Recent data from Best Friends Animal Society alarmingly reveals that 43 percent of Americans still don’t know most pet store dogs come from puppy mills (and a quarter of Americans haven’t even heard of a puppy mill).

This could be why 17% of people looking for a new pet still choose to purchase at a local pet store rather than saving a life and adopting from a shelter or rescue organization. Puppy mills take a toll on both the pets in the mills, and on innocent shelter animals.

Check out this PSA about puppy mills and adoptable dogs from Best Friends Animal Society (don’t worry, it’s not a tear jerker like most videos on this topic):

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Protect your pets and family from summer bugs with this simple blanket. The blankets can be used for camping, picnics at the park, a day at the beach, or in your back yard.

The Insect Shield Blanket has odorless insect repellent built right into the fabric. They come in two sizes: a large blanket that measures 56 X 74 inches and a mini version that measures 28 X 36 inches. These lightweight blankets don’t require any special care and are machine washable.

Insect Shield Technology is also available in clothing and a bandanna that you or your dog can wear.

Protecting your family and pets from bugs is important because they can transmit diseases. Ticks can spread Lyme disease and mosquitoes can spread West Nile virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the incidence of these diseases is on the rise.

You can purchase the Insect Shield Blanket, and other Insect Shield products, here.

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Looking for something fun to do with your pooch this weekend? Check out these events.

Saturday, July 19

Pet First Aid Class; Seattle, Wash. July 19 & 20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (10 hours total). Cost: $150 per person. This training, provided by Metro Dog staff, is the one of the most complete pet first aid training classes you will find anywhere in North America. Their classes are geared for pet care professionals, trainers, rescue workers, first responders, and vigilant pet parents. The class offers continuing education credits for IAABC, CPDT-KA and CBCC-KA members. To register contact Metro Dog at PetFirstAid@MetroDogSeattle.com or call us at 206.284.3647 (DOGS).

Sunday, July 20

CityDog Cover Model Search; Kirkland, Wash. 12 p.m. (please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to register your pooch) at Marina Park, 25 Lakeshore Plaza . Cost: $10 per dog. Kirkland Uncorked is a regional showcase of art, food and wine on the picturesque shores of Lake Washington at Marina Park. Your dog can unleash their inner supermodel by taking a turn on the catwalk in a contest to grace the cover of CityDog Magazine. For more information about the CityDog Cover Dog Model Search, click here.

Walk for Old Dogs; Bellevue, Wash. 12 p.m. at the Bellevue Downtown Park, 10201 Northeast 4th Street. Cost: $25 to benefit Old Dog Haven. The walk (this is not a race) is a fun half-mile promenade to celebrate with our senior dogs! It’s a beautiful walk along a water feature with lawns and shady trees. Walk as much (or as little) as you and your dog can do! An old dog pageant will follow the walk with contests for best costume, best trick contest, and and dog-owner look alike. For more information, click here.

For more events in Washington, Oregon, and California, check out our CityDog Social Calendar.

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Oh boy, has it been hot in Seattle this week! If you, like many of your fellow dog lovers, plan to visit the nearest beach, lake or river to cool off with your canine, here are some safety tips to keep in mind.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Also, keep in mind that while most dogs can swim, not all are good at it. If your dog is not a strong swimmer, you may want to consider getting them a life jacket. Some of our favorite brands include the K-9 Float Coat by Ruffwear, the PFD (Pet Flotation Device) by Body Glove, and the Doggy Floatation Device by EzyDog.

Also, dogs can ingest a lot of water while swimming. Did you know that ingesting too much water can be dangerous? Excessive water intake can result in diluted electrolytes that can cause muscle and nerve control issues.

Enjoying the water with your four-legged friend is a highlight of summer, so keep in mind these common sense safety tips and remember, no dogs in hot cars! Woof!

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Looking for something to do this weekend with your furry best friend? Check out these events.

Saturday, July 12

Low-cost Dog and Cat Vaccination Clinic to Benefit Animal Rescue; Seattle, Wash. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rex Seattle 1402 12th Avenue. Cost: $25 for one vaccination and $40 for two. A minimum of $15 per customer benefits Motley Zoo Animal Rescue from Redmond, Wash. Update your pet’s vaccinations while doing good for others. VetPronto is offering Bordetella and DHPP vaccinations for dogs, and FVCRP for cats, plus rabies vaccines. You will also be able to purchase raffle tickets to win a goody basket for your dog or cat. For more information, click here.

Poochapalooza; Marysville, Wash. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Strawberry Fields Athletic Park, 6100 152nd St. Cost: Free. There will be Wiener Dog Races (winners get to participate in the Seahawks halftime show in September), a  pie eating contest for dogs, various demonstrations, vendors and “wag bags” for the first 500 guests.

Kitsap Humane’s Annual PetsWALK; Poulsbo, Wash. 9 a.m. at 6th Avenue and NE Harrison. Cost: $30 minimum donation. Get some fresh air and have fun while helping the animals of the Kitsap Humane Society. There are 5K and 1K routes available.

Sunday, July 13

Rock Star Talent Agency Meet and Greet; Redmond, Wash. 6:30 p.m. at Motley Zoo’s Studio, 16715 Cleveland Street. Cost: Free. Have you ever thought your dog would be great in print ads, commercials–maybe even movies or TV? Motley Zoo Animal Rescue is starting a Rock Star Talent Agency–a service designed to match your pets up with gigs that help save more animals’ lives. For more information email info@motleyzoo.org

For more events in Washington, Oregon, and California, check out our CityDog Social Calendar.

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The technology available today to help owners take care of their pets is sometimes mind-blowing. Imagine uploading a snapshot of your lost pet and instantly finding them.

