Meet Dana Humphrey, The Pet Lady! Dana is originally from the Bay Area in California. Today she resides in New York City. You can find Dana on Twitter @PetLadyWorld, on FaceBook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Dana shared her insights on a number of pet related topics and trends. She grew up with a pug, named Winston. Her first job out of college was with Muttropolis where she and Winston had the opportunity to meet lots of pet industry experts and celebrities. This introduction into the pet world is where she got her name, The Pet Lady! Since then, she has been working in the ever changing and exciting industry of pets.
The Pet Lady shared with our listeners some important insights on travelling with your pets. It’s easier now, more than ever, to find places that welcome pets. If you enjoy air travel, check out the mileage programs offered by some airlines so your pets can get their miles too. In addition, many airports now offer really nice pet relief zones. Dana recommends always letting the airline know in advance you will be travelling with your pet – just so there are no surprises and they can plan ahead for proper seating. She recommended two carrier products for travel offered by Sturdi Pet Products (soft case) and PetMate (hard case). Spend time getting your pet acclimated to their carrier so the experience is calm and peaceful, more zen-like. You can also include a favorite toy or article of clothing that smells like you. Check out Digz from StuffnSniff, a dog toy that has a special compartment for placing a scented article of clothing.
If you are interested in pet conferences, check out Global Pet Expo, coming to Orlando in late February. Global is the nation’s largest pet products conference. If you are on the West Coast, there’s Super Zoo in Las Vegas each August. Looks for other regional pet conferences around the country. For networking opportunities, explore your opportunities at Women In the Pet Industry (WIPIN). Shawna Schuh is the founder of WIPIN and each year they crown a Woman of the Year. A fun fact: I am the reigning Woman of the Year for the Entrepreneur category. Nomination for Woman of the Year open March 1.
New pet products to check out include the Bully Buddy for dogs, a safety device to keep dogs from choking on bully sticks. For cats, consider Basepaws, a 23 and me type product to learn about the heritage and legacy of your feline friend. For dog lovers you can also check out the latest rage, “dryland mush” or “urban mushing” using a Sacco dog cart other two wheeled vehicles.
Dana shared her thoughts on some trends in the pet industry. She feels there is a current focus on gut health, the growth in cat ownership and emerging trends with small animals like hamsters, rats and bunnies.
If you are a new or aspiring pet owner, Dana reflected by own philosophy of “Adopt, don’t shop.” There are lots of alternatives to retail pet outlets and breeders. But, don’t go to “just look” without being prepared. You might fall in love and you want to make sure that your new baby will have everything he or she needs. You’ll want to make sure your new pet has plenty of time to adjust to its new environment. You’ll want food, bedding, toys, a leash and collar. You may even need piddle pads if you are considering a new puppy. Pet ownership is a lifetime commitment and should not be undertaken lightly. If you aren’t sure, you can always foster before adopting.
So far, 2020 has been a blast for Dana. She had the opportunity to meet Oprah Winfrey as she gets ready to launch her 2020 Vision Tour. If you want to keep up with Dana, find her on FaceBook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Today’s guest on All My Children Wear Fur Coats wasBob Jenkins, Co-founder of Let Your Love Grow. Let Your Love Grow (LYLG) is a unique, one-of-a-kind product. For pet lovers that want to create a living memorial for a loved pet, LYLG is a scientifically designed product that neutralizes the sodium and pH levels of cremated remains (ashes) so they can be mixed with soil and plant life.
What is a living memorial? It is a special plant dedicated to a person or a pet’s life and legacy. It can be a potted plant, a garden or a beautiful tree. Living memorials can be a source of comfort and beauty as we remember those we love. Usually, a living memorial will incorporate the cremated remains (also sometimes referred to as cremains or ashes) of a loved one, along with a special plant.
However, if you take cremains and mix them with soil to create your living memorial, you may be disappointed. We learned that cremains are extremely high in sodium and pH. As a result, they do not release the nutrients necessary to sustain a living memorial. Let Your Love Grow blends with soil and ash (actually ground bone) to offset the natural toxicity of cremated remains by lowering the pH level and diluting the sodium level. You can’t accomplish this result with either regular or potting soil.
