Catified Cats Are Satisfied Cats

The verb may be new to the vernacular, but it’s far from a novel concept in “certain circles.”

That verb is catification. The creation of a feline-friendly environment catering to a cat’s natural instincts to climb and perch, rest and play. A “cats only” club whose members own their own space.

Curious about catifying? Then, consider these suggestions.

Since felines are famous for being “busy bodies”, keep them happily busy by giving them a clear view of the world outside their favorite window. Create a lookout point for them using a window seat or perch, a strategically situated shelf or bookcase. One note of caution: the sight of outdoor cats – whether neighborly or feral – may unsettle some indoor cats. Should yours be one of them, find a different window or an equally acceptable alternative.

Expand their world vertically and horizontally by erecting multi-perched and multi-leveled cat trees or by installing specially designed cat shelves, which, when connected, will form a veritable “cat highway.” This allows cats in a multi-cat household to get along more amicably since they can a) claim their own special spots without having to “time share” and b) peer down from on high at the world below. This also encourages them to be more active and to exercise (both sorely lacking in too many indoor cats) by giving them something to aim for and somewhere to jump to.

Rather than concealing scratching posts for esthetic reasons, place them precisely where your finicky feline prefers them. They may be eyesores to you, but they’re godsends for your fabrics and furniture, doorknobs, drawer handles and drapery pulls. Ensure that the scratching posts are extremely sturdy and provide horizontal, vertical, and inclined positions. Two additional benefits to scratching on these posts: cats stretch their back muscles and remove the outer sheaths of their nails.

Some cat behaviorists suggest the “plus one” rule, i.e., when determining how many litter boxes you need, count the number of cats you have and add one. One cat equals two boxes, and so on, each located in places of significance to THEM not YOU. And that usually means as close as paws-ible to you and YOUR favorite places, from couches and chairs, to coffee table and closets. Rather than engage in a cat fight, compromise by placing one litter box in your bathroom and the other near your cat’s favorite window or door.

As supreme self-groomers, all fastidious felines will, not unreasonably, turn up their noses at “kitty bathrooms” that aren’t equally as fastidious. To keep them from turning your carpets or floors into their pottying places of choice, use only those litter boxes specifically designed to fight odors. Ones that optimize natural air circulation, allowing wet litter to properly dry and discouraging the growth of the bacteria and fungus that fill the air – and your cat’s nostrils – with their noxious fumes. The bonus for you? You won’t have to change your cat’s litter as often!

Eliminate the stress on your cat’s whiskers caused by their brushing up against or being confined by the high sides of most food and water dishes. Because a cat’s whiskers are long, fine and delicate, they are also extremely sensitive. Wide, low-sided dishes will allow your cat to lap and lick, feed and feast whiskers-and-pain-free.

Paws crossed that these simple solutions help to create the most catified, satisfied felines ever.


Article by Nomi Berger

Do You Know Your Shih Tzu?

The Shih Tzu may have several names, including Chinese Lion Dog, Lion Dog and Chrysanthemum Dog, but they all add up to the same thing. One very adorable, personable, often stubborn but always loyal and loving companion.

With his sweet-natured temperament, the Shih Tzu is less demanding and less yappy than most toy breeds. Although solidly built and lively, his exercise needs are few – some short walks each day or some brief romps in the yard. Primarily a lover of comfort and attention, what this breed enjoys most is cuddling on laps and snuggling into soft pillows.

Friendly and feisty, these small, flat-faced, silky coated sweethearts are usually trustworthy around older children, but their small size puts them at risk for unintentional injury around toddlers and very young children.

Shih Tzu are generally healthy dogs, living to 15 years or more, but like every dog breed, they have their own distinct temperament and are prone to certain conditions and diseases.

Because a Shih Tzu is difficult to housebreak, consistency is key, and crate training an essential aid. Never let a puppy roam your place unsupervised until completely housetrained.

A Shih Tzu seems particularly prone to eating his or other dogs’ feces. Monitoring your dog’s behavior and cleaning up his poop promptly will prevent this from becoming a habit.

The dense, double coat of a Shih Tzu should be combed or brushed daily to keep shedding and matting to a minimum.

