including wood, steel and concrete

Nationwide Pet and Animal Cancer Foundation Partnership Leads to $50,000 Donation to Cure Pet Cancer

November was National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, and Nationwide partnered with the Animal Cancer Foundation (ACF) to increase awareness and raise funds to fight the number one disease-related killer of dogs and cats.

During the month of November, Nationwide donated $5 to the Animal Cancer Foundation for every photo, story or statistic shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #CurePetCancer. The numbers are in, and ACF reported that Nationwide donated $50,000 to help cure pet cancer. And on Giving Tuesday, ACF received an additional $2,500 for its comparative oncology grant award program.

Last year, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, received more than 75,000 pet insurance claims for cancer diagnosis and treatment in pets (a 10 percent increase from the year prior), making cancer-related conditions one of the most common types of medical claims. In fact, last year, Nationwide pet insurance members accumulated more than $22 million in medical expenses for the top 10 pet cancer-related conditions. In a continuing effort to educate pet owners about the prevalence, detection and treatment of pet cancer, Nationwide recognizes November as National Pet Cancer Awareness Month.

Nationwide launched National Pet Cancer Awareness Month in 2005, calling attention to the deadliest disease among dogs and cats. Listed below are the 10 most common pet cancer-related claims received by Nationwide last year:

Most Common Cancerous Conditions (in order of prevalence) 

  • Skin Cancer (Malignant Skin Neoplasia)
  • Lymphosarcoma or Lymphoma
  • Splenic (Spleen) Cancer
  • Bone or Joint Cancer
  • Hepatic (Liver) Cancer
  • Thoracic (Chest) Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Anal Sac Cancer
  • Oral Cancer or Malignant Oral Neoplasia
  • Brain or Spinal Cord Cancer

“Just like humans, cancer is a looming danger in the lives of our pets,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for Nationwide. “The prevalence of pet cancer continues to increase year over year. Last year we received 8,000 more pet cancer related claims than the year prior. However, there is hope for owners whose pets are suffering from cancer. Advances in early detection and treatment, along with affordable financial solutions, have given pet lovers a number of options to fight back. “Treatment for these conditions can carry a heavy financial burden for pet owners. Lymphosarcoma is the second most common and second most expensive condition on the list, costing Nationwide members an average of $1,926 per pet. Brain or Spinal Cord Neoplasia is the most expensive on the list to treat, costing members an average of $2,163 per pet. To ensure that Nationwide members receive optimal cancer treatment, Nationwide medical policies include benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of cancerous conditions, such as metastasis screening, chemotherapy, radiation and immunotherapy.

Pet Cancer Detection Tips
To detect cancer early, pet owners should be attentive to any growing lumps or sores on their pet that fail to heal. They should also monitor their pet for:

1) drastic changes in the pet’s appetite or weight

2) unusually strong odors coming from a pet

3) discharge or bleeding from any body opening

4) difficulty chewing or swallowing

5) an unwillingness to exercise.

PetPlate Launches Nationwide Pre-Portioned Pet Meal Plan

PetPlate, an innovative pet food delivery service, announced today that it will begin taking orders nationwide in conjunction with an appearance on the Emmy award-winning TV show “Shark Tank.” The national launch follows a year-long beta test in which food recipes were perfected based on feedback from pet parents. Branding, packaging and operations were also optimized.

PetPlate makes it easy for pet parents to nourish their pets with love by delivering freshly-cooked meals made from wholesome ingredients that do not contain any by-products, rendered meats or preservatives. The meals are designed by a veterinary clinical nutritionist for nutritional balance and are pre-portioned and ready to serve. The company offers a convenient subscription service that automatically ships the meals directly to the consumer on a regular basis, depending on the size of the pet.

“We believe all pets deserve real food that nourishes the body, mind and soul. We also know that pet parents lead busy lives and need an easy and convenient solution to feed their pets real food,” said PetPlate Founder Renaldo Webb. “The fresh, quality ingredients used in our meals should provide pet parents peace of mind and a joyful experience for their pets, and we back it up with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.”