You don’t have to be a master gardener to use LYLG. The easy to use kits come with simple instructions and a measuring scoop to ensure you are using the correct ration of ashes to soil. You can watch this informative video to learn more.
If you decide to scatter the cremated ashes rather than create a living memorial, it is important to blend LYLG and the ash and allow it to sit for at least 90 days. This will allow time for the ashes to absorb the LYLG mixture and release the nutrients that will nurture future plants wherever you decide to scatter.
Let Your Love Grow works with all types of plants and trees. Special consideration should be given for delicate plants like orchids and roses.
Let Your Love Grow also works with cremated ashes that have been around for years. Sometimes people save remains for a future memorial or because they don’t want to leave the ashes of loved pets behind if they move. Cremated remains remain stable for years and may be combined with LTYG at any time to create that special living memorial.
The world is constantly changing. Countries like the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand are adopting LYLG because it is an ecologically friendly product that sustains plant life and keeps our planet green. Studies are also being conducted at various locations around the globe that show LYLG allows the earth to be returned to its natural state years earlier than with conventional products.
Let Your Love Grow was developed after Co-founders, Annette and Bob Jenkins lost their beloved dog, Silke. They wanted a way to create a living memorial to honor her memory. You can honor the memory of your loved pet with LYLG. Let Your Love Grow is available through their website or on Amazon. If you shop on Amazon, you can sign up through Amazonsmile.com and select Animal Care Trust USA, Inc. as your charity of choice.
All My Children Wear Fur Coats was honored to welcome special guest, Anna Skaya, founder and CEO of Basepaws. Basepaws is currently the world’s only company that does DNA sequencing for cats, much like the DNA sequencing for humans and for dogs.
The future of cat DNA testing can be found at Basepaws.com. You can get to know your cat’s wild ancestry, it’s domestic breed characteristics and most importantly, your cat’s genetic markers that may provide a window into your cat’s health and wellness history.
Basepaws was founded by Anna Skaya, a four-time entrepreneur and cat lover. After meeting with respresentatives from 23 and Me, she decided to launch Basepaws to explore the world of cat genetics. There are two primary reasons to test your cat’s DNA: 1. Learn about all of your cat’s breed history and the different types of breeds that make up your cat and his or her personality. 2. Test for 40 different traits or health markers that can give a view into the health history of your cat and their predisposition to certain diseases. Our DNA speaks loud and clear when it comes to identifying underlying disease.
Getting your cat’s DNA isn’t hard. There are essentially four steps: 1. Order the kit online at Basepaws.com. Right nowt here are some holiday specials when you order more than one kit. 2. Swab your cat’s mouth to get some cheek or tongue cells with the provided test kit. 3. Return the kit to the Basepaws lab in Los Angeles, CA. 4. Receive your report in about 6-9 weeks. You can view a sample report for Anna’s cat Koko online. Your report will provide information on breed groups, the wildcat index and important health markers.
Anna feels strongly that cats are underrepresented in the health care field. Testing your cat’s DNA is a great way to get to know your cat better but also to provide important data so that we can all benefit from each cat who participates in building the data base. If your cat has a specific health condition you may be eligible to participate in a research study. Find out if you qualify by visiting the research page at Basepaws.com.
Basepaws was featured on Shark Tank in May 2019. Check out this video for more information. Two sharks got into a “cat fight” and Basepaws was offered a deal from both.
There’s no better time than now to order your Basepaws DNA kit for your cat.
All My Children Wear Fur Coats welcomed Beth Stultz-Hairston, Vice-President, Marketing and Operation for Pet Sitters International (PSI). Beth is a pet lover who has been working in the industry for more than 15 years. She is also a pet parent to cats, dogs, chickens and some assorted farm critters.
PSI was founded by Patti J. Moran in 1994. She is the author of Pet Sitting for Profit, now considered to be the “bible” of professional pet sitting. Patti entered the world of professional pet sitting in 1983 when she started her own pet sitting business. At that time there were few resources available on pet sitting or in-home pet care.
For more than two decades, PSI has been a pioneer in the pet-sitting industry and a trusted educational resource for both pet sitters and pet owners. The association’s commitment o industry excellence is reflected in its continually evolving resources and programs.