The Shih Tzu tends to snore, wheeze and reverse sneeze, and the flatness of his face makes him susceptible to heat stroke (the air entering his lungs isn’t cooled as efficiently as in longer-nosed breeds). It’s wise to keep your Shih Tzu indoors in air-conditioned rooms during hot weather. And walk him in a Y-shaped harness that wraps around his chest, not his throat. A collar puts pressure on his windpipe and makes it harder for him to breathe.

Reverse sneezing can occur when a Shih Tzu suffers from allergies, becomes overly excited, or gulps food too quickly. Nasal secretions drop onto the soft palate, causing it to close over the windpipe, creating that wheezing sound. Some experts suggest the fastest way to stop this is to pinch your dog’s nostrils closed, thereby forcing him to breathe through his mouth.

Because of their undershot jaws, Shih Tzu are prone to dental and gum problems, such as retained baby teeth, missing and misaligned teeth, and must have their teeth brushed and vet checked regularly.

The drop ears of the Shih Tzu create a dark and warm ear canal, leaving them prone to infection. To help prevent this, check and clean your dog’s ears weekly and keep him on a grain-free diet.

Eye problems are not uncommon among Shih Tzu because of their large, bulging eyes. These disorders include keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or dry eye (a dryness of the cornea and the conjunctiva), distichiasis (abnormal growth of eyelashes on the margin of the eye, resulting in the eyelashes rubbing against it), proptosis (the eyeball is dislodged from the eye socket and the eyelids clamp shut behind the eyeball), keratitis (inflammation of the cornea that can lead to a corneal ulcer and blindness), and progressive retinal atrophy (degenerative disease of the retinal visual cells leading to blindness).

Also common are bladder stones and bladder infections, hip dysplasia (abnormal formation of the hip socket possibly causing pain and lameness) and patellar luxation, (dislocation of the kneecap), in which the knee joint slides in and out of place, causing pain and again, possible lameness.

Health concerns aside, the Shih Tzu simply doesn’t care where he lives, as long as he’s with you. A highly adaptable dog, he can be equally comfortable in a small city apartment, a large suburban home or a cozy country cottage.

If you want a dog who lives to love and be loved, whose primary characteristic is affection, and whose favorite destination is your lap, look no further than the Shih Tzu cuddled next to you.

Allergy Alert! Itch That Time Again.

Has your dog suddenly started scratching herself or biting certain areas of her body? Chewing on her feet? Rubbing her face back and forth across the carpet?

If so, she may be suffering from seasonal allergies. These reactions to an obvious, but invisible, itch is her body’s way of responding to molecules called “allergens.”

The major culprits: trees, grasses, pollens, molds and ragweed. The main cause: inhaling these irritants through the nose and mouth.

Unlike humans, most dogs’ allergies manifest themselves as skin irritations or inflammations known as allergic dermatitis. Left untreated, your dog’s constant scratching can lead to open sores and scabs, hair loss and hot spots. Ear infections, running noses, watery eyes, coughing and sneezing may also occur.

To determine the source of your dog’s allergy, ask your vet to conduct a series of tests: intradermal, blood or both.

Once a specific allergen has been identified, you can try the following:

Avoidance: for pollens, keep your dog away from fields; keep lawns short; keep her indoors when pollen counts are high; vacuum and wash floors with non-toxic agents instead of regular household cleaners containing chemicals.

Topical therapies: frequent baths with an oatmeal-free shampoo; foot soaks to reduce tracking allergens into the house; topical solutions containing hydrocortisone to ease the itching.

Diet: one low in carbohydrates like grain, or low in fat; put omega-3 fatty acids and/or coconut oil in her food; add a combination of the naturopathic supplements quercetin, bromelain and papain to her meals.

Drugs: antihistamines, cyclosporine or steroids.

As always, consult your vet before starting any form of treatment. Monitor your dog’s behaviour closely and report any improvement or worsening in her condition.

It may take several attempts before the proper treatment is found. But when it is, your dog will be much more comfortable — and so will you.

Article by Nomi Berger. Nomi is the best selling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry, and hundreds of articles. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her adopted Maltese, Mini, and volunteers her writing skills to animal rescue groups in Canada and the USA.



