Latest Updates

Pets Take the Hill at Be a Pet’s Hero Celebration

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Be a Pet's Hero Celebration

The celebration is the charity’s first major fundraising event and a signal of its commitment to the District of Columbia metro community, which is home to many service members, veterans and needy pets. Congressional members, staffers, veterans and other supporters of the charity, and their respective pets, will be in attendance. A compelling testimonial from a three-tour Iraq veteran who adopted through Pets for Patriots will be featured in the program.

“We hope that this celebration makes more people aware of the incalculable value that companion pets provide to veterans, service members and their families,” says Beth Zimmerman, founder and executive director. “By connecting these individuals with adult and other at-risk dogs and cats, we’re able to give them a renewed sense of purpose while providing hard-to-place pets a second chance at life.”

To help make pet adoption achievable and affordable, Pets for Patriots recruits local veterinarians who will offer ongoing, discounted care for any eligible pet a member veteran adopts from the organization’s shelter partners. In addition, Pets for Patriots provides its adopters direct financial support towards the purchase of pet food and other basics.

Pets for Patriots is growing its adoption and veterinary partner network in the greater DC metro community; current area partners include:
District of Columbia: Washington Humane Society
Delaware: Delaware Humane Society, Circle Veterinary Clinic
Maryland: Animal Medical Center of Watkins Park, Bay Country Veterinary Hospital, Kenwood Animal Hospital, Prince George’s Animal Hospital
Virginia: Portsmouth Humane Society, Second Chances Dalmatian Rescue, Ballston Animal Hospital, Brentwood Veterinary Clinic

Individuals are welcome to apply from all United States armed forces and at any stage of their careers: active, reserve, retired or veteran, as well as those transitioning to civilian life. Eligible pets must meet one of three criteria: an adult dog or cat (two years and older), dogs over 40 pounds regardless of age, or special needs dogs and cats. Joining Pets for Patriots is entirely free to applicants.

You can support Pets for Patriots when you purchase from Surfpet. Simply use Coupon Code PFP5 at checkout and we will donate 5% of the value of your order to this worthy organization.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week (Video)

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

May 15-22, 2011 will mark this year’s annual National Dog Bite Prevention Week®. This special week aims to help stop the nearly five million dog bites that happen every year. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is joined by Animal Planet’s Victoria Stilwell, the United States Postal Service (USPS), pediatricians, plastic surgeons and representatives of the insurance industry in offering tips to prevent dog bites.

“Veterinarians recognize, while there are 72 million good dogs in the United States, any dog can bite if it is frightened or feels threatened, even the family pet. Unfortunately, children are most often the victims,” says Dr. Larry M. Kornegay, AVMA president. Bite injuries occur most often among children between ages 5 and 9 years old. In victims younger than 18 years old, the family dog inflicts 30 percent of all dog bites, and a neighbor’s dog is responsible for another 50 percent of these bites.

Victoria Stilwell explained, “Dogs need and want us to provide effective leadership, but the most effective leaders do not simply impose their will on their followers,” says Stilwell. “And I firmly believe the only way to truly ensure that we are successful in achieving the necessary balance with our dogs is by using positive reinforcement and treating them with the same respect that we ask of them. It’s not the breed of the dog that causes the bite, but rather how well the dog is trained and controlled.

To learn more about preventing dog bites, visit to view the AVMA brochure, community guidelines, podcast and video, and to learn more about The Blue Dog Parent Guide and CD, a scientifically validated educational program for preschoolers.

Pets with Seasonal Allergies

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Do seasonal allergies cause you to suffer with runny nose; itchy, watery eyes; sneezing and congestion? Whether you are allergic to pet dander, ragweed, or tree pollen, the symptoms are frequently the same.

Seasonal Allergy Symptoms in Pets

Did you know that seasonal allergies can also affect your pet? If you notice that your pet is scratching a lot, chewing on his legs or feet, or rubbing his face on your carpet, he is probably having allergy troubles. The same sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose and congestion that you experience can also cause a lot of misery for your pet.

Seasonal allergies in pets come in two forms: flea allergies and atopic allergies. Flea allergy is the most common allergy in both dogs and cats. A single bite can set off a serious reaction if your dog or cat has become sensitive to fleas by having regular flea infestations. The only way to control flea allergy problems is to keep your pet, your home and your yard free of fleas. This is much easier said than done, and you may want to enlist the help of a professional exterminator if you have a bad flea infestation in your home and yard.

Atopic allergies are the second most common allergy in cats and dogs. An atopic allergy is a reaction to inhaled, airborne allergens like pollen, mold, and grasses and manifests itself in the animal’s skin causing non-stop itching and scratching, hot spots, chewing, hair loss and skin irritation. Secondary infections can often occur because of sores on the skin. Allergic pets can also develop chronic ear infections, which are often very difficult to treat.

It should also be noted that allergy symptoms in cats can sometimes be indicative of much more serious conditions like rino virus or upper respiratory infections. These symptoms should always be checked out by your vet promptly.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Your Pet’s Seasonal Allergies

Be sure to tell your vet about all of your pet’s symptoms. The vet will then run tests to determine what your pet is allergic to and what the best course of treatment will be. Once your vet knows what is causing the allergic reactions, short-term treatments may include, antihistamines, steroids, medicated shampoos or topical medications to control itching and irritation.