PSI’s industry contributions include:
I had the opportunity to present at this year’s Pet Sitter World Education Conference & Expo held in November in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I presented on the topic of Creating Estate plans that Work for Pets…and their People. It was an honor to be among some of the finest speakers in the pet industry. Liz Hyde was crowned Pet Sitter of the Year.
PSI’s website is chock full of resources for both the professional pet-sitter, pet parents that only want the best for the pets and those who might be interested in making pet-sitting a professional career. Their online locator can help pet parents find qualified people, dedicated to the craft of pet-sitting to take care of your children who wear fur coats.
You can learn more about PSI by visiting their website, following them on FaceBook or finding them on your favorite social media source including Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Join us next week on Monday at 3 p.m. for another edition of All My Children Wear Fur Coats with Peggy Hoyt.
This week’s guest, Lindsey Kaye is the Founder and CEO of Paws and Stripes, a not for profit organization dedicated to providing veterans with service dogs. Paws and Stripes focuses on vets that have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) and/or TBI (traumatic brain injury). What makes Paws and Stripes unique is two-fold; there is no cost to the veteran for the service dog, and all of the service dogs are rescued from shelters. Two lives are saved simultaneously; the veteran and the dog. I love their motto: Helping Dogs, Helping Heroes.
We learned that the cost of a service dog, including training the dog and the handler, can be upwards of $30,000 per team. When Lindsey had a family member that needed these services, she was motivated in 2010 to create Paws and Stripes. To date, they have graduated 96 dog/handler teams and have placed more than 150 rescue dogs in forever homes. Paws and Stripes uses a holistic approach to the training of their teams employing a twelve-month training program whereby the veteran co-trains their dog and receives a variety of other mental health services.
Traditionally, purpose bred service dogs have a drop out rate of approximately 43%. Paws and Stripes reports 33% of their dogs don’t complete their training. Usually this is more people related than dog related. Sometimes the veteran is unable to complete the program for personal reasons just as a decline in their health or relocation.
When seeking shelter dogs for the Paws and Stripes program, there are no specific breed restrictions. Typically, the dog will be a healthy 50 pounds or more. Some may need to be taller if their handler has mobility challenges and the dog will need to help support their weight when transferring or in the event of a fall. Dogs are usually 2-4 years of age. Dogs are chosen to meet the specific needs of the individual veteran after a robust interview process. Dogs also undergo temperament testing.
In the training process, each dog will learn between 30 and 50 different service dog skills depending on the needs of their handler. Training can be adjusted as the team progresses through the program. Typical skills will include positioning skills to permit the creation of a “buffering” space for the veteran, stays, targeting for operating lights, doors and retrieving. Dogs can also be taught recovery skills in the event their handler falls or needs help getting up and down or navigating stairs. Some dogs are taught behavior interruption skills in the event their handler engages in self-harming behavior or has intense anxiety. One dog was taught to wake his owner whenever he would sleepwalk.
Lindsey says the success stories over their last 10 years are numerous. One of her favorites is a veteran with PTSD who was able to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding, with his service dog by his side. This was something he never thought we would be able to do. Another veteran was able to enter and complete law school and is now practicing where she can pay it forward to other veterans. Many have gone on to do volunteer and social work.
In August 2017, Paws and Stripes moved into their current facility in Albuquerque, NM, where they are now headquartered. They have an onsite training facility and corporate offices all in one location. The team members at Paws and Stripes have the added bonus of a “pets in the office” policy so they can bring their own dogs to work.
In order to raise money, Paws and Stripes hosts two major fundraising events. One is their Celebration of Heroes gala, held each year in April. The celebration for 2020 will be in honor of their ten-year anniversary and will take place on April 25, 2020. They also host an annual “Show Your Paws with Ink” event that features tattoo artists, food trucks, games and other entertainment.
If you are a veteran in need of a service dog, visit Paws and Stripes. If you don’t live in New Mexico, their website can offer a variety of other resources to help you find that perfect dog. You can donate or volunteer to help out Paws and Stripes. Learn more at PawsAndStripes.org.