9 Easy Steps to Welcome a New Dog Home

welcome dog

Few things are as exciting as bringing home a new pet. At least for you. But how do you imagine the big introduction between your new dog and your resident pet(s)? Do you imagine handing out treats and name tags at your front door, resulting in happy munches and friendly woofs (or meows) as they bond instantly and forever. Cesar Millan would be so proud.

Then you blink twice and remember that you are living in reality and not in some ideal parallel universe. But reality can match your ideal, when you’re armed with these nine easy to follow steps, and a healthy dose of reality.


  1. Patience. Introducing your new dog to the pets already in your home is a process. To succeed, you must start with a plan and a promise – to yourself — to be patient. The process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks (and in extreme cases, a few months).
  2. Making a Match. To improve your chances of a happy blending of old and new, choose a dog as close as possible in temperament and activity level to the pets you already have. Dogs and cats are creatures of habit, and most dislike any disruptions to their daily lives and routines.
  3. Monitor Temperament. Some dogs are naturally more relaxed and more social than others. Some are more territorial and don’t enjoy sharing at all. Unhappy with the arrival of a newcomer, they may demonstrate their disapproval by fighting with the perceived “intruder” or by marking.
  4. Separate Corners. Allow your new dog to adjust to you and to his/her new surroundings by keeping him/her in a separate room with his/her bed, food, water and toys for several days. This is where having its own crate can be a lifesaver. And make sure to spend as much quality, comforting time with your new arrival as possible.
  5. Maintain Routines. Maintain your other pets’ regular routines – from feeding and pottying, to exercising, playing and together times. This will reassure them that nothing has changed.
  6. The Nose Knows. Since smells are of utmost importance to animals, get them used to each other’s scents as soon as possible. We’ve all witnessed how dog’s get to know each other through the tried and true smelling of the rear. It’s important they have the opportunity to smell each other, but it’s a good idea to keep the new dog on a leash at first, in case you need to take control quickly.
  7. All About Food. Another smell driver is food. Feed your resident pets and your new dog on either side of the door to his/her room, or crate, encouraging them to associate something pleasurable with one another’s smell. Once this has been successfully accomplished, walk your new dog slowly through your home, room by room, allowing him/her to become familiar with its sights, sounds and smells. Keep your other pets behind the closed door of his/her room to allow your new dog a sense of safety and privacy, while promoting a further exchange of scents between them. Repeat this several times a day for a few days.
  8. Good Sightlines. Next, use two doorstoppers to keep the door to your new dog’s room propped open just enough for all of the animals to see each other. Repeat this several times a day for a few days.                                                                                                                                                 But remember, when you leave your home, make sure your new dog in his/her room with the door closed, or secure in its crate.
  9. Reward and Correct. Armed with the tastiest treats and most tempting toys, you can expect sniffing, approaching and walking away. Reward good behavior with praise and treats, but discourage bad behavior by promptly separating the offending parties and gently, but firmly correcting them.

Hopefully, when you’re ready to make the “formal” introductions, your patience and your animals’ pre-preparations will pay off. And they will not only recognize, but also start to accept one another by what they see and smell.

Once again, patience is key. This too is a process, which may take time until the blending is successful, and your family is calmly and contentedly one.

If, however, certain problems persist, speak to your vet or consult a recommended animal behaviorist.

Some additional resources on introducing new dogs to your existing pet family may be found on Cesar’s Way Blog and the Humane Society.

10 Effective Ways to Keep Pets Healthy

10 Effective Ways to Keep Pets Healthy

Jordan Walker loves animals. As the lead content curator of Coops and Cages, and other pet-related websites, he has written several articles about the matter. In this post, he shares the most effective ways in keeping your pets healthy.Photo 1

Raising a pet involves a lot of responsibility from you as the owner. With the happiness and devotedness these creatures bring to the family, it is only just that you give them that same kind of happiness by keeping them safe and healthy all the time.

Dogs and cats, which are the most common home pets, are curious creatures. They can touch anything they see around and eat anything that entice their senses. For that reason, it is very important to pay attention to their needs to keep them safe and healthy all the time.

Providing them a pet-safe home is just one of the major responsibilities you should be aware of right at the moment you decide to have a pet. But other than that, there are other things you have to take into consideration to become a more responsible pet owner. Here are some:

Consider Having a Healthy and Well-balanced Diet.

