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Alissa Wolf

Alissa's Pet Shops Blog

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Vinny the Pug Continues His No-Kill Mission

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Vinny the Pug

Although Vinny the Pug has crossed the Rainbow Bridge, his dad Allen Kimble is continuing his no-kill pet shelter initiative via raising funds with a Vinny-inspired line of high-fashion handbags and accessories, which you can read about here.

Allen was kind enough to send me one. I live in a rather affluent area, so I agreed to take it to upscale boutiques, to see if I can interest them in carrying these.

So far, the bag and the cause it represents have received raves.

On the downside, people generally tend to have mixed emotions about the no-kill movement.

I recently discussed the topic with a lady who manages a pet store I frequent, which partners with shelters to offer kittens for adoption.

In her view, people who adopt from no-kill shelters are merely saving a pet from a life in a cage, while those who adopt from kill shelters are saving a pet's life, period.

We both agreed that, in a perfect world, all shelters would be no-kill.

In a really perfect world, all pets would have loving, forever homes.

Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world.

On the bright side, we do have people like Allen, who love and are willing to devote their lives to helping pets.

Bless you one and all.

Photo courtesy of Allen Kimble

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Super Bowls for Pets

Tuesday April 22, 2014

ModaPet Bowls

There are some very cool pet bowls now on the market, which you can read about in my article Pet Bowls Trends.

I have to admit that my two favorite pet bowl materials are stainless steel and thick, heavy, unpainted glass.

(My family's' pets are spoiled, so they get to eat out of crystal bowls that most people would reserve for fancy dinner parties.)

Not only are these durable and easy to clean and care for, these also are safest for pets, for a variety of reasons.

Another factor to take into consideration with ceramic bowls in particular is the paint; this must be lead-free.

In addition, glass and ceramic are more inclined to chip, so that's something else to keep in mind.

Otherwise, it's very important for pet retailers and pet parents to learn as much as they can about pet bowls, because these can directly impact pets' safety, health and well-being.

So, as always, please do your homework, and know where your products come from.

Photo courtesy of ModaPet

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Have a 'Furry' Happy Easter

Sunday April 20, 2014

Easter Bunny

Just wanted to wish all of my readers who celebrate a very joyous Easter.

Once again, thanks for your ongoing support of my site, and I wish you all continued success and happiness in the future, and always.

Photo courtesy of Cheezburger Network

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Kurgo Introduces Pet First Aid Kit

Thursday April 17, 2014

Pet First Aid Kit

Kurgo, maker of travel safety products for pets, has just released a pet first aid kit, with everything for critters on the go.

The 50-piece kit contains a variety of items for minor injuries such as an icepack, gauze, scissors, tweezers and other supplies that fold up into a convenient storage pack, with a hook that enables the kit to be hung when open.

"Everyone should have a basic first aid kit when traveling and we feel that pets are no different," said Kurgo President Gordie Spater. "As major pet travel advocates, we know accidents can happen anytime and we want our customers and their pets to be prepared."

Pet parents can also download a free pet first aid ebook.

For more info, visit the website.

Photo courtesy of the Impetus Agency

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Kitties Can Go in Style with Kitty A GoGo

Monday April 14, 2014

Kitty A GoGo

Murphy and I recently reviewed a very cool line of litter boxes called Kitty A GoGo, which you can read about here.

I have to say that not only are these very practical and easy to use, these are arguably the most beautiful litter boxes I have ever seen.

Meanwhile, at first, my cub reporter didn't know what to make of this. He kept circling it and sniffing it before he finally got into it.

But now, he regards it as his "man cave." I think I saw him go in there with a copy of Playcat magazine. LOL!

But in all seriousness, we are most impressed with this litter box line, which is from Automated Pet Care Products, of Litter-Robot fame.

And you can bet that the demand for innovative litter boxes will continue to increase well into the future.

Photo courtesy of Kitty A GoGo

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Happy Passover

Monday April 14, 2014

Cat YarmulkeI just wanted to take the opportunity to wish my readers who celebrate a "furry" happy Passover.

Or as we call it in my house, "Puss-over."

As always, thank you for supporting my site, and I wish everyone a joyous holiday and happy, healthy prosperous spring season overall.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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My Own Version of 'My Cat From Hell'

Sunday April 13, 2014

Murphy Sorry

In case anyone has been wondering why I wasn't around for a while, last weekend Murphy bit me, and I developed such a severe infection that I had to be hospitalized for three days.

My cub reporter periodically nips at me because he tends to play rough, or he wants to get fed. In this instance, the latter was the case. I didn't feed him fast enough, so he bit my calf.

I didn't think anything of it, because he didn't even draw blood. But during the next few days, my foot and lower leg became so badly swollen that I spent two days running back and forth to the ER until the doctors at the hospital - who diagnosed this as cellulitis - finally determined that I had to be admitted.

Thankfully, I received excellent care, and am now on the mend. (Kudos to AtlanticCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City, an absolutely gorgeous facility with an amazing staff of topnotch medical professionals.)

I was fortunate to be treated by an adorable young infectious disease specialist named Manish Trivedi, M.D. - who I promptly nicknamed "Dr. Love Doll" - who joked that I should sell Murphy to Siegfried and Roy.