Today’s special guest was Fraily Rodriguez, Vice President of Operations for Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando (PAGO). Fraily is a seasoned not for profit professional with more than 15 years of experience. His professional training is in counseling. Fraily has trained over 100,000 individuals on responsible pet ownership, bite prevention, animal cruelty, pet overpopulations, pet-friendly housing and leadership.
PAGO has a long-standing history in Orlando. The organization is led by Stephen Bardy, its’ Executive Director. Under his leadership, the organization serves the community with two shelters, two veterinary clinics and a mobile clinic plus numerous offsite partnerships PAGO was formerly the Humane Society of Orlando and the SPCA of Seminole County. These organizations were merged and reintroduced under a new name, Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.
More than 8,500 homeless dogs and cats will receive care and compassion through PAGO this year. When a pet is adopted, one pet gets a loving family and another pet is afforded the opportunity for a new home. You can view adoptable pets online or at their adoption centers seven (7) days a week from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Pets are given up for adoption for many reasons. One of the most common reasons for surrendering a pet is the family is moving and they can’t take the new pet along. To ensure that pet owners are afforded the best opportunity to retain their pet, PAGO has worked diligently to identify and catalog pet-friendly apartment complexes through their Pet Apartment Registry. Studies indicate that pet-friendly apartment communities are safer and the residents stay longer.
Another reason loved pets are surrendered is their pet parent has become disabled, has entered a nursing or assisted living facility or has died. PAGO and Animal Care Trust USA have similar goals when it comes to educating pet parents about the options for making sure their pets are cared for in the event of disability or death. The Pawsitive Care Program allows pet parents to register their pets and/or leave a legacy gift in their Last Will or Living Trust to ensure their pet will be placed in a loving home. You can find more information about the Pawsitive Care Program here.
PAGO hosts several fund raising events each year including the always popular Fur Ball and Paws in the Park. Paws in the Park will be held at Lake Eola on Saturday February 8, 2020. Teams are already forming. There will be a Pawrade Costume Contest, dog games, food trucks and of course, adoptable pets! Their goal is to raise $125,000 to help Central Florida pets. If you are a wine enthusiast, you can enter your pet in the annual wine label contest co-sponsored by Quantum Leap Winery.
If you love pets, there are lots of ways you can give. You can become a volunteer, provide a foster home, or make a legacy gift through your estate plan. Contact PAGO today for more information and how you can get involved.
Today’s guest was Melissa Jenkins, Program Coordinator of Operation Catnip, located in Alachua County, Gainesville, Florida. Operation Catnip recently celebrated 20 years of service to the cat community. Along with their dedicated students, volunteer veterinarians and community volunteers they have helped to care for more than 56,000 cats since their inception in 1998.
We learned a lot today about the mission of Operation Catnip. Their life-saving work improves the lives of cats and the communities they live in. They are committed to a number of initiatives including the spaying, neutering and vaccinating of free-roaming (community cats), preventing the birth of kittens, mentoring other programs around the country and training veterinarians to save America’s cats.
What exactly are community cats? Essentially, they are unowned, “free=roaming” cats that are not confined to a yard or a house. They can be well-socialized, friendly and loving. On the other hand, a feral cat speaks more to the behavior or socialization status of a cat as opposed to where it lives. Feral cats are defined as untamed and evasive, generally not interested in a relationship with humans. Sometimes the lines defining these different categories get blurred because some owned cats are allowed to freely roam their neighborhoods. Owned cats can become lost, thus becoming a stray. If they live in the wild for an extended period of time, they may become feral. Sometimes, formerly feral cats can become tamed.
There are programs throughout the United States designed to reduce or manage the populations of community cats. These programs include Trap Neuter Return (or Release, known as TNR), Shelter Neuter Return (SNR) and Return to Field (RTF). Each of these programs has the goal of sterilizing the community cat so it can no longer add to the cat population and then returning it to the location where it was found or trapped. Cats that are returned (as opposed to simply released to an unfamiliar area) to their home communities have a chance to live out their lives as free-roaming cats.
Another novel solution is the concept of Working Cats. A Working Cats is one that can be adopted to a family where its home environment will be a barn, stable, garage, office, retail store or warehouse. These will not be your typical indoor cats that never go outside. Instead, they will likely have an outdoor or indoor/outdoor habitat. Go green! Get a Working Cat to help you control your outdoor rodent or pest populations.
