Being Prepared When a Disaster Strikes

by Samantha Grant, Pet Specialty Expert & Retail Associate

I have been planning this blog post for a little while, because late summer and early fall is “fire season” here in southern California, but with Hurricane Harvey devastating Texas and the southern region, the time to discuss tips and strategies for disaster preparedness is especially relevant. I’ve personally had to evacuate due to wildfires four or five times throughout my life, several times with livestock in addition to our family’s house pets. Dealing with disaster is never easy, and the challenges of surviving a major event with your animals presents some unique problems.

 

The first thing to keep in mind is that if you are not prepared to take care of yourself and your human family members first, you will likely be unable to do much for your animals. I keep emergency kits in my vehicles (car, truck and horse trailer) as well as in the house. My mobile kits include three days worth of non-perishable food and water for one person, a blanket, a spare change of clothes including underwear, close-toed shoes, a basic first aid kit, and a few tools (utility knife, screwdrivers, flashlight with spare batteries, jumper cables, etc.).  Yes, these items take up a fair amount of space, but they’ve come in handy in emergencies more than once. The home-based kit is a little more extensive and I keep 2 weeks worth of bottled water, canned and dry goods that I rotate throughout the year. In a pinch, many canned meats and vegetables can be fed to your pets as well.

Secondly, I keep emergency items for every animal in the household. Just as I rotate canned and dry goods for the humans in our home, I do the same for our animals. As a minimum, I keep a three-day supply of food at all times. This rule has come in handy even under mundane circumstances, such as when I was sick and couldn’t make it to the pet store, or when a vehicle was at the mechanic for longer than anticipated. When there is a sale on canned pet foods, which typically have a shelf life of 2-5 years, I will often buy a case. Even if you typically only feed dry kibble, keeping canned pet food on hand is a must. In an emergency, the moisture content of canned pet foods can keep your pet hydrated so you don’t have to dip as deeply into your own emergency water supply.

In addition, I keep easily accessible travel crates, or spare collars and leashes for each animal in the house, depending on what is species-appropriate. Each of these emergency items has a tag with my contact information on it, as well as anything critical to the animal’s well being, such as necessary medications or allergies. It is important to have these items in an easily accessible location in your home, garage, or vehicle.

You will also want to have a pet first-aid kit. While you can purchase pre-made first aid kits for animals, you may choose to put together your own, more complete version. If your pet requires any sort of important medication be sure to ask your veterinarian for an extra refill of that prescription to keep in your first-aid kit. Again, be sure to rotate those medications so that they are not expired when your pet may need them most.

Third, have a detailed, written plan for your family. In the event of a major disaster, having a clear plan is crucial. If a spouse, roommate, or neighbor knows where to find your family’s emergency plan, he or she will be able to determine where to go or what to do under different circumstances if they can’t immediately reach you. For instance, in case of a wildfire requiring evacuation, our county offers temporary stalls for livestock at the fairgrounds, and small animals that cannot be with their owners for whatever reason can be tagged and housed at the county animal shelter until evacuation orders are lifted. I keep a binder that has photos of each of our animals, photocopies of important paperwork (vaccination records, registration papers, microchip numbers, and so on) all sealed in plastic. In the front of the binder is a list of important phone numbers and addresses, such as veterinarians I use, the local animal shelter, and out-of-state family members.

These days, most people rely on their smartphones to remember these kinds of things, but in the case of a natural disaster, fire or flood may damage your technology, and having an old-fashioned “hard copy” is well worth the effort. Perhaps more importantly, if you are caught away from home when disaster strikes, a friend or first responder who goes to pick up or take care of your animals will better be able to help your pets if he or she knows where to take them or who to call.

Bottom line: keep yourselves and your pets safe by staying prepared!

Pro tip: most canned goods that have been properly stored
are safe to consume for 6-12 months past their expiration date.


Check out this article about the shelf life of canned goods for more information!

Summer Safety for Your Pup

by Samantha Grant, Pet Specialty Expert & Retail Associate

The days are noticeably longer, which means summer has swiftly approached. We’re all thinking about vacations and tan lines, but if you have a dog, now is also the time to be thinking about steps you can take to help your pooch keep cool in the dog days of summer.