On a much more serious note, he said that I really dodged a bullet, because if Murphy had punctured a bone, I would have been in very deep doodie.

In fact, that happened to my mom several years ago.

She tried to break up a fight between a stray cat she had been feeding and one of her cats when the stray bit her and pierced her wrist bone.

She developed a life-threatening bone infection, and had to be treated with home IV antibiotics administered through a portable device that she had to be hooked up to 24/7 for three months!

I did get lucky. But this was a really scary experience that I hope serves as a lesson to all cat lovers. Cat bites can be very serious, and should be checked by a medical professional immediately.

As for Murphy, I know he didn't intend to hurt me, and he is sorry. When I returned from the hospital, he greeted me at the top of the stairs and gave me a big kiss, and has been lavishing me with love and kisses ever since.

Meanwhile, I did contact Jackson "Cat Daddy" Galaxy, author and host of the Animal Planet Show "My Cat From Hell," for advice. (I haven't heard back from him yet.)

Otherwise, Murphy has an appointment with his vet this week. Hopefully, his doc will come up with some answers and a solution to this behavior.

So wish us luck, and let's all hope that this never happens again.

Photo courtesy of Alissa Wolf

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Friskies Party Mix Honors Grumpy Cat with Grand Birthday Bash

Friday April 11, 2014

Grumpy Cat Birthday

I recently had the privilege of interviewing world famous kitty celebrity Grumpy Cat, which you can read about here.

As I reveal in my article, the frowning feline is now the spokeskitty for Friskies Party Mix, and the company is celebrating her 2nd birthday in grand grumpy style throughout the month of April.

To officially kick off Grumpy Cat's birthday festivities, Friskies Party Mix has issued a Grumpy Frowns Challenge to consumers.

Consumers have until April 29, 2014 to help Grumpy fulfill her birthday wish of spreading grumpiness nation-wide by taking photos of themselves and their cat(s) making their best Grumpy face, then sharing the photos using the hashtag #1MMGrumpyFrowns on Instagram or www.friskies.com/partymix.

One entrant was to be chosen at random on April 9 to receive a prize of a two-night trip for two to New York City to attend Grumpy Cat's exclusive birthday celebration being hosted by Friskies Party Mix on April 29.

The promotion will continue with additional prizes available through noon ET April 29.

Visit www.friskies.com/partymix for details.

Meanwhile, I will have the honor of attending Grumpy's birthday bash.

So stay tuned to this site for pics and all of the catty details.

Photo courtesy of Friskies Party Mix

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P&G Sells Pet Food Brands to Mars

Friday April 11, 2014

Mars PetcareIn a move that has set the business world abuzz, Proctor & Gamble just announced that the company is selling 80 percent of its major pet food brands to Mars for $2.9 billion.

The P&G brands include Iams, Eukanuba and Natura.

P&G decided on this move in an effort to shed less profitable brands in order to focus on improving the company's bottom line, according to various news reports.

This will enable the Mars Petcare subdivision to expand its pet products line, which now includes Royal Canin, Pedigree, Whiskas, Nutro, Cesar, Sheba and many others totaling 35 brands.

This should further enable Mars to go head-to-head with major competitor Nestle SA - producer of the Purina brand - within the pet food market.

Meanwhile, P&G is undergoing a long-term restructuring - which involves streamlining/downsizing - in order to focus on the company's more profitable personal care and cleaning brands which include Tide laundry detergent, Olay beauty products, Charmin bathroom tissue and many other well known products.

As for Mars, the deal reportedly will increase the company's share of the U.S. cat and dog food market to 20 percent, up from the current 13 percent.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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Epic Pet Health Supplements Review

Friday April 4, 2014

Murphy Epic Pet HealthMurphy and I recently reviewed a very unique line of pet supplements from a company called Epic Pet Health, which you can read about here.

These are electrolyte formulas created by Seattle, Wash.-based holistic chiropractor Amy Swartz, who has been receiving a lot of media attention.

As I reveal in the article, these were included in the celebrity swag bags at the 2014 Oscars.

So my cub reporter and I were most eager to try these.

Although my soon to be 1-year-old kitty is in relatively good health, he has had intermittent diarrhea and flatulence since I adopted him from a shelter last August.

He enjoyed subjecting me to "Dutch ovens," whereby he'd burrow under my sheets when I was in bed and cut the cheese!

Although he seemed to find this quite amusing, and so did I, this indicated a potentially not-so-funny health problem.

I had tried a lot of different remedies, from adding a little bit of pureed pumpkin to his food to giving him probiotics and digestive enzymes, to no avail.

So Amy sent us two spray bottles of Epic Pet Health supplements: Digest and Repair.

I sprayed these on Murphy's food once a day for two weeks, but he still had the same issues.

Then Amy suggested that I change his food.

I had been giving him natural, grain-free canned foods such as Hound & Gatos and Whole Paws, from Whole Foods, along with Fromm grain-free dry food as a treat.

Although these are all excellent brands, he obviously needed a change.

On Amy's advice, I switched him to Halo Spot's Stew exclusively, and continued spraying the supplements into his food on a twice-daily basis.

I am happy to report that, within three days, Murphy's doodies were normal.

So there you have it, folks.

We give Epic Pet Health supplements two paws up, and know that others will, too.

Photo courtesy of Alissa Wolf

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