The health of your pet can be affected by the way you feed and treat them. In fact, a well-balanced diet plan is the key to your pet’s good health condition.

Each pet has its own nutritional needs and it is better to consult the veterinarian before buying any pet food you see at the grocery store. Instead of rewarding them with “people food” or unhealthy table scraps, it is better to give them fresh slices of fruits or vegetables.

Complement Their Food Intake with a Regular Exercise

Pets also need regular exercise in order to keep them mentally alert and active. You can take a walk together with your dog as your early morning routine or buy your indoor cat an exercise toy to keep it moving that will boost its energy and prevent from gaining extra weight.

Visit a Trusted Veterinarian for Vaccination

Seeking the right medical care is also your responsibility as a pet owner to ensure you are providing the optimum health care for your furry pals.

By consulting a trusted veterinarian, you could monitor the weight and health condition of your pet. You will know whether there are any early symptoms of fatal diseases.

Also, your pet needs regular vaccination to safeguard them from harmful diseases, such as rabies, distemper, parvo, and canine hepatitis.


Provide a Safe and Clean Environment

A clean environment is the key in providing long-term health care for your pet. Always remember that germs and parasites usually come from places where they stay most. That is why it is important to keep their home and play area clean and safe from sharp pointed household items that can potentially harm them.


Good Grooming Is of Importance

Just like humans, pets also need good grooming in order to make them look and feel good inside out. Make sure your pet gets the right grooming that it needs, starting from the hair to toenails. Regular grooming could help prevent fleas, ticks, and other possible illnesses that come together.

Pay Attention to Dental Care

Oral health is also an important component when it comes to pet care. Your pet can eat and chew anything, it sees on the floor or ground, which makes them more susceptible to dental threats like gum disease and chronic pain.

Regular brushing or dental cleaning from the vet is the best way to keep your pet’s teeth strong and healthy as they grow.

Spay/Neuter Your Pet

With millions of homeless dogs and cats that are being euthanized each year, spaying or neutering is considered a helpful way to reduce the numbers.

Apart from helping reduce the cases of homeless pets, spaying and neutering also bring health and behavioral benefits to your pets like helping them prevent uterine infections and tumor.

Keep Pets Comfortable Despite the Changing Weather

It is important to keep your pets comfortable during cold or hot season. This way, they can avoid health risks and withstand the varying weather.

Take your pet to cold places during the hot season and avoid leaving them in the car park for long hours. By doing so, heat stroke can be prevented. For the winter season, you can buy them fitted coat for extra protection from the cold temperature and help them avoid colds and runny rose.

Prepare a First Aid Kit

To become fully prepared of any injury or health issues of your pet, it is better to keep a medicinal box or kit for them in your home. Consult your vet on the essential first aid medicine and ointment to include in your kit to ensure you can take care of any possible problem that may arise.

Nourish Your Pet Emotionally

Aside from feeding and giving them the right supplements they need, you should be also able to give your pet a holistic nourishment they need for their mental and emotional development.

Your pet would feel happy and more energetic knowing that he lives in a happy home. But how do you provide the right emotional support that it needs? Simply share bonding activities with your pet, especially during special occasions and give the love and care he deserves. At the end of the day, you’ll see how much he can give you in return.

Image Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]

Author: Jordan Walker

Jordan WalkerJordan is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages as well as a couple of other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is only paired with his love for “attempting” to play the guitar. If you would like to catch more of him, you can by following his Twitter account:

Be Special: Adopt a Dog with special needs

Their bodies may be imperfect, but their spirit remains intact.

So it is said about the special needs dog. Although caring for one can be challenging, more and more people are opening their hearts and their homes and adopting them. For this reason, more and more dogs who might otherwise be euthanized are being given a new “leash” on life.

bigstock-Lonely-Homeless-Dog-And-Helpin-4790849Experts stress the importance of not viewing special needs dogs as “handicapped.” Although they have certain limitations (including partial paralysis, three leggedness, blindness or deafness), they’re not “aware” of them, and can be as active and affectionate as any other dog.