While everyone knows a hot car is no place for a pet, one of the most significant, yet underrated threats to a dog’s well-being is pavement. Asphalt and concrete are typically much hotter than the surrounding air temperature. A comfortable 75-degree day means that the asphalt your dog’s bare paws are touching is over 120 degrees! A good way to tell if a surface is safe for your dog is to place your own hands, palm down, against the ground for 5 seconds. If that’s uncomfortable for you, the ground is too hot for your dog. Also, realize that asphalt especially stays warm for hours, even after the heat of the day has passed. Try to take your longest walks early in the morning or late in the evening. However, if you still need to take your pup for a walk in the hotter parts of the day, try to get him or her to “do their business” in a shady spot close to home, or consider purchasing protective socks or booties to spare them burns or blisters.

Don’t forget the sunscreen! You hear it all the time – from doctors to newscasters – sunburns and skin cancer are on the rise, and sunscreen, applied frequently, is a great defense against these preventable conditions. You may even already be putting sunscreen on your dog’s nose and face, but be careful! Human sunblock is not safe for dogs – even those labeled for babies. Your best defense is to use a sunblock designed just for animals. I personally use My Pony Sunblock for faces, and Healthy Hair Care brand Sunflower Suncoat for the body. My Dog Nose It is also a great travel-size sunblock for dogs.

Stay hydrated! No hot-weather excursion is safe without adequate water. Keeping a collapsible bowl with you is a great, but most pet stores now carry dog water bottles that allow you to freeze water or add ice cubes to keep your pet’s water cool. Many pet water bottles also come with features that allow you to keep unused water, rather than pouring out what your dog can’t finish. One of my favorites is the Dog Is Good canteen with a ball and nipple (like a mouse or rabbit water bottle). Dogs adapt to these kinds of bottles easily, and the high-quality stainless steel water bottles are easy to use, stay cooler longer, and are top-rack dishwasher safe.

Cooling pads, vests, and bandannas are great for dogs who have an especially difficult time cooling themselves by panting alone, such as elderly or ill dogs, short-faced breeds, or heavy-coated breeds. Some cooling products require a soak, other use ice or gel – be sure to pick the product that best suits your pup and lifestyle. Because this category covers so many different types of items, your best bet is to visit a local independent pet retailer. Chances are you’ll be able to talk with a knowledgeable salesperson who can help you identify and fit the right kind of cooling product for your dog.

Summer is a time of fun and adventure. Stay safe and enjoy all this season has to offer!

Every Day Should Be Earth Day!

by Samantha Grant, Pet Specialty Expert & Retail Associate

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April 22nd is Earth Day – a time to celebrate the beauty of nature by bringing awareness to environmental issues and advocating for positive changes in our lifestyles, our society, and our government in order to help protect our world’s most vulnerable natural resources. Many people choose to do so by volunteering to help clean up wildlife habitats, fundraising for environmental causes, or participating in educational events. Even if you seek to be as “green” as possible in your own home, there may be an angle to eco-friendly living you might not have considered – your pet!


Chances are you already seek out the best, most natural products you can find to take care of your beloved animals, but we’ve selected five of our favorite environmentally responsible pet products to share with you in honor of Earth Day:

Lumino Pure Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth can be tricky to pronounce, but it’s easy to use! Not made of “earth” at all, DE as it’s commonly called, is the fossilized remains of tiny prehistoric aquatic plants called Diatoms. While this white substance seems soft and powdery, it’s actually made up of tiny shards sharp enough to pierce the exoskeletons of many common parasites including intestinal worms, fleas, and mites – causing them to dry out and fall off or be harmlessly excreted. Lumino brand DE is “food grade” and thus is pure enough to be safely ingested by pets, or used externally, even for animals that groom themselves or other animals in the household. The silica in DE is also known to help digestion by binding to toxins. Lumino brand DE is safe for use on all animals and is OMRI certified. Learn more about Lumino and DE at http://luminofoodgradede.com and about OMRI certified products at https://www.omri.org.

