My Account | Sign Up

Give Your Pets Their Own Feast on ThanksgivingGive Your Pets Their Own Feast on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks for everything we love in our lives, our pets included.

Thanksgiving is a time of fun and feasts for humans and there is no reason your pets shouldn't get to have their own little feast! Check out these great, easy to make recipes and tips to make sure your pets have a great turkey day!

Turkey Dinner: Give your pet their own turkey dinner with this great homemade turkey dog food recipe! Don't forget the kitty, check out this great Thanksgiving cat food recipe

Sweet Potatoes: No Thanksgiving is complete without sweet potatoes! Did you know sweet potatoes are good for your pets, too? Check out this great recipe for sweet potato dog treats

A Little Bit of Pumpkin: Pumpkin pie is a favorite Thanksgiving dessert, so why not make your dog their own pumpkin and peanut butter cookies? Or how about some pumpkin turkey treats for the cat

Store Bought Feasts: Are you too busy cooking human food to make a pet treat, but still want to give your pets a feast on turkey day? Why not try Merck's Thanksgiving Feast for dogs or Homestyle Turkey & Liver Stew Homestyle by Prairie cat food, both available at Bark 'n Purr! Or just try a new wet food flavor from your normal store. Just make sure to mix it in with their current dry food to make it a bit less stressful on their tummies! You can also give your pets a few pieces of cooked, boneless turkey from your table as a treat.

Keeping Pets Occupied During Dinner: Avoid begging during dinner by stuffing a dog kong toy full of peanut butter and kibble, then leaving it in the freezer for a few hours. It's a great chilly treat that will keep them occupied for your feast. Try getting cats new cat nip toys to keep them pouncing all night long! 

Check out more Do-It-Yourself ideas on our Pinterest Page! 

Keep your pets safe this Thanksgiving by reading through this article!

Why Your Kids Should Grow Up with PetsWhy Your Kids Should Grow Up with Pets

Some parents may find the idea of raising children and owning pets rather daunting, but research continues to show that being raised in a household with pets helps children to be better adjusted and healthier! How exactly?

What Kids Are Saying:

1. Almost 50% of all children with pets interviewed say that living with a pet makes them happier.

2. 30% of children say that being around their pets makes them feel calmer.

3. 20% of children say that their pets make them feel smarter.

4. Over 33% of kids say that owning pets makes them feel more caring and like they have more responsibility

5. 20% of kids say that they feel more confident talking to people because of their pets.

6. 79% of kids said they their pets have had a positive effect on their schoolwork.

But you don't have to take their word for it! 

How Pets Help Improve Kids Health:

1. Research by Miami University in Ohio and Saint Louis University found much of what the kids above say is true! They found people with pets had higher self-esteem, were more physically fit, were less lonely, were more caring, more extroverted, less fearful and less preoccupied. 

2. Studies are showing that kids that grow up around furry pets have a lower risk of allergies and asthma than kids who do not. In fact, research from he University of California, San Francisco shows that the dander from pets helps fight off a common respiratory infection that leads to asthma in children. Research by  Kuopio University Hospital suggests kids who are around furry pets also saw a lower need for antibiotics! In fact, the researcher, Eija Bergroth, suspects "animal contacts could help to mature the immunologic system."

3. Research by Marion Vittecoq and Frederic Thomas of the Tour du Valat research center suggests that owning a pet could help prevent Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

How Pets Can Help Your Child Develop:

1. Research has showed that reading to dogs helps children improve their fluency by 30%!

2. Growing up around pets teaches children how to care for another creature and improves responsibility!

Do you think your family might be ready to add a pet to your family? Come visit the Austin Humane Society to meet pets that are purrfect for you!

The Truth Behind Animal HoardingThe Truth Behind Animal Hoarding

We've all seen the photos on the news: dogs covered in feces-filled dreadlocks, cats coated in filth, piles of waste and trash filling the home. Hoarding is a problem that has been brought to the forefront of America's consciousness by shows like Hoarders and Confessions: Animal Hoarding. But unfortunately, animal hoarding is much more common than most people realize. 

So, what is an animal hoarder?
Animal hoarding is an extremely complicated issue that effects entire communities because of the mental health, animal welfare and public safety concerns involved. To be considered an animal hoarder, a group or individual must:

  1. Have more than the typical number of companion animals
  2. Be unable to provide even minimally acceptable standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter and medical care. Often this inability results in starvation, illness and even death.
  3. Be in denial about their inability to provide the minimally acceptable standards of care and the impact it is having on their animals and themselves. 

Most animal lovers know someone who has multiple pets -- that does not make them an animal hoarder. It is crucial to realize it is not merely the number of animals involved that makes an individual a hoarder. In order to be a hoarder, an individual must meet all three criteria.

Why do people hoard animals?
The results of animal hoarding can be horrific, but before you place judgement on the animals' owners, please understand that these individuals suffer from severe mental illness.  ASPCA writes the following: "It is not clearly understood why people become animal hoarders. Early research pointed toward a variant of obsessive-compulsive disorders but new studies and theories are leading toward attachment disorders in conjunction with personality disorders, paranoia, delusional thinking, depression and other mental illnesses. Some animal hoarders began collecting after a traumatic event or loss, while others see themselves as 'rescuers' who save animals from a life on the street.

Animal hoarders may think they have good intentions, but their irrational behaviors cause significant suffering to the large numbers of animals in their care. The "hoarder" does not intend to inflict harm on the animals, and in most cases, the "hoarder" can no longer take care of himself, much less multiple animals."

How common is animal hoarding?
There are approximately 3,500 cases reported and 250,000 animals that are effected each year in the United States alone. Thanks to increased awareness of animal hoarding, the number of cases being reported over the past four years have nearly doubled.

What you should do if you know of an animal hoarder?
If you suspect that you know an animal hoarder, the best thing you can do is contact your local humane law enforcement department. While we do assist in animal hoarding cases, AHS does not have a law enforcement arm and therefore we cannot initially investigate these claims. In Travis County, please call 3-1-1 and they will put you in touch with the appropriate authorities. You may be scared of reporting someone you know, but the person and the animals both are in dire need of help, it is the best thing you can do for all parties involved!

Austin Humane Society recently rescued 19 negelected dogs from an animal hoarder. Please donate today to help us fund their care and the care of the thousands of animals we rescue each year.