Adopters of special needs dogs insist the rewards outweigh the work. Many use social media to share their experiences, to interact with owners like them, and to encourage others to adopt. They don’t see these dogs’ medical or physical problems as a shortcoming, and don’t believe it makes them any less of a dog.

Those interested in adopting a special needs dog should first fully inform themselves about that dog’s condition, limitations, and maintenance. This includes meeting with their vet, requesting a tutorial on administering medications, and asking if they will make house calls. If not, they should ask to be referred to someone who will.

The quality of life for special needs dogs has been greatly enhanced by the growing number of products available to their owners.bigstock-Icon-Illustration-Representing-25243043-2 There are pet diapers, no-slip boots, orthotic braces, prosthetics, and front, back, combination and amputee harnesses. Ramps, pet steps, pet stairs and pet carts. Adjustable pet wheelchairs that can accommodate dogs weighing up to 180 pounds. And because partially paralyzed pets frequently get carpet burns when out of their chairs, there are washable, heavy-duty “drag bags” to protect their back ends.

Sadly, dogs who are blind or deaf have been characterized as aggressive, unpredictable, untrainable, prone to other health issues, and even a shorter life span. Studies, however, have proven otherwise. They have shown that despite their obvious deficiencies, these dogs are generally quite healthy and capable of living long, otherwise normal lives. And that, whether blind or deaf, they are no more aggressive, unpredictable or untrainable than sighted or hearing dogs.

Blind dogs are trained through the use of both sound and scent cues. By relying on their highly developed sense of smell, their noses let them know where and what things are, and when combined with their owners’ reassuring voice and touch, helps them live as normally and comfortably as possible.

They quickly learn and “map out” their surroundings, and for added protection, have their own “go to” place, created by putting their food and water bowls, doggie bed, kennel, and several favorite toys (squeaky toys or ones with bells inside are best) on a distinctive mat, and never moved. A carpeted runner or large area rug provides them with safe play area because the traction is good and the edges clearly discernible.

Sharp edges on furniture can be padded with bubble-wrap or foam pipe insulation to help prevent injury. Any stairways should be baby-gated, and a textured mat laid before each one to alert the dog to the gates’ proximity. And all outside activities, from pottying to playing, should be done either in a securely fenced yard or securely on leash.

Deaf or hard-of-hearing dogs are trained through the use of sign language or hand signals with treats as reinforcement. Vibrations are also used, such as walking with a “heavy foot” if their attention is elsewhere, and stomping close to their bed or near their head to waken them rather than touching and startling them. Lights can also be used as a teaching tool to get their attention, but, of course, this works best as night.

Since they bond instantly with their owners, placing their trust and safekeeping in their hands, deaf dogs always look to them for guidance and follow where their owner leads. As with blind dogs, all outside activities, from pottying to playing, should be done either in a securely fenced yard or securely on leash.

Because there is nothing inherently “wrong” with them, deaf dogs can do almost anything hearing dogs do. Many of them excel at agility and obedience, and make excellent therapy dogs.

As the owners of special needs dogs readily agree, their own lives have been irrevocably changed. By the sweetness and determination of the animals they adopted. By the smiles they elicit and the kisses they distribute. And most importantly, by the inspiration these dogs provide, not only for them, but for everyone around them.


Article by Nomi Berger

Nomi is the best selling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry and hundreds of articles. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her adopted Maltese, Mini, and now devotes all of her time volunteering her writing skills to animal rescue organizations throughout Canada and the USA.

Make moving easier for your Cat

Cats, like humans, are creatures of habit. Once comfortable in their surroundings, they are unnerved by change. And trading a familiar home for an unfamiliar one can cause fearfulness and stress. Unless you, the conscientious cat guardian, plan ahead with all the precision of a successful military campaign. Logically, then, moving from one place to another should consist of three stages: preparing for the move; moving day itself; and settling into your new home.


Purchase a large, comfortable carrier and give your cat sufficient time to adjust to being in it. Leave it on the floor with the door open and some treats inside. Keep replacing the treats after your cat has retrieved them.

Set out your cardboard, moving boxes a few days before you actually begin to pack so that your cat can get used to the sight and scent of them.

Maintain your cat’s regular routine for feeding, play and exercise, and quality together time.