From an estate planning perspective, there are many kind people who support community cats. If something happens to them; either disability or death, what will become of the cats? That's why organizations like Operation Catnip need your support.
If you want more information about Operation Catnip, visit their website or seek them out on social media on FaceBook. You can make a donation to help support their mission.
Today’s guest was Kim Merritt, co-founder and chief advocate for Good Dog in a Box. Good Dog in a Box is a dog products company with it’s roots in positive reinforcement dog training. Their flagship product is a subscription dog training programs for families and their dogs. The program includes a little bit old school mail order, a little bit high tech e-learning, a dash of fun and games, and a pinch of puppy love. You can get a six month or 12- month subscription. Every month there’s a set of new activities for families and their dogs to work through. The goal is to have happy, well-trained dogs and happy families where everyone has learned to speak the language of their dog.
One of the goals of Good Dog in a Box is to reduce the number of dog bites in this country. Kim reported there are 4.7 million dog bites per year. The most common victims are children between the ages of five and nine. A new study reveals that dog bites are not breed specific as the categories of “unknown” and mixed breed are in the top 3 named sources. Biting is most likely to occur when a dog is teased or when a child pulls a tail, tugs the dog’s hair or yanks the dog’s paw. All of these can be avoided through the proper training and education of humans – both children and adults.
To make learning fun, Good Dog in a Box has developed the Dog Smart Card Game and the SAFE Dog Bite Prevention curriculum including a SAFE curriculum for obtaining a Girl Scout’s patch.
Good Dog in a Box now also offers Good Dog Pro with curriculums and training programs for the professional dog trainer. Part of this program includes two new podcasts, including Good Dog Nation. Some of the new courses are a puppy course with Gila Kurtz, founder of Dog is Good, Pet End of Life with Jodi Clock of Clock’s Timeless Pets, Therapy Dog Training with Michelle McCarthy and Estate Planning for Pets with yours truly, Peggy Hoyt.
Future programs will include Dogsurance, a program designed for business owners that allow dogs in the workplace.
For more information about Good Dog in a Box, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn.
Today’s guest on All My Children Wear Fur Coats with Peggy Hoyt was Johnna Devereaux, a clinical pet nutritionist, founder of Fetch RI, a holistic pet boutique and Director of the Bow Wow Labs Nutrition and Wellness Center.
Johnna is pet mom to two American Staffordshire dogs – Diego, adopted 9 years ago and Lola, adopted 5 years ago. (Check out their pictures at FetchRI.com) When Diego came into Johnna’s life as a shelter volunteer, he changed everything for her. Diego had lots of health problems that started Johnna doing a lot of research. What she discovered was there was a void in the world of canine nutrition. This motivated her to enroll at the Academy of Natural Health Sciences to earn her accreditation as a Clinical Pet Nutritionist. She then opened her holistic pet boutique; Fetch RI. And, the rest is history – almost.
One day Johnna got a phone call from Michael, one of the founders of Bow Wow Labs. He told Johnna they had invented a safety device for dogs called the Bully Buddy. Her ears perked up and her interest was piqued. They have now joined forces and plan to launch the Bow Wow Labs Nutrition and Wellness Center, a one-stop holistic resource center for pet parents who crave information for their dogs.
Now my interest is piqued too! I told Johnna I would be willing to work with them to address the concerns pet parents have about making sure they have an estate plan that includes the lifetime care needs for their kids in fur coats; the pets that make our lives whole. Stay tuned for more information on this topic.
More about the Bully Buddy – this was the safety device Michael told Johnna about. It’s a way for dogs to enjoy a bully stick without the danger of choking or getting an abdominal obstruction. This safety device comes in 6 sizes so you can get the one that’s right for your dog. Bow Wow Labs can help you find the right size for your dog. Then, you need the right size bully stick for your Bully Buddy. Bow Wow Labs only sells bully sticks that are made from free-range, grass-fed cattle raised in the Patagonia region of Argentina. They are a single-ingredient, fully digestible treat and a healthier alternative to rawhide chews. They offer a Starter Kit and Easyship. You can also read their reviews and enjoy their blog, Story Tails.
