Walkin’ In A Winter Wonderland: Cold Weather Pet Activities

dog making splashes of snow. Jack Russell Terrier playing on sunSnow? Ice? Freezing temps? …No problem!

Here in Michigan we’re used to winter (though blizzards may be a challenge), and we know that it’s no excuse not to give our pets the daily exercise and mental stimulation they need. Your friends at OVRS want you and your pet to enjoy everything winter in Michigan has to offer. We’ve compiled a list of popular winter pet activities for you and your pet. Whether you’re the outdoorsy type or prefer to avoid the elements, there’s something for everyone! Continue…

Changing the Life of a Pet

CountryLakes_iStock_000054522158_LargeJust about every animal lover has a story about how a pet has touched or changed their life. Have you ever stopped to think about how we can return the favor?

January 24th is Change a Pet’s Life Day, and what better time to consider the options. Keep reading to find out how each of us can go about changing the life of a pet for the better.

Changing the Life of a Pet in Need

Taking some of your time or resources to help animals in need can go a long way towards changing the life of a pet. Even just a little effort can make a positive difference and there are so many ways to improve a pet’s life. Consider:

  • Adopting a pet in need of a loving home (one of the biggest ways to help!)
  • Spreading the word about the benefits of pet adoption
  • Fostering a pet who is looking for a forever home
  • Volunteering your time at a local animal shelter or rescue organization
  • Signing up your pet to be a blood donor
  • Donating to a worthy pet charity such as the TEAR Foundation
  • Collecting money or needed items such as blankets, food, and toys for donation to a local shelter
  • Helping to build shelters for feral cats
  • Spreading the word about animals in need by talking to your friends and family
  • Spending time with a neighbor’s or family member’s pet that could use a little extra love

What other ways have you found for improving a pet in need’s life?

Changing Your Pet’s Life

Let’s not forget our furry family, either. Changing the life of a pet can start in your home. You hold a lot of power over being sure that your pet’s life is a positive, happy one.  Take steps to help your household residents by:

  • Providing responsible and timely wellness care
  • Spending quality time each day with your four-legged friend
  • Taking steps to prevent pet emergencies
  • Making sure your pet has good manners
  • Socializing your pet with other animals or people
  • Engaging your pet in regular walks or exercise
  • Trying a new activity like an agility class, a hike, or playing a new game with your pet
  • Providing good nutrition and care every day at home
  • Investing in pet insurance to help make unplanned care expenses possible

Animals do so much to enrich our lives and uplift our souls, so the OVRS staff thinks it is only fitting that we dedicate at least one day a year to changing the life of a pet. It doesn’t take much, they are not demanding or greedy and give so much back. A little bit of your time and love is all it takes to make a huge difference in the life of an animal.


Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Cold Weather Safety For Pets

OVRS_iStock_000049416582_LargeIt may be an El Nino year, but that doesn’t mean it will be warm in Michigan this winter. Cold weather can pose serious risks to your pet’s health and safety. We offer you a list of practical ways you can keep your pets safe and comfortable all winter long.   

Cold Weather Safety Tips

  • Stay home – Pets are not much safer in a cold car than they are in a warm one. Hypothermia is deadly and pets are just as susceptible to it as humans.
  • Stay in – Dogs and cats should not be outside for prolonged periods in the cold. It’s a myth that animals are more resistant to cold than humans; the reality is that our pets can suffer the harmful effects of cold weather just as easily as we can.
  • If you must leave pets outside – Provide a warm, dry shelter with plenty of cozy bedding. Puppies and older dogs are more sensitive to the cold so it would be better to take them outside only to relieve themselves. Shovel out a spot if there’s deep snow.
  • Paw protection – Be aware of your dog’s paw pads while walking as snow and ice can damage the pads or make walking difficult. Clip the fur between toe pads to reduce the amount of snow collecting between the toes. Or spray the pads with cooking spray just before your walk in very cold weather.


Pet Photography 101

iStock_000071973855_LargeIt’s easier than ever to take great pictures these days. Not only can we take professional quality photos on our smartphones, but top-of-the-line cameras once limited to professionals are now affordable and remarkably easy for a novice to use.

Whether you’re an iPhone-wielding amateur or a seasoned picture-taking veteran, you have most likely snapped a few shots of your beloved dog, cat, chinchilla, or lutino cockatiel. Maybe you share your photos on social media, or would like to. Maybe you’d like a nice print or two to frame and hang in your home, or maybe you just want a few pet photos on your phone to glance at when you need a pick-me-up at work.

OVRS has put together a list of tips, straight from the pros, for making the most out of your pet photography sessions, regardless of what you end up doing with the final results. Continue…

OVRS’ Top 10 Blogs Of 2015

OVRS_iStock_000051074990_LargeIt’s hard to believe 2016 is upon us already! We’ve had an amazing year here at OVRS, and for that we extend our heartfelt thanks to you!  

We’re excited that so many of you are reading our blog, and thought you might be interested to know which blogs your peers found most useful this past year. Please enjoy our most popular pet care blogs of 2015: Continue…