If your cat becomes anxious as you start packing, place him/her in a quiet room with some toys and treats and keep the door closed. On the other hand, if your cat is an especially nervous cat, boarding him/her in a professional kennel the day before and after the move may be the best solution — for all of you.

Make certain that your cat’s identification tags carry your new address and phone number. But the best precaution — and the wisest investment you can make — is an updated microchip implant.


Even before the movers take over the premises, tuck your cat safely away from the center of the storm by closing him/her in a bathroom, together with food, water, a bed and a litter box.

To ensure that your cat doesn’t panic and try to escape if the door is opened, put a sign on the door stating that it must remain shut.

Your cat should always travel with you, secure in the cat carrier, and not in the moving van.


Put your cat in a room that will remain relatively quiet for awhile. Before opening the carrier, lay out your cat’s food and water dishes, litter box and bed, and place some treats around the room.

Keep your cat in this one “safe” room for a few days, spending time together, soothing and cuddling, and sharing some low-key activities like reading, listening to music or watching TV.

Cat-proof your new home as soon as possible. Included in your “must do” list:

Tuck drapery, blinds and electrical cords out of reach; plug up narrow spaces where a cat might get stuck; ensure all windows and screens are secure; install childproof latches on your cabinets – particularly those containing cleaning supplies; cover unused electrical outlets with special plastic caps, and keep all toilet seats down.

To help acclimatize your cat more quickly, spritz various objects with a pheromone spray or spread your cat’s own scent (gathered from his/her face and neck) with a soft cloth along the walls, doors and furniture.

Begin gradually walking your cat through the rest of the place, one room at a time, constantly praising and reassuring him/her as you make the rounds. Over and over again.

Restore your cat’s former feeding, playing and exercise schedule so that, hopefully, it will seem that nothing has changed much at all.

Cats may be creatures of habit, but they are highly adaptable as well. And so, whether familiar or unfamiliar, old or new, for them, there is still no place like home.


Article by Nomi Berger

Nomi is the best selling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry and hundreds of articles. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her adopted Maltese, Mini, and now devotes all of her time volunteering her writing skills to animal rescue organizations throughout Canada and the USA.

STARelief now offers Free Humane Rx cards

At STARelief, we are always trying to find out ways of helping families in need of assistance. To continue with our mission, we have tied up with Humane Rx.

Did you know that medication non-adherence kills 125,000 people a year, and adds an extra $290 billion dollars on to our nation’s health care bill? A recent Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey found that in 2012, 50 million adults, ages 19-64, failed to fill a prescription because of financial difficulty, up from 48,000,000 in 2010. Consumer Reports found that almost half (47%) of patients are unwilling to discuss financial difficulties with their doctor; and 68% are uncomfortable discussing them with their pharmacist. In a survey of 2,400 CVS pharmacists, 62% believe that high prescription drug costs are the primary reason why an estimated one third of their customers fail to fill their prescriptions.

bigstock-Animal-doctor-closeup-with-pet-45732859-2The Humane Rx card improves prescription affordability for everyone. All you need to do is print a free Humane Rx Prescription Card and present it to the pharmacist to get up to 75% off. The card offers discounts on Human and Animal medication at Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart and other stores. Consumers can also present the following Humane Rx discount code to their pharmacist to gain immediate access to lower, pre-negotiated discount prices on most prescription drugs: BIN: 600428, PCN: 05100000, GRP: 06400001, UID: STARPR, Pharmacy Help Line: 1-866-921-7286. There is no paperwork, no exclusions, no hassles, just discounted medicines! Prescription discount cards have been around for 15+ years, saving consumers billions of dollars. Most people don’t know about these cards and end up paying more for their prescriptions. The program is funded by a small fee paid by the pharmacy each time a card produces a discount for consumers. Consumers can only save using the cards. We have partnered with Humane Rx to make giving to the less fortunate, easier!

bigstock-Cute-dog-giving-a-kiss-to-the--43915867For every time that the Humane Rx card produces a discount for the card holder, we get $2 from Causes Rx. So as you save on your medication, you are helping save the life of a dear pet! We already have cards that you can collect, or you can just print out a card for yourself from this link – For more information on how this works, visit






Post by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

A hectic July for STARelief

July has begun with a flurry of activities and opportunities for us at STARelief! So here’s a quick peak into our calendar for the month.

