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ShopForPaws.com is the place for all your pet supplies. Our goal is to create a shop that has quality products needed for pet lovers and their four legged family members. We offer a wide selection of pet supplies including cat and dog toys, pet wellness, pet beds, pet collars, and a pet grooming section with all the necessities. ShopForPaws.com is inspired to help pets in need. We are committed to donating a portion of every sale to non-profit organizations that help animals in need. I am grateful to have found a business that will allow me to be charitable to our animal community. As an online pet supply shop we are quite unique, as our mission is to provide animals lovers a place to shop for their pet products while also giving back to animals in need. We consider it our responsibility to make a positive impact in the animal community.
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Allergy Season is Upon Us

So, what does that mean?  When did the season start? Most importantly, when does it end?

For over 40 million Americans that suffer from allergies, allergy season can be miserable.  Scientists have said that the 2015 allergy season promises to me more severe than usual.  But wait, what about our pets.  Pets visit the vets often for many reasons, but allergies are one of the most common reasons.  Pet parents often go to the vet’s office stating, “His itching is driving him crazy”.  Of course, your vet is the one to determine if your dog needs medication for your dog’s allergies or itchy skin, but Shopforpaws.com has just started to carry a great new product.  Canine Skin Solution was designed by two veterinarian that have the same concerns as all pet owners for their own dogs.  This shampoo and spray promises to be a great match for many skin allergies, itching, redness and more. 

Just like people, dogs can have allergy symptoms when their immune systems recognize everyday substances or seasonal triggers.

What Are the General Allergy Symptoms in Dogs?

Itchy, red skin
Increased scratching
Itchy, runny eyes
Itchy, swollen ears and ear infections
Paw chewing/swollen paws
Constant licking and chewing at skin and coat

Is your dog scratching and biting at their skin or coat?  There are three main reasons for dog’s skin to become itchy – the medical term for this is pruritus.  Is your dog’s skin infected? Is it too oily? Is it too dry? The most common is the dry skin. 

Is it dry skin?  Dry skin in dogs can develop this time of year as the seasons change and dogs are able to spend more time outside.  Many dogs are kept indoors during the winter months and the change in weather can bring on dry skin.  Dry skin can be recognized fairly easy, by looking under your dog’s coat and to the skin.  You may see flakes or dandruff under the coat.  Even a gentle touch on your dog will provoke scratching.  Dry skin can be caused by both environmental and diet.  If you live in the low humidity regions, it is most likely that your dog’s skin is dry. Dry dog food has many dehydrating effects on skin and hair, which can cause the dry and itchy skin.  Eliminating as many ingredients in their dry food can bring a stop to the dry skin.  Specialty dog supply stores can direct you to the proper food.  It may take a few attempts to narrow down what food is best for your dog.   

Just a few suggestions to help with dry skin:
  • Indoor humidifier will help by putting moisture in the air for dry skin relief.
  • Adding pumpkin to dog’s dry dog food adds moisture, fiber and vitamin E and nutrients
  • Adding coconut oil to your dog’s dry dog food is a great food supplement. You can also apply directly to dry patches on your dog’s skin.(Just like everything, introduce new foods slowly into your dog’s diet)
Or Allergies?  Allergies can make your dog’s skin dry, greasy, or dry and oily.  Allergies in dogs are on the rise and veterinarians believe that this can be from poor breeding habits and the feeding of processed food.  Many allergies will need to addressed by your vet and most likely require pharmaceuticals, in addition to finding the proper food.  Dogs also suffer from outdoor allergies, just like people, so it is important to take all precautions when dealing with allergies and see your veterinarian.

I have personal experience with allergies with my Labrador, Jette. 

She has had allergies for the past 5 years and they have continued to worsen every year.  She is constantly biting at her rear end, chewing at her paws and scratching at her ears.  Her ears will become completely swollen shut.  This has been the best year for her allergy relief, as we found a specialty pet food store in our community with an incredibly knowledgeable owner. I now have her on Signature Dog Food that has no additives, no gluten, and no corn.  It seems the corn was the trigger for my Jette.  The only way we came to that determination was by trial and error.  We had her on gluten free dog food and it made some improvement, but until we eliminated the corn she still had reactions. 