Shelley Says! Fly Away!
This safe, effective fly spray is specially formulated using all natural ingredients, including apple cider vinegar and a unique blend of essential oils. Not just for horses, Shelley Says! Fly Away! is good for use on humans, dogs, and around your kennel, dog run, or chicken coop. The owner, Shelley, felt like many of us do – she was tired of exposing her family, pets, and home to potentially hazardous chemical fly sprays and bug repellents. She took her knowledge of essential oils and started experimenting, and it wasn’t long until Shelley Says! Fly Away! Was making waves as the brand to trust. Want to try it for yourself? Check it out at https://shelley-says.com.

Skout’s Honor®
Of course Skout’s Honor holds a well-deserved place on this list. The team here at Skout’s Honor takes both environmental and social responsibility very seriously. Our products are as green as it gets! Unlike harsh synthetic chemical cleaners and mainstream deodorizers, Skout’s Honor bottles carry no dire warning labels because all of the stain and odor removing formulas are plant-derived, making them safe for use around even the most sensitive animals and humans without sacrificing cleaning power. We strive to use only environmentally responsible manufacturing processes in order to minimize impact on the earth. We also find it very important to give back to the community, and so we developed the Skout’s Paw Pledge™ – for every purchase of a Skout’s Honor product, we donate a day’s worth of meals to a shelter animal in need.

The Original Poop Bags™
“Everybody Poops” as the saying goes. Whether you walk your dog or scoop out a litter box, chances are you are in need of a bag to hold the poop when it goes in the trash. But have you ever stopped to think about just how many little bags your pup fills over the course of his or her lifetime and just how much that may impact the environment? One man did back in 2003, and so he developed the first line of compostable poop bags! Made from plant-based plastics or post-consumer recycled plastics, the Original Poop Bags company has you covered with affordable alternatives to conventional plastic pet waste bags. Find out more at www.poopbags.com.

Open Farm™
We all love our pets and want them to live full, healthy lives. Part of that comes from feeding them high quality foods. While more and more pet owners are switching to whole, raw, or freeze-dried foods, dry kibble remains the mainstay of many pet’s diets out of necessity or preference. Open Farm is a quality kibble that sources all of its meat, fish, and produce from humanely raised or ethically sourced farms and fisheries that are antibiotic, hormone, and pesticide free, and are often organically raised. Best of all, Open Farm partners with independent growers and producers in order to meet the highest standards of safety and care, while also subjecting their sources to independent, third-party organizations that certify and guarantee that their foods are indeed humanely raised. Find out more by going to www.openfarmpet.com.

Whether you celebrate Earth Day by taking your pet for a hike, or helping to clean up a beach or park, or by reevaluating how eco-friendly your pet-related purchases are, we here at Skout’s Honor want to thank you for your interest in keeping our beautiful planet healthy and safe for all.

Happy Earth Day!

5 Common Questions Pet Parents Ask at their Local Pet Store

by Samantha Grant, Pet Specialty Expert & Retail Associate

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Pet specialty stores, especially high-quality independent pet stores, are growing increasingly more popular. Pet parents know that businesses that specialize in pet products are the most likely places to find the best foods, toys, and supplies for their animals. As a veteran of the independent pet retail industry, I’ve just about seen it all – and that said, here are the five most commonly asked questions people ask:

1. What’s the best pet food? This seems like an easy question, but it’s actually one of the hardest to answer honestly. Most pet store salespeople have their favorite foods to recommend; best-sellers or foods that have the highest ratings on sites like Amazon, Chewy.com, or DogFoodAdvisor.com. But the truth is that there’s no one “best” food. Some dogs do great on a kibble with quality ingredients, others thrive on a combination of canned and dry foods, while others require a diet reliant on whole or raw foods. A good pet store employee will take the time to ask you questions about your animal, their health history, your preferences and budget in order to help you determine what food is best for your pet.

2. Which food did I get last time? Many small pet specialty stores offer customer loyalty programs, and these can include helping you keep track of the foods you buy. If you have a hard time remembering what food your pet eats but don’t want to risk upset tummies due to a sudden switch, selecting a pet retailer who can help you keep track of your purchases is a great choice. Dogs and cats often benefit from rotating flavors (for example: beef one month, fish the next), but generally only when you’re sticking within the same brand for consistent quality, and comparable protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels.