A long-term solution to a pet’s allergy problems is hyposensitization treatment, otherwise known as allergy shots. Just like allergy shots for humans, this treatment involves administering small doses of the problem allergan over a period of time. Eventually, your pet’s body becomes habituated to the allergan and no longer perceives it as a threat, thereby eliminating the histamine reaction that causes their allergy symptoms.

No matter what your pet is allergic to, seeking the proper treatment is very important in order to avoid long-term complications and chronic health issues.

2011 Pet Adoptathon Uniting Shelters Worldwide

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

For the 17th year, Pet Adoptathon® will unite animal shelters around the world for the common goal of highlighting pet adoption. On Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, 2011, over 2,000 animal shelters worldwide will join the North Shore Animal League America for Pet Adoptathon® 2011.

In 2010, over 20,000 animals were adopted in this global event. For the first time, the event will extend through the month of May. Through the years, over 300,000 animals have found homes due to this event.

The spokesperson of this global adoption event is Cesar Millan, from National Geographic WILD’s “The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan.”

The event kicks off at Pet Adoptathon Headquarters in New York where North Shore Animal League America will kick-off the month-long event beginning at 9 am on Saturday, April 30, 2011 and stay open for 36 hours straight.

The Pet Adoptathon promotes the adoption of mixed-breed pets, known as Mutt-i-grees®. These animals represent the majority of shelter pets around the world; unfortunately they also make up the majority of the pets that are being euthanized. Mutt-i-grees rallies 25 million mixed-breed pet owners in the U.S. to encourage adoption of mixed-breed pets and to help end puppy mills that perpetuate animal cruelty and euthanasia. Participating shelters and rescues are official Mutt-i-grees partners to help spread the word about these wonderful unique adoptable animals.

If you’ve got a Mutt-i-gree, please share your adoption story in the comments below!

Pug Recycles! (Video)

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

This little pug has gone green. What are you doing to take care of planet? Please share your “green” initiatives in the comments section. Do you recycle? Take a bus? Bottle your own water?

Happy Earth Day!

Tips for Choosing a Pet Stroller

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Spring is here, and nothing is nicer than going for a stroll or jog with your favorite four-legged friend. Dogs, cats, bunnies—even guinea pigs and iguanas—can enjoy being with you in the great outdoors from the safety of their very own stroller.

Pet Gear Expedition Stroller

There are dozens of pet strollers on the market, so choosing the right one can be a challenge. Considering how and where you will want to use your stroller is one of the first things to think about.

Would you like to take your pet with you to the park and stroll on level, paved paths? Or on a window-shopping excursion in a busy shopping area? For the more adventurous, an off-road trek in a wilderness area on uneven terrain might be what you’re interested in.

Do want to walk, jog, or run with your pet stroller? The design and construction of the stroller you choose should fit how and where you want to use it. (more…)

Before You Give Up

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Hi, there! Charlie here again. It always makes me really sad to hear about a dog whose family has surrendered them to the pound for any reason, but especially for their behavior. You know, we dogs really are smart and with a little patience and the right kind of training, almost any behavior problem can be overcome. What’s really important is clear communication (not mixed messages), consistency and remembering that we are dogs (that think like dogs) and not humans.

My human found this useful list of tips on dealing with some common issues on Agape Animal Rescue. Before you give up in frustration, try consulting with a  trainer, or at least trying some of these tips. We are big fans of Victoria Stillwell and her Animal Plant program, It’s Me or the Dog! Her positive reinforcement training techniques work and the show is lots of fun to watch. You’ll find more training tips and videos on the show’s website.

Common Behavior Issues at Home

Dogs, like people, come in all sorts of sizes, shapes and personalities.  Living harmoniously with your dog requires a consistent, persistent attitude by you that you are the leader of your dog’s “pack.”  Despite your good intentions and best efforts, sometimes your dog does not learn a behavior you want, or else cannot stop an unacceptable behavior.  Usually the solution lies in properly communicating with your dog so that he understands what is acceptable, and what is not.  Here are a few common behavior problems dog owners experience, along with some helpful tips. (more…)

Toxic Plants ASPCA Video

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Dr. Steven Hansen, veterinary toxicologist & ASPCA Senior Vice President, shows you examples of the most common potentially dangerous plants that may be in or around your home.

Your Yard May Be Hazardous to Your Pets

Thursday, March 31st, 2011


Spring is in the air and plants and flowers are in bloom, but you may want to think twice before letting your dog get too close.

Many pet owners don’t realize that some of the most common plants and flowers can be toxic or even fatal to dogs. Even ingesting a small amount of certain toxic plants can cause severe damage to pets.

We must remember that our pets do not know what is, and is not, good for them. I always tell people to think of their dogs as toddlers — they don’t know any better so you must be their eyes and ears. The safest bet is to keep all plants and hazardous materials out of your pets’ reach. (more…)

Pudgy Pets? Products to Help Fido and Fluffy Lose Weight

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Is your pet overweight?

A study released today from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that about 93 million dogs and cats in America — or more than half of the dogs and cats in the United States — are overweight or obese.

Obesity is a serious problem for pets. It can take years from their life expectancy.

Wendy Bounds wrote about the growing problem in an article in the Wall Street Journal. Bounds appeared on “Good Morning America” today to talk about the issue and to share tips on what you can do to help your beloved family pets lose the excess weight. (Video Link)