Good Luck and keep in mind finding out what your dog is allergic to can be time consuming and can have many trial and errors, but the end result will be amazing.  Your dog will be happy and healthy – and no more scratching.

Cece Garza, Owner

Every time you shop at ShopForPaws.com 
you help support animals in need.
Sunday, April 12, 2015

April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month

April is the month for animal lovers, animal support groups, and non-profit rescues to educate and spread the word about the importance of protecting animals in need.   For many of us animals are a part of our families and they bring unconditional love, joy and entertainment. But there are many animals that experience horrific neglect and abuse at the hands of their owners or strangers.  

Report animal abuse to any of the following: 

Call 911
Call you local HumaneSociety
Contact ASPCA  
If you need further assistance contact PETA at 757-622-7382 , option 2.  PETA will give guidance and support, as well as respond immediately if other officials do not respond to your complaint quickly.

Does the animal have regular shelter, food and water?
Does the animal seem aggressive or timid?
Have you witnessed someone physically harming an animal?
Does the animal have missing hair or extremely overgrown coat?
Does the animal have injuries that have not been treated?
Does the animal appear to be sick and uncared for?
Is the animal’s living space clear of feces and materials that may bring them harm?
Has a dog been on a chain with no attention?

Reporting Abuse or Neglect
  • Document by using a video camera, photographs or written notes of what you are witnessing.  This will help the officer determine abuse, as well as help in prosecuting the abuse.    

  • If you feel the animal is being neglected or abused but not sure if you are just being overprotective, call the humane society ( or one of the above offices) and let them make that determination.  It is better to be safe and sorry, and the officer will then be able to educate the person be reported on the animal’s rights.

  • Your name may be brought up if the case goes to court, but it is better to save an animal from an abusive situation than worry about what that abuser thinks of you.

  • Get the name of the officer, so that you are able to make any follow up reports and ask questions of the action plan for the animal.

ASPCA’s  “Report Animal Cruelty FAQ”.  This FAQ gives information on recognizing and reporting animal cruelty and laws. 

There are many happy endings to animal abuse and neglect situations - because of people that took action and cared for an animal in need.  April is, of course, only one month out of the year that is dedicated to helping prevent animal cruelty, but it is an ongoing reality that needs to be addressed daily until we get animals out of the hands of those that do not care for them.

Cece Garza, Owner

Every time you shop at ShopForPaws.com 
you help support animals in need.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Spring Cleaning Tips for Pet Parents

It’s that time of year again, spring is in the air, and many of start feeling the urge to start deep cleaning our homes.  Pet owners need a few extra steps added to their spring-cleaning checklist to keep up with the messes that pets make.  As we put on those rubber gloves and start scrubbing the nooks and crannies of our homes, remember to take those extra steps to clean up your pet’s home environment, too.

Before the spring-cleaning begins pet owners should be aware of the cleaning products that they are using.  Many cleaning products have harmful chemicals that can be dangerous to our pets if they are ingested.  There are many companies that make chemical free products, as well as many homemade chemical free products that are safe for pets.

Bath time bonding.
Grooming your dog and cat regularly is an important part of caring for your pet.  It is an essential part of keeping your pet comfortable, clean and healthy.  Spring is a great time to provide regular bath times, brushing sessions and scheduled nail trims.   Not all pets enjoy grooming time, however many pets feel grooming time is the favorite part of your pet’s day.

Scrub down crates and kennels. 
Most pet crates and kennels are built to allow you to remove side panels and the floor tray for easy cleaning.  Spring is a perfect time to take the dog crates and kennels outside for a good cleaning, however it is recommended to clean them weekly to keep a clean and healthy sleeping area for your pet.  Use a diluted bleach mixture using one part bleach and 20 parts of water.  Do not use cleaners that contain ammonia, as dog urine contains ammonia, so adding ammonia to the crate will confuse your dog.  Spray the bleach solution on the crate and allow to set for a minute and then scrub with a stiff brush.  Wipe down with wet cloth or use a hose to rinse thoroughly.