We began the month with Web Thrift Store’s Thrift Snap contest.   After this we had the wonderful opportunity of winning a $500 donation from DGP for pets through votes on Facebook. We had our supporters vote for us on the DGP For Pets page and we’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support!

Starelief Slider Image Calendar no back

pop up sale july



The month isn’t over yet though. STARelief has organized a Pop-up tag sale on the 19th of July (yes it’s the coming Saturday!) from 9 am to 2 pm at our pet food pantry on High Ridge road (High Ridge Shopping center, 1137 High Ridge road, Stamford, CT). The proceeds from each sale will go towards assisting pet families in need. So please join us and aid in making a difference to a loved pet and his family!






We have yet another contest that we are participating in this month. It is the #ThriftyEstateDrive from Web Thrift Store. Donate anything over the value of $50 (original price paid for the item needs to exceed $50) by listing it on our store at and help us win 100% of the proceeds from their sale! We are right now at the 7th place, but with your help we can place much higher! So clear out your cupboards and donate those unused earrings, bags, jackets or shoes. Who knows, cleaning your closet may help keep a pet Happy, Healthy and Home!

Help us win and make a difference in the lives of numerous pets and pet owners! For after all, it’s your support that keeps us going!


Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86

Managing your pet’s anxiety this 4th of July

It’s time to bring out the grill and prepare to have family and friends over this 4th of July weekend! Whether you plan to stay home and have guests over or are planning to take a trip over the long weekend, the anxiety over how your pet is going to handle this noisy celebration is sure to dampen spirits. Many pet owners confess that the 4th of July holiday is one of the most stressful times for themselves as well as their pets. Indeed the highest number of missing pets is reported the very next day. The reason for this is that dogs and cats (in fact most animals) are far more sensitive to noise than us humans. They can often hear more than 1.5 times our normal range of sounds! However, this holiday does not need to be as stressful if we are better prepared.

Please keep us safe - STARelief

Here are some tips to help you ease your pet’s anxiety this holiday!

  1. Make sure to let your pets out early in the day: Try to walk your dog or let out your cat earlier in the day. Ideally your pet needs to get his/ her fresh air and exercise before the streets get crowded and the fireworks begin. Even if you normally take him/ her out only in the evening, make an exception and get your pets to exercise early in the day. However, do not deny them their usual outing. This may cause your pet more stress.
  2. Make your home comfortable: before the fireworks begin, make sure to close the curtains and drapes around the house to cut out the excess noise. You can also create some white noise like running the washing machine or the vacuum cleaner. You can also play some soothing music to calm your pet.
  3. Give them company: When pets are anxious and stressed they automatically look to their humans for comfort. Try to stay around them and calm or soothe them with your presence. Ensure that you are not stressed yourself for the animal can sense you anxiety and will think that there is some cause for concern.
  4. Keep special treats handy: Keeping your pets favorite treats handy will help in diverting their attention from any commotion outside. You can also engage them in some activity and hand out these treats as a reward.
  5.  Last and not least- Microchip your pet: Enough stress cannot be laid on the need to microchip your pet at a time when they can easily get lost. Microchipping your pet helps you track them even if they get lost. Animal control officers and Veterinarians often look for Microchips on pets that have strayed or are lost to identify the owner and ensure a safe return. You can learn more about how microchips are inserted and used here.

To help you cope with this holiday, we are holding a FREE Pet Wellness clinic this Sunday (22nd June) at the VCA Davis Animal hospital between 12 pm and 3 pm. Bring your pet for a free Rabies vaccine and microchip. Be prepared and enjoy this long weekend!

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Article by Madhumita Ganapathy

Madhu, having grown up in a household that always had pets, fell in love with animals at a very young age. She firmly believes that until one has loved, nurtured and cared for a pet, one’s life remains incomplete. She loves writing, travelling, and meeting new people. Madhu lives in Stamford and joined STARelief as Social Media Director to lend her marketing expertise in spreading the word and creating awareness. Connect with her on Twitter @MadhuG86


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STARelief and Pet Assistance
P.O. Box 3035
Stamford, CT 06905
Phone: 203-636-0971
Fax: 203-883-0325
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