Bow Wow Labs recommends you only feed a bully stick 3-4 times weekly and not every day. This was a fact that impressed Johnna – finally, a company that cared more about the health of her dog than just making a sale!
Johnna’s personal philosophy on canine nutrition focuses on both the needs of the canine species and then on the specific individual. Not two dogs are alike, and each should be evaluated for their special nutritional needs. She encourages pet parents to feed the best quality dog food they can afford. She says to look for limited ingredients and no soy, wheat, corn or sugar.
A big thanks to Johnna and Bow Wow Labs for all they are doing to ensure that our pets (especially our dogs) are safe, healthy and happy.
Today’s guest on All My Children Wear Fur Coats with host, Peggy Hoyt, featured Dr. Raye Taylor. Dr. Taylor is a veterinarian with Blue Skies Pet.com. This organization focuses on end of life care for our beloved pets. They believe that making an end-of-life choice for our pets is a difficult decision. Their goal is to honor our relationship with our pets while guiding us through a difficult decision with compassionate support.
Dr. Taylor is a mixed animal veterinarian. Her passions include lots of animals including insects (honey bees), exotics, zoo animals, wildlife, fish, horses, production animals, and of course, small animals like dogs, cats, hamsters, gerbils, and reptiles. She is one of a growing number of Human-Animal Bond Certified veterinarians. Her background includes research, microbiology, and immunology at Iowa State University. Her veterinary training is through St George's University and the University of Minnesota.
She came to be a veterinarian through a very traumatic experience as a young teenager when her beloved childhood Great Dane was euthanized at home in an agonizing, painful way. As a result of this experience she was determined no family should have to say farewell to their beloved pet without love, peace, compassion, and respect. She encourages all ages of family and other pets to be a part of this loving process. She believes in the focus on the balance of quality of life, even in death.
When Dr. Taylor isn’t working, she enjoys sailing, travel, and the arts, including her own writing. She is an active volunteer at Eagle Brook Church, VeTouch, and Nepris. She also serves as an instructor for BART (Basic Animal Response Training) and as member of the MNVMRC (Minnesota Veterinary Medicine Reserve Corps). She has a wonderful husband, a golden/lab mix Nelli, a practically untouchable super-soft cat Makita, and occasionally a bird and a bearded dragon. She says she has a special spot in her heart for Schipperkes.
Dr. Raye Taylor is a new member of the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance (PLPA). The membership of PLPA is committed to being an educational resource to its members. Members include pet loss suppliers, pet death care professionals and others committed to the lifetime care of our beloved pets.
Pet Hospice and Home Euthanasia are two of the services offered by Blue Skies Pet.com. Hospice care for pets is designed to provide pain-relieving and comfort-giving care for pet companions near the end of their lives. It also allows pet owners the time they need to come to terms with their pets’ illness and determine the appropriate level of comfort care or optional treatments. Part of hospice care is accepting death as a part of life. Blue Skies Pet.com offers both a comprehensive hospice consultation that contemplates up to two months (60 days) of support as well as single in-home hospice visits.
There’s no right or wrong time, yet we feel like we can’t be sure. That’s where a dedicated professional that can provide guidance and compassion may make all the difference.
When it’s time to say good-bye, Blue Skies Pet.com is there to ease the way. Their in-home euthanasia service allows the pet parent to be in the comfort of their home, surrounded by family including other pets, friends and others that want to celebrate the life of your beloved pet.
Other family pets can feel the loss of their pet friend. Our pets are extremely sensitive. Dr. Taylor explained that having them present can help to ease their sense of loss, including the development of “broken heart syndrome” or other illnesses related to their grief. A pet simply doesn’t understand if their companion pet “goes away” and “never returns.”
Thank you to Dr. Raye Taylor and the other veterinarians at Blue Skies Pet.com, along with all of the other proactive veterinarians across our country committed to one thing – the best relationship we can have with our pets.
While Blue Skies Pet.com is only available in Minnesota and Wisconsin, check with your personal veterinarian for a referral in your area.
You can memorialize a departed pet by making a donation in their name to Animal Care Trust, USA, Inc.
Peggy R. Hoyt, Founder/CEO