3. Can you recommend a good…? Veterinarian? Groomer? Pet Hotel? Trainer? Dog Walker? Pet specialty stores are a perfect place to ask about related pet professionals and services. Most independent stores will keep the business cards of people or services they recommend, or else employees may have had experiences with the kinds of businesses you’re interested in.

4. What treats or toys do you recommend? Whether your dog is a power chewer, or your feline is fussy, there are a plethora of fantastic toys and treats in today’s pet specialty stores. Be sure to read labels and select chew toys or treats according to your pet’s size, life stage, and chewing or play preferences. Pet store employees usually have their own animals and can tell you what their pets have enjoyed and which treats or toys may not be appropriate for your fur-children.

5. What’s the best product for…? Flea control? De-shedding? Deodorizing? The answer to the last one is easy (hint: It’s Skout’s Honor!). Just as with food, treats, and toys, pet specialty retailers hear all about what is (and isn’t) working for their customers. Best-selling items are usually best-sellers for a good reason; even if a product is cheaper than the competition, people tend not to repeatedly purchase items that don’t meet their expectations. Finding out what the store’s employees use, and what their customers rave about is the easiest way to determine if a product is likely to meet your needs.

Five Things to Look for When Choosing a Veterinarian

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Even if your animal is healthy, it’s important to develop a good relationship with a veterinarian that you trust. Emergencies happen when you least expect them, and even generally low-maintenance animals can develop an illness or be injured. You may have a vet you’ve used for years, but if you’re a new pet parent or you’ve recently moved, you may be on the hunt for a new vet.


Here are some tips for finding the right doctor for the animals in your life:

-Be a detective! The first thing to do when looking for a veterinarian is to ask for recommendations. Start by asking friends and neighbors, and be sure to talk to the employees at your local pet store; find out where they take their own pets and which vets their customers speak highly of (and potentially, who to avoid). Once you have a few names, do a little online research. Google the veterinarians you’re interested in, and read any Yelp! reviews for the business. Even though people are more likely to write a negative review than a positive one, what you find online can add to a well-rounded view of the business you’re investigating.

Make a visit. Once you’ve picked out a few likely candidates, make some calls. Ask about the office’s on-staff veterinarians, their procedures, office hours, and prices. If you own an exotic animal (even certain common pets, such as rabbits or birds are often classified as “exotic”) or a specialized breed (for example, a Sphynx cat), be sure to ask if they treat the kind of animal you own and if there are additional charges that apply to specialty animals. Chances are you’ll be able to pare down your options pretty easily. Once you do, schedule a time to go visit the office and add your pet to the office’s patient files and fill out any new-client paperwork.

Check out the facilities. An office doesn’t have to be ultra-modern, or feature a plethora of high-end diagnostic equipment; although if you have a pet with a chronic condition or illness, those things may be important to you. However, any vet’s office should be clean, uncluttered, and well organized. Ask for a tour of the facility if possible (not all offices will allow this for various good reasons, but if you’re concerned, it never hurts to make the request).

Meet the Staff. Both the veterinarians and the office staff should be friendly, confident, and communicate in a clear and professional manner. You want to feel comfortable with the people you’ll be entrusting your pet’s health to. A veterinarian can have a long list of qualifications, but ultimately, you want to feel that he or she, and the staff as a whole, truly cares about the animals in their care.

Wellness Check. Now that you’ve chosen the veterinarian you want to use, be sure to make an appointment for a wellness check. A wellness check is similar to a human’s routine physical. A veterinarian will observe your pet’s vital signs, as well as discuss their health history, diet, and exercise with you. In some cases, a veterinarian may encourage you to do a few routine tests, such as a fecal exam or a blood panel. These tests can offer valuable insight into your pet’s health, and can provide a “healthy baseline” a veterinarian can use later on in diagnosing whether a future test result is typical or abnormal for a particular animal.

Do you have any more tips you’d like to share? Want to sing the praises of your favorite veterinarian? We welcome your comments!