After spending time in pet food manufacturing facilities as a management consultant and learning more about the pet food industry, Webb set out to reinvent the way we nourish our pets. All proteins in PetPlate meals have passed USDA inspection, and the meals are prepared in a state-of-the-art facility in the mid-west. Cold-pressure technology is used to destroy any harmful bacteria and lock in nutrition and flavor – the same process that is used to preserve many human foods.

“I am honored to work with PetPlate to improve the lives of pets through a sensible diet of real food that is fresh and nutritionally balanced,” said Dr. Renee Streeter, DVM, DACVN, Veterinary Clinical Nutritionist. “When we combine our love for pets with cutting-edge science, we ensure that all of our meals are truly beneficial for pets.”

PetPlate recently closed a round of seed funding from BrandProject, a company that invests in and works with talented Founders to scale early-stage consumer brands. BrandProject will work with Webb and the PetPlate team to rapidly scale the business using a robust direct-to-consumer eCommerce model.


Guardians of Rescue Takes Risks to Rescue Soldier’s Pets in the Middle East

There are thousands of American soldiers who are serving in the Middle East. Many of them find stray cats and dogs which become their pets. They create bonds, as the soldiers all chip in to care for the adopted pets. Now those relationships are in jeopardy because the pets hanging around military bases in the Middle East have been dubbed as “pests” by the Middle Eastern local authorities, and there are plans for their extermination. The soldiers, wanting to save their beloved pets, reached out to Guardians of Rescue to see if they could help relocate them back to America where they will be waiting for them when they return.

“These dogs and cats have become pets to our soldiers, and they want to bring them home,” said Robert Misseri, founder and president of Guardians of Rescue. “We plan to rescue them and bring them back to America, where they can live out their lives in loving homes.”

Guardians of Rescue is on a mission to:

  • Save the two cats, one kitten and two dogs, who have been cared for by American soldiers and who have bonded with them. These pets have brought smiles and companionship to the soldiers they live with and deserve better than a death sentence. The dogs, Lilly and Rose, are called The Twins, and have been cared for by our soldiers in a collaborative effort. They have recently been moved to a temporary location to keep them protected until Guardians of Rescue can obtain them to bring back to America.
  • Our military members often can’t get the pets to the airport, although they would like to, because it would be too dangerous. The organization will fly to the Middle East, assume the risks involved in the mission, and obtain the pets from the military bases. They will then bringthem back to America to help the soldiers keep their beloved pets safe.
  • Guardians of Rescue will be bringing the five military pets back to America from the Middle East. As such, they will incur travel and transport expenses. They may also incur training expenses once they come to America. The group is seeking donations to help cover the cost of the mission to help relocate these soldiers’ pets.

The pets are stress relievers for the soldiers, and they are willing to help lead them to safety. The pets have brought joy to the soldiers, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pets can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, feelings of loneliness and more, making them an important part of our soldiers’ lives.


The two cats that are being rescued from the Middle East are Jack and Tracy. They are the last two of their litter to survive. They were saved by a joint effort from Major Tracy of the U.S. Army, and Captain Jules from the U.K. Without them, both cats would have died from infection and illness, one of which, sadly, has left Jack blind in one eye.

The kitten that is being rescued is Majnoon, whose life was saved by SFC Melanie of the U.S. Army. Like Lilly and Rose, Majnoon is currently at high risk of being trapped and killed, as traps have already been laid out in the area where she lives, so Guardians of Rescue are working hard to get the cat back to SFC Melanie’s family before it is too late.

“These may have been strays in the Middle East, but they befriended our soldiers and brought them joy. Our mission is to rescue animals, especially when they are pets of our soldiers,” Misseri said. “But we can’t do it alone. We need the financial assistance of the community in order to help make it happen. Together, we can help these soldiers’ pets stay alive and go on to thrive.”