The technology is still being improved, but today, this is a reality.

San Diego County Animal Services became the first shelter in the nation to use a facial recognition app to reunite lost dogs with their owners. They joined forces with Finding Rover, a free facial recognition app, to match the faces of lost dogs with those that have been found or admitted to one of the three county shelters. Finding Rover allows pet owners to look for their animals via smartphone or computer, where the facial recognition technology shows possible matches within seconds.

The PiP (positive identification of pet) app for iPhone and Android uses facial recognition technology to reunite lost pets with their owners. The app allows you to register your pet for a monthly fee and upload a photo. If your pet is ever lost, you can activate an Amber Alert System which broadcasts an immediate notification of your lost pet to veterinarians, animal control and rescue agencies, PiP subscribers, and social media users within your local area. Also, your pet’s photo is analyzed and matched with photos of pets identified as lost.

Losing a pet is often one of the worst fears of a pet owner. It will be an exciting day when posting lost posters around your neighborhood will be obsolete and your pet can be found within minutes.

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Summer is here and barbecue season is in full swing. That means you’ll have a lot of friends over to hang out on your deck or patio.

Why not show off your pooch pride with some super cute deck pillows featuring your beloved pup? Better yet, you can make these custom pillows yourself.

Don’t worry, these pillows are really easy to make and inexpensive. For instructions on how to make your own pillow, click here.

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Last week we told you about some great dog beds to take camping. Maybe you thought “those beds look fun,” and were inspired to go camping with your pooch, but you’re not sure where to go?

Well, there is no lack of wild and beautiful places to set up your tent and enjoy the great outdoors in the West. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

Kalaloch, Olympic National Park, Pacific Coast; Washington. Kalaloch is one of the few public campgrounds in Washington right on the Pacific. It’s also one of the only campgrounds in the Olympic National Park that allows dogs. Set up your tent high on the coastal bluff, let your dog frolic along the 10-mile stretch of beach open to dogs, and watch the beautiful sunset from your campsite.

Silver Falls State Park, Willamette Valley; Oregon. This park is located just 25 miles east of Salem and is a waterfall, hiker and camping lover’s haven! There are 25 miles of trails to explore with your pooch and 10 different waterfalls.

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, North Coast; California. Set up camp along a quiet creek shadowed by towering redwoods hundreds of years old. While this state park does not allows dogs on trails, you can walk the roads and still see most of what this park has to offer. You can also head to Gold Bluffs Beach, located within the park, and explore the sights and sound along 10 miles of wide sandy gorgeous northern California beach.

For more details about these camping destinations, and to find more canine-friendly campgrounds, click here.

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Looking for something to do this weekend with your furry best friend? Check out these events.

Friday, July 4

Four on the 4th Dog Jog and Walk; Bellevue, Wash. The non‐competitive race begins at 9 a.m. in Ashwood Park and ends with a post‐race celebration that includes contests, vendor booths and music. With hundreds of dog lovers and their furry friends in tow, the second annual “4 the dogs” 4k jog and walk is the perfect way to kick off an Independence Day celebration.

For more information, visit: www.bellevuedowntown.com/events/4-on-the-4th

Saturday, July 5

Frogs & Dogs; Issaquah, Wash. 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.  at The Issaquah Brewhouse, 35 W Sunset Way. Love frogs? Love dogs? Love beer? While the “frogs” in Frogs & Dogs refers to the line up of what’s on tap (White Frog Ale and Menage a Frog Ale), there will be plenty of  canine companions in attendance at this family- and dog- friendly event. There will be fun events including a dog parade, a dog food eating contest, and a leap frog competition. Proceeds from the festival benefit the local Salmon Hatchery.

Wiener Dog Walk at Green Lake; Seattle, Wash. 10 a.m. Cost: Free, but you must join the group and register for the event to attend. Join the Adventureweiner Club of Seattle for a brisk, 2.8 mile walk around Green Lake Park. The group starts together but everyone settles into their own pace. Dachshunds only for this event please. For meeting location and details, and to register for the event, click here.

For more details about these events, and to find other events in Washington, Oregon, and California, check out our CityDog Social Calendar.

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Due to advances in healthcare, pets are living longer. That is the good news.

The bad news is that the longer your pet lives, the greater risk there is of developing a disease like cancer. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cancer accounts for almost half of the deaths of pets over 10 years of age.

Thankfully, many cancer treatments used in humans are now available for pets. These treatments are very costly though. No one wants to have to make THAT decision when they are faced with the prospect of enormous veterinary bills that they can’t afford.

Now pet parents don’t have to make a sudden decision like that. There are several pet insurance companies that will cover a large portion of the cost of treating your dog’s cancer. While pet insurance does cost a monthly fee, it saves you from unexpectedly being saddled with a 10,000 vet bill.

Trupanion Pet Insurance looked into their database of insured pets who developed cancer to help identify some trends. The company paid over $1 million in cancer-related claims, with the majority of the funds going toward dogs over five years old.

Trupanion found that the top 10 breeds they help treat for cancer are:

  1. Rottweiler
  2. Doberman Pinscher
  3. Boxer
  4. German Shepherd
  5. Great Dane
  6. Golden Retriever
  7. American Pit bull Terrier
  8. Labrador Retriever
  9. Beagle
  10. Jack Russell Terrier

There are several factors besides breed that affect your pet’s chance of getting cancer. Environmental factors and inherited genetics also play a role. The reality is that any pet can develop cancer.

Having insurance that will cover your pet when they most need it is a very comforting. If your pet develops cancer, or some other disease, having insurance allows you to focus on making the best treatment decision for them. There are many pet insurance companies to choose from, so be sure to do your homework (and read the fine print).

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