About the Author
Samantha Grant is a life-long animal lover. She has been a horse trainer, PATH, INT. certified therapeutic horseback riding instructor, animal nutritionist, and writer. Samantha, or “Sam” to her friends enjoys spending her free time playing with her animals, working around the ranch, and reading.

Barking in the New Year

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In the spirit of hope for a positive and prosperous New Year, it’s not uncommon for humans to make resolutions for themselves; in fact, according to www.statisticbrain.com 45% of people make New Year’s resolutions on a regular basis. But have you ever considered making resolutions for your pets?


More than half of all New Year’s resolutions are aimed at improving a person’s health and fitness, and it may be the same for your pet. According to Banfield Pet Hospitals, obesity is the #2 most common diagnosis for companion animals and obesity has a significant link to the rapid rise of Type 2 diabetes in the pet population. Helping your pet stay fit can greatly improve their quality of life.

For best results, be sure to follow the feeding guidelines on your pet’s food and use a measuring cup or scale to ensure accuracy.
Be conscientious of how many treats you offer, and investigate lower-calorie options if necessary. Many pet stores now offer a variety of specialty diets and treats to help you achieve this goal.
Take longer or more frequent walks with your dog or play fetch as often as you can. If your dog is significantly arthritic or otherwise has trouble walking, explore opportunities to swim your dog or enroll in a pet physical therapy program that utilizes underwater treadmills for low-impact exercise.
Encourage your felines to jump, climb, and chase by providing them with different play structures and cat trees, and tempting them with exciting toys. Even little changes can have a big impact on your pet’s health over time.

If you have any questions on helping your pet lose weight or concerns about improving their fitness, be sure to talk to your veterinarian.

Another popular resolution is to spend more time with the people (and pets!) who matter to you. We all get busy and bogged-down with day-to-day routines, but spontaneity is the spice of life! Find creative ways to include your furry friends in your activities.

Invite friends with compatible animals over for play dates, or meet up at animal-friendly venues such as a dog parks or restaurants that offer a menu for the pups.
At home, take little breaks from your routine to initiate play or even just relax with your pet. Petting an animal has been proven to lower your blood pressure and slow breathing, which is just as good for you as it is for them.

Whatever your resolutions for you and your pet may be, www.statisticsbrain.com says that, “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” Don’t be afraid to write your resolutions down, even if that just means scheduling a block of time once a week to do something positive with your animal.

“It is amazing how much love and laughter [our pets] bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.” ― John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog

Happy New Year, friends!


About the Author
Samantha Grant is a life-long animal lover. She has been a horse trainer, PATH, INT. certified therapeutic horseback riding instructor, animal nutritionist, and writer. Samantha, or “Sam” to her friends enjoys spending her free time playing with her animals, working around the ranch, and reading.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting (A Puppy)!

christmas-puppy
Getting a new puppy from a breeder, shelter, rescue, or other source is a wonderful way to expand your furry family. Puppies are adorable with their round bellies and floppy feet. Their exuberance for life is infectious. No matter what breed or mix you decide on, every dog is a unique individual, but some aspects of puppy care are universal:


1. Puppies need great nutrition.
Do a little research on the types or brands of food recommended for the type of dog you have. Talk to your vet and knowledgeable staff at independent pet stores, read online reviews, and call the manufacturer if you still have questions. Avoid foods with corn, wheat, soy, by-products or artificial dyes and preservatives. Choose foods with quality ingredients – real meat should be the first item listed. Look for foods with quality fiber, as good fibers (prebiotics) help support good bacteria (probiotics) that help puppies digest their food. Examples of good fibers are brown rice and oatmeal, or grain-free options such as sweet potato and pumpkin. Look for foods with a protein listed between 22-28% and a balanced calcium to phosphorous ratio (the latter is especially important for larger dog breeds).

2. Puppies need to chew…a lot. Dogs who are given a variety of chew toys and encouraged to use them, not only learn appropriate chewing habits, but also have stronger, healthier teeth and gums in later life. Puppies have a biological need to chew, but they also have short attention spans, so providing them with different textures and shapes and rotating toys can stop most boredom chewing before it starts. Even so, set clear boundaries for chewing and be sure to keep dangerous or fragile things out of their reach.