Infographic Offers Pet Parents Tips for a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season

As the holidays approach and pet owners everywhere start preparing their homes for the season, it is important that people be aware of the potential safety risks that certain traditional decorations, plants and treats can pose to household pets. To help remind us what can be harmful to our pets, Henry Schein, Inc. made an easy-to-read infographic.

According to the infographic, which sources information from the American Veterinary Medical Association and The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, pet parents can provide a safe holiday environment for their animals by:

  • Avoiding certain holiday decorations that can be harmful to pets if ingested, such as ribbons and tinsel, and candles, which can pose a risk of fire if knocked over.
  • Keeping toxic foods like chocolate—which can be lethal to dogs—and macadamia nuts—which can cause seizures in animals—away from pets; and
  • Being aware of the negative health impacts of traditional holiday plants, such as pine trees, poinsettias, and mistletoe. They can cause a range of issues when consumed by pets, including vomiting, diarrhea, pain, and in some cases, death.

“Every member of the family deserves to safely experience the joy and traditions of the holiday season, and that includes our pets,” said Fran Dirksmeier, president of Henry Schein Animal Health, North America. “Henry Schein is committed to enhancing veterinarians’ and pet parents’ awareness and knowledge of animal health issues, and we encourage them to share the information contained in this infographic so that every household pet enjoys the season safely.”

Call for Speakers Opens for 2017 IBPSA Pet Care Services Educational Conference & Trade Show

The International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA) today announced its “Call for Speakers” for the 2017 IBPSA Pet Care Services Educational Conference & Trade Show happening October 3-5, 2017, in Jacksonville, Florida. Next year’s gathering of business-minded pet care professionals will be the association’s fifth annual conference and promises to be the biggest one yet.

“The significant growth in attendance at our education and business-focused conference reflects the rapid expansion of the pet care services industry and the increased competition,” said Carmen Rustenbeck, IBPSA Founder and Executive Director. “Pet care professionals look to our speakers for the insight and information they need to provide the highest quality service and safest workplaces, while ensuring financial success.”

Experts who are ready to help bring knowledge and guidance to increase professionalism, boost business and improve quality of care throughout the pet care services industry are invited to learn more and submit speaker proposals online here. The IBPSA Conference Team is also available to answer questions at

Petplan Founders Named to Philadelphia Business Journal’s ‘Most Admired CEO’ List

Petplan co-founders and co-CEOs Chris and Natasha Ashton earned a spot on the 2016 list of the Philadelphia’s “Most Admired CEOs.” The awards, held annually by the Philadelphia Business Journal, recognize 25 extraordinary leaders in local business and the community.

Recipients include men and women who are established leaders with a strong record of innovation in their field, excellent financial performance, a commitment to quality, a strong vision, a commitment to diversity in the workplace and outstanding contributions to the Greater Philadelphia and New Jersey region. To view the full list, click here.

“We’re truly honored to be recognized not just as drivers of creativity and innovation in business, but also as actors in the betterment of our community,” Chris Ashton said. “This award for our efforts serves as great inspiration to remain steadfast in the core values responsible for our success and to keep them front and center as our business continues to grow.”

The award comes on the heels of Petplan’s 10th anniversary in North America, which the team celebrated in July, and follows five years of truly explosive growth that have seen the company more than double in size and move into new headquarters in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. The Ashtons say this award is as much an honor for them as a tribute to the 200 people at Petplan who make it possible for them to succeed every day.

“Our goal is to always be an innovator in the industry we’ve helped pioneer—not just in matters of business, but in how we treat the pets and pet parents in our care, how we nurture our team and how we support the community around us,” Natasha Ashton said. “Though we’re now a company of more than 200 people, Chris and I try to lead with the same spirit as we did when we were a staff of just five. The professional is personal to us, and we’re only as good as our team. And while we obviously don’t do it all for the admiration, it certainly feels good to be recognized!”


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