Clean pet beds and covers.
Dog and cat beds should be cleaned weekly, but weeks get away from many of us, so spring is a great time to do a thorough cleaning of your pet’s sleeping area.  Pet beds are filled with allergens, insects, dander and dirt, so it is crucial to purchase a bed that can be cleaned.  Dog bed come in a variety of sizes and materials, but all should be cleanable by either putting them in the washing machine, hose down, vacuum or use a tape roller for cleaning.  Dog beds with covers are great for easy cleaning, as you can remove the cover and clean on a regular bases.  While the cover is being cleaned you can place the bed in the spring air for freshening.

Put a sparkle on pet bowls and toys.
When was the last time you washed our pet bowl or toys?  During your spring-cleaning routine is a perfect time to gather up all pet bowls and toys and give them a quick wash cycle in the dishwasher. 

Get springtime fit.
Has your dog turned into a couch potato during the winter months?  Spring is a great time to get back outside and shed those added winter pounds.  Dogs that have plenty of play-time are more likely to be better behaved while inside and outside the home, as they are able to run off that extra energy.  However, according to Dr. Jeff Weber dogs that have been fairly sedentary during the winter months need to ease back into regular exercise routines.

Open up your windows, put on your rubber gloves and enjoy the spring weather.

 Cece Garza, Owner

Every time you shop at ShopForPaws.com 
you help support animals in need.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Easter Baskets for Dogs and Cats….And Pet Lovers too

 Easter will be celebrated on April 5th this year and Easter Baskets are right around the corner.  With help from the Easter Bunny, your dog, cat or the pet lover in your life can have a Easter Basket filled with everything they love most. 

Making an Easter basket for your pet or the pet lover can be simple. 
Begin by using a pet bowl, pet bed or pet carrier as the basket.  These make for a perfect basket, but much more useful after the festivities have ended.  You can use a pet blanket or cat grass instead of Easter grass, as that can be harmful to pets.  Fill your basket with all the goodies.  Cellophane can be used, but not necessary and depending on your pet may be harmful.  Top it off with a big bow to make it even more festive for Easter morning.  Your pets will love it.  As for the pet lover’s Easter basket, you can use a pet bowl or treat canister to start off a great Easter basket, but if you would rather stay more traditional, then stick with an Easter basket and Easter grass, fill it with all the goodies and finish it off with cellophane and big bow to make it very festive.

Easter Basket Ideas:

Dogs:  Begin by using a dog bowl, pet carrier or dogbed as the basket and you can use a colorful new dog blanket instead of Easter grass.  Then begin to fill it with all the great dog toys and dog treats your dog loves.  Depending on the size of your dog, you will want to make sure that items are safe and your dog is not able to swallow or choke on anything you include in the basket.  I love to finish it off with a big bow.

Bunny shaped container filled with dog treats
Easter eggs filled with dog treats

Cats:  Begin by using a cat bowl as the basket and fill it with catnip plants – it makes the perfect Easter grass for your cat’s Easter basket.  Then begin to fill it with some of the items listed or use your imagination – Your cat will love whatever you put in there.  Just make sure everything is safe for your kitty. Finish it off with a big bow made of yarn.  
Cat Treats
Cat teasers
Plush cat toys filled with catnip
A Few plastic Easter eggs filled with cat treats make the perfect Easter toy. 

Pet Lover in Your Life:  Pet lovers would love to get a basket filled with items that show off their love for animals.  Themed baskets are great, so a pet themed basket would be ideal for the pet lover in your life.  Begin with a pet bowl, pet canisters, pet carrier or traditional Easter basket.   Fill it with Easter grass and some of the gifts listed below.  Finish it off with cellophane and a big bow.   The Easter Bunny will be a huge hit
Easter eggs filled with candy or maybe pet treats to share with their furry friend
Candy Easter bunny

Easter Gift Baskets are great fun to make and even better to receive.  Have fun, use your imagination and fill it with love. 

Happy Easter 

 Cece Garza, Owner


Every time you shop at ShopForPaws.com 
you help support animals in need.