3. Puppies need training. If you’re an experienced dog owner, you may have trained a few dogs already and feel pretty confident with the methods that work for you. However, if this is your first puppy, or a puppy of a breed or type you don’t have experience with, you may want to consider brushing up on your training skills. Many pet stores, dog groomers, or even city governments offer training classes taught by certified dog trainers and aimed specifically at puppies. Most of those classes are in a group format and inexpensively priced. You can also ask friends, Yelp!, or visit a local pet store to enquire about which private trainers are most highly recommended in your area.

4. Puppies will have accidents and setbacks. Little setbacks are part of any animal’s learning curve and are not something to be feared or punished. Learning what NOT to do is just as important as learning what TO do, and the best way to move past a mistake or a period of backsliding behavior is to focus on the positive rather than the negative. If you can keep on the lookout for good behavior and praise each effort to do the right thing, you can teach your puppy how great it feels to please you, which encourages them to keep trying, rather than getting frustrated and giving up. And when those accidents happen, Skout’s Honor is there to help you clean up the mess! Shop Skout’s Honor here!

5. Puppies need lots of love. A dog will change your life, so be mindful of the dog you want your puppy to become. Teach her or him early on to be the companion you can’t wait to come home to, or better yet, the companion you take on every new adventure. Give your puppy all the love and attention they need, so that when the road of life gets tough, the nose that nudges your hand will make the going a little smoother!

6. Puppies are a wonderful (and adorable!) addition to your life. Just like children, they grow up fast, so make sure to take time to enjoy every snuggly cuddle, playful moment and of course, that unforgettable puppy breath!

About the Author

Samantha Grant is a life-long animal lover. She has been a horse trainer, PATH, INT. certified therapeutic horseback riding instructor, animal nutritionist, and writer. Samantha, or “Sam” to her friends enjoys spending her free time playing with her animals, working around the ranch, and reading.

Safety Tips for Pets this Holiday Season

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The holidays can be equal parts exciting and exhausting, especially if you’re doing any hosting. If you have pets in your home, your animals probably feel the same way. With a lot of people coming and going, many of them unfamiliar to your pets, the introduction of a Christmas tree or other decorations, and changes in daily routines, even the most laid-back pooch may get a little stressed.


We’ve come up with a few ideas for ways your family can reduce your pet’s anxiety and help them to have a fun, safe holiday season:

-Make sure any potentially dangerous decorations are safely out of reach. Things like candles, glass ornaments, and scent diffusers are especially popular household items this time of year. Keeping anything toxic or hot well out of an animal’s easy reach can help you avoid a tragedy, whether it’s a vet visit or a fire.

-Let visitors know ahead of time that you have pets and coordinate with them to call when they arrive. This can reduce the number of door knocks that may over-excite some dogs, as well as avoid accidental escapes.

-Watch food carefully. “Counter surfing” pets are drawn to the tasty aromas of holiday cooking, but they might eat things left out unattended that can make them sick (and not everyone considers cat hair a condiment!)

-If young children will be visiting your home, be sure to supervise any interactions with your pets. Not all kids know how to treat animals respectfully, and even gentle, patient animals may bite or scratch if they feel cornered or harassed. If your pets show any sign that they’re overwhelmed, be sure to remove them from the situation immediately.

-Have a safe place your pets can retreat to. While small animals and birds will probably be fine in their cages, dogs and cats are sometimes locked in bedrooms or bathrooms out of necessity. Make sure to have plenty of toys, nice blankets that smell like their favorite human, chew toys, beds, crates, or cat trees to help them feel secure.

-If needed, try a calming treat or supplement. Many animals react well to a gentle herbal calming supplement. Compression garments, such as a Thunder Shirt (www.thudershirt.com), or special pheromone diffusers like Feliway (feliway.com) are also useful. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find what works best for your pet.

-Be prepared. When animals are excited or their routines change, there may be an unavoidable “accident” in the house. Keep Skout’s Honor Stain & Odor Remover and Urine Destroyer handy to help clean up – just in case. Skout’s Honor also works on other holiday messes, such as food and wine stains and muddy footprints!

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It’s not always easy to balance holiday social gatherings, travel, and our roles as pet parents, but the love our pets show us throughout the year makes it all worthwhile. We at Skout’s Honor wish you a season of cheer and good friends, two-legged, four-legged, winged and scaled!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Pet Parents

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With the official start of the holiday shopping season upon us, everyone is making their lists and checking them twice. If you’re an animal lover, chances are whether your pet has been naughty or nice, you’re including your fur-children in the festivities. What you may not realize is that a gift for a friend or family member’s beloved pet may be the best, most appreciated gift you could give that person.

Here are a few ideas for unique ways to spoil the pet-people in your life:

  1. Treats: Treats are the easiest way to please. Store-bought or homemade, animals love a goodie. Try making a gift of treats more personal by displaying them in a cute pet dish or bowl, or even an animal themed cookie jar.
  2. Toys: Finding just the right toy can be as simple as taking a trip to your local pet store. Most will have adorable Christmas themed toys to get pets into the holiday spirit, but don’t be afraid of going with a staple, such as tennis balls or plush mice. Animals can be hard on the toys they love and most pet-parents will be excited to have a few “backups” around the house.
  3. Gift Certificates: Some great ideas for gift certificates include pet stores, groomers, doggy daycares, or pet bakeries. There are more and more pet-specific businesses out there offering a variety of products and services, and a gift certificate or card creates an opportunity for your friend to try something new for their pet they wouldn’t necessarily have tried, or even known about.
  4. A custom pet portrait: For many people, the animals in their lives are worth immortalizing. While we almost all have cameras on our phones that allow us to share our animal’s antics in real-time, there’s something special about a sitting with a professional photographer or painter.
  5. Make a donation: From small local rescue groups to national, and even international organizations, making a donation to a charity in a friend’s name is a fantastic way to show a loved one that you care about their interests, or as a way to honor an animal that has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Most animal lovers have charities that they support, and we here at Skout’s Honor are no different. With our Skout’s Paw Pledge, every time you purchase one of our products, we donate a day’s worth of food to a shelter animal via our charity partner, Rescue Bank (rescuebank.org).

Have an idea for a gift we didn’t mention? Share it in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

 

The Top 5 Pets You Need to Follow on Instagram

 by Elyse Tesla of Skout’s Honor

 

1. Doug the Pug (@itsdougthepug)
Doug the Pug
Doug the Pug is hilarious. From turkey suits to fedoras, this adorable pug is the king of costumes. You won’t want to miss this pup in action. His photos will brighten your day and keep you smiling! (Photo courtesy of Instagram @itsdougthepug)


2. Grumpy Cat (@realgrumpycat)
Grumpy Cat
Grumpy Cat is well known for being the tiny cat with the grumpy face. Her real name is Tardar Sauce and she only appears grumpy due to her feline dwarfism and underbite. She shows us that grumpy is the new black! (Photo courtesy of Instagram @realgrumpycat)

 

3. Lil Bub (@iamlilbub)
Lil Bub
Lil Bub is a cute little kitty known for her strange appearance. She was born with several genetic mutations, but that doesn’t stop her from being cute and photogenic! Just look at that tongue! (Photo courtesy of Instagram @iamlilbub)

 

4. Boo (@buddyboowaggytails)
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Boo is said to be the world’s cutest dog. How can you disagree with that face? Even her human and dog siblings are cute! If Boo doesn’t make you “awwww” or squeal from cuteness, you might not be human. (Photo courtesy of Instagram @buddyboowaggytails)

 

5. Princess Cheeto (@princesscheeto)
Princess Cheeto
In my opinion, Princess Cheeto wins Instagram. Her and her human take fun and quirky photos that are guaranteed to make you smile. They even re-create movie scenes and imitate famous people. (Photo courtesy of Instagram @princesscheeto)

 

Elyse Tesla is the Graphic Designer at Skout’s Honor. She loves animals of all kinds. More about Elyse HERE!